Posted by: Craig Woolheater on April 20th, 2006
As Loren has written here on Cryptomundo, it looks like the Sonoma footage from last fall was hoaxed by Penn & Teller for their Showtime program.
As Loren also mentioned here last year, Penn & Teller were trolling for unsuspecting crypto-dupes for their Showtime program.
It looks like they resorted to putting up a website with their hoaxed footage and then sent out emails to the various Bigfoot organizations to see if they could hook anybody.
"Mark Nelson" emailed the Texas Bigfoot Research Center to see if we were interested.
I’m not a professional like you guys, but I think I got something real exciting on tape. It was in California, not Texas. But I’ve put up a Web site. Can you give me your professional opinion?
The site is still up, check it out at the above link.
I watched the footage and shared it with the members of the group. General consensus was that it was hoaxed.
I wrote about it here on Cryptomundo, which created a firestorm of interest on the message boards. "Mr. Nelson’s" phone number was on the website, and he supposedly was barraged with calls. Several investigators tried to investigate the report, and felt the claims and the video were dubious.
But not the BFRO. They, or at least Matt Moneymaker, felt it was credible. It was prominently featured on their website, for quite some time on the opening page.
As soon as it was publicized yesterday that the Sonoma footage was going to be featured in Penn & Teller’s cryptozoology episode, the initial reaction by the BFRO was featured on their public use forum. Loren had the text of that missive in his post earlier today.
And then, as if by magic (no pun intended), all mentions of the Sonoma footage disappeared from the BFRO website. Pretty amazing, considering they were still standing behind it. At least, that’s the feeling I got from reading the text from their message board.
Regarding the stupid claim by Penn & Teller that they faked the Sonoma footage:
Their claim is false. They didn’t have anything to do with the footage. They are just trying to get a buzz going about their show. They are trying to trick people into tuning into the program. It’s a ploy, don’t fall for it.
They were trying desperately to license the Sonoma footage. Mark Nelson agreed that it wasn’t a good idea to let them have it. He would have OK’d it, and even encouraged it, if he would have been involved with them. He’s a real person, yet they say it was only a front on a web site.
Sounds like they were holding their position on the footage. Which begs the question, why remove it from the website if you are standing behind it?
A handy tool for occasions such as this is google. You see, you can access pages on any website that google has indexed using their google cache feature. There you can find that google has cached the Sonoma footage on the BFRO site, even though it has now been removed, as retrieved on Apr 17, 2006 23:59:07 GMT. And there are some pretty damn bold claims there.
Various people in the BFRO have seen sasquatches in the field and know what they look like. This looks like a real sasquatch.
We don’t think the figure in the Sonoma footage is a man in a costume. We would not be able to duplicate the anatomy of this figure, and we doubt anyone else can either.
The average person will look at this footage and dismiss it as a man in a dark costume who is pumping his arms in an exaggerated manner.
We see a skeletal anatomy that is not consistent with a human. For various reasons, the Sonoma figure would have to be a fairly simple costume. Yet a simple costume doesn’t change the limb ratios of a human, only its surface appearance.
It will be really interesting to see how this shakes out. Stay tuned to Cryptomundo for further details and developments on the Sonoma footage.
I am very sure that we will be discussing it next week after the show airs…
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.