Skepticism via YouTube

by Tim Farley
from CSI

Figure 1: The Center for Inquiry's YouTube Channel

In the summer of 2008, Georgians Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer claimed to have found a Bigfoot carcass. These claims were initially made via a number of YouTube videos that garnered significant attention in the cryptid community. In August 2008, they partnered with well-known cryptozoology personality Tom Biscardi for a national press conference. Almost immediately the carcass was revealed as a hoax involving a Halloween costume.

But a month earlier, rival Bigfoot enthusiasts and skeptics had carefully pored over one of Whitton and Dyer’s promotional videos on YouTube (“Bigfoot Tracker Video 8”) in which they met an alleged Texas scientist named Paul Van Buren who said he would authenticate the carcass (Bigfootpolice 2008). Sharp-eyed viewers quickly determined that “Van Buren” was actually Whitton’s brother, a wedding photographer from Texas, and even found pictures online of the two together at one of their weddings (Coleman 2008). more

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