The Northern Georgia Bigfoot Hoax |
As expected, the Bigfoot carcass turned out to be a Gorilla Costume. So says Tom Biscardi, the man who helped organize the recent press conference. After a colleague named Steve Kulls examined the carcass which was being stored in Muncie, Indiana, Kulls told Biscardi the bad news. Now, the carcass and those that found it are missing.
Biscardi says he paid Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer a large sum of money (thousands of dollars, some say $50,000) for the alleged carcass and now claims it"s missing along with Whitton and Dyer. However, Biscardi has a lot to answer for and it"s hard to believe that he did not have some knowledge of what was going on within this fiasaco.
Since Whitton and Dyer are unavailable for comment, we haven"t yet heard their side of the story. Matthew Whitton was a police officer with the Clayton County Police department, but the Chief fired him after hearing about that the bigfoot carcass was a hoax allegedly perpetrated by Whitton and Dyer. That still leaves us with many open questions about Biscardi. Suffice it to say that I do not think anyone in the paranormal research community or press will be taken in by him again.
The Northern Georgia Bigfoot Carcass Controversy
Confusion reigns over a carcass that was allegedly found in the northern Georgia wilderness by Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer. The carcass is said to be the remains of a Bigfoot, the often elusive ape-like creature that roams the most isolated parts of wooded areas around the world. Described as being male, over seven feet tall with reddish hair, black-grey eyes and weighing over five hundred pounds, the body has two arms, two legs, five fingers on each hand and five toes on each foot. The problem with this find is that no one can seem to agree on exactly what it is.
Matthew Whitton, a 28-year-old officer with the Clayton County Police department and Rick Dyer, a former corrections officer, found the carcass in July. While the two men seem credible enough, the Fayetteville Daily News says they co-own a company that offers Bigfoot exploration expeditions. The Fayetteville, Georgia, based newspaper claims their company is linked to a website called BigfootTracker.com which has had little to say about the amazing find. The only reported statement on the website related to the discovery of the carcass declared, “We have located a family of Bigfoot, and besides the clear photos and video, we have something even more shocking, a BODY.”
Shortly after the two men announced their find, the Chief of the Clayton County Police Department where Matthew Whitton is employed was asked about Officer Whitton and his claim. Police Chief Jeff Turner told the Fayetteville Daily News, “That"s his own personal business. 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.” The Chief seemed unhappy that his department had somehow been linked to the finding of the carcass.
Chief Turner said it was “against department policy for an officer to represent himself or herself online, as an officer or anything other than an individual, private citizen.” Officer Whitton is on leave from the Clayton County Police Department, recovering from a gunshot wound to the hand that he suffered while responding to an armed robbery call in early July. Despite a lack of support from his Chief, it’s fair to say that Whitton has placed his credibility on the line and someone with a job like his would probably not do so unless he was certain his find was genuine.
According to Tom Biscardi from SearchingForBigfoot.com, “The creature looks like it is part human and part ape-like.” Biscardi is a veteran Bigfoot researcher who became interested in the phenomenon after seeing the famous 8mm Patterson film of Bigfoot on the Johnny Carson Show in 1967. He began seriously looking for Bigfoot in 1971 and hasn’t stopped since. However, he has also added to the confusion that surrounds the Georgia carcass because of a 2005 claim he made on a national radio show about finding another Bigfoot body that turned out to be untrue.
Detractors claim that Biscardi used his 2005 story to try and raise funds for a Pay Per View special about Bigfoot and a new company that was going to go out and look for the creature. To be fair, Tom has spent what amounts to a small fortune of his own looking for the beast. And as far as the 2005 statement goes, it’s entirely possible that Biscardi was relating information that was second hand. Anyone that has been researching paranormal phenomenon for more than five minutes has probably been contacted by someone with “amazing evidence.” Later, they find out that the person did not really have it or that the evidence wasn’t anything like what it was expected to be.
The real test of legitimacy for this alleged Bigfoot evidence will be how it is presented. So far, the signs are not so good. A one-hour press conference is scheduled for Friday, August 15, 2008, at the Cabana Hotel in Palo Alto, California. It is not open to the public and only “credentialed” members of the press with be allowed in. The organizers have given no indication that the body will be on display, just photos and DNA evidence. While appearing on the Fox News Channel to discuss the carcass and the upcoming press event, Tom Biscardi told reporter Megan Kelly that he would allow her to come and see the body.
Megan, who always seems to dismiss any story about the paranormal out of hand, challenged the credibility of the carcass photo by saying, “To me the top of that looks like an ape suit head.” Many bloggers, most well-known skeptics, a costume expert and a few paranormal researchers agree with her assessment of the head. She also questioned why Biscardi and the others involved would not simply allow the press immediate access to the body. Biscardi danced around that issue by inviting Megan Kelly to come and see the carcass “next week when I get the scientists out there” and would not elaborate about the location of the carcass.
As someone who has dealt with his own huge share of reporters and members of the press, I can tell you that Tom and the others involved with this thing are making a huge mistake in how they are presenting their evidence. Already skeptical reporters that would just assume ignore a Bigfoot story as cover it should never be trifled with. If there is a body and it’s something that represents a legitimate mystery, stop dancing around and show it to the press and public. When Megan Kelly asked Tom Biscardi where she would have to go to view the carcass, he feigned ignorance by saying, “I don’t know where, they moved it…” It hardly seems credible that one of the chief organizers of the upcoming press event would not know where the carcass is currently being stored.
To make matters worse, the three websites that represent the most current information about this find have both been consistently down. Noted Bigfoot and crypto-zoology expert Loren Coleman has a website called LorenColeman.com and either owns or is associated with Cryptomundo.com. Both those websites are completely down as of this writing and have been that way for a few days. Biscardi’s own website, SearchingForBigfoot.com merely displays a Bandwidth Exceeded notice and has also been unavailable for an extended period of time.
Loren Coleman has made some very positive statements about the Georgia carcass: “"It certainly looks like the real deal… The gorilla-like facial features, the robust lack of canines, and the grinding surfaces shown in the teeth suggest a bulky vegetarian with a mixture of higher primate characteristics.” However, it’s unclear whether he has actually seen the body in person or is merely drawing conclusions based on the photographic evidence. Not everyone in the Bigfoot research community has such a positive view of the find.
The California based Bigfoot Field Research Organization has shown a definite lack of enthusiasm for discovery of the carcass. They say that there have been over sixty documented sightings of Bigfoot in Georgia, but issued a warning calling the discovery of the carcass a “scam” designed to help advertise Whitton and Dyer’s Bigfoot expeditions. However, I also believe that they have gone too far by also calling Whitton and Dyer “idiots” and “clowns”. Name calling and snap judgments are not going to help advance the field of Bigfoot research and might do more damage than a hoax.
John Murphy is a partner in a movie costume company and recently emailed me regarding the carcass photos. He says, “I don’t know much about this thing… I would have to see it in person to make a proper determination. It looks like a poor quality gorilla costume to me… I have Gorilla heads in stock that look exactly like the one in the photo. We rent those to projects that need for an actor to look like someone in a costume, not the real thing.” Based on all the comments I have received about the photos, many people agree with John.
Sadly, what we seem to be in for is yet another convoluted and extended “what and see” type of presentation of paranormal evidence. Biscardi has told the press, "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.” He has yet to identify any of the people that will make up his “team of scientists” and indicated he was still assembling that team during the interview with Megan Kelly on Fox News.
If the claims about the carcass are true, I can certainly understand the need to be sure that a find of this magnitude is properly handled, scientifically and objectively examined. What I cannot understand is why the body hasn’t been made available to other Bigfoot researchers, the press and the public. That leads me to believe that the owners of the carcass are receiving bad advice, Biscardi is holding back in hopes of a big payday from some pay per view event as he has tried to do in the past or that the entire thing is a hoax. Only time will tell.
The Northern Georgia Bigfoot Carcass Press Conference
It was certainly an attention getter! Even with a busy News day in full gear, local, national and international reporters crowded into a banquet room at the Palo Alto Crowne Plaza Hotel in California yesterday (8/15/08) to view evidence, photos and information related to the reported discovery of a Bigfoot carcass in the northern Georgia wilderness by Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer. The press conference was conducted by Tom Biscardi, a veteran Bigfoot Researcher and controversial figure in the field.
Despite a lot of hype, the evidence was not well-received by the news media which poked fun at the press conference, the carcass and those involved with it. Part of the problem may have been a lackluster presentation by Biscardi. Although personally charismatic, he used small photos (hasn"t he heard of slides, video projectors or powerpoint?) and inconclusive DNA evidence to try and win over a skeptical crowd of reporters with no patience for poor presentation skills.
The one thing missing from the press conference was also the subject of the event: the Bigfoot carcass. If Biscardi and company had presented the Bigfoot body to the reporters, things might have been difference. Even showing it to a small group of press representatives before or after the main event would have been helpful. Instead, they told the crowd that the body will be carefully examined by scientific experts during the next few weeks.
A reporter from the Mercury News reported on the DNA evidence presented at the press conference: "As for the DNA evidence, the men presented a copy of an email from the University of Minnesota reporting of the three distinct DNA sequences that showed up, one was inconclusive, one was human, and the third was from a possum." Biscardi backed up Whitton and Dyer"s claims of seeing other Bigfoot creatures in the area where they found the carcass by displaying a photo taken by the duo. The photo shows one of the creatures standing the woods and looks genuine as compared to other photos taken of the elusive beasts throughout the years.
In an effort to answer critics who say that the carcass is merely a Halloween costume with some animal entrails thrown on it, Tom Biscardi displayed a photo of the creature"s mouth, teeth and tongue. That caused a few raised eyebrows in the audience, but still left everyone present wondering why they haven"t had any access to the body yet.
As a paranormal researcher with years of experience and many press conferences under my belt, I can honestly say that Biscardi did not step up to the plate as far as conducting a proper press event is concerned. However, that doesn"t mean that the Georgia carcass is a hoax.
I believe that we owe Biscardi, Whitton and Dyer the time needed for them to have the carcass properly examined. I just hope that there is really something to all this when it"s all said and done. If not, the field of paranormal research will have suffered a major setback and those involved with the carcass will have provided skeptics and the mass media with yet another occasion to say, "I told you so!"
Author Bio :
Bill Knell, Paranormal Researcher,
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