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About That “Finding Bigfoot” Footprint Find

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 3rd, 2011

Animal Planet’s extremely popular program “Finding Bigfoot” has been revealed to have been a highly edited form of “reality television” entertainment. In post-production, it has slowly come out that the production company, unknown to the BFRO members, edited into the Georgia episode, for example, wood knocks and noises to increase the show’s dramatic effect.

In an exclusive interview with one of the members of the production staff for “Finding Bigfoot” who was also on the BFRO staff, today Cryptomundo readers get more information about the footprint find from Georgia.


I talked to this gentlemen Tyler Wm Bounds yesterday, and he told me:

Hello Mr. Coleman. First, I’m a longtime fan of yours, your books, your museum, and of Cryptomundo.
I’m a member of the BFRO, and I consider all of the cast members, including Moneymaker, good friends.
I was a production assistant and “fixer” for a few episodes – GA, OR and WA.
I am actually the one who found the prints in GA.
I was employed by the production company.

I asked him, “Why didn’t they credit you with the cast find?”

Because at the time, I hadn’t signed an “appearance release,” and I didn’t really care about being on TV, so I agreed to let Cliff “find” them.

“Were you the first to find something and it had to be credited to the talent?”

Yes, I was the first. He gave me credit, but I don’t think he discussed why it was done the way it was.

The original cast of the first track found in Georgia during the “Finding Bigfoot” shoot.

The first generation copy cast of the “Finding Bigfoot” Georgia cast.

This gentleman has written down some of his thoughts, to share with Cryptomundo:

My name is Tyler Bounds, and I am a BFRO member and was also a production assistant on the “Finding Bigfoot” show. A little background: I was raised in Washington, and have had an interest in all things Bigfoot since I was very young. I have spent most of my life wandering the forests and mountains of WA, hiking, backpacking, learning all I could about the flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest, and the last several years, investigating bigfoot sightings. I have a college education, and consider myself a rational observer. And I do know the difference between elk, coyote and owl vocalizations. As you may have read in Cliff’s notes (ha!), I was the person that found the footprints in Georgia, and I can state with near certainty that the prints were not fabricated or planted by myself, any of the cast, or the production crew. I say “near certainty” because I think that without seeing what made the prints, we may never know what actually left those tracks. The prints, 2 right feet, were 14 1/2″ long x 5 3/4″ wide (#1) and 14 3/4″ long x 5 1/2″ wide (#2), translating to a shoe size 18 or so, much bigger than Bobo’s foot. The production crew and I decided to have Cliff “discover” the prints for a few reasons. One: I had, at that time, not signed an ‘appearance release’ form, which they were sticklers about, so to have me appear on camera could have caused problems. Also, I was pretty sweaty, dirty and disheveled from running around in the woods and hillsides looking for evidence, and I didn’t really care if I was on TV or not. Two: They wanted to film Cliff actually FINDING them, and film his genuine reaction, which they did, and which you all saw. That was not faked. Three: They wanted to film Cliff casting the prints, and wanted to have some sort of continuity or congruence with the finder/caster. Cliff has made a lot of casts, and I was more than willing to let his expertise take center stage. Had I thought then that by simply letting Cliff make the discovery would result in people assuming it was a conspiracy, or that all of the show was contrived, I would have gladly stepped in and explained it all to the audience, but I didn’t. There was always an agreement between Cliff, the production folks, and myself that Cliff would give credit to me for finding the prints, which I appreciate, even though it seems to be causing me some headaches and frustration now. It amazes me how much talk a quick, on-the-fly decision can raise. Another reason for letting things move along quickly and with minimal hassle was because we were pretty far out in the woods, and it was starting to get dark (it was Feb.16, night falls pretty early.). As it was, Cliff and I sat on top of a hill watching plaster set in the dark while the crew hiked back to the cars to eat, charge batteries, get lights, and other duties that they were responsible for.

I wish I could answer more questions regarding the authenticity of other scenes, but I wasn’t present for the night investigations that the cast embarked upon, nor did I have anything to do with the editing process. What I can do is direct you to go to Cliff’s site, where after every episode he will be adding details to scenes and experiences seen, or not seen, on the show. As with his comments regarding the first episode, I hope you would agree he has been open and honest about what happened behind-the-scenes during filming.

And as an aside, I don’t think that calling sasquatches ’squatches’ disrespects anybody or anything, as much as calling hippopotami ‘hippos’ or crocodiles ‘crocs’ disrespects the animals or the people who named them, but, as I was a paleontology major in college, I do cringe slightly when people call Tyrannosaurus Rex ‘T. Rex’, so I see where you are coming from. But when we are out doing our thing, we refer to things as looking or feeling ’squatchy’, we call our outings ’squatching’, we call ourselves ’squatchers’, etc. I assure you, we don’t consider our usage of the word as disrespectful, and so far, we haven’t had any complaints from the Original Inhabitants or the sasquatches, so I think we’re good to go. Thank you all for your time, and thanks to those of you who took the time to watch the show, we worked hard on it, and had a good time doing it.

“Do you know of any other similar things that we can anticipate from upcoming episodes?”

And as far as upcoming episodes, I wasn’t present when other pieces of “evidence” were found in other states, so I can’t go on record about that. I did sign NDAs and contracts after I found the prints, and then they did include me in that GA episode later, labelling me as a “member of the Georgia BFRO,” even though I’m from Washington. What I can really discuss, with any authority, is the footprint find, since I was there, I was in possession of the original casts for a few weeks, since AP wanted the originals. The footprint info has been discussed on Cliff’s new website.

Loren Coleman – has written 5491 posts on this site.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


19 Responses to “About That “Finding Bigfoot” Footprint Find”

  1. fuzzy responds:

    All kinds of interesting people and events involved in Squatchin’!

  2. Kahil responds:

    Hmmm…It’s good that he came forward and all. But I think that Moneymaker has done some pretty good damage to the show’s sincerity, authenticity and reputation all on his own. It will be very difficult to continue watching the show and to take anything that comes up as authentic.

  3. korollocke responds:

    That’s not a real foot print at all. You can tell just by looking at it it’s a human made fake.

  4. sasquatch responds:

    The toes look very human to me. The length can be interpreted differently too. The 5 1/2″ or so width would not be inconsistent with a 13-14″ shoe size, but most BF prints of 18 size shoes are wider than 5 1/2 inches. I wear a size 12 and they are 5 inches wide behind the toes…so I’m not convinced that these are BF…although the lack of in-step is interesting, this could easily be modified—just do a big guys print and push the dirt around here and there….Not sure?

    But I really like the show and will continue to watch.

  5. Mïk responds:

    OK.OK…I get that Mr. Moneymaker isn’t in line for the Ms. Congeniality award. So, enuf a dat. Mr. Bounds’ reasoned dissertation of the footprint find has me thinking that, maybe, we should watch this show (an over-edited semi-reality show about Bigfoot is better than no show about sasquatch at all), but take the facts from Cliff’s website as evidence, and hope that Cliff doesn’t fall off that same cliff (*snork*) that Matt did.

    I can live with that. Unfortunately, I saw the preview show of ‘Finding Bigfoot’ after reading Mr. Moneymaker’s diatribe and had my sensors up during the show to spot the fakery. It kind of ruined the viewing. I did not see much that was new. Yes, the prints were new; the dashboard video was new (and very blob-ish, IMHO); The wood knocks… all new, but the same old thing. It might be, but maybe not.

  6. semillama responds:

    It seems like we are learning a lot more about modern television production than about sasquatches – not necessarily a bad thing!

  7. Robert Michaels via Facebook responds:

    Just find a Live Big Foot.

  8. dharkheart responds:

    What honestly dismays me the most is when good people do what, at the time, seems innocent enough on the surface but later calls into question the integrity of a thing; an opening is always left that allows detractors and other nay-sayers to leap upon and impune good field research concerning Bigfoot.

    Next, someone will probably come forward and tell us there is a crew that “enhances” ‘Ghosthunters’.

  9. Redrose999 responds:

    They way they talked about it, I thought the print was a lot clearing, including dermal ridges. I wonder what the follow up will be. I’m not at all an expert on the subject, but I seem to recall other prints that Jeff Meldrum had that were clearer.

  10. matt_moneymaker responds:

    In a distortion rather typical of some of the commenters on this site … the anonymous person claimed that the producer who enhanced some of the sounds was the same one who found the tracks. That’s another bald faced lie by someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about, but wants you to think his way about it.

    The tracks were found by a member of the BFRO. He is not a producer. He was a scout for us and an assistant. He had nothing to do with the editing.

    The tracks are very legit. They are sasquatch tracks. They were not faked. Turns out the knocks were not simulated either. They were the authentic knocks were heard, but the volume was amplified on the recording. I don’t call that enhancement. That’s just turning up the volume so they are as audible to audience as they were to us in the field.

    Kahil is a jealous boy, clearly. Somehow my participation hurts the “authenticity” of the show … because I insulted him. Yep.

    BTW … these “shocking revelations” about some of the productions issues, were published quite openly by me, and posted on our Blue Forum. They were not, as Loren suggested leaked from the “inner circle” of the BFRO. They were put there quite openly on a public forum by me. I have no hesitation saying what happened, because we are quite blameless for all that, and if anything, we prevented what could have been a whole lot more “simulations”.

    Envious bashers will spread distortions wherever they can online. You’ll notice how many of those folks will, somewhere along the way, suggest that they should be in the show instead of us. That’s the main thing underlying their attitudes, make no mistake. It’s jealousy. They’ll just have to watch how the show becomes more and more popular, and accept how much authenticity that I and the other cast members bring to this subject.

    MM

  11. j stewart responds:

    I liked the statement and q and a from this young man. he seems genuine and that says a lot. Good read wish he was more prominant in the show.

  12. Redrose999 responds:

    Matt,

    I respect what you do and the contributions you’ve given Bigfoot research. And I understand why you are upset. One of the things we do on Cryptomundo is debate information. We discuss it, several people research it, and Loren or Craig often updates it as our knowledge grows on the topic. Rumors and Hoaxes and lies are often posted on this site to go over and debunk. But we can’t debunk ANYTHING unless it is presented and people aware of the facts post about it. Its a long, often uncomfortable process. I remember the Georgia hoax way back when, as well as others. People here are from all walks of life, some of us are believes, and some skeptics, there is a wide ranges of folk here, which gives us a interesting perspective when it comes to debate.

    With that said, I understand how uncomfortable that feels, especially when you feel the information is either being debated unfairly, or is not true in your experience. This is why your perspective is just as important as the perspective of everyone else on this list. Our goal here is to discuss these things and understand them.

    I’m largely here because truthfully, I enjoy the debate, but there is also a part of me that is hopeful as well as cynical that some day we will discover creatures we thought in our arrogance didn’t exist. It says a lot about human behavior and the field of science and how it is conducted is a hot bed of human political nature, not necessarily positive, but a fascinating study (which is why I love the historical side of paleontology so much and study it as a hobby).

    I hope I didn’t offend you, I apologize if I did. I am often blunt and a bull in a China shop. Thank you again. Redrose999

  13. Redrose999 responds:

    Also, most of the information posted tends to be without opinion this way we can debate it without bias. Everyone, being human has their own bias’s that often come into our discussions, but Craig and Loren tend to weed those out and look for the points of each discussion. It’s a very scientific process, we often did this in my old Zoology days. But enough of that. Again, I hope I didn’t offend anyone here. I just wanted to explain the process I’ve observed here over the 5 years I’ve been reading Cryptomundo. I tend to lurk, or snark, folks here know that, I’m not really known to the list, which is fine because honestly I prefer it that way.

    Now for the question that has been needling me, were there dermal ridges on the prints? Or do I have to wait for an episode update due to non disclosure agreements? LOL My husband works in sensor technology for the military and has to do that sort of thing all the time…. :P

  14. dharkheart responds:

    In response to Mr. Moneymaker: How are legitimate concerns bashing? If someone who is part of the BFRO found the prints on a scouting mission, then give credit to that person. That simple thing would help quelch all of the people who think it was a setup. Forget the sensationalism of reality tv and just portray what happens as whatever happens and what is found, and by whom, as what was found and by whom.

    Other than that, I am not critical of the show nor anyone who appears on it.

  15. CDC responds:

    Well according to Cliff Barackman’s web site he states that Tyler Bounds is a “production assistant” and he is the one who actually found the prints.

    “Tyler was ahead of us, and far off the trail”. “Tyler ran up pale and winded”. “Tyler told me the general area where they were found, but not the exact location, so the production team could film the authentic discovery moment”.

    “Authentic discovery moment”??????????

    “Production assistant”??????

    “Production team”??????

    Sorry, but I don’t see a “bald face lie” from anyone on this site. If you are going to separate players and teams, we will need a program to follow who’s who.

    My opinion is you had a witness with footprint photos. Your “production team” wanted something on camera for the show. They had Tyler run ahead out of sight and plant those prints. Then instant publicity for an new television show about an animal that science says does not exist.

    That’s only my opinion.

    It is also my opinion that it is wrong for Bigfoot organizations to take money from people to go out in the woods to look for an animal that science says does not exist.

    Those footprints would also go far in promoting paid excursion into the woods to hunt for an animal that science says does not exist.

    Again, only my opinion.

    Seems that an honest Bigfoot organization would wait until science has proven a Bigfoot animal to exist before accepting money from people to go look for it.

    Again, just my opinion.

    Am I saying this show manufactured evidence to increase interest and generate cash for those associated with organizations that are searching for an animal science says does not exist?

    That’s for everyone to decide for themselves.

    Me, I would pay guides to take me into the rain forest of the Congo to look for Mountain Gorillas because I know they are there. For others to take money from people to look for an animal that science says is not there, seems unfair…but that’s only my opinion.

    Good luck with your next episode, hope you find some more “rock solid” evidence science or Cryptomundo can’t challenge.

  16. Kahil responds:

    people…we all know that Moneymaker has a huge ego and he thinks rather highly of himself, so don’t take anything he says or does as gospel. Not only is it proven that he and his team fake evidence, but they can’t even humbly give credit where credit is due to the people who actually do find so called evidence.

    epic fail…

  17. tylerbounds responds:

    CDC- I know that you don’t know me even a little bit, but I guess you will just have to take my word for it that I did not, in any way, plant, falsify, or create the footprints that I found. Nobody “told” me to go anywhere or do anything- the cast and film crew were filming, and I was exploring the surrounding woods looking for evidence of a bigfoot passing through. I don’t know if you have ever participated in or seen a TV or film shoot, but people that are not supposed to be on camera have to stay off camera. And watching said filming being done is about as fun as watching paint dry. Reshoots and retakes, switching camera angles, etc.- it gets pretty dull and repetitive. I’m not the type of person to sit around and be bored by such things, not when there are woods and creeks and ponds nearby to explore. It was the second day of my first ever trip to Georgia, and I wanted to check out the area, not only for bigfoot, but to look at the different, unfamiliar plants, and maybe see some new animals or birds that I don’t get to encounter in my home state of Washington. I knew of various reptiles (another interest I have) that live in GA, and I had heard rumors of armadillos, which I had also never seen before. I guess I could have sat and twiddled my thumbs and watched the cameramen and sound guy do their thing, but that isn’t my thing. I’m an active, outdoors-oriented fella, and I had time on my hands- I’m not sure of your hobbies or interests, but I was taking the opportunity to indulge mine when I came across footprints. I think that if I wanted to fake some eveidence to enhance my notoriety or reputation in bigfoot circles, I would have insisted on being filmed, having my name displayed prominently, and having all credit given to me, none of which I did. What was important to me was that I found probable footprints of a sasquatch, that I knew would be cast, and added to the database of Dr.Meldrum and Mr.Barackman. The find itself is what I found important, and the incidental context in which they were found- during filming of a TV show- was less important to me than you seem to think. The TV series may come and go, but the casts will forever be in the collection of Jeff Meldrum. I’m a fan of science. A fan of reality TV, or 99% of the swill that is on TV, not at all.

  18. tylerbounds responds:

    Kahil- read my response to CDC. I really didn’t care about getting credit, but in the interest of full disclosure, which you seem to think was lacking, Cliff Barackman told of the unseen events that led up to the finding of the prints, and did give me the credit for finding them. I’m positive that every other fact-based “reality” show, whether it’s about catching crabs, working in a pawn shop, bounty hunters, or some contrived MTV crap, all of those shows make compromises between the integrity and interests of the cast members, and the decisions of the various cameramen, producers and editors that are responsible for the final product. I can assure you, neither Matt nor “his team” fake evidence, and I would be interested to see where your “proof” is that evidence is, or was ever, faked. But you don’t know me either, so you will have to either believe me and the reality of what happened, or continue living in the made-up fantasy world where everything you see on TV is real, unchoreographed and unscripted.

  19. Craig Woolheater responds:

    Comments that do not add to the discussion of the post will not be approved. Approval of comments will be at the discretion of the moderating team here at Cryptomundo.



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