Redwood City Bigfoot hunter hopes to make giant capture 

click to enlarge True believer: Tom Biscardi says he’s come close to catching Bigfoot. (AP file photo) - TRUE BELIEVER: TOM BISCARDI SAYS HE’S COME CLOSE TO CATCHING BIGFOOT. (AP FILE PHOTO)
  • True believer: Tom Biscardi says he’s come close to catching Bigfoot. (AP file photo)
  • True believer: Tom Biscardi says he’s come close to catching Bigfoot. (AP file photo)

If Redwood City native Tom Biscardi is right, one of the world’s most baffling mysteries is about to be solved.

For decades, scientists, adventurers and monster hunters have explored the furthest reaches of North American wildlands in search of undeniable evidence that a species of gigantic, bipedal apelike creatures — known as Bigfoot — exist. Recently, Biscardi launched an expedition being filmed by English documentarians for BBC that he claims will finally put the Bigfoot mystery to rest.

“We’re going out there for a possible capture,” Biscardi said. “I really think this is going to be it.”

Biscardi hopes to finally silence his critics during an expedition that will focus on Arkansas, Florida, West Virginia and Illinois, where Bigfoot-related activity has recently been reported.

But others working to solve the Bigfoot mystery think Biscardi’s latest hunt is just another gimmick.

“It always ends up being nothing,” said Diane Stocking, who has researched Bigfoot sightings for almost four decades and created Stocking Hominid Research Inc. in Oregon. “To the Bigfoot community, he’s a joke. No one takes him seriously.”

In the past 40 years, Biscardi said he’s encountered Bigfoot six times. But while capture has eluded him, the infamous monster hunter, who moonlights as a Las Vegas promoter, has managed to turn Bigfoot into a thriving commercial industry.

Over the years, the founder of Searching for Bigfoot Inc. has produced four documentaries while hosting the weekly radio show “Bigfoot Live” on his website, www.searchingforbigfoot.com, where he sells caps, T-shirts, mugs and doormats, among other creature items.

“You bet I’m in it for the money. I don’t work for free,” Biscardi said.

This isn’t the first time Biscardi has been accused of plotting a hoax. In 2005, he went on the radio show “Coast to Coast AM” claiming he knew the location of a captured Bigfoot close to the Oregon border and would air footage online via webcam for a small fee. But on the day footage was slated to be released, he said he’d been “hoodwinked” by a woman in Nevada.

Then in 2008, Biscardi held a news conference in Palo Alto with two Georgia men who claimed they were holding a Bigfoot carcass in their freezer. Biscardi confirmed the creature’s authenticity, saying he had measured its feet and touched its intestines. But soon after, the Georgia men admitted the pictures were nothing more than a Halloween costume stuffed with animal parts.

British director Morgan Matthews said his documentary, tentatively titled “Of Monsters and Men,” will be a portrait of several men like Biscardi, who devote their lives to chasing mysterious creatures.

“I think Tom has something to prove and that makes it interesting for us,” Matthews said.

“When you’re on top of the mountain, they all want to knock you down,” Biscardi said. “Hopefully this will be the time we put an end to this thing.”

Close encounters

Bigfoot buff Tom Biscardi says he’s had several run-ins with Bigfoot, and he is launch an expedition in hopes of finally capturing the mythological beast.

FIRST ENCOUNTER
WHEN: Late 1960s
WHERE: Near Spokane, Wash.
QUOTE: “I was shocked. I said to myself, ‘What the hell is that?’”

SECOND ENCOUNTER
WHEN: October 1971
WHERE: Near Mount Burney
QUOTE: “It looked at us and had juice from eating chokecherries all over its mouth.”

THIRD ENCOUNTER
WHEN: April 1973
WHERE: Beaver Lake
QUOTE: “It was bathing itself in the water.”

FOURTH ENCOUNTER
WHEN: October 1977
WHERE: Near Mount Lassen
QUOTE: “It was an albino — pure white. It blew me away; he looked like a stuffed animal.”

FIFTH ENCOUNTER
WHEN: July 2006
WHERE: Deer River, Minn.
QUOTE: “We were pretty damn close to catching him. They move faster than lightning.”

SIXTH ENCOUNTER
WHEN: June 2008
WHERE: Lamar Point, Texas
QUOTE: “We tried to jump on it, but it moved too quick.”

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Paul Gackle

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