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Title: BIGFOOT IS REAL!: Sasquatch to the Abominable Snowman
Genre: Documentary, Ghosts, Paranormal, Occult
Production Company: Reality Entertainment
Despite the title, Bigfoot is Real!: Sasquatch to the Abominable Snowman isn’t an overzealous account in favor of the well-known Bigfoot and Sasquatch legends. Instead, it’s a sober investigation, on several levels, of one of North America’s most puzzling enigmas.
The DVD is actually a two-disc set.† The first disc contains three parts. Part One, “Bigfooting in Oklahoma,” features Esther Schritter, a level-headed health care provider whose hobby is to hunt through forests with stick in hand, in search of the elusive Bigfoot.
Esther has her reasons for this unusual pastime. As a kid she recalls seeing an ugly, hairy, humanoid face out the window. Since then, she’s had more strange encounters – sometimes alone, sometimes with others – that she believes point to the reality of Bigfoot.
This film also provides a first hand look at a bona fide Bigfoot conference in Honobia, Oklahoma. In addition, we get a glimpse at a possible sasquatch hair sample, and are shown a considerable amount of evidence from other amateur researchers.
Much attention is given to the idea that mankind’s industrial development is destroying Bigfoot’s habitat, making it more difficult for the creature to survive. It may even become extinct, Schritter and others fear.
Some might smirk at this point, saying it’s folly to worry about an endangered species whose existence has never been verified.
Well, yes. But maybe not.
Part Three of the first disc replies to that and other criticisms, such as the fact that Esther’s own possible Bigfoot footage isn’t terribly convincing. But we’re jumping ahead…
Part Two, “Tale of the Honey Island Swamp Monster” sounds like something straight out of a 1950s B-movie. And it should, because in this section Jay Michael thoroughly debunks numerous plaster casts of an alleged Swamp Monster footprint. In fact, Michaels tracks down an actual 1970s-style shoe glued to a phony man-made foot, obviously used by a hoaxer to create fake imprints on the ground.
A few decades ago, The Honey Island Swamp Monster was highlighted by Leonard Nimory (Star Trek’s Mr. Spock) in the critically acclaimed TV documentary series, In Search Of.
So when filmmaker Jay Michael visited the area, 40 miles NE of Oklahoma, to shoot some background footage and investigate the story, he found that local residents knew all about the Swamp Monster tale, along with the fake shoe and phony footprints.
From this revelation, Michael puts forward the axiom, “trust but verify,” which could be restated as “give the benefit of the doubt but check things out yourself.”
Part Three of Disc One, “Swamp Apes,” is more speculative and theoretical than Parts One and Two, which focus more on interviews and evidence.
Here Jay Michael asks some tough questions about how an unusual ape might have arrived in North America. Theories abound here, from apes being brought to the shores of America by European colonists and even pirates, to the notion that they traveled independently along the Bering Strait land bridge.
The idea that Swamp Apes were transported to The New World by faraway sailors is attractive to some, considering that the mysterious creatures allegedly have been sighted from Oklahoma to the Florida Everglades, but with absolutely no fossil record to speak of.
On this point Michael speculates that the Phoenicians might have been taught how to domesticate primates by the legendary Atlanteans. And they could have landed on the North American coast, with ships containing apes, far earlier than the Vikings or Christopher Columbus.
As to why we have no conclusive photos of this species, Michael suggests that Bigfoot differs from all other animals: This ape is smarter and knows full well that its most lethal enemy is mankind. So it makes sense, he says, that Bigfoot would lay low and keep out of gunshot range. Michael adds, however, that Bigfoot’s curious and wants to know his foe. This would explain the fleeting, distant images that we do see from time to time.
A creative theory, to be sure. While it may sound far fetched, the film notes that some Bigfoot stalkers believe the best way to preserve this mostly unseen but apparently endangered species is to provide a specimen—living or dead.
At first glance, Bigfoot is Real! might just seem like more paranormal hype or crazed credulity. But beyond this DVD’s perhaps unfortunate title, intelligent viewers should soon recognize several lively and provocative instances of what Edward de Bono called “lateral thinking.”
† Disc Two of this set “The Wildman of Kentucky: The Mystery of Panther Rock” was independently reviewed several months ago » Go to the review.