Mega Hog or Mega Hoax?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 28th, 2008

The new season of “MonsterQuest” airs on Wednesday night, May 28, 2008, with their lead-off program, “Mega Hog.” (Check your local listings.)

Here is the program overview:

“Do wild hogs in the United States grow to monstrous sizes? Many think so. In Georgia an 1100 pound hog was shot and killed, and in Texas beasts almost as large have been reported. But are these creatures raised and fattened up in a pen, or are they wild hogs, naturally more aggressive, that have somehow reached gigantic proportions? A MonsterQuest examination meets victims of vicious wild boar attacks, looks at the existing evidence and teams up with hog hunters, researchers and trackers to find a giant.”

Besides this first History Channel program for Season Two clearly not being too cryptozoological, although certainly about weird animals, the whole topic of large porkers is one that has had many pitfalls.

One of the most concrete areas of concern is regarding the specifics of the photographic evidence being “produced” in support of these giant hogs.


We have to be careful about the role of a common kind of photographic optical illusion (examples below) allegedly created by various tricks used in capturing images of, certainly, Hogzilla II, per here. The debunking of the above photo kept the story off the “Today Show.” The boy was seven feet behind the hog when this photo was taken, according to an analysis of the image.

Also, some questions have been raised about the “canned hunt” nature of this kill, as “MonsterQuest” appears to be alluding to in their program teaser.


Mega hog or mega hoax?

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

13 Responses to “Mega Hog or Mega Hoax?”

  1. gridbug responds:

    How’s about “mega nasty?” Or perhaps “mega bacon sandwich” which will lead to “mega arterial blockage.” 🙂

    Looking forward to seeing this episode… thanks for the heads up!

  2. Spinach Village responds:

    judging by the story in the link provided… its a pretty bad hoax
    made worse by the mainstream media
    (and i love the fact that someone is watching the watchers)
    thanks for that link for sure!

  3. eireman responds:

    These hoaxes were so thoroughly revealed that I find myself questioning why MQ would bother to devote an episode to this subject. While there are some damn big hogs out there in the wild, and even more so in captivity, Hogzilla and his ilk are nothing more than a bad carnival sideshow – not exactly the most auspicious way to kick off a new season. The canine episode doesn’t exactly hit the ground running either. I am, thusfar, completely nonplussed. I will wait to see the episodes, however, before passing judgement.

  4. Loren Coleman responds:

    To each their own about the “Mutant Canines” episode.

    “MonsterQuest” does kick off Season Two tonight with their lead-in repeat from last season being the episode “Mutant Canines.” This program features the so-called Turner Terror or Maine Mutant, made famous by the reporting of the Lewiston Sun-Journal’s Mark LaFlamme. Being the “consultant cryptozoologist” on the case, I was doing interviews with radio stations in South Africa before that original media frenzy was over. 🙂

    Cameos by Mark and myself are to be found in MQ’s “Mutant Canines” show.

    I had fun with it, but, as noted many times, from day one, I knew that roadkill was of a dog. There was no riddle there, and it always was more of a mystery to me why it became a media circus mystery.

  5. DARHOP responds:

    Loren said: “I had fun with it, but, as noted many times, from day one, I knew that roadkill was of a dog. There was no riddle there, and it always was more of a mystery to me why it became a media circus mystery.”

    I also wondered why all the hype from the roadkill dog. Anybody with 2 halfway good eyes could see that it was a dog. No if ands or buts about it. Nothing from the photo’s I seen could of had me thinking anything else. So why waste the time and $ DNA testing something that is self explanatory?

  6. Andrew Minnesota responds:

    I believe that either Discovery Channel or the National Geographic Channel (I may be wrong about which channel) aired a show a while back just about Hogzilla and touching on how domesticated pigs can go wild if loose for more than a week as well as how quickly they reproduce. In that show they dug up the corpse and did measurements of the animal that is actually in the photo (not the one above, but the one of hog hanging up in the air with the man standing next to it). They figured out what type of hog it was and explained how it reached the size that it did. They answered a lot questions and I’m curious to see if MQ will show us anything new.

  7. red_pill_junkie responds:

    It’s obvious these guys are running out of good solid ideas for the shows, and are relying on exploring urban myths. After all, only the hardcore crypto-community is fully aware of the nature of these hoaxs, whereas they could still startle the average viewer.

  8. kittenz responds:

    I think that the major reason that Hogzilla, the Maine “Mutt”-ant and other such stories become overnight sensations is the almost solely due to the ubiquitous, world-wide nature of the internet. Even worldwide television coverage cannot compare with the internet, which makes stories available 24 hours a day, 27 days a week, usually indefinitely, and with commentary by everyone from experts to whackos.

    The internet, and the human tendency to grasp at novelty and then share the experience, are a powerful combination.

    In the case of the Maine Mutant, another reason that it initially piqued so much interest is that at first the only photo that was posted, and the one on which the media focused the most attention, was the closeup photo of the dog’s face, which was shot from an angle that caused it to appear greatly foreshortened, and cropped so that none of the body was visble. That photo looked decidedly weird, and by the time the full-body photos were posted, which left no doubt of the animal’s identity as a dog, the legend had already been made. Lots of people conveniently overlooked Loren’s statemnt that the animals was, in his opinion, a dog, because they would rather believe in something that was amazing and different.

  9. sschaper responds:

    If only they could change format and be funded for much more lengthy and in-depth searches, which then could be shown along the manner of National Geographic specials. They made at least one discovery for season one, but it wasn’t entirely definitive: so go back and do it again, and better. Likewise with Orang Pendek, etc., etc.

  10. mantis responds:

    That is clearly a man in a hog costume.

  11. Loren Coleman responds:

    Whew, glad to hear it wasn’t an otter in a horse-hide costume made to look like a gorilla, but which turned out to have been killed in a massacre.

    Now, back to the show….

  12. gkingdano responds:

    Watched it last night–MEGA LAME!!

  13. jerrywayne responds:

    Maybe its a relic hog from prehistory.

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