Piece of monster made in Batavia leads to 'mass hysteria' in Pennsylvania neighborhood
A piece of Godzilla that came from Batavia landed on the doorstep of a Pennsylvania home leading to a hazardous materials team responding to the residence and the police and fire departments evacuating the entire neighborhood around Seneca Street in Fountain Hill, which is outside Bethlehem.
The homeowner apparently forgot he had contributed to a Kickstarter campaign to fund a Godzilla movie, Godzilla Heritage, produced in Batavia by Tim Schiefer and Greg Graves.
One of the rewards for his contribution was a mock body part from Godzilla that was supposed to look like it was frozen.
When the unexpected package arrived, Michael and Tara Conner opened it.
“We opened it and there was a glass jar with a clear liquid inside,” Tara Conner told Andrew Scott, a reporter with the Morning Call. “There was something black floating in the clear liquid. We didn’t know what it was and didn’t want to touch it.”
The return label on the package included the name Greg Graves, which also just happens to be the same name of a U.S. Postal official, which was the only match they found for the name when the Conners searched online. That made them more suspicious so they called 9-1-1.
“We had no idea what this was or who sent it to us," Tara Conner said. "A police officer came, saw the package and agreed it was suspicious. He told us to pack some things and leave our house. And then Hazmat was called in.”
It took a few hours for officials in Fountain Hill to piece things together and discover the jar contained nothing harmful.
The monster part was made by Rashaad Santiago, who lives in Batavia but is nationally known, especially after winning the reality TV series Face Off, for his monster costumes, makeup, and props. He made Godzilla for Godzilla Heritage.
Santiago was both amused and proud that his monster part caused such a hubbub in Fountain Hill.
"It made me laugh," Santiago said. "The mass hysteria caused by it also made me proud that something I made by hand was mistaken for something that looked real and harmful."
Photo: File photo of Rashaad Santiago and Tim Schiefer.
UPDATE: A photo of the bit of Godzilla's flesh that was shipped to the Conners. Photo courtesy Tim Schiefer.