March 1, 2016 by kittynh
I am late to the delight that is the obviously faked paranormal show “Mountain Monsters”. Even the Bigfoot and die hard paranormal community is not convinced this show is “real”. The show ends with a small disclaimer that “no animals were hunted on the show.”, but all the publicity for this show is cleverly along the lines of “Does Huckleberry find a Bigfoot toe nail?” (answer, “yes” to him and “no” to anyone not brain dead).
For those not familiar with the show, which is on Destination America, it is probably the most suspect of all the paranormal shows. The unabashed “I don’t care” attitude of the producers of this program is what makes it so entertaining. The show is the Donald Trump of paranormal shows.
“Finding Bigfoot” skirts with the truth at times. Do they REALLY believe the locals who all claim to have seen Bigfoot? Does Bobo really believe strobe lights and whale songs attract Bigfoot? Did they really think that mysterious sound was Bigfoot or perhaps just local kids attracted to the filming? The early demise of a paranormal show is guaranteed if nothing is found week after week. The goal is to find just enough to tease you to come back for more. Most of the viewers understand this. Anyone that thinks their first glimpse of Bigfoot is going to come on “Finding Bigfoot” is very credulous or perhaps still in elementary school.
Even a fake Bigfoot in a freezer makes CNN news. Real photograph proof or DNA proof would be on Headline news, not waiting weeks to be shown on a reality TV show. So the viewer knows, nothing is going to be found but it’s fun to watch. The most popular member of the “Hunting Bigfoot” team seems to be Bobo. He’s the human Bigfoot analog. He will stand next to mysterious marks on trees to show how no normal sized human could reach up and make those marks. A little more hair and he is Bigfoot.
“Mountain Monsters” seems to have paid attention to the Bobo popularity and is an entire show of Bobos. Appalachia has been set back several decades by the stereotypes portrayed on the show. Huckleberry, Trapper, Bill, and the gang whoop and holler their way through a Bigfoot hunt that is like no other. Guns are always present, and safe gun handling is just one of the many things thrown out the window on this show. Sure, hold the shot gun/rifle by the barrel, swing it all around, if it accidentally goes off someone will lose more than an eye, but reality is suspended for the duration of the show.
I can’t really explain the extreme parody this show is of a “normal” Bigfoot hunting show. They don’t just settle for mysterious howls, or some hair that later proves to be “unknown” (meaning the sample wasn’t good enough, not that it was an unknown animal). Bigfoot has cute names, such as “Lightnin’ Man!” (he can turn off your flashlights) and the “Thunder Brothers!” (there is much inter Bigfoot rivalry in them there mountains). Hands, claws, blood and heck Bigfoot even drew a MAP, it all makes viewing a delightful romp. You won’t be bored!
The Bigfoot community seems torn by this show. “Finding Bigfoot” was a tad annoying. Local Bigfoot hunting groups spend years studying one area or locations. The FB cast and crew swoop in for perhaps a long weekend and give viewers the impression they are the cream of Bigfoot hunting.
Because of the show “Finding Bigfoot” many local groups find it hard to get permission to access private property for investigating because property owners are afraid the Bobo tactics of loud noises and howling and banging are also the tactics of all Bigfoot investigation groups.
Trail cameras and the systematic collection of scat and hair samples over a long period does not make an exciting TV show. But, the shows sadly do keep people from understanding that there are some serious investigators in the field. Fudging the truth for publicity is fine, but the reality of most investigation is that it is often boring. This is why it is hard for skeptics to accept Bigfoot hunting as something worth doing, the systematic boring part is often missing. A drive by investigation rarely brings results.
Bring on “Mountain Monsters”! While they are openly insulting our intelligence, they are entertaining on the level of “Bevis and Butthead” (see vintage MTV). There is a guilty feeling watching it, as if the entire state of West Virginia should rise up and attack viewers. “Red neck” can’t fully describe the dentally challenged camouflage wearing members of the monster hunters. I won’t make fun of them too much. The youngest brings out the mother in me. I want him to go on a diet and maybe join Tinder. Meet a nice girl who can make something of him. He shouldn’t be spending all day and night in nature with these older men. Nature probably does not appreciate their visits, with their whoops and hollers and apparently brazen trespassing. If there is a textbook example on how not to hunt for an unknown animal, this show would be it.
Still, what are the odds that at the next Big Bigfoot convention the hunters (actors) on this show will be the stars? The problem with paranormal groups ,that demand to be taken seriously, is that they will pander to and support the groups obviously in it for the money. I would love to meet these “fellers”, they probably are quite amusing in real life. But, if the Bigfoot world wishes people to consider their quest as science, they need to distance themselves from not only “Mountain Monsters” but all the other shows that are less open in their deception. Clever editing, or “This could be SOMETHING!” has to be acknowledged as “just for TV”.
My husband looked at me after the initial shock of watching “Mountain Monsters” had worn off and said “I like it because it’s honestly faking.” We had just watched an episode where the gang had to collect clues from parts of a “Lightnin’ ax” that could possible fall into the hands of the monster “Lightin’ Man” (he of paranormal abilities with flashlights), and THEN ALL HELL WOULD BREAK LOOSE. It was up to the good old boys to SAVE THE DAY (and they did!).
Now clues were found in things like a newer ammo box (we were assured over and over “Well this is over 100 years old!”) and a new outdoor clay stove such as can be purchased as any lawn and garden store (“This is OLD!”). No one is buying it, but they are honestly so bad you understand, it’s JUST ENTERTAINMENT. Other shows throw in a mysterious noise or “What was THAT?” because TV investigations for monsters, ghosts and other paranormal entities always end with a tantalizing tease. You get the feeling the even honest hunters feel they have to throw that in, or emphasis something… so you will tune in next week.
“Mountain Monsters” is indeed the Donald Trump of paranormal shows. It doesn’t care WHAT it does, just so long as you keep paying attention. Other shows, they alter the truth a bit or emphasis something for drama, but”Mountain Monsters” delivers just what the viewer wants. It doesn’t give a DAMN about what other Bigfoot investigation shows and even local groups complain about, it’s going to be POPULAR DAMMIT! My husband fully respects them for this. They are being truthfully untruthful. Popular demand is for a show that actually finds SOMETHING, and “Mountain Monster” delivers.
Next Bigfoot convention, these guys will be mobbed and you had better believe their names will be at the top of any convention poster. Because they will bring people with money to the convention.
The UFO community needs a show like “Mountain Men” if only so that they don’t keep relying on Roswell and the Hill abduction. The convention speakers are getting older and the theories are aging also.
One difference between a paranormal convention and a skeptic convention is that most paranormal ones are for profit. Skeptics have very few full timers. They have day jobs at Universities or as scientists or physicians. Some of course come from a magic background (who better to catch a trickster than a professional in the field?).
But, for the paranormal community, many want to “make it” with a “reality”TV show. The goal isn’t proving the existence of anything so much as just showing you are marketable. If “Mountain Men” brings in the crowds to any paranormal convention, they will be welcomed with open arms. Heck even I want a signed T shirt.
So enjoy the Donald Trump of reality TV paranormal shows. It’s truthfully dishonest.