Late-ish one night i caught myself watching Animal Planet on TV and the last half of a programme called Finding Bigfoot.
Not sure why this was on Animal Planet. Not sure where you'd put it on TV unless there was a Slightly Silly but Terribly Sincere channel. Cryptozoology has never been my favourite pseudo-science and sasquatches have never been my favourite cryptid. But this programme was funny as hell.
i missed the bit where the BFRO (Bigfoot Field Research Organization) held a town meeting in Kentucky and everybody there seemed to have seen a 'Squatch. But next thing the BFRO guys were out in the field for real, interviewing those who had experienced sightings and attempting reconstructions in the best scientific spirit. These involved Bobo, the big guy who most resembles a 'Squatch, posing as one. Bobo wanders along the treeline with his arms in the air gesticulating and trying to show the dimensions of a Bigfoot. This high? Yeah? About 8 feet? Wow, dude, I think you really saw one! says Matt, the narrator of the show, brimming with zeal. These guys are cool. Imagine Mormon elders except somewhat older and overweight in plaid shirts and caps that say 'Gone Squatchin' '. It's that sort of shiny sincerity and it's very sweet. Sasquatches are real and you saw one, Matt assures some bewildered woman who saw one while standing on her doorstep. It's Ok to talk about it.
That night in the area bordering the Daniel Boone forest the BFRO attempt sightings. They know a helluva lot about 'Squatches given that they've never actually seen one. Squatches howl at each other, and knock on trees. They travel down roads, because they like roads. They are attracted to the sounds of babies crying because they like babies. Matt conjectures thoughtfully that the cry of a baby reminds them of the sounds of their own babies - or it reminds them of fawns, which they eat.
Matt has a lot of ideas about Squatches. And so here they are in the forest, lit by high tech night vision equipment, with their baby doll in its cradle and the sound of crying played on a loop. Then they divide themselves into two pairs - Matt and Ranae (the token sceptic and an actual biologist) go one way and Bobo and Cliff go over the other side of the ravine where there are power lines. 'Squatches like power lines. All of them want to get away from the sound of the baby crying because it's creepy as hell. So there they are in the woods at night and they knock on the trees and howl and wait and wait .... and hear coyotes a lot. There is a poignant moment where Cliff says to Bobo how he would just like to put an arm chair out here in the forest and sit here all night. He pauses, and muses: 'I guess that's why I'm not married'. Bobo can only concur. I suspect he's not married either. 'Squatchin' is a high and lonely destiny.
Seems everybody in Kentucky has seen a Bigfoot except these guys. There is a whole programme about people not seeing Bigfoots. Never had i spent so much TV time watching people not seeing things. Then i discovered there is a whole series. They miss out on seeing Bigfoots all over the USA and even Australia. However, the Kentucky scenery in Fall is spectacular and perhaps the real star of the show.
Also worth a look is the BFRO website. It's really comprehensive. i am impressed with how much they know about Sasquatches given the paucity of actual sightings. It's a whole world out there with a bunch of people who really give a damn. Heaps better than reptilian shapeshifter enthusiasts that's for sure. And there's merchandise.