8/22/2008

Really, a Fake Bigfoot?

I don't usually depart my realm of dealing strictly with the paranormal world to touch on cryptozoology, but recent events in the Bigfoot hoax have made me raise an eyebrow.

As we all know by now, two guys in Georgia claimed to have the body of a Bigfoot on ice. They sold it to some Las Vegas promoter who then thawed out the body which turned out to be... wait for it... a fake. They've now disappeared with his money and he's all in an uproar.

I don't move in the crypto circles so I don't know the players in all this. But an article today at Unexplained Mysteries caught my eye. However, it was the comments following the article by readers that really made me do a double take.

No one commenting seemed to get the obvious facts. Rather, they were all in line with "this guy's done that same kind of thing himself, he deserves to get taken" or "he's only suing them to salvage what little reputation he has."

None of the crypto fans there seemed the least bit concerned that this fraud had caught national attention and severely damaged their reputations as well as this promoters. When the general public sees the hype and hoopla of this and it turns out to be a fake they assume that the whole pursuit of cryptozoology is a field fraught with scammers and frauds.

The facts of this are clear. When someone claims to have a "Bigfoot body" and wants to sell it for tens of thousands of dollars to the highest bidder it might be a good idea to leave your wallet at home. Any normal person would turn over such an item to a zoo, university or natural history museum in hopes of discovering what it really might be. A scam artist will, of course, go looking for someone willing to shell out cash for their costume store monkey suite encased in ice.

When I first heard about two Bubbas from the backwoods selling this thing I pretty much assumed, rightly, that it was an utter fake. I didn't need to see an in depth analysis of photographs and facial topography as compared to commercially available suits. I didn't need hair analysis or DNA. I'm from South Carolina. When two Bubbas from Georgia sell a big monkey for $50K to a Yankee... I pretty much know which way the wind is blowing.

So, instead of the crypto folks saying the buyer got what he deserved, maybe it would be a better plan to work up a little righteous indignation themselves at these guys for sullying their reputations as researchers in the field.

As for me, I'll just roll my eyes and wonder at what point the logic train jumped the tracks on this one.

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