Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 21st, 2008
An Atlanta newspaper has identified the Indiana man who says he was the middleman in a $50,000 deal to buy the body of Bigfoot.
William Wald Lett Jr. of Eaton, Indiana, says he met the Georgia men in the Clayton County (GA) Justice Center parking lot, handed over cash and loaded a freezer containing a frozen, furry “carcass” onto a trailer. When he got back to Indiana, the object thawed and was revealed to be a Halloween costume.
Matt Whitton, in happier days, when he was an active police officer.
In a complaint filed Thursday with Clayton County police, Lett said he brokered and videotaped the transaction on behalf of Tom Biscardi, a Bigfoot hunter in California. Lett said Biscardi said he’d repay the loan at 50 percent interest within 90 days.
Lett said he met with two men the night of Aug. 14 in the Justice Center parking lot, where the two men signed a “transfer release agreement” to sell the frozen remains of Bigfoot, a gorilla-like creature that some people claim to have seen in wilderness areas throughout the nation. Lett said he handed over $50,000 in cash.
Lett said he then followed the two men to a house on nearby Poston Road, where another person was “standing guard” over a freezer that held the alleged remains. Lett said the freezer, which weighed almost a ton, was loaded onto a trailer towed by his GMC Yukon Denali.
Once Lett returned to Indiana, the thawing process began, and the creature turned out to be a Halloween costume, he said. Lett said he has tried without success to contact the men to get his money back.
The two suspects are not identified in the report, but they are thought to be former Clayton police Officer Matt Whitton and former corrections officer Rick Dyer. Both men appeared on WSB-TV Wednesday and admitted their roles in the hoax.
Police Capt. Greg Dickens said suspects are not identified in incident reports until charges are filed. The case might be assigned to a detective by Friday afternoon.
“I think the solvability expectation in this case is pretty high,” he said.
Whitton, 28, was fired Tuesday after six years with the department because of his involvement in the hoax, police Chief Jeff Turner said. Dyer, 31, worked at three state prisons, according to Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council records. However, he now drives a truck for Big Foot Towing Co. and sells used cars over the Internet.
Both are being represented by Jonesboro attorney Steve Lister, who was in court Thursday afternoon and not immediately available for comment. No formal criminal charges have been filed.
The whereabouts of the two Georgia men are unknown.
Reporter Kathy Jefcoats of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote her article on Thursday, August 21, 2008.
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.