Two men claim they've bagged Bigfoot, and they say they have the hairy corpse of the legendary creature stored away in a freezer.
Matt Whitton and Rick Dyer say they stumbled across the corpse in the woods of northern Georgia, across the country from the remote regions of the Northwest where people usually claim to see the man-ape.
Still, the Georgia men say DNA from the creature could prove once and for all that the frozen creature is Sasquatch.
At a news conference today in Palo Alto, Calif., Whitton, Dyer and Tom Biscardi, head of a group called Searching for Bigfoot, presented what they called evidence supporting the Bigfoot theory. It was an e-mail from a University of Minnesota entomologist, saying one of the DNA samples that the men said they took from the corpse was "inconclusive," which could mean it didn't come from a known species.
They're not winning over any skeptics, though.
"What I've seen so far is not compelling in the least, and I think the pictures cast grave doubts on their claim," Jeffrey Meldrum, a Bigfoot researcher and Idaho State University professor, told the Scientific American. "It just looks like a costume with some fake guts thrown on top for effect."
Whitton, an officer on medical leave from the Clayton County Police Department, and Dyer, a former corrections officer, announced the discovery in early July.
The picture they sent out in a news release and on their Web site -- www.bigfoottracker.com -- shows what appears to be a hairy corpse crammed into a chest freezer. The accompanying announcement describes the creature as a 7-foot-7 male, weighing 550 pounds with 16-inch human-like feet and reddish hair.
Whitton and Dyer have so far offered three different tales so far about how they came to find the creature:
In one, the animal was shot by a former felon, and the men followed it into the woods. In a second version, they found a "family of Bigfoot" in North Georgia mountains. In the third, the two were hiking and stumbled upon the corpse with open wounds.
Biscardi defended the pair at today's news conference among skeptical reporters.
"Do you think these fellows would come this far and put their reputations and their jobs on the line if they didn't have what they say they have?" he said.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Reserve spokesman Tom Mackenzie, however, said officers also are not taking the claim seriously and will not investigate Bigfoot because it not a federal priority.
"It's not on endangered species on any list that we've got," Mackenzie said.