Armed with a military-type array of special night-vision and infrared technology, a group of determined hunters has only one mutual outcome on their collective mind: “Finding Bigfoot.”
That’s exactly what the four-person team of Animal Planet’s popular series hopes to accomplish, finding ultimate evidence that groups of tall, hairy, human-like animals exist in the forest and wilderness areas of the world.
“People have been describing these types of animals in many different parts of North America for well over 400 years — that’s indisputable, that people have described seeing them,” said Matt Moneymaker, founder and president of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, or BFRO, a network of scientists and amateur researchers interested in Bigfoot and its reported “cousins”: Sasquatch, Yeti and the Abominable Snowman.
“Our mission is mutifaceted. We collect information and go out in the field to see if we can find scientific evidence, and in that process, try to figure out how these things can be studied scientifically,” Moneymaker told The Huffington Post.
According to BFRO’s files, since 1996, the number of Bigfoot sightings — including those with visual evidence — have produced nearly 32,000 reports.
Those numbers didn’t escape the attention of the Animal Planet channel, which teamed Moneymaker and BFRO member James “Bobo” Fay with educator Cliff Barackman and skeptical research biologist Ranae Holland.
Week after week, this determined quartet of Bigfoot hunters goes deep into wilderness areas of North America that most viewers only experience in nightmares.
As the skeptic of the group, Holland is often caught between those who believe 100 percent in the existence of Bigfoot — like her three “Finding Bigfoot” companions — and skeptics, like herself, who think all Bigfoot tales are nonsense.
“I completely understand and I can relate to where they’re coming from,” she told Huffington Post. “Yes, I’m skeptical and I still haven’t seen the evidence. I can’t tell someone they’re wrong, nor can I say that I’m right, or we’re both wrong and the believers are right.”
The ultimate goal of both BFRO and the “Finding Bigfoot” team is to come up with irrefutable evidence that some previously undiscovered species of ape that walks bipedally has successfully eluded capture for centuries.
The bulk of the evidence consists of many footprints, alleged hair samples, photographs and films and, of course, eyewitness accounts.