I watch the History Channel show, The Proof is Out There, hosted by Tony Harris, an American journalist and filmmaker. The show reviews videos of paranormal events, supposed cryptids, and other weird stuff and generally ends up debunking at least half of them. I’ve seen some of the videos on another TV show, Paranormal Caught on Camera, which airs on the Travel Channel. Interestingly, the hosts of that show tend to uncritically endorse the authenticity of the videos while The Proof is Out There usually debunk them as faked.
I don’t know how the videos get swapped between the two shows. In fact, the last episode I saw of The Proof is Out There was subtitled “The Skinwalker Edition.” The History Channel blurb on it says that Tony Harris “…travels to the Skinwalker Ranch, a place known as the epicenter of strange and mysterious phenomena.”
In fact, Harris does nothing of the kind and many of the videos were previously aired from other episodes. The only connection with Skinwalker Ranch were a few photographs from another History Channel show, The Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch. I wonder if the producers of that show didn’t allow Harris to actually evaluate the alleged paranormal events of their show because they were afraid he would debunk them.
Obviously, the title of the show “The Proof is Out There” got its name from the X-Files subtitle, The Truth is Out There. Some viewers have suggested that there may be another meaning to the subtitle, which is that the truth may be “out there” in the sense of outlandish or crazy instead of from aliens in outer space.
So, what’s going on with The Proof is Out There? Is it designed to do a better job of picking out the faked paranormal videos? Sometimes they miss them, like the one about the glitch in the matrix which turned out to be a cool camera trick.
Most often they hedge their bets and say they don’t know what’s going on in the video. But they don’t shy away from calling something a hoax if the evidence points in that direction.
On the other hand, do the producers of The Proof is Out There somehow collude with those of other paranormal TV shows, sharing videos and creating the impression that they’re more objective just to sustain interest in the show and even deliberately foster controversy for the same reason?
That would be way out there, although I still like the show. And the cryptid chaser parody, Mountain Monsters, obviously pokes fun at other sasquatch-themed shows. Not only do they get away with it, some people love it for just that reason—including me.
When we’re taking ourselves too seriously, I think it’s healthy when somebody comes along and makes us laugh at ourselves.