“Finding [the] Bigfoot [Bear]”

July 7, 2014

The television show, Finding Bigfoot, continues. While the hairy man-beast still remains elusive, the Animal Planet’s “team” keeps looking, assisted by local good ol’ boys and gals, their imaginative children, producers trying to make something out of nothing, and cool night-vision equipment.

What you need to know is that the team is headed by Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO) founder and Sasquatch ballyhooer Matt Moneymaker. (Yes his name reminds critics of his penchant for making money with Bigfoot—see my blog of June 13, 2011, “‘Finding Bigfoot’ a Howler.”) He was utterly duped by “the Sonoma video” hoax (purportedly depicting a California Bigfoot sighting but actually filmed by Penn and Teller for their TV show Bullshit!). Moneymaker and BFRO have received criticism—for example, for conducting Bigfoot hunts with a $300-per-person fee.

Curiously, on a 2014 episode of Moneymaker’s show (“Beast of the Bayou,” that aired June 22), there is former critic Craig Woolheater. All seems forgiven. Woolheater (himself founder of Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy) is relating his own sighting, once upon a time, in Louisiana (which the team describes as “one of the ‘Squatchiest states in the whole country”).

Woolheater was with a friend motoring through the central part of the state when they saw in their headlights, for “maybe eight seconds”—well, Bigfoot, they thought. “I can’t think of anything else it could’ve been,” Woolheater says. “It was walking on two legs,” was “seven feet tall,” and “covered in hair.” Unfortunately the duo weren’t impressed enough to stop and get a better look at this scientific find.

I was suspecting it was what I call a “Bigfoot bear”—one standing and even walking upright, as bears do in the alert mode, and so sometimes being mistaken for the apparently nonexistent Bigfoot. Team member and Bigfoot caller “Bobo,” however, agreed that Woolheater had obviously seen a Bigfoot: “That’s just elementary math. Seven feet tall, two legs, hairy. That’s a ’Squatch,” Bobo said.

Of course, that simplistic description also fits the Bigfoot bear, which is invariably present in Bigfoot territory and, of course, has the added characteristic of actually existing.