Alberta Bow Valley Hoax

Alberta Bow Valley Hoax

A Canadian Not-newspaper called “The Sage” demonstrates its creativity in not only choosing a name that sets it well apart from “The Onion” but in hoaxing the crypto-zoology field with this story posted recently:

Alberta: Bow Valley flooding exposes rotting carcass of a Sasquatch.
Legendary Cryptid believed to be a surviving Gigantopithecus

by Brian K. Hahn

(SNN) – The recent mass flooding in southern Alberta has exposed a rotting corpse of what is believed to be the legendary Sasquatch. Cryptozoologists worldwide are lining up to examine the remains, which were located by a hiker along the Bow River, northwest of Canmore, Alberta.

I will let you go there for the rest of the story. Suffice to say Mr. Hahn simply borrows the idea from the Otzi, the 5000 year old Iceman found in the Alps in 1991, or the 39000 year old baby mammoth found frozen on a Siberian island, or the recent Viking artifacts found in receding glaciers and applies it to the “discovery” of a gigantopithecus. Mr Hahn has been having a great laugh at all of this because a number of crytpo-zoology websites picked up his story and ran with it.

Of course, he employs the tactic of putting Sasquatch in the title while calling it gigantopithecus in the body of the story. I know it is a tactic to lure readers in because I do it myself. It makes one wonder if he is proposing that gigantopithecus is “known to not exist” as he claims about bigfoot? Now I will be the first to say we do not know that bigfoot exists, have said it many times. Opinions vary, as with all matters in the unexplained, though Hahn considers the issue black and white, bigfoot does not exist therefore a hoax story about gigantopithecus is actually a satire of crypto-zoology.

One of the largest battles we fight here is against believers who, lacking evidence of their belief pose the question “Can you prove it doesn’t exist?” And the answer to that question is pretty much always no. Not because a specific unknown exists or doesn’t exist, but because in a logical argument you can typically only demonstrate a lack of evidence, not evidence that disproves. That in turn makes me wonder from where Hahn derives the statement that bigfoot is known to not exist? Absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence, and while it is true that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, ignorance of or simply ignoring any potential piece of that evidence for the convenience of your little joke does not cast you in a very good light Mr. Hahn. There is significant evidence to support the search for bigfoot, and the main detractor from that is… people who get their jollies hoaxing.

Here is where I potentially embarrass myself. I don’t actually see the joke in Hahn’s article. I have said so in the discussion thread at “The Sage.”

Hahn and his followers have been unable to answer my questions.

Here is how it began:

So, you put this up just to see how many people would bite on it as a real story?

Another commenter:
I think the whole website is Satire. So that may not be the motivation.

Me again:
Show me the satire in this specific story. When you can do that I will buy that reason. Absent that, then it would pretty clearly seem the motive was to post a false story and see who bought it.

Brian Hahn:
You are right Henry, this story is really a parody, but not a parody of real life. We know that the Sasquatch does not exist, but only in the minds if some. However, there is no deception here, since at the bottom of the story is reads that the story is “faux in nature”. Please check out the disclaimer. I am sorry however that your hopes have been dashed. But thank you for visiting The Sage News Network.

A parody, but not a parody of real life? Of what then?

Kindly quote me sir, where I have expressed an opinion or belief that you feel has been dashed.
Some people consider there to be a difference between satire and merely making up a false story.

Hahn has not been able to answer my questions.
Another commenter, a Teresa Hahn, whose relationship to Brian is not known to me had this to offer:

SATIRE..the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc. I’m having a hard time understanding where your anger is coming from. You obviously do not see the humor in the story.

Astute observation. Yes, I told you I do not see the joke so very good of you to figure that out. Now show me where Brian has used irony, sarcasm or ridicule, and how he has demonstrated that a particular belief is vice or folly beyond his own opinion of it? That is excepting that Hahn has chosen to ridicule anyone who re-posted his hoax article, which is not at all the same thing as ridicule contained within the article. There are experts far better informed of the actual facts than you, Brian and Teresa and your followers, who take the study seriously. I expressed no anger, so I am not sure where that observation came from? Unless daring to question you is an expression of anger. I was called a troll for asking a reasonable question. I was accused of pretense for the same question and when I asked anyone to offer an example to illustrate their statements about me, statements that had no bearing on the actual article or question I had asked, I was banned from posting any further comment.

Fortunately for me I have other venues of discourse.

Did I get taken in by the story? I’m man enough to say I did, as I found it when I was in a rush, and wrote it up quickly without fully fact checking. I wrote it as the discovery of a gigantopithecus as evidence that that creature had crossed the Bearing Strait during one of the ice ages, with the intent follow up when I had more time.  That is just a facet of the mentality of trying to get there first with any story in this electronic age where current events are updated moment by moment. I went on to say that dating of the ice in the vicinity could lead to updating the known time period for the gigantopithecus. If Hahn’s story had been true would that prove the existence of bigfoot? No, certainly not. There are many species that have gone extinct since the last ice age, both due to changes of climate and environment, and from human hands. Gigantopithecus should not be given any more freedom from that possibility than anyone else. There is more than one candidate for the potential progenitor of bigfoot, discounting aliens and nephilim, there is Australopithecus Robust, analysis of whose skull matches very closely to stills of Patty taken from the Patterson/Gimlin footage. Had Hahn known that then maybe he would have known his little hoax, if it had any bearing at all on the possible existence of bigfoot, would only serve to narrow the field a tiny little bit.

Sure, there are plenty of people out there who think that hoaxing bigfoot sightings is great fun, and by doing so somehow detracts from the possibility that there is an unknown creature scattered across the globe.  As I said in the comments on “The Sage” a lie can neither prove or disprove anything, it is merely irrelevant, and I would ask the Hahns how their blanket disbelief, for which they offer no foundation, is any more relevant than the blanket belief of many of those they have hoaxed?

For a few examples of actual satire about Bigfoot, check out “The Onion.” An actual satire site.

Area Dad Saw A Great Show On Bigfoot Last Night
Scientists To DNA Test Bigfoot Evidence

Should the Hahns bother to look beyond their own small world of self serving comedy and find this article, they should know that they are free to comment, will not be banned simply because I disagree with them, in fact I welcome their discourse and look forward to their justification for any of the questions posed here.


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Henry Paterson