The Quest For Bigfoot
By Rob McConnell
They are known throughout the worked... they are known by many names...some believe that they are related... some believe that they are different species. There are those who believe that they are inhabitants that dwell in the depths of the hollow earth and there are those who believe that they are visitors from outer space. And yes, there are those, the majority of the population, who believe that they do not exist. They are known as Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti or Forest Giants.
Although it would appear that these mysterious creatures have been around for quite some time and are the basis if many folklores and legends. The present day popularity of Bigfoot is due to 24 feet of 16 mm colour film shot at about 3:30 PM PST, on Friday, October 20 1967 by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin.
Patterson and Gimlin were riding horseback through the wilderness area of Bluff Creek, northeast of Eureka, California. According to Patterson and Gimlin, they claimed to have seen what they described as, "sort of a man-creature."
Patterson claimed that his horse took fright and reared up, knocking him out of the saddle. The creature was startled by the commotion and stood up. The large, hairy and heavyset creature appeared to be a female, at least 7 feet tall, weighing between 305 and 400 pounds. The creature was covered with dark reddish-black hair, except for parts of the face, the palms, and the soles of its feet.
Patterson had a 16 mm movie camera in his saddlebag, took it out, and started filming the creature.
Patterson claims that he started filming the creature at a distance of 110 feet and after running after the creature he closed the distance between himself and the creature to about 80 feet. Patterson stopped filming as the creature started to walk across the sandy spur of the creek.
According to Patterson, the creature turned and looked right at him and then disappeared into the thick woods.
But what was it that Patterson filmed that October Friday in 1967? Some members of the scientific community who have reviewed the film say they have no clear reason to dismiss it as a fake. However, the majority of those who have seen the film believe that the subject filmed must have been a person dressed in a fur costume.
In 1971 Patterson's film was analyzed by specialists in human locomotion at the Royal Free Hospital of Medicine in London, England. Donald Grieve said that the film's authenticity depended on the camera shutter speed. According to Grieve, if the shutter speed was set at 24 frames per second, the creature could be a large walking man. However, if the shutter speed of the camera had been set for 18 frames per second, the creature in the film was not a human.
Patterson thought that he had the shutter speed set for 18 frames per second.
Scientists at the Institute of Physical Culture in Moscow worked out a method of calculating the shutter speed at which Patterson filmed the creature - and the results seemed to confirm Patterson's claim.
The scientists calculated that, if the film has been shot at 24 frames per second, Patterson would have been taking six strides per second, which seems to be impossible.
They therefore concluded that the film must have been shot at 18 frames per second.
In 1991, anthropologist Professor Grover S. Krantz, of Washington State University, analyzed the film and pointed out that the creature did not walk like a human being. According to Krantz, the creature appeared to maintain foot contact with the ground for a longer period.
In the 90s, I had the opportunity of interviewing at great length Canadian filmmaker, director and actor, Harry Kemball who stated that he knew for a fact that the 1967 Patterson film of a Bigfoot was a hoax.
Harry Kemball, director and screenwriter for Golden Eagle Productions during our interview said that he was at the British Columbia CanWest16mm film editing room in 1967 when Roger Patterson and his friends put together his Bigfoot Hoax 16mm film.
According to Kemball, Patterson and his party all laughed and joked about the rental of the Bigfoot costume and the manufacturing of "the bigfeet" that were used.
One of Patterson's extra tall buddies who was with them, wore the Bigfoot costume. The identity of this person was later established at Bob Heironimus who during an interview on The 'X' Zone Radio Show told how he had passed a lie detector test when examined as to his participation in the hoax. "I was the man in the suit. I was part of Patterson's hoax, lie and deception," Bob Heironimus told me.
Patterson and his crew carefully chose muddy ground so that their staged footprints would expand and leave "tell tale" evidence.
The film was carefully shot on 16mm Kodak EH High Speed Colour Positive film stock and when the film was processed, it was force processed in "Hot Soup" where the film grain is enlarged to add to the sense of mystery.
A shaky camera zoom with the right amount of our-of-focus to complete the deception.
Kemball who is a graduate in comparative anatomy studies stated, "this creature does not and never has exited.
The Age Of Computers and Digitization
With all the Bigfoot sightings that are being reported to various groups and organizations, and with the popularity of digitals cameras and cell phone with cameras, how come no one has taken that all conclusive photographic that has been taken of "Bigfoot?"
Is it really possible that Bigfoot has been able to evade being photographed for all these years, with the exception of the 1967 Patterson film?
Yes, there have been other photographs that have been circulating on the internet, but all of these photographs have been proven to be frauds.
How is it that we are able to photograph planets in the far reaches of space and the smallest microscopic germ, and yet, we are unable to photograph a creature that has been reported to be an average of 7 feet tall and 400-450 pounds?
With all the electronic advancements... infrared sensors... motion detectors...night vision technology...satellites in Earth orbit that can read the time from your watch... you would think that by now, someone, some group, some scientific think tank, would have the proof positive... the all conclusive smoking gun... but they don't.
Well, as I see it, there are two explanations for this lack of evidence:
1. Bigfoot is a very smart creature, smarter than the brightest human minds, and is able to keep evading all human attempts to prove his/her existence.
2.Bigfoot does NOT exist.
Over the years I have interviewed many guests on The 'X' Zone Radio Show who believe that Bigfoot is real and that he does exist, and these guests include Robert W Morgan, Loren Coleman and Lloyd Pye.
I have also had those on The 'X' Zone who do not believe in the existence of Bigfoot including Bob Kiviat and members of CSICOP - the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal.
Both sides present excellent cases.
As for me, well, until someone provides me with undeniable evidence for the existence of Bigfoot, in my book, Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti and Forest Giants simply do not exist.
For The 'X' Zone Radio & TV Show and The 'X' Chronicles Newspaper, I am Rob McConnell.