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Bigfoot report a fake, but what about the chupacabra?

August 19, 2008 |  6:45 pm


Even though we told you about spotting dinosaurs in Southern California, we can't fail to mention recent rumblings in the Southwest over "sightings" of Bigfoot and its folkloric Latino cousin - the Chupacabra.

Well, now we know one was a hoax: Today, two researchers on a quest to prove the existence of Bigfoot say that the carcass encased in a block of ice — handed over to them for an undisclosed sum by two men who claimed to have found it — was discovered to be a rubber gorilla outfit.

The news was announced by Steve Kulls, executive director of squatchdetective.com and host of Squatchdetective Radio, in a posting on a website run by Bigfoot researcher Tom Biscardi. As the “evidence” was thawed, the claim began to unravel as a "hoax."

The revelation comes just days after two self-proclaimed Bigfoot trackers, Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, held a news conference in Palo Alto to publicize their claim of having found the elusive Sasquatch, or at least the body of one as pictured above, in northern Georgia. Malia Wollan of the Associated Press reports:

As they faced a skeptical audience of several hundred journalists and Bigfoot fans -- including one curiosity seeker in a Chewbacca suit -- the pair were joined by Tom Biscardi, head of a group called Searching for Bigfoot. Some Bigfoot hunters say Biscardi just likes attention.

Biscardi fielded most of the questions. Among them: Why should anyone accept the men's tale when they weren't willing to display their frozen artifact or pinpoint where they supposedly found it? How come bushwhackers aren't constantly tripping over primate remains if there are as many as 7,000 Bigfoots roaming the United States, as Biscardi claimed?

"I understand where you are coming from, but how many real Bigfoot researchers are out there trekking 140,000 miles a year?" Biscardi said.

The story did cause a furor of fun coverage.

The Times' Mary Forgione wrote on the travel blog about where Bigfoot has been "spotted" in California and Web Scout's David Sarno blogged about a video of Bigfoot interacting with humans in the redwoods of Northern California. The Washington Post's Ashley Surdin pointed out--with a link to a hilarious graphic -- what "experts" truly say makes a Bigfoot:

According to the website of the Bigfoot Discovery Museum in Felton, Calif., there is a discernible difference between "fake hairy" and "genuine" bipeds. Among the telltale signs of fakery: "knees lock and feet flap when walking," "ankles too dainty" and "buttocks too tiny." The real thing has "extra thick" calluses on its feet, "very large jaws" and "bad body odor when afraid or provoked."

Not be left on the wrong side of the border of reality, the Chupacabra, which translates as goat sucker, made its latest appearance on a dashboard-mounted camera by Deputy Sheriff Brandon Riedel and his officer, Ellie Carter, in the town of Cuero, Texas, ABC News reports.

The Chupacabra has taken on legendary status akin to Bigfoot in Latino culture and has previously been sighted as far south as Chile and Argentina and as far north as Maine. Similar animals have been described in Russia and the Philippines.

But its other most recent perennial showing in Cuero last year turned out to be a coyote with mange.

The search continues.

--Francisco Vara-Orta

Photo: Getty Images

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