On March 28, 2014, fraudmeister and self-proclaimed Bigfoot killer Rick Dyer—facing abandonment and accusations from his closest followers—finally admitted that most of his claims over the prior 18 months had been elements of yet another Bigfoot hoax. Fake body. Fake university. Fake medical scans.
Most of all, fake viewing of the corpse by "Musky" Allen Issleb, the man whose detailed description of the creature to the gullible or complicit administrators of a popular Bigfoot Facebook page (who had also promoted Dyer's "tent video") launched Dyer's tale into wider awareness and debate.* That Issleb had once been sued by the State of Illinois for scamming homeowners was exposed too late for Dyer to lose his abusive advantage over hopeful followers who now—finally—have virtually all left him.
Too late to stop Dyer from bilking thousands of people for thousands more dollars given to him to view his fake Bigfoot, gain privileged access to undelivered proof of his claims, or keep him from ruining their reputations with his vicious, amoral taste for sensationalistic slander.
And yet...and yet...
Despite Dyer's admission that his antics in 2013 were all part of an elaborate hoax to achieve some twisted and perverse goal—that he could again gain the media spotlight for a fake Bigfoot story just as he had in 2008—he is also still claiming that he really did kill a Bigfoot in September of 2012, only that the subsequent narrative was cooked up to amuse himself until the "real" story comes out.
In the mind of the sociopath, this is a tidy solution, allowing him to have a big laugh without getting tarred and feathered. (He thinks.) He did swear on his children's lives that he killed a real Bigfoot, after all.
But he's complicated the matter by saying a bit more: rather than trying to save face by simply tossing out an unprovable caveat—like "the MIBs took the real body," which he's used to explain away the 2008 hoax—he returned to the one element of his original story that turned more heads than even the swindler Issleb's long, descriptive interview: that filmmaker Morgan Matthews was there when he shot the beast, has it on film, and could corroborate his story at any time.
Naturally one thinks: well, if Matthews could confirm it, then he could also blow it out of the water. Dyer has a lot riding on his faith that Matthews won't do that, doesn't he? Dyer could simply claim that he did it in private with unnamed investors stepping in to help move and process the body through whatever complex machinations followed.
Why does Dyer feel so comfortable that Matthews won't rat him out?
The film Matthews was making when he was with Dyer, "Shooting Bigfoot," aired on the BBC in March and was immediately pirated onto YouTube for scrutiny by Americans and others outside of the UK. At the end of the film, which Dyer has always been careful to call a "documentary," Matthews is pummeled by a clean-shaven fellow with slicked-back hair who resembles Lee Marvin and appears to be wearing a 1920's raccoon coat and Nosferatu gloves. He even can be seen to adjust his mask after the "hit," and previously appears to be scampering in the woods with dress shoes on.**
Hardly compelling. Yet Matthews, who was working under the auspices of the BBC and is said to be proud of his reputation as a serious documentarian, has been elusive about the ending ever since the movie was first screened in April 2013, and most think he's just hoping to keep audiences wondering if it's really a Bigfoot. (Um, OK.) However, he tries to send little signals, like telling audiences they "might assume" he was hit by a man in a suit, or relating in the closing moments of the film that Dyer claimed to "have returned" to the site and killed a Bigfoot, not done so when they were together as Dyer purports.
Are these really subtle cries for help, carefully crafted by Matthews because he fears Dyer will give him away for participating in the hoax, thereby destroying his reputation as a serious, arms-length, BBC-approved documentary filmmaker? Consider that the film is on-target in its first half or so, poking unrelenting fun at the antics of damaged men who hunt for the elusive behemoth, but loses steam when it goes out on patrol with them. The film veers from episodic character study to narrative storytelling, and the guys just aren't as entertaining in the dark. Matthews actually leaves the other story threads unresolved to just focus in the last moments on Dyer and the big confrontation.
Was Matthews having trouble ending his film with gusto and gave in to the temptation to beef it up by violating his documentarian's oath not to create events but simply observe them? Do both Dyer and Matthews realize that, and Dyer has Matthews by the throat?
Consider also how amazing the film would have been had Matthews served up Dyer's head on a platter along with the fake one that accosted him. He could have ended his film much more powerfully, documenting the ultimate expression of the desperation he had chronicled so well in the movie's first half. Instead, we get an abrupt, thematically-inconsistent ending that leaves us unsatisfied, not because we wonder if it's real but because we wonder why someone exchanged the last reel with a different movie altogether.
The reason can only be that it's a story Matthews can't tell. He wasn't Dyer's victim; the two of them colluded to create the "encounter," this was the best they could do, and now they're stuck with each other.
Or, more accurately, Matthews is stuck with Dyer...and chooses to hold his tongue no matter how horribly Dyer abuses their devil's agreement for fear of losing his reputation and perhaps his career.
It's amazing, really. Dyer also is entrusting Matthews with the thing most important to Dyer: his own ability to keep doing what he does without being utterly and completely discredited. That's the shared power one collaborator always has over the other, even if one of them is able to wield it more assuredly and brutally.
If that's not a correct reading of this situation, Morgan, then tell us otherwise. Both Dyer and your own silence have implicated you in every instance of fraud, slander, and cruelty perpetrated by Dyer in the past 18 months.
*When "Shooting Bigfoot" failed to excite premiere audiences in April 2013, as Dyer had promised it would, Facebook/Find Bigfoot administrator (and premiere attendee) Jack Barnes—a pseudonym—claimed to have driven from Toronto to Chicago the next day in order to show Issleb multiple stills he smuggled from the showing so Issleb could verify it was the same creature he saw on the slab. Issleb insisted that it was, and "Barnes" then swore he deleted all the images from his computer without showing ANY person other than Issleb—even privately—for fear of copyright litigation, even though it supposedly showed a more convincing creature than the famous Patterson-Gimlin footage from 1967, as they both claimed. Of course now we know it didn't.
**All images from "Shooting Bigfoot" are copyrighted by Minnow Films and shared here under Fair Use allowances, blah blah blah.
WHAT IS THIS MAN AFRAID OF?