- Truth be told, those have been mighty large feet he's
had to fill all these years.
- Or are they?
- For nearly 40 years, Bob Heironimus of Yakima has figured
prominently in speculation over whether a legendary creature called Bigfoot
- But always before Heironimus has never been named publicly.
- Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, is one of the most famous legends
of the Northwest - and beyond. Similarly to Scotland's Loch Ness Monster,
there have been numerous "sightings" of the ape-human creature
- Heironimus, 63, leapt into the limelight this week because
of a newly published book called "The Making of Bigfoot," written
by paranormal investigator Greg Long, who lives north of Seattle.
- In it, Heironimus bares all - including, he says, one
large, hairy suit - telling the author that he donned a gorilla costume
in 1967 to pose as Bigfoot in a film clip.
- The 60-second, blurry clip has been copiously studied
by Bigfoot investigators.
- The film was shot in Bluff Creek, Northern California,
by two other Yakima residents, the now deceased Roger Patterson and Bob
- When it first became public, the film put Yakima at
the center of on the Bigfoot controversy (does it or doesn't it exist?);
details emerging this week about Heironimus' story will no doubt keep it
- Heironimus, who is retired from Pepsi, is currently
staying mum (he didn't return phone calls from the Yakima Herald-Republic),
but Long's agent, Kal Korff, said Heironimus will provide details later,
possibly at a news conference.
- But the controversy by no means stops there.
- And everyone is sticking to their own version.
- First, there is Long's. Korff, a journalist and investigator
for Fox-TV's "World's Greatest Hoaxes" noted that there is more
to the story than just a man who says he wore a gorilla suit coming forward.
- Rather, for the last 37 years, the filmmakers have foisted
an untruth on the American public, according to Korff.
- "I want Bob Gimlin brought to justice. It's called
consumer fraud," said Korff.
- "If he's smart, he'll come forward and confess."
- Yet, a lawyer for Gimlin insists that the film is authentic.
- Tom Malone (who also didn't return a phone call) from
Minneapolis, told the Washington Post that Gimlin (who also didn't return
a phone call), maintains that no one ever donned a costume to appear in
his and Patterson's film.
- But Heironimus' mother, Opal Heironimus, who lives in
Union Gap, stands by her son.
- "He was the real Bigfoot and that's the God's own
truth," she said Monday.
- Not so fast, contends Berkeley-trained researcher Erik
Beckjord of the San Francisco-based Sasquatch Research Project.
- Beckjord, who runs a Website called www.beckjord.com/bigfoot,
is convinced the footage is the real thing.
- He said he's bothered by the fact that Heironimus has
not publicly told his story.
- "If he has nothing to hide, he should come forward
and hold a press conference," said Beckjord.
- Heironimus took and passed a polygraph test about wearing
the Bigfoot suit several years ago, said his lawyer, Bruce Woodard of Yakima.
- "I have zero doubt in Bob's version," Woodard
- "I've met family and friends of Bob's, and they've
substantiated everything he's said," Woodard added.
- But Beckjord is not convinced.
- For one thing, he scoffs at Long's mention in the book
of tracing the gorilla suit to a man in North Carolina who said he sold
it to Patterson.
- "They didn't even have gorilla suits, comparable
to the one in the film, to buy or rent in 1967," Beckjord said.
- He also questions Heironimus' timeline.
- "Heironimus said he went to Bluff Creek (where
the movie was filmed) two days after Gimlin and Patterson, but their wives
both said it was three weeks later," said Beckjord.
- "I've been studying this for 25 years," said
Beckjord, who has no doubts that Bigfoot exists. He said he has seen the
creature four times, at least twice in Washington state.
- "This is an 'X File' kind of thing," said
Beckjord, referring to the former television show about paranormal events.
Bigfoot, he believes, can change form, partly to conform with what the
viewer is thinking.
- Korff, for one, believes the controversy over the existence
of Bigfoot will be put to rest soon. It will all come to light, he said,
when author Long, Heironimus and several other people - including the man
who claims he made the gorilla suit - tell their account on a national
- "This is a huge story" Korff said. "And
the Bigfoot market is now dead."
- Note from Kal Korff: Regarding the Yakima Herald-Republic
article, there is a misquote. I did NOT say the bigfoot market is dead
- just THIS film and marketing it for exploitation purposes.