28 July 2007

Former Guide Sinks Bear's Raft


The idyllic Pines Resort of California. Possible Grylls lodge?

According to survival guide Mark Wienert, Bear Grylls has not been roughing it in the woods the way he is depicted on the telly. That's what the Sunday Times reported last weekend. Bear, instead, has spent cosy nights snuggled in nearby motels and resorts, enjoying the harsh rigors of cable TV and high speed internet. In fact, this guide claims that he and his team built Bear's raft in the Pacific Island episode to make sure it worked properly before disassembling it so Bear could reassemble it for the camera.

Does this means that the show is fake, Bear is a poser, and perhaps Mark Wienert should be given the gig? We're not sure. Is there anybody out there that actually believed the show WASN'T staged in the first place? C'mon, people. The camera always seems to be in the right place at the right time, ahead of Bear, AS IF planned. Maybe because it was all planned. We still laugh ourselves silly watching Bear take that "jump" from the cliff face in the Moab episode. Oooh, he leaped a bone-tingling four feet? This is TV, for crying out loud. Of course it's staged and fake. Did you honestly think that Bear knew all about local fauna, edible or otherwise, from every corner of the globe? He's obviously coached, educated, and guided through the difficult terrain. Consultants are even listed in the closing credits. Consultants like Mark Wienert.

If the allegations are true and this is not all just sour grapes, does this mean that Bear used sleight of hand when pretending to eat bugs, that the zebra carcass was a Hollywood prop with fresh deli meat sewed into fur fabric, and that the salmon sushi was carefully prepared by a Japanese chef waiting in the wings? Probably not. As for the wild horses in the Sierra episode actually being from a local ranch, Bear suggests as much in that episode. Survivalist fans of the series were discussing this very point seven months ago.

We say wait for Bear's side of the story before making hasty judgements. We have no idea what Mark Wienert's angle is, or whether what he says is true or not. We think it is pretty suspicious that this story broke mere weeks before the Man vs. Wild DVD set is about to be released. We'll post the truth here, both good and bad, when it's known. In the meantime, we just know what we've always known. Man vs. Wild is an entertaining TV show that keeps us coming back for more. Oh, and Bear uses really cool knives.

Unless those are fake, too...


Update: You can read more about this here and here

Update II (29 July 2007): The more we look into this story, the more we are convinced something is not being reported correctly. Mark Wienert and his wife, Celeste, run a fantastic website called Lifesong Adventures. We didn't realize that the Mark from this fact-filled thread was actually Mark Wienert. We're embarrassed that we ever suggested foul play. Mark has never had anything negative to say about Bear. He has even been asked if Bear was cheating before and defended Bear and his television production. Frankly, we're scratching our heads. Our guess is that Mark's words have been taken out of context. We'll post a follow-up as soon as we know more.

Update III (29 July 2007): The only statement we can find by Mark is here. He basically validates what we thought might have happened, which is that his statements were taken out of context and distorted. He even links to another web discussion that doesn't necessarily paint him in a good light at first, but that supports him overall as a good guy who's always been upfront about Bear and the show.

Update IV (7 August 2007): Corrected the spelling of Mark Wienert. Mr. Wienert has commented on this blog posting in the comments section. He verifies that his words were taken out of context, that he considers Bear a friend, and that there was never any cover up. This contradicts the original article quite starkly and reveals the original journalist was most likely writing a smear piece.

Update V (6 May 2009): Updated the links to Mark's website as best as we could. The post we referred to in Update III seems to have been deleted or edited. We are reposting Mark's own comment here to preserve it.

Personally, I can attest that newspaper hacks twist words to fit whatever angle they are shooting for. I was interviewed last year and the results were not kind.

We would like to thank Mark for his candid contribution to this blog. By now the controversy has passed over and Bear has gone on to produce several more seasons of wonderful survival entertainment:

Mark Wienert:
I have to say I’m pissed!

All this manure regarding Bear Grylls integrity is really pissing me off!
These words - fake, fraud, ect, should be be directed at these sleazy tabloid critics and blowhards. (You know who you are.) Sure I was blind sided, these idiots will stop at nothing for a frigging front page story. I’m sure the guy was druelling all over his pants when he found what he considers dirt.

I’m disgusted!

I consider Bear my good friend as well as the production company and all the folks involved in the show. There was never any cover up, we all worked our butts off to produce the very best show we could do. Get a grip and stop feeding this crap and enjoy the show. Please send Bear and Discovery you’re support for the show. They have worked hard and risked their lives to bring this show into your households. Post your support here as well.

Thanks
Notice how I spell my name -
Wienert


8 comments:

BearWiki said...

Bear is a complete fraud!

Special BearWiki set up!

http://www.daughtersoftiresias.org/bearwiki/Special:Allpages

Mark Wienert said...

I have to say I’m pissed!

All this manure regarding Bear Grylls integrity is really pissing me off!
These words - fake, fraud, ect, should be be directed at these sleazy tabloid critics and blowhards. (You know who you are.) Sure I was blind sided, these idiots will stop at nothing for a frigging front page story. I’m sure the guy was druelling all over his pants when he found what he considers dirt.

I’m disgusted!

I consider Bear my good friend as well as the production company and all the folks involved in the show. There was never any cover up, we all worked our butts off to produce the very best show we could do. Get a grip and stop feeding this crap and enjoy the show. Please send Bear and Discovery you’re support for the show. They have worked hard and risked their lives to bring this show into your households. Post your support here as well.

Thanks
Notice how I spell my name -
Wienert

Douglas Cootey said...

Mr. Bearwiki - We couldn't disagree with you more if you had tried to convince us clouds were made of Kraft marshmallow. Next you'll be telling us 9/11 was an inside job by disgruntled circus clowns. When will the insanity stop?

Mark *Wienert* - Hey. So sorry about misspelling your name. We cut and paste it from another source. Looks like they got your name's spelling as well as they got the scoop on what you said. We'll update the article today to reflect the proper spelling.

We think the Daily Mail piece was the worst of the bunch. Quoting an unsourced survivalist who claimed Bear was a cheese soufflé was a low blow. What the heck kind of insult is that? Personally, we think he's more like a spicy meatball, but what do we know? We're knife nuts.

Now, seriously speaking, thanks for posting here. We really appreciate getting your side of the story. As we investigated the matter the facts didn't add up. Somehow, you were depicted as a hostile guide disgusted with Bear's antics yet none of your personal comments on your site matched the person being quoted in the Times. It was clearly shoddy journalism at its best.

Hang in there. As long as your relationship with Bear isn't damaged, this may all blow over. Then again, that bearwiki is pretty darn convincing. :rollseyes:

Douglas Cootey said...

bearwiki - We love the photo you used to prove that Bear used a rope in the Copper Canyon episode when scaling the chimney. We think we can see Bigfoot in it as well. He was clearly giving Bear a hand, or a foot... It's hard to tell exactly.

Bigfoot, honest!

Dionne said...

The links to pages on the Lifesong Adventures website have changed. Please update them accordingly! Thanks!

www.lifesongadventures.com

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand why there's so much trouble in spending a few nights in a nice hotels on your free days.
Foks, Bear Grylls has dedicated his life to the nature. If some episodes are planned so what? Do you really matter or you just to jealous to be a lasy rutine working guy. So why don´t you buy some knife, maybe a firesteel if you know how to use it and go try some things you all been criticising, the show is pretty cool and the suggestions Bear gives are of a great use.

So you people who just go around in life looking for the mistakes and bad specs from the others watch a mirror and then talk.
Live and let live.


Pura Vida, Costa Rica.
Tico: fue el mejor episodio

David Beebe said...

I like watching what Bear does and how he approaches things.
I learn from every episode.
Perhaps some of your visitors might enjoy browsing through my site
http://www.beebesknives.com
thanks

Anonymous said...

wEeds