Bigfoot Body Brouhaha

Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 23rd, 2008

In the midst of claims, now an admitted hoax, new videos, withdrawn video, and more, what are we to make of the BigfootTrackers’ latest promise their Bigfoot body will be revealed September 1st? [Ooops, one of their group has said October 1st, but another person and their website still says September 1st.] Is this just one rather large “gottacha” game?

Thanks to notes shared with me kept by Craig Woolheater while I was in Alberta, there have been some major developments regarding the claims of BigfootTrackers having a body.

The group of two posted a video on Saturday, July 19, 2008, showing a “Dr. Paul Van Buren” arriving at an airport to examine the alleged Bigfoot corpse. They also showed, on one of their YouTube videos, a form under a tarp and claimed it is the body of their Bigfoot.

The claim was made that they will unveil their evidence on September 1, 2008, er, October 1st.

Then, online message forums began discussing the video and the doctor’s credentials. Saturday night, Woolheater received an email from “the doctor” stating that he was working with a group in Georgia that may have a body.

Woolheater then tracked down his myspace page, which is still up showing him to already be a member of the TBRC.

After watching the video, seeing his myspace page, Woolheater felt that he was an actor, likely a friend or relative, playing the part.

On the GCBRO message board, they outed him as the wounded officer’s brother.

On YouTube, Matt Crowley outed him as Whitton’s brother, Martin Whitton, a Texas photographer. On his website, he clearly does resemble Van Buren:

Martin Whitton also has a myspace page, also listing him as 30 years old and in Austin also.

BigfootTrackers have been releasing, uploading, and pulling their YouTube videos, then following up with others. But even thought they have pulled their initial video, and followed it up with another video, another individual archived it to place it on YouTube (see below).

This video shows a screen shot of the Cryptomundo website and my posting in the video. They also seem to misunderstand the intent of my posting, and thus try to take my book and Meldrum’s book to task as some form of anger projection on their part.

As any police officer knows, asking for the body (the “evidence”) is no more or less what should be requested in this situation, especially in the midst of admitted hoaxing, asking for tee-shirt sales, and promises of things to come.

Now, the Bigfoot Trackers have posted a new video outing “Dr. Paul Van Buren” as Whitton’s brother, themselves, and saying that it was something they did to throw off their “internet stalkers.”

It is in this video that one of the Bigfoot Trackers points out my and Meldrum’s books as beneath them, repeating the kinds of claims heard from Eric Beckjord and others. They state they will be writing their own book.

I found the juvenile level of criticism of these men the funniest when they mentioned that others were merely “growing beards” instead of “hunting Bigfoot.”

It appears the testosteroid behavior of the BigfootTrackers way of speaking, responding to a few callers, internet harassments, and more, in a way hardly befitting a law enforcement officer is revealing. Of course, this case will be one studied for years, in terms of the faked landmines along the way, the public reaction, and the attempts to sell future “hunting trips.”

I, more than most, hope they have a verifiable unknown hairy nonhuman great primate carcass, but the way this is being handled, unfortunately, does give a sense of the entire “Johor Bigfoot” fiasco. As someone pointed out, perhaps this is just some elaborate try at the Bushnell “hoax” part of the prize.

Show me the body!

Oh, that’s right, it is to be unveiled on September 1, 2008.

The Bigfoot Trackers removed the above video.

But it has been reposted to youtube by another user.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
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.

34 Responses to “Bigfoot Body Brouhaha”

  1. Buzzard responds:

    The video that was removed is funny. “I’m a very busy scientist.” Hilarious, the guy looks like he just got back from spring break. At least take off the Dudely Broham necklace and shave off the flavor savor facial hair if you’re going to play a scientist. These guys are so full of it.

  2. Gereth responds:


    If that’s Bigfoottracker’s idea of a joke I can foresee no better outcome for all thie “we have the body” thing. Too bad.

    I’ll once more pursue my first line of thought. Bear in mind I’m by no means an expert in the USA legal system but having undestanding of how law works on the country I live in lends me the knowledge needed to point the things I’m going to do now.

    This “Matt” guy is supposedly a cop right? SO by being a cop he abides to follow a strict code of conduct. It may vary from state to state over there but I believe the core of such code remains the same.

    I’ve took the time to look for such a conductcode on the web findind the one pertaining to the Milwaukee County ( from which I quote:

    “Private life:Police officers will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to their agencies or themselves. A police officer’s character and conduct while off duty must always be exemplary, thus maintaining a position of respect in the community in which he or she lives and serves. The officer’s personal behavior must be beyond reproach”.

    I strongly believe that posting a video on the internet when said police officer admits conning people into believing his brother is someone who he really isn’t already breaks such code. That certainly isn’t a a “position of respect in the community” where I live and certainly isn’t where he lives.

    Claiming to have a Bigfoot body and later failing to deliver can surely fall into the same category thus showing that the person in question lacks the moral qualities to serve the community as a law enforcement officer and for sure discredits his agency in the public’s eyes.

    Again I’d urge people into taking legal measures against this phonies as soon as all this proves to be a hoax.

    If it does indeed prove to be the real thing I’ll be glad to “eat my words”.

    And NO… the people they credit as having no lives do have other things to do. It’s just not nice to be conned by someone we should trust.

  3. Demian66 responds:

    Dear Loren,

    I think that in your last statement about the bigfoottrackers you did those guys a little bit wrong. If I remember correctly Mr. Whitton referred to yours and Meldrum`s books as “well-written”, and his only (and justified) criticism was that these books were written by authors who had no “first hand” expercience. I think this is fair to say…

    About those guys: They are without any doubt a bunch of hillbillies and for some over 30-years-old men rather “juvenile” (to put it mildly). But in their own special way they appear rather smart to me. And boring they are certainly not…
    However, the way the whole affair is running, it will NOT be a second Johor. Guys who are seeking so much public/media attention (especially if one of them is a police officer) will certainly not try to fool the public or naive bigfoot believers JUST in order to have a good laugh. And they certainly will be smart enough (police officer!!!) not to plan some semi-legal bargains with their merchandising and selling of expedition attendances.

    In my opinion there are just two possibilities:

    1. They REALLY have a body,
    2. They will “confess” on the 1st of September that the body has been stolen in the week before. Or was confiscated by the FBI. And the video and photos were confiscated, too. BUT AGAIN: not as the “highlight” of a planned and deliberate cheating, but as a “well-intentioned” try to bring fresh air into the lifeless (as they probably see it judged from their remarks in the videos) current state of cryptozoological research and debate.

    Sadly, to be honest: Point 2 has a probability of 90%.

    But as you do, Loren, I very much hope that the 1st of September will be exactly as “ground-breaking”, “shocking” and “history-making” as they repeat it over and over again in their videos.
    I like those young men and wish them all the best – just to see the reactions of all the sceptics, the BFRO and Biscardi would (will?) make this date the cryptozoological highlight of all times.


  4. squatchdetective responds:

    Hey…I’m famous!!!!

    What a bunch of dopes!

    Wait till what I do next!!!

  5. comncents responds:

    This is like a poker game…the BF trackers keep raising a bluff because they are to far along to throw in their hand. At some point all they cards will be on the table and there will be no body.
    As pointed out in previous posts…expect something to happen to the body.
    I’m having fun seeing how seriously some people are taking this.

  6. Loren Coleman responds:

    I don’t really want to go here, but sometimes this just goes over the top. Herr Joerg writes:

    I think that in your last statement about the bigfoottrackers you did those guys a little bit wrong. If I remember correctly Mr. Whitton referred to yours and Meldrum`s books as “well-written”, and his only (and justified) criticism was that these books were written by authors who had no “first hand” expercience. I think this is fair to say…

    Perhaps something was lost in translation, but when someone characterizes Jeff Meldrum’s and my books by using a term that means “bovine manure,” I tend to think they are not calling them “well-written.”

    Furthermore, Herr Joerg, you fall into the trap of either having not read my & Meldrum’s books or ending up joining the faction that likens itself to Erik Beckjord’s wrongheaded critique that Meldrum and I have never done fieldwork. That factual untruth aside, it is a shame that some don’t realized that scholarly and popular discussions and treatments of hominological history and topics can contain cited references, reviews of old material, and firsthand experiences to be worthwhile.

    Hey, as I’ve told Beckjord often, every time he dumps on my books, Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America or The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates, the sales increase.

  7. Demian66 responds:

    Dear Loren
    my remarks were certainly not meant in a offensive way – really not.

    1. Mr. Whitton indeed said the books are well-written and that he does not want to talk trash about them. His partner mentioned those words we both do not want to repeat.

    2. What I meant with having no “first hand experience” is that you and Meldrum never encountered the REAL THING. or am I wrong? Those guys are in the privileged position to just have a look into the freezer and know more about bigfoot than all generations of researchers together – if it is true, of course ;-)) However, that´s what I called “first hand experience” – and this was certainly not a criticism on your work or on your books.

    best wishes
    Herr Joerg 🙂

  8. steelcut responds:

    Seems to me, the only place in the web where these idiots get a forum is right here. Shame on you, Loren.

    Only thing to do is ignore those morons. Do not give ’em a forum!

  9. Loren Coleman responds:

    Steelcut appears to wish to “kill the messenger.”

    The truth of the matter is that we are reporting the news here, that these guys are being discussed on many Bigfoot forums and lists, and if you don’t wish to read about them, why make a comment on ’em?


  10. rugby411 responds:

    I think it’s interesting that they’re not having any problem being around a decomposing body that’s been kept in what looks like an unrefrigerated back bedroom.

    They’ve had a body for, what, two weeks now? It’s most definitely gone beyond the fresh stage of decomposition and would now be in the putrefaction stage where bloating, bacterial activity, and gasses are going to make it not only extremely odorous and difficult to be around, but very attractive to bugs. And they’re planning on keeping a 7-9ft 600lb decomposing body in an unrefrigerated bedroom in Georgia during the summer?

    I think it’s very obvious that these guys are bored in their lives and looking for something to do. Thankfully they’ve found, like many others, that the internet is a great place to play pranks and posture (ie Biscardi, Cliff Crook, Janice Carter, etc). It’s only a matter of time before their “body” is confiscated by the Feds or the CIA or something like that.

    Their posturing and strutting are transparent, tiring, completely unscientific, and ultimately comes from bored men who are undeniably painting themselves to be liars backed into a corner.

    To be honest I’m bored with the whole thing and going back to my tree stand to catch a bigfoot with a rope.


  11. steelcut responds:

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not reading any other bigfoot forums, I’m reading only your site for cryprozoologic things – ’cause I think it’s a very good one.

    But reporting in such a high frequency about those hillbillies is doing ’em more good than they deserve.

    You’re doing nothing but commercials for them if you report about them, if you want it or not.

    Actually you have to be a paying member to get access to the video.

    It’s nothing but a money machine.

  12. chrisandclauida2 responds:

    this so called officer can lose his job for this. you can do a lot of things wrong as a member of law enforcement and not lose your job. i have seen DUI’s, traffic accidents, and even minor drug arrests and still officers keep their jobs.

    one thing you cant do is lie. officers nearing retirement in days have been fired for lying about why they are late for work. outstanding officers who told minor lies or even omissions have been fired instantly, well as instantly as you can on a government job.

    i was a correctional sergeant. i couldn’t hardly fire an officer for showing up drunk, being arrested for pandering or any other number of crappy types of behavior. some of these folks need to be fired but its difficult to do so because of how most government and law enforcement agencies have their personnel rules and due process set up. it’s why most times supervisors don’t even try to terminate troubled staff and why sometimes the public is shocked when they hear about a 15 year veteran who is in trouble or suspended every few months but kept their jobs.

    basically each incident is separate and others cant be taken into account unless they are the same behaviors or continuation of the same incident.

    as hard as it is to get rid of staff unless they commit a felony, and still they are rarely fired till they have been convicted, if you tell a lie or are shown to be dishonest your butt is out the door so fast you’ll wonder what the hell was that blur.

    one thing you cant do is show integrity issues as it makes you unable to testify or swear to anything ever again cause you are a proven liar and as such your word cant be trusted. you can no longer swear out affidavits for arrest warrants, testify at hearings or trials or even tell the judge in traffic court you saw someone speeding because as a liar your word is crap.

    so with this in mind do these so called bigfoot hunters have anything to say? i know this officer nearly gave his life for the people of his state and I’m sure they are grateful he made their safety his personal responsibility, but when he is proven a liar and hoaxer what does he have left, certainly not his word, certainly not his personal integrity, if he raises his right hand to swear anything the judge will break out laughing and kick him out of the court room. Any 1st year law student or worse criminal who thinks he’s a lawyer will be able to impeach his testimony and show hes a proven liar and hoaxer. Case dismissed.

    so are you a liar and hoaxer to be shoveled in to the pit with the likes of marx or biscardi and so many others who’s credibility is zero because they lied and hoaxed or is there any personal integrity left that will force the truth to come out.

    I’m one that hopes you have the body, i really do. if you don’t even the tidy bowl man and his toilet bowl boat can keep you from spiraling down with the rest of the, well you get the idea.

  13. Lupus responds:

    Hmm, the major revelation seems to have been postponed until the 1st of october…

  14. squatchdetective responds:

    Here here Chris&claudia2 !!!

    I agree with the sentiment.

  15. ShefZ28 responds:

    I’d type out a long post on why I think they are fake.

    But comon now… no one can possibly believe this.

    This IS the internet… Pics or it didn’t happen is the law of the land.

  16. gordonrutter responds:

    # Buzzard responds: July 23rd, 2008 at 8:49 am

    The video that was removed is funny. “I’m a very busy scientist.” Hilarious, the guy looks like he just got back from spring break. At least take off the Dudely Broham necklace and shave off the flavor savor facial hair if you’re going to play a scientist. These guys are so full of it.

    And why shouldn’t scientists have spring break, Dudley Broham necklace and flavor savor facial hair? We’re people too!


  17. gridbug responds:

    Loren et al, thanks for keeping us updated on this. I know that some have suggested that you not give bftrackers a public forum and/or the attention, but we cryptos are a smart bunch (as evidenced by the posts regarding this whole “body or not” thing) and if anything, we’ll be the first to take bftrackers to task for perpetrating this could-be hoax. Their “careers” will take a massive hit, and it’s because you’ve kept this issue on our minds.

    And anyway, a good Squatch controversy now and again can be a nice diversion. 😀

  18. whiteriverfisherman responds:

    To whom it may concern,

    Mr. Coleman spends a great deal of time researching and finding all things cryptid in the news and elsewhere. Then, as he should, puts his findings in one spot “cryptomundo” for all to view. There is no bias just info. Just the facts ma’am kinda stuff and we make our own conclusions from there. I get a bit peeved when the provider of the info gets flack for doing what he is supposed to do, report. Leave the guy alone and let him do what most of us appreciate him for doing.

  19. davethewave81 responds:

    It really makes you wonder if a police officer like this would make up a big lie for self promotion and benefit, then how many innocent people might be locked up by this guy on charges he made up or evidence he planted just to look like he was doing his job or vendettas he had against people who crossed him.

    Again, if….

  20. HOOSIERHUNTER responds:

    I happen to know a member of Beckjord’s family. They won’t associate with him anymore at all.

  21. proriter responds:

    Thus the state of BF “research” in the first decade of the 21st century. It’s time to move on.

  22. CamperGuy responds:

    This one still stinks on ice.

    “I’m a busy scientist” too funny. I sir am a busy camper with no time for busy scientists but how about a picture of just the freezer you have Mr. Foot in?

    Has BFT legal representation made a statement yet?
    I repeat from an earlier post the legalities concerning fraud should be explored.

    In my opinion If Mr. Officers statements/testimony had negatively impacted me in any court action. I would seek remedy. He has brought his credibility into question.

    What is this? Pester Loren day? Sheesh!

  23. PhotoExpert responds:

    Admitted hoax you say? We here at Crytomundo knew it was a hoax from the beginning as we publicly posted. Finally they admit what we already knew. LOL

  24. cryptidsrus responds:

    We’ll see on October 1st.

    I also tend to echo the sentiments of ChrisandClaudia2.

    Let’s hope it is real, for this “officer”‘s sake.

  25. Holmes responds:

    Why haven’t wildlife authorities check these idiots out? If they have a body it could be murder. Looking at Patterson’s film suggest that bigfoot is more human than ape. Those are big humanlike footprints not ape prints.
    If this was a real deal Fish and wildlife would be all over this.

  26. mystery_man responds:

    And around and around we go. This is turning into a regular three ring circus. Enough with the attention grabbing. Enough of T-shirt sales. Let’s get real here.

    Busy scientist? Busy doing what? Not busy sharing data or submitting the findings for any sort of peer review, certainly. What could be more important work to be done other than taking care of his in a responsible manner? This would be one of the most important zoological findings ever. Release your findings or either remain quiet or stop wasting everyone’s time with a hoax. Excuses, teases, trash talking Loren, games, I haven’t seen much in this whole affair to suggest this is being handled in a scientific manner befitting of a major zoological discovery. This is either all a big joke, or an extremely poorly handled affair. The whole thing is extremely suspicious.

    I would suggest that people who are still hopeful for a body take this one with a grain of salt and don’t get too excited just yet. Not without more to go on. These people have given us nothing real at all to show that this could be a genuine claim and I’d hope we are not in the habit of just assuming any story could be true just because someone says it is so. How do we learn what is real about the world unless we verify it through evidence? There is no evidence to support these claims of a Bigfoot body whatsoever, not even compelling circumstantial evidence. Not. One. Thing. Let’s look behind the curtain, folks.

    gordonrutter- You get a Spring Break? 🙂

  27. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Jeeez… the most complex words in the scientist’s vocabulary were “samples” & “lab”

    “Missing link?”

    “Pathology of primates?”, is that like CSI Virunga or something??

  28. springheeledjack responds:

    crazies for cash, nothing more…moving on.

  29. gridbug responds:

    From the last blog on Dr. Paul Van Buren’s myspace page:


    “Monday, July 21, 2008

    Someone cut Gary’s power! Body-snatchers?
    Current mood: aggravated

    Interesting. Tonight I’m staying with Gary and someone cut the power to the house. This is one of my last nights in Georgia and we’re still investigating whether it was someone trying to steal the bigfoot corpse or not. We won’t be able to tell until the power comes back on in the morning.


    9:45 PM”


    Next up: the MIB’s done stoled my Bigfoot!

    Sounds an awful like the second shoe dropping. Methinks this one is just about officially dunzo, kids.

  30. Lightning Orb responds:


    I don’t know what these guys are trying to do, but I foresee a negative impact on the public’s view of cryptozoology’s credibility as a science. Not sure why, just a feeling.

    I’m not saying this necessarily is fake, but it sure looks, sounds, smells it… I don’t think it’s just for T-shirt sales and tourism and such, however; there are much easier ways to sell T-shirts, after all

  31. gridbug responds:

    Also, I took it upon myself to add my two cents to the comments on their YouTube videos, especially after seeing/hearing their astounding stupidity for myself first hand. Their stupid, sub-frat boy level humor, deriding reputable BF authors, their general dry-drunk (or maybe not so dry?) demeanor, and now their referring to Cryptomundo as “Wacko Mundo” on their laughable excuse for a website? Sorry guys, but you just gave yourselves away big time. Anyone with even a remote interest in cryptozoology (and Bigfoot in particular) would know better than to name-call an entire community of intelligent, insightful and largely respectful individuals committed to the study of the unknown. I don’t expect every single camp of Bigfoot researchers to get along 100%, but to stoop to such infantile levels as bftracker and his crew of chuckleheads has speaks volumes to their character, integrity, and level of intelligence. Insulting Loren, Jeff Meldrum etc was a low blow. But insulting the Cryptomundo community as a whole? Loser tactic of the highest order.

    I don’t believe these idiots have the body of a Bigfoot on ice any more than I believe they could find their backsides with both hands in a dark room.

    They got their fifteen minutes, time to move on. Although it’s going to be quite enjoyable watching these morons getting raked over the coals as their sorry excuse for a hoax unravels even further. Bring on the schadenfreude! 😀

  32. mystery_man responds:

    Gridbug- That’s Ok, not to worry. Surely they have taken many DNA samples, blood, hair samples, and plenty of photographs already. Right? Anybody? You know, just in case the body were to, say, get stolen and disappear.


  33. YourPTR! responds:

    I think it’s obvious by now, if it wasn’t already that this can be nothing other than a hoax and a poorly implemented one at that. Are we really supposed to believe that they have a bigfoot body and that they are gonna keep it stored in their freezer for the next few WEEKS rather than simply come forward with what would undoubtedly be the most important zoological discovery of the last 100 years? That’s just so ridiculous and really insults the intelligence of the reader, what on earth could justify such a delay? If they really had the goods they would produce it and not be playing for time, which is exactly what they are doing now. Just glad I didn’t let myself get excited over this one after feeling let down over the Johor fiasco several years back, these hoaxes sure are irritating still nonetheless.

  34. masterbarber responds:

    For those of you curious about GA Police Officers, let me say that Georgia is a right to work state and Police Officers enjoy no more protection from losing their jobs than any other employee here, unless it’s a qualified immunity. Scams and Hoaxes do not fall under “qualified”. Additionally, GA POST (Peace Officers Standards and Training) would most likely investigate this Officer if this is a hoax and probably revoke or suspend his certification.
    It is not very hard at all for a GA Police Officer to lose his job because we have no Union or Collective Bargaining agreements here. With respect to Bigfoot Trackers’ Youtube videos, they have all been removed as of 30 minutes ago when I checked.
    I am a believer in the Bigfoot phenomenon but something is definetly amiss with these two characters. I guess the truth will all come out soon.
    Mr. Coleman, I am a fan of your work and you have an excellent website.

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