Meet the characters
Pat Spain is a wildlife biologist, TV show host, and self-described crypto-nerd, even though he is reluctant to call himself a cryptozoologist.
“I hesitantly call myself a cryptozoologist,” he said. “One, because of the stigma that’s attached in the scientific community, and two, because I’m not out there every day doing it.”
In 2004, Spain entered Animal Planet’s “King of the Jungle 2,” a competition to decide a host for a new nature show. After a second-place finish, Spain created a new show that combined his love for nature and indie-punk music.
The result? “Nature Calls,” an edgy web-based nature show that shatters the antiquated mold for wilderness programs. Spain and his crew have filmed across the United States and in Costa Rica.
Since 2010, Spain has been working with ICON FILMS (the creators of Animal Planet’s “River Monsters”) and The National Geographic Channel on a crypto-related wildlife series that began airing in the Spring of 2011 on Nat Geo. In the series, titled “Beast Hunter”, Pat Spain travels to some of the most remote locations on Earth – areas where reports of creatures not known by science are common place – and conducts scientific investigations into the veracity of these claims and the possibility that these creatures are out there. Spain said the show combines the excitement and energy of “Nature Calls” and the scientific rigor you’d expect from Nat Geo.
Spain’s interest in cryptozoology spawned when he was just eight years old, when he found a water moccasin farther north than they had been known to exist. He quickly realized that the science books
didn’t always have all the answers.
His passion for all things unknown seems to be in his blood: he is the Great-nephew of “prophet of the unexplained” Charles Fort and considers his role on “Beast Hunter” as a continuation of his uncle’s legacy.
Spain also said that his love for cryptozoology has often drawn ridicule from friends and co-workers, mostly in the form of good-natured teasing.
“While filming (Nature Calls) in Arizona, I mentioned that we might look for the Bigfoot that’s been spotted around Texas and Arizona. God, (Derek, the animal handler) would not leave me alone for a couple days about it,” he said.
Nevertheless, Spain continues to search for the truth surrounding these mystery animals, and believes a quote from one of his guides in Sumatra can be applied to many who are quick to dismiss their existence: “The people who don’t believe in these animals, are the people who have never been to this forest.”