Sasquatch story grabs national attention
By Natalie Burrowes


Myrtle Beach Online.Com, South Carolina
Sunday, September 2, 2001

Simon Garth blames his mischievous buddies for the 15 minutes of fame he received when a practical joke gone awry spurred national reports that he had a Bigfoot monster stored in his freezer.

Garth said he received more than 300 telephone calls Friday after Wireless Flash, an Internet-based pop culture news service, published a story that said he had shot and killed the elusive Bigfoot. After reading about Garth's supposed feat, people nationwide were offering the 30-year-old security guard from Aynor blank checks for the frozen Sasquatch. Others wanted samples of its DNA.

Despite the flood of phone calls, Garth said he didn't mind being the butt of his friends' practical joke. "It's been a fun day," he said Friday. "I wish I did have Bigfoot in a meat locker." But like any tall tale, there's at least two versions of this Bigfoot story.

David Moye the Wireless Flash reporter who wrote the story said Garth was in on the joke from the start, but cried wolf when he was bombarded with telephone calls. Moye ran a second story Friday that said Garth admitted his Bigfoot tale was nothing more than a stunt designed to get him a guest shot on Howard Stern's morning radio show.

"Now, after being flooded by media interest, Garth has decided to come clean because he doesn't want to '... disrespect Bigfoot fans' and Howard Stern still hasn't called him," Moye's latest story states. Garth disagrees. He claims his friends used his name and cell phone number, unbeknownst to him, to carry out the hoax. Furthermore, Garth said his friends were the ones who called Moye on Friday to admit the story was false. Moye said he stumbled onto the story last week. While scanning eBay, the popular Internet auction site, Moye said he noticed that Garth claimed to have Bigfoot's corpse and had placed the monster's soul up for auction. Moye said he called Garth, who told him he had a 6-foot, 2-inch, 285-pound Sasquatch tucked away in his freezer. Moye said Garth claimed he shot the beast 20 miles from his house and used voodoo magic to capture Sasquatch's soul. Moye's initial excitement was dampened, though, when he received an e-mail signed by Garth on Friday. "This whole incident stemmed from problems with eBay," Garth's alleged e-mail stated. "A group of us got together and decided to have some fun with a fake auction.

"Over 300 people looked at it, but few bid before eBay yanked it," the e-mail continued. "Sorry for the mislead. I really just wanted to talk to Howard Stern." Moye is sticking by his claim that Garth was using the Bigfoot story as a way to meet Stern. And Garth still claims he's the innocent victim of a practical joke that got out of hand.

Regardless of whose story is true, one thing is for certain there's no Bigfoot in Simon Garth's freezer. Just some steak, TV dinners and a couple of Popsicles.

NATALIE BURROWES PRUITT can be reached at 444-1722

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