Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 26th, 2010
“Black Friday,” as a term, for the day after Thanksgiving in the USA, denotes a “good day,” one in which merchants go “into the black” due to positive cash flow coming into their businesses.
But “Black Friday” is generally a negative conotation.
Black Fridays sometimes are not good days. Black Friday, October 24, 1929, is the one people often bookmark, but there have been others before…and after.
Black Friday (above), September 24, 1869.
Take also, for instance, Black Friday, October 10, 2008, specifically, may go down in history as the worst day, since the Great Crash of 1929, for global stock markets. I’ve already written about the weird links between hoaxes and economic depressions, as well as other matters related to these times.
The news on October 10, 2008, got very bizarre. A certain Georgia gentleman wanted his law enforcement position reinstated, the Georgia hoax costume was up for bid on eBay for thousands of dollars, and stock markets around the globe were tanking: We asked, had world gone mad?
Clayton News Daily newsman Daniel Silliman was on the beat that day, reporting on the latest about the Georgia Bigfoot hoax melodrama.
Here is Silliman’s original examination for Black Friday, October 10, 2008:
‘Bigfoot’ cop wants job back
The Clayton County police officer, who perpetuated a Bigfoot hoax, is fighting his firing.
Matthew Whitton has filed an appeal of his termination, asking to be reinstated to his job as a uniformed patrolman. Whitton, 28, was fired in August, after he attracted international media attention with claims he had the body of a dead Bigfoot.
Whitton and Rick Dyer, who once was a corrections officer, claimed they had the corpse of a legendary North American man-ape and had it frozen in a secret, safe location. They described the alleged animal in detail, including the color of its hair, its sexual organ and how “man-like” the animal would look, if it were shaved.
Teaming up with Tom Biscardi, a California man with a history of Bigfoot hoaxes, Whitton and Dyer held a press conference to “reveal the evidence.” The “evidence” amounted to blurry and unconvincing pictures, and an e-mail reporting DNA test results as “human,” “opossum” and “unidentified.”
A few days later, everyone involved admitted the claims that captured media attention from CNN to The Sydney Morning Herald, from the Clayton News Daily to the New York Times, were false. The find was apparently a rubber suit stuffed with animal entrails.
When news of the claims first broke, Clayton County Police Chief Jeff Turner said Whitton’s activities were personal as long as he did it on his own time, didn’t do anything illegal, and didn’t involve the police department. After the hoax was admitted, Turner said Whitton had lied on national television and lost his credibility.
Court cases in which Whitton was going to be a key witness, including an armed robbery that left a woman shot in the head and comatose, will probably be affected, legal observers say. Some charges could be dropped and some cases could be dismissed, observers speculate, because of the possible issue of Whitton’s credibility.
Friends of Whitton in the department, have privately called the incident a personal and professional embarrassment, even though the fired officer said the whole thing was just a joke. To date, he seems to still think it was a joke.
Dyer responded to Whitton’s firing in a conversation with the Clayton News Daily by attacking Turner’s personal integrity, and called Whitton a hero, because the officer was shot in the line of duty a few weeks before claiming to have found a Bigfoot body.
Whitton said he always kept his job separate from his hoax hobby, at one point using a different first name and telling reporters at the big press conference that “my job has nothing to do with this.” Most media outlets mentioned Whitton’s work, however, as a reason his claims could be credible.
The appeal, filed by attorney Robert F. Webb, adds another argument against Whitton’s firing, saying Whitton was “suffering from the physical and mental stress” from the shooting.
Webb is expected to also argue that the firing was done improperly.
A civil service board hearing has not yet been scheduled, according to the county’s personnel department.
It will be recalled that Whitton, before he said this was all a “joke,” before the “body” was even mentioned, had claimed that he was interested in Bigfoot from the time he was a boy and that hunting Bigfoot had always been his dream.
Likewise, if you remember, those looking for evidence that Bigfoot was on Dyer’s mind long before this recent episode merely need to view the name of his towing company on the side of his truck.
On that Black Friday in 2008, the incredibly unexplainable auction was going on over at eBay to sell the actual costume that was in the ice chest. Eventually, hoaxers actually jacked the auction up to a $250,000 bid that was never paid. Karma, I guess.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.