What’s hairy, smells like a wet dog and knows how to pronounce “Moscow” correctly? Sasquatch of course. Unfortunately, while I can’t comment on their smell, most of the producers of the Animal Planet show “Finding Bigfoot” fulfill at most only two of the other requirements.
The show visited our area last summer and the episode with the Moscow visit recently aired. The show came to investigate a sighting on Moscow Mountain from 2005.
A little bit of a disclaimer here, while I am on the surface a pretty normal, rational person, I have no problem believing Sasquatch exists. This may be why this sighting sounded a little familiar to me.
According to the Bigfoot Field Research Organization website a mother and child Sasquatch were observed playing and apparently suckling above the abandoned Tamarack Ski area on Moscow Mountain back in October 2005.
The show caught up with eye witness Jack Lawry at the location of the original sighting. He claims to have observed the pair of yetis for approximately 20 minutes. The show supplemented his story with a dramatic animation of a mama bigfoot nursing her child.
While the animation was startling and will probably haunt my nightmares for years, the hosts disagreed with Lawry. They believe that he probably just witnessed an adult male bigfoot and a teenage bigfoot playing, foraging and hugging.
While the show quickly moved on from Moscow Mountain to explore more remote areas, I was left wondering about their techniques and methodology. While these experts have funding, and an excess of gear hanging off of them in every shot, I am a little skeptical of their techniques and am not surprised the show has not yet found conclusive evidence of Bigfoot.
First of all, they approach the task like hunters, trying to sneak up on Sasquatch with their thermal cameras and fancy gadgets.
Unfortunately they are terrible hunters. They are loud, crashing through the brush and not even trying to whisper or conceal themselves. These guys couldn’t fill an elk tag if the elk was tied to a tree with neon signs pointing at it. If Sasquatch really is out there, he’s probably more intelligent and sneaky than your average elk.
Secondly, through all their animations and stories they portray a savage beast, almost a hipster King Kong who does Crossfit. However, when they are actually out in the “field” they are totally unprepared for an encounter. If they ever found the Sasquatch they are looking for these people would be in for a world of hurt. At the very least pack some bear spray, I have a feeling that if they do ever find him he’s not going to want to just give them a hug and then pose for pictures.
The techniques employed, whacking trees with a stick, howling and setting up speakers to play howling noises remind me of my own attempts to trap wolves in my backyard in kindergarten, except I was armed and ready with my bb gun if my attempts had proved successful.
If Sasquatch is really out there he is intelligent and resourceful. He is not going to be fooled by some guy making howling noises. He’s not going to risk his centuries of secrecy by whacking a tree with a stick to reply to you.
If I ever see Bigfoot I know it won’t be because I have six cameras strapped to me, wandering around the logging roads of Moscow Mountain.
It will happen around sunset, on a high mountain peak overlooking a lake so remote that it hasn’t even been named. I’ll be tending the fire while my companion answers nature’s call, somewhere out of sight.
As I sit there, roasting a hot dog, sipping an icy beverage and contemplating the meaning of life, Sasquatch will walk confidently out of the trees. He’ll squat across the fire from me. Wordlessly I’ll toss him a can. We’ll sit there together, enjoying the drink and the sunset. When he’s finished he’ll vanish into the forest. Seconds later my buddy will re-appear, complaining about how he got lost coming back to camp. I’ll be left with only his empty can as proof that he was ever there. That’s the kind of creature Bigfoot is.
Until that day though, I wish you luck with your GoPros and your thermal sensors and your guttural calls.
Cy Whitling can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch footage of Cy’s adventure tracking Bigfoot with George Wood Jr.