I have often said that in order to validate a picture you must first validate the story behind it.
First lets understand the story as it first appeared in the Facebook Group, The Bigfoot Community whom has graciously allowed me to illustrate for education purposes this dissertation on debunking photos.
Part I : The Claim (Here we go!)
This picture was posted on The Bigfoot Community group on February 9th, 2016 with the following claim…
Okay so I am not so impressed with the picture. But let’s do some follow through on the story.
But as the story went on it became more elaborate, involving DNR, Sheriffs, sworn affidavits and dogs to track the beast. This didn’t make the news like all the other police responded Bigfoot events why? We see this typically in hoaxes.
Also the area was supposed to be remote as well…
But here we have some issue, I mean how did they get a hold of the sheriff with no cell towers nearby?
But according to Google Maps, there seem to be an abundance of cell towers on Lake Marion, which is part of Orangeburg County, South Carolina. I-95 dissects the lake in half.
But there seems to be plenty of cell phone coverage on Lake Marion. Now for a quick break for some interesting sight seeing.
Meanwhile the day after initiating the conversation with Finding Bigfoot’s Ranae Holland, our person “with the cousin” now takes to the Animal Planet site and posts four separate times.
Now the whole Finding Bigfoot / Animal Planet tryst, really is a distraction, for most, but there seems to be a “look at me” motive going on and an admitted desire on the part of the “submitter” to be on television.
So with the failed attempt at Finding Bigfoot, it was off to one of the, if not the largest Facebook group about our hairy friends, The Bigfoot Community group.
Enter my foray after seeing the post, and within 24 hours of asking to get a copy of the original photo, allegedly from a cell phone, I was blocked over a rather minor reason. Because I had stated I had not gotten the originals as I was promised that evening to someone who posted that FACT publicly.
Now yes there were some people that got downright nasty with her over the picture. I don’t necessarily condone such action and I have always chosen to fight with fact and interrogative questions rather than insults or taunts.
So yes a lot of us were very skeptical, plus we all thought the picture looked, well…not so good. But research the story before trying to find any merit, if there is any merit with the photo.
So I was effectively cut out…or was I?
Part II : Never Sell Your Cabbages Twice
Enter Mark, my new friend from Canada. He too picked up the story as well, and here was his initial post.
Now just so everyone knows this wasn’t just made up, I do have the PM screen caps…
Again why would you bring your cell phone to call 911 when…
No mention of DNR, Sheriffs or Bloodhounds. The picture was taken by accident?Well that’s a first we’ve heard of that.
Big discrepancies in the stories? Things not making sense? You bet.
Well within 12 hours of asking for an original photo from the “Submitter” he was blocked for no apparent reason. The BC Admins trying to obtain more info…an original photo, even a date, all nothing. Which is what I expected.
Very typical for hoaxers to play the part of a victim, because they make a claim and folks want just the simplest of things. More pics, the original pic, how about the date and time. Not ambiguous, a week ago, or to another two weeks ago.
Stalling another common facet. First the cousin’s husband will be home “later,” then “tomorrow,” then “the day after.” “Perhaps a drive to there home over the weekend.”
The behind the scenes ambiguity, stalling, or just not asking the simplist of questions are all huge flags.
I had my first Sasquatch encounter on July 16th, 2006. It’s a date I will never forget. With things of such significance, YOU DON’T FORGET. And you certainly don’t answer the question, “What was the date?” With, “Oh about two weeks ago.”
Part III Now for the rest of the story
Problem number one is why isn’t her cousin doing all this? Being the spokesperson for his own photograph, not his cousins wife some two hours away?
This is what I call a potential setup for what I call the “Biscardi Loophole.” If she is caught, it’s not her fault, it is her nameless cousin’s husband that duped her.
Now I kept asking if we could get an original copy of the photo. I asked everyone involved to ask that question, and it was promised and promised, but never delivered upon.
Ruling: HOAX (Intentional)
The lesson here is, have patience. Have facts before calling something a hoax on just looks alone. Your opinion is not evidence. Give a hoaxer enough rope, they hang themselves. She could have been gigged on the story flaws and inconsistencies alone or the photo metadata alone, but having them both is having the beyond certainty box checked and a decision you can sleep on. The other flip side is there is nothing that can be done to recover from this.
She has been trying to play the victim, but how can she be a victim in the light of EVIDENCE? The answer is she can’t. She should go as quickly as she came and as quietly as possible.
Special thanks to Suzy M., Robin R. and Brenda from The Bigfoot Community. Also props to Shane Corson for getting me in touch with Mark “Sasquatch,” and Super props to Mark for putting the dunk onto her two storylines.
Again the Submitter’s name has been omitted so her name isn’t further exposed. At least not by me anyway. And I do wish that people let her go in peace without taunting, “told ya so’s,” and the like. Be satisfied, by what we’ve done here. She will see this and know that we weren’t fooled, and that everything we do, we investigate. With an open mind, while remaining objective and the outcome is the truth, be it good, bad or downright ugly.
And that’s what we’re about!!!
Till Next Time,