In the hairy and hoax-filled history of Bigfoot, those who believe in the mythical beast have offered up all manner of evidence, from grainy photos to hoarse recordings to tracks of those aforementioned feet.
But today at a hotel in Palo Alto, Calif., a pair of Bigfoot hunters say they will present what they contend is the most definitive proof yet of an animal that science says does not exist: DNA evidence and photographs of a dead specimen they say they found in a remote swath of woods in northern Georgia.
“It was very frightening at first,” said Rick Dyer, 31, a former corrections officer who now – coincidentally – runs a business that offers Bigfoot tours. “And it got even more frightening when you saw the others.”
Indeed, Dyer said he and his partner, Matthew Whitton, saw three more of the beasts nearby as they dragged the body of said creature out of the woods. Moreover, Dyer says he has video clips and photographs to prove it.
One photograph provided to the news media showed what resembled a gorilla – or maybe an old sheepskin rug – lying twisted in a freezer, with a dollop of intestines protruding from its belly.
“There's a lot of comment being made that it looks fake, or it looks like a suit,” Dyer said. “But these people wasn't there when I was sweating, pulling this thing through the woods.”
Tom Biscardi, a longtime Bigfoot booster who traveled to Georgia to see the animal, said he was “150 percent” sure that the carcass was a Bigfoot, an American Indian legend whose modern fame dates to an elaborate “footprint” hoax perpetrated at a Northern California logging camp in 1958.
“This is ‘Eureka!' man,” said Biscardi, whose operations include a Bigfoot Web site, a Bigfoot merchandise line and a Bigfoot Internet radio show. “I touched it.”
Both Biscardi and Dyer said they expected skeptics to discount the find, which is being kept in a freezer in an undisclosed location outside Atlanta. But they promise even more proof, including video, a DNA test and, of course, a mission to capture one of the big guys.
“I'm not asking anyone to believe us,” Dyer said. “I'm just asking them to sit and watch, because you're going to eat your words.”