Friday, August 15, 2008

Ex-cop sentenced for pulling over woman for number

A former part-time Pennsylvania police officer has been sentenced to 30 days in jail for pulling over a woman while he was off duty — just to give her his phone number. Steven Klinger, 32, was charged with official oppression, or acting outside his authority as an officer.

Police said he used red and blue lights mounted on the dashboard of his pickup truck to pull over a woman in Berwick in eastern Pennsylvania in April 2007. The woman became suspicious when he began asking her if she was married or had a boyfriend, police said.

Klinger was also sentenced Tuesday to three additional days in jail and fined $1,000 for driving drunk in July 2007. Police said he had a blood-alcohol level of .40 percent, five times the legal driving limit.

Klinger last worked for the Dallas Police Department in northeastern Pennsylvania. He is currently unemployed.

He apologized for his actions, and told the judge he had checked into treatment for alcohol abuse.

Proof or Hoax? Bigfoot Said Found in Georgia

Two Georgia men claim to have found in the northern woods of that state something that has been often reported but never proven to exist: a Bigfoot.

They say they have a body, photos of the body, and DNA evidence — some or all of which will be revealed this Friday, Aug. 15, at a press conference in Palo Alto, Calif.

If the group does have a Bigfoot carcass (and if they actually show the body, instead merely displaying photographs of a supposed body), then perhaps scientists will take note. Still, it's not clear how, exactly, the group will prove that what they have is a Bigfoot. Because there is no comparison specimen, there is no DNA analysis that can definitively identify Bigfoot tissue.

Readers may recall the much-hyped press conference held on May 30, where a man claimed he would provide "definitive proof" of alien visitation. His "proof" turned out to be a short fuzzy video clip of what he said was an alien head outside his window trying to ogle his teen daughters. Needless to say, top scientists were not awestruck by his evidence.

History repeats?

This is not the first time a Bigfoot body has been claimed to have been found. A man named Tom Biscardi, founder of something called the Great American Bigfoot Research Organization, once claimed he had captured a Bigfoot. On Aug. 19, 2005, Biscardi appeared on the radio show "Coast to Coast with George Noory." Biscardi claimed his group had captured a Bigfoot a week earlier, a male beast that weighed over 400 pounds and stood 8-feet tall. He said he would be presenting photos of it several days later. It turned out to be a hoax.

Interestingly, Biscardi is also involved in the new Bigfoot body discovery.

Speaking on behalf of the Georgia men this week, Biscardi said, "Extensive scientific studies will be done on the body by a team of scientists including a molecular biologist, an anthropologist, a paleontologist and other scientists over the next few months at an undisclosed location" under armed guard.

If it all sounds very cloak-and-dagger, it is. Unnamed experts? Undisclosed location? Sounds more like "The X-Files" than real science.

Marketing scheme?

In 2005, Biscardi promoted a pay-per-view cable TV show in which he offered viewers the chance to see a Bigfoot captured on live television for only $59.95. That never happened, but Biscardi did recently direct and produce a film called "Bigfoot Lives."

Surely the publicity from this press conference might boost his film's sales...

Bigfoot researcher Loren Coleman, while stopping short of authenticating the claims, wrote on the Web site, "I feel, in all honesty, this, indeed, may be the real deal, and I say this carefully after reviewing information that has been shared privately with me."

So has a Bigfoot finally been found, after all these years? Or is this just the latest hoax to embarrass Bigfoot believers and bring further ridicule to a field sorely in need of science?