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Bigfoot a Big Lie

Three men claim to discover Bigfoot in Georgia forest

By Maya Kandell | October 29 , 2008
Scholastic Kid Reporter Maya Kandell at a press conference to announce the "discovery" of Bigfoot at the Cabaña Hotel in Palo Alto, California, August 15, 2008. The creature next to Maya is not the real Bigfoot. (Photo courtesy Maya Kandell)
Scholastic Kid Reporter Maya Kandell at a press conference to announce the "discovery" of Bigfoot at the Cabaña Hotel in Palo Alto, California, August 15, 2008. The creature next to Maya is not the real Bigfoot. (Photo courtesy Maya Kandell)

If Halloween has made you just a little concerned about monsters lurking in your closet, under your bed, or in that dark tree-filled part of your neighborhood, there is one you can mark off your list: Bigfoot. At least, that's what three men from Georgia wanted the world to believe when they announced they had found a the body of the mythical creature this past summer.

It was more than seven feet tall, 500 pounds, extremely hairy, and—perhaps strangest of all—had giant 16-inch feet.

In front of about 200 reporters at the Cabaña Hotel in Palo Alto, California, Georgians Matt Whitton and Rick Dyer claimed to have discovered Bigfoot in an unrevealed location deep in the woods north of Atlanta. They were joined in their claim by a third man, Tom Biscardi, a 30-year veteran of Bigfoot research who has his own radio show devoted to Bigfoot talk.

Bigfoot, part ape and part human, is said to inhabit dense forests across North America. Like its snowy Himalayan cousin, the Yeti, Bigfoot has supposedly been sighted many times. But the creature's existence has never been proven, and there have been many times when greedy people tried to make headlines, money, and fame by creating hoaxes built upon the legend.

How They "Found" the Creature

Whitton, a police officer, and Dyer, a tow-truck driver, said they were taking a hike together through the forest earlier this summer and came across what they claimed was Bigfoot.

Whitton also said that during their time in the woods, they saw live creatures that were similar to the dead one. The creatures were walking upright and noticed the unarmed humans but did not approach closer than 50 feet, he said.

The Georgia Bigfoot could have been the proof that so many people for so long have been looking for. But the three guys at the press conference were unconvincing.

First, Whitton and Dyer said they couldn't remember the date they found the body. Second, they did not reveal where they found the body or where they were keeping it. Third, the threesome claimed to have photographic evidence of their discovery, but the photos handed out were very blurry images of the dead Bigfoot's teeth and mouth and of a brown blob in the forest.

Whitton, Dyer, and Biscardi seemed more focused on money than their discovery. When asked how much money they expected to make from the find, Biscardi said, "As much as we can."

In the end, to some people's disappointment and to some people's relief, the Georgia Bigfoot turned out to be nothing more than a stuffed Halloween costume. The threesome were exposed as frauds. Whitton appears to be losing his job, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and there's talk of lawsuits against them.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK

Read today’s story and answer the following question.

blog it Do you believe creatures like Bigfoot, the Yeti exist? Or are they just hoaxes like the Georgia Bigfoot? Have you head of other mythical creature sightings in your community? What were they?

Tell us on the Scholastic News Online Blog!


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About the Author

Maya Kandell is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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