Okay, one final statement, then it’s time to move on. Mike created the Gable Film and I embellished it to create a compelling, interesting story; which it certainly became. Neither of us ever said it was real, or that it was a dogman. The imaginations of people and the anarchy of the internet did the rest.
While I have previously hinted at the following, it’s probably valuable to give you the full story.
Monster Quest investigated nothing and exposed nothing. What you all watched on March 24th was essentially a soap opera constructed on top of a hoax. Long before the first camera rolled, they were informed (by me) that the Gable Film was fake. I showed them the obvious flaws in it before they took it to their film expert for analysis. Not shockingly, he found something suspicious right where I told them to look.
Sometime before the final edit of the show was complete, someone decided it was too dry to simply have me reveal the true source of The Gable Film. They decided it would be really cool to make you believe they did an in-depth investigation, then sent a high profile werewolf expert in with the damning evidence to grill me until I cracked, like an episode of CSI. I know this is true because I did two sets of interviews with Monster Quest. In the first set, Linda Godfrey was not present. I revealed that the film was not real, explained how and why it became an internet phenomenon, then gave them Mike’s name and told them where he lived. A few weeks later, the crew returned with Linda, and the “confrontational” interview was shot, which is what you saw. Why would a respected TV show like Monster Quest fabricate something like that? Simple, controversy and conflict creates powerful television. That sells ads. Ads pay for production of future shows. And the cycle repeats.
The big ‘caught you’ moment between Linda and I was fully staged. She knew the film was fake weeks before she ‘confronted’ me on camera, because I called her and told her myself. We had to shoot the scene numerous times until the director was satisfied that it was dramatic enough. After the first take I knew the questions she was going to ask, so it was easy to answer eloquently. The crew laughed with delight when I said, “The film is not what it appears to be.” One of the camera operators called it the “Boom! Cut to commercial!” moment, which is exactly what it became.
The real pivotal moment was when the narrator said “Steve Cook has changed his story,” as if I had changed it while the show was being filmed. I publicly stated that the Gable Film was a hoax three years ago and hardly anyone would listen. I told Monster Quest the complete story several weeks before the first interview.
But that’s okay, because it’s the same process everyone in the entertainment business uses. It’s called stagecraft. Monster Quest led you through an unfolding sequence of events that never took place. They fictionalized the discovery of the hoax, and led you to believe something shocking and dramatic occurred, but it never did. Not unlike the way a creative backstory drove the Gable Film into worldwide prominence.
None of this is intended to impugn Linda Godfrey or the Monster Quest crew. Linda is an unshakeable rock of ethics and honesty. I’ve known her for nearly 20 years, and besides being a truly gifted writer, she is above reproach. Most likely she was not even aware she was participating in an outright fabrication of the facts. If she was aware, apparently the prize of exposing two hoaxers on national TV was sweet enough to make the end justify the means. Similarly, the Monster Quest director and crew are some of the most exacting and professional artists I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. Everyone concerned with the production of this show came into it with a job to do, and everyone did their job well.
In addition, do not take my sharp comments in the previous post as demeaning to witnesses or people who enjoy the study of cryptozoology as a hobby. Many of them have been fans of The Legend for decades. I’ve met scores of fine, upstanding, reasonable people who truly believe they saw something they cannot explain, and I have no reason to doubt them. My point is that cryptozoology is not a science, it’s a novelty that taps into our unique human capacity for curiosity. As long as we keep it there, it can be intriguing, fun, and entertaining. As soon as it crosses the line into obsession, it becomes unhealthy and dangerous. If you think I’m kidding, I’ll let you read some of my hate mail.
And that will be my last word on The Gable Film. Whether you’re angry with me as a hoaxer or supportive of our charitable work, I thought it important that you knew the whole story before you pass final judgement on anyone concerned. The Cryptozoology gatekeepers are not tolerant of heretics walking among the faithful. That’s okay. I never joined that church, and until the dogman or bigfoot crosses my path, I’ll remain a contented agnostic.