This episode of In Search of Aliens was supposed to be a hunt for the Cyclops according to the published listings. But something happened that led H2 to swap out the episode for the one we actually saw tonight S01E05 “The Search for Bigfoot.” The Cyclops episode will air in two weeks because H2 is taking Labor Day weekend off. Instead, we are treated to an ersatz Finding Bigfoot in which our intrepid hero Giorgio Tsoukalos tramps through the Washington woods to look for the ultra-terrestrial Bigfoot, the one who rides in a flying saucer. I previously discussed the connection between Bigfoot and flying saucers in an April blog post.
The trouble, of course, is that any Bigfoot documentary is an exercise in waiting for the inevitable disappointment since we would have heard long ago had Giorgio Tsoukalos actually found Bigfoot or his flying saucer. It’s not the kind of news you save for five minutes before eleven on a late August Friday night.
If “The Search for Bigfoot” seems familiar, it’s because Tsoukalos already covered this topic—including, as we shall see, the same false claims about Greek mythology, in Ancient Aliens S04E03 “Aliens and Bigfoot.” This episode added nothing to the earlier series’ coverage, and in fact was somewhat less coherent and definitely less entertaining than Ancient Aliens’ version.
As the show begins, Giorgio Tsoukalos tells us that extraterrestrials came to earth in the past and modified our DNA, along the way creating hybrid creatures with human and animal traits. He asks whether aliens also created hairy giants such as Bigfoot, whom he is seeking in Washington State. He claims that finding Bigfoot will help prove that aliens still live “in our midst.”
Tsoukalos notes that the modern Bigfoot legend began in 1958, but he connects this to myths of hairy giants “dating back to ancient times.” He cites the Yeti (dating to 1921, but possibly drawing on earlier wild man legends), the Yowi (dating to the 1800s, but drawing from Aboriginal mythology), and the Yeren (also apparently modern, but derived from Chinese wild man myths). The show illustrates all of these with drawings of gorillas and Tsoukalos calls the legends suspiciously similar even though descriptions of the creatures vary wildly. Many of the most recent sightings are similar, but skeptics would say this is due to pop culture cross-contamination, not to a lost race of alien monkey men.
Tsoukalos meets with a group of dedicated Bigfoot hunters called the Olympic Project led by Derek Randles who have spent “thousands of hours” monitoring the woods without finding any monster apes. Randles describes his own Bigfoot encounter, in which he claims to have seen Bigfoot after several rocks fell near him. Tsoukalos notes that the same backwoods where Bigfoot lives in Washington are the same place where UFOs are frequently sighted, sometimes in connection with Bigfoot, who occasionally hitches a ride on the flying saucers.
Even our hero seems curious to know why there is no evidence of Bigfoot despite all the effort expended to find him. The Olympic Project team share various efforts at Bigfoot research, which offer very little by way of evidence, and even Olympic Project members admit that the evidence can be explained in different ways that don’t include Bigfoot. Nevertheless, they are convinced that they have a recording of Bigfoot’s yodel. It doesn’t sound like anything to me, but I am no audio expert.
The men (there are no women) pack up during the commercial break and head off into the field, to Mount Muller. The team sets up a bunch of equipment in an effort to burn time in this rather dull knockoff of Finding Bigfoot.
Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum, an anatomist who believes in Bigfoot, shows Tsoukalos casts of Bigfoot prints and identifies them as “male” and “female” based on their size, though it seems a bit of a stretch to suggest sexual dimorphism in a species that isn’t known to actually exist.
Randles tells Tsoukalos that Bigfoot is large, hyper-intelligent but extremely rare, and this immediately reminds Tsoukalos of what else but the goddamned Watchers from the Book of Enoch, because the Watchers are the lynchpin of all fringe history. We can’t go too long on a fringe show without them. He gives a potted history of the Watchers’ breeding with humans to produce giants (cf. Genesis 6:4, which Tsoukalos does not do). Could Bigfoot be a Nephilim giant? Tsoukalos says he wants to know but instead of pursuing this angle, he instead starts knocking on trees to see if Bigfoot will send a telegraphic message back.
After the break, Tsoukalos claims that Gilgamesh’s companion Enkidu is a Bigfoot because of the following lines from Tablet II of the Epic of Gilgamesh:
His whole body was covered with hair; he had long hair on his head like a woman;
Tsoukalos, however, must not have read the Epic of Gilgamesh since he ascribes Enkidu’s creation to the Anunnaki, when the epic is quite clear in Tablet II that he was created by Ninhursag, also known as Aruru, a fertility goddess: “Aruru created in her heart a man after the likeness of Anu.” Therefore, Tsoukalos is wrong to connect Enkidu in a daisy chain to the Anunnaki and thus the Watchers, whom he considers parallel alien gods. Aruru is not one of the Anunnaki, but a primal deity, one of the seven great gods of Sumer.
Next, Tsoukalos says that Linda Moulton Howe “discovered” a connection between Bigfoot and cattle mutilation in 1980. (Bigfoot had been associated with UFOs since 1976, when the Six Million Dollar Man placed him among aliens, and UFOs had been associated with cattle mutilation since the mid-1970s, so the transitive property of fringe history made identification inevitable.) Howe’s discovery took the form of a letter she received from a Washington man who claimed to have seen a flying saucer (classic version—disc shaped) that teleported a Bigfoot to the earth. Several cows died thereafter, and I want these disgusting pictures of mutilated animals off of my screen. Tsoukalos believes (in the interrogative, of course) that mutilations are of “an extraterrestrial origin,” even though most professional investigators long ago concluded that the so-called mutilations were natural decay and the work of scavengers. I wrote about this in my article on aliens and anal probing a few weeks ago.
After the break, Tsoukalos interviews a former sheriff’s deputy who claims to have seen Bigfoot twice. Richard Germeau is the deputy, and he is not a disinterested party but the co-founder of the Olympic Project, which he started in 2009, before he left the sheriff’s department amidst a flurry of accusations and lawsuits. Germeau seems to genuinely believe he saw Bigfoot, but he provides nothing that substantiates his claims. For example, everything he described could easily fit a bear standing on its hind legs, but Germeau is clearly steeped in fringe culture. He says that his first thought was that the monster was—and this is verbatim—“a relic hominid.” Like we all do. However, he later wondered if it might be a “shape-shifter [or] inter-dimensional type being” because Native American mythology includes stories of skin walkers. He carefully adds that he does not necessarily believe any of the hypotheses he just proposed, though they shape his ideas about Bigfoot all the same.
Tsoukalos next goes to visit frequent Ancient Aliens guest Jonathan Young, the founder of the Joseph Campbell Archives. After the break, Young shows Tsoukalos books with myths in them and he relates Bigfoot to the “troglodytes, all the way back to the Greek historians.” Tsoukalos declares them “large, hairy, beastly looking creatures” from Greek myth who descended from the sky and were very wise. No. Try again. We went over this in the “Aliens and Bigfoot” episode of Ancient Aliens. As I wrote then:
There are no troglodytes in Greek myth, much less troglodytes who “came down from the sky.” There are only a couple of mentions of troglodytes in ancient literature, and they are from history, not myth. (Not that Tsoukalos knows the difference.) The Troglodytes are the (human) inhabitants of Troglodytis, a city, in Flavius Josephus (Antiquities 1.15.1) and are otherwise people who live along the Red Sea coast.
Tsoukalos, however, takes this as license to decide that Merlin is a giant troglodyte, too, because the fifteenth century manuscript Lailoken and Kentigern describes the Caledonian prophet Lailoken as “hairy,” and he in turn is often identified with the Welsh figure of Myrddin Wyllt, often thought to be the inspiration for Merlin. Straightforward, no?
I want this episode to end. It’s so stupid.
Young and Tsoukalos think Bigfoot could be a shape-shifter akin to a werewolf and might masquerade as a human being when not rampaging through the woods. Tsoukalos drops this and returns to the theme of animal-human “hybrids” that he has covered at least twice already in this hour. Young is “excited” by Bigfoot because he feels Bigfoot is a survival of ancient myth that will lead humanity to “transcendence.” It’s all “power of myth” hot air, but it sounds even stupider when said to Giorgio Tsoukalos, who takes it all literally.
Next we get the requisite discussion of Gigantopithecus and the claim that this giant ape that went extinct 100,000 years ago might be the ancestor of Bigfoot, having apparently walked across the Bering Strait ages ago to skulk in Washington’s woods. Dr. Tori Randall, a biological anthropologist and the curator of the Museum of Man, tells Tsoukalos that Bigfoot could exist, though she seems to have been edited to remove qualifiers from her statements. For example, when asked (nonsensically) if Bigfoot is the “missing link” between humans and apes, her answer as presented makes no sense and has nothing to do with the question since she talks about fossils. All of this somehow leads to Tsoukalos endorsing the idea of evolution but then claiming that only aliens could increase DUF1220, a protein domain that may be involved with brain evolution and is more prominent in humans than apes.
Tsoukalos finishes the show by suggesting that Bigfoot is actually a natural human, the way we would have been had aliens not pumped us full of DUF1220. Sure, let’s go with that. Because that explains why Bigfoot rides a flying saucer and steals cows’ rectums.
8/23/2014 06:18:24 am
I saw this one too. Yikes. It's so insane it's almost funny. How is bigfoot associated in any way with aliens? He's probably just leftover Neanderthal beast, even if that's an insult to Neanderthals..
8/23/2014 07:15:40 am
According to Giorgio, we humans are full of a "special sauce"-as Jason identified, DUF1220. So, now we're genetic Big Macs?
8/23/2014 07:37:32 am
8/23/2014 08:59:11 am
I think Tsoukalos is being unconsciously influenced by his experience in the bodybuilding industry when talking about getting artificially pumped full of proteins...
8/23/2014 08:29:55 am
Nephilum giant Neanderthal space alien bigfoots, or is that bigfeet? Expertise as in along the same vein as Ace Ventura, the Pet Detective "He's the best there is. He's the only one there is.". Got it GT. Got it. Lol. Well there are more AA experts, but most of them are experts in their own minds,getting paid to produce fiction for entertainment. Hopefully they actually don't believe their schtick. In real life if you were to run into one of them, would they deny their own theory until a camera turned up on them?
8/23/2014 09:00:04 am
I think I speak for all of us when I say I hope Tsoukalos goes hunting for Popobawa. And finds it.
8/27/2014 04:44:53 am
The Africa anal rape big foot?
8/27/2014 05:16:43 am
Anal rape only sometimes. And I don't think it's a bigfoot. I think it's some kind of flying demonic beastie. But no one really knows for sure, since you're not supposed to see it.
Thomas Aquinas's Historic Erudite Dominican Order Inquisator
9/4/2014 11:39:52 am
8/23/2014 11:31:52 am
If you click on enough links for Olympic Project, you discover that a bigfootstravaganza is coming in mid-Septermber. I'm talking about the Bigfoot Nation Sierras Weekend...
8/23/2014 01:07:56 pm
They have sharks in the Sierras? Holy shit.
8/23/2014 01:47:52 pm
Why are you surprised. Tsoukalos just spent a whole episode jumping it.
8/25/2014 04:04:27 pm
i thought he spent the whole season
i wish i had said this...
9/4/2014 11:30:03 am
Carl Zimmer connects Bigfoot with an explanation of the history of "null hypothesis" in a Nautilus essay: "Why we can't rule out Bigfoot". He discusses a recent paper by Bryan Sykes' lab, which systematically tested purported Yeti and Bigfoot samples.
8/23/2014 01:54:25 pm
"It doesn’t sound like anything to me, but I am no audio expert."
Rev. Phil Gotsch
8/23/2014 06:25:35 pm
Not so fast … It does start to add up …
8/23/2014 06:39:14 pm
Wow! They beeped at a deer! Connection? Nope.
8/23/2014 11:45:38 pm
The thing that bothers me is why PETA hasn't raised a stink about mutilated cows.....
8/24/2014 02:41:31 am
Because the People for Eating of Tasty Animals know you have to get a burger from somewhere :)
8/24/2014 04:24:15 am
So tasty burgers are made of ass and genitals? :)
8/24/2014 06:01:19 am
I've been told those are some of the leftover parts that don't make it into the final product. I really don't know, and, I really don't *want* to know.
8/24/2014 06:03:47 am
8/24/2014 06:12:48 am
8/24/2014 06:17:49 am
Wait, what the crap happened to my post?!
8/24/2014 07:35:08 am
"People for Eating Tasty Animals" should be a legitimate organization. They could use as their byline what a restaurant used on a billboard ad:
8/24/2014 03:44:17 am
8/24/2014 05:05:56 am
Man the writers for this show are lame. How about all those supposed UFO attacks on air for e base missile sites? This show seems to be a mismtach of all the types of shows on aliens, monster quests, mysteries and so on. Very cheap to make, a show about regurgitating what's been done already with Georgia at the helm. And let's be honest, he has great brand awareness. My son told me their is a large poster of him with the tag line, I believe in aliens in their science hallway in his high school. It was taken down after a few parents complained. Anyway the show is boring. Can't they do what monster quest did when they brought up mr Bigfoot Jeff meld rum and that monkey expert from NYC up to a Canadian cabin and had some crew mwmber throw rocks at them! Hey if it's entertainment, I want to be entertained.
8/24/2014 06:43:07 am
Bigfoots are peoples because they make geometric designs! How would you like it if someone murdered your family?! PS: We'll be waiting!
8/24/2014 08:39:37 am
The author of that is a regular on this ridiculous blog
8/24/2014 11:30:57 am
8/24/2014 11:42:29 am
9/12/2014 12:43:12 pm
8/24/2014 09:22:09 am
As Mark Twain would say, rumors of my passing are greatly
Rev. Phil Gotsch
8/24/2014 04:00:27 pm
A possibility not yet discussed … but which could tie all of this of everything all together …
8/24/2014 04:09:02 pm
8/24/2014 04:24:00 pm
Maui has its own local type of "grass"...? Have you tried any?
8/24/2014 04:26:15 pm
Nah, I'm strictly a heroin man, myself.
8/25/2014 03:59:33 pm
8/25/2014 04:35:53 pm
don't talk to me, .
9/4/2014 11:51:50 am
please don't 'bogart' that joint my friend... :)
Rev. Phil Gotsch
8/25/2014 04:18:08 pm
I think I heard that I once dreamed that somebody told me that "Cherry Garcia" is very popular with fans of "Maui Wowie" ...
8/25/2014 09:40:09 pm
I'm sorry, I don't understand all your drug references. Perhaps you could go and discuss your filthy habit at some pro-drugs forum, and not a discussion about ancient aliens?
Rev. Phil Gotsch
8/26/2014 03:06:38 pm
I'm sorry, I don't understand this discussion to be *serious* …
9/4/2014 11:53:47 am
please! please don't 'bogart' that joint mahhh friend...!
Richard "Dick" Neimeyer
8/30/2014 08:06:55 am
What's next? Bigfootnado?
8/30/2014 09:51:47 am
I didn't mention the pin because Tsoukalos gives them away to the interviewee at the end of each episode. It makes him look good but is actually an act of self-promotion for his line of ancient alien jewelry and other knickknacks.
10/14/2014 03:41:37 pm
I'm convinced Bigfoot exists and that Girogio Tsoukalos is his son.
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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