Legend of Bigfoot: Discovery or Hoax?

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, is 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'

Dyer said he and Whitton 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.

After being contacted by Whitton and Dyer, Biscardi flew to Georgia to see the body for himself.

"Be still my heart, I felt bad for the poor thing," Biscardi said of viewing the reported corpse. "After being in the industry for the past 30 years, I wondered: Was it diseased? Did it die of old age?"

Scientific Findings Promised

Biscardi said he gave tissue from the body to Curt Nelson, a research scientist at the University of Minnesota with a personal interest in Bigfoot. Biscardi said he and his colleagues would present Nelson's findings during this afternoon's news conference.

But Thursday, Nelson told ABCNews.com that he's not certain he'd have anything to present at the conference.

For the world to really believe the existence of Bigfoot, Nelson said, teams of unbiased scientists would have to collect and analyze DNA and thoroughly inspect the body.

"It would take a lot more than I'm doing," he said, noting that people will want to see an actual body rather than just tissue samples. "If the guy claims to have a body, he really should produce one."

Instead, Biscardi said he plans to keep the body at an undisclosed location while scientists, including two Russian hominid specialists, study the creature. Biscardi said the entire process will be filmed and then released as a documentary.

Legend of Bigfoot?

Instead of proving the existence of Bigfoot, Meldrum said profiteering antics like Biscardi's lend support to the cynics.

"Unfortunately, this kind of incident simply just casts further aspersion on the topic," he said.

Still, despite rampant skepticism within the community of Bigfoot believers and outside of it, there's also overwhelming interest.

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