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|Have you seen this man?|
Bigfoot. The Loch Ness Monster. The Abominable Snowman. All capture the imagination because they’ve never been conclusively proven to exist. Now, Spike TV hopes to change that, at least for Bigfoot, by offering a $10 million cash prize to anyone who can prove the legendary Sasquatch is not just folklore and myth.
The television network, known for such premium fare as Tattoo Nightmares, Impact Wrestling, and Urban Tarzan, is launching a one-hour competitive reality TV show, “10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty,” that will feature “ambitious teams of explorers on a brazen exhibition to unearth real evidence of Bigfoot’s existence.”
Each episode will follow a different team, made up of trackers, zoologists and other scientists, and self-proclaimed Bigfoot hunters, as they brave the elements to find proof that will satisfy a panel of experts. The first to do so will win the $10 million dollar prize that’s being underwritten by the venerable Lloyd’s of London.
Sightings of the shy and elusive fellow go back at least as far as the 1800’s, although it’s difficult to determine if everyone was seeing the same creature. Descriptions include the typical elements: big, hairy, and human-like.
Most scientists discount the existence of the Sasquatch, partly because no hard physical evidence has been found. Of course, previously unknown species of animals are being discovered all the time. But most of those are small and easily missed; closely resemble — and are therefore easily confused with — known species; and live in remote, difficult to reach areas.
Bigfoot is thought to inhabit the mountains of the Pacific Northwest region of North America, a rugged but hardly unpopulated area. If there really have been human-like beasties tramping around for hundreds of years, they’d presumably have to exist in numbers great enough to maintain the population. They couldn’t help but leave some readily identifiable and verifiable evidence. Since no such evidence has been found, they must not exist. Or so the naysayers insist.
If it’s ever actually awarded — if any of the contestants can prove the existence of Bigfoot to the producer’s satisfaction, — it would be the largest cash prize in television history. Of course, it will be up to the producers to determine what constitutes “proof.” Hopefully, it won’t require actually capturing or killing the creature. Given how rare it is, it would be tragically ironic if some intrepid hunter succeeded in proving the existence of Bigfoot only to cause its extinction.
Given the current state of reality TV, can we blame Bigfoot for wanting to remain undiscovered?