Showing posts with label Matt Moneymaker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Matt Moneymaker. Show all posts

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Finding Bigfoot Returns with a 2-Hour Alaskan Special:In Search of a 12ft Sasquatch


Finding Bigfoot returns this November with 8 new episodes

On Sunday, November 9, at 9 PM (ET/PT), FINDING BIGFOOT returns with a special two-hour episode that takes Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO) president Matt Moneymaker, researchers James "Bobo" Fay and Cliff Barackman and skeptical scientist Ranae Holland off to the wilds of Alaska. Reports of colossal-sized sasquatches draw the team into a vast wilderness in America's largest state. Eyewitnesses claim to have seen a bigfoot taller than 12 feet, one of the largest reported sasquatch ever.

Other destinations in the action-packed season include the following:

United Kingdom: Recent reports of bigfoot sightings in the British Isles draw the team to the UK for the first time, and they can't resist checking out another of the world's enigmas, Loch Ness. In between tracking bigfoots, the team heads to the highlands of Scotland to see if it can uncover the truth about 'Nessie.'

New Jersey: The team heads back to the Garden State to investigate "Big Red Eye," a nickname for sasquatches in New Jersey. Many are surprised by the large amount of sasquatch activity that occurs in this Mid-Atlantic state, and this time, they have a secret weapon: bigfoot enthusiast and legendary comedian Bobcat Goldthwait (Police Academy Franchise, Scrooged). The team hopes that Bobcat's iconic yell can help attract "Big Red Eye."

Tennessee: This southern state has a rich history of sasquatch sightings and government officials who are bigfoot believers. So it's no surprise that the team from FINDING BIGFOOT heads to this state to attempt to set a record for most people participating in a search for sasquatch. With a huge turnout expected, can the added manpower help the team close in on the elusive creature?
Additionally, the team returns to Idaho, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Ohio.


FINDING BIGFOOT is produced for Animal Planet by Ping Pong Productions. Keith Hoffman is the executive producer, and Hilary Tholen is associate producer for Animal Planet. Brad Kuhlman and Casey Brumels are the executive producers, and Chad Hammel is the co-executive producer for Ping Pong Productions.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Dr. Bryan Sykes Responds to Moneymakers' Criticisms of Bigfoot DNA Study

Dr. Bryan Sykes
"I really don't know whether any of the samples arrived thanks to the BFRO or not." --Dr. Bryan Sykes

In a previous post we shared some reporting from Black Bag's Matthew Phelan regarding criticism by Matt Moneymaker. Matt Moneymaker was quoted as saying the Sykes bigfoot DNA study was meaningless scientifically.
Since our post, Matt Moneymaker Calls Sykes' Bigfoot DNA Study "Meaningless", Matthew Phelan was able to get a response to Matt Moneymakers comments from Dr. Bryan Sykes. 

Here is the correspondence between Black Bag and Sykes:

Black Bag: This is to Moneymaker, specifically, but Sykes may know something too: Moneymaker says that the "BFRO did not provide any of the North American samples, nor did we endorse those few samples from North America that were focused on in the associated TV program." UK Channel 4's Bigfoot Files, presumably. Is this, in fact, correct? Further, to Moneymaker, why did the BFRO not submit samples?

Sykes: I really don't know whether any of the samples arrived thanks to the BFRO or not. They were all submitted by individuals and not by organisations.

Black Bag: Moneymaker asserts that a substantial portion of the submitted samples were excluded "because there was a relatively small amount of material in the sample (i.e. only a few hairs in the sample ... like MOST authentic bigfoot hair samples)." Dr. Sykes, can you speak to the veracity of this and —- overall —- explain in more detail the rubric by which those 18 samples were excluded?

Sykes: Not so. Many samples consisted of only very few, sometimes a single, hair. I had a slight preference for samples with two or more hairs simply because if I had found any to be from an "anomalous primate" I would have had an independent lab test them before publishing the results. That turned out not be necessary. All told I was sent 95 hair samples of which I sent 37 (now 38) for analysis of which 30 (now 31) yielded DNA.
Check out what else Dr. Bryan Sykes has to say about funding bigfoot research and the three questions we should ask when pursuing Bigfoot in the Black Bag

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Matt Moneymaker Calls Sykes' Bigfoot DNA Study "Meaningless"

Matt Moneymaker Called Sykes Bigfoot DNA Study, "Meaningless scientifically"

"because there was a relatively small amount of material in the sample (i.e. only a few hairs in the sample ... like MOST authentic bigfoot hair samples)." --Matt Money maker on why some submitted samples were not even anlyzed

Gawker.com was able to get an official response from Discovery News regarding the recent results of Dr. Bryan Sykes DNA study. Even better? They got a response from BFRO founder and Finding Bigfoot co-host Matt Moneymaker. In a few short words Matt Moneymaker claims the study "meaningless scientifically."

Read the full response why below:

The actual DNA analysis by Sykes' team was surely performed with the highest integrity and accuracy but the overall effort was already corrupted by that point. It was corrupted at the sample inclusion stage.

Note: The BFRO did not provide any of the North American samples, nor did we endorse those few samples from North America that were focused on in the associated TV program. None of the "bigfoot" samples that came from the US had a strong *credible* connection to a bigfoot sighting or some other credible corroborating evidence (i.e. footprints).
To be fair Dr. Bryan Sykes has not ruled out the possibility of a Yeti or Sasquatch being out there. He has said so in his response.

"While it is important to bear in mind that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and this survey cannot refute the existence of anomalous primates, neither has it found any evidence in support. Rather than persisting in the view that they have been 'rejected by science', advocates in the cryptozoology community have more work to do in order to produce convincing evidence for anomalous primates and now have the means to do so."

Click the following link to read the entire Gawker article titled, "Bigfoot Field Research Organization Head Calls DNA Study 'Meaningless'"

Monday, January 20, 2014

Matt Moneymaker Stirs Up the Twittersphere with His Bigfoot Bioluminescence

Matt Moneymaker with my nephew
Before I begin, I think it is important that I cover all the caveats. I like Matt Moneymaker, my nephew really wanted to meet him while he was at the filming site of a Finding Bigfoot episode. During all the chaos of producers, lighting checks, sound checks and other fans, Matt Moneymaker gave his undivided attention and time to my nephew. He didn't jump back in to the fray of TV making until he had a good chat with him. I also think it easy to take for granted the contributions Matt Moneymaker has made to Sasquatch field research.

This doesn't change that his larger than life personality makes for an easy target in the twitterverse. And, of course it doesn't mean I have to agree with every theory he has. Cue the video.



Read some of the choice twitter reactions, including ones from Cliff Barackman, Ranae Holland and James Bobo Fay below.













Most of us know eye-shine and bioluminescence are two different things. We have a great explanation for bigfoot eye-shine, or at least how eye-shine works for most mammals (spoiler alert: Its caused by the tapetum lucidum). Bioluminescence, as Animal Planet clearly pointed out in the above tweet is usually reserved for deep water creatures and some fungi.

What do you think about Bigfoot eyeshine? Or Matt's theory? Please leave some comments below. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Today in Bigfoot History | JAN 24, 1999 | SF Chronicle Reports New Technology for Bigfooting

Freitas uses a huge speaker on his pick-up truck to blast recorded
 Bigfoot calls across the valley / The Chronicle Photo: MICHAEL MACOR
Over the past few years, the hunt for Bigfoot has exploded in a frenzy of high technology. New high-tech detection equipment abounds, dangling from trees all over the United States

On this day, January 24th, in 1999, The San Francisco Chronicle noted a change in the way bigfooters did their research. If today's technology trend is combining all your gadgets into a single hand held device (think iPhone), in the 90's it was all about turning any technology into something you could hold in your hand. Powerful cameras and audio devices were not only shrinking, but also becoming more affordable. Another revolution was on the World Wide Web. With the release of Windows 95 people were migrating from AOL, a "walled-off" online service, to the surfing the decentralized web through a browser.

In a world where an average article is usually 200-500 words, journalist Michael Taylor gives a rare treat of writing an epic 3000-plus words of the who's who of Bigfoot research. It starts out with the new technology of call blasting.
From the cab of his pickup truck, John Freitas takes out a camera, a tape recorder and a pair of binoculars and sets them within easy reach in the pickup's bed. Near the tailgate is a huge outdoor speaker, much like the ones you see suspended from the tiers of baseball stadiums.

Freitas fiddles with the tape deck in the truck's dashboard, and then suddenly the speaker booms forth with an eerie wail.

"Aaarrrrrgggghhhh," the voice screams for several seconds, arcing from low to high then low, a bit like an air raid siren, and then again, in a higher pitch, "Aaaaaaiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee." Freitas shuts down the tape and listens carefully, waiting for a response. Silence. More silence. We look around, video camera at the ready. Come out, come out, wherever you are.

"The theory," he says, nodding at the speaker, "is that if there's another 'Squatch in this area, this will attract him."

This is the hunt for Bigfoot -- the legendary Sasquatch, as he was known in the old Salish tribal language of British Columbia, where locals say he has been seen frequently. John Freitas may well be typical of the new breed of Bigfoot hunter that seems to be emerging in the never-ending search for the phantom ape of North America. Undaunted by the occasional snicker or rolling of eyes from his friends or co-workers, Freitas, like any good police investigator, is methodical and practical and willing to go looking for something about which precious little evidence even exists.

Over the past few years, the hunt for Bigfoot has exploded in a frenzy of high technology. New high-tech detection equipment abounds, dangling from trees all over the United States -- Starlight nightscopes, motion detectors hooked up to infrared still and video cameras, FM wireless transmitters dangling from fir trees and transmitting to tape decks up to two miles away.

In his bedroom at a cabin Freitas rents deep in the forest are a video cassette recorder, a three-foot-long telephoto lens, nightvision Starlight binoculars and a recycled siren switchbox from a patrol car, used to amplify the screams on his tapes.

And that's just the stuff in the field. At home and in offices across the country, the Internet has spawned a myriad of Web sites that have brought a sense of order and organization to a subject that for years has been disparate, fractured and, given the heated arguments over whether Bigfoot even exists, fractious in the extreme.

And there is still a smattering of oldstyle Bigfoot information: At the Bigfoot museum in Willow Creek, where Al Hodgson is the curator, nearly two dozen plaster casts of footprints seen in the Northern California wilderness are on display in glass cases. The best part of Hodgson's display is the collection of footprint casts donated by the estate of Bob Titmus, one of the most experienced Bigfoot trackers.

On the Six Rivers mountaintop with Freitas, though, all that counts is whether the elusive man-ape will answer these calls. The tapes were recorded in 1994 in a mountainous rural area of eastern Ohio by Matthew Moneymaker, a 33-year-old software engineer from Southern California who is also a longtime Bigfoot tracker. Moneymaker said there have been numerous sightings of Bigfoot-like creatures in that Appalachian area of Ohio, near Pennsylvania.

Moneymaker played the tapes for three scientists, including a zoologist who specializes in wildlife, and "they all said it was something really unusual" and could not identify the sounds. In the world of Bigfoot, that means it bore no resemblance to any identifiable mammal, and it was just what Freitas needed in the form of aural bait.
The article continues on to mention a new website that catalogs and stores Bigfoot sightings, the address is MattMoneymaker.org/BFRO. Known simply today as BRFO.net
Now, however, there is some consistency developing in the search for Bigfoot, particularly on the Internet.

For example, Moneymaker has helped create the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) and its inevitable Web site (www.moneymaker.org/BFRO/), that purports to have one of the largest geographic databases of sightings in the world.
We have only shared less than a third of the article, the rest is definitely worth reading as most journalist don't give this much time and effort to the topic of Bigfoot. The entire article is at the San Francisco Chronicle.


Monday, December 31, 2012

Countdown Top 12 Googled Bigfoot Personalities of 2012

Searching for Bigfoot can go beyond the Big Guy. Some personalities get searched as well.
As a statistical analyst I should preface that these results are the top Googled names that found Bigfoot Lunch Club, otherwise Jane Goodall would top the list with 2 million global searches annually. That is what makes this countdown so informative, we are basically filtering these names by interest in Bigfoot.

There is a slight bias towards coverage as well. So don't be surprised if you don't see names associated with Bigfoots in freezers, Florida cab drivers, or those that have caught a Bigfoot named daisy. There is one exception; Todd Standing. I don't think there is a better resource for Todd Standing than Bigfoot Lunch Club. With all that said, we introduce to you Bigfoot Lunch Club's 2012 countdown of the  top 12 Googled names!

NO. 12 Justin Smeja | The Bigfoot Killer

Justin Smeja claimed to have killed two Bigfoot in October 2010. According Mr. Smeja, 5 weeks later he returned to the scene with bloodhounds and collected a piece of flesh, known by some as "the Bigfoot steak."

In his own words, "Me and my buddy drove into a clearing shielded by trees, so it was much like a blind corner for any game that would be feeding in the meadow, and we saw a strange looking creature. I shot it and 2 others juveniles came out of the thicket. They all ran off and we went after them on foot and eventually I shot another one. We hid the small one and i couldn't find the other. We left immediately after."

Since then, He has passed a lie detector test and the piece of flesh has been tested for DNA by Melba Ketchum (results still pending). More recently the flesh was sent to Trent University in canada and the results came back as a female black bear. Click the following link for the entire coverage of Justin Smeja.

NO. 11 Cliff Barackman | The Cast Nerd

Cliff Barackman is currently a co-host of Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot, he also the ultimate cast nerd. Not only does he have a historical encyclopedic knowledge of casts from Bigfoot history, he also probably has the largest cast collection 2nd only to Professor Jeffery Meldrum of Idaho State University

Trackways, prints and casts are probably the best physical evidence we have about Bigfoot. They tell us more about morphology and behavior than DNA currently can.

If you get a chance check out his research on the London Trackway casts. You can also read our complete coverage of Cliff Barackman.

NO. 10 Melissa Hovey | Bigfoot Feminist

Melissa Hovey is the Bigfoot researcher who was once featured on all-female expedition episode of the History Channel's, "MonsterQuest". She is currently president of the American Bigfoot Society (ABS). She is a member of the Sasquatch Watch of Virginia, and a former member of the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy.

She made Bigfoot news this year with the release of what she claimed to be a possible photo of Bigfoot's back. Bigfoot Lunch Club had two Hollywood Special FX artists look at the photo and they were able to identify independently the type of fur that may have been used for the Bigfoot in the photo. Click the following link to read more about Melissa Hovey 

NO. 9 Dr. Jeff meldrum | Professor Bigfoot

Dr. Jeff Meldrum is Professor of Anthropology at Idaho State University. He has had multiple guest appearances on several Bigfoot related specials on The Discovery Channel and History Channel. His most notable is Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science, of which he wrote a companion book of the same name.

This year he announced his participation in fundraising $300,000 of the Falcon Project. A Bigfoot blimp that is using the latest in camera technology. He also has a role in the Bigfoot DNA study headed by Bryan Sykes of Oxford University. Click on the following link to get our complete coverage of Professor Jeff Meldrum


NO. 8 Frank Siecienski | Bigfoot Stole His Apples

Frank Siecienski has an apple orchard in Vermont. At one point he believed more than deer were eating his apples.

Mr. Siecienski told WCAX news, "One section of my apple tree, the apples were completely devoured. One whole section. I pointed it out to my wife and she says 'oh God,' the deer must have been hungry. And I said 'no, a deer couldn't have eaten that many apples in one night.'"

On a September evening Mr. Siecienski decided to set a trailcam to find out what could be eating his apples. The trailcam was circulated among the Bigfoot community and was featured on Finding Bigfoot. Click the following link to see the picture and interview of Frank Siecienski.

NO. 7 Jane Goodall | Bigfoot Believer

British primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall spent almost half-a-century studying the wild chimpanzees of Gombe National Park in Tanzania. Her ground-breaking discoveries have contributed much of what we know about the behavior of these primates.

She has gone on record twice about her firm belief that Sasquatch exist.  The first time was September 27th, 2002 on Ira Flatow's Talk of the Nation on National Public Radio's (NPR). Dr. Jane Goodall made a striking comment, ""Well now, you'll be amazed when I tell you that I'm sure that they exist."

Recently she told Huffington Post, ""I'm not going to flat-out deny its existence I'm fascinated and would actually love them to exist." Click the following link to listen and read more about Jane Goodall.

NO. 6 Anna Necaris | Lorisis Lady

Prof Anna Nekaris is a Professor in Anthropology and Primate Conservation studying the unique group of evolutionary distinct primates known as the Asian lorises.

She is most known for her role in the History Channel's documentary Bigfoot: The Definitive Guide. As primatologist, specifically dealing with nocturnal primates, Ms. Necaris brought her unique knowledge of behavior of recognized primates to the show.

On December 9th 2008, she presented Searching for the Yeti. The presentation revealed how you find unknown animals, looking at examples of new species of primate still being discovered today, and exploring the likelihood of the Yeti's existence. Click the following link to see Anna Necaris' Presentation 

NO. 5 James "Bobo" Fay | Fan Favorite


Bobo says that he saw his first Sasquatch while on an investigation with veteran Bigfoot researcher John Freitas in 2001. Since his initial sighting, Bobo claims to have glimpsed Bigfoots on a few other occasions, but it was this first visual sighting that moved him the most.

Today, Bobo makes a living as a commercial fisherman out of Eureka, California. He continues to take odd jobs in unrelated fields, most of which are centered on trying to spot a Bigfoot. His close relationship with the community in which he lives helps him keep his "ear to the ground," and he collects dozens of local Bigfoot sighting reports each year
Bobo is probably the most well-known and recognizable co-host of Finding Bigfoot, his "Gone Squatchin'" hat may be more famous. Click the for more James Bobo Fay.

NO. 4 Matt Moneymaker | BFRO Founder

Although Bobo may be the media darling, Matt Moneymaker's name get's searched more often. He is an active tweeter @MattMoneymaker1 and He is of course the founder of the BFRO.

In 1995 he connected with other Bigfoot researchers on the nascent World Wide Web and formed the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization. In 1996 he launched the web site for the BFRO and began investigating and publishing eyewitness reports on the Internet. For the next few years he co-produced a few television projects about Bigfoot before he began organizing field expeditions in different parts of the country, which he still does today.

Read our complete coverage of Matt Moneymaker

NO. 3 Melba Ketchum | Bigfoot DNA Researcher

Melba Ketchum is the founder of DNA Diagnostics. She entered the world of Bigfoot 5 years ago when she started her Bigfoot DNA project. After several delays and missed publication dates, dates she proposed herself, the Bigfoot community is more than anxious.

As you can imagine, she quickly climbed to the top three of this countdown after her press release claiming that the study results suggest Bigfoot is part human.

Click to read our coverage of Melba Ketchum

NO. 2 Ranae Holland | Token Skeptic

Ranae Holland almost tops the chart coming in at #2. Though Ranae is not a member of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) and does not believe in Bigfoot, she is fascinated by the phenomenon, and is excited to have found a way to combine her scientific knowledge, fieldwork skills, and love of the wilderness to investigate alleged sightings.

She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington, where she was selected for and worked with the distinguished Alaska Salmon Program. For over a decade, Ranae has conducted fisheries research throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

The most popular post is the Ranae's San Diego Gay and Lesbian News interview. Click to read our complete coverage of Ranae Holland.

NO. 1 Todd Standing | Oh Canada

Todd Standing tops the list because we have covered him so extensively. He started off strong this year mostly due to the Finding Bigfoot episode, by then we already had quite a history covering him.

Initially we were impressed with his triangulation methodology and his theory about "day watchers," Sasquatches that served as diurnal sentinels while the rest opf the clan slept.

The man even made some progress getting Canadian legislation to recognize and preserve the Sasquatch.

Unfortunately things began to unravel when Todd Standing shared some up-close photos of Sasquatch that looked more like a Muppet than Bigfoot. Another point of contention was the name of the area he was doing research in called "Sylvanic." He claimed it was named by the first nations people but upon further research Sylvanic derives from the latin Sylvan meaning: One that lives in or frequents the woods.

Click to read the wild ride that is Todd Standing.

Well this does it for the top googled names of 2012. At least the ones that were used to find Bigfoot Lunch Club. If you enjoyed this you may also like the Year-in-review posts Part 1 and Part 2

Thursday, November 29, 2012

CNN reports Bigfoot DNA Using Footage Mostly from TV Show Finding Bigfoot

CNN Carol Costello reports the Bigfoot DNA study that says Bigfoot is part human
using  mostly footage from Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot
Now you know it is really news. CNN had picked up the Bigfoot DNA study that claims Bigfoot is part human.


The choice of mashing up the Melba Ketchum Bigfoot DNA study and the TV show Finding Bigfoot is ironic (perhaps even amusing) to most Bigfooters. Matt Moneymaker, co-host on Finding Bigfoot,  has been very vocal, most recently on twitter, about his lack of confidence in Melba Ketchum's Bigfoot DNA study that claims Bigfoot is part human.

Below are some choice tweets from BFRO founder and Finding Bigfoot's co-host, Matt Moneymaker.


  I think the DNA study in Texas will be exposed as a hyped up publicity stunt and scam. I've been monitoring it for a while.



Bald-faced mendacity of Melba Ketchum. She told Lee Speigal the DNA samples "came to me. I didn't go after them, that's for sure." Bullsh*t.



More than 5 years ago she pitched her BF DNA testing to the producer of Monsterquest, and later pitched herself to the producers of MY SHOW!



 Yo Greggy, Melba's study won't be taken seriously by any real scientists. It's all fake. Her "team of scientists" doesn't exist



Yes, she received a few legit samples but her "DNA analysis" and documentation was a sham and a scam. She made ridiculous excuses for years.



 When hoaxers and charlatans succeed it getting news media attention, they can use the attn to swindle people who want to help.



 All three of those guys [Paulides/Randles/Carpenter] are dealing w/ Melba because she is telling them exactly what they want to hear about their own samples.



The only silver lining to Melba Ketchum's scam: It helped encourage Dr. Sykes at Oxford (England) to seek BF DNA samples. He is very legit.



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Matt Moneymaker in Ten Ways to Meet a Monster: Bigfoot

Matt Moneymaker sporting a crew cut on the TV show "10 Ways" circa 2008
In 2008 Discovery UK had a show called, "Ten Ways". It included episodes that started with the phrase "Ten Ways," as in Ten Ways Get Abducted by Aliens, Ten Ways to Contact a Ghost, Ten Ways The World Will End, or in the case of the video we are showcasing, Ten Ways to Meet a Monster

Discovery UK uploaded this clip last night (10/31/2012) which starts with Matt Moneymaker, of recent Finding Bigfoot fame, talking about Bigfoot around a campfire.

Yes this is Matt Moneymaker sporting a crew cut and camouflage.



Read the complete "Ten Ways" Episode Guide
Watch clips from other Ten Ways Episodes

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Matt Moneymaker Argues with "Girl" 140 Characters at a Time

Meet @HayleyStevens, a skeptic blogger

Matt and my nephew
Let me say from the outset, the few interactions I have had with Matt Moneymaker have been completely positive. My 12 yr old nephew is a big fan of his and Matt was very kind when I introduced them to each other. Matt had the utmost time and patience for the kinds of questions a kid would ask, all while during the filming of an episode.

And while I disagree with some BFRO's methodologies, I think Matt and BFRO have made some great contributions to the community.

With that said, there is a kind of comedy that can happen when tweeting back and fourth, tweet battles seem to force a reactive quality to the conversation on both sides, there is never quite enough characters to put any type of phrasing in context. I don't think either side comes out the winner on twitter.

This is most likely the case in the twitter conversation between skeptic Hayley Stevens and Matt Moneymaker. The whole conversation goes weird when Matt assumes Hayley is a "little girl," a realistic assumption, in our opinion, based on her twitter profile picture, that doesn't condone the tone of Matt's tweets, but I would not guess Hayley is, in fact, 27. Of course, that's us assuming an assumption was made based on the pic. 

Hayley has her side well documented on her blog, HayleyIsAGhost.com. Unfortunately her documentation of the the twitter conversation is one-sided showing Matt Moneymakers tweets out of context. Also unfortunately it seems that Matt Moneymaker has deleted his tweets. And beyond these two unfortunate events, there is a third unfortunate event, I have spent WAY too much time trying to piece the whole conversation together.

For what it is worth, here is the twitter conversation between Matt Moneymaker and Hayley Stevens that was shared and retweeted among the skeptic bloggers (as best as I could piece it together). Hopefully it does not look like I'm trying to pick a winner, I just wanted to give the conversation more context. If you think either side ended up with a constructive outcome let me know.

9:16:00 AM Matt Moneymaker
Often when ppl get hit by rocks thrown by squatches the rocks are thrown from a distance in total darkness. Ppl dont even see the squatches.

9:17:00 AM Hayley Stevens
 it [sic] that's true, how do you know they're there?

9:30:00 AM  Hayley Stevens
how do you know it is them that makes those noises? If you don't see them?

9:37:00 AM Matt Moneymaker
A dog is barking but u cannot see it. How do u know it is a dog? If u know what squatches sound like u know when they r near.

9:42:00 AM  Hayley Stevens
dogs are a documented species of animal. As far as I'm aware there's no documented and verified record of sasquatch.

10:04:00 AM  Hayley Stevens
and your answer didn't make sense

10:26:00 AM  Hayley Stevens
because the answer you provided didn't make sense.

?????? Matt Moneymaker
It didn't make sense to you because you are too young. Ask your parents. Seriously. They will explain things 2 u.

10:33:00 AM  Hayley Stevens
I'm 25, I've been researching anomalous phenomena for a decade. I know about this than my parents. Try me.

10:41:00 AM  Hayley Stevens
it seems like a leap of logic to me, is what I was pointing out.

10:41:00 AM  Hayley Stevens
I don't understanding how you know the sounds are sasquatch when previously nobody knows what they sound like.

????? Matt Moneymaker
So if I explain how I and others recognize their sounds then why bring up official classification? You missed the point.

10:54:00 AM  Hayley Stevens
in that case why not show me where they're documented? So I can understand your point?

????? Matt Moneymaker
Hayley, many elusive species made recognizable sounds before thety were officially documented. Sounds helped w/ the discovery.

10:55:00 AM Endless_Psych
You know what I don't think grownups generally do? Use youth as an excuse not to answer a question.

10:55:00 AM Endless_Psych
Indeed far from grown up some might actually call that childish

???? Matt Moneymaker
What children do is ignore when their question has been answerd repeatedly if they really just don’t comprehend

???? Matt Moneymaker
Hayley my point is that I usually speak with older people and the answer I gave would make sense to them just fine

10:57:00 AM  Hayley Stevens
How do you know that is a sasquatch making those noises?

11:00:00 AM  Hayley Stevens
Your answer doesn't stand up to scrutiny, so I asked you to clarify. That isn't me ignoring your answer.

11:04:00 AM  Hayley Stevens
and my point is that you can't identify an animal by sound if there's no pre-existing record of what it sounds like.

???? Matt Moneymaker
U can identify an animal by it's sound if you have heard them many times, regardless of pre-existing records. Ask an ecologist

11:08:00 AM  Hayley Stevens
The first time you heard a sasquatch you knew it was a sasquatch how?

???? Matt Moneymaker
I actually didn't know what I was hearing the very first time I heard them in the field, almost 30 years ago. Long story

???? Matt Moneymaker
Someday u can treat me to tea and scones and ask me whatever you like about squatches. A twitter box is too limited for that

11:20:00 AM  Hayley Stevens
at some point you decided you'd heard Sasquatch though. What evidence did you base that decision on?

11:20:00 AM  Hayley Stevens
I'm writing up my thoughts, you can address them then, in your own time and perhaps without attacking me personally.

11:22:00 AM Matt Moneymaker
Hayley stevens Just don't make child-like assumptions about what exists and what doesn't exist. Others may know more than you do abt things.

12:37:00 PM  Hayley Stevens
 the only impressive thing here is your arrogance

12:23:00 AM  Hayley Stevens
I suggest that says more about your logic than it does about your professionalism though.

12:25:00 AM  Hayley Stevens
I don't really have anything to say to you, if you can't answer the points I wrote out without being patronising then fine.


Friday, August 3, 2012

TV Critics: Show us Bigfoot or GTFO!

Ranae Holland, Matt Money Maker, Cliff Barackman, and James "Bobo" Fay


"First Animal Planet airs a mermaids special, now this — isn’t Animal Planet damaging its brand with this stuff?" --TV Critic at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour.

The above quote sums up the general sentiment of the TV Critics during the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour according to Entertainment Weekly writer James Hibberd. In our summation, while the TV critics complain about the the quality of programming (and the reality of Bigfoot), Animal Planet is just fine with the ratings they are getting, and Matt Moneymaker will be quick to accuse the naysayers of ignorance.

Below is the full article from Entertainment Weekly

Bigfoot experts clash with TV critics: 'You're ignorant'

by James Hibberd

TV critics took on Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot during a contentious panel at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour in Beverly Hills on Thursday.

For those who haven’t seen the show, it’s a bit like Syfy’s Ghost Hunters, only an expert team looks for Sasquatch instead of spooks. There are interviews, data crunching, mysterious footprints and a group hunting in the woods … but no actual bigfoot.

The press tour reporters have spent nearly two weeks in a hotel interviewing actors and executives promoting TV shows. So when Animal Planet rolls out this panel the critics are, understandably, thinking: Show us bigfoot or GTFO.

A critic points out: If these guys actually find bigfoot, such huge news is not going to really stay quiet until a regular episode of Finding Bigfoot airs. One asks: Has Animal Planet run out of real animals to do shows about? Yet another wonders: First Animal Planet airs a mermaids special, now this — isn’t Animal Planet damaging its brand with this stuff?

Animal Planet’s president, Marjorie Kaplan, is good humored about the situation. “Animal Planet has many shows about animals that may be more familiar to you,” she says. “Finding Bigfoot is an exploration of the secret corners of the planet … There are places on this planet that we know about and places we don’t …  New species are being found all the time.”

She also points out the network’s Mermaids: The Body Found special* got “extraordinarily” high ratings.
The Finding Bigfoot team, however, is far less amused by the critics’ skepticism. Seems there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence pointing to the existence of bigfoot and this crew are true believers. (There is more than one bigfoot, they say, and they mostly come out at night … mostly…)

“I’ve had one 15 feet away growling at me,” declares bigfoot researcher Matt Moneymaker. “So that’s why I think it’s [unfortunate] when people say they’re not real. They exist … I don’t think people realize how many witnesses there are out there … For those who don’t think these things exist, [famed primatologist] Jane Goodall thinks they exist** — and she may know a little more about it than you do.”

“You can’t equate bigfoot with mermaids,” bristles bigfoot researcher James “Bobo” Fay. “You’re ignorant of the subject matter.”

So is there solid real evidence of bigfoot?

Absolutely, they say. There’s all kinds of evidence! Except, you know, an actual or former bigfoot.

“There’s every kind of evidence that they exist,” Moneymaker says. “Except bones. Except a carcass.”

* Mermaid body not actually found

** True

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Animal Planet: "Finding Bigfoot" Season Three will be BIGGER!

(left to right: Cliff Barackman, Renae Holland, James "Bobo" Fay, Matt Moneymaker)
(Beverly Hills, Ca.) This November, FINDING BIGFOOT, one of Animal Planet’s top-performing series ever, delivering more than 1.3M P2+ viewers in its second season, returns with 11 all-new episodes and two specials that take the team of investigators farther across the globe and further into sasquatch history than they’ve ever travelled.  For the first time, the intrepid cast of investigators -- Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO) president Matt Moneymaker, researchers James “Bobo” Fay and Cliff Barackman, and skeptical scientist Ranae Holland – will expand their search in North America and beyond to investigate the sasquatch phenomenon known as “yowies” in Australia and the “orang-pendek” of Indonesia.  Also for the first time, Animal Planet will produce two “aftershow” specials, where the cast will answer burning questions from fans, dive deeper into the evidence and theories, and give behind-the-scene stories and insight.

Legends of bigfoot-type primates persist in cultures all over the globe.  So the bigfoot team will attempt to capture proof of these elusive Australian and Indonesian creatures by immersing itself in local yowie and orang-pendek culture and lore and using that information in the investigations. With the knowledge of the locals and its own experiences researching sasquatches, the team is hot on the trail to locate these distant cousins of the North American bigfoot in the remote terrain and jungles of these far-off lands.

Sasquatch sightings have been reported in every state of the union except Hawaii.  So this season, the team continues to leave no stone unturned and no piece of credible evidence unexplored as it travels to new locations to investigate compelling new finds in multiple states:  Arizona, California, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington.

In addition to their global jaunts, the team members participate in two all-new aftershow specials.  Moderated by Animal Planet executive producer Keith Hoffman, the specials bring the team together in an informal setting to discuss the investigations in greater detail and provide insights and tips not shared in the show.  Who doesn’t want to know how the team films at night without scaring away potential bigfoots or what the cast thinks will happen when bigfoot is found?

With no filters and unparalleled access to the cast, fans of the show and bigfoot enthusiasts everywhere will have unprecedented insight into their investigations that have become a part of the pop cultural zeitgeist.

FINDING BIGFOOT is produced for Animal Planet by Ping Pong Productions. Keith Hoffman is the executive producer for Animal Planet. Brad Kuhlman and Casey Brumels are the executive producers and Chad Hammel is the co-executive producer for Ping Pong Productions.

About Animal Planet
Animal Planet Media (APM), a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the world's only entertainment brand that immerses viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners access to a centralized online, television and mobile community for immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information and enrichment.  APM consists of the Animal Planet television network, available in more than 96 million homes in the US; online assets www.animalplanet.com, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; the 24/7 broadband channel, Animal Planet Beyond; Petfinder.com, the #1 pet-related Web property globally that facilitates pet adoption; and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service; mobile content; and merchandising extensions.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Attorneys Offer Opinion In Johnsen vs. Cryptomundo, Moneymaker, & Coleman Defamation Suit



"...there is a real danger that a jury may not believe that Mr. Johnsen has been damaged at all. They may even conclude that you can't hurt a professional Bigfoot hunter's reputation by calling him crazy." -- Popehat.com

Established in April 2005, Popehat.com is written by a group of mostly attorneys. Law is a relative constant focus on the site with a splash of cheeky humor.

Yesterday (June 21, 2012) Popehat resurrected the defamation case between Plaintiff JOHN JOHNSEN and co-defendants CRYPTOMUNDO,  INC,  a corporation, MATTHEW MONEYMAKER,  an  individual and LOREN COLEMAN,  an individual.

On April 23rd 2012, Cryptomundo publicized the case by starting a legal defense fund, stating, "Both Cryptomundo and Loren believe the case is baseless. Mr. Johnsen has demanded that he be given ownership of the website to settle the case. This is simply not acceptable."

The gist of the complaint is in paragraph 13 of the Summons Document
On or about June  8, 2011, Defendant Moneymaker published an inaccurate recitation of  his interactions with Plaintiff, during a wildlife expedition in the Ocala National Forest.  During this characterization of Defendant Moneymaker's interactions with Plaintiff, Defendant Moneymaker defamed Plaintiff by stating that Plaintiff was mentally ill and by accusing Plaintiff of  carrying firearms into the Ocala National Forest.
Click the following link if you want to read more details of the Moneymaker Defamation Case. Although you can get a pretty good review in the Popehat.com excerpt below.


If A Bigfoot Hunter Doesn't Have His Reputation, What Does He Have?

America is an increasingly crass nation, true. But there are still some places where decorum and good breeding are expected and even demanded.
For instance, anyone acquainted with cryptid enthusiasts knows that a gentleman seeking introduction to their society must first build a solid repute for probity. In turn, those admitted to the drawing-rooms and salons of the cryptidologists know that only the most polished among them can aspire to the rarefied circle of Bigfoot hunters, the royalty of the cryptid-seeking community. And yet even Bigfoot hunters — elite as they are — can encounter self-doubt when they ask themselves, "yes, my poise and quality have made me a Bigfoot hunter, but do I possess the savoir-faire necessary to achieve a position amongst the Bigfoot hunters ofFlorida? Can I persevere in that imperial land, where the exacting standards for urbanity and good deportment strain the abilities even of graduates of the finest finishing schools in Tampa and Orlando?"
By necessity, when swimming in these heady waters, a good reputation iseverything. So you see, when one Florida Bigfoot hunter accused another Florida Bigfoot hunter of being crazy, the latter had no choice but to sue for defamation.
Our story takes us to the aforementioned Florida, where Bigfoot is sought by our players. I admit that I — embarrassingly untutored in these things — labored under the naive belief that Bigfoot is a phenomenon of the Pacific Northwest. That, apparently, is an error on the level of believing that Duke is one of the Ivies. Bigfoot-hunting has a rich tradition in Florida. Some say that Bigfoot (never say Bigfeet; they'll wonder if you came in by the servant's entrance) migrated to Florida for its warmer climes and the easy supply of food (particularly in the late afternoon and early evening hours); those prone to unkindness suggest that the migration was a result of a Bigfoot flight seeking refuge from the increasing prevalence of Chupacabra-Americans in their traditional realms in the West.
Read the rest at PopeHat.com

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cryptomundo, Loren Coleman, and Matt Moneymaker Defendants in Defamation Case


Today, April 23rd 2012, Cryptomundo has asked for help in raising funds for it's legal defense. You can make a contribution to Cryptomundo's legal defense fund at the paypal account (legaldefensefund@cryptomundo.com). 

Craig Woolheater has posted:
Cryptomundo and Loren Coleman have been sued for defamation by a member of the site, John Johnsen (click here to see a copy of the Complaint). Both Cryptomundo and Loren believe the case is baseless. Mr. Johnsen has demanded that he be given ownership of the website to settle the case. This is simply not acceptable.
We are not lawyers, but according to the legal document the domain Cryptomundo.com is on the table. below is an excerpt from the legal Summons Document (you can see the document here)
Plaintiff requests judgment against Defendant Cryptomundo for damages, including but not limited to liquidated and actual damages, costs, interest, attorney's fees, and prays for such other relief in equity, including but not limited to transfer or any and all domain names associated with Defendant Cryptomundo, which this Court deems just and proper.
What is all this about? In paragraph 13-15 it describes the alleged act of defamation:
13. On or about Junee 8, 2011, Defendant Moneymaker published an inaccurate recitation of his interactions with Plaintiff, during a wildlife expedition in the Ocala National Forest. During
this characterization of Defendant Moneymaker's interactions with Plaintiff, Defendant
Moneymaker defamed Plaintiff by stating that Plaintiff was mentally ill and by accusing
Plaintiff of carrying firearms into the Ocala National Forest.
14. Defendant Moneymaker published these comments on the website www.cryptomundo.com. a forum for members of the cryptozoological community. See Exhibit 1.
15. The statements disseminated by Defendant Moneymaker were defamatory in nature because they depicted Plaintiff as a crazy, delusional man who carries firearms into national forests, and is "not in the same reality as the rest of us," to quote from Defendant Moneymaker.
What are typical defenses against Defamation? Again we are not experts and we do not practice law. We did visit ExpertLaw.com and found these common defenses against a defamation.

What Defenses Are Available To People Accused of Defamation?
The most important defense to an action for defamation is "truth", which is an absolute defense to an action for defamation.
Another defense to defamation actions is "privilege". For example, statements made by witnesses in court, arguments made in court by lawyers, statements by legislators on the floor of the legislature, or by judges while sitting on the bench, are ordinarily privileged, and cannot support a cause of action for defamation, no matter how false or outrageous.
A defense recognized in most jurisdictions is "opinion". If the person makes a statement of opinion as opposed to fact, the statement may not support a cause of action for defamation. Whether a statement is viewed as an expression of fact or opinion can depend upon context - that is, whether or not the person making the statement would be perceived by the community as being in a position to know whether or not it is true. If your employer calls you a pathological liar, it is far less likely to be regarded as opinion than if such a statement is made by somebody you just met. Some jurisdictions have eliminated the distinction between fact and opinion, and instead hold that any statement that suggests a factual basis can support a cause of action for defamation.
A defense similar to opinion is "fair comment on a matter of public interest". If the mayor of a town is involved in a corruption scandal, expressing the opinion that you believe the allegations are true is not likely to support a cause of action for defamation.
A defendant may also attempt to illustrate that the plaintiff had a poor reputation in the community, in order to diminish any claim for damages resulting from the defamatory statements.
A defendant who transmitted a message without awareness of its content may raise the defense of "innocent dissemination". For example, the post office is not liable for delivering a letter which has defamatory content, as it is not aware of the contents of the letter.
An uncommon defense is that the plaintiff consented to the dissemination of the statement.

We know many of you have your own blogs and your own facebook groups. It is important that we are able to quote third party opinions and not have to fear litigation. You can contribute to the Cryptomundo defense fund. It is easy. Go to this paypal link and type in legaldefensefund@cryptomundo.com as the recipient. For the record we have a made a small contribution ourselves.

Friday, April 20, 2012

New York Times: How to Hunt Bigfoot

Bigfooter Ambassadors Matt Moneymaker & Cliff Barackman Takes
The New York Times Bigfooting
Before attendees can be registered for an expedition, they are required to read a chapter from the B.F.R.O. handbook that helps people “deal with the terror of a first experience.”

The tone of how the media handles bigfooters has changed within the last year or so. Oh sure, they still acknowledge that Bigfoot is elusive and proof is lacking, but I would argue that the pursuit of Bigfoot has gained some respect--if not respect, at the very least serious interest.

 We think credit is due to Finding Bigfoot, not necessarily the show itself, but its marketing and publicity team. Over the last few years they have lined up media embeds and highly visible interviews. The cast have been great ambassadors for Bigfooting as well.

After the first season, there were a few Bigfoot insiders that predicted that Finding Bigfoot would be a stain on Bigfooting, we disagreed from the beginning. We actually felt it would shine a greater light and generate interest in Bigfooting. We also have great faith in humanity and trusted as more people went to the web to learn more about Bigfoot, they would independently come to the same conclusion as most of us have. Bigfoot is compelling.

Do you need further proof Bigfooters are getting more respect? In the recent New York Times article (below) they refer to Matt Moneymaker as Mr. Moneymaker. It should be noted the headline of printed version of this article is "Howling at Nothing: A Hunt for Bigfoot" So, we don't have full respect, but  anybody who refers to Matt Moneymaker as Mr. Moneymaker throughout the the article must be trying




How to Hunt Bigfoot
By AMANDA PETRUSICH
Published: April 20, 2012

A BIGFOOT’S howl is multidimensional: a deep and undulating whoop that starts low and ends in a high, feral squeal or resolves completely, like a siren. The first time I unleashed one, while crouching on a bluff overlooking the eastern bank of the Apalachicola River, Matt Moneymaker — who, moments earlier, had loosed a robust, commanding shriek that echoed cleanly through the valley — responded with a hearty guffaw.

“I have a cold,” I mumbled by way of an excuse. It was nearly 2 a.m., and we were huddled in the dark in Torreya State Park near Bristol, on the Florida Panhandle. My craggy, toadlike holler did not yield a response.

Mr. Moneymaker is the founder and president of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (bfro.net), a group of Bigfoot investigators dedicated to acquiring “conclusive documentation of the species’ existence.” Bigfoots, also known as sasquatches or yetis, are famously elusive creatures — if, in fact, they exist at all — and since 2000, the organization has hosted research expeditions, some of which are open to nonmembers, to suspected Bigfoot habitats across North America. The goal is to rouse and record a Bigfoot. The trips, which typically last four days and cost between $300 and $500 (not including airfare, camping equipment or food), are led by a B.F.R.O. investigator native to the region and center on nightly jaunts through the woods.

In December, on an outing in the same park, Matt Craig, 26, spotted what he believed was a Bigfoot on a thermal imaging device. He and five others watched while it hugged a tree and popped in and out of hiding, as if it were playing peek-a-boo. “At that point, my mind was trying to rationalize what it was,” Mr. Craig said. “I was shaking so bad I couldn’t even look through the thermal after that.”

Now, 11 of us — three women and eight men, including Mr. Craig — had assembled with hopes of repeating his encounter. I was dubious but also willing to accept that I didn’t know exactly what kinds of oddball creatures might be loping around the forest late at night.

The Bigfoot organization’s online database contains over 30,000 user-submitted Bigfoot reports, and it’s a surprisingly consistent body of data: by most accounts, adult sasquatches weigh around 650 pounds and are 7 to 10 feet tall, nocturnal, fond of women and packaged sweets, hairy, bipedal, omnivorous, flat-footed, and distinctly malodorous.

On B.F.R.O. expeditions, faith in the existence of Bigfoots is presumed, and the hunts proceed with a kind of grim earnestness. Members are accustomed to incredulity: detractors (including most reputable scientists) insist that all observed phenomena could easily be attributed to a bear, or a rogue primate, or some dude in a gorilla suit. Bring us a body, they say, or anything that can be objectively authenticated (to date, no definitive Bigfoot remains have been excavated).

Cliff Barackman, for one, isn’t troubled by dissenters. “I don’t care what people think,” he said. “I think skepticism is healthy and good.”

Mr. Moneymaker and Mr. Barackman are co-stars on the Animal Planet series “Finding Bigfoot,” in which they amble through dark thickets, howling at one another and banging blocks of wood together (sasquatches purportedly communicate via “knocking” — the belligerent pounding of trees or their own bodies).

For believers, rustling up a squatch, as they are often called by the team, is serious business, and “Finding Bigfoot” is deliberately low on high jinks. Mr. Moneymaker and his crew host town hall meetings, recreate sightings and employ a cornucopia of enticement techniques, like arranging glazed doughnuts on a log.

Membership in the B.F.R.O. is by invitation only, and requires (paradoxically, perhaps) at least the appearance of good sense. Kevin Smykal, 58, leads the organization’s Florida chapter, and conducts telephone screenings of potential participants before they can sign up for an expedition. “We’re very careful,” he said. “We don’t want somebody who’s going to be an irritant to other people. You’re not going to want to spend your nights out in the woods with an undesirable.”


I didn’t want to be an irritant, but I also wasn’t sure I wanted to spend that much time in dark woods. The organization’s investigators wear headlamps and carry flashlights, but they’re intended only for use in emergencies. “The darker it is, the closer they come,” Mr. Moneymaker noted, and I sensed that neurotically flicking on your headlamp midexpedition was considered an unforgivable gaffe. Mr. Moneymaker cited weather, big cats and stray branches as a sasquatch hunter’s primary foes; a park ranger further cautioned us against snakes and alligators.

Not far from camp, Mr. Barackman pointed out a series of unusual animal tracks. There was speculation that they were made by a bear or maybe even a young sasquatch. None of the presented possibilities were particularly comforting. The next morning, castings were made of the footprints; they turned out to be the work of an exceptionally large northern river otter.

AT 10:30 p.m., after we’d roasted hot dogs and exchanged a couple of squatching yarns, Mr. Moneymaker ran through a few rules. “Don’t freak out” was the prevailing theme. He said he’d seen otherwise stoic men — soldiers, even — turn into “sniveling messes” when led into a dark forest. Before attendees can be registered for an expedition, they are required to read a chapter from the B.F.R.O. handbook that helps people “deal with the terror of a first experience.”

Mr. Moneymaker distributed night vision monoculars called Ghost Hunters, which render everything in shades of green. We split into two groups, putting enough distance between us that we could convincingly initiate and return calls. We hoped to hear a few knock backs right away. “It’s not going to be a human out there making knock backs, it’s going to be a squatch,” Mr. Moneymaker said. “If we hear knock backs then we’re in business.”

When hiking through the woods with no other light source than a new moon, it’s remarkably easy to lose sight of everyone around you, and even that false sense of isolation can be deeply terrifying. Our group of five crept toward the river in a single line. We paused near the site of Mr. Craig’s encounter and, after radioing Mr. Barackman’s team, tried a few howls.

Much of Bigfooting is listening, and like any kind of hunting, it requires extraordinary patience. While we waited for a reply, I pulled a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup out of my back pocket and laid it on the ground. (I’d been told that Bigfoots have a particular affinity for Zagnut bars, but they weren’t stocked by the local Wal-Mart.) A foraging armadillo let out a few inquisitive grunts, but sasquatches, it seemed, were uninterested in initiating contact just yet.

Eventually, we trekked back to camp and reorganized. Around 3 a.m., I followed Mr. Barackman and four others east toward the park’s sandy access roads. We howled, knocked and scanned for glowing eyes, but our solicitations were not reciprocated. By 4:30 a.m., I was asleep in my tent with my hiking boots still on.

The next morning, I sat by the fire snacking on a slice of bacon and a powdered doughnut. The other team had heard and recorded a response howl — a brief, high-pitched hoot. We speculated about whether it was human. Mr. Barackman described the results of the expedition as fairly typical. “We recorded something that we don’t know the origin of,” he said. “The mystery continues.”

A few minutes later, something screeched in the distance, and Mr. Moneymaker, barefoot, abandoned his breakfast and bounded into the woods at full speed. Although the sound turned out to be nothing, I was impressed by Mr. Moneymaker’s enthusiastic gait. It was that of a believer.
SRC: The New York Times

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