Friday, August 15, 2008

new photos & dna evidence hot off the press

so i made it down to palo alto to the lovely cabana hotel. got in a little late thanks to traffic but breezed right through the press credentials check thanks to the Berkeleyan newspaper who gave me a letter certifying that I was indeed tracking down a story for them. The room was packed, probably 100 members of the press in attendance, CBS, wired, newsweek, college newspapers galore, bloggers by the dozen, and of course a hearty contingent of cryptozoologist bigfoot hunter types. Tom Biscardi and the two gentlement from Georgia who claim to have found the body were there answering questions. Questions ranged from the obvious and briskly no-ed "is this a hoax?" to more pointed questions, such as "when will we get to see the body?" (seems to be no definite answer on that one). My impression of the three bigfoot-body possessing guys was that if this is indeed a hoax (which i believe it is) they're sticking to their guns, staying calm, and plan on riding this one until it throws them off. When asked "how much money do you want to make off of this?" by a clearly jealous bigwig in the bigfoot community, Tom replied "as much as i can."

after a bit of hollering Tom agreed to discuss the DNA results.

they go something like this...

3 unidentified tissue samples were delivered to Curt Nelson at the University of Minnesota. He then used three human tissue controls and amplified all six samples. One pair failed due to a technical glitch. the other two human tissue samples came back 100% human. the two tissue samples sent in by Tom were identified as being 100% human and an apparent mix of DNA sequences which was interepreted by the computer algorithm to be Didelphis virginiana... the opossum.

the fact that the DNA was human & opossum didn't seem to bother anyone too much, especially Tom who claimed that the opossum sample was taken from the intestines so may have been a snack that the bigfoot had ingested just prior to his demise.

the whole thing just stinks if you ask me, but there's this weird sense of drop-dead seriousness to the Georgia boys & Tom. When i went up to the front to get the photos & DNA results an older bearded gentlemen leaned over Tom and said "So do you have it? do you really have a body" Tom looks at him & nods. "I sure do, it's the real deal"

The first pic they gave us was a super blurry classic bigfoot-in-the-buff kind of shot of a fuzz hairy thing in the distant spectral woods. nothing conclusive to be sure, and without a useful scale it's impossible to tell just how tall this creature is. could be one of those georgia fellas in the suit.

The second pic is a purported close up of the specimen's mouth. the tongue has distended due to decomposition and the teeth protrude out, apparently the lips have contracted. what's odd about this to me is the fact that all six teeth that are visible seem to be incisors, those flat cutters we have in front. no canines or bicuspids visible. and i'm not sure but i don't think any mammal has six incisors. one interesting note about this picture. on the table where Tom was sitting as he handed these out was two master copies of the pics in plastic sleeves. both of those pictures were clearer, not so overexposed, and much easier to identify what it is I was looking at. Why Tom & the boys chose to release this much more ambiguous image is not clear, but would suggest that they do not want people to look too closely.

and here's the DNA report.

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