Monday, September 22, 2008

Lights, Cameras, Bigfoot!

It seems the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) is gearing up for their own reality TV series, a la Ghost Hunters or UFO Hunters. You can read the details at Cryptomundo, but the gist is that the group is currently in talks with Canadian production company, Barna-Alper. So it is still a ways off from knowing yet what the format will be and when production will begin.

It is a step in the right direction for a group that has slowly, over the years, moved closer to the limelight. BFRO and Loren Coleman are the two biggest sources for media quotes and are frequently mentioned in newspapers, magazines, and TV.

It would appear that everyone in this day and age wants a piece of the Reality TV pie. But at what cost? While many will point out the benefit of bringing such fringe issues to the forefront, I wonder how the subject will truly be treated. Sure, there exist fears that a subtle mockery will be instilled, perhaps unbeknownst to the participants. But, really, my concerns are that this will deluge the field of cryptozoology with more poseur organizations, bent on cashing in and having a good time. The hard-earned respect the field had been striving to earn (already set back by recent events in Georgia) could possibly be laid a deadly blow.

We've seen similar groups arise in the wake of T.A.P.S.' success on Ghost Hunters. The whole thing became glamorized and commercial. So, we ended up with countless acronymic entities, selling t-shirts and collecting haunted locations like they were "friends" on MySpace.

Will a similar scenario befall the BFRO's endeavor? Or worse still, will the pressures to produce ratings-enticing results push the production staff into a bit of creative editing? Or will they resort to outright hoaxes? Perhaps they won't have to go that far. After all, people gladly tune in week after week to Destination Truth even though it manages to NEVER produce any results worth watching.

1 comment:

Buck said...

Amen! In the field of paranormal research it seems a new group springs up every day with zero experience doing the work. Since SPI began in Tucson in 2006 (made up of people from older groups) I have seen two other local "groups" probably 3 or 5 "meetup" groups. That's in Tucson alone. Statewide the numbers are much higher. It seems every fan of GH decides to go out and get their own "group" instead of trying to work with established groups to learn the ropes at least. They think what they see on TV is the way it is really done (It's not) and investigations are all quick and excitement filled (they're not). Hopefully, the difficulty of the terrain in Bigfoot hunting will dissuade some of these types should that field become popular too. Let's hope so at least!