"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy" William Shakespheare "Hamlet" Act 1. Scene V
The 1967 Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin film is the second most analyzed film in world history. Only the Zupruder film of the Kennedy assassination has been studied more. Was it just a man in a gorilla suit, or was it really an unknown creature. After 40 plus years, the 952 frames of 16mm film are still hotly debated amongst believers and skeptics alike. Could an "average joe" former rodeo rider put together such an elaborate hoax, that has not been disproved to this day?
In 1966 Patterson self-published paperback book entitled "Do Abominable Snowmen of America really exist?" this established Patterson in the bigfoot business. Some say if you are in the cryptozoology field, and do not come up with any substantial evidence, you will ultimately quit, or resort to "hoaxing" in order to promote your work. (i.e. book, movie, website, tv show etc.) This is one possible motivation Patterson may have had for a hoax. On the other hand, a believable hoax would take a significant amount of funds (camera, film, costume, etc.) planning, and talent in costume tailoring.
kodak k-100 model This is the same type of camera Roger Patterson used
HOAX OR GENUINE BIGFOOT WHICH SIDE ARE WE FOR?
I must admit, unlike pretty much everyone on either side of the debate, I would still be fascinated with the Patterson film even if it was proven without a shadow of a doubt to be a hoax. Allow me to explain. This film, if it was fake, is probably the best illusion ever created. Let's say the answer to this riddle is simply a man in a monkey suit. The fact is to this day, nobody has come up with a reasonable facsimile of the event by filming a man in a fur suit, and it has been tried many times in many different ways. The BBC has recently spent a lot of money to replicate the Patterson film using the best designers and materials available almost 40 years after the fact, only to fall short. If it were indeed fake, then the mystery lies within how the hoax was executed. Speculation of this may take another 40 years to try and figure out how this was accomplished without the actual suit. vs The above photo is from BBC's attempt to recreate the Patterson Bigfoot. In my humble opinion, it looks much more like they have succeeded in recreating Chaka from "Land of the Lost" (see below pics) Sid and Marty Krofft would be proud. vs Without much analysis, the Patterson film seems like it could go either way, it could be real, it could be fake. The secret lies within its depth. The deeper and more technical it is studied, the more fascinating the details become. After a while it seems so obvious that what you are dealing with is genuine, but then the thought of it being genuine is so seemingly unrealistic. The vasilation of the two positions happens over and over again in ones mind who is genuinely trying to get to the bottom of the truth, and does not come at this with a predetermined bias. Stare at the moving picture on the top of the page. Look at it straight in the eyes for a minute or so. It seems to be real, then it seems to be fake, but it can't be fake because I've seen fake, and fake does not look anything like that. Neither does real. I have never seen anything that looks quite like it enough to say for sure that it's real. It is frightening, the stuff that nightmares are made of. It is not like an animal, it is not like a human, It is too physical to be supernatural. One thing that has always puzzled me regarding the "suit" theory, is the breast factor. If you were to create a bigfoot costume, would you honestly think of putting breasts on it? If you did think of it, would you actually incorporate it into the manufacturing of the suit? If you ordered a monkey suit, would you honestly spend a ton of time and effort to put breasts on it? It's not as easy as it sounds. You would have to be an expert costume maker to accomplish this to any believable degree. Let's take a look at the possibilities of what it could be. Ask yourself if any of the following options look like what is seen in the Patterson film. Man in a standard gorilla suit
Man in a deluxe gorilla suit
Modern day Bigfoot costume
Note this is the same costume that made national headlines when those guys from Georgia claimed they had a Bigfoot in an icebox This suit is made for doing some serious hoaxin'. You actually look out the neck, so the false head gives the appearance of a very tall bigfoot. Which also makes for a great safety feature if you ever get in the crosshairs of hunters rifle, a head shot instead of being fatal, will just serve as a stern warning assuming you're fast with your feet. (Not to mention freaking out the hunter as he watches a headless sasquatch make a mad dash for cover.)
Another bigfoot costume.....I don't think this would fool anyone. Keep in mind, these are some of the finest gorilla suits money can buy today; also know that there were only a couple of ape costumes to choose from back in 1967. Real Gorillas
As you can see, there are no real similarities between the Patterson film, and the average gorilla suit. On the other hand, it seems obvious that the creature in subject is not exactly a dead ringer for your "real live escaped from the zoo type primate" either. The body style of the Patterson beast seems to be more human like than the gorillas. The fur, arms, muscular type seem to be in line with the gorillas pictured. The legs look more human, as well do the feet. Notice the legs and feet on the gorillas look nothing like the bigfoot. The face in the Patterson film is oddly complex. I think that is what really throws me off, it has a human nose and oversized lips that look genuinely real, but nothing that looks like any known primate. This detail could be interpreted to mean a hoax, but if you look at it from a different perspective it could also mean a new species of primate, or the dreaded "wildman" which is a possibility rarely discussed today. The third picture above of the gorilla with its back turned looks a lot like the back of the Patterson specimen. Notice the spine indent, muscular nature, and the way the neck, pointed head and back seem to almost be one. One thing that if find difficult to believe about the man in the suit theory is what is known as "gait". gait (plural gaits)
- Manner of walking or stepping; bearing or carriage while moving.
- Carrying a heavy suitcase, he walked with a lopsided gait. Noun
- gait (plural gaits)
- Manner of walking or stepping; bearing or carriage while moving.
- Carrying a heavy suitcase, he walked with a lopsided gait.
Gait analysis is the study of animal locomotion, including locomotion of humans. Gait analysis is commonly used to help athletes run more efficiently and to identify posture-related or movement-related problems in people with injuries.
The study encompasses quantification, i.e., introduction and analysis of measurable parameters of gaits, as well as interpretation, i.e., drawing various conclusions about the animal (health, age, size, weight, speed, etc.) from its gait.
If you have ever seen anyone in a real life costume situation (movies, plays, etc.) try to imitate a gorilla or bigfoot, the one thing that stands out aside from the quality of the costume is the gait. The style and life like nature of a real gorilla's motion vs. a man in the costume is almost always a dead giveaway no matter how good the actor inside the suit. The end result is usually at best a dead ringer for a sports team mascot. This is a very difficult thing that bigfoot hoaxers have to contend with when tying to falsify film footage of a sasquatch. This is usually the reason behind the shaky camera footage, the hoaxer is trying to compensate for the fake looking gait movement on the actors part. In the case of the Patterson film it has actually seemed to help the case for authenticity with recent technological advances in image stabilization techniques. (see Patterson Film portion of this website for stabilized footage) You will notice a very smooth, seemingly natural looking creature. Once again, I would think this would be extremely difficult to replicate. There have been several documentaries made that prove this point very well by trying to mimic the gate of the creature in the Patterson film. This has been tried, and failed in every instance. If the Patterson film is a fake, then it is for some reason the only footage I have ever seen with very real, flawless motion. Either Patterson hit a home run in being in the right place at right time by filming an actual bigfoot, or he hit a home run by somehow throwing together a realistic bigfoot costume beyond the level what Hollywood movie makers were using at the time. (Possibly even for our time.) Not to mention getting a guy to walk in it in such a way that to this day it cannot be replicated.
Let us not forget another factor, the filming itself. if you were going to perpetrate a bigfoot hoax, it needs to be filmed in such a way in which it reveals just enough, but not too much of the creature. If you show too much of your subject your cover is blown as being an obvious hoax. If you don't show enough of the creature, your footage is labeled "who knows? who cares?" and is forgotten amongst the ash-heap of countless other would be and wanna be bigfoot films. This is not as easy as it seems, especially when you are dealing with rather expensive 16mm movie film like Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin. You pretty much get one shot to get it right, unlike just about all of any other bigfoot footage which has been shot of vhs tape, or digital memory. Both are virtually endless in the amount of "takes" you can film until you get it just right, this was not the case with 16mm movie film. (I would however like to know what was on the reel of film before the incident, this might provide needed clues to prove or discredit the incident.)
Jojo the Dog Face Boy and the Lion Man were popular examples of people with a genetic disorder known as Hypertrichosis.(see wikipedia definition below) Could it be possible that a large human wildman suffering with these conditions could be the illusive bigfoot shown in the film? As far fetched as this might seem, the examples below look more like a bigfoot than any of the above examples , at least in the face. I believe these people only had the disorder primarily affecting the facial area, but it is possible for it to affect virtually the entire body. Would you mistake Jojo for Bigfoot if you saw him in the context of a forest?
Hypertrichosis, congenital generalized Hypertrichosis or werewolf syndrome is a medical term referring to a condition of excessive body hair. Werewolf syndrome comes from the characteristics of a mythological werewolf of which the person is completely covered in hair or fur. It can be generalized, symmetrically affecting most of the torso and limbs, or localized, affecting an area of skin. The hair does not usually cover the eye area, hands or the feet.It may be mild or severe. In most cases, the term is used to refer to an above-average amount of normal body hair that is unwanted and is an aspect of human variability.