Sunday, October 30, 2011

Why Ranae Holland is a Finding Bigfoot skeptic

Ranae Holland is probably the key ingredient that makes the Finding Bigfoot show work so well. Yes, it's frustrating to watch Ranae shoot down entire claims made by witnesses, but she is also the reason why many people love the show. Although the show's entire focus is about searching for the elusive Bigfoot, Ranae the "skeptic" actually represents a lot of viewers who are like her. According to the show's executive producer Keith Hoffman, the viewers want to see people who don't just "totally believe."

The Seattle Times interviewed Ranae to ask her what it's like to be "the Skeptic" on the Animal Planet TV show. She tells us Finding Bigfoot is something that makes her feel more connected with her father who recently passed away in 2003:

Her interest in Bigfoot dates back to watching "In Search of ... " and 1970s-era Bigfoot movies with her father. Although she's a fan of the mystery of Bigfoot, she does not believe the creatures exist.

"I can't wrap my head around that there's a bipedal primate running around the woods of North America. ... There's not enough proof to say I believe," she said.

"But I'm fascinated by the idea of the phenomenon and intrigued by the reports. ... I'm curious by nature and I'm a problem solver. So I say, 'Here's the mystery, let's figure it out one way or another.' "

Holland said her role on "Finding Bigfoot" is to make sure the show's true believers "are not pulling stuff out of nowhere." She wants them to apply scientific methodology to their expeditions.

After Holland's father died in 2003 and she found herself in the woods, she went online to find reports of Bigfoot sightings. That's how she established an email and phone relationship with Matt Moneymaker, founder of the Bigfoot Field Research Organization and one of the stars of "Finding Bigfoot." He gave her access to the group's database of Bigfoot sightings.

"I love to find out Bigfoot stories wherever I'm doing field work," Holland said. But she had no aspirations to appear on TV before "Finding Bigfoot" and initially rejected invitations.

After seeking advice from respected science community colleagues, she gave in.

"They were like, 'Why not?' And I said, 'But if you Google my name, "Bigfoot" will come up.' And they said, 'You know in your heart you're a skeptic, and anyone who knows you knows how you feel and that you love Bigfoot stories,' " she recalled.

"And being on the show has not affected me professionally at all."

[...] Holland said she's having fun tramping woods all over the country with the "Finding Bigfoot" crew. She especially enjoys when the show invites locals to town-hall meetings to discuss their own Bigfoot encounters.

"Doing this Bigfoot show at times makes me feel close to my dad," she said. "Seeing 10-year-olds come to the town halls with their fathers really brings my relationship with my father full circle."

For those who are unfamiliar with the Finding Bigfoot, it's format is similar to other paranormal cable series like Syfy's "Ghost Hunters" franchise and A&E's recently concluded "Paranormal State."

The first season of "Finding Bigfoot" aired during the summer, drawing an average 1.2 million viewers, making it one of Animal Planet's top series. A second season is in the works for early next year, and a two-hour special, "Finding Bigfoot: Birth of a Legend," airs tonight at 9.

Finding Bigfoot: Birth of a Legend
"Halloween Special"

[via: seattletimes]


  1. Renae is a very intelligent, beautiful woman.

  2. I think she definitely gives credibility to the show. If she wasn't there to offer alternative explanations, I feel like people would completely dismiss everything on the show. But knowing that she is not likely to blame Bigfoot for everything in the woods, people are more likely to believe it when she does.

  3. I've watched most of the episodes and I like hearing what Ranae has to say.
    The show needs a skeptic,otherwise it's just guys saying "that's a squatch."
    I like her logic and approach.

  4. I don't believe in Bigfoot because they have never found one set of bones that back up all these theories, videos, and pictures. Show me the evidence!!

  5. The "evidence" you ask for, anonymous, is overwhelming in it's support of the suposition that a bipedal primate exists, not only in North America, but around the world. All one has to do is a little research. watch the Patterson film, read the thousands of reports, examine the scientific analysis, and anyone with half a brain will come to this conclusion. After 40 years of analysis, the Patterson film has STILL not been proven to be a hoax. Recent digital enhancement shows muscles moving under the fur, lips amd mouth moving, as well as BREASTS swinging. When the film was shot, the technology to produce such a suit did not exists. That, in itself, proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the film was not hoaxed. If it was not hoaxed, there is only one conclusion that cam be drawn.

    As far as the type of hard, physical evidence you suggest be produced, it is actually there. Hair samples have been analyzed from several sites that have been
    positively identified as belonging to a non human, unknown primate. There have been teeth recovered that have been identified as an "unknown primate". As to your suggestion that we should find bones, let me say this; there has NEVER been one fossil of a chimp discovered in Africa. We now know that Mountain Lions are living in the Midwest ( I personally saw one 50 feet away in Oklahoma) yet no skeletons of one have ever been found that wasn't killed by a car or hunter. Bear skeletons are EXTREMELY rare to find in the woods. The skeletons are quickly scattered by scavengers. Also, what's to say that these intelligent creatures don't hide or bury their dead? In other words, the lack of a Skelton is a non-issue. When the totality of the evidence for Bogfoots being real is weighed against the feeble explanations offered by skeptics like this lady, Any rational, intelligent person can only conclude that these creatures do indeed exist.

  6. Great post ChefJames60. I have had people say, "come on, be logical man." My reply is, "You have to be crazy to deny all of the evidence."

    If the idea of the existence of sasquatch were to be taken before a jury, the evidence would overwhelming cause a jury to agree that such creatures exist.

    To many tracks, way to many eyewitness accounts, to many face to face encounters to simply suggest that everyone is mistaken or a liar who is looking for attention from the media.

    Even the lady on Finding Bigfoot cannot explain some of the things that she is encountering.

  7. I have studied the subject of Bigfoot since the age of 13 and as of Friday, I'll be 49. So, that's a few years now.

    To just accept that this creature exists without concrete evidence is silly.

    I've watched Finding Bigfoot as much as I can stomach the word "squatch" being repeated 50 times an episode and if it were not for Ranae's and in many respects Cliff's critical thinking, everything would be a Bigfoot or attributed to Bigfoot.

    I mean, come on! Not everything is a "squatch"! Oh, hole in the ground, must be a squatch! Mark on a tree, had to be a squatch! Someone stole my ham sandwich, squatch!

    Lets be realistic, the odds that all of these claims or even 10% of them being a Bigfoot is a little far fetched.

    Ranae is not against the group, but she is certainly the one who looks at things from an intelligent perspective. In fact, I think she's embarrassed for the others at times.

    I think Ranae and Cliff would make a great team on their own.

    Scott McMan

  8. I agree with you Scott but it wouldn't make good dollar generating T.V.
    I do like Cliff and Ranae and I like their analytical approach.Like it or not,the show needs people who disagree with each other.Matt and Bobo are the squatch team and Ranae and Cliff are the 'I'm not so sure' team.
    The show needs that kind of dynamic.
    Having said that,I'm tired of hearing squatch as well.It grates on me because it's lazy talk.Say Bigfoot or Sasquatch.

  9. Whoa there, Chef. Let's back that up. You are being incredibly dishonest about that "mountain of evidence."

    The "eyewitness evidence" is not as good as you think it is. Eyewitness testimony has been known to be unreliable for some time. Some notorious phenomena that had a ton of "eyewitness claims" going for them were thoroughly debunked--see Nessie & El Chupacabra. Furthermore, the reports are not as "standardized" as people like to claim. Some of the eastern "big feet," for instance, are claimed to have magic powers. For these reasons, I believe that if there IS a Sasquatch behind ANY of these stories, its parameters have been greatly exaggerated. Which is why I find it absurd that this one guy keeps claiming everything is "consistent with Bigfoot sightings." You know what else it could be consistent with? A made-up sighting. There is not a lot of scientific data on "real" Big Feet, but he seriously expects me to believe that he can identify a "real" sighting on what the person says alone?

    The Patterson film is, & always has been, quite dubious. It is shot at quite a distance. Some will claim that you can see musculature moving in the video when it's "enhanced." Others will say the movements are consistent with a costume. You are also leaving out that someone with the proper proportions & infamous "gait" HAS come forward to claim that he hoaxed it. It is not proven, but the film is not a smoking gun like you imply.

    Your explanations of the lack of physical evidence just spin into absurdity. If they bury their dead, burial sites would be obvious. Now, I do know of the "unidentified primate" evidence, but these are always found in largely unexplored areas that HAVE primates. There are a LOT of species out there, & sometimes it's hard to tell 2 different species apart without a DNA test. There are a vast amount of comparatively "mundane" possibilities, without saying it's a Bigfoot. Simply put, we can't match that DNA to an animal until we FIND that animal. And I think you are probably exaggerating how hard it is to find a corpse.

    Your post shows me that you're probably entrenched in this show & others like it. You don't really understand what skepticism is & are only looking at one side. It frustrates you that there is not a sufficient amount of evidence to prove your belief, but it would be incredibly damaging to a scientist's credibility if he stated, unequivocally, that Bigfoot existed based on a few blurry videos & some hair he can't quite identify. Especially when they know there is a large amount of people out there faking these prints & videos.

    You are also taking refuge in a fallacy. A scientist cannot fully 100% explain every reported phenomena. In particular, the more detail that is left out, the less likely they are to be able to come up with a conclusive explanation. This is why skeptics have to assume an eye witness COULD have seen what they saw, COULD have seen something else, or COULD be making it all up. There's just no way to tell--they weren't there. That doesn't mean there's NO way to explain it, or that it explains something else. You are, in effect, saying "I cann't explain it, therefore I can."

    In short, there is some debate among scientists, but the general consensus is that there is a lack of CONCLUSIVE evidence of Bigfoot.

    I like this woman. She shows people what skepticism REALLY is. She's not the "Token Skeptic" every paranormal show has on their team just to look at something that is widely known to be pseudoscience & declare it genuine.

  10. Good explanation of "Open Mindedness/Skepticism" & common misconceptions about it:

  11. My name is Danielle Ferrantino I am 12 years ols and me and my friend just saw bigfoot next to a tree and it even moved trying to make it so we couldnt see it. We live in the Woodbridgr area of Virginia around wooded area and THE VIRGINIA BIGFOOT IS REAL PLEASE COME TO VIRGINA TO INVESTIGATE!!!! we have been hearing it and finding footprint since the summer. When we starting watching your show and became educated on sasquatches

  12. She knows bigfoot is real and alive. Hwy99-Hwy10 and took pictures.With the that house behind bigfoot!Right?

  13. AnonymousJan 2, 2012 12:32 AM--Whats your deal man? You going kind of hard at Chef don't you think? He has some valid points. Just because YOU disagree doesn't make them less valid. You want to talk about spinning into absurdity--well you went spinning right through it and beyond.

  14. Not sure he's that hard on chief. The problem is that possibilities are spun up as fact when it comes to Bigfoot. These facts are passed off amongst individuals as just that fact, and it becomes mantra for the believers. Research some the facts attributed to Bigfoot. Tree knocking, tree breaking, porcupine bone eating, DNA from a rock, rock throwing, muscles under the fur, etc. These are all attributed to Bigfoot or the mythology of Bigfoot, but they can also be attributed to any number of things. Tree knocking attributed to Great Apes, but Google tree knocking and find a legitimate reference to Great Ape tree knocking that is outside the Bigfoot community. Tree breaking attributed to Bigfoot as a warning or stress response, but Google and find that behavior from a Great Ape other than breaking the tree to get to the heartwood. DNA from a rock is laughable. Unless that rock was in an orifice before it was thrown, good luck getting DNA. Muscles in the Patty film. Well, it's a possibility, but the complete lack of a gluteus maximus, or butt, and the movement of the muscle associated with that very large muscle group is very troubling in the Patty film. Also, there is an article here with a huge blowup of the Patterson Bigfoot. At that scale, if it doesn't scream monkey suit, I don't know what does. Of course, at that scale they claim to see a gunshot would, which of course could be a hole in their homemade suit. Sorry, all of this is conjecture and wishful thinking, where psuedo-scientific facts are spun into truths that are in turn made into mantra. Produce a body, plain and simple.

  15. Ranae is awesome and deserves to have her own show.

  16. Replies
    1. You think? I'm a guy and I would do her.

  17. Ranae is the best and if it weren't for her in my opinion the show would be a bust! Ranae gives some reasonal explenations to the evidence but most of the time she says "a man in a suit". It can be other things besides "a man in a suit"! But any who Ranae is my favorite team member!! GO RANAE!!!!!!

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