'Finding Bigfoot' close to home

Thursday, 26 January 2012 12:00 AM Written by 


As a child raised on "The Six Million Dollar Man," I gained an early fascination with bigfoot that hadn't abated when I was in high school and "Harry and the Hendersons" arrived in movie theaters. Not that I believe in bigfoot, but I do find the concept intriguing.

So I was curious when my brother told me last summer he was laughing his way through weekly episodes of Animal Planet's "Finding Bigfoot," a series that arrived with little fanfare -- even this TV critic didn't know it existed -- but has grown into one of Animal Planet's hit series.

Now in its second season, the show follows Matt Moneymaker, James 'Bobo' Fay, Cliff Barackman and Ranae Holland (pictured above) as they search American forests for the elusive creature.

This week, their search takes them the closest they've gotten yet to Pittsburgh. ...

In an episode airing at 10 p.m. Sunday, "Finding Bigfoot" explores Ohio's Salt Fork State Park, about two hours southwest of Pittsburgh.

Each "Finding Bigfoot" episode follows roughly the same formula: The team gets a tip about a sasquatch sighting or recorded "evidence" of a bigfoot appearance. They talk to locals in the sighting area. They stake out the woods at night. Maybe they hear noises. Maybe they see tree limbs rustling. But they never catch one of the creatures in any sort of way that would bring the series to an end.

It's basically the same format used by all the paranormal shows that began showing up on cable networks six years ago.

I've written a couple of freelance pieces about the show on both a true believer cast member and the "Finding Bigfoot" team's sole skeptic.

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