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The stories are real.
People get too caught up in the reenactments on the show and prematurely judge the stories to be false, based on the "creativity" of said reenactments. Of course, these reenactments are going to have instances of inaccuracy and even falsehood - intended to increase the "entertainment value" of the show.
The fact is, the stories ARE real - that is, of course, if you believe the people telling them. Problem is, the more these "eyewitnesses" tell their stories, the more subtle little details appear that weren't in the original telling of the stories, many years prior. If you want to believe them, there are many things you must ask yourself and research:
1. How were their stories reported in the first place? Did the eyewitness' themselves call in their own stories? Most of the time, that's exactly what they do. Or was it anyone related to them, even their neighbors? If so, they must ALL be considered suspect, as they would obviously benefit from all the attention given them. Usually people involved in those "embarrassing" types of situations don't generally want any attention at all, because they don't want to be ridiculed or considered "nuts". What other motivation would someone have for reporting their own stories. Maybe the only people they should be reporting their stories to are the local Police! Sometimes that's what happens and the Press picks up on it.
2. Have these witnesses ever been paid for their stories, in any way at all whatsoever? Were there any stipends or comps, like free food, hotel, or anything at all that could be construed as "compensation"? People who don't take any payment for their stories whatsoever, in any way, shape, or form, can probably be considered a bit more truthful. Did they ever write books that paid them for their stories too? Again, witnesses taking any type of payment at all in exchange for their story, no matter what form the story is in, must be considered suspect. Having their face of TV, or in the newspaper, magazines, and any other forms of media is a great way for them to get the attention they desire.
3. Have they ever been given polygraph examinations? Yes, these tests can be overcome, which is why they are no longer considered evidence in a Court of Law, but you've really got to do your research on it and have nerves of steel to pull it off. A surprise poly exam would still be a good general tell, though.
Personally, I'm like Mulder and Scully from the "X-Files". I want to believe. Hell, I've even had my own Bigfoot experience myself and have seen 2 UFOs too. Yeah, they're both VERY real and no one will EVER tell me different. I've not reported ANY of them too. However, I have a hard time with the motivations of the witnesses telling their stories to the Media. Really, they need to be vetted properly first, BEFORE hearing their tales, if they want any credibility at all.
The stories told in "Monsters and Mysteries in America" are very intriguing, but should be taken as entertainment only, at least until the witnesses themselves can prove their motivations for telling their tales and can be properly vetted for their truthfulness potential.