PALO ALTO, California — Georgia residents Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer say they’ve found Bigfoot — and not only that, they say they have his body. They just didn’t happen to have the creature’s corpse with them for their press conference Friday.
At the well-attended gathering, Dyer and Whitton, together with professional Bigfoot hunter Tom Biscardi, answered questions, handed out unconvincing photos and talked about their alleged find.
"We were not Bigfoot hunters originally," said Whitton, who claims he and Dyer found the lifeless body of a large, hairy, bipedal animal while camping in the woods of northern Georgia. "But now we are some of the best Bigfoot hunters in the world."
According to Whitton, there were several other living animals that resembled the body they found near the discovery site. The creatures were about 50 feet from Whitton and Dyer, who recorded video of the supposed Bigfeet.
Whitton and Dyer said they put the body in a large freezer shortly after removing it from the woods in early June. (The photo at right, provided by the team, allegedly shows the Bigfoot body in that freezer.) Later, they teamed up with Biscardi, who has made a name for himself over the past several years as a Bigfoot hunter whose claims of having found the furry giants haven’t always panned out.
The trio now say the body is in Biscardi’s possession in an "undisclosed location," pending scientific tests. Biscardi named two scientists he’s contacted regarding his find: Curt Nelson of the University of Minnesota, and Richard Klein, a paleontologist at Stanford University.
"There’s also an Igor and a Dmitri coming from Russia," Biscardi said. "They’re very prominent in the Bigfoot world."
According to the team, the Bigfoot creature is 7-feet 7-inches tall, weighs over 500 pounds and has feet that are over 16 inches long, or about size 24. By comparison, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is 6 feet 4 inches tall, weighs 165 pounds and has size 14 feet. Phelps is also nearly hairless, while Bigfoot appears to be covered in fur.
The press conference was extremely well-attended, with more than two dozen video cameras at the hotel where the event was held and satellite uplink vans outside. But for all the attention, the press conference — much like a similar event earlier this year in Denver, in which a man revealed video of an alleged space alien — raised more questions than it answered.
One thing we do know: Whitton, Dyer and Biscardi have formed abusiness venture to profit from their newfound notoriety (although theyprovided no details on how they plan to transform their discovery intoa business).
When asked how much money they hoped to make, Biscardi answered, "As much as we can."
Whitton and Biscardi answered questions for nearly an hour Friday and were joinedlate in the session by Dyer. At the conclusion of the conference,Biscardi handed out a photo that he said showed the creature’s mouthand tongue, plus a blurry image of a walking Wookiee/Bigfoot-typecreature (see below for these photos, plus other pictures from the pressconference).
Biscardi said DNA tests had been done, and handed out aprintout Friday describing the results. They appear toshow one sample matching human DNA, another matching opossum DNA and a third test that proved inconclusive.
The three men presented no video or additional evidence to support their rather extraordinary claims.
Their announcement is also odd, considering that Whitton and Dyer posted a YouTube video wherethey appear to make light of their discovery. The eight-minute video features Whitton, who iswearing a splint and holding a teddy bear, cracking jokes andcomplaining about the pair’s detractors.
Casting further doubt on the pair’s announcement is analysis by several bloggers showing that their photograph bears an uncanny resemblance to a commercially available Bigfoot costume. The Bigfoot Field Researchers Association says that the men’s apparent discovery is a hoax.
The men have offered three different stories about their find, according to an Associated Press story:
- In early videos, the animal was shot by a former felon, and the men followed it into the woods.
- In a second version, they found a "family of Bigfoot" in North Georgia mountains.
- In the third, the two were hiking and stumbled upon the corpse with open wounds.
The pair’s press release, issued earlier in the week, has already generated a fair amount of buzz on blogs, science fiction sites and even in the mainstream media.That buzz is sure to continue, given the attendance at Friday’s pressconference and the paucity of evidence one way or another.
Biscardi provided the photo below, which he says shows a Bigfoot-type creature walking through the woods of northern Georgia.
The other photo handed out by Biscardi at the press conference purportedly shows the mouth and tongue of the dead creature discovered by Whitton and Dyer, below.
When Biscardi handed out photos at the end of the press conference, he was mobbed by reporters looking for proof of his remarkable claims.
Tom Biscardi, CEO/founder of Searching for Bigfoot, shows a photo of the creature’s mouth and tongue.
A costumed Bigfoot at the back of the press conference hawks a website.
Photos courtesy Searching for Bigfoot as indicated; other photos by Dylan Tweney/Wired.com.
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