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.

Spookatorium 025

Welcome to Episode 25, once again it has been too long… This episode features some potentially landmark news from the world of Cryptozoology, but first things first…

Out of the gate we discuss the bizarre affliction that has come to be known as Morgellons disease. This condition, as yet unrecognized by the medical establishment, includes such symptoms as the growth of multi-colored fibers from the body that have been reported to move autonomously, and strange crystalline or granular residue that appears within lesions all accompanied by the feeling of insects crawling under the skin. The CDC has begun looking into it after several years of requests from those that suffer from it. However in some medical circles it continues to be looked at as a psychological rather than physiological condition. Then there are those that see the condition as a result of something more nefarious.

After that we take a look at a set of core components by which hauntings might be judged in order to come up with some type of standardized scientific perspective on what occurs in a haunting scenario. Along the way we touch a bit on Patternology and the Fortean perspective of holistic review rather than compartmentalized observation.

Finally, a piece I had to re-record after some breaking news today altered the story dramatically. Bigfoottracker.com, now working in cooperation with Searchingforbigfoot.com have announced that they have a Bigfoot corpse in their possession, and will be presenting their collected evidence on August 15th at a press conference in Palo Alto, CA. The creature is said to have been discovered in Northern Georgia, and additionally live creatures were also seen in the area at the time. This has been a twisted tale that first appeared on Cryptomundo.com about a month ago. Since that time several evidence free, taunting videos were posted and removed by the members of Bigfoottracker, and the alleged pathologist they had reviewing the corpse was found to be a fraud. The group admitted to hoaxing the pathologist story, but maintained they did have a body. Today a press release was issued fleshing out that claim, and there has been a leak of a photo. The story was covered by local papers but I didn’t see much else in the way of mainstream coverage, but I suspect that will be changing very soon. The photo is compelling, and I look forward to hearing more details from the press conference.

Music this time from the likes of…

AVRIGUS (1:05)
JOY DIVISION (5:30)
TSOL (10:12)
BLACK MESSIAH (20:12)
SCRAP.EDX (23:04)
BEYOND DAWN (27:00)
NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS (37:37)
EISREGEN (41:48)
GOD (45:56)
INADE (49:52)
FRONT 242 (64:20)
NAILBOMB (68:43)
DEATH IN JUNE (71:23)
NACHTMYSTIUM (76:03)

Background:
NAMANAX
DUAL

That’s all for now, I will hopefully have some additional information on the Sasquatch story in the coming days. I’m also hoping to clear out some of my back log of stories by updating the site more frequently between episodes of the show.

Professor Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium 025

Cheers,
Prof. Gruntsplatter

Spookatorium 024

Welcome, after a long delay,  to Episode 24. Computer issues and chain stores downloaded their grief upon my doorstep in a flaming paper bag. Hopefully, I will get back to a proper schedule now and that some of you are still listening…

First up, we revisit the legend of “Oriuagor,” a tome purported to drive insane those who dare read it. First touched upon in Episode 19, an email submission cracks this one open again. I had largely written it off as a marketing gimmick for someone seeking to fabricate a new Necronomicon, but a submitter from Denmark suggests that the legends at least are known there, and the work of fiction we discussed previously was born of those legends.

Next up we look at reports of a lake monster in Minnesota’s Lake Pepin, quaintly, if not predictably, known as Pepie. A local paddle boat operator is offering $50,000 for evidence of Pepie’s existence. I’m sure he’d be happy to sell you a boat ride to go have a look. Next in Pennsylvania there have been at least four reports of a large bird or bat like creature stalking the back roads over the last year. The descriptions vary slightly, but the witness reports are pretty interesting.

Finally, we brush upon the subject of Demonology, and the its inherent bias and delusion when approaching the paranormal. There is an excellent article from noted Parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach on a similar tract that can be found here. Beyond that the balance of skepticism and belief is looked at as well as the definition of skepticism as it relates to the unknown. For me skepticism is an informed state of indecision, however much of the skeptical community seems just as zealous in the their disbelief as those who think every orb caught on film is the ghost of some thing or other. Intellectual curiosity gets pushed from the equation and genuine research suffers when your mind is already made up and it’s detrimental to the greater understanding that I hope most people involved in such things are seeking.

Music this time supplied by…

MASCHINENZIMMER 412 (1:05)
CLOCKDVA (5:50)
SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES (9:54)
LUDICRA (21:15)
DEAD WORLD (25:29)
HAUS ARAFNA (29:49)
TIGER LILLIES (33:23)
BLOOD AXIS (44:08)
CHRISTIAN DEATH (48:16)
DISGRACE (52:14)
HELTIR (60:47)
NOISE UNIT (64:29)
OLD MAN GLOOM (69:20)
GGFH (72:46)

With background accompaniment from
LAIBACH

Professor Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium 024

Happy Friday the 13th,
Prof. Gruntsplatter

Update – and Reefer Madness!!

The show will go on, between life and migrating to a new computer, I got off schedule a bit. As soon as things are squared away again, the show will pick back up. If you haven’t weeded through the archives, now would be a good time… Hopefully, I’ll have something new up in the next week or so.

While I’m here please enjoy this touching tale of 3 young men in Texas. The mischievous lads found themselves in an old cemetery, and saw fit to dig up a corpse over the course of two days. Once they had reached the body, a light bulb went off over their sweaty little heads… I can almost hear their exhausted excitement now.

They used their shovel to remove the head of the corpse and determined it would make an most outstanding bong. I’m not sure exactly what sort of drug addled engineering was involved in the mechanics of their undertaking (sic) but the story came out when they were arrested on another matter and confessed to this as well. The police initially didn’t believe it, but gathered enough evidence to conclude that the scamps were likely telling the truth.

The grave is believed to have belonged to an 11 year old boy named Willie Sims who died in 1921. The skull has not been recovered, and somehow rain has kept the investigators from determining if the body and coffin are still in the grave. We can film the sunken Titanic in Hi Def, but they can’t find a headless cadaver in a puddle. At the very least, you’d hope, they could persuade people this stupid to tell them where the skull is. Since there is, as yet, no confirmed corpse or skull, and the boys told different stories on how the corpse was beheaded some still question if all of this really happened. It’s a hell of a thing to make up. All three were home schooled, imagine their parents surprise when they turn in their “What I did on Spring Break” papers…

March of the Shadow Gnome

The Sun ( UK)  has a report from General Geumes, Argentina indicating the town is being visited, and intimidated by a mysterious “gnome.” Additionally, this devious little fellow was captured on video, unfortunately it’s not available for embedding.

Jose Alvarez who shot the cell phone video had this to say… “One of my friends was so scared after seeing that thing that we had to take him to the hospital.”

I will try and keep an eye out for follow ups on this. Pretty awesome story, true or not, and the video is a great addition to what will no doubt become a legend with some legs in the area.

– Prof. Gruntsplatter

They Came For the Mayor

Ken Williams (aka Don LaRose) was the mayor of Centerton, Arkansas for 6 years until this March 5th when he resigned. His reason for resigning – 30 years ago he believes he was abducted and brainwashed by Satanists. He claims he was not aware of his tormented past until he recently was injected with a “truth serum.”

This “truth serum”, which is unnamed in the article, caused these memories to come rushing back, and he realized he had a wife and two kids in his previous life as Don LaRose. Williams said he left his wife and kids to protect them from the Satanists and changed his name and started a new life.

The ReligionNews Blog details the story further, their take is slightly different and fills in some of the back story. LaRose became Pastor of a Hessville Baptist church in 1978. At some point he told his parishioners that he was abducted by a cult in in Maine, New York back in 1975 for “blaspheming Satan”. He says they gave him multiple shock treatments to erase his memory and took him from Maine to Minneapolis and dumped him off. In 1980 he began acting strangely and telling people the Satanists were after him again for criticizing cults. He claims to have seen one of the Satanists through the window of the church while delivering a sermon, no one present at the sermon saw anyone suspicious. The next day LaRose did a runner and disappeared.

He floated around for a few years before settling in Arkansas, and ultimately wound up a multi-term mayor in Centerton under his new identity, an identity he stole from a man who died in 1958.

LaRose/Williams now claims, at least to some media, it was an underworld crime organization rather than a Satanic cult that was or is after him. He is quoted here as saying that he lived in fear of being found out ever since, and now that he’s been outed feels he may be in danger again. This suggests he didn’t need the “truth serum” to recall any of this and his Grandson isn’t buying the tale at all.

Here’s a peek at “Satanic Panic: The Creation Of A Contemporary Legend” on GoogleBooks if you are unaware of the of the Satanic Panic movement. A more concise summary can be seen here courtesy of the Skeptics Dictionary. The media space this idea consumed in the 80’s really was absurd. Geraldo Rivera pretty much built a career off of it as well as numerous moth like pop-psychologists drawn to the fictional satanic flame. There was never any evidence uncovered that organized and violent Satanic Cults existed.