Bigfoot researcher fined for defrauding government

Peter Byrne was an acclaimed monster hunter. He got into some big trouble lately. This is actually from December but I felt it was interesting enough to make a quick note of it here.

USDOJ: US Attorney’s Office – District of Oregon.

A former resident of Pacific City was sentenced in federal court on December 3, 2013, for stealing more than $78,000 from the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), and Medicaid.  Peter C. Byrne, 88, was sentenced to a three year term of probation and required to pay full restitution by the end of the week. Byrne pleaded guilty in August and admitted that between 1992 and 2012 he concealed from SSA and DHS his travels outside the United States and his compensation, while receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and food stamps.  Byrne had previously deposited $25,000 with the court for restitution and indicated he was prepared to pay the full balance by the end of the day.

He failed to disclose his travels outside the U.S. and did not report on money he held in foreign banks. It is admitted that Byrne was approved for “need-based” assistance in 1990.

Byrne denies receiving royalties for his books (some on Bigfoot).

The judge was leaniant because of his advanced age even though it was determined his acts were intentionally. He’s a fraud, just not the way you’d expect. Byrne was still working in this field, noting the resurgence of interest in Bigfoot. In May, he co-wrote another book about Bigfoot and kin.

Byrne was a lifetime monster hunter, an optimist. He had been one of the few who searched for both Bigfoot/Sasquatch and Yeti as part of Tom Slick-funded expeditions. He once thought the famed Patterson Gimlin film was genuine but changed his mind. He funded Ivan Marx who had video of a creature only to discover soon after this was also a hoax.

I think the lesson from Byrne is that the Bigfooter in you NEVER dies. But squatching isn’t a lucretive profession in life.

For more on Byrne and the others involved in Bigfootery, check out Brian Regal’s Searching for Sasquatch – RECOMMENDED!


Peter C. Byrne

  4 comments for “Bigfoot researcher fined for defrauding government

  1. February 9, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    Dammit, one of the few bigfooters I considered admirable.

  2. Jim1950a
    February 10, 2014 at 1:57 AM

    Not lucrative? $25,000 on hand plus $53,000 by close of business?

  3. February 10, 2014 at 8:20 AM

    There are many that have dubious dealings in the background. I don’t think this negates his work.

  4. Suzanne de Nimes
    February 10, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    I’ve recently been thinking you could make a hell of an entertaining movie about that first generation of Bigfoot hunters. There are so many odd characters there, from fringe scientists to hoaxers to true believers to carnie grifters… I’d love to see what the Coen brothers could do with this material, for instance.

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