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Page last updated at 01:38 GMT, Wednesday, 20 August 2008 02:38 UK

American 'Bigfoot' is monkey suit

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Bigfoot turned out to be a rubber gorilla suit

The claimed recent discovery of Bigfoot in the US state of Georgia has turned out to be a hoax - it was a rubber gorilla suit in a block of ice.

Two men said last week they had found a 2.3m-tall (7ft 7in), 226kg (500lb) corpse of the legendary ape-like creature in a wood in June.

Two researchers bought the "carcass", encased in ice, for an undisclosed sum.

But as it thawed it turned out to be a rubber monkey outfit. Bigfoot has been the subject of decades of hoaxes.

Matt Whitton, a police officer, and Rick Dyer, a former prison officer, told a new conference in California last week that they had made the find while hiking.

'Dinosaurs'

A photograph on the men's website showed what appeared to be a large, hairy creature.

But Bigfoot experts reacted suspiciously to the men's claims and the story soon began to unravel.

BIGFOOT BASICS
First documented report was prints found by Canadian trader in 1811
Name dates from 1958 reports of giant footprints found in California
Ray Wallace, who died in 2002, claimed to have faked these
Most famous footage shot in 1967 and contested ever since

Steve Kulls - of squatchdetective.com - observed the thawing and said that as the ice melted, the exposed head was found to be "unusually hollow in one small section".

As the process continued the feet were exposed - and were found to be made of rubber.

AP news agency reported that telephone calls to Mr Whitton and Mr Dyer were not returned on Tuesday.

But the voicemail recording for their Bigfoot Tip Line - which proclaims they also search for leprechauns and the Loch Ness monster - has been updated. It announced the duo were also looking for "big cats and dinosaurs".




SEE ALSO
Americans 'find body of Bigfoot'
15 Aug 08 |  Americas
'Yeti hair' to get DNA analysis
25 Jul 08 |  South Asia
On the trail of the 'Indian yeti'
17 Jun 08 |  South Asia
'Yeti prints' found near Everest
01 Dec 07 |  South Asia
Hunting for Malaysia's 'Bigfoot'
28 Feb 06 |  Asia-Pacific
In search of Bigfoot
28 Jul 05 |  Magazine

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