Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 21st, 2010
A piece of hoax history has resurfaced again, reportedly as “proof” of a Yeti-like or Bigfoot-like creature in Bulgaria. The “All News Web” has published a story by Jadyn Cassidy, on January 21, 2010, along with the above image. Cassidy writes, in part:
Currently the possibility that Bigfoot might live in their nation is inspiring the imagination of Bulgaria’s media, however the story goes much further back.
Apparently twenty five years ago a local took photos of footsteps imprinted in the ground in the remote Rhodope Mountains. The footprints were said to be neither that of a human or a bear but some unknown hominid.
The pictures (above) were given over to a Russian institute for further study and declared a mystery. Nothing more was heard of the story.
Recently a hiker in the Rhodope Mountains came forward and reported seeing a strange ape-like creature. Locals apparently were not surprised and claimed to have been aware of this creature’s existence for generations.
But that photo is from the following hoaxed footage:
The original short video clip, released in 1996 by Paramount’s then upcoming network UPN, was a hoax created to promote a then forthcoming program variously known as “Paranormal Borderland” or “Paranormal Borderline,” hosted by Jonathan Frakes (famed for his Commander William T. Riker role in “Star Trek”). It was cancelled after one show.
The Snow Walker image still haunts the Internet like a visitor that won’t leave.
The clip was initially reported to be a film of a Yeti in the Himalayas, and came to be known as the “Snow Walker” footage. Many cryptozoologists, including me, were leery of the footage from the beginning. Eventually, an earlier supporter, Dr. Jeff Meldrum was able to get the producers at Paramount to admit that it was a promotional hoax.
It is often incorrectly reported that the footage was created by Fox TV. Actually, Fox TV bought the footage to show on their “World’s Greatest Hoaxes: Secrets Finally Revealed,” a 1999 television special produced by Robert Kiviat, known for the beginning of their dubious multiple attempts to debunk the Patterson-Gimlin film.
Images of the “Snow Walker” and the video itself are still shown, uncritically, as the “only proof” of Yeti, or as with this new Bulgarian story, without any true knowledge of the hoaxing history behind photos taken from the 1996 video clip.
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.