This Sunday see’s the start of Bigfoot Files, a British made Channel 4 series which attempts to discover new evidence of what, if anything, Bigfoot really is. So will the shows apparently professional and scientific approach lead to real answers, or is it just another hyped-up dramamentry?
Have you ever watched a paranormal style documentary which sets out to solve some mystery, only to become frustrated at the hosts/investigators apparent incompetence. Like a comic book villain who turns down the opportunity to shoot and kill the hero point blank in favor of some more extravagant, slower, unsupervised method of demise, which inevitably leads to their escape.
As mystery solving goes, TV documentaries have a pretty poor record. Despite promising so much, they often leave viewers with more questions than answers.
I have to admit I used to enjoy watching the Animal Planet/Discovery Channel series ‘Finding Bigfoot’. Even though I never expected them to find any conclusive evidence, the show had a way of drawing you in. It’s true much of the series entertainment value came from its unintentional comedy, even the most adamant Bigfoot believer would have a hard time not laughing at their Sasquatch ‘vocalizations’. But the public’s accounts of encounters were genuinely intriguing, leading you to believe there’s some truth behind the legends.
The problem I had with the show was that the investigators, who happened to be firm believers and desperately wanted to discover proof, did more to make me doubt the creatures existence than believe. Seemingly every episode the group would claim to be hearing Sasquatch very close by, fail to capture any solid evidence, pack up and go home. In defense of the shows hosts though, I don’t think the producers editing and dramatic sound effects did them any favors.
Surely if your sure there’s a section of woodland inhabited by Bigfoot’s, you could simply set up a dozen or so motion triggered cameras, maybe leave some bait, come back a week later and check the pictures. Or maybe use a helicopter with thermal imaging cameras like the police have? Is there a fear that the more comprehensive the investigation, the harder it becomes to carry on believing if no evidence is found?
Personally I’m not sure one way or the other. One part of me the thinks that if thousands or even millions of people around the world continue to report encounters, there has to be something in it. Another part of me though thinks, how can they exist and there still be no solid evidence such as clear video or photos, or even a body.
Anyway, Channel 4’s Mark Evans, along with geneticist Bryan Sykes, promise to use DNA testing in their attempt to once and for all solve the mystery. So don’t expect the usual night vision, dramatized investigation for this one. Bigfoot Files is instead being billed as a far more serious attempt at evidence collection and examination. While also trying to expose potential hoaxes for what they really are. However, even if the team manage to reveal just what Bigfoot is, the next question will be, are there any still living today?
Bigfoot Files begins airing in the UK on Sunday, 20 October at 8:00 PM on Channel 4.