As someone who has been eye witness to two bigfoot within 100 feet of me, I can tell you the rush of seeing this mystical creature is something I’d love to see again.  The size of the body, combined with the fact that my mind couldn’t believe what I was seeing, I remember it clear as day, and it happened back in September 2013.  I’ve always been a believer in Sasquatch.  My personal belief was that First Nations here in Canada had talked about the great hairy man for centuries in their legends, especially here on the British Columbia West Coast.  So that’s why I love talking bigfoot so much on Spaced Out Radio, because it brings that experience back to light for me.  It’s something I’d love to have happen again, as I said.  And I’m working on that part.  I even have a Sasquatch gifting site in the forests around where I live.  We’ve found two different sized foot prints in the area the last two years.  So we’re hoping 2018 will be a great year in expanding our research into this bi-pedal wonder.
This topic tonight leads me to the topic of a recent Netflix documentary I watched by Todd Standing called ‘Discovering Bigfoot’.  First off, I want to say this.  I do not know Todd, and have never talked with him on the phone, but I have passed messages with him, trying to get him to come on Spaced Out Radio to discuss his Sasquatch research.  I also know that in the Bigfoot community, Todd has a less than exemplary reputation from his fellow investigators.  Yes, I have heard the stories that he has fudged evidence.  Yes, I have heard that either he or his sister is/was a Hollywood make up artist.  Yes, I know he tried to profit off of his videos via his ‘Sylvanic’ website.  Without knowing who he is, and never meeting or interviewing the man to see what he’s really like in person, I am always reserved and a little hesitant to make judgement on what other people are saying about him and his research.  I am writing this about what I think after watching his documentary.  No, I’m not a movie critic and far from it.  It actually takes a lot for me to sit down in front of the television to watch something.  I just see it as a waste of time when I could be productive in doing something else.
So I went into this documentary with an open mind.  I cast aside all of the things I’ve heard from other researchers about him and his reputation.  I WANT TO BELIEVE!  So I watched it.  Now I’m not going to rate this film like Siskel and Ebert.  Not at all.  It’s up to you whether or not you want to watch it or not.  What I want to do though is give my thoughts and observations on it.  There were times where, as an amateur investigator, I learned some techniques to try in my own area.  There were times I felt a little frustrated.  And there were times I felt awkward.  We will hit all of these areas as I go on here.  But first, I want to say that I want to start out by commending Mr. Standing for his passion in bringing Sasquatch to the forefront of talk.  There are many disbelievers in society that this creature is even real, from scientists to politicians.  I do love the fact that Todd has drawn a line in the sand and has decided, so far, to take the Governments of California, British Columbia and Alberta to court to try and protect this species.  His court filings show that he’s committed to protecting this elusive and reigning hide and seek champion.  I actually applaud Todd for putting his name and reputation on the line, even though he probably knew that he would take a severe amount of harassment from the media on down.  It’s a ballsy move, and no matter what you think of the man or his research ethics, you do have to admit that what he did was smart as it helped bring Sasquatch into the lime light, even for a brief time.  Yes, the likelihood of those cases actually going in front of a judge are slim, and most likely will be thrown out of court.  But it doesn’t matter.  He did get the message out.  So a win for the Bigfoot community.
Now, to the film itself.  Like I stated above, there are parts I liked.  Parts I didn’t.  And parts that made me question the authenticity of his motives.  To me, it seemed to take forever to get going.  It seemed at the beginning we see Todd describing areas where he had his first encounters, and we hear Todd talking a lot, and I mean a lot.  Then we see videos of Todd running through forests and creeks like a mad man without any direction.  I found this odd, because we already know who the main character of the film is.  IT’S YOU TODD!  Todd then teases us a little from his original footage of the videos and photos that he has taken in the past.  This part I found interesting because as an experiencer of this creature, I wanted to see it close up, and I felt Todd provided that.  I think he has some great footage, like the Sasquatch up on the mountain side trying to hide from the human view.  Once again, reigning hide and seek champion doing what it does best.  I wanted to believe the close ups of the faces he has were real, but they just looked too perfect.  Is that how Sasquatch looks?  I have no idea.  The first one I saw was 100 feet away, hiding in the shadows at the base of a fir tree, peering in and out.  We couldn’t get a good look.  The second one I saw I only got a right side and back profile from the waist up, so I can’t make out a face from the back of its head.
Where I started to get confused was early on though where Todd was describing how vicious this creature could be.  He was talking about how this creature could attack and kill at a moments notice, without any regret or regard for what or whom it was attacking.  He was saying this with conviction.  Then, later on in the movie, he was saying that Bigfoot was a gentle, docile creature that really, probably wanted to just be left alone.  So what is it?  Is it a vicious predator ready to attack and kill at a moment’s notice?  If it is, why Todd are you getting up into their grills, and putting your life at risk?  Why are you not armed?  If you believe it’s an animal, then high powered ammunition would take it down.  Then you’d have the body to prove they’re real.  But Todd doesn’t.  There is a debate in Sasquatch country on whether or not this is a violent and vicious creature.  Many, like I do, believe it wants to be left alone in seclusion, yet is extremely intelligent and cunning.  However, I do not believe for a second it’s like a grizzly bear or a cougar waiting for you to make a mistake in its territory so it can rip you apart.  I believe the creature is peaceful by nature, with a side of curiousity.  That being said, I sure wouldn’t be tempted to piss one off.
This confusion also comes into play when Todd has Dr. Jeff Meldrum and the late Dr. John Bindernagel hanging out in the forest with him.  Todd seems to put pressure on both scientists about his findings to confirm what he said is truth and real.  Instead, both Doctors use caution many of times with their words, and you can almost tell that Todd is getting a little frustrated that the two aren’t wholly agreeing on his every word of footprints or signs of the creature.  I thought Dr. Meldrum and Dr. Bindernagel were very astute and professional in not jumping to conclusions.  And when they felt Todd had something, they admitted to it.  But what really bothered me was that Todd made a comment to Dr. Meldrum that they weren’t even in his prime area for the creature, and that next time he’d take them into that spot.  What?  You have two of the most respected scientists on the planet trying to bring this creature mainstream and you don’t even take them to your hot spot?  That’s like a guy taking a girl he really likes out on a first date and saying, I know the food here isn’t bad, but next time we go out, I’m going to take you to a much better restaurant so you’ll have a better time. Does that make sense?  I don’t understand it.  I didn’t care for this part because it seemed as if there was an agenda of conviction which shouldn’t be the case.  However, I did try to look past that as being a part of Todd’s yearning desire to make these men believe.  It just wasn’t comfortable.
Camera angles!  You know, in my days in the mainstream media, I didn’t work a lot with television or the cameras.  But when I was in broadcasting school, I do remember never to block your shot.  Always know where your camera is.  And too many times I feel Todd just happens to be in the sightlines of the camera when he didn’t need to be.  Now, I’m sure he learned a thing or two from hanging out with Les Stroud back in the day, but at times it really felt he was trying to make it about himself, and not the creature.  For instance, if you have a night vision camera on static position watching the apples sitting on a log to see if Sasquatch takes them, then the apples conveniently are taken while Todd is in the shot made my head shake.  I caught myself almost yelling at the screen to get him to get the hell out of the way.  We have no idea what took the apples because of course, he now has to zoom past his own blocking which pixelates the video and thus providing a blurry image of the apples disappearing.  In the pitch dark or not, a cameraman ALWAYS knows were his cameras are.  That part was just way too convenient for me.  However, that being said, his night vision of the creature hiding behind a tree does look real to me.  When he did the follow up shot of him going where the alleged creature was standing was a good moment.
The end shot, where Todd is running around in a military style ghillie suit, where he says he’s being tracked by a sasquatch.  Then at nearly the very end, he zooms his camera in, and you see the dark face, almost lookin black in colour, peering at him from behind a fallen tree or stump.  This one I believed.  It looked much different and more realistic in my mind than the others he caught on camera.  The wrinkles in the face looked more ape like which is what I would think the face of this creature would look like.  But why wait until the end to leave the audience hanging?  This is information that should have been shown earlier.  But I do realize that you have to end on dramatic flare.  But why save it?  It’s the most impressive piece of the video and you bury it at the end?  To me, that was a bad call on the editing.  The entire film could have been built around this one scene.  Now, I cannot recall if this video was filmed before or after his time with Dr.’s Bindernagel and Meldrum, but if it was, that’s your story.  Investigate that area.  He left me wanting more, which, I guess is a good thing.  But to bury that part at the end pissed me off more than it did get me excited about a potential new documentary if there is one coming.
Look, I will end this blog by saying this.  I think Todd Standing has had some incredible experiences.  I do believe he has made contact and that he is very passionate about his findings.  I think he’s strong both in mind and body.  I think his conviction to prove this creature’s existence and the heart he has for it are second to none.  However, I think his conviction rubs people the wrong way.  How does he make it better?  I don’t know!  I don’t know the guy.  I think this is one of those instances where you say, let the facts do the talking.  Todd wants people so badly to believe them he pushes them into his thoughts, and doesn’t allow them the opportunity to formulate their own conclusions.  Todd, at times, throughout the video feels like a bully.  But not one that’s going to beat you up.  It’s hard to explain.  It just made me uncomfortable.  That being said, I do believe he wants what’s best for Sasquatch, and that’s to be acknowledged and protected by the governing laws.  There’s no problem with that idea whether you think Bigfoot is North America’s great ape, or some sort of supernatural creature.  Too many people have had the sightings and the experience to deny this creature.  I hope that one day Todd’s dream of the law protecting Sasquatch does come to fruition.
Dave Scott can be heard on Spaced Out Radio at every Monday through Friday at 9pm PT, 12am ET.  Follow Dave on Twitter @SpacedOutRadio and on Instagram @DaveScottSOR