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Hoax A Crypto Video: Go To Jail

Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 3rd, 2009

Tired of all those cryptozoology hoax videos on Youtube, Google, Yahoo, and other sites?

There is a breaking story out of New York State that may give some serious pause to the people who think its funny to produce faked footage of Mystery Cats and more.

Trenton Barry, 27, of Newark/Arcadia, New York has been charged with third-degree falsely reporting a cryptid cat incident by New York Department of Environmental Conservation officers. Barry is scheduled to appear Wednesday, August 26, 2009, in Arcadia Town Court, and if found guilty, he’ll be fined up to $1,000 and could go to jail for a year.

In July 2009, Barry told officials and the media that he was watering the garden at his parents’ Filkins Road home when he saw a cat-like creature that looked to be about the size of a German shepherd dog.

“When I saw the animal the first time, my heart was pounding and I was really scared,” he said in an interview after the alleged sighting.

On the same day, Barry told how the cryptid cat returned and he captured images of it on his cell phone’s video recorder. DEC officials interviewed him — then 2007 video by a Wolcott resident that matched the footage surfaced — and Barry soon recanted his story. Barry admitted he found the supposed cougar video on the Internet and had sent it to his friends, having no idea the message would become widespread.

“An investigation (in 2007) by the DEC showed that the animal in the video was only 14 inches in height and definitely not a cougar,” said Linda Vera, spokesperson for New York DEC’s Region 8.

“This is the most extravagant hoax related to cougars that I have ever seen,” said Lt. David Baker, law enforcement supervisor for the State of New York Department of Environmental Conservation, regarding the Trenton Barry video.


Interestingly, the measurement 14 inches came up earlier in March 2009 also, when regional DEC officials said the above photo was merely a 14 inches tall domestic cat, not a cougar.

“People don’t realize just how big a mountain lion is. It is big enough to pull down a deer. This one was capable of pulling down a squirrel.”
- Lt. David Baker, Department of Environmental Conservation.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4.

About Loren Coleman
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.


14 Responses to “Hoax A Crypto Video: Go To Jail”

  1. CryptoInformant 2.0 responds:

    I think jail-time might be a bit harsh for this guy, but I can think of some others (Tom Biscardi, perhaps?) who we would probably not miss if they went to jail.

  2. WOLVES-TALON responds:

    Now I would PAY to see that televised !! LOL

  3. airforce47 responds:

    Barry is being charged with filing a false official report versus hoaxing a cryptid video. Either way his wallet is empty and/or his freedom is gone.

  4. timi_hendrix responds:

    This is a good idea.

    Maybe it will stop those who chose to discredit cryptozoology.

    After all nobody likes a liar.

  5. springheeledjack responds:

    With the cost of law enforcement to check into some of these things, sure why not…it will help the crypto cause!

  6. wisaaka responds:

    I hate hoaxes and hoaxers; it’s annoying and wastes my time. As for putting this jerk in jail, I say do it.

  7. LordBalto responds:

    The problem with the knee-jerk reaction that this guy should be locked up is that it sets a really bad precedent. Think about it. Who decides what’s a hoax and what isn’t? The government? Are you kidding me? The only result of this will be that witnesses of anomalous phenomena will be even less willing to come forward. Might as well just shoot yourselves in the head, guys.

  8. tropicalwolf responds:

    It’s about time!

    These reports are a waste of money and time for those sent to investigate. The paid professionals (police, wildlife officers, etc) end up wasting time, money and effort, and the dedicated “true” researchers are out time they could have spent on something useful.

    In response to LordBalto, the key is being able to PROVE it. Hundreds of false police reports are made and no one is charged. However, when you get someone who confesses or admits they lied (rare, but it happens) then they need to be prosecuted. Jail time, no. Money & fines, yes.

  9. YowieLover responds:

    Some people are genuinely stupid and others are genuinely deceitful. I would like to see people who make up rubbish punished. It is far better to read crypto reports and know 100 percent are unusual occurrences than read them and know 10 percent could be genuine.

  10. wisaaka responds:

    LordBalto, in response, if the piece of media (in this case video) or story is proven to be without the shadow of a doubt to be a hoax, then I say throw the guy in jail if that is the law in that area state or country. However, if it isnt completely proven a hoax or if there is much doubt to the then alledged hoax, …then dont throw the guy in jail, its up to law enforcement to seperate the two, like in an extreme case where like this one, where laws have been broken in the pursuit of this (proven) hoax. This last thing might be censored by the people who run this site, but I think it needs to be said: I find far to many people grand-standing on these paranormal/outside the main stream sites, Im just here to discuss things and mabye have some fun and/or serious dialog with like-minded people. I dont like being talked at by or used as a prop for other peoples asserted (and false) egotisms or supposed intellectual (usually topical) superiority. [As in: "The only result of this will be that witnesses of anomalous phenomena will be even less willing to come forward.... ]

  11. solitaryman responds:

    I will have to agree with Lord Balto, to a certain extent.

    1. A crime punished by a year in jail is a *felony*. This is going to follow the guy his whole life. To classify this as a felony is a massive punishment in relation to the seriousness of the offense. Fines to discourage filing false reports? Good. Felony charges? Absurd.

    2. In practice, merely charging someone with a felony is going to cost the accused a lot of money and time. Many people might just plead guilty, rather than contest it.

    3. People would certainly l be discouraged from making anomalous reports. It makes no difference that the government has to ‘prove’ a hoax. Ask yourself this: if you saw something strange, are you going to report it, and risk being charged (even if you aren’t convicted) with a felony? Or would you just keep quiet?

  12. JMonkey responds:

    I agree with Lord Balto. We need to realize that “censorship” is not the answer to solving cryptozoological mysteries. Now as far as this guy wasting government resources, and filing a false report, thats on him. He should not have gotten the government involved. But to say that all “hoaxes” perpetrators, whether rightfully accused or not should go to jail, well that is a little steep. Many haved claimed, including several governments, that the Patterson Gimlin film is a hoax. We certainly wouldn’t want the government deciding who is telling the truth and who is not. We would lose a lot of very, lets say colorful, people if we were to do that.

  13. eireman responds:

    I don’t think they should throw the state penal code at him. However, since he did go to the trouble of wasting their time (although anyone even glancing at the picture could tell it was no cougar – unless they come in tabby), he should be fined. I think airforce47 pointed out the distinction: filing a false report. There is no statute for making false claims of spotting a cryptid. I doubt most lawmakers know what the word means. So, both those who legitimately believe they’ve captured something on video or in a still image and the hoaxers can rest easy knowing that as long as you don’t waste the precious time of state wildlife officials, you’re probably in good shape. But in this economy, with resources stretched thin, I doubt we can count on hearing too many reports, as in years past, of people spotting Bigfoot or what have you and then some law enforcement official comes out to investigate. At best, it’ll probably get a notation in the evening’s log. In a way, this is sad, because a great deal of reports earned their veracity from having been reasonably investigated by various law enforcement officials.

  14. trunk5202 responds:

    Dear Loren Coleman and others commenting here, this was in no way a hoax. I live in the town where this took place and I work for a local television news station. I have seen the video Barry took and heard his account. I have seen the place where the video was taken and can see all the landmarks in the video confirming it’s location. Barry is indeed telling the truth. I had various animal experts such as veterinarians look at the video and confirm it is no house cat and much more likely a cougar or mountain lion. The only reason Barry was arrested was because of the local DEC officials, not because he was lying. Barry never served time and the charges against him were thrown out. He also filed suit against the DEC and won a settlement over the matter. As many others in town will tell you, including police who have seen the animal, this was a real event and most certainly no hoax.



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