In the end, it seems Bigfoot was nothing more than a frozen Halloween costume.
Last Friday, two men, Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, announced they had found the remains of the elusive legend, Sasquatch, better known as Bigfoot.
The two men had teamed up with self-proclaimed Bigfoot hunter Tom Biscardi, creating a media bonanza replete with claims that they had a real half-human, half-ape body in their possession. They even said they would unveil DNA proof and photographs confirming the existence of the new species.
But all the brouhaha over the "discovery" of Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, was for nothing.
Biscardi, who himself has a history of dubious Bigfoot sightings, claims the story started to unravel over the weekend. And he apparently tried to shift responsibility to Whitton and Dyer claiming the pair "deceived him." But several Bigfoot academics say all three men appear to have been perpetrating a hoax.
Biscardi claims he dispatched another Bigfoot "expert," Steve Kulls executive director of Squatchdetective.com, to Georgia to investigate the body, supposedly being held in a freezer.
Kulls, wrote in a news release posted on Biscardi's Web site, searchingforbigfoot.com, that as the "remains" thawed, it became increasingly clear that the men had stuffed a frozen apelike costume into a freezer.
Kulls wrote that when Biscardi confronted Whitton and Dyer on Sunday, they admitted that all they had was a costume.
"At this time the victim of this series of deceptions, Searching for Bigfoot Inc., is seeking justice for themselves and for all the people who were deceived by this deception, " Kulls wrote in the release. "Due to this event peoples lives have been disrupted and many people, so wanting vindication about their prior experiences were hurt. Let us all try to be mindful of such."
This is quite a change from the tone Biscardi struck at Friday's press conference in Palo Alto, Calif., in which he hailed Whitton as a "hero" and encouraged him to tell reporters how he and Dyer stumbled upon the Bigfoot body while hiking in northern Georgia two months ago.
For most of Friday's new conference, Biscardi baited the dozens of reporters with promises of DNA evidence and never-before-seen photographs of the corpse and three other live creatures Whitton and Dyer saw as they carted the corpse away.
"You will actually see a bipedal creature and [a photograph] with the teeth up close to prove to you people that this is not a mask," Biscardi said.
He added that he would provide the media with a DNA report from Curt Nelson, a lab researcher hired to analyze tissue reportedly taken from the animal.
But when Biscardi finally revealed what he called DNA evidence, it became clear that the promises of evidence were intended to string along reporters and the public.
Suggesting that the results had gone awry, he said the first tests revealed human DNA, and the second indicated the presence of possum DNA. Photographs of the corpse show animal entrails on top of the body, and Biscardi said it's likely tissue from the entrails had been collected instead of tissue from the body.
With much fanfare, the three men also unveiled two new photographs of the corpse and reported live Bigfoots. One photograph zeroed in on the face of the corpse, showing the creature's teeth. The other photograph reportedly captured the live creatures Whitton and Dyer spotted as they towed the corpse out of the woods.