Legend of Bigfoot: Discovery or Hoax?

And the theatrics continues.

During a news conference this afternoon in Palo Alto, Calif., the Bigfoot mystery deepened as three men revealed the details surrounding what they claim is their discovery of Bigfoot, or sasquatch, in northern Georgia two months ago.

In media statements and interviews throughout the week, Matthew Whitton, Rick Dyer and veteran Bigfoot hunter Tom Biscardi promised that today they would unveil DNA proof and photographs confirming the existence of a new half-human, half-ape species.

Whitton, a police officer, and Dyer, a former correctional officer, maintained they stumbled upon the corpse of a half-human, half-ape creature by a stream, while hiking in the woods.

As skeptics suspected, however, the three men took the stage with little more than what sounded like a tall tale about the reported tall creature.

Evidence? What Evidence?

For most of the 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 the DNA evidence, it became quite 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.

Despite the underwhelming evidence, Biscardi and his cohorts ardently assured the 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 shirt, 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 longtime Bigfoot experts and trackers are almost certain the trio is taking the public for a ride.

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

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