Women Take On Bigfoot

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 28th, 2007

On MonsterQuest on Wednesday, November 28, 2007, it is all women on the track of “Bigfoot.”

The show’s description has this to say: “Bigfoot has been sighted in Washington State more than any other place on earth. Join an all-female expedition as they try to lure a Bigfoot within range of their cameras. The 1967 Patterson footage will be reexamined using digital microscopes that could reveal details that might prove if the beast is real or a hoax.”

I asked one of the members of the expedition, Monica Rawlins for some details. Her answers to my questions are below:

Loren: “Besides you, who were the others along on the MonsterQuest shoot?”
Monica: “The women who were there are: Melissa Hovey, Kathy Strain, Kristine Walls, a temporary employee at the UW botany department, and her friend from the BFRO,  Tracy Herigstad. Rick Noll was with us and suppose to be the director and the camera crew consisted of one guy who insisted he was a woodsman but he had to be in bed by 9 every night. All of the shots were staged, no actual research, as the cameraman read off a shot list we had to get done. It was a real trial. We had three other researchers join us, although they were not shown or mentioned in the show. They were: Brian Brown (of the BFF), Jerry Riedel and John Witherspoon.”

Loren: “Could you tell me a little about yourself?”
Monica: “I was born in Santa Rosa, California on January 3rd, 1973. I was raised in Santa Rosa, but vacationed every summer at my uncle’s place in Douglas County, Oregon. It was there that I had various experiences that I believe were Bigfoot related, throughout the years.”

Loren: “How did you get interested in Bigfoot?”
Monica: “Of course The Legend of Boggy Creek played into my becoming a researcher, but I have always been interested in the stories and their origins. I remember my Grandfather telling me stories about Bigfoot and incidents that happened to friends of his. He encouraged my brother and my interests in various ‘mysterious’ subjects. I had experiences while in Oregon that led me to research, and I use that term loosely, through out my teen years. When I moved to Texas, I had given up on any expectations of researching here until I saw the movie The Legend of Boggy Creek again. I had seen it many times while growing up, but did not pay any attention to it’s location until that night. It dawned on me that the location was not too far from my home, only about two hours. It was that night that I went on the internet and looked up Bigfoot + Texas and found the TBRC; to which I am currently on the Board of Directors.”

Monica TBRC

Loren: “How are you raising your kids in your Bigfoot-aware home?”
Monica: “I have three children who I encourage the same way my Grandfather encouraged me. If they have questions, I answer them honestly and hope they grow to view the world with open-minded skepticism. If this mystery is not solved within my lifetime, I hope to see one of them carry on investigating. If it is solved, I hope they find mysteries of their own to pursue, this has given me the opportunity to meet some wonderful and unique people and I would like for my children to have the same opportunity – no matter what their quarry.”

Loren: “What are your future objectives in Bigfoot research?”
Monica: “My own future goals are simple – keep investigating. I love the thrill of the hunt. I am planning an expedition for TBRC members next summer, which will keep me occupied making travel arrangements for a large group of people. I am also the Chair of our training committee, which holds two training camps for members every year, the next being in late January 2008. I keep busy training, organizing and executing events within our group and investigating sightings within my region when they happen.”

I appreciate Monica Rawlins giving a little insight into whom she is before the show tonight.

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.

27 Responses to “Women Take On Bigfoot”

  1. bill green responds:

    hey loren & everyone wow this definetly going to be a very informative new segment about sasquatch on monsterquest at 10pm eastern tonight. it should be very entertaing. thanks bill green 🙂

  2. bucko responds:

    It kinda sounds like this might not be that great a show tonight. At least Monica Rawlins didn’t sound that thrilled by the experience. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that all the shots are staged! It is television. I’ll be watching anyway. I wanna hear what they say about Patty.

  3. Bob Michaels responds:

    Shots are staged, some investigation.

  4. Artist responds:

    Sweet Mother Matilda!

    Doesn’t the very name “MonsterQuest” mandate a REAL “QUEST” of some sort, with cammy-covered Squatchers tramping around, lugging lots of equipment on a REAL, unchoreographed and unpredictable Expedition into the Great Dark Forest?

    Shouldn’t a “MonsterQuest” literally reek of genuine anticipatory energy and hope, mixed with scientific caution and dynamic enthusiasm?

    Why not call the series “MonsterReview” or some such uninspiring but more accurate term?

    Do I have to do EVERYthing myself?

  5. Loren Coleman responds:

    As those people who regularly work in television and film documentary productions quickly discover, most “reality programming” has a shooting script that guides the action, time, work, and interviews. These projects would never get finished if that wasn’t how it is done.

    I taught a documentary film course for 13 years, and many students were aghast to learn that Nanook of the North, the first documentary, was mostly staged. (Ask yourself the next time you watch it: Why are the Inuits coming towards the camera to discover that seal hole if they didn’t know it was already there? That is one of a dozen easy examples I can give from that sacred documentary film by Robert Flaherty.)

    There’s nothing unusual about “created realities” in such tv series, although it may come as a surprise to those who go on an expedition. To find that a focus is placed on what the director or producer wants to get on camera, and not what the fieldwork might dictate, may come as a shock to some.

    Short-term “expeditions” supported by film production companies have multiple objectives. It all depends on which person you might talk to about what they are there to do.

  6. bucko responds:

    Loren- I understand what you’re saying. I think we all understand these shows are “staged”. What are the odds something will happen when the crew is filming? It goes back to what DWA says about a whole bunch of people trampling thru the woods. No Bigfoot’s gonna hang around for that.

    It’d be worse to find out they’re planting evidence such as foot prints or whatever to make the show more exciting. Or pretending somethings happening when it isn’t.

  7. Dr Kaco responds:

    Actually according to most Squatchers the more people the better. Seems these critters are intrigued in us as we of them. Seems odd don’t it? LOL.

  8. airforce47 responds:

    Loren is right about the TV reality productions. I don’t have a problem with it unless they over embellish what they’re trying to show.

    And as happened with Professor Meldrum, they may just get a little visit from the real thing while they’re out shooting their scripted program.

    My best

  9. DavidFredSneakers responds:

    I got it off netflix a few months ago to see what it was all about.
    I’m still not sure, maybe it’s a generational thing.

    Definetly looking forward to tonight’s “MonsterQuest,” I just watched the other sasquatch one the other night for the first time, so it’ll be two in a row for me.

    Thanks for the insights on documentaries Loren! I think people should remember that (correct me if I’m wrong), while certainly educational, these shows are meant for their entertainment value, not for absolute academic integrity.

  10. cryptidsrus responds:

    I have a question—-

    Where is Lisa Shiel?
    Her expertise and presence would add much clout to the expedition. I guess this has to do with her holiday vacation. I love her on her blog.

    Can’t have everything one wants, I guess.
    I’m looking forward to the show tonight.

  11. Ole Bub responds:

    Good evening Cryptos….

    I met Monica at the Jefferson conference, she is knowledeable, attractive, and gracious…all admirable qualities…IMHO

    Many Squatch docu-dramas leave me wondering…who are really the monsters? This series seems better than most…JMHO

    Live and let live…

    ole bub and the dawgs

  12. dogu4 responds:

    I think the value in this program, from an intrinsic standpoint, is that it will introduce certain number of people to the notion that there are some serious people who are actually studying the phenomenon and they will take a moment to think about it. Or think about the time they thought they saw something strange too. The overall impression that the typical viewer who probably hasn’t thought about it much (in stark contrast to those of us who are admitted enthusiasts) will come away from this and most of the programs like it that we’ve seen over the last few year, will probably be that some scientists or park rangers are studying so it must be at least worthy of somebody’s notice and by golly we’re not crazy after all, as crazy as it sounds, and maybe they’ll come forward with some obscure but critical detail, The long sought after skull or maybe in years to come some researcher will identify the catalyst for their obsession as a show that in reality might not be all that we’d like to see…so maybe this kid, thirty years hence, will finally capture a holographic image of a 3-D blob-like biped…and someone else will say it was a hoax….just kiddin’ there. I’m a lot more optimistic than that.

  13. M.Rawlins responds:

    I guess I am going to have to put in some clarification. Please allow me to clear up the staged shots – they were from a list that the cameraman was given by Doug. The majority of the shots were indeed from this list, the camera man did film while we attempted to research between his must haves. While I, and the rest of the women, were disappointed to find this was going to be the bulk of the shots we had no clue prior to our going out that this was going to happen.

    I would like to also point this out: we were actually in Skookum Meadow for 7 days in the cold and rain. We camped the entire time in tents, no nice hotel rooms like Bear from Man vs. Wild has. We did deploy game cameras and bait piles in the hopes of luring something into range of the cameras and yes, unfortunately the times we conducted our actual research were at night [after filming was finished].

    There was no script; we were never told what to say. It is unfortunate that this is the way that these shows are made, but that’s the way it is. I do not for one minute want anyone to think that we were out there on a day trip. We had a very difficult time of it, from the constant rain to the [needs of [the shooting schedule]. The “staged part” was us being prompted to walk to the left, look out like you hear something.

  14. KurtB responds:

    The best crypto program in ages. I’ll take staged shots over cherry picked “experts” (i.e. like the ones employed on National Geographic’s “Is it Real?” series) anytime.

    “Monster Quest” tries admirably to provide new information instead of relying on the same old rehashed material that has been kicked around since the days of “In Search Of”. Can’t wait for the next episode.

  15. Daryl Colyer responds:

    I thought the show was very good; I found all aspects of it to be fascinating. Well done.

  16. bill green responds:

    Last night, the new Sasquatch documentary on MonsterQuest was awesome. I really liked the (eyewitness) reactments.

    The way researchers did that expedition was wonderful. I’m realy looking forward to future new segments about Bigfoot & cryptozoology animals on MonsterQuest.

    The MonsterQuest online store looks very interesting too, with all those dvds to buy there. Oh well, time to start saving up, hopefully.

    Thanks 🙂

  17. jayman responds:

    I am wondering what was meant by this “reexamination” of the PG footage using “digital microscopes”. The detail (resolution) is limited by the characteristics of the film, period. No amount of magnification will help beyond that point, and will actually create false artifacts.

  18. tommyphungus responds:

    Happy Holidays everyone! I missed the show last night. What was the deal with the digital microscopes on Patty? Anything interesting?

  19. Saint Vitus responds:

    I saw the show last night. The people who did the computer analysis on the Patterson footage seemed to think the footage was legit. They even showed a still from the film that appeared to show the creature’s mouth open and close! One of the guys said he saw eyelids. That would be pretty hard to pull off with a mask, especially with 1967 technology! I think the series is very well done, I haven’t missed an episode yet!

  20. proov responds:

    Dang, I got busy and forgot about the show (evil Vista software). Too bad there was just one camera person. Question for the active field researchers, do you all take video cameras? My group and I research paranormal activity (ghost hunters) and we always shoot video and have a still camera ready.

    I like entertainment focused shows like this but as a researcher they do drive me nuts sometimes. Investigative groups could shoot their own low budget documentaries (or even just a field doc of their investigations). Quality cameras are getting cheaper & cheaper and digital video can easily be edited on a pc. Digital shorts can be uploaded to website and You Tube. Or, hook up with an indie filmmaker. It seems there’s one on every corner these days.

  21. tommyphungus responds:

    Thanks for the info! That’s the first episode I’ve missed. I love the show. Fortunately, Sunday December 2nd will be the re-airing of every one so far, including last night’s.

  22. DARHOP responds:

    Wonder what month they did this in. Guess it doesn’t really matter. It can rain in July here in Washington.

  23. lorelady responds:

    Regardless of what anyone thinks about the Monster Quest shows, I’d like to give the producer, Doug Hajicek, a big thanks for acknowledging there are women actively engaged in serious cryptozoological fieldwork and research, and for seeking them out for this series. I should disclose that I’m one of them. I received writing and production credits for the upcoming Jan. 23 episode, American Werewolf, and can verify that while staged shots are necessary to tell the story of encounter reenactments, and question lists are used for witness and “expert” interviews to make sure relevant aspects are covered, replies are absolutely unscripted. (Of course, subsequent editing of the interviews does occur.)

    Because so much was in production at the same time over the past year, many different camera people were used for all of these shows. I personally worked with four videographers at separate times, and each one had individual habits and work preferences. But none I worked with had any quibbles about filming late into the night while on location. So it was perhaps just luck of the draw in this camp-out case.

    And I did have a digital still/movie camera with me just in case.

    – Linda Godfrey

  24. Artist responds:

    Research repeated Class A Sighting locations. Go to the best one to confirm WITH THE LOCALS that there is activity in the area – they know. Do the GPS/Map coordination thing.

    Then GO THERE with no more than a handful (5-7?) of energetic, serious and durable enthusiasts of whatever gender, PLUS 3 videographer/cameramen. Have AT LEAST one (but preferably two or even all three!) video cameras recording live, from the moment the group arrives at the designated area/camp, until they leave!

    Set up trail cams covering pheromone, fruit and other baits. Use the night and thermal vision gear from sundown to sunup, with trail cams covering the camp day and night. Record EVERYTHING – tapes can always be re-recorded later.

    No staged shots, no retakes, no scripted comments, no BS, just true, constant, boring, repetitive, exhausting, grimy, buggy, chilly, rainy – and occasionally, scary – REALITY.

    Leave the area. Review and Edit the videos. Nothing? Something? Dump the Nothings, reexamine and save the Somethings. Put it all together to see what you’ve got.

    Then do it all again, at the next best spot. Keep doing it until something happens, or doesn’t. THAT would make a real expedition documentary.

    But who would pay for it?

  25. sasquatch responds:

    I liked the part where the women photographed traffic with their motion sensitive camera. I howled like a Sasquatch.
    Seriously now; I already knew PG was real, but an interesting experiment with the guy with the mo-cap stuff stuck to him and they said he COULD NOT duplicate Patty’s gait. Once again no-one mentioned her breasts and how realistically they look and move. Family show I guess.

  26. hairykid01 responds:

    Thanks to Loren for pointing out that TV production is a bit more complicated and a lot less spontaneous than most people realize.

    I’m the cameraman Monica refers to. I am also one of the cameramen who worked with Linda. I’ve been a successful freelancer for 17 years.

  27. proov responds:

    Caught part of the show last night. Anyone ever analyzed her feet?

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