DURHAM, Maine — Durham’s Bill Brock can’t reveal too much about his soon-to-launch television show “Monsters Underground,” but the longtime Bigfoot hunter hinted that he’ll be using some high-tech gadgets that would make James Bond proud.
In the new six-episode run, starting 10 p.m. Aug. 22 on Discovery’s Destination America cable channel, Brock and his team of researchers travel the country in search of some of the nation’s lesser known subterranean “monsters.”
Although Brock attracted the attention of the Go Go Lucky Entertainment production company through his homemade videos made in search of Sasquatch, “Monsters Underground” will feature hunts for creatures such as Arizona’s mysterious “cave demon” Olitiau and California’s beastly Mapinguari.
“I was always focused on Bigfoot, so I had to take everything I had learned about ‘Bigfooting’ and apply it to all these other cryptids,” Brock said Thursday. “A couple of times we definitely had something close to us. What it was? I can’t tell you. It definitely wasn’t small. A couple of times we got something large on the thermal. I can’t tell you much more than that, but we were going in caverns that were 50 or 60 miles long.”
Brock said the show’s producers caught wind of his Bigfoot hunting YouTube videos through a mutual friend blogger, and then they recruited him to lead the monster searches for their new show.
He said he agreed, but he gave the production company a list of dream gadgets to help in his on-camera search for mystery beasts.
“I gave them a list of items, and they went out and got them,” Brock said with a chuckle. “I’m using the best equipment money can buy to go down in these caves and find these things.”
Like the outcomes of the show’s episodes, Brock said he can’t divulge all the toys he’ll be using for the “Monsters Underground” episodes, but he did reveal that one new tool of his trade is a “DNA dart gun.” It’s just like it sounds, he said: It shoots a dart into an animal and captures a biological sample that can provide DNA for testing.
“We try to be as scientific as possible about this,” said Brock, referring to efforts to avoid overreacting to possible evidence of monsters or making exuberant claims.
“We were lucky enough to secure a local doctor, a scientist … to keep us in check,” he said.
That doctor is fellow Mainer Casey Onik, a Portland-area physician who moved to New York City to finish his residency, Brock said.
“Monsters Underground” is being released in tandem with the three-part series “Swamp Monsters” — a show with a similar premise but with a different team searching swamps instead of caves.
“America’s swamps and caves are inherently terrifying places with real-life dangers like quicksand, gators, disorienting darkness, and claustrophobic passageways with only one way out — not to mention monsters,” said Marc Etkind, general manager of Destination America, in a statement. “These hostile conditions ward off everyday visitors, but the time has come for a few good men to brave the elements and stand up against these swamp monsters and ‘monsters underground.’ No one but Elliot [Guidry of ‘Swamp Monsters’], Brock, and their teams of expert trackers, trappers and hardcore outdoorsmen is better suited to accept the mission.”
Brock said they began shooting episodes in April and wrapped the inaugural season up earlier this month, but he noted that none of the episodes take place in Maine.
That’s not to say that there aren’t cave-dwelling mysteries to be solved here, he said.
“I’ve gotten some calls about some caves in western Maine where people are claiming sightings of an upright monster of some kind,” Brock said.