It all started with a web site created by two guys in Georgia calling themselves the "Georgia Bigfoot Trackers." Their full names are Matthew Gary Whitton and Ricky Traylor Chuck Dyer.
These guys came out of nowhere and put up a web site wherein they claimed to be the "best bigfoot trackers in the world".
It was strange.
They obviously hadn't been following the subject for long, because, for example, they had never heard of Jeff Meldrum ... the prominent expert who had appeared on numerous TV shows talking about the subject.
In the beginning they did not claim to have a body. In fact, they made it clear that they had nothing, but they said they would try to capture one.
They put out clownish YouTube videos offering to take people on bigfoot expeditions. They were obviously aware of the popularity of BFRO organized expeditions, some of which have taken place in Northern Georgia in the past.
Initially they claimed to have organized some bigfoot expeditions in the past, but they later admitted that they had never done so.
Their YouTube videos were so foolish that many wondered whether these videos were intended as a joke ... but they weren't. These guys wanted to be taken seriously, and they wanted people to pay them $499 to attend their expeditions in Georgia.
We ignored it, knowing their startup venture would not be taken seriously. We assumed these clowns would quickly fade away.
A week later Whitton was shown on the local TV news stations around Atlanta ... He had shot himself in the wrist with his own weapon while pursuing a suspect. This strange clown Whitton was indeed a Clayton County Sheriff deputy.
Various legitimate bigfoot researchers in Georgia were appalled by the whole situation and challenged these two guys about their claims. It was offensive that a sheriff deputy would be involved in such a ludicrous fraud. One Georgia researcher (Chris Harper) pointed out that they didn't have any experience or any evidence of anything. Harper sarcastically asked Dyer by phone "So do you have corpse or something?"
That gave Dyer and Whitton an idea. After that conversation with Harper these Georgia boys started claiming that they had a bigfoot body ...
As they touted this new claim, they noticed that some people were quick to believe them, or at least hold out lots of hope. The hopeful gullible reaction they received from a few people led them to change tactics all together. Their whole game changed from bogus claims of expeditions to bogus claims of having a "bigfoot body".
While recovering at home from his gunshot wound Whitton was visited by family members. One family member was his brother from Texas -- Martin Whitton. Matthew Whitton, the sheriff, coached his brother to pose as a scientist from Texas who came to Georgia to examine the "body".
Whitton introduces the fake scientist on YouTube
Within a day or so of releasing that video "Dr. Paul Van Burren" was outed as Whitton's own brother. Matt Whitton was forced to admit (on YouTube) that he lied about the "scientist" but he continued with his bogus claim about having a "bigfoot corpse":
A week or so after Whitton was mentioned in the local news because of his on-the-job injury, various small newspapers around Georgia caught wind of "BigfootTrackers.com," and Whitton's claims of having a bigfoot body. A few articles appeared in small papers in Georgia.
The local media attention about their "bigfoot body" claims attracted the attention of renowned bigfoot body hoaxer Carmine Thomas Biscardi. Biscardi often chases the media spotlight in the style of Reverend Al Sharpton when a bigfoot-related story starts grabbing headlines.
Media publicity had eluded Biscardi in recent years, after his bogus claims stopped getting him easy press attention. He had stooped to hiring PR writers to write glorifying stories about him, then directing those writers to pose as freelance journalists and submit those stories to newspapers.
Biscardi had previously perpetrated a bigfoot body hoax in 2005 on George Noory's "Coast to Coast AM" ("C2C") radio talk show.
C2C is broadcast in the middle of the night across the US and Canada. It has an audience of roughly 15 million people. Many, many people who work the graveyard shift of lonely jobs will listen to George Noory's nightly AM radio talk show concerning all things paranormal.
During this extraordinary radio hoax in the summer of 2005 Biscardi claimed to have a bigfoot body. He held the massive C2C radio audience in breathless suspense for a few nights, offering updates on "his team's" progress with a bigfoot body, all while encouraging the audience to subscribe (for $14.95 per month) to his remote web cam, where they might possibly spot another bigfoot at a location in Northern California ...
In other words, it was a scam.
Talk show host George Noory eventually smelled the hoax and demanded that Biscardi show his evidence or come clean.
Then Biscardi confessed, on the radio. There was no bigfoot body. His excuses and finger pointing fell on deaf ears. Noory was fuming. He demanded that Biscardi refund all the money to all the people who signed up for the pay-per-view "surveillance" project.
This radio hoax, and Biscardi's subsequent confession, were heard by millions of people across North America. The affair had curious parallels with Orson Wells' "Invasion from Mars" radio play in 1938, which held radio audiences in suspense and created a minor panic in New Jersey.
Orson Wells' unintentional hoax made him even more of a celebrity.
Once Biscardi got involved in the Georgia body hoax, he bumped it up to a new level of media deception. Biscardi began scheming to get lots of TV cameras in his face before it was obvious to news directors that it was just another bigfoot body hoax like the one he pulled before on the radio.
Biscardi's big hook for the media was that Whitton is a sheriff deputy. The media had no idea that Whitton was a ludicrous liar. They would assume he was legit simply because he is a law enforcement officer.
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