Bigfoot hoaxers Rick Dyer and Matthew Whitton are back in the limelight — and they're blaming Tom Biscardi, the California promoter who trotted them out for a nationally televised press conference last Friday.
Back home in Georgia after their brief moment in the big time, Dyer and Whitton told two Atlanta TV stations Wednesday that the entire affair was a "joke" that got out of hand.
"I just wanted to put out some good news," Dyer told Joanna Massee of WGCL-TV. "People are upset with the war and stuff — what's so bad about Bigfoot? Nobody got hurt."
The men admitted they bought the Sasquatch suit over the Internet, and showed WSB-TV's Mark Winne a Web page at TheHorrorDome.Com selling it.
"It got into something much bigger than it was supposed to be," Whitton told Winne. "It started off as just some YouTube videos and a Web site. ... We're all about having fun."
Two people definitely aren't smiling. One is Clayton County Police Chief Jeffrey Turner, who fired Whitton from his job as a police officer Tuesday after the hoax came to light.
"A defense attorney could put him on the stand and say, 'You lied about this — how do we know you're not lying now?'" Turner told FoxNews.com. "A police officer needs credibility and honor."
Whitton will be allowed to contest his termination, and he insists he's still an honest man.
"I don't believe it does affect my credibility at all, because this is Bigfoot," he told Winne. "It would be one thing if I came out and said I had something else that is tangible or real, but right now, as far as I'm concerned, there is no real Bigfoot."
The other unhappy party is Biscardi, who accuses Dyer and Whitton of running off with the $50,000 advance he gave them a week ago. According to an employee of his Searching for Bigfoot company, Biscardi plans to sue.
"There will be legal action," Catherine Ortez told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "If this was a joke, it was very methodical and thought-out."
Neither of the TV interviewers asked Dyer and Whitton about the money, but the men have hired a prominent defense lawyer.
They also briefly posted a YouTube video arguing that Biscardi knew all along that the Bigfoot body was bogus. It was taken down, but Cryptomundo.com managed to save it for posterity.
"We have proof," Dyer told Massee. "Not proof of Bigfoot — we have proof of everything, and that's what's gonna come out in the next couple of days."