|This is the photo that ran with the Weekly World News story.|
Mark Sal, the the Standard-Examiner reporter who broke the fossilized Bigfoot skull story is now accusing Weekly World News (WWN) of plagiarizing his story. Weekly World News is most famous for it's Bat Boy story but has used Bigfoot many times on the cover (SEE Top 5 WWN Bigfoot Covers). It is hard to tell if he is flattered or upset, none the less, plagiarism is a serious charge.
In an article titled, "Plagiarized Bigfoot story gives big head to yours truly" Mr. Sal compares his story to the WWN:
WWN STORY: “I was looking for some fossils,” the 69-year-old “semi-retired” anthropologist told WWN, “and I was kind of drawn to something in the ground.” It was a rock, sticking up out of the dirt. “So I went and dug it out, and you couldn’t tell what it was ’cause the head was face down; all you could see was the back of it,” he said. “But when I dug it out you could see the face, perfect.”The article at Weekly World News titled, "Bigfoot Skull Found!" seem to already be updated with the plagiarism removed. Now the article acknowledges the Standard-Examiner article and the story of the Bigfoot skull discovery is different.
S-E STORY: “I was looking for some fossils,” the 49-year-old “semi-retired” private investigator explains, “and I was kind of drawn to something in the ground.” It was a rock, sticking up out of the dirt. “So I went and dug it out, and ...” Well, you get the idea.
Ooh, how eerie is that? A 69-year-old “semi-retired” anthropologist and a 49-year-old “semi-retired” private investigator just happen to have the exact same experience — right down to the very words they use to describe their discoveries. Several other quotes in the two stories were verbatim, including the final paragraph of both. And on top of that, WWN photoshopped the dickens out of Standard-Examiner photographer Nick Short’s portrait of Mr. May.
How does one explain such amazing coincidences? Well, if we were to reduce it to dueling headlines, the Standard-Examiner would probably go with something like: “Unethical tabloid rag plagiarizes S-E Bigfoot story.
“I went for a walk in the woods so that I would avoid having to talk to son-in-law, who’s always a pain-in-the ass when he comes over for Sunday supper ,” the ex-proctologist told WWN, “and then I tripped and fell over something that was sticking up out of the ground.”We reached out to Mark Sal and he confirmed WWN responded quickly to his article about plagiarism and apologized. While we had Mr. Sal on the phone we asked how he was selected to to report on the fossilized Bigfoot skull and his response was, "Luck of the draw."
“After I got up, I looked at it and it looked like there was these two big eye holes looking at me. So I kicked it a few times to see if it was alive and then I realized it wasn’t alive… it was a skull!”
Furthermore there was actually debate at the Standard-Examiner, if the fossilized Bigfoot skull was even newsworthy. Mr. Sal felt Todd May was sincere in his belief that he had discovered a fossilized Bigfoot skull. According to Mr. Sal, not only was the story worth telling and investigating, which prompted him to reach out to paleontologists for the story.