Aman Tuleyev, governor of Siberia’s Kemerovo Oblast region from 1997 to 2018, admitted to hoaxing Yeti sightings to boost tourism. Along with enlisting a staff-member to wear a fur coat and pretend to be the legendary animal, they also deposited suspicious hair for cryptozoology enthusiasts to find and subject to DNA testing for identification. (Results: horse, raccoon, and bear.) From the New York Post:
Initially, [Tuleyev] arranged an annual Yeti Day and offered a cash prize for proving the creature’s existence in efforts to boost tourism in the Shoria Mountains.
A 2011 video purported to show a yeti at Mount Zelyonaya in Sheregesh, in the same Tashtagol district, according to the report. Two years later, schoolchildren claimed to have spotted the hirsute Himalayan creature.
“People started coming, rushed to scour the forests,” he said. “Of course, no one found the yeti, but Shoria attracted increased attention.”
And when “interest faded,” he ordered district chief Vladimir Makuta to “find someone tall, throw off his office suit, turn a fur coat inside out and run around … shouting so that tourists notice but they must not catch him.”