Hey, Texas. What’s going on? Yeah, the Super Bowl is happening on Sunday. Did you catch the Sleepy Hollow finale a couple weeks back? Got opinions on the Oscar nominations? Heard the latest on seventies rock star Ted Nugent? We’ve entered what could be called a “slow news week,” which leaves people in our industry trying desperately to find something to write about. So what the heck? Let’s talk about Bigfoot.
Bigfoot, as you may have heard during this slow news week, has apparently been hunted and slain by 36-year-old hunter Rick Dyer. Dyer claims that he nabbed the mythical beast in San Antonio, after luring it into a trap he laid with ribs, rubbed with a special, cryptofauna-attracting ingredient that he has not disclosed to the public. He then claims to have shot Bigfoot with a 30-06 rifle, and is now traveling the country with the creature’s corpse in tow. As MySA.com reports, Dyer is determined to prove the existence of the monster:
“I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true,” said Dyer, who is coming back to the Alamo City and Houston in February to showcase his catch.
He tows the corpse behind a 40-foot coach in a trailer across the country to show folks just how real Bigfoot is.
“A lot of times they don’t believe it,” he said. “You can show someone something that is real, but they won’t, or can’t, believe it because they think it doesn’t exist.”
Dyer killed the mysterious creature in a wooded area near Texas 151 and Loop 1604, he said Sept. 6, 2012.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this whole tour is that we still apparently live in a world in which a person can claim to have killed a creature that just about everyone agrees does not exist; can propose to only present his findings to people who come to look at in in person even in this digitally-connected age in which a legit photo of a dead Bigfoot would blow up on Gawker almost immediately; and can become a sizable news story anyway. This is some Great Depression-era entertainment that a country normally distracted by PlayStation 4’s and the seven zillion movies currently streaming on Netflix is still somehow interested in. One might expect that Dyer will be accompanied by the fellas in Mumford and Sons, strumming banjos, and wearing their hobo-chic fashions.
Alas, that’s not the case—Mumford, anyway, will not be present when Dyer presents his findings that we are confident in saying with 99.99999 percent certainty is actually just a rubber ape costume or something similar. Because, it’s especially worth noting (as Kolten Parker, writing at MySA, does) that this isn’t the first time Dyer has claimed to have killed Bigfoot, and the last time he did, it really was just a rubber ape costume:
Only days after Georgia residents Matt Whitton and Rick Dyer told reporters at a press conference on Friday that they had a dead Bigfoot body, their evidence has been exposed as a rubber ape costume.
The deception was made public by the very company Whitton and Dyer teamed up with to announce their supposed find.
In a statement posted on the Web site of Searching for Bigfoot Inc., “Sasquatch Detective” Steve Kulls said he realized the Bigfoot “corpse” was a fake when the frozen body began to thaw—after the press conference had already taken place.
Of course, the fact that A) Bigfoot isn’t real, B) Dyer is a known fabulist who has already played this particular card already, and C) we live in an era in which everything is constantly documented and distributed throughout the world as never before so if there were a Bigfoot out there, we wouldn’t have to drive to wherever Dyer is unveiling his ape suit, still means that, on a week like this one, the opinions of all the experts and speculators are still worth reporting.
Further proof? The Houston Chronicle not only made mention of Dyer’s stunt, they reached out to several sources to find out if killing a creature that does not exist is both legal and ethical. First, they checked in with Texas game warden Larry Young, who told them that, while the state officially does not acknowledge the existence of the non-existent creature, “If you wanted to shoot and kill a Bigfoot in the state of Texas, you would just need a hunting license.” Then, to see what ethical concerns might exist, the paper’s Craig Hlavaty also reached out to a spokeswoman from PETA, who made what is actually a pretty reasonable point:
“The bottom line is, when someone sees a rare, exotic animal their first instinct shouldn’t be to shoot and kill it,” said PETA spokesperson Lindsay Rajt. “Just because you see something pretty, that doesn’t mean it should be mounted on your wall.”
All of this probably made for a fun few phone calls for the reporters, the Texas Parks and Wildlife officials, and even the seemingly-humorless folks at PETA, and if you’re as bored as folks in the media business are this week, go ahead and check out Dyer’s “kill,” then see if anything’s happening next week.