Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Skeptics" Late to Debunking Bigfoot

Today SkepticBlog wrote a post about a video they received a link to. They thought they would make fun of it and call themselves skeptics.

Didn't Autumn Williams already debunk this a month ago? Yes she did. Thankfully those "skeptics" did their research. No body minds them helping us out to filter the real deal, but we think some credit would be nice. Lets go to the ScepticBlog first and we will get back to Autumn Williams in a sec.

SkepticBlog is a collaboration among some of the most recognized names in promoting science, critical thinking, and skepticism. It also features the cast and producers of The Skeptologists, a pilot skeptical reality show.

The gist is they get this youtube video link and the guy, Johnny Walker, says he wants the video to get into the right hands.

And they spend more time making fun of it then doing any actual investigating.

Maybe it is a Bigfoot. Maybe it’s a guy in a suit, one that flares out bellbottom style, like my own cheap-ass gorilla suit does. Maybe it’s an autonomous robot in a suit. Maybe it’s a Bigfoot in a Bigfoot suit. Maybe it’s an example of high-end composite work combined with low-end 3D modeling, all rendered on Renderman.

The fact is that we can’t really know or conclude much of anything about this video, and the million others like it. We can’t prove it’s a fake any more than we can prove it’s a real Bigfoot. What it is is crappy evidence. It’s not testable. It’s fun, and it’s interesting, but its value as evidence is zero. Its value as an anecdote is that it suggests a direction for research. So to all who feel motivated: Grab your 3CCD cameras and head on up to Greenhorn, Oregon. A bellbottomed Bigfoot might be waiting for you.--Brian Dunning, Skepticblog

Autumn Williams had a different approach, she dug a little deeper:
I’m not sure what to say here. No offense intended if you’re trying to be serious (it sure sounded that way?), but the hair is obviously synthetic, the face appears to be a poor reconstruction of a “planet of the apes” theme, the makeup pitiful, the movements awkward, the staging is obvious, subtle references to the Patterson film are rather amusing… and I’d have to say, if it’s not an attempt at a hoax on your part, you’ve been hoaxed. Somehow, though, I find it difficult to believe that you could follow something for that long and NOT know it was someone in a stovepipe-legged, poorly-made suit. I didn’t even need to pause the footage to tell that...

...Finally, asking people for “offers” and having “james randi” in your tags in your youtube account is a dead giveaway that you’re looking for money. I’m sorry, but ol’ Jim won’t buy it, and I doubt anyone else will either.

Kudos for Autumn Williams to debunking this way before the "skeptics", and actually discerning motive. Maybe she should be in their new pilot TV show. If you want to see how a hoaxer with video gets debunked by a professional check out Autumn Williams post at

Autumn Williams at
Oh yeah JohnnyWalker's Youtube Page


  1. Epic,

    Thanks for the kind words. I don't think I want to be on any more TV shows, though. *grin*

    People often ask me why I post about hoaxes and give the hoaxers the "press" and recognition they're likely seeking. It's a double-edged sword, but this is the very reason. If we run around acting like a bunch of rabid "believers" and DON'T address these kinds of pathetic shenanigans - giving some context for our own capacity for objective and rational thinking in the process - we can't expect anyone else to take us seriously. ;)


    Autumn Williams

  2. Thank you, Autumn, we couldn't have put it better ourselves! We look forward to seeing you at The Oregon Sasquatch Symposium June 19-20th

  3. Dude,
    You realize that the only reason Autumn was "first," is because her e-mail account doesn't get nearly as full as Brian Dunning, right?
    I e-mailed both of them within a few hours of each other, but of course Autumn has dedicated her life to an imaginary creature, so she has a lot more free time than Brian, who spends his hours promoting actual science.
    Oh, I mean, GOOD FOR HER :) Next time me and my girl are in Oregon, we will be sure to bring her a cookie (hell maybe even two)

  4. John,
    We appreciate you pointing out that Brian and Autumn have different objectives and even different interests.
    Autumn being "first" was just to establish chronological order and to contrast the deeper investigation that had already taken place by her.
    More specifically we wanted to express A.Williams thoroughness in investigating a motive.
    We did not intend to communicate that Autumn had won any "race", we just think she got it right the first time and deserved credit.

    Thanks for reading. We look forward to your site when it finally gets up.

    P.S. We like cookies too.


  5. Actually... You have been Skeptically Pwnd!

    - John Rael


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