- 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.