Expedition Bigfoot Cast Speaks At WonderCon 2022 | Travel Channel
[MUSIC PLAYING] For months now, this is where we've all wanted to be. All right, there it is. Coming back, I was afraid that we may have lost that trail and we wouldn't find anything more. But that is not what's happening here. [WHISTLING] Oh [BLEEP].
There's something moving right behind you. It begins now. We have unfinished business. Come on, baby.
Take off. We're set. I want to try things this time around that no one has ever done before. That looks like a person. There's something there, Russell. We know they're close.
That's a heat signature. That's up in the tree. We know the behavior that we followed last year. Something's moving towards me, Ronny. We know it breeds.
I feel like I'm standing in a kill zone right here. Something like that could just snap you like a twig. We know it bleeds.
This is an animal. That's insane. And an animal can be found. Look, look, look, look, look. Holy [BLEEP],, x's from top to bottom. This expedition, it makes no sense.
The race of [INAUDIBLE] has two distinct tribes-- What? --stick Indians and shadow people. What is that? This is one of the weirdest places I've been. I heard boo, boo. Listen. We're being followed. It was a howl coming from the ridge line.
[HEAVY BREATHING] Mireya! [SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC] Holy [BLEEP], huge spike. That's fine. Just go. Go.
Holy crap. Oh, he stood up. Woo, hey, "Expedition Bigfoot," everybody. How's it going? All right, I'm Trevor Shand, cohost of Bloody Disgusting's "Boo Crew" podcast. I'm also the creative service director and voice the world-famous KROQ-FM here in Los Angeles. And I'm beyond thrilled to be here today in Anaheim here at WonderCon.
And here with me are an incredible group of researchers, specialists, and passionate truth seekers. They're the stars of Travel Channel and Discovery+'s "Expedition Bigfoot." Everybody, bring it, bring it. All right, starting off, he starred in what has been called one of the most terrifying found footage films ever created, Bobcat Goldthwait's fantastic film, "Willow Creek." And he's the host of the highly acclaimed paranormal podcast "Bigfoot Collectors Club." Say Hello to Mr. Bryce Johnson.
[APPLAUSE] She's an acclaimed primatologist and the director of Exploration in Science and Communication at FIU. She's also credited with discovering the world's smallest primate out in Madagascar. She is best-selling author, a role model, and a complete inspiration, Dr. Mireya Mayor. [APPLAUSE] Next up, a retired military sergeant and survivalist who has been on the hunt for Bigfoot since the 1970s.
He's the writer of an acclaimed series of novels called "Bitter Root." And he runs the International Bigfoot Conference. A daring adventurer who is absolutely fearless, it is Russell Acord. [APPLAUSE] Finally, one of the world's most renowned and respected researchers and experts in the paranormal, UFOs, and Bigfoot, author of the best-selling "Monsterland" books and host of the "Monsterland" podcast, it is Ronny LeBlanc. [APPLAUSE] So "Expedition Bigfoot" is back for its third season, available right now on Travel Channel and Discovery+.
In the next hour, we're going to talk about everything you've ever wanted to know about the world's most elusive cryptid, Bigfoot. And we're going to give you an exclusive sneak peek at some of the team's most shocking findings to date. This is going to blow your mind.
And feel free to share your experience today with your fellow "Expedition Bigfoot" fans by tagging @TravelChannel, @Discovery+, #ExpeditionBigfoot and #WonderCon. So without further ado, let's get into it. So thank you to all you here for being here.
Thank you to the team. To kick it off, tell us a little bit about the formation of the collective that is on this hunt for "Expedition Bigfoot," everybody's expertise, brief view of how the team got together. Yeah, sure. So, first of all, thank you guys all for coming out. I know you have a lot of selection here at WonderCon. So we appreciate all you guys coming out to hear us talk about our show.
So, look, I mean, from the beginning, the conceit was always we want to get the best specialists in the field, scientists, researchers, investigators, and we want to give them the latest technology, cutting-edge technology to aid them in their quest for evidence to try and get to the bottom of this Bigfoot mystery that seems to be pervading the United States and elsewhere for the past 200 years. So it's about pitting the best with the latest tech and trying to get great evidence of Bigfoot. And season two ended with a lot of that incredible evidence.
It's really unbelievable. And it's been so fun to watch this all transpire in real time. This is real-life discoveries that they're making.
And the stuff they're doing has never been done before in the field. So season two ended with the team out in Washington State. And you had to leave because you were at the cusp of all these insane wildfires that were happening. And you'd made some groundbreaking discoveries. Some of those were possible encounters with the creature itself captured on heat vision cameras, possible vocalizations recorded, and these massive 16-inch footprints. And then you had to leave.
What leads were you most excited into following up on at the cusp of season three? Well, for me, the finding that we had in Kentucky was incredibly intriguing and also pretty shocking, the fact that I had collected a soil sample for EDNA and sent it to a very respected geneticist out at UCLA, to come to find out that, in fact, there was chimpanzee DNA identified in it really raised a few eyebrows for all of us. So I was really excited to follow up on that. Speaking of which, a tremendous prize viewers get this season is Dr. Mireya's conversation with the world's most renowned expert in primates, Jane Goodall.
She had some surprising thoughts about Bigfoot. What did how she said, how did it compel you? How did it fuel the fire, so to speak, after you heard what she had to say? Well, I was actually really surprised by how much she wants to believe that there is something out there. Her level of open mindedness is precisely what we need in the scientific world. And she truly believes that at the heart of science is that insatiable curiosity and wonder.
So couple that with all the stories that she's heard from people from all over the world on her expeditions, locals who tell her about different things that they've seen out in the field, hunters that really know what's out there, that could be-- she believes, actually, that they've spotted these Bigfoot sightings. So I heard her words every step of the expedition, to keep that open mind and not just dismiss things that a lot of people would, especially in the scientific community, easily dismiss. And, Ronny, what did you feel about what she had to say validating what you've been thinking all along? Yeah, I mean, for a giant like her to say what we're doing, we're on the right track, I think it just gives us a lot of encouragement.
It pumped me up, because it's one of those things that you start to question what we're doing sometimes. And to hear her march on and keep an open mind I think just fueled us. And we're going to share what she had to say right now. I was taken by another friend of mine into a very wild part of Ecuador. And we'd flown for about two hours, just over forest. So it was miles from anywhere, where the people live in these very small communities.
And contact between the communities are by these hunters, who act like the old traveling minstrels taking the news around, hunting as they go. And there were about six of them, I think. And so I said to the translator, is that-- is one of these people here? He said, no. I said, well, next time you see one of them, could you ask him if he's seen a monkey without a tail that walks upright? That's all I said, no more. And after about two months, an answer came back that this guy had talked to four of the hunters, four, and they all said, oh yes, we've seen a monkey with no tail. It walks upright.
And it's about 7 foot tall. Wow. That's with no prompting, just out of the blue. These are the kind of stories that make me feel that there's something. I mean, otherwise there wouldn't be stories in every single country.
Incredibly powerful video right there, my gosh. So, Dr. Mireya, being from the science world and hearing the words come out of Dr. Jane Goodall's mouth
and from the findings and experience thus far that you've had on the field with the "Expedition Bigfoot" team, I know I've asked you this before on the podcast and you probably hate answering this at this point so point blank, but does Bigfoot exist? So I can say that we have found some really compelling evidence. I mean, for me to say that Bigfoot exists, I'd have to have irrefutable physical, tangible evidence. What I'm discovering on these expeditions is that sometimes what we experience and encounter out there actually doesn't have a scientific explanation. And I go through the gamut of all the rational, logical reasons for different things that we see or we hear.
And at the end of that, when I'm left scratching my head, thinking, OK, it doesn't fit neatly in any one box, it's tough for me as a scientist. But I also don't want to just dismiss it, because I'm starting to see a pattern throughout. And so I think it's still important that we take that into account. And Russ, man, you've been investigating this since the '70s. And now you've got this chance to work with this team and the technology that you have at your fingertips.
What do you think? I couldn't ask for a better team to work with. We all come from different backgrounds, different ideas, and we have our different theories of how things work. And it's incredible to have the type of technology that Bryce gets for us. The driving force of Dr. Mayor's education,
it's just incredible. And Ronny and I we have completely different ideas. I'm strictly flesh and blood. And I've never really leaned away from that. But his belief system is actually forcing me to face things I really wasn't quite ready for. But it's good.
It's good. And one of the most compelling things and powerful things about the "Expedition Bigfoot" series and what they're doing and that makes it so unique in the history of the search for this creature in this field is the remarkable and inventive use of technology never used before doing something like this. And, Bryce, I was wondering if you can just talk a bit about some of the creative and different experiments that you and the team have been able to use at your fingertips to search. Yeah, absolutely.
I mean, we want to use anything that we can get our hands on. I remember last year, we got in touch with a contractor off the East Coast who developed a lot of military technology. And they heard about what we were doing. And they were interested. They were like, we want to be involved. And and we've got these super sensitive microphones we'd love to offer to your investigation.
And so they enshelled them in these little cases. They ended up calling them dragon eggs from "Game of Thrones." They looked like these dragon eggs. But anyway, they would triangulate any type of noise and give you the latitude and longitude of where that noise was coming from. So this is technology they use in war to figure out where incoming shells are coming from. And we're using it to track a Bigfoot vocalization.
So we're always trying to think outside of the box. There's some incredible drone technology. We use a lot of LiDAR, which stands for light detection and ranging. So we're able to map an area with lasers that shoot out at 600,000 lasers per second to map an entire area, everything from the leaves on the trees to the pebbles on the ground.
And so it's stuff like this. But, I mean, the tech I get really excited about is the thermal videos that we get to use at nighttime. And anything that picks up a heat signature, this equipment is going to detect it. And there's something really exciting when you're panning this tree-lined horizon in the dark, just waiting for something to peer out from behind a tree. And we've captured some of that stuff. And it just, it excites the hell out of me.
But yeah, I think, obviously, it's a no brainer, right? When you're looking for Bigfoot in 21st century, you got to use the best tech you can get your hands on. Wait, are we in the 22nd century? How does that work? I always get that confused? Keep up, Bryce. Come on. Yeah, pandemic I don't even know what year. I don't know where. Yeah, well, even the crux of the show being like you've managed to get all this data, right, since season one and be able to triangulate when and where based on decades of sightings where and when these things are going to show up again, just based on algorithms.
Well, that's right. I mean, usually the status quo, I guess, of Bigfoot research is something happens. Somebody sees something.
Evidence is found. And a group of researchers comes in after the fact and tries to gather as much evidence as possible. Well, we wanted to try and get one step ahead of that and just take in all types of information, where these sightings occur, when they occur, what type of migration patterns are happening at the time, weather, you name it. And we created an algorithm that tells us when and where we're going to have the best opportunity to encounter a sighting for ourselves. So that in and of itself puts us way ahead of any other type of research that's going on, because now we're in an area where we know there's going to be activity in this certain window of time.
And being there for as long as we are-- I mean, we're in these places for about a month. So we're basically habituating that area, giving ourselves plenty of time to, if these creatures exist, make them comfortable to our presence and allow them to reveal themselves, as they often do. And I'm curious, during the global pandemic, humans have spent the past two years returning to the openness of nature to escape their homes. It's been a sanctuary for us. Has this had any continued impact on the uptick in sightings? Has there been any new hot spots formed? I mean, I think one of the things that we saw during the pandemic is that while we all retreated into our homes, animals that we had not seen in years started to reveal themselves.
Animals that are really rare and shy started going into cities and roaming these once busy streets. I mean, we were seeing that all over the world. So the pandemic created almost this perfect opportunity where nature started taking over because humans were out of the picture in a very big way.
And so I thought, if anything, it would maximize our opportunity to see things, because humans, let's face it, are threatening to animals, and probably with very good reason. And for the first time in our lifetimes, there was this period where humans were out of the picture. And suddenly animals were really at the forefront. And, Ronny, I wanted to ask you this. Most of the Bigfoot encounters that we hear about have, the fairly close-range ones, you don't really hear about attacks so much.
Right. Are there stories of attacks that you have heard over the years? Or does evidence show that this cryptid is one that's a little softer in demeanor? Yeah, the older reports, going back to Native American reports, there seem to be a lot of incidents of attacks and cannibalism and there's different stories. However, we don't hear about that as much this time around. It's like if they are spotted, they want to get out.
They don't want to interact with humans. So it's something that when we're out there, that's, I guess, a sign of a higher intelligence, the fact that people have rocks thrown at them and they never get hit. It lands perfectly right next to them. And it's more of a scare tactic than trying to hurt us. Hmm.
And in the new season, you and Mireya venture into the water. And you guys find a really interesting branch formation. I was wondering if you could tell everybody about what you saw, and for those who haven't seen it, and why you think something like this branch formation might have been made by a Bigfoot? Yeah, as we're heading down the river, we noticed something that was in the middle. And it was all these sticks in a circle and rocks placed in such a fashion that it had an opening so a fish could come in, but then they wouldn't be able to get out. And it was this kind of a fish trap that has been used by Native Americans before. And there were stories about different elders that would go to a certain fishing spots.
And they would see signs of Sasquatch activity, something like this, and they would back away and know that Bigfoot beat them to their fishing spot. So it's something that stood out to us. And we started to check it out.
And then activity ensued as we get closer and closer to this and stuck around that area. Wow, that is so cool, you guys. And Russell, man, you are so fun to watch out there, hiding in dugouts, climbing cliffs, doing whatever it takes to find this thing.
And some of these situations are extremely dangerous. But, dude, it's thrilling to watch. You'll do anything in your attempt to find the answer to this. What are some of the more harrowing experiences you've had out in the field on this? Oh man, well, if you look at the three beside me, nobody here is-- everybody does the same thing. We all hang from rows.
We all go places that we really shouldn't ought to go. That's not true, but-- [LAUGHTER] No, I don't do any of that. But if you think about it as a viewer, you guys get to see where we're at and some of the crazy places we get into. But I need to recognize who's filming that.
These guys are holding the camera in their hands, staying with us every step of the way. And these guys are freaking amazing. It's been a lot of fun.
And I like putting myself out there. I like being uncomfortable. I really enjoy that, because you're going to find the coolest things where humans are really not comfortable being, because they're not explored as much. So that's kind of what I look for. I look for those places that are really not comfortable.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's no surprise that Russell is always getting that thermal that makes us all question what we're seeing, because you know you're out there at the far edges getting all that great, incredible footage. But yeah. Yeah, aw, dude, watching it, it looks like you're watching the "Predator" or something. It's amazing. Really, and it's scary as heck, too.
It's so fun to watch. So, again, as someone with a military background, reports of Bigfoot go back-- they show up in the Washington Environmental Atlas in the '70s, which a lot of people don't know. Do you think the government knows about Bigfoot and is an active part of concealing their very existence? I think the government knows a lot that they're not ready to share with us yet. I mean, just recently we've had the UFO discussions, where they've acknowledged that they've known about UFOs forever.
If they know anything about Bigfoot, I can't speak to that. I really don't know. But if they do, they're keeping it from us for a reason.
Maybe it's environmental. Maybe it's just to study it more. I have no idea. But a lot of things that we don't know that the government does I believe will eventually be revealed to us. It's just going to take time. Yeah, I agree.
I agree. A big part of the "Expedition Bigfoot" experience has really got to be the witness testimony. It's emotional.
Some of it's hard to watch, very, very impactful. And these accounts have been going on forever. Which encounters have stuck with you guys the most that continue to be a beacon for you, continue to push you along on this search? Well, first of all, I want to say something about the eyewitness to a Bigfoot encounter, or any other strange encounter, for that matter.
For one, these aren't people who are really looking for attention. They're not notoriety seekers. They're not out to make a quick buck.
As a matter of fact, it's quite the opposite. A lot of these people who are coming forward to tell these stories, some of these encounters they've never even told their wife who they've been married to for decades. So it's really something, a lot of these stories traumatic. And they're afraid of the repercussion of their community, from their peers, of being ridiculed because of something they saw.
And so you learn right away really quickly when somebody has experienced something and they're telling you that for the first time, you can see it in their eyes. You can see it in their demeanor. They're reliving some past trauma of an encounter that should have never taken place because these things aren't supposed to exist, right? But here they are telling me that they saw it face to face from as far as I am to you and saying, I know what I saw. It wasn't a bear. I know what a bear looks like.
They're not hoaxing it. They're not being deceitful. They had an encounter. And I think there's a lot to learn from when somebody like that speaks up.
Yeah, for sure. I mean, in the last episode, Owen Patterson, who you talk to, you play him vocalizations that were recorded that he recognized when he was a kid from his Bigfoot sighting. And he basically freaked out. He didn't want to go near that lake that you guys are looking at. Yeah, no, I mean, that does seem to be a common thread, is these were life-altering, life-changing events. They're paradigm shifting.
When somebody runs across, when they're just walking out in the woods with their family, and a lot of it comes from park rangers and even service members as well. People are seeing things. People are reporting stuff.
And here's the thing-- take, for example, UFO sightings. There's only about 10% of people who will actually report that to one of the agencies. So the same is probably true for these cryptid encounters, like Bigfoot. You're probably only getting 10% of people who are willing to actually come forward and tell their story, which means there are so many other encounters that we're not even hearing about. So it's happening more often than people think. And, Russell, man, in a few words, since you're the adventure man, what are people going to experience over the course of season three? Right now we're two episodes in.
And it is intense. I got to say, the last episode is unbelievable. Get comfortable on the edge of your seats, because that's where you're going to be. There's a lot of stuff coming up that is going to surprise you, shock you, and probably scare the crap out of you. But that's good, because us being on the front line, it wasn't-- it shocked-- there's some stuff that really shocked me and put me uncomfortable, as I said before. But it's going to be a wild ride.
Get ready. How about you, Ronny? Yeah, I mean, there's just things that I think we dip our foot into the paranormal pond pretty deeply, where things are just starting to come out of the woodwork here. And it just adds more layers to this mystery. So I'm excited for people to see this.
And Dr. Mireya, I mean, you've seen some crazy stuff. I have. I mean, that's a universal we that Ronny is using on the diving deep into the paranormal. I'm still looking for that physical evidence. And I have to say that this expedition really gave a lot more than I could have ever expected.
And it was pretty mind blowing. Yeah, look, we're trying to do big things that have never really been done before. So we have some incredible surprises this season. For all of you who are probably familiar with what's known as the Patterson-Gimlin film, it's that famous 1967 filmed video of the creature walking across a sand bar, we do some real groundbreaking research that's never been done before on that particular area of interest.
And so if you're familiar with that film, I think you're really going to love what we do with that. So there's some really unique surprises. And like Russell said, there's some there's some shit that you will go, what is going on out there in the woods? It might leave you breathless.
Yeah, well, gosh, the last episode that I saw, season two-- I mean, episode two of season three, we saw shadows that are literally unexplainable walking by you guys on a rock wall. That seemed impossible. Yeah, that one still keeps me up at night, trying to figure out what in the world was that? What could have caused that? Were there any lights behind? And I went through analyzing the video and I got nothing.
I have no idea what caused that, how that happened. There's no explanation. That's so exciting.
This is the sort of thing that I guess we're experiencing now, being three years in, is you'll find in the Bigfoot community is there really becomes two camps. There's the one camp that is like, this is just a flesh and blood creature. This is just something that we haven't confirmed its existence yet. But it's flesh and blood.
It hides. It eats. Its sleeps. And that's it. But then you have a lot of stories from encounters, eyewitness testimony, people are describing stuff that's a little stranger. I call it the stranger aspect of this Bigfoot phenomenon, because people do describe these creatures dematerializing or camouflaging themselves.
People have seen strange balls of lights before or after a Bigfoot encounter. We've seen them ourselves. So I'm interested in this stuff. I think these are some of the details, as strange as they may be, that is going to help us get to the bottom of this phenomenon, because something's taking place, right? There's got to be a reason why so many people in so many different countries are seeing this thing, but yet we don't have a laboratory table.
So something is going on. Either these creatures are extremely intelligent, reclusive, and shy, and very real, or there's something stranger at play happening. But it's a worldwide mystery. And it's not going away anytime soon. You guys are going to have your opportunity to ask the team some questions right after what we're about to see, which is a very special sneak peak with some insane, insane new evidence from this season coming up. And this episode will be airing a few weeks from now, but you're all going to be the first to see it here.
So take a look at this and tell me what you all think. [WIND HOWLING] [TWIG SNAPPING] Did you hear that? [TWIG SNAPPING] [BLEEP], what? That is loud. Ronny, something really big just broke behind me twice and it's getting louder. The first sound sounded like a branch breaking.
The second sound sounded like wood hitting wood, really really, loud. Mireya, hang tight. The drone's coming your way.
[SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC] Whoa. What is that? Ronny, it sounds like something is hitting a tree super loudly and it's close. Do you hear this? Ronny, I just heard two very loud, what you would call tree knocks. Russ, were scanning zone 3 right now, Mireya's area, but you're hearing wood knocks from your position as well? Negative, it's not in my position. I hear it down below me in zone 2. Copy that.
We can send one of the other drones over there. OK. Hey, Russ, hang tight.
We're going to send an additional drone now. Picking up anything at all? It's scanning. (WHISPERING) Something's moving here.
Do you see it? Why am I not picking anything up on the thermal? What zone are we in right now? Zone 3. Whoa. What you got? I'm going to move closer to it.
I'm seeing some movement. Yeah, something moving across the screen right here. What the [BLEEP]? Something's moving right here. Oh my god.
I'm half expecting you to bring Bigfoot out now. It Bigfoot, come out here. OK, so, guys, you have to explain-- Spoiler, I didn't die. Right, you're all still here. So what the heck was that? You're going to have to tune in.
Yeah. You're just going to leave us hanging. I mean, that was an-- that was a really intense night. So many of the nights out there, actually, when you're out in the field and it's dark, and as humans, we don't have really great vision at night.
And all the sounds, everything you hear, you're hypersensitive. Our senses become hyper tuned in to everything around us. And so there's many, many intense nights. But I have to tell you, that particular night, I think for all of us, was probably one of the most insane we've ever had out in the woods. Russell and Ronny, jump in.
Elaborate on your experience that night. Yeah. I was-- go ahead.
Go ahead. I mean, again, like what Mireya was saying, is just to see something like that, a heat signature running on two legs, that will perk you up really quick. I was a couple of miles away. I'm not kidding.
I was quite a ways up the draw. And I heard those sounds. And it was loud from where I was.
And I can only imagine what she was experiencing, because it was much closer to her. That was insane. And keep in mind, I'm not seeing the heat signature. I actually, I don't know what I'm walking towards. Right. Right, you were seeing it.
You could have told me. A little warning. Oops. A little heads up, Mireya. Yeah, something's out there with you. Watch your back.
Let's just see what happens. It's fun to watch. It's fun to watch, We'll wait this one out.
So on that note, we'd love to go to you guys and get some questions from the audience. I believe there's a microphone somewhere back there for someone. Oh perfect. All right, we got anybody? Yeah, some right here. Don't be shy. I know you have Bigfoot questions.
So if you find or when you find or complete your search, what will you do? That is a good question. Run? Keep it? Drag it out of the woods? Yeah, it's a great question, right, and one that often people don't think about too much. They're always asking, when will we ever find them, not what happens once we do.
I guess you have to define what it means to find him. Does that mean getting a body, finding one that might be dead, left dead in its environment? Does that mean tranquilizing one? Does that mean just finding great footage of one? So what does that mean to find Bigfoot? For us, it means getting as much evidence that can be repeatable. Stuff like EDNA sequencing is a great evidence that the scientific community embraces. I mean, I can tell you from experience, my colleague and I discovered the world's smallest primate in Madagascar.
So I know the process of what it is to bring a new species to the scientific community to be accepted. And it's a difficult one, because you need different lines of evidence. And, obviously, the more lines of evidence you have, the stronger your case is. So in the case of this mouse lemur, for example, the ideal situation is that you have photographic, very clear photographic evidence. You have measurements. You have weights.
You have DNA samples. You have all of this information that together really builds a strong case. I think one of the fears from people is that we would need a body in a museum, a type specimen.
And, as I've explained in the past, there's a new way forward with science, where you don't have to kill to type specimens, a male and a female traditionally, and put it in a museum drawer and in order to have it assigned as a new species, because what we've learned after many years of making mistakes that way is that it's really important to conserve and protect, because we don't know the numbers of what are out there. So there's a lot of different ways. It's complicated. And, quite frankly, just the more evidence you have, the stronger case you can build for the scientific community to accept it. Mhm, thank you. I'm going to say something before it gets too far gone.
I've always thought about this, if I actually came face to face with a Bigfoot. And I've told everybody the same thing. If I come face to face, I'm going to grab a handful of chest hair. I'm going to grab my phone. And I'm going to take a selfie.
But I want you guys to do something for me. I'm taking a selfie. Nice. [LAUGHTER] And yes, I'm going to post that. Thank you. Nice.
Next question. Hello. My name is Valentino.
I just wanted to say, when I was a little kid, I watched a lot of documentaries on TV about Bigfoot. My question is, though, if we do eventually find, catch a Bigfoot, what is the next logical step? Putting in a zoo, a laboratory? No. So, again, the new way forward in science is to, first of all, protect habitat, which is the main reason that so many animals are on the verge of extinction, is habitat loss, so protecting the habitat and setting up, in the same way that when the gorillas were discovered about 100 years ago, the Western lowland gorillas, a lot of different laws were put into place about the number of people that could go into the forest, the no-hunting zones, all of that sort of thing.
So it's all really become about protection and conservation along with the research. That being said, though, a discovery like Bigfoot you feel like would shake the foundations of science and everything we've sort of been taught about our history. Even though we're discovering new species of our ancestral tree all the time, I feel like a confirmation discovery of something like Bigfoot, I don't know. I can't see it. I can't see it being a good thing.
I don't know, maybe. I mean, I think it's really we already know we don't know everything that is out there. And that's confirmed all the time by new scientific discoveries, new species that are being discovered. I feel like that would be the ultimate example.
And hopefully it would cause people to really take notice about how important it is to explore and protect our natural world. There you go. Stay hidden, Bigfoot.
Stay hidden. We're coming for you. My name is Darcy.
And I want to know, since you all come from very different backgrounds, over the past couple of years of doing the show, you're in season three now, what is the biggest paradigm shift that you have all experienced in doing this work as investigators, doctors-- again, so many different backgrounds. So I'm just wondering what that shift has been for each of you. I mean, I look right to Dr. Mayor, because I think guys like Ronny and I, we're into the paranormal and the weird stuff. So we have a wide breadth of subjects we study. And so we know about orbs of light and shape shifting and all that weird stuff.
So I've been expecting anything on these expeditions. It's guys like Russell and Dr. Mayor who probably, seeing that type of stuff in the field, have to go, well, what is this we're experiencing? What is the scientific basis for what's happening out here? I mean, I got to say that the first time that Ronny and I were out in Oregon and he starts talking about gifting and cloaking and orbs, I was like, oh my god, it is going to be a long month of this. And I have to tell you that while he still drives me crazy with that, there are times that I have seen things that I have to say, oh, maybe there's slightly something-- I mean, there may be that-- maybe there is a slight explanation or some connection or something, because we've just, we've just seen too many things that Bryce was describing as high strangeness in these places that it happens just far too frequently. And that's the part that really puzzles me, and the shift. Yeah, I would say that as you just see it repeated over and over again.
So maybe the first time, you're denying it. But then when it happens again and you just start to go, OK, there's something going on here. So for me, I feel like my conviction, my beliefs have almost been solidified, have been strengthened because we continue to see the high strangeness aspect of it. And it just, it gets me excited because that means there's just so much that we still don't know about this creature and what its capabilities are. Thank you for your question.
That was awesome But you got to stop with the cloaking. I will never. Have you ever had ethical reservations about pursuing Bigfoot? If this is a creature that's so reclusive and doesn't want to be found so bad, have you ever, yeah, had to contend with that? It's a good question. So as someone who has spent the last, I don't know, 20 years really in pursuit of rare, elusive primates that had never been studied, some of which had never been photographed, I have to say no, because the reason that I became a primatologist is because I wanted to learn about these animals, bring them to the forefront so that actually we could better protect them. Most of those animals were on the verge of extinction when I first found them, photographed them, and really put the spotlight on them. And so there's a real responsibility that comes when you expose an animal to the world.
However, the pros always have outweighed the cons in that situation, because what happens is that even in cultures where these animals had traditionally been hunted, they come to love and really know these animals and want to protect them. And just by shifting the priorities in those areas, we've come to see populations increase in size as a result of us being there, basically. So the scientific mindset is, of course, it's you're always in pursuit of knowledge.
And, truthfully, a discovery of this size, no pun intended, would give us a really great understanding about ourselves as well. So I think it's important. Thank you so much for your question.
Next off? OK, so you guys have people telling you sightings of what they've seen for Bigfoot. What's the craziest one that you heard? [LAUGHS] Man, you hear a lot of crazy stories when it comes to Bigfoot. So, I mean, it's hit both ends. There's the really crazy stuff and then there's the stuff that's really grounded and believable.
But it's a tainted word, crazy, because what's one person's experience of what they considered to be crazy might not be that crazy. So no matter what somebody has experienced and what they're telling me, I try to keep an open mind when I'm hearing what they're saying. And I try to discern for myself, is there a basis in reality for what this person experienced? But you do get a lot of crazy stuff. I like the weird stuff. I draw the line at they dated a Bigfoot. Right, right, they dated a Bigfoot.
And I'm keeping that really PG. Yeah, and here's another bullshit barometer. If anybody's had more than three Bigfoot experiences, it's kind of like a point of diminishing return. At that point, it's like, I don't know if I want to hear this fourth one. So yeah, it's like the lottery.
You're probably only going to see this thing once in your lifetime, if you get to it all. There is a strange story from the Yakama tribe up in the Pacific Northwest. And they described that this tall, hairy creature with glowing eyes moved in with the tribe.
And when any of the tribe members got sick, it would heal them. And it told some-- and I don't know how, but basically it communicated that it was going to pass and it wanted it to be brought to a certain location. So the tribe brought this Bigfoot creature to this location.
It passed away. And they waited. And then a UFO came down out of the sky, grabbed the body, and took off. And this is one of the legends that they only shared within the different tribes until a researcher named JW Burns, they shared this story with him. And these are some of the stories that have withstood hundreds of years and that we're starting to learn about.
And it really blows it wide open in regards to what this could be. And that's where you lost me. Well, on that note. Russell, how about you, man? Super. Russell and I cloak ourselves.
Yes. [LAUGHTER] Russell, any crazy stories that you've heard? I'm not going to repeat the craziest thing I've heard. There's a mixed crowd here. So I'm going to just be quiet. I hear you, man. Thank you for your question.
Yeah, thank you. Next up? Hi. I'm actually new to this. And I'm super interested, love Jane Goodall. This sounds really exciting. I understand Ronny is interested in the paranormal and UFOs.
And early in your discussion, Russell mentioned that you are very different and have learned a lot from Ronny. So I guess I'm interested in some examples, if you could elaborate a little bit on what you've learned. Ah, here we go.
Oh, that's great. Great question. Great question. I'm strictly flesh and blood. I've hunted my whole life.
And if it leaves a track, it means it has body weight. If it leaves a thermal, it means it's got a beating heart and it has heat. Ronny has that interdimensional and his cloaking, that sort of thing. And I've always really, really pushed away from that, because I want things that's tangible and I can look at and touch and feel. But here's the things that have shifted for me, is when I see a thermal trace in the middle of a field that looks like an upright person walking and it literally fades out of sight with no place to go, that's straight up creepy. There's some things that have happened in the field that I've seen with my own eyes.
And there's no logic to carry it with. So I've had to face some really hard questions. I'm not ready to go jump onto his side of the camp yet. I'm going to stick with my flesh and blood until-- don't touch me. It's been great.
I mean, he's-- I've been forced to face things I wasn't ready to look at. And not everybody in this room is exactly alike. And I love the fact that we're all different and we have different ideas. And that's what makes the world go round. And it's great to work with a guy like this, because he forces me to look at things through different eyes.
I mean, you have to wonder, right, because people are seeing these types of creatures all over the world, in all different types of environment. And they're describing different things. They're describing different characteristics, the way they look, the way they walk, how many toes are left in a footprint. And it does leave questions that get your head scratching. Are there that many different subspecies of this creature? Is it all one type of creature but people are just describing it different? So, I mean, what's really going on? Are there that many different types of Bigfoots across the world? Or is this something more psychological, perhaps an archetypal image of what people fear about densely wooded areas? I don't know. There's so many questions to be left about this phenomenon.
But I feel like what we've been doing in these past few years is we're just scratching away at the surface. And we're getting a little bit closer to the truth of what this thing is, because hopefully I'll get some answers in my lifetime. But this Bigfoot mystery is a very elusive one.
So any evidence we gather in the field, whether it's thermal videos or orbs of lights or shadows walking across cliff walls, it all goes into part of the story. And when you start to pick out these little things that are happening in one-off situations, it really creates this compelling composite picture that these creatures are real. We have time for one more question.
Perfect. Thank you. Where did that voice come from, Ronny? God? Do you ever have any plans of maybe bringing the species back? Bringing the species back? I don't know. Oh, I think-- so do you mean-- because people always refer to Bigfoot as one.
Is that-- What do you mean bringing it back? Like putting it in a zoo? Like making it-- [INAUDIBLE] Yeah. [INAUDIBLE] More than a small amount. Like a breeding program? Yeah. Oh, sure.
Like a breeding program. So, I mean, I think that's where the research would get really fun, because I think if we were able to prove-- and I can't say too much of everything that we found on the show-- but if we were able to prove that there is one out there, right-- and this is true just in science in general and in my experience. I found one of these animals that we discovered. And then I went back repeatedly into the field.
World's smallest primate, also nocturnal in a dense jungle, it's really hard to find. So having to go back over and over and over and find more and more and more until you can finally assess how many of these are out there and how much habitat does it need, and then use models of animals that are similar in the wild that we've already worked on improving their numbers to apply that science to this species. That's a very great question. Thank you. Yeah. Thank you. All right, everybody, well, from WonderCon, myself, and the incredible "Expedition Bigfoot" team, Thank you so much for joining our discussion today. Thank you, everybody.
Experience the thrill of this groundbreaking adventure, making real-world discoveries in the search for answers of one of civilization's greatest mysteries. So let's give it up for Bryce Johnson, Dr. Mireya Mayor, Russell Acord, and Ronny LeBlanc. And, once again, you can catch new episodes of season three of "Expedition Bigfoot" Sundays. It's tomorrow night, 10:00 PM Eastern Pacific on Travel Channel.
And they drop the same day on Discovery+. And that's not all. On the way out, we have an exclusive "Expedition Bigfoot" magnet for your car or fridge for everybody here today. Make sure you grab that one. And remember to follow @Discovery+ and @TravelChannel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news and announcements. And thanks, everybody, for coming.