Newsweek Nukes “Bigfoot Believers”

Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 26th, 2008

The online edition of Newsweek has published their version of the Georgia Bigfoot hoax incident and its aftermath, here. (I have not been close enough to a newstand up here in the mountains of NH to see if any of the newsmagazines have the story in their print editions yet.)

First, as an overall observation, what I am finding intriguing is that, according to this media giant’s take on the whole thing, it isn’t the press and news organizations that are having a reaction to this hoax, but that “Bigfoot hunters” who have a bad taste in their mouths from the event.

Calling the story “The Sasquatch Sequel,” Newsweek says the “Bigfoot hunters are still reeling from the latest hoax, but some scientists keep the faith.”

The article’s first sentence sets up the national magazine’s non-reflective view of things immediately: “These are hard times for Bigfoot believers, a human subspecies that includes a fairly hairy collection of fantasists, charlatans, grifters and fools.”

Then the publication quotes from a “a small coterie of serious scientists interested in the possibility.”

The three who are quoted are Jeff Meldrum, Matt Moneymaker, and Loren Coleman, who ironically are the very three people who the hoaxers and Tom Biscardi made fun of in their YouTube videos and news conference. Newsweek probably did not know this, and it is an intriguing sidebar to the history of this whole fiasco.

Jeff Meldrum was quoted as saying: “It’s aggravating that a person like [Biscardi] garners the press because of sensationalism. There are certainly activities that are laughable. But there are also those that are attempting to legitimize a very serious inquiry into the possible existence of a relic population of great ape. This is my odyssey, this is my quest.”

Matt Moneymaker told the magazine: “This kind of stuff discredits what we’re trying to do and has ticked off a lot of people.”

The paragraph mentioning my quotation reads: “‘It very much sets us back, but it also teaches us a lesson and shows us we need to think ahead,’ says Loren Coleman, a zoologist and consultant to such TV shows as NBC’s ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ and the Discovery Channel’s ‘In the Unknown.’ But Coleman’s Sasquatch-centric Web site,, crashed when it got 5 million hits the hour after he posted a picture of the Georgia creature slumped in a freezer. The next day traffic was up to 13 million hits every 10 minutes, proof that Bigfoot curiosity will not die even if the creature never lived.”

(Needless to say, I would never claim to be a “zoologist,” and the reporter and I talked of me being a “cryptozoologist.” Some copyeditor must have thought “cryptozoologist” was a typo in the reporter’s copy. OMG.)

Despite the following passages, the magazine never self-examines the media:
“Yet because Biscardi had the audacity to promise DNA evidence, photos, and even video of Bigfoot creatures lurking in the woods, some 50 media outlets flocked to the Crowne Plaza hotel in Palo Alto, Calif., on Aug. 15 for the press conference that Biscardi had set up: ABC, CBS, The Associated Press … NEWSWEEK.

“By the end of the day, this latest installment in the Bigfoot saga was the most-viewed story on MSNBC and, which carried live coverage of the 45-minute conference that Friday afternoon. But, then, despite the excitement, the proof proved nonexistent. The pictures were laughable. There was no video. And the DNA evidence? It came back possum. ‘It means he’d probably eaten one,’ insisted Biscardi, who at the time had taken the Georgians under his wing but now says he plans to sue them for fraud. Their lawyer says they were the ones who were duped as Biscardi spun their little joke into a national news event.”

Instead, Newsweek would end up concluding “the search for Bigfoot will remain part sensationalist commercialism and part legitimate scientific research,” by those “Bigfoot believers, [who are] a fairly hairy collection of fantasists, charlatans, grifters and fools.”

(I’ll talk some more about this tonight on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory.)

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.

12 Responses to “Newsweek Nukes “Bigfoot Believers””

  1. proriter responds:

    Hits the nail on the head, I think.

  2. gavinf responds:

    Ouch! I didn’t realize that I am a “hairy fool”. I just thought I was a fool. 🙂

    Thank You Newsweek!

    Keep up the insightful analysis!

  3. helgarde responds:

    Loren, the media are not self-reflective about their complicity in selling the fabricated story about “weapons of mass destruction,” to a gullible public, so why should they admit to their taste for sensationalist hoaxes?

  4. planettom responds:

    “fairly hairy collection of fantasists, charlatans, grifters and fools.” REALLY? Geez, thanks NEWSWEEK, or should I say NEWSWEAK.

    Though they don’t call ALL of us Bigfoot Believers fools, I’m offended by their lack of objectivity.

  5. aletaaa responds:

    I’ll go on the record and say I shaved my armpits and legs this morning. Just a fool thanks.

  6. Quakerhead responds:

    As always. An unbiased media. How refreshing!

  7. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Hmm… maybe I should shave my beard 😉

  8. cryptidsrus responds:

    I do think the media has egg on thier face, as well.
    I susupect that deep down, if they truly believed this was for “real” they would not have covered it as assidously as they did. Only when it looked like a complete hoax did they care. I guess going outside of the “consensus” is not their “thing.”

  9. Andrew Minnesota responds:

    To heck with Newsweek I want The Onion’s oppinion

  10. DWA responds:

    Andrew Minnesota:

    The Onion’s opinion would be better to have. It would be based on more information. Look how many other news outlets were there when Dick Cheney threw down in “The Cage.” Who knew he could take it to the hole like that? The Onion! They were THERE.

    Um, heh heh. Anyway.

    Not surprised at any of this, really. Why, when one thinks about it, the media cover political campaigns exactly the same way they do Bigfoot.

  11. maxxo responds:

    NEWSWEEK??? A piece of shoddy Illumaniti propaganda rag that no serious inquirer of the facts would ever use. I stopped reading it 15 years ago when I discovered it and Time magazine’s true agenda. There is more truth in the National Enquirer.

    Anyone who writes for Newsweek knows they are not real journalists, thus the anger at those who seek the truth.

  12. BlueMountainTracker responds:

    Wow, I thought I was the only one who will never support newswe(a)k from my grocery outlet ever again. I bet that they kill half of their own subscriptions if they do not publicly recant those words as being a stuck up, bent and rude slap in the face to those of us that harbor our own opinion and have never been proven to be charlatans or fools.

    Newsweak lost one here! Who’s the fool?

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