A Monster Discovery? It Was Just a Costume

Despite the underwhelming evidence, Biscardi and his cohorts ardently assured reporters that they had the body of a Bigfoot in their possession.

"I got to tell you, it was a euphoric experience for me," Biscardi said about seeing the body. What I seen, what I touched ... was not a mask sewn onto a body."

Although lacking Biscardi's flair for showmanship, Whitton and Dyer were also zealous in their remarks.

Addressing the crowd in a blue visibly torn T-shirt and baseball cap broadcasting the message "Best Trackers in the World," Whitton emphasized the shock he experienced after finding the creature.

"I didn't believe in Bigfoot at the time. I've seen the films and the things on television, and you have to come to terms with it and realize that you've got something special," he said. "It's like finding the biggest diamond in the world and [having] it in your possession."

The three men said they had become business partners and intended to assemble scientists to continue studying the creature.

But even before Friday's conference, longtime Bigfoot experts and trackers were already certain the trio was taking the public for a ride.

"Discovery? It's a hoax. It's a Halloween costume in a box," said Matt Moneymaker, the president and founder of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization.

Created in 1995, the group maintains a database of Bigfoot sighting reports and organizes tracking expeditions for interested members of the public.

Jeff Meldrum, a leading Sasquatch researcher and Idaho State University professor of anatomy and anthropology, was equally skeptical.

"There's a whole number of things that raise red flags, in my opinion," he said.

The most glaring red flag: Whitton and Dyer's appeal to Biscardi.

"He does not carry a reputation of credibility," Meldrum said of Biscardi.

The 'Real Bigfoot Hunter'

On Friday, Dyer claimed he and Whitton had encountered the reported Bigfoot body approximately two months ago and froze it to stave off rigor mortis. But until they involved Biscardi two weeks ago, no one gave them much attention.

"We started to tell people the week after we found the body, but no one believed us," he said. "So we started to make fun of the Bigfoot trackers, and that got attention."

Whitton and Dyer landed themselves on the "Squatch Detective" radio show and announced their discovery on the air. When the host pressed the pair to let someone verify the body, they asked for Biscardi, the so-called "real Bigfoot hunter."

"You type in 'Bigfoot' and that's the name that comes up," Dyer said.

Biscardi, a 35-year veteran of the Bigfoot business, who declined to give his age, is CEO of Searching for Bigfoot Inc., producer of the documentary "Bigfoot Lives" and host of an Internet radio show about, yes, Bigfoot.

He said he has been fascinated with the apelike creature since watching a short film made by Roger Patterson in 1967 that famously purported to contain footage of a real Bigfoot.

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