That’s a Wrap…

Well, Searchingforbigfoot.com has just released the following press sheet admitting the Georgia Gorilla/Bigfoot is a hoax, and that it is a rubber suit. The full press release is below…

They headline it that searchingforbigfoot.com “uncovered the truth”. They are taking the position that they were duped by Whitton and Dyer, and were not intentionally complicit in the fraud. That seems unlikely, but if it is the truth then their investigative instincts are lacking. To wrap themselves up in something like this without vetting the situation fully shows little regard for their already spotty reputation. Tom Bascardi has been involved in a similar situation previously, so either he is incredibly naive or as he stated in the press conference on the 15th is looking to make as much money as possible.

I don’t have time a the moment to finish my thoughts on this, I will have more on the next show I suspect, the press release is below…

THE FOLLOWING IS PART OF THE NEWS RELEASE GIVEN TO FOX NEWS

Good afternoon. I am Steve Kulls Executive Director of Squatchdetective.com and Host of Squatchdetective Radio. I am here with Bob Schmalzbach, Vice President of Searching for Bigfoot, Inc. I had been invited to be a witness of the thawing of the alleged Bigfoot Body by the Searching for Bigfoot team. As an independent researcher, it has been Squatchdetective.com’s goal to obtain proof positive in all cases when either trying to substantiate a claim or debunk it, so as there is no question to the matter’s certainty. Having worked in the past, with Searching for Bigfoot, Inc., I understand that it has always been their corporate goal, “to tell it like they see it, as it happens, and when it happens”. In my organization’s limited involvement with Searching For Bigfoot, Inc. it is and has been the goal of both organizations to obtain the truth in this and all matters.

On July 9th, 2008, Matthew Whitton and Ricky Dyer placed a video on Youtube making the claim they had recovered the body of a Bigfoot body. Their website, Bigfoottracker.com also echoed the sentiment. At that time I had doubts and followed the story for two weeks when on July 25th, 2008 I placed a video response to challenge them to come on to Squatchdetective Radio on July 28th , 2008.

On July 14th, 2008 an article was published where Whitton released a statement to his local newspaper, the Clayton Times Daily stating that they had recovered the body of a Bigfoot.

The afternoon of July 28th, 2008, Ricky Dyer asked if I would call him and after interviewing him using various forensic interviewing techniques, which I have been trained on, I could not get an accurate read on him as I was seeing deception on numerous things, but insisted he had a body in his possession. At one point he asked me who Tom Biscardi was. I immediately surmised however their motive was financial.

After concluding my one plus hour long phone call with Dyer I called the CEO of Searching for Bigfoot, Tom Biscardi, and we discussed the matter. We, at that time decided it best to turn the investigation over to Mr. Biscardi and his team. My involvement in the remainder of the process was as an independent observer.

The following are my observations and the facts as I understand and know them:
On August 1st, 2008 Tom Biscardi traveled to Georgia and on August 2nd was given a sample, allegedly, from the corpse, for DNA testing. The DNA was hand delivered to Dr. Curt Nelson of Michigan and a chain of custody of the said sample was maintained from the time it was received from Ricky Dyer and Matthew Whitton.

On August 4th, 2008 both Matthew Whitton and Ricky Dyer entered a legally binding contract with Searching For Bigfoot, Inc .recognizing the fact that Searching for Bigfoot, had absolutely nothing to do in the demise or storage of the corpse until such time as it was transferred to Searching For Bigfoot for the benefit of scientific study, marketing and promotion.

On August 10th, 2008 Tom Biscardi received an email from Dr. Nelson that after the amplifications of two of the three samples, that the size of the DNA was consistent with human/ape DNA.

On or about August 12th, 2008, Matthew Whitton and Ricky Dyer requested an undisclosed sum of money as an advance, expected from the marketing and promotion, and as a good faith gesture of the contract.

On August 14th, 2008, after signing a transfer receipt for the amount money requested and counting said money, Matthew Whitton and Ricky Dyer led the Searching for Bigfoot Team to a location and turned over a freezer with something appearing large, hairy, and frozen in ice.
On August 15th, 2008, Tom Biscardi, Ricky Dyer and Matthew Whitton held a press conference at the Cabana Hotel in Paolo Alto, California, announcing that the corpse of a creature fitting the description known as “Bigfoot” had been discovered. A police officer of seven years, on medical leave, labeled as a hero for being wounded in the line of duty, got up in front of the world and told the world of how he and Ricky Dyer uncovered this creature. This has since been proven a lie. It is notable that Rick Dyer insisted on this press conference and told Tom Biscardi he would not release the “body” unless the conference was held on this specific date.

On August 16th, 2008 the freezer containing the alleged corpse arrived with the Searching For Bigfoot Team. I arrived on location at 6PM to provide initial verification examination, biohazard control and consult for security measures at the location. At that time the ice was being thawed slowly without aid, to prevent any decomposition of the alleged corpse. We estimated that the freezer and its contents weighed over 1500 pounds and it would take several days or longer to thaw completely.

On August 17th, 2008 Searching for Bigfoot Team Director of Field Operations, TJ Biscardi and myself, were up early to discover that some hair was now exposed. I extracted some from the alleged corpse and examined it and had some concerns. Bob Schmalzbach arrived and concurred. We burned said sample and said hair sample melted into a ball uncharacteristic of hair.

At that time we contacted Mr. Biscardi who gave us permission to begin an expedited melting process. We set up a salamander heater to heat the freezer. Within one hour we were able to see the partially exposed head, as I was now able to touch it, I was able to feel that it seemed mostly firm, but unusually hollow in one small section. This was yet another ominous sign. Within the next hour of thaw, a break appeared up near the feet area. As the team and I began examining this area near the feet, I observed the foot which looked unnatural, reached in and confirmed it was a rubber foot.

At that point we immediately contacted, Tom Biscardi and advised him of the situation and he began to take action on his end. Later that day, Tom Biscardi informed us that both Matthew Whitton and Ricky Dyer admitted it was a costume. They reportedly agreed to sign a promissory note and admission of what they had done, and set a meeting in their hotel room in California for 8AM on August 17th, 2008.

At that time I drew up the documents for Mr. Biscardi. On August 17th, 2008 Tom Biscardi went to the hotel where Dyer and Whitton were staying and found that they had left. At this time action is being instigated against the perpetrators of this fraud. Tom Biscardi asked us to contact you, the press, and share all that we have discovered.

The motives behind this fraud are still unknown at this time. It is still unclear why Whitton who, being a police officer for the Clayton County Police Department in Georgia got up before the world and lied and was complicit in a scheme to defraud in a felonious manner.

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. Due to this event peoples lives have been disrupted and many people, so wanting vindication about there prior experiences were hurt. Let us all try to be mindful of such.

On behalf of myself I can say with certainty Matthew Whitton and Ricky Dyer not the best Bigfoot trackers in the world!

Thank you.

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This Smells Like Feet

The full video of today’s “Bigfoot” press conference is online here courtesy of King5 News out of Seattle.

Immediately after the press conference a colleague received a text message from someone who attended, his full report on the event can be seen here. The text message was related to the DNA evidence. Of the three samples, one inconclusive, one human and one opossum. Not exactly a bombshell. There were three pieces of evidence handed out to the press, two photos, and an email printout from the person that reportedly did the DNA testing. Those can be seen at the link above.

As the day went on the reports began to appear on the various sites and in the mainstream media all of which seem to say it was unconvincing and many willing to call it a hoax. The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) has released a strong statement on the matter here. (Thanks to Skincarver Jeff for pointing that out I hadn’t found it yet) They feel they have soundly debunked the body as a costume. The costume theory doesn’t really appear to be a slam dunk to me, but there are no doubt similarities. The “evidence” is all laid out on a message board post by someone named “Navigator.” I’m not saying it isn’t a hoax, but I would expect something a little more formal than that with more direct evidence. The bravado of the debunking is not too distant from the bravado of the other side.

The press conference itself contains, contradictions, not only within the event today but also against the information they have been putting out since this began. When the questions get more pointed Tom Bascardi, seems to interrupt and try and refocus. I find it amusing that they keep saying it will be reviewed by “scientists” without being terribly specific about what that means. The email regarding the DNA is from a Curt Nelson of the University of Minnesota, he is listed as being a Senior Scientist of the Department of Entomology on the U of M site. I’m not sure about the qualifications an Entomologist has for sequencing DNA.

When they are pressed on why they didn’t call someone of science or authority when they found this, they claim they had no idea who to call or trust. However, Whitton is an active duty police officer and Dyer has been reported as being a former corrections officer, though the BFRO story seems to question that.

The “clear videos and photos” have not been released, the DNA evidence is inconclusive (if we are generous) and rules out an unknown hominid (if we are not being generous.) After watching the press conference and their avoidance to come out with anything substantive or allow some sort of independent analysis for what they have or don’t have it seems rather clear that these guys are milking a phantom.

My original story for the podcast went into some of these inconsistencies and doubts more so than the one that aired. I recorded the revised version right after the press release and photo came out and at the time felt like that took enough gravitas to make that announcement that maybe I would reserve final judgement a bit longer. After seeing the opportunity to astound the world squandered today, and the continued dance of egoism and non specifics the only thing I am really curious about at this point is how they are going to get themselves out from under this when it’s proven they are yanking peoples chains.