When 2005's Coast to Coast AM "Year in Review" is penned this winter, August will surely belong to Tom Biscardi and his now infamous bogus Bigfoot.
binnallofamerica.com covered this story from the moment Biscardi appeared on the 8.19 C2C to declare he'd captured the Bigfoot. We did our best to stay "fair and balanced", despite our strong reservations that Biscardi was up to no good. Therefore, now that things have settled down, we can take a hard look at just what happened that bizarre week we've come to call "Biscardigate".
The Fuse is Lit
For the weeks and months leading up to 8.19, Biscardi made random appearances on C2C to promote his pay-per-view Bigfoot hunt website and claim to be closer and closer to catching the vaunted 'Foot. Despite how it may appear, these weren't just schillfests from Biscardi, they were highly entertaining, as he went from hyper to subdued over the course of the two month saga. Once, he got so fired up he started saying "Hell" repeatedly and Noory had to remind him they were on "live National radio."
And so it came to be that Biscardi was our wacky pop-in 1st hour guest, mysteriously residing deep in the woods and, no doubt, slowly going crazy. His predictions for success got more and more finite by the week, until they built up to a do or die call on 8.12 where he promised to have a Bigfoot by "next week."
Much like the previous Biscardi predictions, it seemed like up until the show started that night that Biscardi had indeed missed the mark on catching Bigfoot once again. George Noory, the proverbial ringmaster of the Biscardi circus throughout the summer, got Biscardi on the line to find out if he'd found success on his "next week prediction". And, as you know by now, Biscardi stunned the world by claiming to have captured the Bigfoot. Now, admittedly, the majority of this stunned world was more stunned that Biscardi would do this, not that he'd actually captured the Bigfoot.
To his credit, Noory tried to get some actual proof, but Biscardi danced around it quite a bit, including dodging the obvious request for at least a photograph. Biscardi's story went further into the unbelievable when he said he'd not even seen the thing, despite having it captured for a week. Despite all of this, Biscardi was sure to plug his pay-per-view website including using a controversial claim of impending price increases, post-Bigfoot unveiling.
Noory set the stage for the following week's meltdown with this ominous comment, "You'll either be an international hero or a goat."
It wasn't too long after Biscardi made his bombshell claim that the chatter began. Of course, the masses were quick, and right, to jump all over Biscardi for being full of bs. Savvy, longtime C2C listeners knew there was no way Biscardi got the 'Foot, though more than a few will tell you they were hopeful he did.
Sure enough, around 10:45 pm Saturday night, the word got out on the C2C message board and then, a little over an hour later, on the website www.bigfootsightings.org. It was quiet for news after that, despite ongoing virtual lynchings of Biscardi and an esoteric slapfight between Loren Coleman and the webmaster of said site.
By Monday, it was patently obvious that there would be no Bigfoot unveiling. Surprisingly, Coast to Coast did not bring Biscardi on as a guest in the first hour, instead opting for Loren Coleman, who was knee deep in an esoteric slap fight the previous 24 hours, running down Biscardi to anyone who would listen.
It's no secret that Bigfoot research is bereft with in-fighting, turf wars, and scandalous allegations. Thankfully, on August 22nd, we were allowed to witness an all out blood letting of Bigfoot hunting proportions as Coleman savagely tore into Biscardi.
Somehow, Biscardi managed to show up mid-hour, though I'm not sure if C2C got him on or if he managed to get himself on. I'm intrigued by the politics of Biscardi finding his way onto that hour. However it happened, Biscardi briefly appeared to first request a follow up shot on Tuesday night and then to toss some barbs at Coleman.
The stage was set for an all out C2C meltdown, the likes of which he hadn't seen since Fr. Wingate did the Lindy Hop all around his dead Pope prediction.
Without much fanfare, Biscardi made his now final appearance on Coast to Coast. Attempting to resuscitate his reputation, Biscardi launched into a lengthy story about how he'd been duped by a woman in Las Vegas. Noory, thankfully, cut him off and proceeded to give him the dead man's walk towards the angry C2C audience in the form of their calls.
What followed was one of the more entertaining, in a perverse way, half hours of Coast to Coast I've ever heard. One after another, callers ripped into Biscardi. Somewhere along the way, Noory asked Biscardi if he'd give refunds to those listeners who had been gullible enough to join his website over the weekend. After dancing around an answer some, Biscardi reluctantly give a tenative agreement. Following his appearance, Noory asked for confirmation from Coast listeners to determine if he'd given out the refunds. He also said if Biscardi didn't give out refunds, he wouldn't be back on Coast.
The fallout of it all was on the following episode, when Noory held court alone with just the Coast audience. He read some hilarious e-mails including some that ripped into Noory for being mean to Biscardi. Following that, Noory opened up phone lines and the first caller asked him what we all wanted to know, if Biscardi would be back on Coast. Noory, with an air of finality, declared that, indeed, Biscardi would not be returning to Coast unless he captured the Bigfoot, an obviously impossible task. And so, Biscardi was cast into the wilderness to search for Bigfoot in hopes of using him to return to Coast to Coast AM. We wish him well on his quest.
The Blame Game
Obviously, the finger of blame squarely must be pointed at Tom Biscardi on this one. Anyone with any sense would know to not declare capture of a Bigfoot until it was 100% certain. Biscardi did not play by this standard.
From there, we see that he stood to profit from declaring a Bigfoot capture and his highly charged pitch for subscribers to his site on the night of the Biscardi Bombshell indicates a clear intent to make some dough off of his purported Bigfoot capture.
Biscardi has no one to blame but himself on this one. Even if he was duped by some woman in Nevada, had he sat on this information until a Bigfoot capture was definite, he'd still be welcome on Coast. Instead, he ran to Coast, made his bold announcement, and was left to suffer the consequences when it didn't pan out. One must be responsible for their own actions, Tom.
Some people want to blame Coast to Coast for even giving Biscardi a forum to pull off his scam. I do not agree with that, as it is "caveat emptor" when one listens to C2C, a lesson best learned by experience, so I have no sympathy for those who were scammed. It's a lesson in listening to Coast. Be that as it may, I think Noory should have gone beyond just doubting Biscardi that night and maybe should have advised people to be cautious with their purchases in light of this stunning revelation from Biscardi. However, I can't see how that would fly with C2C's stars who throw a lot of bogus BS out there and certainly don't want their legs cut out from under them by a Noory disclaimer.
Biscardi : Super Villain
In the annals of C2C bogus guests and scandals, Biscardi ranks at the upper echelon. The reason is simple, unlike folks like Nancy Lieder and the classic C2C prognosticators, Biscardi promised a tangible item : a Bigfoot, not the unfolding of an event. He promised it by a specific date. He also had the means to profit from this bogus Bigfoot very quickly via his website.
Also, unlike most folks who show up on Coast, he didn't predict some awful event on a specific day, a prediction we are happy to see not happen. He, instead, predicted the end of a long beloved C2C topic : Bigfoot. He promised the solution to the Bigfoot enigma and when he didn't deliver, he crapped all over the hopes and dreams of C2C listeners. This is unforgivable.
Despite what Loren Coleman claimed, Biscardi surely does not have a good LA PR firm. This is obvious from his damage control attempts on Tuesday night. A good twenty minutes had gone by until George Noory finally breached the subject of a refund for duped listeners. Biscardi may never have brought it up otherwise. And therein lies the key to his true motivations.
Had Biscardi been an honest researcher, he wouldn't have wanted to profit from this bogus claim. Giving him the benefit of the doubt and assuming he was 100% honest on Friday night, he tipped his hand to the type of person he is by his conduct on Tuesday night. There was a simple, albeit painful to the wallet, method of restoring credibility to the entire Biscardi franchise. All he had to do was show up on Coast, first chance he could, even on Saturday or Sunday night once he knew the story was bogus, and immediately offer a refund. He did not do that, choosing until Tuesday night when Noory pressed him into it, to offer a tenative chance to get your money back had you believed him.
And so it has come to pass that Biscardi will no longer be popping in to Coast to Coast to give his "updates" on the big Bigfoot hunt. I, for one, am sad as I enjoyed his insane ramblings and his endless false promises. But, I can understand C2C's desire to distance itself from Biscardi following this sad affair.
Biscardi now joins Fr. Wingate, Wayne Green, and David Booth on the C2C Banned Bus, taking a seat once occupied by Nancy Lieder. Don't fret too long, Big Tom, if the lessons of Lieder taught us anything, it is that you can always come home again, as long as it is a few years later and most people have forgotten why you got banned in the first place. See you in 2007.