- WALLA WALLA -- A recent story in a London-based newspaper which debunks the
1967 Bigfoot movie filmed by the late Roger Patterson, demands a response.
- What was offered as proof that Patterson
unwittingly faked the famous footage has been countered in the past by
scientists and students of the matter. The statements by these men recognized
top names in the Bigfoot world absolutely refute the London "Sunday
Telegraph" story of Oct. 19, 1997. The story was picked up and run
in the November 1 issue of CNI News, an electronic magazine devoted to
the UFO, Bigfoot, space exploration and related issues. Questions may be
directed to its editor, Michael Lindermann at CNINews1@aol.com. Statements
quoted herein are from their issue of Vol. 3, No. 17.
- In the "Sunday Telegraph" story
co-authored by Mike Lewis and Tim Reid, a Hollywood director, John Landis,
revealed: "That famous piece of film of Bigfoot walking in the woods
that was touted as the real thing was just a suit made by John Chambers."
- Mr. Chambers, the article notes, "has
refused to confirm or deny the reports."
- "October 20" (the articled
notes) "marked the 30th anniversary of the day that Bigfoot hunters
Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin emerged from the wilds of northern California
with the celebrated film, perhaps the only footage of unexplained phenomena
which has stood up to rigorous scientific examination. Patterson died in
1972 convinced he had filmed a real Bigfoot.
- "But Howard Berger told a Bigfoot
investigator, Mark Chorvinsky: 'It was like a gag to be played on the guy
who shot it. The guy never knew it was a hoax his friends played on him.'
- "The subject of the Patterson film
a large, hairy, upright-walking creature with wobbling breasts is seen
walking left to right, turning briefly to glare in the direction of the
cameraman before disappearing into the trees."
- But, the late Bob Titmus, who arrived
on the scene at Bluff Creek shortly after the '67 filming, reported he
had followed the Bigfoot's tracks and even said he found evidence the Bigfoot
had sat down, watching Patterson and his partner, Bob Gimlin, from a vantage
point above the men.
- The sharp-eyed observations of Titmus
who, by the way, had reported seeing three Bigfoots during his lifetime
(two at one time) is but one refutation of the "Sunday Telegraph"
- John Green, a British Columbia newspaperman
who was acquainted with Patterson long before 1967, and who has studied
thousands of Bigfoot tracks and track casts, authored early definitive
books on the subject. In his book, "On the Track of the Sasquatch,"
Green notes this about the Bluff Creek tracks:
- "The tracks appeared perfectly natural
and normal. The same as the many others that we have tracked and become
so familiar with over the years, but of a slightly different size. Most
of the tracks showed a great deal of foot movement, some showed a little,
and a few indicated almost no movement whatever. I took plaster casts of
ten consecutive imprints and the casts show a vast difference in each imprint,
such as toe placement, toe gripping force, pressure ridges and breaks,
weight shifts, weight distribution, depth, etc. Nothing whatever indicated
that these tracks could have been faked in some manner. In fact, all of
the evidence pointed in the opposite direction. And no amount of thinking
and imagining on my part could conceive of a method by which these tracks
could have been made fictitiously."
- In his book Green has even more to say,
but here's what he observes about the possibilities of a suit having been
used to fake the Bluff Creek creature:
- "I do not contend that no such contrivance
could be built, but I do suggest that the thing could not be 'just a man
in a fur suit.' The 'suit' would have to contain an elaborate mechanism
which would probably not be much simpler or cheaper than a machine without
a man inside. Confidence men have done some remarkable things on occasion,
and sometimes at great expense, so I will not say that such a thing is
impossible, but knowing Patterson I cannot imagine him doing such a thing,
if indeed it could be done, nor do I think that he could have raised the
money to do it.
- "I have noticed that scientists
who talk to Patterson are not prepared to accuse him of perpetrating the
hoax, but since they are equally unable to accept that the thing he photographed
was real, they seize on the only other alternative, that someone was out
there in a fur suit hoaxing him. Oddly, they are thus choosing the one
alternative that is literally impossible. Patterson has photographs not
only of the creature, but also of its tracks, and these shots show the
men's own tracks all around the Sasquatch tracks. It is obvious from their
depth that the big tracks are made by something several times heavier than
the people. Now, if there was a man swinging along inside a suit when Patterson
took his movie it was most certainly not a man carrying a heavy load not
walking over four miles an hour with three-and-a-half foot strides and
deeply bent knees. A man carrying the weight to make the tracks Patterson
and Gimlin say this thing made as they watched would have to be a mighty
individual to manage even a slow shuffle. It follows that if the thing
on the film is a hoax, the tracks and the film could not possibly have
been made at the same time, as Patterson and Gimlin state. If there is
a hoax, they have to be involved."
- Grover Krantz, Washington University
anthropologist, is probably best known as one of the very earliest scientists
to lay his career on the line and publicly announce that he felt the Bigfoot
thing was something real. He has written a scholarly book on the subject,
"Big Foot Prints." In the book, Krantz ( who also had been acquainted
with Patterson) has this to say of the Patterson film of 1967:
- "After watching the film many times,
I told Patterson about some its technical consistencies that were evident
to me. With most of these he already knew what was involved or quickly
caught on. But when I talked about some of the more technical details of
bio-mechanics, he soon showed the familiar blank look of a student who
had lost the drift of the explanation, but was still trying hard to pay
attention. Yet he must have known all of these details in order to create
the hoax (assuming he knew of a hoax). For instance, he could see the anterior
position of the front of the shin, but how that related to foot leverage
was quite beyond his understanding. Also he had originally estimated that
it weighed only half of what was settled on later, yet all the details
were calculated to fit with the greater weight. I think that a hoax is
most unlikely on these grounds alone.
- "A few years after the film was
made, Patterson received a letter from a man in Thailand who assured him
a Sasquatch was being held captive in a Buddhist monastery. Patterson spent
most of his remaining money preparing an expedition to retrieve this creature;
I was to be part of the operation. Then a man who was sent to investigate
on the spot found out it was a hoax. At the time Patterson knew he was
dying of Hodgkin's disease and firmly believed that with enough money he
might be cured. Instead of making another Bigfoot movie, which he could
have done if he had faked the first one, he spent almost everything he
had on a wild goose chase. Then he died."
- When he secured rights to the Patterson
film, Rene Dahinden, a man who has been in this Bigfoot hunt for as long
as anyone, was soon showing the film to scientists in Russia. What resulted
from their highly intensive study of the film is found in 14 pages of the
book, "The Sasquatch and Other Unknown Hominoids." This 335-page
book is a compilation of scientific papers relating to Bigfoot as edited
by Vladimir Markotic. Introductory comments for each paper are by Krantz.
- One paper in the book, authored by two
Russians, Dmitri Bayanov and Igor Bourtsev and Dahinden, minutely dissects
the every movement of the female Bigfoot in Patterson's historic film.
These details are to be found on pages 219 through 233 in the book. In
their summary of their findings in their paper, the authors make these
- "We have subjected the film to a
systematic and many-sided analysis both in its technical and biological
aspects. We have matched the evidence of the film against the other categories
of evidence and tested its subject with our criteria of distinctiveness,
consistency and naturalness. The film has passed all our tests and scrutinies.
This gives us ground to ask: who other than God or natural selection is
sufficiently conversant with anatomy and bio-mechanics to 'design' a body
which is so perfectly harmonious in terms of structure and function?
- "Further research may correct some
of our findings, but it seems most improbable that the positive result
can be voided. Hence we confidently give this verdict:
- "The Patterson-Gimlin movie is an
authentic documentary of a genuine female hominoid, popularly known as
Sasquatch or Bigfoot, filmed in the Bluff Creek area of Northern California
not later than October 1967, when it was viewed by Rene Dahinden and other
- Others, as equal to the task as Titmus,
Green, Krantz. Bayanov, Bourtsev or Dahinden, could offer similar refutation
of the "Sunday Telegraph" article which appeared in CNI News.
These have done the job admirably, it would seem.