Another Man Says He Was
Bigfoot In 1967 Patterson Film
By Linda Ashton
The Oregonian
YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - A Yakima man is claiming he wore the fur suit in the 1967 Patterson-Gimlin home movie of a sasquatch in northern California -- film footage considered the gold standard among bigfoot buffs.
But one of the men who owns rights to the film says: Prove it.
"This guy is probably No. 64 who claims he was in the fur suit," Rene Dahinden of Richmond, British Columbia, said Saturday in telephone interview.
"This guy better have proof. If he doesn't, he better have a good lawyer."
Barry M. Woodard, a lawyer in nearby Zillah, told the Yakima Herald-Republic on Friday that the 58-year-old man contacted him a few months ago after a network news program called, questioning the authenticity of the film.
The man wanted help negotiating a deal for rights to his story in addition to advice on whether he might be in legal trouble for the hoax, Woodard said.
Woodard provided a statement from retired Yakima police officer Jim McCormick, a certified polygraph examiner who administered a lie-detector test Thursday to Woodard's client. The test showed the man was telling the truth when asked about having worn the bigfoot suit in the 1967 film, McCormick wrote.
Woodard would not identify the man and did not return calls seeking additional comment Saturday.
The 16mm film, purportedly showing a female sasquatch running out of a stream bed in the Six Rivers National Forest, was taken by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin on Oct. 20, 1967, during a horseback search for the creature.
It largely withstood independent scrutiny, although some prominent scientists quickly labeled it as foolishness. Many bigfoot believers consider it proof of the species' existence.
Patterson died in 1972. Gimlin refuses interview requests. A woman who answered the telephone at his home here Saturday said he wasn't there and she would not take a message.
The Patterson-Gimlin film came under fresh scrutiny last year, with the assertion by a Bothell bigfoot tracker that the film was a hoax.
Cliff Crook based his contention of deceit on computer enhancements of film frames made by bigfoot buff Chris Murphy of Burnaby, British Columbia.
In some frames of the film, there appears to be an artifact -- "a little bell-shaped thing" -- on the torso of the bigfoot, Murphy said.
That led to speculation that it might be fastener or a buckle on fur costume. The frames are still being analyzed for greater detail.
Dahinden said the Patterson-Gimlin footage is "a very, very complex strip of film. You do not realize this when you see it on television."
Examined close up, it's possible to see the sasquatch's "tremendous muscles masses moving," something that wouldn't show up in a fur suit, Dahinden said.
In 1967, movie-making was much less sophisticated than it is today. It would have been impossible then to make something so convincing, Dahinden said.
Additionally, Patterson and Gimlin made plaster casts of footprints they said came from the creature.
Bob Swanson, who now lives near Seattle, owned Chinook Press in Yakima back in the mid-1960s and agreed to print 10,000 copies of Patterson's first book, a history of bigfoot sightings and evidence. That was before the 1967 film.
With sluggish book sales and a large printing bill still unpaid, Yakima suddenly became a hotbed of bigfoot activity, with sightings all over the area, Swanson told the newspaper in recalling the earlier days.
In October 1967, Patterson and Gimlin traveled to northern California for what they described as an expedition to investigate numerous reports of bigfoot tracks being found in the area.