Documentary 'Finding Jay' Shows the Human Side of Cryptid Investigation
Wisconsin-based paranormal investigator Jay Bachochin has spent the last five years documenting his forays into the Dairy State’s southeast Kettle Moraine State Forest in search of Bigfoot, and has compiled the highlights of his footage into the documentary Finding Jay.
A self-described skeptic when it came to Bigfoot, Bachochin never expected to find anything when he first began his investigation; but that all changed after one bizarre incident in the Kettle Moraine. Jay and his wife Katie recorded an unearthly howl that they couldn’t explain; a howl that led the investigator down a bizarre path to high strangeness that included everything from Bigfoot to Dogman to UFOs.
The film clocks in at just over two hours, which is longer than most documentaries, but Bachochin’s dedication to thoroughness is evident in the level of detail present. Many won’t need the documentary’s definition of Bigfoot, but those who do will be happy it’s there. And some of the repeated ruminations regarding the phenomena presented in the film border on repetitive, but they serve to reinforce the main theme of the narrative—endlessly repeating mysteries and their consistent effect on those who witness them.
Finding Jay uses wide open camera shots to express the isolation of rural Wisconsin, a land of rolling agricultural fields and thick, hilly forests. Exactly the sort of place that might hide any number of anomalous phenomena. In contrast, the investigation footage is almost claustrophobic—by necessity shot with handheld cameras under the often oppressive canopy of the Kettle Moraine State Forest.
Much of the film focuses on Bachochin’s personal journey. He’s a stalwart everyman who acts as an excellent guide for the audience’s point of entry into the unknown; relatable and trustworthy, Bachochin could be a neighbor, coworker, friend, or fellow congregant.
Bachochin refuses to commit to any popularly ascribed explanation for the Bigfoot phenomenon and its associated high strangeness, instead simply documenting whatever evidence he can and trying first to debunk it before allowing for the possibility of paranormality. But Bachochin isn’t alone in his quest for answers, and Finding Jay features interviews and investigation footage with a number of eyewitnesses and investigators—believers and skeptics alike—including journalist and author Linda Godfrey.
Audiences can look forward to extensive investigation footage, culled from countless hours of onsite explorations into the unknown. There is documented physical evidence to be examined, and the film makes effective use of animated recreations to describe experiences that weren’t caught on camera.
Finding Jay shows the human side of cryptid investigation in a way that is often ignored in documentaries. The witnesses and investigators are portrayed as people first, and Bachochin’s own family plays a significant role in the film. It’s a documentary that captures not just the search for Bigfoot, but how hopelessly intertwined the personal lives of paranormal investigators become with the object of their obsession. Finding Jay is as much about finding yourself as it is finding Bigfoot, and documents well how the investigation of a mystery sometimes leads not to answers, but instead to seemingly endless questions.
Pre-orders are available now to ship June 3rd, and look for Finding Jay coming soon to Amazon Prime video.
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