Lessons of Bigfoot – The Con Artist in All of Us

Forty-four years ago, Roger Patterson introduced the world to “Bigfoot” or “Sasquatch” with his home movie that supposedly caught the elusive apeman on film in the forests of Northern California.  Although now debunked and considered a fake, the film did capture worldwide attention, and while it brought Patterson little of the financial gain he had hoped for when he hired some guy to step into his homemade Bigfoot suit for $1,000, he did earn a certain amount of dubious fame.

So, I have to wonder if Patterson had to do it over again, would he have gone for the Bigfoot find? For a guy who was good with a camera, he was naïve about technology and science. Even back in 1967, video experts could tell something false was afoot.  Psychologists say we all have a bit of a con artist in us just like Patterson, so if I was to conjure up a big con that would allow me to become famous and rake in millions, what would it be?

I talk to Dead People:

Now, let me say right from the start that I know people who legitimately do this. And it’s a real conversation – not a convo that leads to a forced three-day stay in a psychiatric ward. They can talk to people’s husbands, wives, and pets – anyone who has crossed over.  Honestly, I find this fascinating even though I am not sure if I want dead people hanging around. I like my privacy and in certain situations I would not be comfortable knowing my nana could watch everything.

That being said, I think I could come up with a good con for this.  A nice turban, a moo moo robe, a crystal ball, and I am set to go.  I think I have a believable face, and I could bring people in. The biggest con would be to get someone like Elvis to come back and tell us he really is dead or someone big like Abraham Lincoln, Al Capone or Jesus. Yeah, Jesus would pack them in. Just look what he does for the mega television churches every Sunday morning.

I have a home-based business that will net you millions in your spare time in six months:

This is probably one of the easiest cons as it preys on the ever present human traits of desperation and greed.   A few bucks in internet ads coupled with a rented email list and I am off and running.  The best thing about this con is it takes only a minimal investment from those who buy into it.  Yes, they hear the one-time cost and they sign on without reading the fine print that says “your credit card will be charged quadruple that amount every six months.”  It’s rare that people, even in today’s financial climate, check every line item on their card. If they did, the banks wouldn’t be so prosperous. They count on people not reading their statements, and so shall I. What should the home-based business be? Selling anything from wrinkle cream to lists of homes in the foreclosure process–It doesn’t even matter. If I promise people that they can make millions without leaving their home, they would be willing to throw money at me. Sad, but true.

How would you like to meet a real, live alien:

This con catches the interest of all the conspiracy theorists who believe the government hid the aliens that crashed in the space ship near Roswell, New Mexico. It also feeds into the paranoia that aliens are among us and spend their nights kidnapping us so that they can impregnate Earth women to re-populate their race.  To be honest, this theory would explain my daughter as neither my husband nor I can claim responsibility for some of her traits, but then again, she could just be a product of our parenting skills.

Okay, back to the con.  We set up a warehouse similar to Area 51.  Then, we hire a small, thin actor to slip into the gray suit each day.  We develop a language that only an alien would know. Then, we set up a website that requires people to sign up and give a deposit to see evidence of the alien’s existence. After the deposit, we will take PayPal and major credit cards, we invite only a select few to see the alien in person.  The cost for this privilege: $2500 but it will be on special for three easy payments of $599 thus saving the consumer a whopping $700.  What a deal!  The final $800 admission includes a meet-and-greet with the alien at his New Mexico home, and we will even throw in a boxed lunch of astronaut food and Tang. We can tell people it is the diet the alien must adhere to in order to survive the Earth’s atmospheric conditions. Okay, we can throw in some fries too. I would guess even aliens love fries.  After a half-hour Q & A session, the warehouse goes dark and the visitors are ushered outside and asked to sign confidentiality agreements not to divulge what they saw or heard.  The confidentiality agreement lends an air of authenticity to the con and makes these people feel special.

I have to admit I like these cons, and I am a bit surprised at myself.  I think I might be evil.  Hm. Who knew?

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3 thoughts on “Lessons of Bigfoot – The Con Artist in All of Us”

  1. Donna, you are right — you DO have a believable face! But your hair….
    🙂 You could try the con that you can make money fast with a humor website! Oh wait, that’s been tried.

  2. Just the other day while talking to Elvis I introduced him to a grey who said that Jesus had some swamp land in Arizona. It’s a good thing Bernie Madoff talked me out of it and convinced me to invest in junk bonds! 😉

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