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Friday, September 30, 2011

It's a Wrap!

The Animal Planet Finding Bigfoot crew was overwhelmed by the turnout of Bigfoot researchers, witnesses and enthusiasts. Thanks to the Ohio chapter of the BFRO, the crowd exceeded 160 in numbers, more than any other Town Hall meeting Finding Bigfoot has held!

We had advertised for everyone to arrive by 6 pm for the 7 pm meeting. I arrived at 6:20 and was blown away by the amount of cars in the parking lot! I gathered up my gear and headed towards the entrance of the Deerassic Park auditorium. Upon entering I was instructed to fill out the paperwork that gives Animal Planet permission to use your photos and video. Ugh, I did not want my fat butt seen on t.v. so hopefully I hid well enough.

I heard my name called out and I turned to see Dr. Russ Jones and his posse standing at the doorway. I joined them and was introduced to several BFRO members including Mark Maisel. I have to tell you, I might join the BFRO just for the eye candy! We chatted for awhile as more and more people were filtering in.
Mark then asked one of the producers if it was ok for me to take pictures and I was given permission.
I scanned the room looking for familiar faces. In attendance were Don Keating and his wife Missey. Shocker! I thought Don wouldn't be in the same room with Matt given their history. I had also heard a rumor that Don told the folks at Salt Fork that if they let the Finding Bigfoot crew hold their town hall meeting at the lodge that Don would not use Salt Fork ever again for another conference. Well guess what folks, that is one big, fat lie! I talked to several key people who assured me that there was no merit to that statement. Case closed!
There were so many people that I have never met before in attendance and Russ was keeping count of every butt in every seat, not including the crew.

We were all asked to take our seats and as I was sitting in the back row, I looked over my right shoulder and saw Matt, Cliff and Ranae standing in the shadows prepared to make their grand entrance.

The trio entered and marched down the aisle to an eruption of cheers and applause! They looked tired but happy. They have been traveling non-stop for so many weeks now and will not get a break until December. The new season will air in January.

Well, as you can imagine, filming a television show is quite the production. There were several times when the audience was asked to repeat scenes and the Finding Bigfoot gang were instructed to stand here, stop, say that again, refresh the battery pack, etc.

The trio introduced themselves to the audience and then asked how many people had witnessed a Bigfoot, or heard one or had a story to tell. At least 40 hands shot up and, as we would soon find out, the crew was going to listen to every single one.

The stories were the same we hear every day and soon they had gotten through all but one. The very last hand standing was that of Phil Brocco. He stood up to introduce himself and I thought to myself "Oh no." At the first utterance of his name, the audience and crew were taken aback by his unusually high pitched voice. Matt's expression was priceless! Phil began talking about his experience and how he was "meditating in the lake" and he heard the movement of something large all around him but when he heard a loud splash in the water, he screamed, "you know, like a man". When he said that the crowd erupted in laughter and it was the perfect ending to the long and tedious production.

The producers then informed the audience that they could meet and mingle with the crew for about 10 minutes.

During the production, Matt Moneymaker gave Don Keating all of the credit for putting Ohio Bigfooting on the map. It was nice to see Don get the recognition that he deserves.

Don and Matt shook hands and took pics together during the meet and greet and the entire crew were very gracious posing for pictures and speaking to their fans.

Bobo could not be in attendance as it was his shift to camp out with the gear. He was missed.

Several witnesses remained to plot their sightings on the map and after about 45 minutes the crowd dissipated to some stragglers who wanted to talk and take pictures with the gang.

I ended up chatting with Cliff for about 15 minutes, catching up with him. He looked so extremely handsome and glowing. I am so happy for him. Before we knew it, the crew had packed up and I never did get a chance to meet Matt. His loss. ;)

All in all it was a great representation of Ohio researchers and we proved our sincerity and dedication to the quest.

Great job guys!

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