CASE #1: REPTILE RAMPAGE
One of the strangest cases to come to the Fact or Faked situation room is the legend of the lizard man in Bishopville, South Carolina. Austin, Jael, and Ben head there to check out the most recent in a string of reports that have occurred since the '80s. They speak to Leon and Ada Marshall, whose car sustained scratches and holes that look like teeth marks. The attack was silent, and happened in the middle of the night, and there were no witnesses.
HYDRAULIC JAW TEST
After speaking to two alligator specialists, who tell them that it is possible that one of the native alligators bit through the metal of the Marshalls' car, Ben proposes using a hydraulic alligator jaw to see if they can replicate the marks. Since they don't get the same sort of line as is seen on the Marshalls' car, they know they have to investigate further. Really, what they see in the original photos looks like bullet holes.
They head to a firing range where Ben and Jael open fire on the hood of a car (engine detatched) with two different kinds of guns. The result is exhilaratingly close, but doesn't match the scratchy, gnawed-on look they're seeking.
POWER TOOL TEST
The next possible explanation is power tools, though this presupposes a hoax. What if an individual or group of people have been terrorizing cars for the past three decades? They set up a timer, and with a minute on the clock and a host of power tools, the three wail away on the car to see how much damage they can inflict on a car. The result is impressive, and they're reasonably certain that, given time to refine their methods, they could replicate the damaged cars of Bishopville to a tee.
SOCIOLOGICAL HOAX EXPERIMENT
But what of the many reported sightings of the Lizard Man? For that, they bust out their sophisticated makeup kit and dress Ben to look as much as possible like the seven foot, red-eyed reptilian monster. They create their own hoax by shooting video of the "monster," then posting the footage online. The comments are varied, and suggest some skepticism, but mostly a deep-seated belief in the lizard man. They then reveal the origins of the video, but the sentiments of the residents are clear.
The doubts of the team, together with the evidence of the power tool test, allow them to close the case confidently.
CASE #2: GASOLINE GHOUL
Bill, Devin, and Lanisha settle into Parma, Ohio, to get a feel for the local legend of the gas station ghoul. On the surveillance footage of a gas station, a blue form appeared, rested for half an hour, then vanished.
The team sweeps for high electromagnetic fields on the hypothesis that an apparition could have formed a plasma cloud out of charged ions, but finding nothing, they test the theory that the blue shape could have been a floating plastic bag.
VORTEX/LASER REFLECTION TESTS
After forming a vortex with six fans, they glean footage that is similar only in position and color - not shape or luminosity. They are similarly disappointed when they direct a laser pointer toward the lens, first directly, then bouncing off a piece of plexiglass - it's not as dark, and the reflection of the camera is visible in the footage.
BUG ON A LENS TEST
But when thinking of reflections, they notice that the blue of the gas station wall bounces onto nearby objects. Could a bug, landing on the lens, have reflected the wall's color? They gingerly place a silverfish on the lens and bam - it's an exact match.