I was just up in Montreal, taping an interview for the show’s “mystery bears” episode (no, I have no “preview” information on any new findings: they took pains not to discuss the other parts of the show, so as not to color my overview of where I thought the topic stood). I know they looked into the classic questions of ursine cryptozoology: MacFarlane's bear (Canada, 1864), Bergman's bear (Kamchatka, 1920), and other oddities. I tried to emphasize taking a scientific, open-minded look at the mysteries of the natural world, even as I explained why the bear has such a hold on the human imagination. When asked about cryptozoology as a legitimate branch of zoology, I emphasized that cryptozoology, properly done, uses the same methods as traditional zoology - going through museums and libraries, talking to local peoples, etc. - but sets the boundaries of inquiry a little more broadly, risking failure and sometimes ridicule to make sure we were not overlooking important discoveries.
I found the crew from the production company to be very professional, and the questions they asked were intelligent and well-informed, if sometimes speculative. I proposed future episodes on Lake Iliamna and Colorado’s “ghost grizzlies” if they get a third season, and we’ll see if those draw any interest.
My thanks to everyone at CMJ Productions who made this a great experience. I am hoping sales of my books go up this year so I can earn enough to cover the souvenir purchases I made on my first-ever trip to Canada.