Kiwi Hoaxes Ohio Bigfoot Conference

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 10th, 2009

They are known as “Kiwis.” It’s a cute nickname for the residents of New Zealand. Before the end of the week, people who attended one recent Bigfoot gathering may be wishing that they had never met one Kiwi.

The New Zealand Herald columnist known as “That Guy” (above) ~ i.e. Leigh Hart, a New Zealand comedian, born July 20, 1970 ~ has pulled off a big one. He has revealed on Sunday May 10, 2009 that at last weekend’s Bigfoot conference held in Ohio, he deceived those there as to his true purposes.

Here’s his just published column exposing what he found. I have edited out his incorrect and unfortunate use of “Big Foot” and replaced it throughout with the right form, “Bigfoot.” Also, one quick translation: “pashed” (New Zealand English slang) means “made out, kissed” (the King’s English).

Needless to say, in a year which has already experienced two books examining the nature of Bigfooters, this may be this year’s most demeaning Bigfoot conference article yet.

But first, a video showing that Leigh Hart appears to have been doing this for at least two years. He has mentioned in past interviews, as well, that he says he has an interest in Bigfoot.

Take a deep breath and proceed…to the new article…

There is an old saying that goes: “If you can’t get laid at a Bigfoot conference/expo, you can’t get laid anywhere!”, and for the most part I would have to agree with this. However, I might add that although your chances are good, be prepared for it to be with a heavily tattooed woman who could conceivably weigh in at 130 to 180kg.

I attended, or rather gatecrashed, the annual Bigfoot conference this year, rather controversially in Ohio. Officially I was there making a documentary series called Leigh Hart’s Mysterious Planet for TV2, but rather than research the mythical upright walking hominid himself, I was far more interested in those attending the event.

To cut a long story short, I have never seen so many freak shows in one place at one time.

The conference took place at Salt Fork Lodge which is close to where many Bigfoot sightings have apparently occurred in the past, the first as far back as 2004. Coincidentally, that was also the first year they held the conference here.

More than 450 Bigfoot enthusiasts attended and for three long days my crew and I walked among them on tours of littered picnic areas; sat through tedious power point demonstrations plagued with technical difficulties; and chatted to people who felt it appropriate to walk around the complex swinging plastic bags filled with fresh faeces, all “samples” that clearly came from a large upright walking hominid.

Diane, a “tell-it-how-it-is” female Bigfoot researcher, reminded us that not every broken branch in the woods can be attributed to Bigfoot and that other known animals such as bears also make footprints on the odd occasion.

She was remarkably logical and scientific, but blew all credibility when she admitted she still believed in Bigfoot, although she had never actually seen it herself.

Her credibility was further called into question when, in the early hours, rather than being out on one of the scheduled night hunts, she chose to stay in the Wild Things bar and pashed not one, but two different camouflage-wearing Bigfoot enthusiasts.

Another speaker hadn’t actually been back in the woods since 1981.

He was clearly emotionally scarred by his “encounter” and had trouble talking about the details without crying, getting feedback from the microphone or talking in a voice that suggested his testicles were being given a powerful foot massage.

This guy was so emotional you would think that rather than just seeing a Bigfoot eating berries in the woods, he had been gang raped by five of them. He also blamed Bigfoot for his overweight condition.

The most fascinating thing about a Bigfoot conference, however, is the internal politics or infighting that goes on between various factions. There is of course the BFRO, or Bigfoot Research Organisation, the OBFRC, or Ohio Bigfoot research Centre, the WBFRO, or Wisconsin Bigfoot Research Organisation, the United Bigfoot Research Society and, of course, the BFUFOSDI, or Bigfoot, UFO and Submersible Dinosaur Institute, run by the controversial Dr Gerry Garciamansoin, to name just a few.

These organisations are battling it out for column inches, T-shirt sales, and website hits. To have the upper hand they obviously need to bad mouth each other, call into question others’ expertise and techniques, and generally promote themselves as the one true organisation. The parallels with religion are obvious, as we have many idiots believing in something they can’t actually see, yet they are prepared to fight to ensure that their particular blind faith is more dominant than someone else’s.

The keynote speaker for the evening was supposed to be the director of the documentary series Monster Quest, so you can imagine the disappointment when he decided not to show up.

I saw an opportunity, and volunteered to speak. I began by introducing myself as a director from New Zealand, then proceeded to educate the KFC-eating audience about the KFC-eating Waitakere Yeti. Borrowing from the American Indian “Sasquatch” legend I told them that our native Maori had encountered the beast more than 400 years ago and affectionately called him Ngawa Whakata Cafe, which loosely translates into “large, hairy, coffee-coloured man”. The fact that coffee had only been in the country for 150 years or so was a detail that didn’t seem to bother them.

I told them that our beast was less shy than theirs and had been known to rape campers or trampers, the most documented case been that of Travis Collins who was raped by the beast, not once but three times over a four-year period.

They also believed that back in New Zealand I currently ran the largest faeces analysis machine in the world, giving me a standing ovation when I finally left the podium.

Had I not handed out fake business cards I suspect there would be hundreds of plastic bags of humanoid shit landing on my doorstep as we speak.

So now you know why I always keep a handful of Bill Ralston’s cards in my wallet, you just never know when you might need them.

Were any of you there and have a different point of view on what occurred?


Billy Willard, Director of Sasquatch Watch of Virginia, writes, in part:

Yes Loren, I was there. There are so many misquotes and misinformation in his article, that…more information on this [man will soon be released]. The fellow who told the story about his encounter is a good friend of mine and a member of my group. The things mentioned in that article are so far from what was really said.

The guy was an obvious imposter as he has readily admitted, but to come out and say some of the things about people he doesn’t even know and to insult someone’s weight conditions and appearance is just plain wrong. I think we all learn on a daily basis that there are folks in this world who have no human decency and seek to only hurt people for their own selfish gain, whether that be financially or for some sort of…fame. It is our intentions to defend our good friend who was brave enough to stand up in front of all those present and tell his story.

Search for Bigfoot’s Melissa Hovey has passed along the following, and I have placed the link to her fuller posting about this at the word “response”:

John Cartwright is a member in good standing with the ABS. He gets out into the field, and is a hard working member of this group. JC has worked very hard to overcome his fear, after his reported sighting years ago, and does not deserve to be treated in such a rude manner. He agreed to discuss his sighting at that conference, hoping others would find the courage to come forward with their own.

Those of us who know JC and call him our friend, are shocked and disgusted with this article, and the comments made about Diane. This is my response to this person who thrives, causing others pain and grief.

If skeptics such as this guy want “bigfooters” to act in a professional manner, they might try that themselves. This article is the height of unprofessionalism.

His employer should be ashamed. Feel free to post a link or the entire article. I just finished speaking with billy for the second time today, and he will be posting a response tonight.

Thank you for posting what you have. This is truly unbelieveable.

New posting:

For an important followup to the above, please see “Kiwi Sends Cryptomundo ‘Apology To Bigfoot Community’.”

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.

16 Responses to “Kiwi Hoaxes Ohio Bigfoot Conference”

  1. Jordan Warner responds:

    I was at the Ohio Conference. The whole conference was great. It was an honor meeting researchers and eyewitnesses at the conference. I never thought Leigh Hart was a dirt bag until this article was published. Don has done so much success for all of his conferences. SHAME ON YOU LEIGH!

  2. MountDesertIslander responds:

    Well, this sort of thing is to be expected now. Casual enthusiasts are just too easy a target. Everyone will be attempting to spoof on the researchers in reaction to Tom Biscardi and his boys’ scam of last summer. Sadly, we make it easy for them by being so willing to parrot back anything that is held up as evidence in support of our beliefs.

    Look, I was a pilot at one time. I understand flight and why it is possible. Yet, I don’t know anything about the field of modern aircraft design. I fully admit that. As a result, if someone asks me a direct question about that subject, I politely defer because I would not want to appear the fool. Yet, weekend bigfoot hunters are fearless when quoting Dr. Grover Krantz or Dr. Jeff Meldrum about their research into primate walking motions, musculature, population density studies or DNA research. Instead of politely deferring to a credentialed researcher, the enthusiast strides right up in front of a camera and proves himself a fool. With the likes of the “Kiwi” out there, we make it far to easy to be held up to ridicule. I cringe when a local news story is broadcast about bigfoot and some guy in camouflage begins talking about migration routes and breeding populations of bigfoot. This isn’t helpful. In fact, it is counter productive.

    There needs to be less enthusiasm from the casual hunter for stepping into the spotlight and engaging in rampant speculation. We, on the fringes of this field of study need to defer to the true researchers. They are far better prepared to speak for all of us than we are for them. In order to thwart the “Kiwis” and their ilk at their own game, we need to begin treating this subject as if it were rocket science.

  3. Roger Knights responds:

    The video concludes thusly, seeking to make it seem that the interviewer’s question is unanswerable:

    Interviewer: Why not Al? Why can’t you have a suit that tight?

    Al: “Uh …”

    The answer is simple: Patty’s body proportions are extremely inhuman. (E.g., shoulder width vs. height, leg length vs. height, back width vs. height, etc.)

  4. tropicalwolf responds:

    I find Leigh to be a domesticated member of the Equidae or horse family, and an odd-toed ungulate.

  5. bigfootboy_2000 responds:

    I’ve known JC for a few years now and I have spent time in the field with him. What this “Kiwi” said about him is an outright lie. What was said about Diane S., another friend of mine was also untrue. This guy has done nothing but spread falsehoods and lies in his article and slander about these fine folks. It disgusts me that his newspaper allowed him to submit this. Pure trash!

  6. John Cartwright responds:

    I told about my encounter because I was asked to do so. Maybe I was emotional as I told it, I cannot even remember what I said. I was just trying my best to get through it. I also will not pretend that what was said by this person does not hurt me, it does. I apologize to my groups Sasquatch Watch of VA and the American Bigfoot Society. I do not want this to reflect badly on them. I stood up there in front of all those people because there may be other witnesses out there like myself who will come forward. That is really all that matters.

  7. kittenz responds:

    The guy sounds like 10 lbs. of hominid poop in a 5 lb. sack.

  8. Andrew Minnesota responds:

    Well he certainly seems to fixate on being raped by a Bigfoot. If we take a Freudian line of thinking he is clearly fixated on it because it has happened to him..even though he has no doubt suppressed these memories as a coping mechanism. Poor fellow all he has are barely coherent attempts at humor where he subconciously tries to tell us of his ordeal as a forest bride. No doubt with all that chest hair they thought he was one of their own.

  9. odingirl responds:

    I’m all for shipping as much hominid ‘poop’ to the offices of the New Zealand newspaper this hack writes for as everyone can contribute. It’s the least we can do.

  10. Loren Coleman responds:

    For a followup to the above, please see “Kiwi Sends Cryptomundo ‘Apology To Bigfoot Community’.”

  11. The Rish responds:

    Lighten up everyone. This guy gets paid to write articles like this. He is also from New Zealand. I really don’t think they would have matched up the comments made to anyone. I would have never known it was JC until Melissa Hovey announced it to everyone. The old term with “friends like that, who need enemies” come to mind. BY THE WAY, THAT WAS A JOKE.

    Only the people in attendance, who then read the article, would have made the connection to DS and JC. Remember it was published in New Zealand, not Ohio. I am pretty sure Leigh and his crew were the only native New Zealanders at the conference. He also never mentioned any full names. He only said Diane I know at least 7 Dianes, and one of them has pashed the whole football team. BY THE WAY, THAT WAS ANOTHER JOKE.

    I am also going to say that I laughed several times while reading it. It is no different than SNL and other comedy shows making fun of current events and news stories. We have all laughed at the skits about Clinton, Bush, Obama, Octo-Mom, etc. They also do not hide who they are ridiculing. He hid everyones identity. You must be a bunch of hypocrites to not laugh at yourselves. Hell, if you can’t laugh at yourselves then I will laugh at you. YES, YES, THAT WAS ANOTHER JOKE.

    I am done now. I did not write this to offend anyone. I wrote it to give everyone an outside perspective. I am sure there will be some who get mad at me. I have noticed that everyone in the BF community jumps on top of two things: New evidence and the ticked-off express. Please remember to check your baggage. C’mon you had to see that one coming.

  12. The Rish responds:

    This is in addition to my prior post. I do feel bad that JC is upset over this. I have never met him, but I have heard good things about him. It is obvious he is well-liked.

  13. odioustrident responds:

    I wouldn’t be offended by this, but I feel terrible for the people who put their time and sense of merit into this specific field. That being said, its a subculture as much as its a science guys. Thats the first thing anyone should know about cryptozoology as it has developed at this point in time. As a “scene” I think people should be proud of being on the margins, so a little publicity like this just is not that bad. Anyone who thinks it is….probably thinks cryptozoology is a fully legitimate scientific field. It intersects with other fields in a professional manner, but there is a cultural aspect to the study that everyone overlooks. Making fun of a culture is not debunking a science.

  14. MelissaHovey responds:

    The Rish said:

    “I really don’t think they would have matched up the comments made to anyone. I would have never known it was JC until Melissa Hovey announced it to everyone. The old term with “friends like that, who need enemies” come to mind. BY THE WAY, THAT WAS A JOKE.”

    The only time I remember using JC’s name was by way of the email I sent Loren. That was a personal communication, I did not intend to have published. It is my fault for not asking it not be published or have JC’s name removed. That is my fault, so I am sorry about that. I admit when I make a mistake.

    I used a name in an email, Mr. Hart used his own made up characterizations to poke fun at people (he clearly thinks are beneath him) in an article to make a buck. Then offered a series of insulting excuses to make what he did ok. Big difference.

    If you find this kind of humor funny, that’s your business. I and most who know those who were discussed in this, do not. Make all the excuses you want, it does not make this kind of behavior right.

    You are entitled to your opinion, but so are the rest of us.

  15. Shadow Ink responds:

    I attended the Ohio Bigfoot conference at Ohio’s Salt Fork State Park, just as I have for the past four years. The report posted by Leigh Hart is mostly fiction and extreme exaggeration. The man (Hart) posed and postured before the group before the conference began. He obviously has a very high opinion of himself.

    In the first place he received no standing ovation at the end of his off podium remarks, just polite applause.

    There were no bags of feces in evidence anywhere at the conference; not even at the display tables. When I say “none”, I mean NONE, nada, zilch. So that claim was totally false as was most of his other comments.

    I noticed he especially “selected” who he wanted to interview.

    The Bigfoot groups in Ohio all work in very good accord with each other, sharing information all around. So that was also a total falsehood.

    This type of “news gathering” is what the journalist of this country refer to as Yellow Journalism. Sensationalize everything saying whatever comes to mind to make the story interesting to the baser sorts.

    Almost none of Mr. Hart’s story was factual. If he wants to write fiction he should have the gits to admit it. He owes the Bigfoot researchers a real apology. He should have to write what really went on at the conference even if he feels it will put his readers to sleep. Bigfoot people are no different than any other gathering of people. They are a cross section of all types found in America. For Mr. Hart to make fun of these people simply shows Mr. Hart’s ignorance. It’s people like Hart that make Bigfoot research so difficult. It is this type of slander that makes the average citizen afraid to speak up about any sort of encounter they may have experienced. Yellow Journalism has no place in America, Mr. Hart, and I highly doubt that New Zealand would approve it either.

  16. NZPI responds:

    As an Australian living in New Zealand I was ashamed and saddened at Leigh Hart’s antics at the Bigfoot Conference that was based in Ohio, I have worked in the paranormal field for close to 20 years and have been on a few Yowie (Australian Bigfoot) searchers myself around Central Queensland.

    Most paranormal researchers that I know within New Zealand are good people and would never stoop to that kind of level and to have the opportunity to experience another counties customs and cultural ways of investigating a crypto zoological creature to me would be a once in a life time experience.

    Please don’t judge us as all as Leigh Hart’s, he is just a bad comedian, who had a fantastic opportunity to see the world through different eye’s and totally destroyed it, just to make a quick laugh.
    In closing to all the bigfoot researchers out there, well done.
    Kindest Regards
    Brad Scott
    Founding Director of NZPI
    The New Zealand & Australia Paranormal Investigation Society

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