Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 14th, 2008
All kinds of people are still interested in making money off the Bigfoot hoax, so PhotoShop jokes, such as the illustrated example given in the phony above tee-shirt ad are posted as a kind of social commentary.
I suppose this all issues from last Black Friday, when Matt Whitton, the hoaxing Georgia police officer, was trying to get his job back, and the Bigfoot fake went on eBay.
The ongoing auction of the body that wasn’t a real corpse is turning into its own new media circus.
Unbelievably, the bids on the actual Bigfoot hoax costume, (without the pig, cow and opossum body parts) in the same small freezer that the Georgia boys used, has gone over $101,000. (Over $200,000, as of 3 PM Eastern, on Tuesday, October 14th.) The whole thing is being auctioned off by Joshua Warren on eBay and, obviously, the reserve has been met. The auction will go higher, as there are two days to go.
I interviewed Warren about this auction, by phone earlier in the week, and determined that Matt Whitton, Ric Dyer, and Tom Biscardi will not be involved in getting any of the money. However, if Warren does sell it above $50,000, there is some indication that some items being filed against Whitton and Dyer will be dropped by the Indiana individual who originally fronted the money. Or as Joshua Warren says to me, “If this sells successfully, this should settle the financial suit(s), but any criminal prosecution is beyond civil control. These fellas will still be responsible for what they’ve done.”
Whatever is leftover above $50,000, apparently, will be used by Warren to fund his “hoax investigation museum.” Warren’s previous background has been in haunting investigations, ghost examinations, Bermuda Triangle cruises, and paranormal conferences.
Additionally, Joshua Warren has ventured into the cryptozoological realm before this auction. He has published articles and books regarding cryptozoology (e.g. his piece on the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot was in Fate Magazine, December 1999; and his Chapter 5, “Bigfoot and Loch Ness and Mothman, Oh My!” in his book Pet Ghosts includes an interview with me, published by New Page in 2006). His Bigfoot casts, analyzed by me, are part of a crypto display in his recent Paranormal Museum in downtown Asheville. He led investigations into sightings of Bigfoot. Mark A. Hall, Joshua Warren and I spoke at D. L. Tanner’s cryptozoology conference in Greenville, South Carolina, and I have been twice invited to speak at Warren’s NC conferences.
Warren was able to get former cop Whitton and former soldier Dyer to agree to go to the location of the trickster Bigfoot body and confirm to the final eBay buyer (during the transfer of the fake and finances) that this is the actual hoaxed costume and freezer. Then the $50,000 obligation against them will be dropped. (see Atlanta Journal Constitution, in the article by Kathy Jefcoast, Thursday, August 21, 2008.)
The eBay hoax auction has gotten quite a bit of Fox News attention lately. As that news service points out, this is not the first time someone’s made money from an eBay auction related to the hoax. The original costume artist in California sold a duplicate head for $600 in late August.
Of course, for $450 or $499 (depending on the quote and the site), you can simply buy the entire complete and same costume Dyer and Whitton used, minus the eBay auction, entrails, paperwork, freezer and personal appearance.
What do you think, a casino is bidding on the hoax Bigfoot body for a display?
I find it quite upsetting, at some level, that this much money exists out there for a fake, and yet legitimate Bigfoot research, Sasquatch museums, and Bigfoot studies have to get by on shoestring budgets.
But then again, in the end, perhaps Joshua Warren’s ideas to put his “profit” to good uses will work out, after all, for the betterment of cryptozoology and his investigations. The extra money for this eBay sale is not going to Biscardi, Whitton, or Dyer. Of course, until he gets his money, Warren could be the victim of an online bidding hoax himself.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. 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.