Bigfoot hoax ends badly: Montana jokester hit, killed by car

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A Montana man who was apparently trying to trigger a Bigfoot sighting by dressing up in a costume and darting out onto a dark stretch of highway was struck and killed by two passing cars, officials said.

Randy Lee Tenley, 44, of Kalispell, Mont., was apparently wearing a Ghillie suit at the time. That’s a camouflage outfit -- sometimes used by military snipers or hunters -- designed to resemble dense, thick foliage.

“What we know so far is that we had a couple of guys out, allegedly trying to prompt a sighting of Bigfoot,” Montana Highway Patrol Lt. Col. Butch Huseby told the Los Angeles Times. The officer added: “This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. Really.”


But it was no doubt a frightening sight for the teenage girl who was driving down a two-lane highway at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday near Flathead Lake in northwestern Montana. That’s when Tenley, dressed in the camo, stepped out onto the roadway, officials say.

The girl’s car struck Tenley, who was then struck by a second car -- also driven by a teenage girl, Huseby said. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

The incident remains under investigation, including whether the men involved were drinking at the time and whether the drivers were in any way culpable, Huseby said.

He added that the teenage drivers -- assuming they’re unfamiliar with military camouflage -- probably had no idea what they were seeing. And they might indeed have thought they were seeing Bigfoot, or Sasquatch.

“For somebody who has never seen [a Ghillie suit], they look absolutely odd. You would not understand what you were looking at,” especially in the dark, he said. “It goes from head to toe. You would look at it and think, ‘What in the world is that?’ ”

Tenley was with a buddy at the time, and that friend told authorities what the pair was up to, Huseby said.


[Updated at 2:10 p.m.: An earlier version of this post mistakenly said Flathead Lake is located in Northeastern Montana. It is located in the Northwestern part of the state.]


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