Anatomy of a Hoaxer

Anatomy of a Hoaxer

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on December 24th, 2013

A lovely article by Craig Woolheater on the hoaxer, what they are and why they do it. Below is an excerpt, but I urge you to read the whole thing!

Why do some people try to pull the wool over other’s eyes? I think there are many reasons and to name a few, there is to push an agenda, to gain notoriety and to make a buck. Some of course are just for fun as well, so not all hoaxers come from the same mold, but those who deliberately misinform to gain a profit of some kind, we should try and peer inside their heads.

While I have been interested in Cryptozology ever since I was very young, the hoaxer is only a fairly recent phenomenon for me. I certainly was aware of their existence, but I mainly thought of it as innocent fun and a buyer beware sort of thing. I knew money could be made off of a good hoax and we have PT Barnum from Barnum and Bailey to thank for the famous quote “A sucker is born every minute” to know that if you make an outrageous claim, there will be many who will line up to buy what you are selling without so much as a second glance. In that respect you only have yourself to blame if you have fallen for such foolery.

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Internet Bigfooting: March’s Evidence & TruTV’s Opinions…



It’s spring. Spring means some new Squatch Photos. I have two images I specifically want to talk about, simply becuase they’re either typical of a spring bigfoot photo, or they’re incredibly unusual. I’m going to start with the typical one.

humboldtbigfootCheck out how blurry that one is. And it gets even worse when you make the picture bigger. This is very typical of a spring Squatch photo. People arn’t used to seeing the area, and things change over the course of the winter. This could be a rotting stump for all we know, the image isn’t clear enough to tell anything save it’s a large, amorphous black shape. And, there is no higher resolution on this image (You can visit Cryptomundo for more on the sighting).

gabigfootcomparisonThe second one escapes the common problem of the “Blobsquatch” effect. It’s a bit dark, and a bit blurry, but it isn’t a quantifiable blobsquatch. You can see some definition. But still, it’s blurry. And it’s impossible to tell anything definitive from it.

The only problem is that it’s so blurry I can’t even rule out photoshop, let alone the creature really being a person in a suit. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. If this image was part of a set of images with at least one or two super-clear ones, it would be much more compelling. Instead it’s a lone blurry image and means nothing to science. See the evidence yourself at Cryptomundo.

It really is sad. With all the cameras around, why is the evidence getting worse, not better?



TruTV Says…

TruTV’s Blogger Norma Lee Jennings seems to think that Bigfoot will be found soon. She gives 5 reasons, and I’d like to talk about them in some detail.

  1. Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot
    I do have to admit that it gets attention for the field and the research. I just wish they spent longer in a single places and actually dug in to do some real science. But the show is focused on entertainment (and I have to admit, I adore Bobo) rather than the science… Too bad it should be the other way around if they want to do anything useful with what they do…
  2. Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization’s Expeditions
    Because screaming in the woods makes wildlife comfortable? Because charging people to come out and help you with science is normal? These expeditions find tracks, and hear the occasional call. They don’t generally experience actual sightings of the animals they claim are all around them. Do better science, don’t do commercial “science”.
  3. Sharon Lee Lomurno’s Kickstarter Campaign
    Because a night here and there is good science? No. It’s not. Good science is a long term study of an area that lets the wildlife get used to you so that your mere presence stops interfering with your research. A random trip across the country will just mean it’s like the Finding Bigfoot people. Expeditions to short to do more than provide an initial survey of an area. Buckle down and do some real research on a specific spot if you’re interested in actually trying, people!
  4. Professor Jeffrey Meldrum’s Blimp
    Meldrum is at least trying to do science to find bigfoot. and if he was going to be found… This would be… a Start. Too bad Bigfoot are purported to live in thickly forested areas in which a blimp’s ability to see would be badly hampered.
  5. Melba Ketchum’s Scientific Study
    There are a few points on Ketchum’s paper (I’ve talked about a few of them here and here), so putting it on a list of reasons things might be found is a bad idea. Ketchum’s paper can’t even provide good provenance on most of the DNA samples, let alone verify a single one to be specifically anything. The fact that Katchum had to buy a journal to publish her paper means her paper didn’t pass actual scientific scrutiny. Ketchum’s paper isn’t evidence. It quotes hoaxes as facts. It’s faulty.


Bigfoot Extravaganza

There’s been some Bigfoot news rolling down the pipes of late, so I thought I would put together something about the matter.

The Stories

Kitsu’s Thoughts

Cryptomundo reported the Umatilla howls on January 26th, and this was how I personally came into following the story. The Howls were originally reported by Oregon Live on the 20th. The howls started in November and range “from high-pitched screams to basso profundo roars” according to reporter Richard Cockie from Oregon Live. The sounds being attributed to bigfoot have also been corroborated according to stories by the discovery of a single track in the road (though as far as I can tell, no documentation of the track by way of photos or casting exists).

The recording has been made available online.


After giving the file a listen, I can’t help but feel like it is a screaming fox. Despite the statements by Sylvia Minthorn that “Foxes do sound creepy, but it’s not the same sound, not even close.” The screeching even started during fox breeding season.

Then we come to the ABC news coverage of the event…

Good Morning American should not have reported on it unless they could take it seriously. They didn’t even do their research, claiming shriek and roar recordings are a new thing, when they haven’t been new for some time. ABC shouldn’t have bothered.

So… Foxes in the mating season or Bigfoot? My money’s on Foxes.

Kitsu’s Afternoon “News”: Royal Canadian Mint releases commemorative Cryptid Coin

Originally reported by the Royal Canadian Mint, and picked up by Cryptomundo in a Blog Post.


Little known canadian cryptid the “Mishepishu” (translates as “Great Water Lynx”). Unlike America, which has been treating it’s cyptozooloigical legends like curiosities, Canada has embraced them at least as as part of their culture. This coin line also features a bigfoot and Memphré version and is clearly geared towards children with the colorful art and fun informative literature included.

Sure, not all cryptids are worth the time of day and the effort, but there are aspects of them which should never be thrown aside. Why shouldn’t we at least honor the history of these stories? Why do they need to be dismissed consistently and why can we not enjoy the fun that they stand for? And for those cryptids that have hope, why shouldn’t we be investigating them?

Awesome Cheetah!

This stunning animal is a Cheetah. That’s right, a Cheetah. I ran into this and a series of other pictures via this post at a blog called Cryptomundo run by an influential individual in the cryptozoological (study of unknown animals) field by the name of Loren Coleman. Mr. Coleman relays the tale of Guy Combs, who took this amazing photographs.

The cheetah pictured is actually still a Cryptid because all we have are the photographs. Not studies have been done that can establish if it is an unrecorded by science cheetah subspecies, a color mutation of the known cheetah or the like. No DNA samples were successfully taken. Just goes to show, no matter how clear your photographs are, photos are just photos.