Poor Bigfoot can't catch a break. The elusive J.D. Salinger of mythical creatures has been the subject of endless movies, TV shows, games, and even monster erotica. The spotlight-shunning beast is also the subject of the new Spike TV reality show "10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty," which promises to pay top dollar to the team that brings in conclusive evidence of the hominoid's existence.
The teams, however, might be searching longer than expected if news of Bigfoot's death is to be believed. Infamous Bigfoot hunter Rick Dyer claims to have shot and killed the elusive Sasquatch and says he plans to show off its lifeless corpse on an upcoming whirlwind media tour.
Though Dyer has tried to fool the public before -- and deservedly faces more than a little skepticism -- he claims this corpse is the real thing. During a September 2012 expedition in San Antonio, Texas -- with BAFTA-winning filmmaker Morgan Matthews and his British documentary film crew in tow -- Dyer says he lured Hank out using "pork ribs from Wal-Mart" doused in his special BBQ sauce and attached to trees.
"We nailed 'em all around the trees, and then that night we heard Bigfoot come back," Dyer told Esquire. "I chased him down in the middle of the night. I shot him once, he ran, I shot him again."
The footage will appear in an upcoming film "Shooting Bigfoot" (its trailer can be seen here). However, another source, a homeless man who appears in the movie, says the whole attack was staged for the film.
Dyer posted "evidence" in a YouTube video on January 2, revealing an up-close shot of Bigfoot, with and without camera flashes.
"Bigfoot is not a tooth fairy -- Bigfoot is real," Dyer told KSAT News. "The most important thing to me is being vindicated, letting people know that I am the best Bigfoot tracker in the world and it's not just me saying it."
Dyer also told the hosts of an Australian morning show that a video of the Bigfoot autopsy is completed and will be shown soon. He has planned a February 6 press conference to reveal even more Bigfoot details, presumably including the dates of the macabre corpse tour across the United States and Canada. CNET has contacted Dyer for comment on his alleged catch and will update this story when and if we hear back.
Hominoid hunt for the ages
The historic hunt for the legendary ape-man creature, who supposedly has been spotted primarily in the American Pacific Northwest, began as early as the late 1800s when trappers and Native Americans alike spoke of giants stealing salmon from fishermen's nets. Local legends of these hairy giants, also referred to as Sasquatch and Yeti depending on the region, reached Canadian newspapers during the 1920s.
Later, in the 1950s, Eric Shiton photographed what he reported to be a Yeti footprint. More extra-large footprints began popping up in California during the late 1958s. The most well-known of the Bigfoot sightings was in 1967 when Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin claimed to have footage of the beast in what was known as Patterson-Gimlin film, which later was confirmed as a hoax when an acquaintance admitted to dressed up in a Bigfoot costume for the film.
Fool me once...
In 2008, Dyer and Matthew Whitton posted a YouTube video reporting that they they discovered the corpse of Bigfoot. When they presented the "corpse" frozen to the press in a block of ice, it was soon revealed to be nothing more than a rubber costume.
This time Dyer alleges to have been holding on to Hank the Bigfoot's corpse for more than a year for DNA testing and due to non-disclosure agreement with his investors.
Don Jeffrey Meldrum, a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Idaho State University and a leading cryptozoology expert, isn't convinced Dyer has the real deal.
"Before I get inundated with queries -- No, I was not one of those who reportedly endorsed 'Hank,'" Meldrum posted on his Facebook page on January 6.
"The thing has clearly been fabricated to depict a specimen that has been dissected. It smacks of images of alien autopsy," Meldrum told The Christian Science Monitor. According to Meldrum, Dyer contacted him to authenticate the Bigfoot corpse. However when Meldrum asked to confer with the other scientists Dyer supposedly consulted with, the hunter allegedly refused to assist him.