Bigfoot “discovery” looks to be a hoax
Bigfoot “discovery” looks to be a hoax
August 18, 2008
A much-hyped press conference claiming to present evidence of the existence of Bigfoot offered little in the way of proof but a lot of shameless self-promotion by the “discoverers”.
Addressing the media Friday afternoon at a hotel in Palo Alto, California, Matthew Whitton, Rick Dyer, and Tom Biscardi showed reporters two blurry photos of what looked like a Sasquatch Halloween costume in a freezer, an out-of-focus picture of a chewbacca-like figure in the woods, and an email from an entomologist saying the DNA samples were “inconclusive”, but at least a 96 percent match with a possum.
Male orangutan in Borneo. Photos by Rhett Butler.
“What I’ve seen so far is not compelling in the least, and I think the pictures cast grave doubts on their claim,” Jeffrey Meldrum, a Bigfoot researcher and a professor at Idaho State University, told Scientific American. “It just looks like a costume with some fake guts thrown on top for effect.”
Media reports indicate that the men have presented at least two different accounts of how they discovered the creature in the backwoods of Georgia. They have refused to give the specific location fearing that it is an endangered species, although a company run by Dyer and Whitton may offer bigfoot sighting tours in the future.
“There’s a lot of comment being made that it looks fake, or it looks like a suit,” said Dyer. “But these people wasn’t there when I was sweating, pulling this thing through the woods.”
Biscardi, who has been associated with Bigfoot hoaxes in the past, also used the opportunity to plug his host Internet radio show about Bigfoot.
The promotional effort—which included a widely distributed press release prominently mentioning the name of a PR agency—raised suspicions that the whole thing was little more than a marketing ploy by the men.
A still from the famous 1967 Bigfoot film, which may or may not show a man in a gorilla suit. Courtesy of the AP.
“I’ve had interactions with Tom Biscardi in the past, and based on that history, I would say that anything he is involved in is suspect,” Meldrum told Scientific American. “The fact that the two Georgian men turned to him and not anyone with scientific credentials is very questionable.”
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Reserve spokesman Tom Mackenzie told the Associated Press (AP) his agency would not waste time or resources investigating the claims.
“It’s not on endangered species on any list that we’ve got,” Mackenzie was quoted as saying.
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