Bigfoot’s body a hoax, California site reveals

And the Clayton County Police officer has lost his job

Cox News Service

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Can you believe it? Georgia’s “Bigfoot” was just a big hoax.

The body of a supposed ape-man found in the North Georgia mountains was nothing but an empty rubber monkey suit embedded in ice, according to California Bigfoot enthusiasts who finally got a chance to examine it last weekend.

Photos: Georgia's not-so-proud moments
Cop's Bigfoot sighting has roots in Georgia lore

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The two Atlanta men who stood up at a news conference in California last week and tried to convince the world they had found Bigfoot now apparently can’t be located — just like the real Bigfoot.

Calls to Matthew Whitton, a Clayton County police officer — make that former police officer — and his car salesman buddy Rick Dyer weren’t returned Tuesday.

The answering machine on a “tip line” connected to the pair’s Web site, which still advertises $499 Bigfoot “expeditions,” says they’re still out searching for Sasquatch — as well as leprechauns, dinosaurs, unicorns, Jimmy Hoffa and Elvis.

Searching for Bigfoot Inc., the California outfit that paid an undisclosed sum to Whitton and Dyer for rights to their story and their find, says the pair checked out of the hotel where they had been put up over the weekend.

According to a news release on Searching for Bigfoot’s Web site, the whole scam unraveled when a block of ice containing the “body” melted over the weekend. Whitton and Dyer later confessed that it was just a costume, according to the release.

Why the two Georgians contrived the cross-country con isn’t clear.

What is certain is that Whitton, 28, on medical leave after being shot in the wrist by a robbery suspect earlier this year, won’t be going back to work at the Clayton County Police Department.

As soon as he heard Whitton’s Bigfoot was a big fake, “I terminated him,” said Police Chief Jeffrey Turner said Tuesday.

“He’s disgraced himself, he’s an embarrassment to the Clayton County Police Department, his credibility and integrity as an officer is gone, and I have no use for him,” Turner said. “His behavior is unbecoming of that of a police officer.”

“This turn of events from hero to someone who defrauds a nation is just baffling. I don’t know how he got from one point to the other,” Turner said.

The chief said he wants to send Whitton his termination paperwork and get his uniforms back. However, he said, “We haven’t been able to get in touch with him.”

Kathy Jefcoats of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this article.

Related Subjects


By Rick

Sep 2, 2008 12:51 PM | Link to this

I knew it was a hoax from the begining,there was some guy(can't recall his name)that had been a bigfoot hunter for sum 25 years,who had apparantly seen the body and that was interviewed on tv just after the anouncment of the discovery.During the interview i noticed his attitude as being very calm.I told my wife at that time that it had to be a hoax,if you had been searching for this creature for 25 years,being scoffed at and the bunt of many jokes,then you find physical undisbutable proof,you would be jumping up and down and shouting, in your face ,from the rooftops.I know there are a lot of creatures out there that have been undiscovered,but bigfoot is not one of them,any animal that is supposed to cover this much territory and that is as large as this one something would found somewhere,if you want to find something find a cure for aides or cancer,help the world not the shadow chasers

By hunter

Aug 23, 2008 9:17 PM | Link to this

boys, lets all go hunting, we may not find bigfoot BUT we may find three dead bodies...Jerks, Thats all ya "R" hill BILLY slickerrrrrs

By Capri

Aug 22, 2008 12:47 PM | Link to this

I detest all hoaxes, too many of them are created by very sick anonymous individuals, but this one wasn't sick as far as hoaxes go, and the perps weren't anonymous. I think they should've been suspended from work without pay for some amount of time, but penalties against the police should be strong whenever they misbehave and especially if they commit brutality. There was no brutality in this case, so this wasn't the worst behavior from cops, or the first time the media bought into a big lie. People can and do get into serious trouble for perpetuating hoaxes, even if they did it innocently. So I'm undecided on whether or not a sacking was too severe in this case. If it had been a sick hoax like the online Kaycee Nicole or anything involving a lie about a non-existent sick person or anything like that, then definitely I'd say a sacking would be deserved. And never a promotion above traffic cop in any other job as a cop. But for cops who commit brutality, a sacking and never allowed to work as a cop again, anywhere at any time.

By john

Aug 22, 2008 10:31 AM | Link to this

I think this whole situation is hilarious. Of course it was a hoax. Some people believe that the $50,000 should be returned. I disagree. Learn a lesson: don't give money to bigfoot hunters. The police officer who lost his job should keep that money. It's too bad he was fired. Some people can't take a joke, apparently. I can take a joke, and I think this was a pretty good one. To the men that were behind it all I have to say is job well done.

By Lori Maney

Aug 22, 2008 8:52 AM | Link to this

"Clayton County Police Dept." Is not the name of the police dept. in Clayton. That fact is not true. Clayton is the City police dept. in RABUN COUNTY!! I think that that should be stated. Clayton County is not in the NORTH GEORGIA MOUNTAINS!
I do hate that he lost his job over this non-sense but he should known that it was coming. This just shows that people will do anything to get a little "Fame".

By Rolland

Aug 22, 2008 5:48 AM | Link to this

Please oh please, if anyone is going to create a hoax, please make it believable or make it impossible to disprove it for a considerable number of years. We all like a mystery and we all like to have opinions and to take sides on such things. Life is boring without them. So jail these people for their creative ineptitude and encourage those that can make us believe.

By Jim

Aug 22, 2008 3:28 AM | Link to this

How could you ever trust the testimony of an officer of the law that has perpetuated a hoax and gained money from it? I believe the greater harm is that the waters of Cryptozoological research have been further muddied as a result of this fraud. For people that believe that Cryptozoology is a fool's errand, look into the giant squid, the coelacanth and other creatures formerly said to exist although there was no concrete proof. Now there is proof that these creatures DO exist, and in time maybe Bigfoot will be discovered as well. There are new species being discovered every day. If Bigfoot IS found, let us hope it/they will be allowed to live out its/their life in peace without being destroyed by buffoons such as these two from Georgia seeking only monetary gain. I personally hope Bigfoot is never discovered as I like to have a little mystery and wonder left in my life. Do we have to explain everything these days?
There are things in this world that will NEVER be explained, because they aren't meant to be. It is just a fact and a fact I can live with...can you?

By MojaveGreen

Aug 22, 2008 1:07 AM | Link to this

Iknew it was a fake. You can tell by looking closly at the pictures that it wasn't real. It looked very much like a fak ape suit. Shows hove many people in this country are gullible.

By MojaveGreen

Aug 22, 2008 1:05 AM | Link to this

Iknew it was a fake. You can tell by looking closly at the pictures that it wasn't real. It looked very much like a fak ape suit. Shows hove many people in this country are gullible.

By jwtnt

Aug 21, 2008 11:51 PM | Link to this

I knew when I first saw the the so called picture in the freezer that is was a hoax. I could see how fake and rubbery the face looked. I, personally am unsure of the existence of Bigfoot. I know there is a lot of open space out there in this world that can hide creatures. I mean look at the Mountain Gorilla. It was considered a myth to people except African tribes until the late 1800's and early 1900's. The Coelacanth was considered to be extinct until they were found by scientists in 1938. So there are hiding places out there. Back on the point at hand, I find that what these 3 men did was not funny at all, but down right sick, immoral, and an insult to the people in this country. They probably made some believers to question their beliefs in Bigfoot. I hope they will be fined out the wazoo. Maybe even given a little jail time, and also mocked and ridiculed for the rest of their days. I think Matt Whitton deserved to lose his job because he was a police officer that lied to the public, which causes more and more people to question the workers in law enforcement. As for me I will continue in being skeptical about the existence of Bigfoot until an actual body living or dead (not a costume in a freezer) is found, or someone is able to get a good, clear photograph or recording of the animal that scientists can study and say that is real.

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