Monster Pig (or Pigzilla) is the name of a large domestic farm-raised pig that was shot during a canned hunt on May 3, 2007 by an eleven-year-old boy, Jamison Stone. The location is disclosed as a 150-acre (0.61 km2) low fence enclosure within the larger 2,500 acre (1,012 hectare) commercial hunting preserve called Lost Creek Plantation, outside Anniston, Alabama, USA. According to the hunters (there were no independent witnesses), the pig weighed 1,051 lbs (476.7 kg).
As first reported by Associated Press, the problem with the 1,051 weight was that the scale at the Clay County Coop (according to Jeff Kinder, the man who gave the keys to the scale to the plantation's owner) only weighs in 10 pound increments. Thus, the one pound weight in 1,051 pounds could not have been measured and made the whole measurement, on its face, incorrect or in part an estimate.
Stone said he was using a Smith & Wesson Model 500 with a mounted holographic scope and ported barrel firing eight 350-grain Hornady cartridges into the pig. Stone chased the hog for three hours through hilly woods, firing repeatedly and missing, but finally wounded the animal enough times that it finally collapsed from blood loss and died.
Several days after the story broke, suspicion mounted over the authenticity of the photographic evidence. Retired New York University physicist, Dr. Richard Brandt, used perspective geometry to demonstrate that the boy in the photo was standing several metres behind the pig, using forced perspective to create the optical illusion that the animal was larger than its actual size. Others claim the photographs were digitally altered.
It has been proven that most of the pictures that were distributed to the media were altered through the use of digital enhancement and perspective to make the pig look much larger than he really was.
Despite evidence that the photos were altered, the Stone family website continues to deny that the images were modified to make Monster Pig look larger than actual size.
The Associated Press (AP) continues to keep the monster pig image in their archives with no disclosures of the forced perspective photo trick having been employed. The monster pig photo has an AP archive caption as if it is a legitimate photograph.
AP caption: "In this photo released by Melynne Stone, Jamison Stone, 11, poses with a wild pig he killed near Delta, Ala., May 3, 2007. Stone's father says the hog weighed a staggering 1,051 pounds and measured 9-feet-4 from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail. If claims of the animal's size are true, it would be larger than Hogzilla, the huge hog killed in Georgia in 2004.
Shortly after the story hit the press, the truth about the origins of the pig were revealed. Four days before "Monster Pig" was shot, he lived on a nearby farm under the name "Fred." The owners, Rhonda and Phil Blissitt, stated that the pig loved to play with their grandchildren and his favorite treat was canned sweet potatoes. Previous stories reported that the pig had escaped domestication, however the Blissits in fact sold the pig to the game preserve and he was released on the reserve four days before being hunted and killed by Stone. Once it was reported that Fred was a farm raised hog used for breeding, the issue was no longer whether or not the so-called Monster Pig should be considered a domestic pig killed during a canned hunt or a free range feral pig, killed in a regular hunt. According to Alabama law, four days does not constitute a feral animal.
The original owners of Fred, Phil and Rhonda Blissitt, sold him to the owner of the hunting preserve just four days before he was killed, and according to the Anniston Star report had raised him from a piglet as a pet. The Blissitts had been selling all of the pigs on their farm, and came forward as they were concerned that Fred was being passed off as a wild pig.
As reported by Associated Press, the problem with the 1,051 weight was that the scale at the Clay County Coop, according to Jeff Kinder, the man who gave the keys to the scale to the plantation's owner, only weighs in 10 pound increments. Thus, the one pound weight in 1,051 pounds could not have been measured and made the whole measurement unlikely to be correct.
As reported on January 29, 2008, an Alabama grand jury was investigating Jamison Stone, on animal cruelty charges, along with his father Mike Stone, expedition leaders Keith O'Neal and Charles Williams, and Lost Creek Plantation grounds owner Eddy Borden. The article ("Exclusive: Grand jury to investigate 'monster pig' kill") revealed information subpoenaed by the Clay County District Attorney Fred Thompson.
The case was officially dropped when DA Fred Thompson canceled the Grand Jury, citing time constraints.