Man trying to create Bigfoot sighting killed by teen drivers
Published Tuesday, August 28, 2012 7:44AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 28, 2012 10:25PM EDT
What started as an apparent attempt to prank drivers into thinking they'd seen a sasquatch ended in tragedy Sunday night, when a man dressed in a camouflage suit was struck and killed by two cars on a stretch of Montana highway.
The Montana Highway Patrol says Randy Lee Tenley was standing in the right-hand lane of U.S. Highway 93 when he was struck by a vehicle. Then, as he lay in the road, the 44-year-old Kalispell, Mont. man was hit by a second car.
Tenley was pronounced dead at the scene.
He was wearing an off-the-shelf "Ghillie suit" at the time, a type of full-body camouflage military uniform designed to make the wearer blend into foliage.
"He was trying to make people think he was sasquatch so people would call in a sasquatch sighting," Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Jim Schneider told the northwest Montana newspaper Daily Inter Lake, explaining that his motives were determined through interviews with friends.
"You can't make it up. I haven't seen or heard of anything like this before. Obviously, his suit made it difficult for people to see him."
Tests are being conducted to determine if Tenley was intoxicated at the time of his death.
The vehicles that struck Tenley were driven by two teenaged girls aged 15 and 17.
Sasquatch, also commonly referred to as Bigfoot, is a mysterious ape-like creature many are convinced lives hidden in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, despite a lack of proof.
Most scientists agree the large, hairy, upright beast is likely a product of false sightings, local legends and hoaxes.
Though Tenley’s attempt ended in tragedy, it isn’t the first time a sasquatch hoax has made its way into news headlines.
In 2008, a man in Georgia said he had made the find of the century when he stumbled upon sasquatch remains. Upon investigation, the remains turned out to be a rubber sasquatch costume smeared with road kill.
Five years ago, an unknown hairy beast was spotted in a Manitoba provincial park two summers in a row. That sighting turned out to be a teenager wearing a gorilla mask.
Despite the multitude of sightings, the sasquatch remains a myth at this point, science writer Chris Rutkowski told CTV News.
“In cases where we have to prove a large, hairy hominoid, we need some really solid proof and we just don’t have that,” Rutkowski said.
With files from CTV’s Winnipeg Bureau Chief Jill Macyshon