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Men in Cryptozoology: Doug Hajicek

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 2nd, 2007

doug

Face Time: Doug Hajicek of MonsterQuest

Doug Hajicek is creator of the History Channel’s MonsterQuest, a 13-part weekly series that “reveals the truth of legendary monster sightings around the world.” It’s his quest to explain the unexplained.

Hajicek is known for his productions of “The Man Who Walks with Bears” for Animal Planet, Discovery Channel’s “Legend Meets Science” and the History Channel’s “Giganto: The Real King Kong.”

This Wednesday, Hajicek’s MonsterQuest comes to central Maine. The show will examine the mystery of mutant canines, with a special focus on the Turner Beast found in August 2006. Producers also examine a rash of killings attributed to canids across the nation, and prepare for winter expeditions to trap other dog killers believed out there.

The Turner Beast episode will be broadcast at 10 p.m. on the History Channel. For more on the show, go to www.history.com. For more on Hajicek’s quest, read on.

Name: Doug Hajicek (pronounced high-check)

Age: 49

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.

Occupation: Television producer with Whitewolf Entertainment

What is MonsterQuest? It’s one-third history, one-third forensics and one-third adventure, although there’s some episodes that have more adventure.

Why focus on monsters? I started as a natural history producer and am very interested in wildlife. On a trip in the arctic looking for giant lake trout, trying to get footage of these big lake trout in their natural environment, we stopped on the 70-mile-long lake we were on and came upon some very large footprints that were not bear. I was pretty much an expert on bear tracks at that point. They were not human because they were too big (and what human walks around the tundra in bare feet). There was a very large stride and the footprints were very deep, and I was very intrigued. It wasn’t a hoax because of the desolate area we were in. Here I’m looking at something real. It was a true mystery. It changed my life and the direction that I went and the types of programs I was producing.

Were you able to identify those tracks? I could see the tracks going across the tundra in a straight line. We were out there with a float plane operator in this kind of open area. We asked him to take us up so we could follow the tracks to a resolve and he actually lost his temper. There was no way he was following those tracks. That’s kind of sad. This topic of mystery animals is so polarized.

Why is that? Nobody is really investigating the mysteries. There is very little science going on. There are a lot of noisy negatives, a lot of gray area, a lot of hoaxes. The whole topic becomes so crowded. There’s also the chuckle factor. But there are a lot more witnesses than people realize. There are many credible people telling incredible stories of creatures they have seen.

Why are people so prone to believe in monsters? I think we all want to believe there are things out there that we don’t know and understand, because it gives us hope that the world isn’t wrecked, the wilderness isn’t wrecked. The more we get worried about the environment, the more we want to believe there are undiscovered animals out there. The fact is, there are. We know of about 1.8 million animals that we’ve roughly cataloged. Scientists estimate there are 30 to 40 million more to go. A lot of those animals are in the ocean. There is a lot of unexplored wilderness.

Your series profiles Birdzilla, giant fish and a swamp beast. What made you want to include the Turner Beast in that monstrous group? It’s because it’s not exclusive to Maine. It’s happening all over. Some kind of mystery dogs are occurring all over and there needs to be some type of answer. (These mystery dogs) are not unique to Maine, but the Turner Beast happened to be publicized. Most are not publicized. I took a report just literally weeks ago of two people who had witnessed a very strange canid with stripes on it in northern Minnesota. They watched it for four or five minutes. There’s a mystery there.

Do you own a dog? I did.

What kind? A big white Husky name Lobo, which is Latin for “wolf.”

What are you afraid of? Everybody’s afraid of being bitten by an animal, so I’m always a little on edge of the unknown. It’s really the unknown that scares me. It’s the lack of knowledge of what’s out there.

Of all the beasts you have profiled, which one would you most like to scientifically prove exists? I don’t think that I have a want to have something exist, but I would like to have answers. The biggest mystery and the most common, the most witnesses accounts on a very consistent level, is the Bigfoot mystery in North America. It is constantly fueled and that is interesting to me. How can something not exist but be so constantly fueled in geographic areas where there are hills, wilderness, forests and lots of water. There’s so many sightings. Researchers estimate there are about 4,000 credible sightings a year in North America. That’s a lot. That’s a mystery.

Have there been Bigfoot sightings in Maine? Yes. Maine is an area with a lot of wilderness, and most of the sightings are going to occur in the most wilderness where you have an intersection of people in the area.

Which beast is best left to myth? Obviously, things like werewolves with backward legs. They don’t make sense to me as a real biologic creature. In most of the public’s mind, most of these creatures are myth, but I remember when the giant squid was myth. “The mythical giant squid.” Now we have video, we have bodies, so that (creature) has been elevated to a higher level.

What’s your next project? Season two of MonsterQuest. It’s a little early to say whether that will happen for sure, but that is the tentative plan. MonsterQuest will give people new information about things that were already interesting. We’ll look at the evidence in new ways because evidence is an ever-changing thing. There is something from the 1800s that has just been found, a real deal body that we can get our hands on. A wolf-like animal that has several features that aren’t from a wolf. It will be very interesting to look at the DNA and see what’s going on. (Go to http://cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/shunka-found/ and read about it.) - By Judith Meyer, managing editor/days – Sunday, December 2, 2007, Lewiston Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine.

doug

About Loren Coleman
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.


9 Responses to “Men in Cryptozoology: Doug Hajicek”

  1. squatch-toba responds:

    I’m not sure that these “dog like” things are all that criptic. I mean, coyotes, wolves, feral dogs, there are all sorts of ordinary animals out there account for these sightings etc… I think, personaly, that this is almost inventing a mystery that isn’t there. I can’t speak for everyone , but ,I have not seen one single report of a “dog like animal” occurance that cannot be solved by one of the above animals.. i.e., coyotes, wolves, feral dogs and even regular pet type dogs. The one exeption might be the Shunka Warakin, but it also could be nothing more than a badly stuffed wolf. I don’t mean to offend anybody who is into this type of investigation, I just don’t understand all the hype about it.

  2. bill green responds:

    this is a wonderful new article about doug hajieck & monsterquest. it realy makes monsterquest realy stand out more. thanks bill green

  3. DavidFredSneakers responds:

    I’m glad to hear there’s a second season being planned, there is so much that can be covered.

  4. Ceroill responds:

    Thanks for this, Loren. Interesting.

  5. cryptidsrus responds:

    Good interview.

    Thanks for the article, Loren.

  6. Alligator responds:

    I saw the Monster Quest episodes on Champ, and the Bigfoot up at the Canadian cabin with Meldrum. I thought they were pretty well done. The Birdzilla was less convincing and I left it part way through. Informative and entertaining. Having read some of the posts here, it was fairly easy to spot where the shows had been “tweaked” to produce the the thrill factor Still wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. I can watch the show and not be embarrassed or laughing my head off.

    Canids – probably not the thread here to discuss it but I agree squatch-toba, these are feral dogs, or a cross between domestic and wild canids. Occasionally one may be born in a litter that is butt uglier or bulkier than the rest, but its still not a monster. There are brindled dogs that depending on light and distance, really look striped. I don’t think any of these canid reports are of a truly undiscovered species. However, There is a cultural phenomena here worth exploring; why do people think these animals are something unique or out of the ordinary or something new wholly undiscovered?

  7. superd responds:

    Great timing Loren, I was about to look into Dougs creds. Good article.

  8. beim responds:

    I think that the only way to show that you’re actually going to find something on Monter Quest is to revisit the most interesting sites. In the case of the sasquatch activity in Canada by the remote lake, why would you not go back and set up a net of high tech cameras around the cabin area and roll! It would make more sence to find amazing evidence by revisiting the best places and working hard through creativity to actually capture something. Go back to Canada and set up the high tech net and call those squatches in! There waiting for you, and when you find them your show is going to be one of the best on television.

  9. Rangoon responds:

    So where exactly can we view the detailed pictures from Mr. Hiacjek’s track line?

    Oh you mean a wild life documentary film maker finds a line of sasquatch tracks and didn’t document anything…oh it was the pilots fault!

    Just like the skeptical enquirer says “there is an out in every story.”



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