Articles on the great “Bigfoot Find” 2008

From the Clayton News Daily in Clayton County Georgia. This is also up on Cryptomundo but just in case that site gets overloaded again.

August 16, 2008 12:20 AM PDT

The Bigfoot press conference and the art of selling a website

What was most revealing about today’s exhilarating and highly truthful Bigfoot press conference was not what was said.

It was the headgear.

Emblazoned with the a URL that sold their own Bigfoot tracking enterprise, the baseball caps worn by Matthew Whitton (aka Gary Parker) and Rick Dyer said so very much.

Their words on MSNBC’s Countdown With Keith Olberman said it with a cleanliness only rivaled by Bigfoot’s teeth. When asked by the lucky stand-in presenter, Rachel Maddow, whether they were out to make as much money as they could, Mr. Dyer, who had not uttered a word through the entire interview, firmly stated that this was the case. (Please take note, Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg)

These are businessmen who put most Web 1.0 enterprises to shame. Most of Web 2.0 too. They have a geneticist’s rigorous grasp of detail. And they have a clearly articulated business plan.

Messrs Whitton and Dyer are afraid of nothing, certainly not of the world’s press. After all, they have faced and sniffed the body of Bigfoot. They have dragged his five hundred pounds back to their pickup truck. They have resisted the urge of calling the police, or Animal Rescue. These are men smart and courageous enough to have run Webvan.

In their interview with Ms. Maddow, they were amusedly unphased. They stated their case. They insisted that, despite previous reports (that might well have been true), they weren’t hunters at all, merely hikers who happened to come across an incredible find and even braved the circling of other Bigfeet who were perturbed to see the body of their blood brother being dragged away, like a large, hairy Lindsay Lohan, to a career in Hollywood.

But they have learned one thing about life- and specifically about the internet business. They don’t just talk monetization. They do it. On another of their sites.

If you hotfoot it to searchingforbigfoot.com, you can pick up an authentic SearchingForBigfoot cap, in black or white, for $24.99. You can hitch up your trousers with a commemorative Bigfoot Lives pewter belt buckle, its price inexplicably reduced from $34.99 to $29.99. And for a mere $35 (reduced from $40) you can adorn your front porch with a Bigfoot Welcome Mat.

Were they hunters, which they avowedly are not, they might describe this as a great way to make a killing.

Of course, these products are merely loss leaders, because when the venerable scientists from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan or Georgiastan confirm that Matt (aka Gary) and Rick are, indeed, in possession of a Bigfoot cadaver, searchingforbigfoot.com will rival Amazon and Fifth Avenue for traffic and profit. And it will rival Facebook on the engagement scale.

The possibilities are taller than some would accuse their story. Bigfoot perfume, Bigfoot dogfood, a Bigfoot steakhouse chain, perhaps even a Bigfoot blog from beyond the grave.

You see, it’s not enough just to have a good idea, you have to have your business plan jingling with readiness.

I understand that the real reason today’s press conference was held in Palo Alto is that the two intrepid businessmen had another meeting in the vicinity.

The Stanford Business School has already offered Messrs. Whitton and Dyer professorships. The two hikers from Georgia said they would think about it.

You see how clever they are?

Clayton men offer shaky Bigfoot ‘evidence,’ more promises

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

In a room full of reporters, with a world-wide audience waiting to hear what they had to say, two Clayton County men, who claim to have the corpse of a Bigfoot, didn’t deliver the evidence they promised would shock the world. Instead, backed by their controversial, California partner, they continued making claims, with a couple of fuzzy photos — and more promises.

Tom Biscardi, a professional Bigfoot searcher, who has been associated with a number of hoaxes and money-making stunts, said the alleged Bigfoot body was as real as the skeptical reporters. He said Matthew Whitton, a Clayton County police officer on medical leave, and Whitton’s friend, Rick Dyer, a tow truck driver, who once worked as a correctional officer, wouldn’t be part of a hoax.

“Do you think these fellows would come this far and put their reputations and their jobs on the line, if they didn’t have what they say they have?” Biscardi said.

At the end of Friday’s press conference in California, however, that claim — that this was all too crazy to be a con — seemed to be the strongest “evidence” the three men had.

They have claimed they have the dead body of seven-foot-seven, 500-pound ape-man, with 16-inch feet and a lot of reddish-brown hair. A photo was released on Tuesday, supposedly showing the animal, dethawed in a freezer. The image was met with some skepticism and suspicion, some smugness, and a willingness to wait, see, and to say “maybe,” until the evidence was unveiled.

The unveiled evidence consisted of:

• A photo of woods, with what looks like an upright black spot or a solitary, shadow-cloaked figure. Biscardi called this “a bipedal creature.”

• A photo of jutting, upper teeth and a flat tongue, sticking out at the viewer.

• Alleged DNA results from a scientist in Minnesota, reporting three tests, one showing an inconclusive gene sequence, one showing a human gene sequence, and one showing an opossum gene sequence.

Loren Coleman, the author of a number of Bigfoot books, who has closely followed Biscardi and watched what he has skeptically called the “Georgia Gorilla” discovery, described the press conference as a carnival show.

“Biscardi is a Las Vegas promoter and a showman, and he’s doing it again,” Coleman said. “That’s what he’s really good at. It’s like, ‘Would you like to come into my tent? I’ll show you this one picture. Isn’t that interesting? Pay me to see more.'”

The three men claimed there will be an autopsy next week, and more research results coming soon. The Associated Press reported that the 45-minute press conference was attended by several hundred skeptical journalists and a man in a Chewbacca suit. When Biscardi was asked how much money he hoped to make off the Bigfoot body, he said, “As much as I possibly can.”

The man reportedly attempted to raise $1.5 million for a Bigfoot hunting expedition in 2004, claimed to have captured a live one in 2005, when he started selling pay-per-view subscriptions on his web site, and then, backed out with a claim he had been hoaxed by “a crazy lady.”

“He’s already gone through several hoaxes,” Coleman said. “We always say, ‘This is the end of Biscardi. He’s never coming back.’ I mean, the man has nine lives.”

The Bigfoot Field Research Organization, a group that attempts to verify Bigfoot sightings, issued a release calling the whole thing a hoax, calling Biscardi a “sleazy vulture.”

“The purpose of this grand ruse,” the release claims, “is to attract lots of attention to himself … to hold the attention of the mass media while he arranges various deals for documentaries, books, etc.”

Coleman thinks Whitton and Dyer may have actually discovered something, and then got suckered by the experienced scam artist. He also thinks it’s possible they were running some scam, promoting their web site with videos and hoping to sell T-shirts and ball caps, when Biscardi came in and escalated the enterprise.

The Bigfoot Field Research Operators suggest that Biscardi may have set the whole thing up, but then back down and say Whitton and Dyer were running their own ruse when they got assistance from an expert.

The two men’s story has changed constantly since they started their Bigfoot tracking business in June. In early YouTube videos, the animal was supposedly shot by a former felon, and the two men tracked it into the woods. In a second story, they were on a Bigfoot search, looking for a “family of Bigfoot” they claim to have seen in the North Georgia mountains. In a third version, they were just hiking and found it, apparently dead of open wounds.

In the hotel on Friday, Whitton said he didn’t even believe in Bigfoot and it was just luck, though he continues to describe himself as “the best Bigfoot tracker in the world.”

And a previous article….

Clayton cop’s Bigfoot evidence set for unveiling

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

Evidence that the dead body of a Bigfoot was found in Georgia will be unveiled in a California hotel Friday, according to a Clayton County Police officer, his friend, and a controversial, full-time Bigfoot searcher.

The three claim they will show photographs and the results of DNA testing. They describe the evidence — purportedly proving the existence of the legendary man-ape — as “shocking” and “undeniable.”

“We have proof now. It’s all here,” said Tom Biscardi, a California man, who has partnered with Matt Whitton, a Clayton County police officer, and Rick Dyer, a former corrections officer, in promoting claims of the discovery.

Whitton and Dyer say they found the seven-foot-seven, 550-pound corpse in north Georgia. The two men announced the discovery in early July in online videos, on YouTube, proclaiming themselves “the best Bigfoot trackers,” and advertising their web site, http://www.bigfoottrackers.com. The men said they were going to lead an expedition to look for Bigfoot in September, and were selling tickets for $499.

Biscardi, who has been a full time, professional Bigfoot hunter for three or four years, joined Whitton and Dyer in early August, and has orchestrated press releases, pulling in national media attention. Biscardi released a picture and announced the press conference earlier this week.

The picture supposedly shows the Bigfoot corpse crammed into a chest freezer. The accompanying announcement describes the alleged creature as seven-foot-seven, weighing more than 500 pounds, with flat, 16-inch, human-like feet and a lot of reddish hair. Biscardi, who runs http://www.searchingforbigfoot.com, claims the discovery has left him euphoric.

“I saw the body,” he told the Clayton News Daily, Thursday. “I touched the body. It was all there.”

Others are skeptical, speculating the “creature” is a hoax.

“What I’ve seen so far is not compelling in the least, and I think the pictures cast grave doubts on their claim. It just looks like a costume with some fake guts thrown on top for effect,” said Jeffrey Meldrum, a Bigfoot researcher who is also an Idaho State University professor of anatomy and anthropology. He made those comments in an interview with Scientific American.

An anonymous letter was sent to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on July 23, and leaked to the Clayton News Daily, claiming the creature is actually “the remains of a small gorilla or chimpanzee that may have undergone some taxidermy treatment.” A Fish & Wildlife spokesman, Tom McKenzie, said officers were not taking the allegations seriously, however, and weren’t going to investigate anything having to do with Bigfoot.

Dyer, talking to Biscardi on Biscardi’s Internet-boradcast radio show, dismissed the criticism and everyone esle who has been involved in looking for the legendary animal. “We believe 99 percent of the Bigfoot world is lunatics,” he said. “That’s what our videos are about. We just wanted to turn things around and make fun of the Bigfoot world, and how crazy they are.”

He insisted though — both on the radio show and to the Clayton News Daily — that the claimed creature is real, and not a hoax meant to embarrass “the Bigfoot world.”

Whitton, who is currently on medical leave from the Clayton Police Department, where he has served for six years, said the people calling the creature a hoax are just jealous.

“A lot of these people in the Bigfoot world,” he said, “are just huge frauds, and the thing about it is, when we come out with the Bigfoot, and evidence of a true Bigfoot, all the fraud things they’ve been saying, and what they put out there as gospel, is no longer true.”

The evidence will supposedly be unveiled on Friday. Meldrum, however, isn’t sure how the DNA test will prove anything. He said a DNA test would, at best, yield a gene sequence that doesn’t match any known primates. He also criticized the “carnival atmosphere” surrounding the two Clayton County men and Biscardi, a man who has attracted the “carny” comparison before. He has been called a huckster, a Las Vegas promoter and a scam artist since he started seeking media attention in 2004.

Loren Coleman, the author of a book about Bigfoot, who has closely followed the story of what he’s skeptically calling the “Georgia Gorilla,” wrote that there’s some “notorious history” with Biscardi. In 2004, he was trying to raise $1.5 million in sponsorships for an expedition, according to the San Francisco Business Times. In 2005, Biscardi went on “Coast to Coast A.M.,” a paranormal radio show, and claimed to have a live Bigfoot in captivity. Evidence was promised, but never delivered, and Biscardi claimed he had been hoaxed.

Coleman attacked Biscardi, at the time, but is now saying, on his blog, http://www.cryptomundo.com, “there is no reason that exactly the opposite kind of people that everyone wished would find Bigfoot, have tripped across one in the woods.”

Whitton and Dyer also promised to tell the full story of how they found the corpse. The story they have told has changed three times: In the early videos, the animal was shot by a publicity-shy former felon, and the two men tracked it into the woods. In a second story, they were on a Bigfoot search, looking for a “family of Bigfoot” they claim to have seen in the North Georgia mountains. In a third version, they were just hiking and found it. “We guesstimate it was two days old,” Dyer said. “There were a couple of open wounds.”

The press conference is scheduled to be held from noon to 1 p.m., West Coast time, at the Cabana Hotel in Palo Alto, Calif. Biscardi said a transcript of the press conference will be available on his web site.

And one more…..

Cop claims to have body of ‘Bigfoot’

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

A Clayton County Police officer, and his friend, claim to have the body of a Bigfoot.

The animal — a legendary, hairy hominid that supposedly lives in remote forests — is said to be dead, frozen, and “shocking.”

Matthew Whitton, a 28-year-old, who has been with the department for six years, and Rick Dyer, a 31-year-old former correctional officer, posted a video on youtube.com, last week, claiming to have the male Bigfoot corpse, alleged evidence that the much-hunted and often hoaxed monster, is a real, living species.

The video shows black garbage bags draped over a formless hulk, and promises revelations are coming soon.

“It’s not a mythological creature that there’s just one of,” Whitton says on the Internet video. “It’s a species that may be really rare, but they’re actually out there breeding.”

Whitton and Dyer co-own bigfoottracker.com, offering exploration expeditions in the North Georgia Mountains for $499, apparently with dogs, traps and tracking techniques.

Whitton, speaking to the Clayton News Daily the week before the alleged discovery, said the tracking business is an active hobby and he firmly believed in Bigfoot. He said he knew where a family of Bigfoot lived, in Georgia, and planned to lead an expedition to find them in September.

On their web site the next week, Whitton and Dyer announced an alleged discovery: “We have located a family of Bigfoot, and besides the clear photos and video, we have something even more shocking, a BODY.”

The Clayton County Police Department responded to the news with an official statement giving the department some distance.

“That’s his own personal business,” said Police Chief Jeff Turner. “That has nothing to do with the business of the Clayton County Police Department. As long as he’s not engaged in any type of illegal activity, his business is his business.”

Turner said it is against department policy for any officer to represent himself or herself online, as an officer or anything other than an individual, private citizen, and said he does not know that Whitton has violated that policy.

Whitton is currently on leave, recovering from a gunshot wound to his left hand during a response to a Stockbridge armed robbery earlier this month.

The people who believe in Bigfoot and are searching for evidence responded to the announcement with a mixture of disbelief, ridicule and hope. The Bigfoot Field Research Organization, a California-based group claiming there have been 61 Bigfoot sightings in Georgia, officially described Whitton and Dyer as “idiots” and “clowns,” and warned their claims are a scam to advertise their business.

Tal H. Branco, an Arkansas man who writes a regular column about Bigfoot research, said a lot of Bigfoot people think the whole thing’s a hoax, but a lot of people are hoping, too, that they do have a Bigfoot body.

“Maybe Whitton did obtain the hard evidence required to solve one of the world’s greatest mysteries,” Branco said. “It is apparently being promoted by a police officer that has everything to lose as far as his profession is concerned, if it is a game, a hoax or just a joke. On the other hand, if it is true, and the Bigfoot body is in his custody … his decision to announce it on an Internet web site before the body was examined by an expert certainly indicates a lack of good judgment.”

In one video, posted online by “RDYER678,” Whitton and Dyer interview a “pathologist” who is shocked at the Bigfoot, but then, in a follow-up video, the pair admits the “doctor of pathology” is actually Whitton’s brother. Standing in a kitchen, Whitton’s brother says to the camera, “Live and let live. What happened to that? Guys just trying to have a little fun, you know?”

Dyer said the claims are not a prank, though, and not just an attempt to have fun. Reached on his cell phone Tuesday, he insisted the body is real and will be unveiled on Sept. 1 on the web site.

“Why would we jeopardize Matt’s job? Why would we risk the embarrassment of the backlash that we would get? We just have a lot to lose if this is a hoax … I thought Bigfoot trackers and hunters were ridiculous and I made fun of them, to be honest, and I still do. They know nothing as fact. We do,” Dyer said.

Dyer said the Internet announcement and the obvious lie were meant to draw detractors and “build hype.” Other Bigfoot researchers were dismissed by Dyer, and he said he and Whitton are the best trackers because they “have a body.”

He said the animal is about eight-feet tall, and about equal to the size of “three silverbacks,” adult male gorillas, and nothing like the reported descriptions in the books.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “It’s a lot more than animal.”

Dyer did not say how they came into possession of the carcass, and declined to let a news reporter look at it, but swore it was being well-preserved and would be revealed.

Dyer said he and Whitton plan to sell the Bigfoot body and make a lot of money.

“As of right now,” he said, “we’ve been offered a million bucks for it, from a very credible source. But we’ll make 10 times that. This will change history forever.”

I think one of the bigger voices of reason on this right now is Loren Coleman at Cryptomundo. Head Over and read the stories and comments from his folks. Some very intelligent conversation is going on over there. A nice back and forth.

Until we have some real proof get out there and……do I have to say it?…..

Get Off The Highway!

2 thoughts on “Articles on the great “Bigfoot Find” 2008

  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

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