Friday, November 14, 2008
Retro Reviews Monsterquest Season 1
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.)
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.
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.
Bigfoot. Again, check local listings for time and channel.
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.
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.