Some media organizations seek out news about the mythical creature known as Bigfoot. Others have Bigfoot thrust upon them.
Obligatory blurry Bigfoot photo usually provided to media organizations.
For those who must know, the Times-News falls into the latter category. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it — for as long as it holds up under questioning anyway. The cable TV network Animal Planet has other ideas. We’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s just say that TV sitcoms are bordering on extinction and a primary reason may be Animal Planet.
No one in Hollywood can write scripts better than what those guys are cooking up.
Anyway, how we came last week to be pursuing a report about some would-be Sasquatch evidence in Gibsonville is perhaps more complicated than it sounds. The reason is simple. There’s usually no way in hell I would print a story about some unsubstantiated local Bigfoot sighting in the Times-News. Not no way, not no how. That’s not to say that if Bigfoot dropped by someplace in town for a drink we wouldn’t check it out if called. I just don’t figure that’s going to happen in a million, jillion years. I’d get better odds finding a Werewolf with a Chinese menu in its hand walking through the streets of Soho in the rain.
But someone dropping by the office with grainy pictures and a partially microwaved story … well, on second thought, I keep hearing about a local legend of some Sasquatch-like creature in East Burlington known as Chris-Chris. People I believe to be relatively sane report hearing about this creature dating back to their formative years in the 1960s and ’70s. For a few of them, it explains a lot.
Anyway, we began to ask a few questions last Friday for what turned out to be the first Bigfoot/Loch Ness Monster/Abominable Snowman story that I’ve been associated with in my rather checkered and questionable journalism career after hearing from what I swear is a reliable source in Gibsonville. We were told that Animal Planet had been in town filming at the home of Bernadette and Leonard Braley. Word had apparently spread about a rather large footprint they had found last fall outside their home. Not only were the prints humongous, but the stride length was about 10 feet, which indicated that whatever made them was perhaps 8 feet tall or more. Unless, of course, it was a fraternity prank. Then it’s two juiced college students with lots of time between classes. These sorts of extracurricular studies are why American colleges were invented.
The Braleys hadn’t talked about it much because, well, they were themselves a little skeptical — but curious. You also don’t want to go talking about Bigfoot in a small town. Folks’ll gossip.
But with Animal Planet in the mix, that in and of itself was noteworthy enough for a story. Saturday, we published it and alerted people that not only was a potential Sasquatch lurking around outer Gibsonville but details about it would be featured Sunday on a program I had never heard of on Animal Planet called, “Finding Bigfoot.”
Sunday we continued our fact-finding mission by tuning in to “Finding Bigfoot” and its program featuring what the crack team of Bigfoot devotees and one identified scientist declared to be related sightings or evidence of a “Squatch” in North Carolina. I’m not sure what I was expecting from a cable TV show called “Finding Bigfoot” but I assumed some science would be involved.
The fearless BFRO crew poses for a publicity still. They were in Gibsonville recently checking out some humongous footprints.
The expert team consists of members of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, led by Matt Moneymaker, founder of the BFRO and Cliff Barackman, described as an analytical type devoted to the physical evidence of Bigfoot. It also included someone known as Bobo and a skeptical scientist called Ranae. Best I can tell from the show and the program’s website, they seem to specialize in “Bigfoots,” “swamp apes,” and possibly lost episodes of “Lancelot Link Secret Chimp.” They look a lot like the Ghostbusters.
Here’s what I learned by watching the show.
The Bigfoot evidence at the Gibsonville site is either “real or fake.” I found this to be the most direct and honest assessment of the situation I heard in the entire hour, and it was uttered by the homeowner in Gibsonville. It’s about the only thing that passed for scientific method during the broadcast.
These Bigfoot experts will believe almost anything. They arrived in Gibsonville, asked the Braleys what happened, looked at the ginormous print and proclaimed. “Well, it’s definitely a Sasquatch.”
My pre-teen years were enhanced by the Saturday morning TV show "Lancelot Link Secret Chimp." It was almost as fictional as "Finding Bigfoot."
The diet of your basic Bigfoot / Sasquatch type creature apparently consists of deer and Snickers bars. It’s a lean program but one relatively high in sugar.
Four out of five doctors recommend the Bigfoot diet for non-diabetics. This wasn’t discussed during the program but Personally I’ve never witnessed a lardass Sasquatch in any of the hundreds of blurry Bigfoot photos available. I predict the Bigfoot Diet going national after a book is published about it.
People who want to see Bigfoot need only deposit a Snickers bar on the top of some random tree stump in a wooded area not far from power lines. Bigfoot just loves power lines, by the way. A passerby Bigfoot simply can’t resist. It, or something reasonably hairy will emerge to scoop it up. This might also be a college student. By the way, leave Almond Joy, Mounds or Chunky at your own risk. Bigfoot doesn’t cotton to being trifled with.
It is not known if college students hang out near power lines.
The nearby Uwharrie Forest is apparently “Bigfoot Central” but only, you know, near power lines.
Bigfoot in North Carolina apparently moves in a triangulated area linking Gibsonville, Troy and unknown spots in the Uwharrie Forest, not including the N.C. Zoo.
Whatever you do, don’t let yourself be filmed through night-vision lenses. There’s a 100 percent chance you’ll look like a deranged goofball.
Under no circumstances are people to run after Bigfoot should they see it, unless, of course, they feel like it.
Charlie Sheen will never work in TV comedy again. There’s way too much competition out there who will work for far less and don’t date porn stars. Swamp apes maybe — but not porn stars. No wonder Charlie thinks he has to do crazy crap to get himself noticed.
So after all of this do I believe in Bigfoot? I’ll let you know after I finish my pina colada at Trader Vic’s.
The show about North Carolina airs again on June 17 at 10 p.m.
It’s must-see TV.