Friday, November 14, 2008

Retro Reviews Monsterquest Season 1

Review: Monsterquest 1-23-08

This was a great way to cap off the first season of the newest hit on the History Channel, with journalist/author Linda Godfrey, who discusses several sightings in Wisconsin of something called "Dogman." The beast is described in three ways-either as a large dog, a creature with a wolf-like head or a Bigfoot. Dr. Gregory Bambenek believes it may be psychological, however, and a disease known as St. Martin's Fire is seen as possibly being responsible. Dt. Bambenek and a hunting guide are searching in the Dairy State for evidence of the Dogman. The hunting guide, Don Young, has had at least a couple of sightings. They want a live capture, and are using a tranquilizer gun to that effect. A group of witnesses described seeing a group of these creatures in 2004 drinking from a creek in Rock County, Wisconsin. One of those witnesses has agreed to undergo a polygraph test. One man believes it may be a shape-shifter, a David Walks-As-Bear. This is apparently a Native American belief. Werewolf legends are also discussed and the origins of such, from Europe. The witness who took the polygraph passed it. One of Don Young's encounters is also recounted. He describes a much more Bigfoot-like creature then a wolf-like one. One of the most common explanations for the sightings is, of course, misidentification. Godfrey also has an unidentified piece of hair or fur, and it is sent to Dr. Lynn Rogers, who examines it and determines it to be a domestic cat. A second encounter is also recounted by Young, which could also be a Bigfoot sighting. Bambenek and Young find some sort of bedding area for something, but of course it is not determined exactly what could be using the bedding area. All in all, a really great way to cap off the first season of Monsterquest. Will there be a second season? I will ask Doug Hajicek that very question on February 17th on The Sasquatch Experience.

Review: Monsterquest 1-9-08

This was a fair-to-good episode about something known as "Rods" which appear to be some sort of cylindrical flying "creature" of some sort. Apparently these things are not seen with the human eye, but only with a camera and in still images. Several astrophysicists are interviewed on their impressions, as well as a study at Iowa State University which is attempting to determine what these things could be and whether there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for it. They do appear to be cylindrical objects with "wings" which are seen all over the world apparently and seem to be alive. There are seemingly logical explanations also given for this phenomena, but it does not explain every Rod image. Next Wednesday examines the Real Hobbit, beginning at 10:00 EST/9:00 Central on the History Channel. Check local listings for time and channel.

Review: Monsterquest 1-2-08

The first new Monsterquest episode of 2008 examines a diabolical plan by Joseph Stalin to cross-breed Humans and Apes, and examines also the Almasty, and interviews Igor Bourtsev about Zana. Zana was used for manual labor, and had several offspring with human men and killed these children by washing them in a cold river until a local farmer's wife saved the children, including Khwit. A tooth from Khwit's skull is examined by Curt Nelson (who was also on the Sasquatch Attack episode) for DNA to see how human it might be. Ilya Ivanov was the man who was commissioned to create this army of super-soldiers. Dr. Esteban Sarmiento is also interviewed about his impressions. Apparently, Stalin wanted to use chimpanzees because of their propensity to war with each other. A hairy-faced Spanish acrobat named Danny Gomez is also interviewed who probably suffers more from hypertrichosis than being a hybrid. Kathy Strain and Russ Mittermeier are also interviewed about their impressions of mystery apes. Gigantopithecus is also examined. Hybridizations between different animals are examined as well. All in all, not a bad episode, but not as good as some of the previous ones. Next week examines the case of Rods, creatures from the fourth dimension. That airs next Wednesday at 10:00 EST/9:00 Central on the History Channel.

Review: Monsterquest 12-19-07

This was a rather interesting episode, examining giant fish. An expedition is taken to the Amazon River in Brazil, where giant catfish are seen and are said to suck children under and eat them. A reenactment takes place from 1975 in which a canoe is bumped severely and a child is knocked overboard and is never seen again, and reports have been taken of children being found inside giant red-tailed Peraibas. A catfish wrangler, Lee McFarland, is interviewed about his techniques for capturing fish bare-handed. A record fish caught in Oklahoma was 9 feet long and 546 pounds. The Mekong Catfish in Cambodia is 5 times larger than the largest one found in the U.S. In 2002, McFarland encountered a large fish in The Sooner State which threatened to pull him under so he let it go. In the Amazon, the research team is having to catch bait to catch giant catfish, this consisting of Piranha and Barracuda. Fisherman Mike Knee is presented with quite a challenge down there. The catfish stories are compared to the fictional film Jaws and also the Mattawan Creek, New Jersey shark attacks of 1916. Shark expert Ralph Collier is interviewed for this part of the program. Barracuda and Alligator Gar are also examined. I will not give away too much more, but it makes for interesting television. Next week, Hajicek delves back into Bigfoot territory by examining Swamp Beasts, Skunk Ape-like creatures found in the swamplands of the U.S. The show begins at 10:00 EST/9:00 Central on the History Channel, and make sure to check your local listings for time and channel.

(Editor's note: My grandfather's friend who owns a store down the street from us caught a 40-pound catfish about three weeks ago, and we still have meat from that large fish in our deep freeze. The fish measured at least 2 1/2-3 feet long.)

Review: Monsterquest 12-12-07

This show examined melanistic big cats similar to mountain lions, only black in color. An Emil McCain is interviewed about his impressions on it, and a fellow named David Johnson shows his photos of a large black cat. Scott Lope, a director for a Big Cat preserve in Florida, examines the photos and believes it to be a domestic. Heidi Bailey, a biologist from Texas, agrees with Lope's findings. Several eyewitnesses are interviewed, from Oklahoma, Texas and Minnesota. A farmer in Choctaw, Oklahoma is interviewed regarding losing several livestock items on his farm due to a large black cat. A wildlife expert from the Sooner State is of the opinion that the cats are not black.
A fellow named Eric Atkison walks his fence line every night with a large spotlight and rifle with hollow-point bullets. He had a 250-pound Llama killed by an alleged large black cat. Eric finds a large cat track while out on his nightly walk. It is believed that the black cats might be black leopards. A professor at Johns Hopkins University believes large black cats are in people's heads. A farmer close to Atkison, Dale Smith, is also losing livestock to a large black "mountain lion". Smith and Atkison band together to try to hunt down the cat. A videotape taken in West Virginia of an alleged black cat is examined and determined to be inconclusive but interesting. There is some DNA found and sent to the mohawked Todd Disotell, who examines the evidence and finds-well, watch the encore for yourself to see. It was a fairly good episode. The next Monsterquest will deal with Giant Fish, next Wednesday at 10:00 EST/9:00 Central on the History Channel. Check local listings for time and channel.

Review: Monsterquest 12-5-07

This was a rather interesting episode, about mutant canines which have been killing family pets and other animals, which may be timber wolves, possibly, in Minnesota. The famous Turner Beast case is examined, with Loren Coleman giving his expertise on it, in his home state of Maine. The Turner Road Beast remains are in a garage, but some of its remains have been sent to NYU for further analysis. Reports of these strange beasts go back many hundreds of years. A local newspaper writer for the Lewiston Sun-Journal in Maine, Mark LaFlamme is also interviewed about his impressions on these mystery beasts. It is speculated that hybridization of dogs and wolves is responsible possibly for the sightings of strange beasts such as the Turner Beast. The Wolverine is also speculated to be possibly a candidate for the mystery beast. Several witnesses are interviewed about their sightings and also their finding of their family pets dying from unknown wounds. In Minnesota, a wildlife expert, Craig Enervold is doing an investigation on the mystery beast in the Gopher State, setting out camera traps to see if there is something worth capturing on them regarding a mystery beast. The mangy coyote or dog theory is also examined as a possibility for mystery dog/wolf beasts. It was a fair and even-handed episode, and Monsterquest continues to be very well-done and well-researched for the most part. Next week examines Lions In The Suburbs, at 10:00 EST/9:00 Central on the History Channel. Again, check your local listings for time and channel.

Review: Monsterquest 11-28-07

This was a pretty even-handed and scientific look at Bigfoot, including the old chestnut of the Patterson/Gimlin Movie which was examined under digital microscopes with interesting results by Rick Noll, Owen Caddy and Dr. Daris Swindler. Chris Murphy, John Kirk and Esteban Sarmiento are also interviewed on their impressions on hairy bipeds in the U.S. The other focuses of the show were the Skookum Cast, and two expeditions in Washington State, one led by Dr. Briggs Hall, the other an all-female expedition with some familiar faces and names in the Bigfoot field, such as Melissa Hovey, Kathy Strain, Monica Rawlins, Tracy Hegristad and Kristine Walls in the Skookum Meadows area, where they were camped out looking for evidence, setting up camera traps and doing experiments such as singing Christmas Carols to attract the attention of 'Squatches. Not very much new information from the P/G Movie or the Skookum Cast, but it was great to see the two expeditions, especially the ladies. I would give this one about a 4 out of 5 stars. The next program will have a focus on Mutant Canines, next Wednesday night at 10:00 EST/9:00 Central on the History Channel. Check your local listings for time and channel.

Review: Monsterquest 11-21-07

This was a pretty good episode, about giant birds such as Thunderbirds, spotted in Alaska, Texas and Illinois, including one that was filmed in the Land Of Lincoln in 1977. An ancient species of bird, the teratorn is also examined by paleontologist Kenneth Campbell. Native American legends are also examined of the Thunderbirds, with visual representations in the form of totem poles. Several witnesses, cryptozoologists and scientists such as Ken Gerhard and David Hancock are interviewed about their thoughts on the giant birds, including Marlon Lowe, who claimed to have been picked up by a giant bird briefly and dropped in 1977 in Lawndale, Illinois. Several scientific experiments are conducted to see if it is possible for there to even be these giant birds with large wingspans and large bodies. It was a very good episode. Next week will follow an all-female expedition to Skookum Meadows in search of Bigfoot. Again, check local listings for time and channel.

Review: Monsterquest 11-07-07

This show focused on the Canadian Sasquatch, more particularly a series of strange attacks on a cabin at Snow Grove Lake in Ontario, Canada, 250 miles north of Ottawa which have occurred for several years. The inhabitants of that cabin set out a screwboard which something stepped on and left a large bloody footprint of some sort which left blood and tissue which was scraped off the screws and the board by visiting Dr. Jeff Meldrum and Dr. Curt Nelson from the University of Minnesota. Several people who have used the cabin are also interviewed about their experiences (no actual sightings, but some encounters with something destroying the cabin from the outside and in). Video of the aftermath of one attack is shown and examined by bear expert Dr. Lynn Rogers, who does not believe it was done by a bear. Thomas Steenburg is also interviewed about his research and impressions of different sightings in the Great White North. John Green is brought in to discuss the Albert Ostman story, which is re-enacted for the first time in ANY documentary that I am aware of, with narration from a recording of Ostman overlaying the re-enactment. Close to the end, the DNA tests are done on the blood and tissue samples by several DNA scientists including Dr. Nelson and some very interesting results are found. All in all, it was one of the better programs on the subject of hairy bipeds I have seen in quite a while, and so far this series gets a 4.8 out of 5 stars. Next Wednesday night Monsterquest examines the elusive Giant Squid, at 10:00 EST/9:00 Central on the History Channel. Check your local listings for time and channel.

Review: Monsterquest 11-14-07

This episode took us to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico in search of the Giant Squid. Apparently the native Pangueros have had a fear of what they call the El Domonio Rojo, the Red Devil, also known as the Humboldt Squid, which can get as big as a school bus. It is thought to be a man-killer. Richard Ellis is interviewed on the show, as well as researchers Scott Cassell and Roger Hanlon of the Marine Biological Laboratory. Cassell shares an experience in which a 5-foot long Humboldt Squid pulled his shoulder out of its socket, and he also ruptured his right eardrum. Doug Hajicek hopes to put a camera down in the depths of the sea to film one of the giant squid. The giant squid may be the inspiration for the legendary Kraken as well. Ellis dismisses quite a few of the attack stories as far as the Kraken taking sailors off the decks of ships or pulling people off shore. Jeff Zernov of Nature Vision, Incorporated is rather skeptical of the cameras working to get a giant squid on film. Dale Pearson is interviewed as well as the lead diver of the team. All in all, a wonderful episode of this new series. Next week, the subject is giant birds, Known as Birdzilla. The show begins at 10:00 EST/9:00 Central on the History Channel, so check your local listings for time and channel.

Review: Monsterquest 10-31-07/Sasquatch Triangle Tonight...

The premiere episode of Monsterquest featured a look at the resident lake monster of Lake Champlain on the New York/Vermont border known as "Champ." The show examined the sightings (and showed several recreations of sightings, including one of two such creatures on land), as well as the famous photograph of the creature taken in 1977 by Sandra Mansi. Investigators John Kirk and Scott Mardis are interviewed for their impressions on the creature as well, and several professors and paleontologists are interviewed as well. One lady and her team got some interesting echoes from an echolocator in 2002 on the lake, and a team of photographers scours the lake looking for signs of the creature with underwater cameras as well as cameras set up on the shore. The Mansi photograph is put under scrutiny by Skeptical Inquirer Managing Editor Benjamin Radford, who comes up with a rather plausible explanation for the photograph and what is in it. It was a very well-done program. The next program next Wednesday night on the History Channel will be titled Sasquatch Attack and will look into the hirsute legend of our neighbors to the north. That program airs at 10:00 EST/9:00 Central, so check your local listings for showtimes and channel.

Review: Monsterquest 12-26-07

This episode focused on the Swamp Beast, or Skunk Ape, in Florida and Louisiana. The main focus is the swamps of Louisiana, where Gregory Bambenek and Scott Kessler of the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy investigate reports of sightings and also set up game cams and a triggered biopsy gun to take samples. Some interesting things are found, but nothing conclusive. Dan Jackson of Florida's encounter with a Swamp Ape in a dumpster is recounted, as is Kessler's sighting on a camping trip in Louisiana. A pretty good but not great episode.

Review: Monsterquest 1-16-08

This episode was about the real Hobbit, parallelling the stories of the Orang Pendek in Sumatra with the Homo Floresiensis, with Debbie Martyr helping out Adam Davies and one other researcher/photographer in the jungles of Sumatra searching for the "Short Man of the Forest." Game cams are set up but do not get anything except native animals. A few strange-looking footprints are found and cast, and taken to Dr. Jeff Meldrum to examnine, but he determines them to be regular animals, most likely a bear in the area. A pretty fair to good episode.

Retro Reviews Monsterquest Season 2

Review: Monsterquest 9-24-08

This episode went into attacks by giant bears, supposedly extinct for many millions of years, known as the short-faced bear. Dr. Blaine Schubert, one of the main experts on these ursus species, is interviewed on his expertise on the giant bears. Alaska is one of the main centers of study and research on these bears. Matt Bille, Cryptozoology author, is also interviewed, as is Jim Oltersdorf, a wildlife photographer who is open to the possibility of the giant bears. A Wildlife Biologist, Jim Hechtel, is skeptical of the existence of these giant ursine creatures. There was a giant bear known as MacFarlane's Bear shot in 1864 and thought to be a giant. This skin and skull is in the Smithsonian now, and was examined in 1918 by a scientist and thought to be quite unusual. In 2001, a hunter and his companion noticed a large bear track and a large bear near Anchorage, Alaska. The hunter shot and killed the massive bear, with a 12-inch wide paw and stood 11 feet tall and weighed well over 1,000 pounds. Dr. Schubert is being allowed to examine the remains of MacFarlane's Bear. They are also travelling to New Jersey to investigate a videotape of black bears invading people's yards. An expedition into the wilds of Alaska is also undertaken. The town of Lake Wanda, New Jersey, is being terrorized by bears invading. Oltersdorf is leading the Alaskan expedition across Skillak Lake. The two expeditions do find some interesting things, but not really enough to...well, I will let you figure it out for yourself.

Review: Monsterquest 7-23-08

This episode focused on the Chupacabras, or "Goat Sucker", seen in Texas and Puerto Rico. There were corpses found of animals with all the blood sucked out of them, and there were some eyewitness accounts of a hairless almost canine-like/kangaroo-like creature on four legs. Phylis Canion was among the first to see it in southwest Texas, and had some of her chickens sucked dry of blood. A reporter, Joe Conger of KENS-5 in San Antonio, took up the case as far as reporting. Civil Defense officials were put in charge of investigating these cases, but they are just as puzzled as everyone else. Interestingly enough, the description of the mystery animal is different in Puerto Rico then it is in Texas, looking much more like a spiny two-legged creature with glowing red eyes. A witness in the Island Nation was interviewed about an encounter he had with the mystery animal. A farmer in Texas has found his chickens drained of blood, and saw the Chupacabra 4 times. He had a rifle propped in a tree to attempt to kill the creature, which he did. Ken Gerhard and an associate go out to attempt to catch one of the beasts and to find trace evidence. The farmer did have the bones of the mystery animal he saw, and these are sent for DNA testing, with some interesting results. Plus, Phylis shows Gerhard some of the body parts she also has, which are also sent off for DNA testing, which results in...well, I will not reveal any more. Watch the episode for yourself. Next week, the Native American legends of Bigfoot are examined in a show titled Legends of the Hairy Beast, beginning at 9:00 EST/8:00 Central on History. Check local listings for time and channel.

Review: Monsterquest 7-9-08

This was a rather interesting episode, about the Black Beast of Exmoor, a large black panther stalking the English countryside which was seen 200 times in 2007 alone. It apparently targets livestock in the country and stalks the moors. There are big cat preserves in Britain, but they wouldn't explain necessarily this mysterious beast. Royal Marine Sharpshooters are dispatched to the area of the sightings to kill the mysterious animal, but the creature was not seen in the area while they were there. There have been several photos taken of the mystery beast, but some could be of domestic cats. A naturalist and a local woman come across a corpse of a deer which is determined to be of a big cat and not a dog, the only other predatory creature in the area. Several witnesses are interviewed as well of their sightings, and of course there are skeptics interviewed who think that it is impossible to sustain a population of these giant beasts on the island nation. In two weeks on July 23rd, I believe the Chupacabras is being profiled, with Cryptozoologist Ken Gerhard, beginning at 9:00 EST/8:00 Central on History. Check local listings for time and channel.

Review: Monsterquest 6-18-08

The first unknown hominid episode of the new season focuses on the Ohio Grassman, the Buckeye State's version of Sasquatch or Bigfoot, featuring local Ohio researchers Don Keating and Joedy Cook, who are seen in Salt Fork State Park searching for evidence of the Grassman. Chris Murphy is also interviewed discussing the history of Grassman sightings in Ohio, and a shelter structure found near Akron is shown as well. Cook presents a baboon skull, strangely enough, considering there are no baboons in Ohio, that he found. Don's August 2, 1992 video of a possible white Grassman is analyzed as well, and Keating hooks up with two individuals from Michigan, Chris Bergen and Greg Alderman, who have a small model helicopter specifically designed to carry cameras and film from above. After testing it during the day in the skies over Salt Fork State Park, they switch it to night viewing, with a thermal camera attached, and pick up a warm-bodied signature on the camera. Unfortunately, the helicopter begins to run out of power and has to be brought back down before further confirmation on the signature can be determined. Cook searches the area of the signature. Cook sets a decoy head and makeshift body out in the area, surrounded by game cams. Terry and Treba Jahn describe their encounter at Salt Fork as well,a midnight encounter. Don and Jody set out after dark in the Park to find evidence and attempt a communication with wood-knocking. Don also lets out a few whoops attempting to get a response. Jimmy Chilcutt is also shown receiving a handprint casting from Cook and he examines it. Dr. Esteban Sarmiento also examines a cry recorded by Keating which is deemed inconclusive, as well as the baboon skull. Chilcutt says that positively, the handprint is of a non-human primate. Rich Lamonica also describes his sighting, and his sighting is recreated.
Joedy does a bit of an experiment building a shelter similar to the one he and others found in 1995. It was one of the better episodes for sure, very well-done, and a big hand goes to History and the producers of the show, as well as the participants. Next week, the focus is on Giant Snakes, beginning at 9:00 EST/8:00 Central on History. Check local listings for time and channel.

Review: Monsterquest 6-11-08

This was a rather unique and interesting program, focusing on Ghosts, where several photos and videos were taken of alleged spirits, including one at a gas station in Parma, Ohio, one at the Vatican which turned out to be a misidentification and some older ghost photos, as well as a piece of footage taken at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania at the battlefield which appears to show two entities. An investigation is also made of the Lizzie Borden House where the famous Borden murders took place. Al Rauber and Dave Manganelli, Paranormal Investigators, are conducting that investigation, using all kinds of video and audio equipment, including the FLIR, Infrared and Night-Vision cameras. Another paranormal investigator, Matt Moniz, while he was investigating the house, had a camera moved by an unseen entity while the camera was in operation. An alleged EVP is also examined by a fellow named Tom Owen, who is an expert in identifying audio recordings (he successfully identified a recording of Osama Bin Laden in 2002), and he gives his assessment of the EVP, despite his skepticism of the phenomenon. Rauber and Manganelli also manage to capture a strange audio signal of some entity, but cannot readily identify it. Next week, Monsterquest examines the Ohio Grassman, the Buckeye State's version of Sasquatch or Bigfoot, which will include Ohio's own Don Keating, beginning at 9:00 EST/8:00 Central on History. Check your local listings for time and channel.

Review: Monsterquest 6-4-08

This was a rather interesting program, about something called a Vampire Beast which seemed to be almost a doglike creature, but was quite ugly. It all began in 1954 with a series of attacks in Bladenboro, North Carolina in which dogs and goats were all killed but not eaten, their bodies drained of blood. Several wildlife experts are interviewed, some which have a more open mind about the possibility of this creature than others. One biologist thought the attacks were the result of a coyote, but they did not seem to be that. Several residents of Bladenboro and Bolivia, both towns which are close to each other, are interviewed about what they have seen and found in their area. A footprint is photographed and appears to belong to a cougar. A photo is taken by a cell phone camera of what appears to be a cougar, which might be the explanation for all the attacks, although that seems strange in light of the fact that none of the victims were eaten. Next week, Monsterquest examines Ghosts (which is a strange topic in light of the fact that the show is called MONSTER Quest, but we will see where they go with it) beginning at 9:00 EST/8:00 Central on History. Check local listings for time and channel.

Review: Monsterquest 5-28-08

This was a rather interesting episode, featuring a look at large hogs across the US, more especially in Georgia and Texas. A couple of Texas hog hunters, Tim Hicks and Kevin Ryer, band together with two from the Pacific Northwest, Mark Peterson and a gentleman with the last name of Ramber or something similar. They set traps in the Texas wastelands attempting to first of all capture a Trojan hog to attach a camera to in order to film an actual giant hog. They did accomplish that first goal, but not the second. An ecologist named Jack Mayer is also interviewed and is given a skull of a large hog killed in West Texas in 2002 which was estimated to weigh upwards of 700 pounds or more. He does determine that the skull is of a wild animal, but also surmises that most large hogs are most likely escapees from farm pens, farm-fed and they somehow escape into the wild. A couple of individuals describe attacks they suffered from large hogs which did injure them, but they survived, fortunately. No large hog is filmed during the course of production, but there is interesting data for future possible expeditions. Next week, the hit series on History examines the Vampire Beast (most likely Chupacabras) beginning at 9:00 EST/8:00 Central on History. Check local listings for time and channel.


2 Reviews:

Review: Monsterquest 11-05-08

This was a rather interesting episode, focusing on Real Dragons, with Aussie Cryptozologist Rex Gilroy, along with Tony Gerard and Gary Opit, an American and Australian reptile expert. They are searching in the Blue Mountains of Oz for Megalania, a giant version of the Monitor Lizard said to measure at least 30 feet long, much bigger than an average Monitor Lizard (this is supposed to have gone extinct 40,000 years ago, but may be still living in the mountains of Oz). Gilroy has apparently cast tracks of what appear to be large reptiles, possible Megalania. He is having one of the tracks analyzed by a paleontologist. Opit theorizes that the Megalania would be an ambush animal, sitting by a trail to await its next meal, which in Oz can be Kangaroos or Wallabies. The legends of dragons are very prevalent, but are only legends, not realistic. Historian Peter Hancock is also profiled to discuss the possible continuing existence of Megalania, according to the Aborigines. The large reptiles are called Goanna (Big Lizard), and the team puts up camera traps in areas where sightings have occurred and also tracks have been found. They do put up bait in front of the camera traps. Tony finds a sign of possible Goanna activity-a termite mound, which are said to be used as nests for the Goanna. A process called Parthenogenesis, which means producing offspring without a mate, is discussed (female Komodo Dragons are able to reproduce without a mate). The area in Australia where this all takes place is the Wollemi National Forest. There are other possible areas in Indonesia where these large creatures can survive and thrive. Five of those islands are known to have Komodo Dragon populations. Trooper Walsh, a retired Wildlife Biologist at the Smithsonian National Zoo, is interviewed about his impressions of the Komodo, and discusses the possible ancestry between Megalania and the average Komodo. Komodos will basically attack anything, even themselves, and human beings. In 2007 in Komodo Village, a young boy is attacked by a Komodo, and the boy's uncle rushes to his aid. He threw rocks at the reptile, which chased it off. The boy, unfortunately, died before he got proper medical attention. A Swiss diver is killed by a Komodo Dragon earlier this year. This occurred on the island of Rinca. Two researchers go to the island to explore for a giant Komodo. Next week is the Season Finale, Sasquatch Attack II, 9:00 EST/8:00 Central on History. Check Local listings for time and channel.

Review: Monsterquest 11-12-08

This was a 4 1/2 star episode out of 5. Some highlights:

The Monsterquest crew returns to Snelgrove Lake to investigate the attacks on a remote cabin. Doug Hajicek and Jeff Meldrum are part of the crew. The Sasquatch is 7-10 feet tall, the size of a Kodiak bear, with 17-Inch feet and long arms. There is a short recap of the initial episode from last year. The first segment seems to be recapping the previous Sasquatch Attack episode, leaving the viewer wishing they would get to the new material. Apparently further DNA samples from the last trip to Snelgrove were sent to another lab. Dr. Gregory Bambenek is also along to investigate, as is Dr. Esteban Sarmiento. Doug Hajicek's son Blaine is also along, as they set up a camera system-infrared, camera traps and cameras inside the cabin. They also set up a blind to make observations and use camera systems. The infrared cameras are installed on the eaves of the cabin so as to not alert an animal to their presence. The blind is set up inside the cabin. The attacks apparently continued into 2007 on the cabin. Dave Regel was a member of the fishing party staying at the cabin, and they were the target of things being thrown against the cabin. Apparently, a hair was found on Regel's rod case, and it has been sent for analysis. Microscopist Jason Beckert is commissioned to examine and identify the hair. The first night at the cabin reveals nothing. Bambenek has put out radio transmitters contained in between pheromone chips. Sarmiento determines that there is a good deal of food sources in the surrounding area of the cabin. One technique being utilized is gorilla scent. More extensive DNA testing is being done on the Snelgrove Lake samples. A molecular biologist is doing the examination, and says even DNA a century old can be examined and amplified.The Dr. is using a different technique than that used by Dr. Curt Nelson. A local bush pilot brings news of a sighting nearby to the cabin, 115 miles away. The creature may be following a blueberry supply. The WIlliam Roe story is recreated very well by the MQ team. After 8 days, the float plane pilot gives the team information about the sighting at the location 115 miles away at Grassy Narrows. The team decides to move there. The hair collected at Snelgrove is being examined by Dr. Beckert at Microtrace, while the team at the cabin heads to Grassy Narrows to interview the witness (the place is an Ojibwa reservation). Helen Pahpasay and her mother see a large black hairy creature walking down the road, 8 feet tall, close to a blueberry patch. Helens mother refuses to ever return to that area. Randy Fobister, Helen's brother, examines the area and finds where sticks are broken off. Footprints were also found in the area, but the cast shows six toes, which Meldrum believes may have been made by a bear. However, after examining a bear paw print compared to the print, it is difficult for Meldrum to determine if the print is of a bear or of something else. There appears to be a flattened area made by a large animal of some sort, but no determination as to what made it. The hair found at the cabin is deternined to be a human head hair, bleached,
and the DNA samples are determined to be fungi and bacteria, with no animal or primate DNA. It could also mean the sample is too degraded to amplify DNA positively.

Review: Monsterquest 10-29-08

This was a fairly interesting episode, about sharks being seen in freshwater settings such as rivers, including the Atchafalaya River in Louisiana and the Mississippi River as far as Illinois. Apparently some witnesses in the Sportsman's Paradise caught a bull shark in 2007-actually, more than one. Apparently, they also witnessed a larger shark, about 10 feet long. Some bull sharks live in Lake Nicaragua in Central America. Marine biologist and author Richard Ellis also describes the aggressiveness of bull sharks. The MQ crew heads to Louisiana to search for the 10-foot shark witnessed in 2007. Local wildlife expert Lee Hales leads the expedition, joined by local fisherman Jacob Seagrave. They are using the Didson Sonar system to search for shark activity in Atchafalaya. Dean Fessler, a shark expert, is also interviewed on his expertise. He mentions that a bull shark will take and kill a deer in a river. In Canada's St. Lawrence River, the Greenland Shark, the size of a Great White, lurks. Chris Harvey-Clark is also interviewed (he is a Greenland Shark expert). He and diver and author Jeffrey Gallant get together north of Boston to dive in the river, in cold, dark water. The expedition in Louisiana does get some possible sonar bounces of bull sharks, and the expedition in Canada runs across the Greenland, which of course means there is the possibility of sharks in freshwater. This was a fairly interesting, but not quite as satisfying, episode. Next week, Real Dragons, namely the Komodo Dragon, are profiled, beginning at 9:00 EST/8:00 Central on the History Channel. Check local listings for time and channel.

Review: Monsterquest 10-22-08

This very interesting episode is about Monster Spiders, including a reported species up to 5 feet across!!! The search takes us into the Amazon Rain Forest with Arachnologist Rick West. Other places around the world have giant spider sightings, such as the Congo, where one the size of a small dog was allegedly spotted in the 1930s. The leg span of this alleged giant was 4 to 5 feet. A very large sea scorpion reported from millions of years ago was 8 feet in length which suggested arachnids grew very large. A giant claw was found in 2007 of the scorpion. In Venezuela, the expedition with West continues. A shaman claims that he saw a large spider kill a small dog, one which was alleged to be absolutely huge, bigger than a basketball. The possibility of mistaken identification is also examined, with monkeys or three-toed sloths as culprits. Another species, known as a camel spider, is also profiled, from Iraq, which are alleged to eat camels and are well-known to the soldiers over there. A species of camel spider is also found in Texas, where another expedition is underway. An underground camera is placed in Venezuela because spiders are known to burrow underground. Soldiers are interviewed regarding the camel spider in Iraq. The expeditions find...well, watch and see for yourself. Next week is about Jaws in Illinois, where bull sharks swim up the Mississippi River into the Land of Lincoln, beginning at 9:00 EST/8:00 Central. Check local listings for time and channel.