Saturday, December 31, 2005
Many Bigfoot researchers feel that the only way to prove the existence of these unknown primates is to shoot and kill one. However, there are just as many who feel that is the wrong way to go and are even campaigning to protect the creatures. Certain individuals in the Bigfoot field believe that if Bigfoot is in their rifle sights, they would shoot it. I used to have this same view that the only way to prove the existence was to shoot one. However, I have changed my views, and I believe that if the evidence that is found is properly collected, then the creatures can be proven to all to exist. Of course, the skeptics will still harp and complain that the hard evidence isn't there, but I suppose they'll just have to harp and complain. If people are open-minded enough to actually look at the evidence, they will find that they were wrong about their preconceived notions about these creatures not existing and will change their minds. I now do not feel that one of these creatures should be killed to prove its existence, but if someone were to shoot one, I would not be upset at that person. I am not as "pro-kill" as I used to be. I feel that the evidence is already strong enough and should not be taken lightly by these skeptics who choose to proclaim the evidence is no good and there is no such animal, yet they'll sit on their well-padded rear ends rather than go out and search for evidence themselves. I do not feel one creature has to die to satisfy anyone of their existence.
Over the years, Bigfoot evidence has been collected all over the United States by different researchers. Hair, feces, footprints, even alleged blood have been collected since 1958. There have even been several films, most notably the Patterson/Gimlin film, but those are not really considered"hard" evidence. There was even a 2/3 body impression called the "Skookum Cast" that may or may not be from a Bigfoot collected in 2000 which has some very unusual heel impressions and even an achilles tendon. Most of the other pieces of evidence, according to the skeptics, are also not considered "hard" evidence. All of the evidence that has been collected has been deemed "inconclusive" or diagnosed as "unknown primate". Many believe this is because the evidence has not been collected properly and contamination risks are common. Many investigators do not use rubber gloves or tweezers or even paper bags (not plastic) to collect the evidence. Evidence collection should be conducted ala' C.S.I. because if the evidence is contaminated, the evidence will come out inconclusive, when we absolutely want to have good evidence that proves these creatures' existence. The Bigfoot field needs to get its act together and use better methods of obtaining evidence.
In March 2004, a book came out called The Making of Bigfoot: The Inside Story written by Greg Long which purported to expose the famous Patterson/Gimlin film as a hoax. The so-called "guy-in-the-suit" was an individual by the name of Bob Heironimus, a former Pepsi truck driver who actually tried to come out with his story of the alleged hoax in 1999, but somehow couldn't find the right avenue other than the Yakima Herald. Heironimus was a bit evasive with Long, who was told by several people in the Yakima area that Heironimus was the "guy-in-the-suit" in the P/G film. Long went and interviewed Heironimus but didn't get much out of him other than, "Well, maybe I was in the suit, maybe I wasn't." This was in 1998, shortly before Heironimus came out with his story. Heironimus than told Yakima Herald reporter David Wasson that he was the guy in the suit, but was not identified in the story. Heironimus had seen a special called "World's Greatest Hoaxes: Secrets Finally Revealed" on Fox which showed a gentleman named Jerry Romney who was identified as the guy in the suit because he is tall, nearly 7 foot. Romney flat-out denied that. The news story really didn't go anywhere until 2001, when Long reinterviewed Heironimus and Bob finally admitted that he was the alleged guy in the suit. He described how it was done, with a 3-piece horsehide suit Patterson skinned. He alleged he slipped it over like a t-shirt and wore it in the film. He also alleged that both Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin were in on it; interestingly enough, Gimlin lives only a few doors down from Heironimus. He also claimed that he would practice the walk in Patterson's backyard in the suit, with Gimlin and Mrs. Patterson looking on. Heironimus is 6'0" tall; the creature in the film has been measured as standing at least 7'3" tall. How can Heironimus be the guy in the suit? Anyway, Heironimus made his worldwide debut on the Jeff Rense radio program on March 1, 2004. The book by Long debuted a few weeks later. Unfortunately for Heironimus, several facts emerged that contradicted his story; for instance, Philip Morris in the book said that the suit was in 6 pieces and made of Dynel. Also, Heironimus claimed in the book he wore some kind of slippers for the feet, but on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann he said he was in his stocking feet. He also went along with the Morris story on Countdown. He then went on to KATU-2 in Portland, Oregon and was quoted as saying that the suit designer for Planet of the Apes, John Chambers, designed the "Patty" suit. Then, it was revealed that Heironimus' sister had called Mrs. Patricia Patterson and asked her to go along with a story of her brother wearing a grey horsehide suit in the film so they would all make money off it. Besides this, Heironimus could not even remember the most basic things about how long it would take to get from the main road to the film site, which is not a half-mile as he claimed, but 22 miles over rough mountain roads. Besides all this, it was Bob Gimlin's idea to go to the film site to begin with, so how could it have been a hoax, especially if Roger Patterson was supposed have been the guy planning it with Bob H.? So the title of this essay, "Is Bob Heironimus telling the truth?" can be answered with a definitive "No!"
Friday, December 30, 2005
Robert Emory Gimlin was born October 18, 1931 in Missouri. Eventually he moved to Yakima, Washington where he lives to this day. Gimlin was and still is a rancher who breaks in young horses-at the age of 74! He has lived an interesting life in and around the Yakima area. His neighbor is a rather notorious fellow by the name of Bob Heironimus-notorious because Heironimus claims to be the "man in the suit" of the famous Patterson/Gimlin film. Gimlin is of Indian descent, Chirokowa Apache to be exact. From Robert and Frances Guenette's book Bigfoot: The Mysterious Monster is this:
Gimlin's reputation is that of a mild, honest man. I have talked to him, several times. He still lives nearby Yakima with his wife, Judy. He has a somewhat embittered attitude about the whole matter; he is angry at the insinuations that he either compromised his honesty to perpetrate a hoax, or indeed was the prime dupe of one. He has repeatedly said that "there is no question about what was out there..." describing the creature and explaining the incident over and over again in detail. In all his pronouncements, he has not changed his story. He believes he saw a Bigfoot that October 20th at Bluff Creek. I am only one among many who offered Gimlin large amounts of money to "tell the truth" about what "really" happened that day. His answer to me was, "I'm already telling the truth." His wife, Judy, told me that she suffered rather than gained, from the whole experience. She was working at a bank at the time; she became the butt of many jokes and found herself ridiculed by even her closest friends. She says she urged her husband to quit looking for Bigfoot, to withdraw him from the field. In a large way, Bob Gimlin has, existing now only on the perimeters of it, kept there by the fact of his presence that day in 1967 when Patterson shot the film and by the other Bigfoot hunters, all of whom use his name freely, calling him an associate even if he isn't. He is, in fact, the foremost living Bigfoot investigator, even if he is now inactive, even if he was only a passive partner of Patterson's. Everyone awaits the day when he will re-enter the field. Gimlin met Patterson between 1955 and 1959, and Patterson thrilled Gimlin with many stories and accounts of sightings. The two would go out on pre-expeditions in search of the creatures. Patterson and Gimlin were in the Mount Saint Helens area in September 1967, when they received a message from Mrs. Patterson that Al Hodgson that there were Bigfoot tracks in the Six Rivers National Forest area in northwestern California. Patterson and Gimlin went down there, stayed for 3 weeks and filmed a Bigfoot. They also cast tracks of the creature. Gimlin pretty much dropped out of the Bigfoot field after that, except for occasional appearances at conferences (the first one he ever attended was the 1978 Conference on Humanlike Monsters at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada). In the early-'70s, Gimlin took part in lawsuits to get rights to the film. Eventually, Rene Dahinden got about 51% of the film rights (the still photos from the film) and Patricia Patterson, Roger Patterson's widow, got 49% (the actual film rights). Gimlin really didn't want a whole lot to do with the film itself, so he sold his portion of the rights to Dahinden for $26.00. For nearly 30 years, Gimlin stayed mostly out of the Bigfoot spotlight. A few years ago, he began to be invited to different conferences. He spoke briefly at the 2003 Willow Creek Bigfoot Symposium and was an honored guest there. He also spoke at the 2004 Crypto-Conference in Conroe, Texas. He appeared at the 2005 Bellingham conference and also the Seattle Museum of the Mysteries in June 2005. Bob Gimlin is a very honest individual who seems to be telling the truth about what he saw that day 38 years ago, and he has no motive to lie now or come forward with a "hoax story". Many Bigfooters believe his story to be accurate and truthful, and there's no reason to doubt his story. Bob Gimlin should be highly regarded by all.
Roger Clarence Patterson was born in Walls, South Dakota on February 14th, 1933. He and his family eventually moved to Yakima, Washington. Patterson became a rodeo rider and rancher in the Yakima area right around the Tampico Valley. Patterson began his interest in the subject of Bigfoot in late-1959 after reading an article by Ivan T. Sanderson in True Magazine which described the sightings and footprint finds of large, hairy, unknown creatures in Northern California in the Bluff Creek area after a road construction crew found large tracks around their construction site. Patterson was fascinated by this and began to investigate sightings he had heard and read about and he collected many different accounts. On October 20, 1963 (not '64 as has been widely reported) timber cruiser Pat Graves found a series of tracks in the Laird Meadow Road of Bluff Creek and told Roger, already in the area about them. Patterson made casts, and the second-generation left foot cast is now sold in various places. In 1966, Patterson wrote a book called Do Abominable Snowmen of America Really Exist? which featured many newspaper stories, as well as taped interviews Patterson conducted with witnesses, most notably Albert Ostman and Fred Beck. The book sold poorly initially, but after the filming of "Patty" it sold very well. Patterson continued his research, finding tracks and casting them. Patterson also had two lookout towers in the Tampico Valley area to look for Bigfoot, which had apparently been reported in and around the area. In September 1967, Patterson and his friend, Bob Gimlin, were in the Mount Saint Helens area looking for evidence when Mrs. Patricia Patterson, Roger's wife, received a message from Al Hodgson of Willow Creek, California that fresh tracks had been found in the area, and that Patterson would be well-advised to head down there. Patterson and Gimlin headed on down to the Bluff Creek area, the Six Rivers National Forest, looking for tracks. Patterson had a film camera with him shooting a documentary in which he would have included recreations of sightings. After 3 weeks in the area, on October 20, 1967, Patterson and Gimlin came upon a female Bigfoot and Patterson filmed it. At the time, Patterson was battling Hodgkins' Disease but was beating it at the time and was in excellent health. Over the intervening years since the filming, however, Patterson was losing the battle and on January 15, 1972, just one short month shy of his 39th birthday, he passed away, leaving the world with a legacy of a great film which is still debated today. Before his death, however, Patterson was told that a captive Bigfoot was being held somewhere in Thailand and he spent all the rest of his money pretty much on a wild goose-chase. He died broke, but left us this film. We should all be indebted to Patterson for his legacy to us.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Many sightings of Bigfoot have been from reliable eyewitnesses. However, are these witnesses credible? The skeptics would say that the eyewitnesses are not credible because these accounts cannot be tested, unlike a body, physical remains. There are many eyewitness accounts, mostly in John Green's files (he has over 5,000 in nearly 50 years of research). But, are the accounts any good? Certainly there are cases where the eyewitness mistook a bear for a Bigfoot, or maybe saw a strange shadow, or perhaps a tall human or even stumps on the side of the road. Then there are the hoax reports in which a man in a gorilla suit parades around in dark conditions risking perhaps getting shot. However, these do not account for all of the historical reports or the good, credible reports from people with nothing to gain from telling their stories. John Green said in his book that if just one of these stories is true, then the phenomenon is real, no matter how many fake reports or misidentifications there may be in all of the other reports. I do agree that the eyewitness story is impossible to test, but at the same time it gives us a better picture of what the eyewitness saw. Bigfoot reports can be reliable, don't qualify as hard evidence, unfortunately.
38 years ago, two men, Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin of Yakima, Washington, were in the Bluff Creek area of northwestern California in the Six Rivers National Forest on a sojourn to find tracks of Bigfoot which frequented the area. Patterson had a 16-mm film camera with him for shooting a documentary with recreations of actual sightings. On the morning of October 20, 1967, Patterson and Gimlin were at a campsite when Gimlin went out and rode around a certain area. When he returned Patterson was not in the campsite, so Gimlin tacked a shoe onto his horse. Patterson returned and asked Gimlin where he had ridden to; Gimlin told him and suggested it would be a good area. Patterson and Gimlin saddled up their horses and rode to this area. At a bend in the trail there was a pile of logs and a downfalled tree jammed together like a crow's nest. Riding around this, Patterson and Gimlin were surprised to find a large, hairy creature standing by the creek. Both men's horses reared and Patterson was thrown to the dirt. Gimlin attempted to steady his horse, but Patterson's horse and the pack horse took off on him, but not before Patterson grabbed his movie camera out of his saddlebag. He took off running after the creature which was casually walking away from both men, filming as he ran. Patterson apparently stumbled a few times as he ran, but the film kept rolling. He got to a certain point, and the creature, hearing Gimlin ride across the creek on his horse, turned and looked at both men as if to say, "Back off." She turned back to her path of direction and kept walking off into the timber. Patterson caught 952 frames of color film of this extraordinary creature (a Bigfoot, of course), 24 feet of film which has been hotly debated for many years. Many have come forward as the so-called "man-in-the-suit"; most recently a Yakima man named Bob Heironimus claimed he was the man in the suit, and told this to author Greg Long, who seemed to believe Heironimus' story and wrote a book called The Making of Bigfoot: The Inside Story. Unfortunately, Heironimus has told many conflicting stories as to the origin of the suit, not to mention little details here and there wrong. Now, here's where my commentary comes in-I am 95% convinced the film is real, with a 5% margin allowed for a hoax or the possibility of a hoax. I feel that the technology to create a suit like that in 1967 was very remote if not impossible. Do I think it could have been hoaxed? There is a chance, yes, but a remote one at best. I feel there will not be resolution to this problem one way or the other until a body is brought in to examine. That's just the bottom line. 38 years later, this film still evokes great emotions in people, especially Bigfoot witnesses. I just hope that the body will match up to the expectations put forth on the film.