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Media Article # 469

Saturday, February 11, 2006

[Malaysian] Panel to co-ordinate ‘Bigfoot’ expedition, Johor liaising with scientists

By R. Sittamparam
New Straits Times - Malaysia

JOHOR BARU, Thurs. The State Government has set up a steering committee to co-ordinate the proposed Johor "Bigfoot" expedition.

State Tourism and Environment Committee chairman Freddie Long said the committee, which he chairs, comprised representatives from government departments and non-governmental organisations and scientists.

He said the committee had identified the scientists and was liaising with them on the most suitable time for the expedition.

He said requests from foreign groups interested in joining the search for Bigfoot would be looked into after his committee had created a database of evidence.

The committee will carry out the verification process by first scrutinising local and foreign media reports, periodicals and books on Bigfoot sightings and alleged evidence.

This will be followed by the expedition into areas where the creatures had allegedly been sighted.

Interest in the Johor Bigfoot phenomenon was sparked off by a report in the New Straits Times on Dec 23 quoting three workers building a fishpond in Kampung Mawai, Kota Tinggi, as saying they had seen a Bigfoot family of two adults and a child.

The report also carried a photograph by a Johor Malay- sian Nature Society member of what was claimed to be Bigfoot’s footprints.

Meanwhile, the American based Bigfoot Field Researchers Organisation (BFRO) has advised Malaysia not to create pressure, or feel pressure, for regular media updates to keep the world Press interested.

In the latest advisory to Malaysia on its website, BFRO stated that the world Press would remain interested as the subject was considered "evergreen" in the West.

"The investigation in Johor will not become ‘old news’ just because there are no regular updates. It’s a timeless story. World media will be interested whenever the updates are released.

"Malaysian media organisations must take charge of the reporting on this story. The stories coming out on the international wire services must originate in Malaysia, so Malaysia can set the tone of seriousness and intelligence," it added.

The BFRO also urged the Malaysian Bigfoot researchers to stay focused on the investigation as this would produce developments worthy of media updates soon enough.

"If the focus is on the investigation and research and there is a lot of co-operation among scientists, the government and media, there will be significant developments eventually that will be interesting to all.

"The ‘global-ness’ of an update will depend largely on the images or videos that are released with the story."

The BFRO said the first image (in the NST), of the Orang Asli tribesman doing a witness sketch, was powerful.

"That photo did not get reprinted around the world because the first wave of Press interest happened before that photo came out. It’s not a bad thing, though, because the next photo like that will have an even better chance of going global."

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