Updated: Fri, Aug 15, 2008, 3:22 pm
Uploaded: Fri, Aug 15, 2008, 2:21 pm
Researchers claim to have body of 'Bigfoot'
Noon press conference in Palo Alto raises more questions than answers
Two men from Georgia, claiming to have discovered the body of the legendary creature "Bigfoot," appeared in a much-anticipated press conference held Friday afternoon at the Cabana Hotel in Palo Alto.
Accompanying them was long-time Bigfoot researcher Tom Biscardi, who had previously flown out to Georgia to meet them. Biscardi now says he has the corpse in his custody.
"It's not a human, it's not an ape. It's definitely not something we've seen before," Biscardi said.
Two grainy photographs were released to members of the press as evidence along with commentary on DNA samples analyzed by Curt Nelson of University of Minnesota.
One photo shows the creature's mouth, with six bright incisors jutting out above a broad, protruding tongue. The other shows an indistinct, brown figure, partly obscured by trees in the forest.
Of the three DNA samples examined, one was "100 percent human," another came back as a "96 percent match to … a possum," and the last was inconclusive, according to a copy of Nelson's email to Biscardi.
The body's discoverers, Matthew "Gary" Whitton, a police officer from Clayton County, Georgia, and his friend Ric Dyer answered questions before a conference room packed with reporters, cameramen and a man sporting his very own Bigfoot costume.
According to the pair, they came across a body in the woods of northern Georgia while hiking "many miles off the path." Equipped with cameras, they also observed three similar creatures walking upright in the surrounding area.
Whitton said he waited for nine hours with the body and its apparent relatives while Dyer fetched help in the form of his 16-year old step-son and a tow truck. Together, Whitton said, the three men dragged the corpse through the forest for over 7 miles in order to load it onto the truck.
They refuse to reveal the exact location where the body was found, citing concern over the remaining creatures in the area.
Whitton's account of what happened to the body afterward was unclear, aside from his statement that it was placed in a large freezer box, which was later filled with water.
Responding to a question about why the two did not choose to hand the body over to a research institution, Dyer said, "Is Stanford going to buy me a new Corvette?"
"I didn't want to do the news conference," Dyer said. "But if you don't believe us now, just wait and see how it all ends."
Robert Barrows appeared at the conference as Biscardi's publicist. Barrows, who has worked with Biscardi for several years, is known in San Mateo County for his multiple bids for the District 12 Congressional seat formerly occupied by the late U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, now held by Jackie Speier.
"I think you'll find that this is the real deal," Barrows said of the alleged discovery.
A recently released a photograph of the find shows the hairy mass stuffed in a large freezer. The photo is available on Biscardi's website, www.Searchingforbigfoot.com.
Dr. Jeff Meldrum, a veteran Bigfoot researcher, is skeptical of the team's discovery, as well as Biscardi's credibility.
"The photo is very un-compelling, it has more the appearance of a costume or some sort of fabrication than it has of a real flesh-and-blood entity or body," he said. "More photos of the same aren't going to sway anyone's opinion."
Meldrum teaches anthropology and primate anatomy at Idaho State University's Department of Biological Sciences and is considered an academic authority on the fabled creature by Bigfoot enthusiasts.
"I have not been invited in any way shape or form to participate or to examine the alleged corpse," Meldrum said.
Biscardi has declined to name any of the scientists who have examined the body.
Biscardi himself is veteran Bigfoot tracker who has released a documentary entitled "Bigfoot Lives" about his observations in the field.
Whitton has been on administrative leave since suffering a gunshot wound to the wrist during a struggle at the scene of a robbery. Whitton and Dyer allegedly discovered the body less than a month after his injury.
A press release sent to media outlets by Barrows states several "vital statistics" of the Bigfoot body, including that it is nearly eight feet tall, weighs over five hundred pounds and has blackish-grey eyes.
"It is a bi-pedal creature covered in hair," Biscardi says. He claims to have prodded the body, at which point he was convinced of the integrity of the discovery.
"I'm not holding my breath," Meldrum said. "So far the handling of this has been more like a carnival side-show than it has been a scientific investigation."
Officials from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division said the largest wildlife they are aware of in the state are black bears and white-tail deer.
Biscardi said the next step is to turn over the body to scientists for an official autopsy.
An updated story will be posted later today.
— Bay City News Service
Like this comment
Posted by Gus L.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 13, 2008 at 12:09 pm
Here is a picture of the creature.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2008
BIGFOOT BODY FOUND
DNA evidence and photo evidence to be presented at a
to be held on
Date: Friday, August 15, 2008
Time: From 12Noon-1:00pm
Place: Cabana Hotel-Palo Alto (A Crown Plaza Resort) 4290 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, California 94306
Searching for Bigfoot, Inc. Menlo Park, California
Tom Biscardi, CEO
BIGFOOT BODY FOUND - EVIDENCE AND DNA DETAILS TO BE PRESENTED AT A PRESS CONFERENCE ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 15th
FROM 12 N00N TO 1:00PM AT THE CABANA HOTEL-PALO ALTO IN PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA
A body that may very well be the body of the creature commonly known as "Bigfoot" has been found in the woods in northern Georgia.
DNA evidence and photo evidence of the creature will be presented in a press conference on Friday, August 15th from 12 Noon to 1:00pm at the Cabana Hotel-Palo Alto at 4290 El Camino Real in Palo Alto, California, 94306. The press conference will not be open to the public. It will only be open to credentialed members of the press.
Here are some of the vital statistics on the "Bigfoot" body:
*The creature is seven feet seven inches tall.
*It weighs over five hundred pounds.
*The creature looks like it is part human and part ape-like.
*It is male.
*It has reddish hair and blackish-grey eyes.
*It has two arms and two legs, and five fingers on each hand and
five toes on each foot.
*The feet are flat and similar to human feet.
*Its footprint is sixteen and three-quarters inches long and five and three-quarters inches wide at the heel.
*From the palm of the hand to the tip of the middle finger, its hands are
eleven and three-quarters inches long and six and one-quarter inches wide.
*The creatures walk upright. (Several of them were sighted on the same day that the body was found.)
*The teeth are more human-like than ape-like.
*DNA tests are currently being done and the current DNA and photo evidence will be presented at the press conference on Friday, August 15th.The creature was found by Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer (residents of Georgia) in the woods in northern Georgia. (The exact location is being kept secret to protect the creatures.)
Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer will be flying in from Georgia to be at the press conference. Also present at the press conference will be Tom Biscardi, CEO of Searching for Bigfoot, Inc.
Whitton is a Clayton County, Georgia, police officer, who is currently on administrative leave after being wounded in the course of duty pursuing an alleged felon. Dyer is a former correctional officer. Whitton and Dyer are co-owners of bigfoottracker.com and Bigfoot Global LLC., a company that offers Bigfoot expeditions. Whitton and Dyer are working with Bigfoot hunter, Tom Biscardi, and Biscardi's Searching for Bigfoot, Inc., to present and conduct the scientific study of the evidence and information on this body.
A few weeks ago, Whitton and Dyer announced the finding of the body on the "Squatch Detective" radio show, an internet based radio show hosted by Steve Kulls. While on that show, the commentator asked Rick Dyer "Would you allow one of our people to come down and verify the body?" Dyer replied, "The only person we would allow to come down and verify the body was 'the real Bigfoot Hunter,' Tom Biscardi." The next day, the producer of the Squatch Detective show contacted Biscardi with pertinent information on how to contact Dyer and Whitton.
Extensive scientific studies will be done on the body by a team of scientists including a molecular biologist, an anthropologist, a paleontologist and other scientists over the next few months at an undisclosed location. The studies will be carefully documented and the findings will be released to the world, according to Biscardi.
Biscardi is known as "the real Bigfoot Hunter" because of his extensive investigations out in the field. He has been searching for Bigfoot since 1971 and over the past several years, he has been criss-crossing the United States and Canada tracking down the hottest leads on Bigfoot sightings.
Videography on the studies will be done under the supervision of Scott Davis, an independent producer and owner of TV Biz Productions in Phoenix, Arizona.
Currently, Tom Biscardi and his Searching for Bigfoot Team, in conjunction with Bigfoot Global LLC., are preparing to capture another of these creatures alive. That expedition will start very soon. The dates and the locations are being kept confidential.
The body that is currently being studied is being referred to as the "RICKMAT" creature, a name derived from the names of Rick Dyer and Matthew Whitton. [Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman recommends the term "Georgia Gorilla" be used to remove any taint of ego from the discovery, and so the general public, media, and science will have a comfortable moniker until a formal zoological name may be bestowed.]
Last year, a film that Biscardi produced about his investigations, called "Bigfoot Lives," won first place in the Documentary category at the Pocono Mountains Film Festival. Biscardi also hosts a Bigfoot oriented internet radio show that can be heard on Wednesday nights from 7:00pm to 8:00pm PDT at Web Link. The show is heard in over thirty countries.
Searching for Bigfoot, Inc. has exclusive rights to all publishing rights, photo rights, television and film rights, production and distribution rights and other commercial opportunities related to the discovery and findings regarding this body and these creatures.
Interested parties may contact Searching for Bigfoot, Inc., in writing, at their mailing address, 1134 Crane St., Suite 216, Menlo Park, California 94025.