PALO ALTO, California Bigfoot remains as
elusive as ever. Results from tests on genetic material from
alleged remains of one of the mythical half-ape and half-human
creatures, made public at a news conference on Friday held
after the claimed discovery swept the Internet, failed to prove
Its spread was fueled by a photograph of a hairy heap,
bearing a close resemblance to a shaggy full-body gorilla
costume, stuffed into a container resembling a refrigerator.
One of the two samples of DNA said to prove the existence
of the Bigfoot came from a human and the other was 96 percent
from an opossum, according to Curt Nelson, a scientist at the
University of Minnesota who performed the DNA analysis.
Bigfoot creatures are said to live in the forests of the
U.S. Pacific Northwest. An opossum is a marsupial about the
size of a house cat.
Results of the DNA tests were revealed in an e-mail from
Nelson and distributed at the Palo Alto, California, news
conference held by Tom Biscardi, host of a weekly online radio
show about the Bigfoot.
Also present were Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, the two
who say they discovered the Bigfoot corpse while hiking in the
woods of northern Georgia. They also are co-owners of a company
that offers Bigfoot merchandise.
Despite the dubious photo and the commercial interests of
the alleged discoverers, the Bigfoot claim drew interest from
Australia to Europe and even The New York Times.
Biscardi said the DNA samples may not have been taken
correctly and may have been contaminated, and that he would
proceed with an autopsy of the alleged Bigfoot remains,
currently in a freezer at an undisclosed location.
(Reporting by Clare Baldwin in Palo Alto; writing by Jim
Christie; editing by Mary Milliken and Peter Henderson)