Searching for Bigfoot, Inc. is a Nevada based corporation who's website premise was to search out for Bigfoot and facilitate a live capture.
Event That Warranted Investigation
It's founder and CEO, self proclaimed, "world renowned" Bigfoot hunter Tom Biscardi, in 2005, (while CEO of a now defunct organization called "The Great American Bigfoot Search") shortly after setting up a subscription based web cam service in Happy Camp, California claimed there was a Bigfoot capture in Stagecoach, Nevada and openly announced and spoke freely of it on nationally syndicated program, Coast to Coast AM.
Biscardi, when asked about the alleged creature's gender, and some other information, freely answered it and stated, "we have veterinarians looking at it now." He also stated that he would eventually provide the subscription web service to observe the creature. It turned out all to be a hoax, with Biscardi declaring for the first time, he had been duped. When on Coast to Coast again to reveal he had been duped, the host, George Nhouri, demanded that Biscardi refund the countless people that had most likely subscribed to the service because of the announcement of the phony Bigfoot capture.
Biscardi's origins in the Bigfoot research field date back to the late sixties where he met and was mentored by Ivan Marx. A man who was allegedly caught trying to obtain $25,000 from well known researcher Peter Byrne. The attempt was covered by the Walla-Walla Union Bulletin on April 19th, 1971.
The Article and one of Marx's "Sasquatch" pictures.
Biscardi, in 2006 began producing a film entitled, "Bigfoot Lives," which the writer appeared in for about 10 seconds or so. The film itself poses a lot of interesting discoveries.
"Bigfoot Lives - The Hand"
The film depicts a "Hand of Unknown Origin," which was DNA tested. Biscardi claimed that, verbally, the test confirmed, "it wasn't in the system, " but later claimed cover up when they issued the written report. Biscardi also claimed the event was recorded.
Report issued to Biscardi
In reality if you listen to the recording, what was actually stated that they could not identify the DNA, and not being in the system was one of the reasons, as well as the sample being degraded as well.
This is what was stated by the institute verbally:
"That we, the DNA Diagnostics Center, was unable to obtain any DNA from the sample, um...because it was not either human or primate, it could be because the samples were unrecognized by the quantitative methods, or it may be too degraded for us to obtain."
- Source: Searching for Bigfoot Recording
Could this be a misunderstanding? No. Biscardi and SFBI heard the same thing we all did yet, they continue to sell the story of how there was a cover up. As you will soon see, the story of confusing the public with changing stories regarding DNA is a method they, more specifically Biscardi, will play again.
The "Hand" is regarded now by most anthropologists as a decomposed bear paw.
"Bigfoot Lives - The Leg"
If we put aside the "Leg or Foot of Unknown Origin." If this was made public, it was done in the most subtle of ways, but I've never seen it publicly posted on the SFBI website, but the DNA of the leg came back belonging to a beaver.
"Bigfoot Lives - The Skeleton"
Finally the last controversy in "Bigfoot Lives" was that of a skeleton unearthed allegedly in Texas, but after I embedded myself with the team, I learned that it was in reality found in Oklahoma. The skeleton was determined to be Homo Erectus, but SFBI, specifically "Javabob" Robert Schmaltzbach, the main author of the SFBI site, again went on to claim it was a skeleton of something unknown.
Yet the actual DNA report on the SFBI site, being long and drawn out specifically stated:
"Therefore it can be concluded with a high degree of confidence that Homo Erectus DNA has been recovered and that this is not some kind of peculiar contamination."
- Source: DNA Report on the "Skeletal Finding," SFBI website.
Again we will return to the subject of the skeleton again later as the investigation unfolds.
Biscardi in observation, consistently and constantly, over dramatizes events and ignores scientific fact when going on the air."
Media Dramatics - The Lizard Man
Biscardi's constantly over dramatized events as they occurred as such with the Bishopville, NC Lizard-Man which he openly declared a primate, yet he made that statement after I had examined the vehicle made two determinations, one that it was made by a quadruped (an animal on four legs) and two the teeth were canine in nature, (neither of which were are conducive to a "Lizard Man") and more condemning of his opportunity to lie to the public via sensationalism, after I had told him.
Picture showing the canine nature of the bites on the client's van. (Steve Kulls photo)
Media Dramatics - The Catskills
Another example was that to a local New York newspaper that events in Catskill, NY were heating up. I expressed doubt, over the number of witness events in Catskill by the witnesses. After three nights of investigations, nothing turned up. (A follow up again was done in 2010 by a researcher and yielded no results.) His own team observed a large raccoon being responsible for one of he reported behaviors. Yet this did not stop Biscardi claiming events were mounting up in the area to the news media. His claims were later bolstered by a hoaxer, whom the author and local researcher Ted Petracini later debunked.
2008 Bigfoot Body Hoax
Bigfoottracker.com was created on June 16th, 2008 by Rick Dyer and Matt Whitton. According to Dyer, Bigfoottracker.com was created to spoof the Bigfoot community, while at the same time to drum up business for their own Bigfoot expeditions after getting the idea, seeing the BFRO website. They purposely attacked Cryptomundo.com's Loren Coleman, and the BFRO to gain attention to boost website attention. They began with a series of You Tube videos mocking the Bigfoot community and boasting they were the best.
Registrant info and screen shot of the original Bigfoottracker.com.
Mark Whitton was a police officer with the Clayton County (Georgia) Police Department. Whitton was subsequently shot in the line of duty, while attempting to apprehend an alleged armed robbery suspect on July 3rd, 2008. After the debacle, Whitton was dismissed from his position with the Clayton County PD.
Rick Dyer (left)
and Matt Whitton (right)
Shortly after Whitton was shot, on July 9th, 2008 they made the first claim of obtaining a Bigfoot body, allegedly shot by a person interviewed by Dyer the previous month.
Bigfoottracker's First claim of having a body.
After seeing the controversy stirring up in the Bigfoot Community, learning of it first on Cryptomundo.com, and the exposure of Matt Whitton's brother posing as an anthropologist, it became very clear to me that a hoax was at play. I issued a challenge to Whitton and Dyer via You Tube, the only available avenue that seemed to get their attention daily after I issued the challenge on Friday July, 25th 2008 via email, and on the morning of the show issued a second challenge.
My challenge to Bigfoottracker.
Two men claim to have a dead Bigfoot in a freezer. Biscardi calls the men leaving a message. I issue a radio challenge, stating that they have nothing, prompting them to call me. Strangely Rick Dyer, one of the hoaxers, mentions Biscardi and I think I am putting them in contact. Biscardi claims to be able to get to the bottom of it. Eventually after debunking two of the hoaxers claims after the radio show, Biscardi says he's going to let them have it. Later calls me and says now he believes they really have a body.
Biscardi was caught red handed lying to numerous researchers over what he saw in Georgia, as he made two trips to Georgia over a period of two weeks. (August 1st - 3rd, 2008 & again on August 8th - 11th, 2008).
Biscardi returns after the 1st trip claiming that he has shipped DNA evidence via couriers to Dr. Curt Nelson of Michigan State University. Biscardi claims to some, he, "was right there when the DNA was collected." To others he claims he collected the DNA himself. In both instances he said the DNA was collected from the arm of the alleged decedent.
Biscardi claims he has a signed contract, which he had me compose as he dictated it to me, with the men claiming to have the body. (Rick Dyer & Matt Whitton)
The contracts Biscardi was touting as the new partnership between SFBI and Bigfoottracker.com.
Hotel and area where Biscardi sealed "the deal" with Rick Dyer & Matt Whitton. (Steve Kulls photo)
Upon Biscardi's return to California, the media blitz began with the initial announcement on Fox News, with Bill Hemmer and Meghan Kelly. This is where the public lies began including how his involvement in this started, through the boasting of how great he is.
Biscardi on Fox News, August 13th, 2008.
Clearly, through physical evidence of the end result of August 16th, 2008 we know Biscardi was lying, but here is one of his distortion lies he loves to use:
Proof of Biscardi's exaggerations and lies to Fox News.
The picture that had previously been here is the property of Olof Seaman, and not part of the hoax, we are trying to determine how Mr. Biscardi acquired said photo, without consent or permission to distribute said photo since it was copyrighted. Biscardi circulated the picture claiming to be the picture of the body in the freezer. Around the 1st week of August 2008. We know now the picture had nothing to do with this incident, and was part of another researchers evidence files. Although Mr. Seaman, agreed to let the photo remain on the site with his copyright and explanation, we felt, we wanted none of his evidence to be confused with this hoax. - Steve Kulls 12/21/10
On August 9th, 2008 during his second trip, he tells people that he has seen the body, stating specifically and graphically that the thing has "balls the size of peaches," while telling others it has "a cock that would make a porn-star blush."
Biscardi also stated he has the production company that produced the "Alien Autopsy Video" for television, will be videoing the autopsy of the creature.
August 11th, 2008 he circulates what appears to be an email forward from Dr. Curt Nelson stating the DNA came back as part, "human / ape."
August 12th - 13th, 2008 Biscardi circulates pictures of the alleged dead creature.
The now infamous photos of the suit in the freezer, and Biscardi (center) posing with Whitton (left) and Dyer (right)
August 14th, 2008 Biscardi's team consisting of his son, TJ Biscardi, SFBI VP Javabob Schmaltzbach, Videographer Brian Mazzola, JC Johnson and Leonard Dan, along with SFBI investor Bill Lett, travel to Georgia to exchange $50,000 for the freezer and it's contents. Biscardi tells the team the body is supposed to be thawed, however they discover it is not.
They transfer the money at the Clayton County Courthouse parking lot and proceed to a location nearby.
The scene of where the money was exchange and the house where the freezer was delivered. (Steve Kulls Photos)
After the money transfer, the "body" transfer took place, in which there were smiles and hugs, after the "heave-ho" into a special trailer rented for the occasion.
Scenes from the delivery of the freezer. Notice the big smile of "Javabob" Schmaltzbach (Source: "Anatomy of a Bigfoot Hoax")
The Next day while I was in flight, enroute to verify whether or not this was a hoax, Biscardi, et. al was holding a press conference at the Hotel Cabana in Palo Alto, California. Biscardi uncovers (unknown to me until 11PM Monday night August 18th, 2008) that the DNA was in fact, Human / Possum and speculates that because they took the DNA from the stomach (contradicting earlier statements it had come from the arm) may be the cause why.
Scenes from what has been dubbed "Bigfoot Black Friday."
Start of the press conference.
I arrive at the "safe-house", which in reality was one of Bill Lett's properties in Indiana. Within 17 hours, I am to first to determine that this is a hoax, as the hair pulled from the specimen was obviously nylon.
The entrance to the "safe house", (Google Street Level), the "safe house" (Courtesy, "Dr. Onion"), and a frame of the suit and one of the real cow eyes and sheep testicles used in the making of the hoax. (Fox News)
Biscardi has the author, convinced albeit for a short period of time, that he again was duped. It wasn't until the August 19th, 2008, that the author had gathered enough information to suspect Biscardi was involved, as after the show the author learned in a phone call that the DNA report he had received was altered to "human / ape."
On August 16th, 2008, Biscardi, with the author, Schmaltzbach, TJ Biscardi, and Mazzola present on a conference call, attempted a cover up of the hoax, and wanted said parties to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The latter reluctantly agreed, the author did not and was able to convince those present, not to as well. Johnson and Dan were absent from the discussions as they were with Bill Lett getting supplies. This would ultimately foil the plot as my investigation eventually uncovered.
During that time the author attempted to obtain Dyer and Whitton to return the money to Lett to no avail, and they wanted to deal with Biscardi only to which he readily agreed. When we inquired with the FBI, Biscardi threw a fit.
The Truth Unravels
In February of 2009, he author traveled to Georgia to interview Dyer and Whitton and to obtain any evidence supporting their claims, Biscardi was complicit. It was popular to believe Biscardi was complicit, however other than lies, it lacked any physical evidence.
During the trip uncovered was a receipt, dated the night of Biscardi's second arrival, on August, 8th, 2008, that Biscardi ultimately had to see the suit unthawed and a look at the picture he posed with them, shows much ice cubes in the freezer. There were no ice cubes present during the defrosting period. This is consistent with the testimony of Whitton and Dyer. Biscardi also made the claim on the morning of August 9th, 2009 that he was going to get pictures today of the body. Again the pictures received show the brand new freezer, as highlighted on the receipt, with the suit in an unfrozen state.
The freezer receipt, the store and the floor model in the store of the freezer used in the hoax. (Steve Kulls photos)
Dyer explains Biscardi's role and how the suit was put together.
Upon my return to my home I appeared on "Fox and Friends," telling the world who was responsible in the early days of my investigation.
The author on "Fox and Friends."
Note that Searching for Bigfoot, has rebutted this claim that this was actually second freezer as they had been told on Biscardi's radio show. In reality since it was a suit there would have been no need for a freezer until, it needed to be frozen for shipment. So their theory holds no weight. Biscardi according to Dyer was there to supervise the finishing touches and notes that Biscardi, bought a can of spray paint and painted the face, which would explain the blackness of the water when defrosted.
While in Georgia, I interviewed videographer, via telephone, in which he stated he was having problems collecting money from Biscardi, however admitted that Biscardi would talk around the tough questions and not answer them. Eventually Mazzola would direct Anatomy of a Bigfoot Hoax.
The motive behind the hoax? To create a Bigfoot autopsy video, and generate money off of that. Eventually when I discovered the Searching for Bigfoot business plan, quite by accident on Dyer's desk. the REAL motive became evident: SFBI was going broke.
The SFBI Business Plan
"The CEO was involved in the filming of the original Bigfoot movie in 1973" - Executive Summary, Page 4, "Management"
Biscardi claims that he was the technical consultant to the breakthrough cult classic docu-drama, "The Legend of Boggy Creek." In reality Biscardi was not listed on any of the credits either at the end of the movie and any future references to such. The only consultant for the movie was the legendary J.E. "Smokey" Crabtree, a Fouke, Arkansas resident with many encounters with the Fouke Monster as well as having being "in the know" of residents encounters over many years.
The Mission Statement clearly states SFBI's purpose is to, "To educate and create interesting proprietary properties surrounding the mythology and capture of Bigfoot."
What exactly means "to .... create?"
Let's look at the definition of the word create: 1. to bring into existence, 2. to produce with imaginative skill, to make or bring into existence something new.
In essence unlike the website premise, which all the plan calls it is, "an online story," SFBI is, according to its own business plan, an entertainment company.
Who's who in SFBI?
Assets assignments per the 2008 SFBI Business Plan.
As per the 2008 SFBI business plan, Tom Biscardi (CEO) has the controlling share at 51%, with the second largest share going to (Vice President) Bob Schmalzbach at 16% followed by SFBI Attorney Dennis Kazubowski, and Robert Fletcher (SFBI President) at 10%. The two others are TJ Biscardi at 3.9% and (SFBI CFO) David Nielson 3.0%. Your major SFBI investors are obviously Bill Lett and William Marlette (aka Marco Bill). In 2007 SFBI received almost a quarter of a million dollars in investment, most from one Hansel Byers.
The Assets List
How SFBI came up with the value on their assets:
"In this instance, the best estimates are from the owner himself, Tom Biscardi, as he is the world's leading authority on subject of "Bigfoot". (Page 22 SFBI Business Plans, "Special Note" Paragraph 2)
- SFBI Business Plan
The untruths of their asset descriptions:
"Item 2 The Hand of Unknown Origin -Valued at $1.5 - $2 Million. (Of Unknown origin. DNA testing suggests it belongs to an 8 foot man-like creature)"
The "Hand of Unknown Origin"
DNA testing cannot determine size, furthermore as we have seen earlier the DNA report came back as inconclusive because the DNA was too degraded.
"Item 5 - 109 In. Skeleton (neither Homo Sapian (sic) or primate, of unclassified origin...) "
Again, a blatant misrepresentation of a DNA report, as it WAS classified as Homo Erectus, a primate. Furthermore it leads to another controversy.
When the skeleton was discovered, it created a controversy in so much that the possibility of the disturbing a Native American gravesite. In response Searching for Bigfoot issued this statement:
- "Note from Javabob," Source SFBI website.
This poses the question, if they did not disturb it, why is it in their inventory? This poses the next question, which one is the lie?
The Real Motive Behind the Hoax
Fact is, SFBI was going broke. By May of 2008 they were to have both museums up and running, and was supposed to be generating substantial income.
Biscardi was also looking to resell a dinosaur he was under contract to buy, for $5 million. Biscardi boasted he was offered $6 million for it, however he wanted to hold out for a bigger offer. Biscardi told everyone, that he was under contract to sell the dinosaur and offered a reward for someone who can find a buyer. In reality, Biscardi was going to sell it before he bought it, which he never did.
As SFBI was remaining in business, it was hemorrhaging cash without a big source of income somewhere after getting almost half a million from investors since 2006. Money had to come from somewhere.
Biscardi's main source of capital to run Searching for Bigfoot, Inc. at the time, came from their CFO, David Nilsen. In May 2008, just 2 months prior to Biscardi's involvement in the hoax, Nilsen filed bankruptcy cutting off Biscardi's money supply.
David Nilsen and his Cedar Properties company, under Federal Indictment
Nilsen 18 months later would be indicted on 31 counts of fraud and currently awaits trial in Federal District Court.
Nilsen's indictment counts (source:FBI.gov)
An article can be read here about the governments allegations against Nilsen. That begs to answer, if found guilty or if Nilsen accepts a plea bargain, did some of the alleged misappropriated funds at Cedar mortgage, go to fund SFBI?
An investor alert to potential folks looking at putting their money into SFBI. Why would the SFBI Tom Biscardi, start a corporation in Nevada, listed as a FOREIGN Corporation, (which allows the ability to have offshore accounts, not being under the jurisdiction of the Feds or the IRS) with David Nilsen AFTER his indictment? (Nilsen was indicted by Federal Grand Jury in September, 2009.)
Now comes the strange story of Javabob Schmaltzbach. In efforts to sell a book, in 2010, he called the author to inform him he resigned from SFBI and was open to the theory that Biscardi was involved. He was asked to be on Squatchdetective Radio, and agreed.
When he appeared on the show, he reneged on his prior claims, and did not deny such when confronted. He did state he has no business dealings with Biscardi any longer, and it was later discovered that the night prior to the airing of Squatchdetective Radio, Schmaltzbach appeared on a radio show with Biscardi, yet another mistruth uttered at the mouth of the main author of the SFBI website.
But we do have good reason to suspect why he did resign from the board of SFBI. Because as a board member he would have fully known about the Nilsen affair and chose not to discuss that with me in private or publicly. He resigned out of no moral compass from the board of SFBI, but he resigned to save his own behind, when the inevitability of the Feds looking at SFBI as a possible source where alleged misappropriated funds went to.
He was then confronted with another blatant mistruth, for the following statement made directly after the Bigfoot hoax on the SFBI website:
In reality, as the author has the police report, and as Schmaltzbach caught up in conflicting statements on Squatchdetective Radio, Schmaltzbach, had only been challenged momentarily with a firearm. This was mentioned on the Police report by Bill Lett, (when SFBI unsuccessfully attempted to prosecute Dyer and Whitton) that, "there was a man standing guard over a freezer."
Page 2 of the statement given to police by Bill Lett, when SFBI attempted prosecuting Dyer & Whitton.
Apparently, Biscardi's sensationalism has been passed to his student.
For consistent, misnomers and untruths SFBI and it's founder Tom Biscardi, appear in the Hall of Shame.