Aug. 15, 2008 — -- Even the Bigfoot believers aren't buying it.
Three men held a press conference this afternoon in Palo Alto, Calif., to share the details surrounding what they claim is their "discovery" of a Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, in northern Georgia two months ago.
Matthew Whitton, a police officer, and Rick Dyer, a former correctional officer, maintained they happened upon the corpse of a half-human, half-ape creature while hiking in the woods. They also said they saw three other live creatures while carting the corpse away. Along with Tom Biscardi, an old hand at bigfoot hunting, the men intend to substantiate their bold claims with DNA evidence and photographs.
But long-time 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.
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 alleged 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 on 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's been fascinated with the ape-like creature ever since watching a short film made by Roger Patterson in 1967 that famously purported to contain footage of a real Bigfoot.