James "Bobo" Fay
|Narrated by||Ken Scott|
|Theme music composer||Raney Schocke|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||56 w/specials (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Keith Hoffman (for Animal Planet)
Brad Kuhlman & Casey Brumels (for Ping Pong Productions)
Chad Hammel (co-executive producer for Ping Pong Productions)
|Producer(s)||Ping Pong Productions|
|Running time||45 minutes (some 90 minute specials)|
|Original channel||Animal Planet|
|Original run||May 30, 2011– present|
Finding Bigfoot is a documentary television series on Animal Planet. It premiered on May 30, 2011, and entered its sixth season on November 9, 2014. The program follows four researchers and explorers investigating potential evidence of Bigfoot, a cryptid hominid allegedly living in the wildernesses of the United States and Canada.
The team consists of Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) founder and President Matt Moneymaker, researchers James "Bobo" Fay and Cliff Barackman and skeptical scientist Ranae Holland. The series never questions the existence of bigfoot, but rather documents the team's futile search efforts and study of so-called "evidence" in an attempt to prove the existence of the elusive creature.
Over the course of the series, the team has introduced many new bigfoot related terms into the American vernacular. Their nighttime investigations, for example, are referred to as "Squatchin" (though an action verb in the present participle, the "G" never appears at the end of the word). The areas they investigate are often described as "Squatchy," with Washington having been described as "the squatchiest state."
Moneymaker is the founder and president of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (founded in 1995). Moneymaker was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and moved to Ohio in the 1990s. He has been researching bigfoot for 25 years.
Born and raised in Long Beach, California, Barackman currently resides in Portland, Oregon. The evidence analyst of the group has been a dedicated sasquatch field researcher for the past two decades who has been known to spend over 200 days a year in the field. He is also an accomplished jazz guitarist holding a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Long Beach.
James "Bobo" Fay
The field caller was born and raised in Humboldt County California, and has been searching for bigfoot since the 1980s. The tallest and burliest member of the team, he is the one most often used to stand in for bigfoot in reconstructions. Fay is known for his "Gone Squatchin" hat, and often wears other bigfoot-related attire. He and Barackman are close friends and searched for Bigfoot together before the series started.
The skeptical member of the cast is a Field Biologist born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. While she is not a member of the BFRO, and does not believe in bigfoot, her interest in the creature was fueled by her father's fascination with the phenomenon. As a child, she and her father spent quality time together squatching and watching bigfoot movies.
The show usually begins with the four en route to a new destination where new evidence was recently unearthed in the bigfoot community (usually a photo or a piece of video footage). The team will then do a re-creation of the footage, and evaluate it. While one of the members camps out and looks for evidence, the rest of the team holds a town hall meeting, where local witnesses recount their bigfoot encounters. The locations of these encounters are mapped out in order to determine if a pattern exists.
They then travel to the location of one or more of these sightings with the witness, and do a reconstruction with a team member as a stand-in for bigfoot in order for witnesses to judge scale. Using the evidence collected, the team will pick a location do at least one nighttime investigation per show, where they use call blasting, mimicking the yells of the creatures. They also do wood knocks, which mimics the bigfoot's communication. Night-vision technology and forward looking infrared (FLIR) cameras are used to document these investigations. They will then evaluate what they learned and announce that during the ending credits. Occasionally, they will show their trail cam pictures or DNA results following the credits/summary.
In the third season, the team expanded their search from North America to investigate the sasquatch phenomenon known as "yowies" in Australia. Later in the season, they traveled to Indonesia searching for the "orang pendek" and Vietnam to search for the "wildman." In season four, the team traveled to China in search of the "yeren," and Nepal in search of the "yeti."
Animal Planet has received criticism for Finding Bigfoot and Mermaids: The Body Found for their "outlandishness," however, Fay is quick to defend Finding Bigfoot, and draw a line between the two programs. "You can't equate bigfoot with mermaids."
Regardless, Finding Bigfoot is one of Animal Planet's top rated programs. It has spawned two spin-offs, Finding Bigfoot: Further Evidence and Finding Bigfoot: Rejected Evidence. Finding Bigfoot: Further Evidence is similar to VH-1's Pop-Up Video. Episodes of Finding Bigfoot are re-aired with "info nuggets" from the team members. Finding Bigfoot: Rejected Evidence is an on-line only series in which executive producer Keith Hoffman airs videos deemed not worthy of inclusion on the show.
Season 5 of Finding Bigfoot debuted on June 8, 2014, as opposed to November when the last two seasons started.
- "Ken Scott". Voices.com.
- "About Finding Bigfoot". Animal Planet.
- "Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization Official Website".
- "Matt Moneymaker". Animal Planet.
- "About Cliff". The Official Website of Cliff Barackman.
- "James "Bobo" Fay". Animal Planet.
- Ben Cartwright (January 6, 2012). "VIDEO: Lesbian biologist on cult hit "Finding Bigfoot" spills the beans". San Diego Gay & Lesbian News.
- Guy Edwards (August 2, 2012). "Animal Planet: "Finding Bigfoot" Season Three will be BIGGER!". Bigfoot Lunch Club.
- Jim Vorel (July 17, 2012). "Mermaid body found? No, bad TV". Quad-City Times.
- Jen Harper (August 2, 2012). "'Finding Bigfoot': Is Animal Planet damaging its rep with shows about Sasquatch and mermaids?". Zap2it Blog, Tribune Media Services, Inc.
- Sharon Hill (August 3, 2012). "Finding BigRatings: Animal Planet ditches reality for docudrama dollars". Lithospherica, LLC.
- "Finding Bigfoot: Rejected Evidence". Animal Planet.