Friday, November 20, 2009

BIGFOOT LIVES? Biscardi's Blight on Bigfooting, Plus ABOMINABLE and SASQUATCH MOUNTAIN. Three BIgfoot Films Considered. The Release of BIGFOOT'S REFLECTION on DVD

FILM REVIEW---NOTE: what follows are the opinions of the author. They are based upon impressions of the movie reviewed and/or oral accounts and internet research that may in fact be based upon hearsay. Though we DOUBT it is wrong. Having never met Mr. Biscardi, we cannot make any final conclusions here. That is up to the reader and the viewer.

NOW, for those with the curiosity, but also the great unwillingness to put money into the coffers of one whom many regard as an irremediable con-man, huckster and bigfooting charlatan, Tom Biscardi's recent film, BIGFOOT LIVES, is now available for free viewing for members on Netflix. Click HERE to watch it on  your computer, if you are signed up. We know, maybe he'll make a very small royalty on this online streaming version, but we doubt it will amount to much. The film is worth viewing, if only to see the flawed methodology and exploitative nature of presentation, or if you are a Bigfoot completist like we are. You may buy it if you like through the title link above--just being fair, Tom!

Image: Official product image from Amazon.com... "Best Director" and "Best Documentary"? In WHAT film festival was that, Tom??? OMG.

Now, I don't know the man personally, so who am I to talk? He does seem to have a lot of friends, just not in the serious domain of well-regarded and serious Bigfoot researchers. The first step in any con is the warm handshake, the building of social confidences. Well, what I can tell you about is the kind of thing I've heard from just about every person this man and his past GABRO and current SEARCHING FOR BIGFOOT groups have dealt with over the many years he's been in bigfooting, plus the ridiculous things I've seen from him in the media, the horrid own-horn-tooting quality of his online radio show (complete with constant Bozo horn sound effects every five minutes or so)... and, of course, this terrible DVD he's released.

"There's a sucker born every minute." - P. T. Barnum
"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." - H. L. Mencken

Well, OK, it isn't really ALL bad. There are undoubtedly some honest witnesses in there, with real stories of encounters with the big, stinky bipeds. However, these folks should look out! What we see in this film is NOT Bigfoot, but rather constant Biscardi. From all appearances this man seems to be a classic con artist, one who makes friends to use and exploit, and then discard them. Just ask around Happy Camp, CA, as we have, and you will see the wreckage he left behind there, a bad attitude towards Bigfoot researchers that has surely hampered the reporting of sightings and the formal discovery of the species. We'll just quote the Wikipedia article on Biscardi and the "Happy Camp Fiasco" here:

"2005 hoax: On July 14, 2005, Biscardi appeared on the radio program Coast to Coast AM and claimed he was "98% sure" his group would be able to capture a Bigfoot near Happy Camp, California. On August 19, he returned to say he knew of the location of a captured Bigfoot specimen, and that he would air footage of the creature through a $14 web-cam service. However, on the day the footage was to be distributed, Biscardi claimed he was "hoodwinked" by a woman in Stagecoach, Nevada, and that the specimen did not exist. Coast to Coast AM host George Noory demanded that Biscardi refund the money to people who had paid for the web-cam subscription. Biscardi then offered a refund on his website to those who had subscribed for the service after August 19."

Rumor around Willow Creek has it that Biscardi was from the start in collusion with a couple of good-old-boys who were making faked footprints up there in Happy Camp to draw attention to their town. We don't know if this is true, but we'd believe it. Upon arrival in the area Biscardi immediately began stirring up a media circus, as he seems to do everywhere he goes (television is the real goal of his hunt, we think). From there it just got worse with every step, and many were left behind feeling betrayed or ripped off. The segment on nationally syndicated and globally streamed C2C AM (The "Art Bell" Show) was one of the most outrageous this writer has EVER heard, on any radio show, and that is after listening to the C2C show since 1989. Among all the myriad weird guests on there over the years we've never heard one so excoriated, so discredited by the host, so caught up in lies and a public scam live on the air. And a number of these show guests have actually been thrown off the air over the years. Loren Coleman's THE CRYPTOZOOLOGIST has a great summary of the event in their article, "Coast to Coast AM Keeps Biscardi on Track" and there is a good update HERE on CRYPTOMUNDO.COM.

One Happy Camp Bigfoot blogger won't even mention Biscardi's name on her site, http://bigfootsightings.org/
But she did indirectly imply things about her experiences with the guy and the storm of BS he stirred up. Like something out of Harry Potter, she refers to him as "“he whose name will not appear in my blog,”

Every Bigfoot aficionado and investigator has been hurt by his antics, as the subject looks more ridiculous the more attention Biscardi gets. For every step forward in the battle for legitimization and public acceptance of the subject, media hound Biscardi seems to take three steps toward making it look absurd, uncultured, ignorant and foolish to believe that such a creature exists. One almost cringes to see him in action with such exploitation, knowing full well how negative the impact will be upon one's own bigfooting activities and research. One bombastic buffoon, one clown, one crook in the mix, one seen so publicly, can discredit a whole field of endeavor. Serious bigfooters should not underestimate this impact. Biscardi's show is one of the top-rated among the thousands on the online BlogTalk Radio podcast network. If you hear about Bigfoot on the major news channels it is likely to be another Biscardi confabulation. This is how the general public gets to see Bigfoot: through bogus bullshit, hype and deception. When the Bigfoot "body" was announced from Georgia the whole serious bigfooting world groaned in disgust when they heard who was involved in the "discovery."

Images: two photos in the press conference release packet for the Georgia Gorilla hoax presentation. Above, Biscardi with the "good old boy" hoaxers (his allies?). Below, the Halloween costume stuffed with animal parts, guts tossed on top, on ice.

Do you remember the Georgia Gorilla Hoax that Biscardi was a part of, and almost certainly originated and encouraged? (Read about it HERE on Squatchopedia if not, or the official Searching for Bigfoot press release HERE.) Well that was not the start of it. Biscardi's bigfooting pedigree goes directly back to the notorious old-time hoaxer and trickster, Ivan Marx. Marx' "The Legend of Bigfoot" (1976) (also viewable on Netflix for free HERE, or on YouTube HERE) is an assemblage of natural historical "documentary" and confabulation, a bunch of made up stories and faked sighting footage showing his wife prancing and stumbling around in a field pretending to be the Bossburg Cripplefoot. This film was made simply to exploit the interest in Bigfoot after the Patterson-Gimlin film was shot. The "Bigfoot" footage in this feature is, in the words of anthropologist Jeff Meldrum, "a transparent hoax." And yet, to this day, Tom Biscardi claims that the ape-suited subject of the film was a 7-8 foot tall Sasquatch and was horrifying as it charged them. He tells the story with fake trembling in his voice and feigned excitement. Give me a break, please, Tom. There is perhaps no more ridiculous Bigfoot hoax film than that one! Biscardi wants so badly to be known to have seen the beast, to be known as the "#1 Bigfoot Hunter in the Nation," that even something obviously untrue is better than nothing. All publicity is good publicity, I guess, when you're operating on this level. If he can't FIND Bigfoot, he'll INVENT it. But you've got to ask, Would you buy even a used car from this man?

We've heard some who've encountered him say they think Tom is just "gullible," that he is overly enthusiastic and believes people's stories too easily. But when viewing a film like "BIGFOOT LIVES" or "NOT YOUR TYPICAL BIGFOOT MOVIE" after the Georgia Gorilla and Happy Camp fiascoes one cannot help but see it the other way around. The cynical, calculating modus operandi, by all appearances and as seen in his own movie, is to go around building confidences in folks who want attention, who want to escape the small town mundanity of their lives, who are perhaps eager for monetary gain, and to USE them. The latter movie shows full evidence of this, where Biscardi is show cultivating a relationship, using it for what it's worth, and then abandoning the poor fellows. Tom got his movie footage, seen in HIS movie, but he left Dallas Gilbert and his poor friend standing around waiting at an abandoned appointment.

So, what IS in this movie? It's a lot of footage of Tom, Java Bob and crew driving around on interstate highways in their big, fancy "Searching for Bigfoot" gas guzzlers. It's basically that and Mr. Biscardi shmoozing with witnesses and potential Biscardi-cult members, or Biscardi taking credit for all the advancements in Bigfooting, or Biscardi propounding his own brand of feel-good philosophy, or Biscardi stomping around in the woods at night claiming to see things that just obviously are not there, or Biscardi just plain making shit up and wrongly interpreting evidence.

First there are a whole lot of suspicious-looking footprint finds. Like: one or two (it was not made clear) prints found in the middle of a muddy marsh bog in Paris, Texas. Tom, where is the TRACKWAY? Did Bigfoot just appear from the fifth dimension to make one footprint in a bog? How did that one print GET there? No attempt is made to show these things, rendering this part of the documentary useless, save if one wants to watch them make a plaster cast of something that sure looks like a faked plant (search Biscardi's van and I'll bet you'll find his footprint stomping mold right there under the passenger seat!).

Image: the commercial product used in the faking of the "Bigfoot Corpse."

Then they head to Deer River, Minnesota, where they see a bunch of very fake looking footprint casts. Biscardi finds a white hair superficially attached to the cement-like casting material. Suspiciously, this looks exactly like one of Java Bob's whitened beard hairs, in both length and color. A big show is made of boiling a Leatherman's pliers to remove the hair when it could probably have just been knocked off the cast with a pencil tip, and then while putting it into an envelope they take no care at all not to touch the inside of the envelope and hence contaminate it with human DNA. After all this show we don't get any presentation of the results of the DNA testing. Want to guess why? Clearly, this was Java Bob's or some other human's hair, not Bigfoot's.

Then we get to see the aforementioned Wayne and his friend Dallas in Ohio. Their method? Set up cameras on parts of the forest, take random footage, and then go home and try to find blobsquatches in the images. Very scientific, guys. Very imaginative. Bigfoot? No. This finding of shadows and phantoms not being enough, they present a blurry white thing that, um, could be Bigfoot. Or it could have been a littered grocery sack blowing in the wind! After this a known hoaxed photo of a man in an ape suit is presented. Great evidence!

Then we move on to a hand in formaldehyde, supposedly found in a public trash dump. It looks just about the size of a human hand... or maybe an animal paw. The DNA results, totally ineffectual for a piece of a body sitting god knows how long in preservative chemicals, were presented verbally in the film as "unknown, non-human, not a known primate." A little further research we did and proper wording reveal the real result: "inconclusive, due to degradation." This approach that seeks to bend the words of a lab report is seen again in the testing of some hair found by a Native American cop in Arizona. One of his samples was shown to be synthetic. The other, as seen in Biscardi's reaction where he interprets it: "Here it comes again, one more time," meaning that he thinks it is "non-human, unknown primate." But, IN FACT, the camera pans right onto the actual lab report, and the viewer can read it. There, before the viewers' very eyes, is the actual laboratory conclusion: "non-human, animal origin"!!! What does this mean, folks? That the hair came from... AN ANIMAL. Well, duh! But that is NOT proof that they came from a Bigfoot. It doesn't prove anything save for the fact that Biscardi couldn't give a damn for the truth, or that perhaps he can't even read. This clearly shows the non-scientific and obviously dishonest or delusional nature of the Searching for Bigfoot methodology.


Image: The fakest BF photo this side of blobsquatches in a LONG time. Sourced from: http://www.webjam.com/biscardi_exposed, where they say this about the photographer, "a local reporter confronted a local costumer and identified Mobius as buying a gorilla suit a few days before the media cabal. But Biscardi, as usual avoids the boring true story and heads right for the sensationalism...".

From there we get to hear mysterious music playing as Biscardi walks around in some fields. He knocks a stick against a tree, and then superimposed audio that could have come from anywhere is spliced in, as if it were Bigfoot's response to Tom. Then we see the fakest looking Halloween costumed "Bigfoot" ever, standing next to a golf cart. We see a leg with some meat hanging off of it that was dug up by a dog. It could be from any animal, but being only a couple of feet long I am not sure why they seem to think it came from a Bigfoot.  At the end we see an excavation of a human body in the woods in what looks decidedly like grave-robbing of a Native American. Biscardi steps in and with no evidence at all of his claims states that the bones are from about 500 BC. How did you "know" this, Tom? They measure the grave-scattered bones and conclude that it could not be human because the thing is about seven feet tall. Um, damn, I'd better just stop here. In short, there is not one single piece of evidence in this video that even comes close to being convincing.

Far from revealing that "Bigfoot Lives," this mock-you-mentary clearly shows that it certainly exists in Biscardi's mind, and it is there in the interests of his pocketbook and ego. With all of that expensive technological gear and rhetorical hoopla you'd think they could have gotten at least a decent thermal image of the Creature, or maybe at least a piece of scat or something that could be honestly tested. Instead, the viewer is left feeling, in the end, like a big Bigfoot turd has just been dropped on his or her head. Biscardi should at least not go around claiming that he's the inventor of concepts like Bigfoot migration. That idea is as old as the hills, and credit for it should probably go to John Green, we'd say. He even claims he is the first to say that Bigfoot is nocturnal. Oh, please, come on. Tom! Can't you find a job at a casino or something? Leave Bigfoot Alone. Where is the BFRO when you need them most?

An AMAZING website exists to analyze (I should say DEBUNK) Biscardi and his so-called evidence and highly questionable methods. It also includes his "Bigfoot Business Plan" fully documented. Go there now: http://www.webjam.com/biscardi_exposed.

Curious about Biscardi's point of view? Want to see some really bad faked Photoshop Bigfoot photos and Blobsquatches? Go HERE, to the Searching for Bigfoot site, if you dare. Go ahead, listen to Bozo toot his own horn on the Bigfoot Live Radio Show on BlogTalkRadio.

If YOU or someone you know has had an encounter with Tom Biscardi we invite you to leave COMMENTS, below. All comments, pro and con, will be tolerated and approved by this bLog, save for those that are demonstrable Spam.

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NEWS FLASH---ANNOUNCEMENT: Just out is a new documentary called  BIGFOOT'S REFLECTION. This one features good, solid, reasonable researchers, in distinct contrast to the other one we've just covered. Featured bigfooters are John Bindernagal, Robert Pyle, John Green, Bill Miller, John Kirk, Thomas Steenburg, Richard Noll and Mel Skahan. Check out the trailer HERE on the Bunbury Films site. They're sending a review copy to us here at BIGFOOT BOOKS, so expect more detailed coverage on this blog soon. If it's really good we'll be carrying here in the Bigfoot Books shop in Willow Creek.
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MORE BIGFOOT FILMS:
In great distinction to the really bad  fictional Sasquatch films reviewed previously HERE on this blog, we're pleased to announce that there are a couple of good ones out there. Bigfoot films are in a genre unto themselves, but the following two are clever genre-benders, featuring not only two quite good Bigfoot-suited monsters (going beyond the usual cheap gorilla costumes), and introducing intriguing pastiches and borrowings from other horror films. These both demonstrate meta-critical positions of self-aware bad genre film-making, transcending the bad with good production values and humorous in-jokes. And, of course, there is always the need to compete with all the other Bigfoot films from the past, to beat them in the savagery and gore departments, all whilst using the usual arm-through-the-window, shadow-across-the-wall tropes so familiar to slasher flick fans.

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ABOMINABLE (2006), directed and written by Ryan Schifrin, stars a very competent Matt McCoy as a paralyzed guy returning from a mental hospital in an attempt to recover from the death of his wife in a climbing accident on the mountain behind his remote, forest-surrounded house. Next door, the same day he arrives, the usual clich├ęd hot babe co-eds show up for a pre-wedding bachelorette party. It gets juicy fast.
Needless to say, it isn't just the recovering protagonist who is annoyed with their loud hip-hop music, valley girl chatter, and pot smoking. No, there is also the real resident of this area--Bigfoot--and boy is he pissed. And he's hungry for hot human blood. Why Bigfoot likes to eat young co-eds is still not explained by this film. But hey, they must be tasty or something. Or maybe it was the rap music? Bigfoot really, really hates car horns honking here, too.

In a scenario right out of Hitchcock's Rear Window, the man who is trapped in his wheelchair on the second story with his annoying orderly witnesses a young woman attacked and dragged into the woods. Her compatriots do not even notice. The man cannot communicate because the phone line is down. Then he sees Sasquatch playing peeping Tom from the forest's edge as a young woman takes a shower. From there things only get worse, and in the most ghastly and gory ways. If you like gruesomeness you will love this film.


And to be fair to both genders--though we don't want even to begin to spoil the hideous fun for you--we do have to say that at one point the obnoxious mental hospital male nurse hurls a large axe into Bigfoot's back, and he is subsequently given the high honor of having the entire front part of his face and head bitten off in graphic detail, from upper mouth to upper forehead. Lovely!

Images: Poster and titles screen, the latter being footprints in the snow left after two horses were slaughtered outside a rural cabin, and then the dog was smooshed. Next: Bigfoot hates cars! Next: Bigfoot in Love, or something like that. Next: the inimitable Squatcher, Lance Henricksen. Next, more savagery, plus Eyes in the Dark.

The Bigfoot in this film is a strikingly believable one, standing at around seven and a half feet tall, but not a totally stereotypical one. It's visage is truly interesting and disturbing, its eye and facial movements in particular, done with electric servos, are convincingly done. This sure beats the CGI crap seen in SASQUATCH HUNTERS. That's part of the reason this is a good film--it eschews the newfangled and sticks with the tried and true modes of the genre.The creature moving around in the dark, as well as killing in the light, moves and behaves like one would think a living Bigfoot should, and it's convincing enough to be both cool for a Bigfoot believer and scary for all.

Lance Henricksen, whose post-MILLENNIUM career is rapidly becoming defined by Sasquatch Slasher films, makes a fine cameo appearance as a Bigfoot hunter who enters a cave pursuing the beast, and is promptly shredded. What IS it about Henricksen and Bigfoot? He's been in like four of these now!

We won't try to spoil the ending, save with the picture below, which shows that skeptical, scoffing sheriffs should never let themselves appear in a Sasquatch movie. Bigfoot gets the last say here, and I'm all for that. Plus the good guy and one of the co-eds escape alive, and the promise of a seriously age-disparate love affair is vaguely suggested.


This film was shot in the mountains around Idylwild, CA, in the San Jacinto Mountains, a pretty good piece of Sasquatch habitat. And if you liked Scream or Friday the 13th and all the rest of them, and also have a liking for the Nature-Strikes-Back film, then this one is for you.

Watch the film on YouTube HERE, though it won't be as cool as on the bigger screen. Or if the legal guys take that one down, view the cool official trailer HERE.

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SASQUATCH MOUNTAIN (2006) stars Lance Henriksen again as a stone-tough and gritty, yet sensitive, ex-Nam vet whose wife was run down and killed by a car in an accident caused by a Sasquatch crossing the road. But by the end of the film he is the one who prevails, reaching some kind of peace with himself while bonding with the dying, bullet-riddled Sasquatch. Written by and co-starring the clever Michael Worth, this film incorporates all the old horror themes and combines them with the escaping bank robber trope. Some funny Tarrantino-esque criminal slapstick occurs, even a "Mexican standoff."

The bank robbers escape into the woods, pursued by some Sheriffs and a good-old boy Nam vet posse. A young woman escaping an abusive relationship is just passing through the area, but gets caught up in the action, ironically, as a hostage. This role is well played by the ever-bosomous Cerina Vincent. The bad guys are an amusingly motley crew of characters, including a very-Kill-Bill tough-ass Asian woman who gets in some intense girl-on-girl fighting action with the main star. Cameo roles among the goofy posse are classic, including one from Ron Howard's father, Rance Howard.

This film operates around the usual pissed-off Sasquatch theme. Here, an old man had been feeding a Bigfoot family for years from his remote ranch. His mummified, long-dead corpse is found. Then some bloody afterbirth is found. Apparently, Bigfoot is a newly-become daddy. He's mad, and he's hungry; and true to the formula limbs and blood do fly. In the end, the death howls of the Bigfoot are answered from the deep woods by a more feminine response, and then the howling crying of a Sasquatch baby. A tragic end. Tragic, too, though probably just, is the fact that they bury the Bigfoot out in the woods, and tell the world that it was a bear that killed all of those folks. The message again: Respect the Big Guy.

This film was made in the forested mountains of northern Arizona, and the habitat appears to be acceptable for a Bigfoot, if a whole lot harder for a human, to survive in. Watch the trailer for SASQUATCH MOUNTAIN on YouTube HERE.



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ANGRY BIGFOOT SPEAKS!: Me let hu-man be angry this week. Me leave fake toenail for Biscardi Tom to find. Ha ha!!! ME not mad at him, he is good fun, me play joke, me like it when hu-man look like stupid naked ape. Me trick or treat in hu-man suit costume, me leave big bag of burning Bigfoot poop on Biscardi house doormat. Me take his Hummer truck, drive over his grass yard. If I a joke in hu-man television, no one ever, ever find me!
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All images are public product images, or used for promotional purposes,  part of an official press release, or in one case sourced from another internet site. Text copyright 2009, Bigfoot Books, and may be quoted or used with full citation including a link to this blog. Thanks!
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COMING SOON! The M.K. DAVIS INTERVIEW is about halfway done. Look for it, hopefully next week!

6 comments:

  1. Artist Jesse Wiedel sent this comment in by email:
    "your blog won't let me comment for some reason. anyways, i liked the review of "abominable". i think last year i was out sick from work one day, and this film and "sasquatch mountain" played on tv as a double header.
    i really liked abominable. classic cheesy horror with a cool looking creature.
    anyways, it's unusual for me to sit through a movie with commercial interruptions, much less two of em! but i did for these two, maybe cuz i was sick and couldn't move off the couch...
    well, hope you're doing good! hope to bump into you again sometime soon,
    -jesse"

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  2. There is so much more to the Happy Camp Biscardi story. I hope someday I get over my distress over what happened enough to write about it. If I do, you are the first person I'll send my manuscript to.

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  3. To Linda--I can only say I wish I knew ALL the details. The little I do know is pathetic enough!

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  4. I think you're pretty harsh toward Tom Biscardi. I have spoke with Tom several times over the past year. I have found him to be honest and recognize he "doesn't suffer fools". I do want to speak to your accusation that Tom is trying to make money. I think that is true of everyone. Don't you own a Bigfoot bookstore and have a radio program? You seem to talk about people in the bigfoot business rather than bigfoot and the research you're doing. You write about (you seem to be a very good writer by the way) bigfoot people apparently. How does that work for you? Is it more profitable than the work Tom or Tim Stover Jr, or Tim Fasano or Matt Moneymaker? I do not know how much any of them make, but I want them and you to make all you can. I find it in poor taste to berate anyone for making money while you seek the same and even worse speaking poorly about someone. So yes, I have read some of your work. But only because you wrote about Tom Biscardi. If you do not like his movies (he has three and is working on a fourth) that is okay. I don't like used bookstores. I do not think I have told everyone about it though. So try this. Be nice, be kind, help others and don't try to make yourself look good by trying to make others look bad. Peace Cat!

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  5. Jim, whatever your last name is,
    Your logic is deeply flawed. It is not about "making money," but rather foisting FAKE evidence upon the public, running investment and media cons surrounding Bigfoot, and generally making the whole topic of Bigfooting look ridiculous. THAT is what Biscardi has "achieved." I don't care if he makes a good living or not, so long as it is not hurting anybody. Now, I argue that in fact he IS hurting the field of Bigfoot studies, and quite possibly the lives of many of the witnesses (and researchers) whom he exploits for his own advancement. That is truly a shame. The above is a video review. I found his video to be a big can of sham, sorry to say; and time has told that I was right when I wrote this: nearly all of that "evidence" has been proven to be nothing at all to do with Bigfoot. And this: as far as making money from Bigfoot in my shop, well, I essentially break even with that. I stock the Bigfoot stuff to make customers happy, and to stimulate Bigfoot-related discussion. Any profit I make from a sale goes right back in to buying new and more varied inventory. I run a general topic book shop, and only have about 100 out of about 35,000 books that are actually about Sasquatch. The time I spend on the blog makes no money at all. I do all of my Bigfoot research for FREE, and offer it to the public in that spirit, unsullied by the aim of personal gain or aggrandizement.

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  6. big foots are for weeners named boris vivokski :)

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