Bigfoot plays 'possum

Remember that freezer chock full o' Bigfoot I mentioned yesterday? Well today the men who claim to have found the body of the sought after mythical beast held a press conference in which the results from the first round of DNA testing were presented. Of the three samples tested one came back inconclusive, one had "traces of human DNA," and a third had "traces of opossum DNA" according to news reports. The actual body, first seen in shadowy and low-resolution images this week, was not presented.

A second round of DNA tests have been promised, but maybe it's just a stalling tactic. While the duo that claim to have discovered the body and dubious "Bigfoot expert" Tom Biscardi insist that they have the real deal, the entire affair is clearly being played up for fame and fortune. It seems that only researchers hand-picked by the owners of the wet and fuzzy freezer critter are going to be allowed to see it, no doubt people who are already sympathetic to the existence of Sasquatch.

As Carl Sagan pointed out in The Demon-Haunted World, media feeding-frenzies like this are unfortunate. Plenty of attention is given to the claimants and their spurious evidence, but when their hoax is ultimately revealed (as was the case with the whole crop circle phenomenon when I was growing up) the mass media is nowhere to be found. I don't particularly care if the folks at CNN want to waste their time by giving people with fantastic claims airtime, but I would hope that they would have to decency to fully cover when those assertions are proven to be false.

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Finally, Bigfoot has been found. bigfoot It is reported that Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, of Georgia, have found a bigfoot body, over seven feet tall. They've put bigfoot into a freezer, snapped a few grainy photographs, and will let the rest of us see it some time in the future. Bigfoot expert…
Greg Laden already beat me to it, but the alleged Bigfoot in a freezer has (as predicted) turned out to be a hoax. The three men involved in the hoax, Matt Whitton, Rick Dyer, and "professional Bigfoot hunter" (i.e. B.S. artist) Tom Biscardi, have admitted as much, although both Whitton and Dyer…
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The much-anticipated Bigfoot press conference Friday afternoon in Palo Alto, Calif., revealed little more than two men -- introduced by a self-styled Sasquatch seeker -- claiming to possess the 7-foot "body" of a "bipedal creature" on ice in a secret location, awaiting an autopsy. * Bigfoot…

We've seen this ploy so many times, I can't believe we keep going through it. Someone makes a fantastic claim, and says they have evidence. Since they don't actually have the evidence, they get shady "experts" to back them up. Cue media circus.

In the uproar, very few people actually notice that the people who presented the claim have nothing.

John McKay,

Maybe it's publicity for a remake of The Fly (Jeff Goldblum), only with a possum instead.

Seriously, the unidentified DNA intrigues me. Why is it unidentified when we can identify degraded DNA from other animals?

Yes, this whole things smacks of Hogzilla, doesn't it? These guys are making lots of money taking people out on "bigfoot expeditions" now. @ john mckay - excellent theory. I expect just before the real experts arrive, bigfoot-possum-man will spring to life and run off. @ allen kellogg - it isn't really "unidentified" - I read elsewhere that there was a technical problem with the test, so were not able to get readable data. (I'm sure it is bigfoot DNA, though. Afterall, I read it on the internet - it must be true!)

Heh. I mentioned crop circles in a short story I had published earlier this summer. You might get a kick out of the context...

"They showed up a little more than a year ago. I watched their ship on television, a soft globe banded in edible-looking shades of pink, orange, and yellow that floated down through the atmosphere and settled lightly on the ground.

Grandma and I followed them on the news, watching as they guzzled psychedelic herbal brews in the Amazon basin. We saw them at the pyramids and Machu Pichu, heard an interview with them when they visited the south of England to marvel at the crop circles."

Haw! Haw! Haw!

Geddit?

It's a hoax, they're stalling. You can read a pretty good take down of the whole affair in this article. Comes with background information and evidence pointing towards fraud.

There were three types of people who said it was a hoax. The first group said it was fake because bigfoot can't exist. The second group said it was fake because the people behind it were liars and frauds. The third group it was fake because they had evidence showing it was fake. It was the evidence of fraud that changed my mind. You want to convince me you are right, you do better by providing evidence supporting your position.

You want to convince me you are right, you do better by providing evidence supporting your position.

Why should it be incumbent upon others to ensure that you don't fall for idiocy? I mean, in this day and age, if you still need "convincing" that Bigfoot is a hoax, then you have no one to blame for your credulousness but yourself. Skepticism is a tool for you to use. Don't keep expecting others to "make a case" for you like you are some passive judge on all matters.

[T]he unidentified DNA intrigues me. Why is it unidentified when we can identify degraded DNA from other animals?

It must be wearing dark glasses. That always works.