Showing posts with label Ranae Holland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ranae Holland. Show all posts

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Tonight Finding Bigfoot Looks For Ghosts

Dana Matthews and Greg Newkirk

"For the last few years, we’ve been convinced that Bigfoot is a ghost. We realize how it sounds, but trust us, there’s a compelling case for the supernatural squatch." --Greg Newkirk; Planet Weird 

In an official press release Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot announced they are going into the paranormal aspects of bigfoot research:
The Search for Sasquatch Returns to Animal Planet with Two-Hour Premiere Thursday, March 31, at 9 PM ET/PT

(Silver Spring, Md.) – A man, a myth, a legend? Animal Planet’s FINDING BIGFOOT investigates new theories and never-before-squatched locations as the bigfoot team, Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO) president Matt Moneymaker, researchers James “Bobo” Fay and Cliff Barackman and skeptical scientist Ranae Holland, return with explorations so big they have to recruit family, friends and others to join the search parties. All-new episodes of FINDING BIGFOOT return to Animal Planet beginning with a two-hour special on Thursday, March 31, at 9 PM ET/PT.

In the March 31 premiere “Supernatural Bigfoot,” the bigfoot team heads to North California to meet up with another group of bigfooters – the Supernatural Bigfoot Group – which believe the only explanation for the lack of physical evidence is that bigfoot must be beyond this world.
The supernatural group consist of Greg Newkirk and Dana Matthews. For you long-time readers you will remember Greg Newkirk was on our radar over 5 years ago when we first covered his online zine Who Forted?, an excellent zine with great writing and interesting articles. Their college-level humor was a refreshing take on all things paranormal.

Looks like Mr. Newkirk has taken a more serious approach to Fortean phenomena with a two new websites; Planet Wierd, a website chronically his adventures with Dana Matthews and a weekly aggregation website of paranormal news at

You may also remember Mr. Newkirk for his Bigfoot documentary The Bigfoot Hunter Still Searching, and our review here.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Finding Bigfoot Premieres Ninth Season JAN 3 2016

Get Ready to Believe
The Finding Bigfoot teams for a brand new season of 'squatch hunting in a two-hour premiere, Sunday, Jan. 3 at 9/8c!

Animal planet is alreading promoting the next season of Finding Bigfoot with a video titled Get Ready to Believe. Watch the video below as well as the press release with details of the next season's episodes.


Season Premiere Determines Which is the Better Habitat for Bigfoot: The American or Canadian Bush?

(Silver Spring, Md.) -The natural world is full of discoveries to be made and truths to be uncovered. However, there is one legendary animal mystery that sparks passion unlike any other: the existence of Bigfoot. Animal Planet’s intrepid FINDING BIGFOOT team travels to the corners of the globe in hopes to, once and for all, prove that the elusive bigfoot (aka sasquatch) is out there.

The new season of FINDING BIGFOOT premieres Sunday, January 3, from 9-11 PM (ET/PT), as Animal Planet’s curious crypto-zoological team sets foot in new locations with modern technologies to progress the search. And in the two-hour premiere, Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO) president Matt Moneymaker, researchers James “Bobo” Fay and Cliff Barackman and field biologist Ranae Holland split up to determine the better sasquatch habitat: the American or Canadian wilderness. While the countries share a border, they boast different landscapes, so Cliff and Matt investigate the Canadian bush while Bobo and Ranae scour their home turf for evidence.

This season, the team investigates the following states:

· Maine, Sunday, January 10, at 10 PM: A cornucopia of bigfoot artifacts exists in the Pine Tree State, so the team takes its first trip to Maine and heads deep into the woods to learn more within this east-coast squatching haven.

· New Hampshire, Sunday, January 17, at 10 PM: In picturesque Mount Washington, concerned resort owners reach out to the team with a slew of reported sasquatch sightings gathered throughout many years.

· Georgia, Sunday, January 24, at 10 PM: Military bases are some of the country’s most protected and secluded areas. In a top-secret sasquatch investigation, the team goes into full stealth mode and utilize tips from military members to investigate forests just off base.

· Oregon, Sunday, January 31, at 10 PM: The team has been to Cliff’s home state before, but they never have explored beyond Cliff’s usual spots. The team takes a helicopter trip deep into the Oregon wilderness to one of the most remote locations in the show’s history. And, for the first time, the team employs drones with infrared cameras.

FINDING BIGFOOT is produced for Animal Planet by Ping Pong Productions. Brad Kuhlman and Casey Brumels are executive producers for Ping Pong Productions. Keith Hoffman is executive producer and Sarah Russell is producer for Animal Planet.
Watch the 10 best Finding Bigfoot clips of 2015

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.

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. 

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

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, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; the 24/7 broadband channel, Animal Planet Beyond;, 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, January 20, 2012

Cliff Barackman: Finding Bigfoot Returns to Ohio on January 21st

The Finding Bigfoot cast at Ike's Pizza filming Season 1 recap episode "Behind the Legend"
(Photo: Neo Edwards)
At, Cliff's Barackman's Official Blog, Cliff announces the return to Ohio on Januarary 21st to film a season 2 recap episode. The episode will probably be the last to air in the season, similar to last years "Behind the legend" filmed with the help of Oregon Sasquatch Symposium and Ike's Pizza

Cliff Writes:
The cast and crew of Finding Bigfoot will be returning to Ohio to film a special episode highlighting the events of season two on Saturday, January 21. Much like “Behind the Legend,” the seventh episode in season one, the cast will premiere clips of upcoming episodes and field questions from a live audience.
Read the rest of Cliff's details, including exact filming location, at North American Bigfoot: Finding Bigfoot Returns to Ohio on January 21st

Monday, January 16, 2012

Finding Bigfoot Could Have the Same Staying Power as Ghost Hunters

Finding Bigfoot's investigator James 'Bobo' Fay. Part commercial fisherman, part surfer, part squatch caller. has an intriguing article hinting at the longevity of Finding Bigfoot by comparing it to the popular series Ghost Hunters which has 8 seasons underneath it's belt. Another interesting note; Cliff Barackman [of and] is described as the oddest member of the Finding Bigfoot Group. Once again, Cliff Barackman is singled out as the level-headed one.

Finding Bigfoot' has Animal Planet feeling squatchy

Published: Monday, January 16, 2012, 4:04 PM     Updated: Monday, January 16, 2012, 4:24 PMAs Matt Moneymaker proclaimed in a recent episode, “I do believe there’s a squatch in these woods!” the Animal Planet’s ‘Finding Bigfoot’ is quickly starting a revival of interest in the forest-dwelling, elusive beast known by several different names such as sasquatch, yeti, bigfoot and swamp ape. While the investigative team that spends hours tramping through fields, forests and swamps in pursuit of the elusive creature have yet to proclaim Bigfoot ‘found’ the Animal Planet is doing quite well for itself by bringing the search to living rooms across the country.
The ‘Finding Bigfoot’ team consists of 4 members:
Matt Moneymaker: The self-proclaimed leader, Matt Moneymaker is the founder of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) which has been looking for bigfoot since 1995. Moneymaker is best known perhaps though for his prolific use of the word ‘squatchy.’ As in “These woods certainly feel squatchy.” And “Who would have thought that Rhode Island was so … squatchy.” While he proclaims himself the leader of the group, the group has other ideas and not one of them is in agreement but the term ‘arrogant’ and ‘He’s not my leader.’ has been thrown around in some episodes.
James ‘Bobo’ Fay: I kid you not, Mr. Fay’s nickname is in fact ‘Bobo.’ I’m just going to sit here while you make up your own jokes on that one. I’m sure you can come up with at least 3 good ones and you haven’t even seen his hair yet. Bobo’s bio has him as a California surfer turned commercial fisherman. On the show Bobo is the resident ‘Bigfoot stand in.’ Whenever the team wants to get an estimate of how big the creature was in a witnesses sighting they invariable send in Bobo to play the part of the creature, you know, mainly because they’ve never captured a Bigfoot and been able to get him to stand in for himself.
Ranae Holland: Ranae is the group skeptic. A research biologist, Ranae is the one member of the team that actually has some real credentials and she’s not afraid to use them. Various episodes have shown Ranae calling out suspect witnesses on camera but to her credit she doesn’t just laugh at their stories and walk off, she sticks around and investigates, even though she knows that it’s futile and dons the obligatory ghillie suit and spends hours sitting in a tree with nothing but a bunch of squirrels for company. That is dedication.
Cliff Barackman []: Cliff is perhaps the oddest team member. On the Animal Planet website, Cliff is described as a former member of the BFRO, complete with italics even. What that story is I’ve not really cared enough to dig into as yet. Cliff is the one team member, besides skeptic Ranae, that takes a scientific approach to gathering evidence. Indeed, in a team of ‘squatch chasers’ Cliff seems to be the level headed one that is more likely to say ‘That’s a really cool barred owl screech, not a squatch.’
The locations that the team investigates will more than likely prove to be the stars of the show, well, that and the eye witness’ stories that a crack team of computer artists bring to life via Bigfoot-infested cgi while Matt Moneymaker and the crew fill us with bigfoot facts.
Facts such as:
  • Bigfoots come in as many hair colors as people do, presumably in champagne blonde as well as beautiful brunette and glittery gingers.
  • Bigfoots go grey as they age as several white bigfoots have been spotted.
  • Southeastern Ohio is the retirement community of Bigfoots, much the same as humans move to Florida.
  • Baby bigfoots like to climb trees but adults not-so-much.
  • Rhode Island is exceptionally squatchy.
‘Finding Bigfoot’ is quickly growing in popularity on the Animal Planet channel, once again proving that it is not the ‘finding’ but the ‘thrill of the chase’ that has the entertainment value. For proof one need only look to that amazingly popular show ‘Ghost Hunters,’ who in 8 seasons, have yet to produce even one jarful of ectoplasm, nevermind a headless horseman. I’m sure ‘Finding Bigfoot’ will find its audience quickly even if it doesn’t manage to find Bigfoot, even if that audience is more interested in doing a shot of banana flavored brandy every time Moneymaker invokes the term squatchy or Bobo lets loose with a heartfelt squatch mating call.

Friday, January 6, 2012

San Diego Gay and Lesbian News Interviews Ranae Holland

Ranae next to statue of Big Ike (Photo: Neo Edwards)

“My father was fascinated with the phenomenon and our special quality time together was spent watching Bigfoot movies and exploring together.” -- Ranae Holland

Its been a Ranae Holland kind of week. On January 6th Ranae was exclusively interviewed by San Diego Gay and Lesbian News. This is a great article expanding on her father's interest in Bigfoot. It seems Bigfoot provided special opportunities to connect with each other.

SILVER SPRING, Md. – For years, Americans have been intrigued with the possibility that half-ape, half-human creatures live in the vast uninhabited areas of our continent. The “Bigfoot” phenomenon has been the subject of or mentioned in numerous books and movies as well as throughout pop culture for generations.
While there is no scientific evidence to prove … or disprove … the existence of the Sasquatch, the search for such creatures goes on. Animal Planet has given its viewers the opportunity to watch a team of scientists on their quest in “Finding Bigfoot,” which just began its second season on air.
San Diego Gay & Lesbian News obtained an exclusive interview with Ranae Holland, who is one of four cast members, and is known as the skeptic of the group.
Holland, who is an out lesbian, said that her relationship with “Bigfoot” dates to her childhood.
“Growing up in South Dakota in the 1970s, I remember the ‘Bigfoot’ craze that existed at that time,” she said. “My father was fascinated with the phenomenon and our special quality time together was spent watching Bigfoot movies and exploring together.”
Holland said that later on, she became a biologist and when her father passed away in 2003, she stumbled across some of his “Bigfoot” paraphernalia.
“I had flashbacks to the special times I spent with my father and I really wanted to find Bigfoot,” Holland said.
Holland became involved with The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO), which is said to be the only scientific research organization exploring the sasquatch mystery.
“I didn’t believe in Bigfoot, but I had those memories with my dad and I wanted to honor that,” said Holland, who was introduced to Animal Planet’s show through BFRO.
When asked why she thinks people have been so fascinated with the Bigfoot phenomenon over the years, Holland believes that it has to do with the human psyche.
“People are curious about the unknown, making the study of this become larger than life,” she said. “Besides, the scientific method is rooted in questioning the status quo.”
How she arrived at her beliefs about Sasquatch
While Holland remains a non-believer … or at least skeptical, she recounted some interesting experiences which caused her to question her own beliefs in the existence of Sasquatch.
“We were in a very remote area of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington, sent in to areas that no human being would have any good reason to go to,” Holland recalled. “After finding about 30 samples, I saw a one-time flash of black fur. I was leading [the group] and when I came around the ridge line, I looked over my shoulder to make sure the team was OK, and along the opposite side of the river there was an opening in the canopy cover where I saw a flash of black fur pop through.
“Now, this just means that I saw a black animal running by,” said the skeptical Holland, who remains open-minded about the possibility of finding a Sasquatch.
Speaking out in favor of tolerance
“People need to be able to respectfully disagree about the concept and remember that it’s all about tolerance,” she said.
On the subject of tolerance, Holland said that she has not encountered much intolerance within the scientific community, recognizing that it does exist.
“I don’t find it necessary to discuss [being a lesbian] as I have matured and developed a competent sense of self,” said Holland, who noted that she tries not to concern herself with societal norms.
She did say, however, that people should be able to live openly and freely and not have to hide who they are. “We live in a society that still has an intolerant community and dragging people into the closet is reprehensible. LGBTQ rights are basic, civil rights,” she said.
Holland said she believes that women have more of an uphill battle within the scientific community, and that more people from marginalized communities need to come forward within the field.
“This shouldn’t even have to be a question, but because we are still fighting for these basic civil rights and acceptance, people need to come forward,” Holland said.
She offered advice for those who wish to enter into the field of biology or science, especially those in the LGBTQ or other marginalized communities:
“First and foremost know yourself, love yourself, and follow your passions. If your passion is conservation, the environment, physical sciences, or whatever it may be, find that person that you love and believe in and make them your mentor,” Holland suggested. “If you are LGBTQ, find a professional mentor, but also find a personal mentor. I recognize that I was surrounded by a community where I didn’t have to hide and this is recognition of the advocates that came before me.”
Bigfoot legend remains huge in pop culture
Although Holland’s interest in the Bigfoot craze stemmed for her father’s fascination with it in the 1970s, she thinks people are just as curious today as they were in 1977, when movies like “Sasquatch, The Legend of Bigfoot” were produced.
“[Pop culture] things come and go in waves. I think for myself, at the age that I was 30 years after my first introduction, it came full circle,” she said. “With the new technology that exists today people are still asking ‘why haven’t we found one yet?’”
Holland thinks that “Bigfoot” is an opportunity to reach out to children who are at the age where anything seems possible.
“All of my best memories from childhood are remembering seeing my dad’s eye get so big when he talked to me about all the things that were possible,” Holland said. “When our team goes to town hall meetings when we are out on the road, what keeps me going is seeing all of the fathers (and mothers) that come to the meetings with their young kids, wide-eyed, making that connection together. I get choked up sometimes seeing that.”
The details
“Finding Bigfoot” airs at 10 pm Sundays on Animal Planet. For more information, click HERE. Follow Ranae on Twitter at @SkeptiScientist.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Finding Bigfoot's Ranae Holland Interviewed

Ranae Holland with Cliff Barackman at Ike's Pizza
 "Skepticism is not an ideology, it is a process." --Sharon Hill, Editor of Doubtful Newsblog
The quote above is from our favorite skeptic, Sharon Hill, and if you are interested in bigfoot research (or good logic), we encourage you to visit her Doubtful Newsblog. Why do we mention Sharon before a repost of an article about Ranae Holland? Because we have been disappointed with Ranae's role on Finding Bigfoot.

Having a skeptic on Finding Bigfoot is brilliant, unfortunately they have not found one. The "skeptic" on Finding Bigfoot has been reduced to a token role; a person that does not even seem to be a bigfoot skeptic, let alone a skeptic in general. Anybody can say, "I doubt it is Bigfoot."

Instead of feigning an ideology of anti-bigfoot, she should be anti-bad logic. I have not heard her mention some of the principles popular among skeptics, such as falsifiability, Occam's Razor, scientific method, or ability to reproduce predictions.

True. We can chalk it up to entertainment and television etc. However, we think someone with real skeptic credentials would be great for the show and even better for the Bigfoot community.

For what it is worth, here is an article that asserts Ranae Holland is a skeptic, although if you watched the Finding Bigfoot Halloween Special: Birth of a Legend you would never know it.

The Sasquatch skeptic
Biologist Ranae Holland, who grew up in Sioux Falls, helps investigate Bigfoot sightings and suspicions for Animal Planet
Ranae Holland doesn’t believe furry, humanlike animals are roaming mostly undetected across North America.
But the former Sioux Falls resident, billed as the “skeptical biologist” of TV’s Animal Planet team of researchers looking for a Bigfoot creature, says a lot of other people do.
Some of the people they meet have wild tales, and even blurry, shaky videos they show Holland and her research team on “Finding Bigfoot,” a TV show that started its second season Jan. 1 . Holland says she keeps an open mind, listens to people’s stories and researches clues.
The Seattle and New York City resident applies scientific methodology and protocol to the expedition’s investigations across the country and in Canada.
“Finding Bigfoot” is trying to verify the existence, or nonexistence, of the hulking creature also referred to as a sasquatch. One of the second season’s 10 episodes is shot in northern Minnesota, at Moose Lake.
So did they find Bigfoot?
“I can’t believe you’re asking me that!” Holland said last week by phone from Death Valley where she’s now doing some non-Bigfoot-related research. “You’ll just have to watch and see. We definitely had some very interesting experiences out there.”
At first, Holland, 41, was reluctant to be associated with the TV show.
She’s a professional field biologist with many research studies to her credit. Those include the Alaska Salmon Program, where she specialized in interactions between brown bears and salmon. Maybe that’s a way Bigfoot finds food, the show’s creators reasoned.
“They came to me and asked if I would do this, and I said, ‘Absolutely not!’ ” Holland said. “I was very hesitant to be a scientist affiliated with Bigfoot, let alone being edited any way they wanted.”
But she talked with professional colleagues and mentors, who all said she should go for it, especially considering she has a history with Bigfoot. As a youngster, she and her dad were interested in the possibility of the existence of such a creature.
The first season of “Finding Bigfoot” had six episodes. The show ranked among the network’s top three series, with 1.2 million viewers, said Brian Eley, spokesman for Animal Planet. Two special episodes, produced in a question-answer format, were broadcast as Halloween specials
Travels and shooting for the 10-episode second season ended Dec. 1.
Local roots
While she was growing up in Sioux Falls, Holland says her dad, John Holland, who died in 2003, was a fan of Bigfoot stories.
“That’s how it started for me, as a little kid with my dad at a Bigfoot movie there,” said Holland, a 1988 graduate of Lincoln High School. “We went to that movie together, but we also used to watch other Bigfoot movies and TV shows and collected news clippings on the subject.”
She hasn’t been back to Sioux Falls in years but still has relatives in South Dakota: a grandmother in Pierre and her mother in Glendale.
Jon Barnes, 47, of Brandon also remembers being fascinated by a Bigfoot movie that played in theaters formerly at The Empire Mall.
“A movie that showed maybe in the late 1970s in Sioux Falls got me thinking about the possibilities,” said Barnes, who works as a videographer and a sound and lighting technician.
He says he is skeptical but doesn’t rule out the possibility of undiscovered creatures. “Consider that just within the last six months they discovered all kinds of things below the surface of the ocean that have never been seen before,” Barnes said.
“There are a wide range of sightings reported of a Bigfoot-like creature,” he said. “Think of all places there are for something or somebody to hide. Past the highways, the paved parking lots and all that, if Bigfoot does exist, that’s their environment. They grew up in it and know where to hide in all kinds of places that we’d never even notice.”
Holland says that when she meets people on location for the TV-show shoots, it takes her back to her Sioux Falls days.
“When we go to a town hall meeting and they show up, and here stands up a dad and next to him is an 8-year-old, all wide-eyed, I’m with my dad all over again,” she said. “I’m that little kid with my dad, like we were at the Bigfoot movie.”
William Lechner, 20, of Aberdeen says he thinks there could be undiscovered creatures roaming remote areas of the country.
“I believe there are, in fact, some types of Bigfoot creatures out there we have yet to discover,” said Lechner, a rancher working in the Ellendale, N.D., area. “I watch every show about Bigfoot. Usually it is something that interests me. I’ll be watching for the new show.”
The team
Holland’s TV co-researchers include two members of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, founder Matt Moneymaker and James “Bobo” Fay. The group was founded in 1995 to record sightings and compare notes. Also on the four-person team is professional educator Cliff Barackman.
On some episodes, Holland clashes with the BFRO members when they don’t follow scientific research processes, giving them a hard time for sometimes charging off into the woods at night chasing a heat-sensor image of something lurking in the distance.
The show features some “re-creations” of people’s interviews that show an actor in a hairy suit romping through the forest. Holland chuckles when asks about the occasionally inserted footage, chalking it up to TV production artistic license.
But tracking down noises, and sightings of things moving in the dark, make for dramatic moments in the series.
Sometimes the crew splits into teams of two, using infrared technology during night missions. Other video taken while moving through the forest looks like cuts from the movie “The Blair Witch Project.” The team pokes around abandoned cabins and remote orchards to capture what might be sightings of Bigfoot.
“What I like most about the series is that we all have our differing opinions, and I love that we get to go in the field to re-create situations and determine if what we saw was real,” Holland said.
The team traveled from small towns in the southern United States to remote areas of the mountain in the west and dense forests of the Northeast and into Canada. The show uses clips from residents who are interviewed about what they saw.
Today’s season-premiere episode, titled “Baby Bigfoot,” includes 15-year-old videotape footage from residents in the Catskill Mountains, an area in New York state northwest of New York City. Area experts, including a zoologist, look at the clip and offer opinions on what it might be.
“Even though this area of the Hudson River Valley is fairly populated and not terribly far from the urban New York City, there is still a lot of forest here,” team member Moneymaker said in a news release regarding the episode. “There’s a lot of vegetation to support something like a sasquatch.”
The team comes up with descriptive variations on the creature’s name, sometimes saying an area is “squatchy,” or hearing noises they say could be “a squatch.”
Other episodes are shot at Salt Fork State Park in Ohio, Dunes State Park and Morgan Monroe State Park in Indiana, and in rural regions of Rhode Island, New Mexico, Kentucky, Virginia and Alberta, Canada.
Despite all the photos, videos, interviews and live-action investigations, Holland still doesn’t believe in the furry, bigger-than-human creatures. But even during her non-Bigfoot related research, she has heard the stories, especially from Native American tribes who have many names for such a creature.
“I cannot get my head around it. Primates running around North America undiscovered? It’s big. It’s huge, but I need to show respect to people who say they had encounters,” she said.
SRC: Argus Leader 

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