Thursday, August 14, 2008

Alleged Bigfoot Body to be Unveiled Friday, August 15

This story has been bouncing around on various cryptozoology-themed blogs and websites for the past few days. Two self-proclaimed bigfoot hunters from Georgia (the US Georgia, not the one under siege by Russia) have apparently found their very own Bigfoot body. The team of Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer issued a press release on August 12 announcing that they would be revealing DNA and photographic evidence at a press conference to be held in Palo Alto, CA on Friday. The event will be opened to verified members of the news media only.

The link to the press release takes you to the website of Searching for Bigfoot Inc, the company of man named Tom Biscardi. In a recent radio interview, Whitton and Dyer described Biscardi as a "real bigfoot hunter" and because of this, Whitton and Dyer have only let Biscardi analyze the body so far. From the article:

"'The only person we would allow to come down and verify the body was 'the real Bigfoot Hunter,' Tom Biscardi,' Dyer said."

Whitton and Dyer claim in the press release that a team of scientists, all of them unnamed, will be studying the body in detail:

"Extensive scientific studies will be done on the body by a team of scientists including a molecular biologist, an anthropologist, a paleontologist and other scientists over the next few months at an undisclosed location. The studies will be carefully documented and the findings will be released to the world, according to Biscardi."

I imagine by now some readers may find something a bit fishy about the clandestine manner in which Dyer and Whitton are handling this matter. They don't name the experts that are in line to examine the body, they keep the location a secret and they promise to present only "DNA evidence and photo evidence" at the press conference. Why wouldn't they want to bring the actual body? Pictures of it, which can be found at the press release link, already show it residing in a cooler. Why couldn't they arrange to have it flown to the press conference in California. For that matter, why even have the press conference in California?

Benjamin Radford, managing editor for Skeptical Inquirer, brings up another interesting point in an article posted on Apparently, Biscardi was involved in a similar "unveiling" in 2005:

"A man named Tom Biscardi, founder of something called the Great American Bigfoot Research Organization, once claimed he had captured a Bigfoot. On Aug. 19, 2005, Biscardi appeared on the radio show "Coast to Coast with George Noory." Biscardi claimed his group had captured a Bigfoot a week earlier, a male beast that weighed over 400 pounds and stood 8-feet tall. He said he would be presenting photos of it several days later. It turned out to be a hoax."

The press release also mentions a documentary released by Biscardi in 2006 called "Bigfoot Lives." Could this whole thing be an elaborate publicity stunt? Even if a hoax is revealed, I'm sure the attention already drawn to Biscardi has increased sales of his documentary.

No matter what this turns out to be, genuine scientific discovery or monkey suit in a cooler, I would love to be able to go to that press conference tomorrow. I'll just have to be content to sit on the sidelines and wait for CNN to bring the earth-shattering discovery to me.

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