Saturday, October 06, 2007
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Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
|Written by Mark Banta|
|Monday, 23 January 2006|
This month 20 Questions caught up with John Green in our on-going series of interviews. The following is an exact transcript of a taped phone interview with John Green on January 17, 2006. John has given his permission for this interview to be published on the Sasquatch Research Initiative website.
Certain portions of the audio interview were difficult to comprehend. Those portions were edited from the final transcript to avoid the possibility of misquoting Mr. Green. When such portions were removed, the entire question and answer was deleted from the transcript.
Photo courtesy Gerry Matthews.
Mark: John, if you had one piece of advice for future generations of sasquatch researchers, what would it be?
John: (Laughs)…Cooperate with other people and forget the idea that you’re going to get one yourself.
Mark: Okay, many people look up to you as a role model in this field. Is there anyone you look up to as a role model in sasquatch research?
John: There was…Bob Titmus.
Mark: (Repeating)…Bob Titmus.
Mark: Okay, what do you think is the biggest mistake made by researchers today?
John: Well, they…not just today, but many people, when they get involved in this, start imagining or assuming that they’re encountering various kinds of evidence…you know…may or may not be.
Mark: Okay, so people make more out of what they see than is really there?
John: Yeah, assume just a little bit.
Mark: Okay, well, how do you feel about such evidence that is being presented today such as tree breaks and twists, and such as that?
John: Yeah, they’re what I call, “could-bes.”
Mark: Right…okay. What do you consider to be the single most impressive piece of evidence to date of sasquatch existence?
John: The film.
Mark: The Patterson-Gimlin film?
Mark: Okay, what do you believe will be the piece of evidence that convinces the mainstream that sasquatch exists?
John: Well, experience would suggest that when somebody presents a body.
Mark: Okay, do you think that…uh…the definitive piece of sasquatch existence that proves sasquatch existence is more likely to come from those actively researching or someone outside the field?
John: I think it’s most likely to be an accident.
Mark: Like a car accident?
John: Or stumble on some bones.
John: Or, a hunter shoot one.
John: I think that’s the most likely eventuality.
Mark: Yeah, do you feel we’re any closer to solving the mystery today than we were back at the time of the Patterson/Gimlin film?
John: Well, we’re more aware of the events that are contained within that movie.
Mark: Yes, where do you currently stand on the kill/no kill issue?
John: I always said that the logical thing to do would be to bring one in.
Mark: Okay, do you feel like you could pull the trigger if you had a sasquatch in your sights?
John: I don’t know, I’m not a hunter.
Mark: Okay, did you ever go out armed when you went out to investigate scenes?
John: Oh, yeah.
Mark: Okay, so were you prepared to shoot one if you saw one?
John: Yes…you know, it’s an animal. Give me an argument for…for being able to shoot other animals, but not this animal?
Mark: Okay, I agree with you. If someone were to shoot a sasquatch, other than proving that it exists, what kind of ramifications do you think would follow?
John: Maybe they don’t know it, but it might upset a lot of scientific theory.
John: And, uh, upset various religious groups.
Mark: What…what do you think would, uh…?
John: …the environmentalists might have their reasons.
Mark: Do you think there would be any possible legal ramifications?
John: No, I don’t, but I could be wrong. I think the discovery will just overwhelm everything else.
Mark: Okay, how do you respond to researchers today who believe that bigfoot is something other than a flesh and blood animal?
John: Mind you, I don’t know anything about the things that they talk about. I’m not taking a position that none of that sort of thing could be true. But what I’m saying is that there is ample evidence of the existence of a flesh and blood animal.
John: If they’re looking for something else, I don’t know.
Mark: Okay, if you were to, uh, make a prediction of when sasquatch will be proven to exist in the minds of the scientific community and the general public, when would that be?
John: I think within 50 years.
Mark: Okay, why do you think that the existence of sasquatch is so hard to prove and why do you think it is taking as long as it is?
John: To me that’s actually the biggest mystery. I don’t understand it.
John: You have a couple of facts that can’t be disputed. Something makes big footprints. And thousands of normal people say they’ve seen a huge, upright creature.
John: If science would get busy and find the explanation for these things, we’d be making immense strides in either the study of peculiar human behavior and they’re faking, imagining it and so on…or else they’d be discovering this fascinating new animal.
John: It would be a “win-win” situation for any institution that has experts in those fields. And yet, nobody ever takes it up; no money is ever spent on it. And I have to wonder if there is something more than a normal explanation for it…the instinctive rejection of it.
Mark: Okay, there have been some theories going about, about the government being involved or forest companies, logging companies. Do you believe any of that is possible?
Mark: Okay, are you familiar with any of the recent work, um, and research done into casting artifacts?
John: Yes, some.
Mark: Okay, how do you feel that these findings reflect on the…some of the dermal ridge evidence, such as the Freeman cast and your Onion Mountain cast?
John: I’m not sure what they’re talking about with the Onion Mountain casts. If they’re talking about the big lines that cross and make a big loop, I never thought they had anything to do with dermal ridges.
Mark: Oh, you didn’t?
John: The question in my mind is… obviously you can’t make sweat pores and you can’t make scars. I left this particular subject to Dr. Krantz, Dr. Meldrum and Jimmy Chilcutt.
Mark: Okay, uh, if you had it to do all over again, would you have put as much time and energy into the study of this creature?
John: Yes, I’ve had a good time doing it.
Mark: Do you have any regrets?
John: Not about what I’ve done. I certainly regret what others haven’t done.
Mark: Okay, what do you mean by that?
John: Well, if the people who have the expertise and the equipment, and the financing to do this job properly would. In a way, I’m glad they didn’t, because I got a lot of enjoyment out of it. But as to solving it, it’s ridiculous and I regret it’s never happened.
Mark: Okay, uh, you’ve never had an actual encounter yourself, have you?
Mark: What do you think it is that has kept you motivated all these years?
Mark: Just the curiosity of what is doing it…what’s leaving the footprints?
John: Yep, it has to be something.
Mark: Okay, how do you respond to the skeptics, do you run into a lot of skeptics?
John: I don’t run into very many that know much about the proof, even the ones that publish books.
Mark: Okay, what do you think inspires and motivates researchers to keep going despite the time and the money, and the ridicule that accompanies sasquatch research?
John: They’re interested in it.
Mark: Okay, for you it’s always been the curiosity though right, of what’s leaving the footprints?
John: When you get interested in something you spend time doing it. I have other interests.
Mark: Has there ever been a time in your research when you’ve wanted to quit and forget about the whole thing?
Mark: Never have? Okay. And you’ve said that you are aware of SRI. The Sasquatch Research Initiative?
Mark: Okay, what are your thoughts on this type of initiative that brings independent investigators together to share information and research?
John: I think sharing information is always a good thing. Any organization that results in more research is good.
Mark: Okay, John if you were to assign a percentage to your level of confidence that this creature exists, what would it be?
Mark: Okay, one last question for you John. What legacy do you hope to leave behind, or how do you hope that people will remember you?
John: I won’t care.
Mark: (laughs) Well, thinking about it now, how do you hope people remember you?
John: Well, I hope that when it’s proven to exist that they’ll remember I told them so.
A special thanks to John Green for taking the time to conduct this interview and for all the wisdom he’s passed down to future generations of sasquatch researchers.
On July 23, 2004, contributor Gerry Matthews interviewed author John Green at his home in Harrison Hot Springs, B.C., Canada. Green's seminal work, "Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us", is widely regarded as the bible of sasquatch writings. It is being reprinted this year and is available from Hancock House Publishers.
John Green at his home, July 2004
23 July 2004 - Harrison Hot Springs, B.C., Canada
BIP: Every time I come into Harrison, I look up at the mountains around this beautiful lake and I think of the old Indian tales about how the sasquatch used to hold Summer reunions over on Mt Morris and stories of people being chased by the creature. Did you ever set much store in those stories in the early days?
JG: I'm not any kind of expert on Indian information. The culture that we live in is almost unique in making a clear distinction between the real and the unreal. We have to assign everything to one side or the other. Most cultures have not and do not do that, including the culture of the Indians of North America.
BIP: You're referring to how important myths are...?
JG: My whole career in this is trying to answer the question of where this animal fits into reality. This is a question that in the Indian culture hasn't even asked. So information from within that culture doesn't help answer this question.
BIP: When you first came to Harrison, you ran a newspaper here, correct?
JG: Well, in Agassiz.
BIP: In Agassiz. I'm sorry. You knew of J. W. Burns?
JG: He was no longer here. I never met him.
BIP: But you knew of the stories he had told.
JG: I grew up in Vancouver where the stories were familiar.
BIP: You were pretty much a skeptic back in those days?
BIP: So what happened? What made you believe-
JG: Well, for one thing, the word "believe" really isn't appropriate. It's used all the time, but it's ridiculous. I encountered what would in any other case be considered solid evidence that there was something to this.
BIP: Was this the set of tracks that were found in Eureka?
JG: No, it was before that. In 1957 Harrison got a lot of publicity by proposing to have a sasquatch hunt during the BC centennial celebration. A fellow who worked for me was talking to the custodian at the high school named Esse Tyfting. This subject had become quite a topic of conversation. This man had seen the tracks at Ruby Creek back in 1941. I knew he was a well respected person so I went and talked to him. He described the tracks and even drew an outline of how he recalled them.
BIP: Unfortunately, there were no casts.
Female sasquatch as witnessed by William Roe (sketch by Roe's daughter)
JG: There was a cast. By this time it no longer existed. It had been made by a deputy sheriff who had come up from Bellingham. A man who'd been investigating this. I don't know that much about him, but one of his children did tell us that he had a whole room full of material when he died, so he obviously was seriously investigating it. One of the family gave me a tracing of this cast that matched superficially the drawing that had been made by Esse. It was actually on the floor of a garage that he was building, so of course I didn't have it, but it appeared very similar to the tracing that I received a few months later from the deputy's family.
The other thing is that the local game guide was Jack Kirkman. His wife Martha was a cousin of Mrs. George Chapman who had seen the creature at Ruby Creek. The Kirkman's were friends of ours so I talked about it with them. She had said the experience had pretty well ruined her cousin's life. She had become an alcoholic and it was something she couldn't get over. Then I talked later on to Mr. and Mrs. Chapman, but I hadn't known them previously. It was the association with these two people who I did know, and of course in the newspaper business getting information from people and deciding if it was accurate is part of the job. These people seemed entirely credible. With regard to the footprints, we had contacted other people who had seen them since they required an explanation.
Then there were other accounts that came out because the Vancouver newspapers made a really big thing out of the sasquatch hunt idea. They literally had sasquatch included in their front page index for quite a few weeks. They were generating stories. One of those was a fellow from Vernon who had a sighting up near Flood between Chilliwack and Hope in 1955.
The other was a very detailed description by a fellow up at Tete Jaune Cache by the name of William Roe whom I later learned was in contact with a zoologist about Buffalo and was considered to be a very reliable and informed source. I never met Roe. He was living in Cloverdale at the time the story came out, but he moved to Edmonton very shortly afterward. He did send me a written account of what he had seen and he went to the city hall and had it attested to.
John Green and Albert Ostman
BIP: Is that not the same thing Ostman did?
JG: Well, I took the local magistrate to see Ostman.
BIP: That was your idea to have an affidavit?
JG: At that time I thought that this would have some effect in making these things be taken more seriously. Turns out that was not the case so I don't bother doing it anymore.
BIP: We all know that footprints are the main source of evidence of the sasquatch, except for the Skookum Cast, obviously.
JG: I like to look at it in the opposite way. The footprints are real. Indisputably real. They require an explanation.
BIP: As Dahinden said, something's making the goddamn footprints!
JG: Something's making them. Yeah, right. It's getting awfully close to fifty years ago. No explanation for those footprints, other than the existence of an animal with feet like that and sufficient weight, has been presented.
BIP: How many casts do you own?
JG: Oh, I think maybe about 10 or 12.
|Photo by Lyle Laverty of a track left by the Patterson/Gimlin film subject showing a midtarsal break.|
BIP: Which is your most impressive cast in your mind?
JG: [Pause] Probably an unusual one from the casts that Bob Titmus made at the Patterson/Gimlin film site. There's a real break in the middle of it. For years we just assumed that it had stepped on a stick, but when Jeff Meldrum was studying the casts, he pointed out very quickly that there is a twig sticking out of the ground right beside it, but this had nothing to do with it. The imprint was made by a foot that bends in a way that human feet don't.
BIP: The midtarsal break?
JG: Yes, the midtarsal break. I just have a plastic copy of the that one, but I think that is the most impressive footprint now that this information has come out.
BIP: I'd like to just touch of a minute or two on the subject of your database. Would you consider yours to be the largest?
BIP: With the advent of the Internet, I'd imagine reports are flooding in.
JG: At least a half dozen a day on the one site. There's one other thing to say about the BFRO database. You can't access it. If you want to know how many footprints were 16" long, you'd have to go through the whole 8,000 or whatever reports.
BIP: No cross-reference.
JG: Mine's cross-referenced.
BIP: You finally got that done? I remember reading in an interview you did a couple of years ago that you were working on a cross-referenced database.
JG: Yeah, well, it was always cross-referenced, but it was a matter of getting all of the material into it. I have to do it myself. I can't just hire someone and say, "You do it." There's too much double-checking and weighing to be done.
BIP: So yes, the database still exists and yes, you are the one in charge of it? People are wondering whether or not you have someone else taking care of the database for you.
JG: No. The problem now is it's on antique software. The software won't even run properly on anything beyond Windows 98. Well, it'll run, but it will - and I presume this can be corrected - but it only uses half the screen when you use it on Windows XP. You can see a great deal less, so that's not handy at all.
BIP: So it's in a DOS program?
JG: Yeah. It can be converted, but this is not easy either. I haven't done it, but Richard Greenwell and a professor down in Tucson are working with it in some other computer set up. But you see, now it's getting rapidly out of date.
BIP: The technology's not keeping up?
JG: Well, I'm not keeping up. [Laughs]
BIP: Based on the reports that you've amassed over the years, could you speculate why you think sasquatch scares us so much?
JG: It may be just because it's unfamiliar. I don't think that would be my reaction.
BIP: Different people do have different reactions. There are reports where people don't claim to have any fear at all during their encounter.
JG: Well, I'm afraid of cougars but if I saw one I'd probably just tend to watch it.
BIP: But, in the reports you get people who first mention the smell and then a feeling of panic -
JG: There could be a inherited genetic reaction. It's way beyond my expertise. They're talking now about the possibility that sasquatch communicate in ultrasound. That might cause a reaction in us if that turns out to be the case.
BIP: By the same token, based on some reports, it seems possible that they can detect infrared light emissions from camera traps, etc.
JG: Yeah, that's another possibility.
BIP: Hence another reason why there's no photos of Sasquatch.
JG: So far, I'm not aware of any camera trap pictures.
BIP: It's pretty well taken for granted based on reports of people who have had encounters while using a flashlight and such and who have seen the red glare from the eyes that sasquatch could have excellent night vision.
JG: Well, they certainly have some degree of good night vision since they're so active at night. The eye thing is a problem. When you have, as in the case of my database, almost the same number of reports at night as in the daytime and when you consider all the handicaps of the potential observers at night, it seems to me solid evidence that they're far more active at night than in the daytime.
BIP: Couldn't one also say that the great number of sightings around water - lakes, rivers, the seashore - could be explained by the fact that those areas are also where people congregate and so that's where people see them?
JG: Yes, that's certainly a consideration.
BIP: It's not so much that these areas are those where they habitat, but that these are areas where people go and have the opportunity to have an encounter. It's kind of hard to speculate what their habitat is, where they like to travel, what routes they like to use...
JG: We're nowhere near being able to do those things. As I said, it's nearly fifty years we've been trying to find patterns and my approach to it now, and for many years, is that they don't have patterns. If they did, we'd have found them long ago.
BIP: Also, along that line - and this is a bit of a bone of contention with some people who follow this subject - in your opinion is Sasquatch strictly a Northwest phenomenon as opposed to people who think sasquatch runs from Alaska to the Florida panhandle. There have been sightings all over North America .
JG: The sightings everywhere else are just as good as the sightings in the Northwest. This is just where people were first made aware of them.
BIP: There are reports from people who give the creatures human traits and characteristics. There are reports of sasquatch coming the aid of people lost in the forest, sasquatch helping an injured child...
JG: Well, we do have a zoo report of a gorilla doing exactly that. There's no reason to dismiss these out of hand, but on the other hand, there are so few of them that it would just take a very small number of people making things up to account for them.
BIP: There are some who think that a sasquatch should be killed and hopefully soon - just one - to prove that it does exist. Then the governments could enact legislation to protect these creatures. My take on it that there's more than enough land so that sasquatch does not need any kind of Federal protection, at least not for many years. Do you think that there's anything that is endangering sasquatch?
JG: I would say that real estate development in Florida is destroying a significant proportion of the habitat for the Skunk Ape, but overall in the continent, no, they have an immense area with very little human impact.
BIP: I did some figuring of the amount of untouched land in British Columbia, the Yukon, and Alaska and it is immense compared to the population of those areas. The land is vast.
JG: They don't need it to be untouched anyway.
BIP: How much land does one sasquatch need to roam in?
JG: I don't know.
BIP: Where do people come up with these figures like that?
JG: They're only guesses. I mean, there must be thousands of them to be in all the places they're reported but how many thousands...it's just a guess.
BIP: So it's just guesswork to say these creatures are on the verge extinction?
JG: Oh, that's ridiculous. They're not under any pressure at all. They obviously have never been numerous. It's certainly a possibility that the population was knocked down by the same diseases that wiped out so many of the Indians. They would presumably be susceptible to them just as the great apes are. But as to anything that's happening today causing them to become extinct, you can't make any case for that at all.
BIP: With the advent of the Internet, there's a lot more information about sasquatch available to people today. Does this make it easier to pull off a hoax?
JG: Oh yes, sure.
BIP: In 1970, if you received a report in California of an encounter with a good description of sasquatch followed by another corroborating report a year later from Alaska, wouldn't they validate each other?
JG: Not by 1970, no. The Patterson/Gimlin movie was out by then. In the early days, if you heard of anything, you went there. If you tried to do that today, I mean, forget it. That's exactly what the BFRO is trying to do and there's hundreds of them and they are not able to keep up.
BIP: I guess for every ten stories than come in, you have to make a choice of which one you will investigate.
JG: Well, out of ten there's five you will just write off. "The thing was in my living room." [Laughs] But all that the BFRO guarantees as to the reports on their website, that they actually post for the public, is that one of their investigators has made contact with a person who says, "Yes, I am responsible. This is what happened." There certainly is no possibility of doing a search of the site and investigating the character and history of the witness and all the things we would have gotten involved in in the beginning. You couldn't do it today.
BIP: How about hoaxers in general. Do they do any damage to the public's perception of bigfoot?
JG: Well, the media reaction certainly does. We've gone over the years through a phase where anything about this was news to where anyone who was doing something about it was news to where the only news nowadays is when people claim to have proven it's all a hoax.
BIP: Yes, I was going to ask you about that -
Graphic from Denver Post article "Bigfoot Believers". Click on the image for a ridiculously large version (GIF, 1.4MB)
JG: Oh, I missed one phase. There was a phase there when any scientist who showed an interest was news. We've now reached the extreme where some of the world's very top people in the relevant fields are very interested and are saying publicly that there should be proper investigation and this is not news. The only thing that's news is that the whole thing has proved to be a fake. The demonstration of that is very clear when this absolute nonsense story about Ray Wallace faking all the foot prints went all around the world in exactly the same time period the Denver Post ran a major article and sidebars on these key scientists who were saying it should be investigated, the Associated Press wouldn't even carry the story. It never went anywhere beyond Denver. To me as a newspaper man, this is absolutely shocking. I tried to contact some of those at Columbia University's long-established graduate school of journalism who keep a tab on the press and the response was, "Nobody here is interested in taking this up." In other words, for 40 years we've been butting our heads against a barrier manned by the scientists saying there can't be any such thing. Now they're stepping away from the ramparts and the media is stepping up to take their place. Absolutely fascinating. The media is seeing to it that this heresy does not get to the public.
BIP: It seems to be the case when you can bet that someone who has bigfoot living up in that attic would get more press than something like the Skookum cast would.
BIP: They seem to want to relegate this to the tabloids and that's where the story stays.
JG: For example, right now, we have the proof - absolute and indisputable - that the Patterson film is genuine. The newspapers refuse to carry anything of that. It can't be sold so therefore they're not going to be taken in therefore they're not going to run the story. As a result of this silly book where people are claiming that they were involved in making the film we've gone back to looking at the film and realize that, although you can't establish beyond dispute the size of anything, you can establish the relative size of things that are right there in the same film frame. This creature has an intermembral index - the comparison of the length of the arms to the length of the legs - that is totally outside the human range so it cannot be a human in a suit, but it is also totally outside the range of any other known primate of any size at all. Therefore, it has to be an unknown primate. This can only be ignored, it cannot be argued against. All you can do is say, "Well, you can't measure properly on the film." Well, you can't measure precisely, but the different is so slight that it doesn't matter. The human intermembral index is around 70, all of the great apes are over 100, this thing is in the high 80's. The question of the angle of this segment of the arm to the camera and so on, if you look at enough frames, you've got to be able to get to it. And on top of that, we have a forensic animator who worked on the "Legend Meets Science" DVD. He says that they established beyond any question the relative length of where the joints were as the thing was moving and the intermembral index was pretty close to 90. This is a man who says when he was hired to work on the film he took it for granted it was a man in a suit.
BIP: Mr. Long and his book. People have read the book -
JG: Not many people have.
BIP: I haven't read it myself, but those who have say it is a mass of contradictions.
BIP: It befuddles your mind at times trying to see how he weighs his information and where he gets his information from and how it's all added together. I wanted to ask you what kind of an effect does this latest attack on the Patterson/Gimlin film have on the bigfoot community in general? Or does it have an effect?
JG: Well...it's very annoying. [Laughs] It would have had a very bad effect if it had been treated in the press the way that the Wallace thing was. Fortunately, that hasn't happened.
BIP: They pretty well ignored The Making of Bigfoot.
JG: Yes, they pretty well have.
BIP: Ignore it and maybe it'll go away.
JG: Well, it pretty much has. There is now an article in the Skeptical Enquirer, but I don't know how much circulation that has. That magazine is linked to the publishers of the book. Of course, the public doesn't know that. Other than that, there's been just minor publicity and a few local TV things. They did get one network TV exposure, but it wasn't favorable to them.
BIP: No, and isn't that amazing. It seems that anything about sasquatch that is picked up by the media is not favorable.
JG: Well, the host on the program is on our side like so many people not prepared to say so.
BIP: The "Four Horseman of the Sasquatch" were yourself, Rene Dahinden, Grover Krantz, and Peter Byrne. Dahinden and Krantz are no longer with us. Who do you see as the up and coming new faces of bigfoot research?
Bob Titmus with casts.
JG: Well, the "Four Horseman" was nonsense from day one and any list would have to start with Bob Titmus. Today there's so many. There was a time when I had some knowledge of nearly anybody who was involved with this, but there's so many people in it now. Certainly, Matt Moneymaker creating the BFRO was terribly important. Certainly Rick Noll has done tremendous work. Jeff Meldrum, obviously, on the scientific end of it, is a star today. Henner Ferenbach has done quite a bit. John Bindernagel is making the links with the behavior of the great apes.
BIP: So there's no shortage of people to take up the flag before it hits the ground?
JG: Oh, heavens no. [Laughs] You know, the "Four Horseman" includes Peter Byrne who's just a well publicized fraud. It's ridiculous.
BIP: I take it you don't have too much contact with Peter Byrne?
JG: No. I saw enough of him 40 years ago.
JG: Well, The Year of the Sasquatch was about a specific year. Encounters with Bigfoot is really just a part of the same book. I redid On the Track of the Sasquatch in 1980 and because it would have been too fat to be a saddle-stitched book, I divided it in two. You can also make more money that way. Charge more for two small books than one large one. Of course, people had the option of only buying one. So really, Encounters with Bigfoot is not a separate book. It's just that when I stopped selling books and turned it over to Hancock for which now I'm just an author, he brought out the second one with that title.
BIP: Your book The Best of Sasquatch, are there any new reports added to that one?
JG: No. Well, it isn't in that context. There's several additional short chapters. One is about the intermembral index. One is about other recent developments like the Skookum cast. One is about Ray Wallace. So there is some new material in there. The basic this is you had the Wallace thing that went around the world suddenly make the things that went on in 1958 newly relevant. Otherwise there probably never would have been another printing.
|Jerry Crew holding a cast made at Bluff Creek in 1958. The tracks found at Bluff Creek and their subsequent media attention caused wide-spread public interest in the creature.|
BIP: In 1958 -
JG: That's the bigfoot that Ray Wallace is supposed to have hoaxed.
BIP: In California in Eureka, yes.
JG: You see, I'm now in the situation where I'm the only person alive who investigated both the 'original' bigfoot and the Patterson/Gimlin bigfoot movie. Bob Titmus is gone. Rene Dahinden is gone. There weren't very many of us in the first place. There was only Rene, Bob Titmus and I in 1958 and even Rene wasn't there in '58 because he couldn't cross the border since he wasn't yet a Canadian citizen. I'm the only one who wrote about it.
BIP: This is not my question, but it's a very good question from some someone on the Bigfoot Forums. What is the greatest single piece of evidence that inspires you more than anything to keep on going in your research?
JG: Well, it's not a valid question since nothing of the sort is necessary. It's been interesting and I get a lot of satisfaction out of it so I'm just going to keep on doing it. It's been frustrating, but overall, I'm not in need of inspiration. The solidest evidence is another question. I think you've got to put the film at the top of the list. But then there's the Skookum cast which is very powerful.
BIP: At one time you said if the Skookum cast was investigated by reputable scientists who came to the conclusion that it was authentic, you might be persuaded that a body might not be necessary to prove that the creature exists.
JG: I'm now in the same position with regard to the film. The proof is there in the film. The problem is getting enough scientists to pay attention. The beautiful thing about the film is that it fits perfectly with the scientific method. Replicating the basis for the claim that it is genuine requires only a very little bit of effort once a person is provided a sufficient number frames from the film with which to make their own measurements. Say, "Here you have the dozen best frames from the movie from which to make a comparative estimate of the arms and the legs. What is your estimate?"
BIP: There was some very good work done by a few members of the Bigfoot Forums who did a lot of comparisons, frame by frame -
JG: But they don't have all the frames. Rick Noll and I are working on this right now - use a copy of the film and go through and pick out the frames in which you are best able to make this particular estimate. It won't include the most familiar stretch of the film because the feet are hidden. We don't know at this point whether we're going to find anything that's really good. You have to have, in the same frame, at least a half of the arm and a half of the leg square to the camera. There may not be such a frame. You can certainly have one or the other, but if they're not in the same frame, that adds complications. Fortunately, Patterson's film was taken not from a standing height. He's much closer to being in the mid-point of the creature's height so there's certainly no significant distortion because the arm was taken dead-on and the leg was at an angle. We have to pick out which frames from which you can best make an estimate. They have to be frames that are not digitized. They need to be straight enlargements from the movie so nobody can argue they've been fiddled with in a computer. And, if you're going to get them to - I hope - dozens of people, then you're going to have to have a lot of them. So you're starting to run up a significant cost. There's a lot of money and effort involved in getting people to look at them.
I wanted the Skookum cast to be taken around the continent. We had several good starting points of someone who said yes, they'd like to look at it. The first question was could we get everyone to look at it where it is, but that's very expensive.
|Dr. Jeff Meldrum with the Skookum Cast. |
Image © 2000 by Richard Noll.
BIP: So Rick Noll is the present caretaker of the cast?
JG: Yeah, but Rick is concerned that it could be destroyed on the highway.
BIP: Which is valid.
JG: I would take the chance, but I'm not him and it's not my cast. At one time it looked as if LeRoy Fish and I would take it around. But he died. So the next thing was to find out if we could make a copy of it. The expertise to do that was to come from Grover Krantz. And he died. It's very difficult to copy because there's all sorts of interlocking elements in it. Traditionally, you just paint many coats of latex and back it with gauze and so on, then peel it off and then you can make another cast with that. But this one would have to be done in many pieces, I expect. Again, I'm no expert. Bob Titmus could have done it. He used to say he could make a plaster cast of an elephant if you were prepared to pay for it. [Laughs] I have found a couple of people who say they can do it, but it's getting pretty obvious that Rick is just scared to have it done.
The biggest problem with seeing the cast for what it is is that it's inversed. That works OK with a footprint cast because you immediately react to it as the bottom of a foot. But this thing is just a bunch of unidentifiable little slopes and valleys with hair imprinted on them. We've learned from experience that it takes a person quite a long time to really get the hang of it. I mean, they had enough trouble when they saw it as an imprint making out what it was. Took them a while to figure it out - they had already stepped on it, fortunately not in a critical place - before they realized what they were dealing with. It would work better, I think, if it was displayed on a wall. When you're looking down at it, your brain can't get away from thinking it's looking at the ground. And you're not. You're looking at the opposite of what you normally see on the ground. So that again makes it impractical to bring a lot of people to look at it. Most of them would take a quick look and go home. But if they've said they would examine it and you've taken it to their lab, it'd be a much cheaper way to do it and a much higher percentage would feel obligated to really examine it, and the main thing, each of them that really took an interest in it would be able to suggest to you other people you should take it to. We don't know who these people are and this way we could have been finding out as we went along. Running up an impressive total and eventually finding 3 or 4 with real clout who could do a paper on it and get it in a prestigious publication. That's a really big problem that all for us face. You can get things published by outfits that are into this sort of thing to start with, but you can't break through with one's that would carry the impact.
Photo of 5' 10" Jim Green standing in rock pit that, according to Glen Thomas, was excavated by a sasquatch. Image from On the Track of Sasquatch.
So those two things are those which I would say, if I reinterpreted your question, are the solidest evidence. The other one that needs to be mentioned is Glen Thomas' observation of the thing digging a hole in the rocks. Again, it defies explanation as to how it could have been done other than the way he says he observed. I understand it's fallen in a little since I last saw it but that was only six or seven years ago an it had been there 30 years before that without any change at all. And when I first saw it it was almost new. There was no moss on the rocks which were obviously newly exposed. And it literally - with a lot of projections because we're dealing with slabs of rock - it literally goes straight down. Jim Huken, after he retired as a wildlife biologist, said if there's one of these there should be more and went looking for them and found probably another ten. All those he found were more sloped. But that particular one was shaped more like a well with rocks weighing more than hundred pounds coming out of it. How are you going to do it? The only way a human could do it would be to take the whole hillside apart and rebuild it with a hole in the middle. The other thing is Rene and I phoned Glen Thomas at night, after dark, and asked if he'd show us this thing when we first heard about it. He said sure. So we said would you show it to us tomorrow morning? And he said sure. So we drove all night to Portland so that he had no opportunity whatsoever to set anything up for us. Once we were involved with it and looking at it, it was clear there was no way he could have anyway. He simply couldn't have done it. There's no equipment existing today he could have used. When you get a backhoe in, they make a hell of a big hole. They have to. It's the way they work.
BIP: And anybody who's ever dug a well knows how labor intensive that is and how much time it takes to rock it up again.
JG: And that won't work, you see, because then you've disturbed the moss covered rocks all around. It's going to be obvious you took it all out and put it back again. It's a different situation today, but not when the thing was new. It was only months old at the most when we first saw it.
Of course, almost every set of foot prints also reaches the same criteria that you can't find any way that they could have been faked. Another thing that the paper won't publicize - and it really surprised me - is that there's a $100,000 reward for anyone who can show how the footprints in Bluff Creek back in the 50's and 60's were faked.
BIP: $100,000 is a lot of money.
JG: Yeah, but it's no use if nobody knows about it.
BIP: There should be somebody stepping up to the plate to take a crack at it.
JG: Well, if a lot of people buy the new Best of Bigfoot, it's in there. It may get around. But literally, the newspapers just ignored that. They're so sure it has to be a hoax, I guess, but it's real. It's a real $100,000 for anybody who can do it.
BIP: Who's offering this reward?
|The Willow Creek-China Flat Museum.|
JG: The museum in Willow Creek.
BIP: I'm sitting here talking to you and I'm thinking, what's it like to be John Green? Your thought of as a kind of "bigfoot royalty".
JG: Not by any means by everybody.
BIP: Not by everybody but by a fair number of people loyal to your thoughts and ideas. At the same time, I'm sure there's other people who say, "Oh, there goes that bigfoot fellow. He writes books about bigfoot." Wink, wink.
JG: You got that one by the wrong end. That sort of thing went on until I wrote a book. As soon as you've done something where you've made money from it, everybody understands. [Laughs]
BIP: Now you're not the hack on the corner, now you're a respected author and businessman!
JG: Yeah. It became obvious when I wrote the book. Suddenly the attitude was noticeably different. I hadn't really realized what the attitude was up until then because nobody was saying anything to my face.
BIP: People who are interested in sasquatch, like myself and the people who are going to be reading this, they invest a lot of their time - some even invest a lot of their money - searching for and researching bigfoot. How do you separate your private life from this? Or do you separate it? Is it intertwined?
JG: I never got into the condition that Rene was in, for instance. I always had a lot of other things going on. I was very fortunate that June was with me when we first saw footprints.
BIP: It helps when the other person understands what you're doing.
JG: We went down to California together with another fellow so she knew it was something real and she met Bob Titmus on that occasion.
BIP: We heard a rumor that you had a membership at the Bigfoot Forums and that you even posted there once or twice.
BIP: I think that's some information that a lot of people didn't know. That last question is from Stacy on the Bigfoot Forums. With all of the ups and downs, the joys and heartaches, with still no personal sighting of your own, was it worth it and if you had to do it again, would sasquatch be a part of your life?
JG: [Pause] Sure.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
by John Green, used with permission
1) He and his attorney tried to sell the story in the late 1990’s
2) He initially told Greg Long he had nothing to do with Patterson’s attempted Bigfoot documentary.
“I can tell you all I know about Patterson in about five minutes.” p 145
“I didn’t, you know, run around with him, I just knew him.” p 146
“Were you part of that movie? No,” he answered flatly. p 147
“Yeah, I knew who he was, and I rode horses with him a couple of times, you know, and you know, this is just riding in the mountains. That wasn’t any film documentary or anything.” p 148
“So are you saying you weren’t in that movie he was producing? Well, I’m not going to say that. No.” p 149
“How many hours do you think you spent with Patterson?...My whole life?...I don’t know, maybe two days.” p 151-2
Long comments: “He had denied anything to do with movie on the South Fork.” Long knew that was a lie because he had a picture showing Heironimus among a group of cowboys photographed during Patterson’s failed attempt to make a documentary. p 154
3) After studying his first taped interview Greg Long states, “When I finished, I concluded that I didn’t believe Bob Heironimus.” Mrs. Long’s reaction, “He’s lying.” p 152.
But after Heironimus changes his story to what Long wants to hear: “I can’t find any evidence of Bob’s being a liar.” p 425. He could have found the evidence in his own words in his own book.
4) Heironimus claims there was an ape suit in his car trunk (in this case in his mother’s car and at her home) for just a single day after he got back from California. In Long’s book five independent witnesses tell of him having such a suit in his car at other times and places. None saw it at his mother’s place.
The first time Long heard of Heironimus he was told about the suit, and that it was in Heironimus’ car for a long time. Les Johnson -- “There was an ape suit. Bob Heironimus wore it.”….”I was in the Idle Hour Tavern in Wiley City.” ….”Bob Heironimus said that in the back of his Buick—he had a blue Buick—was an ape suit, or a suit. They were talkin’ about this suit. …”Everybody in town talked about it.”… “They were making fun about this suit, like, ‘We’re going to fool everybody’.”…”The Idle Hour Tavern’s where we’d go to congregate, lie to each other, and tell these big stories and try to make out like we was somethin’.”.
Long asks, “Do you remember any discussion about Bigfoot, or Bigfoot pranks?”
“All the time.”…..”He apparently carried this thing in his car for a long time.” p 47-48
Gary Johnson – “That suit Bob wore was observed in the trunk of a car right outside that famous water hole down there in Wiley City.” p 51
John Ballard – Long asks him, ‘Was Heironimus capable of running around like a Bigfoot in the Yakima Valley?” Ballard, “Not beyond him. I think he did it to scare people.”…”I’ve heard rumors, yeah. Just like the rumor of Bob Heironimus having the Bigfoot suit, which was made out of horsehide.”… I never saw it, but what I heard was it was gray horsehide. I heard it was in Bob Heironimus’ car.”p 232
Merle Warehime – “Bob Heironimus was the guy who wore the monkey suit. It was always a joke.” When Long suggests Heironimus might have put on a costume to help Patterson convince the public of the existence of Bigfoot, Warehime responds: “I don’t think it was that complicated….It was kind of fun, go get drunk, put the suit on and run out in front of somebody, you know.” Long says he was told that the suit was in Warehime’s Circle Inn Tavern and Warehime says he has heard that but it was when he was gone for a couple of days. “So you never saw the suit yourself?” “In the back of the car, yeah.” “Oh, you did see it?”…”I believe we were out in the Ahtanum by that old church.” p 331
Bob Hammermeister – “Yep. It was probably at Wiley City. There was a bunch of us…I seen something in the car, a big old pile of fur there was what it was…I think it was in the trunk.”
“Did Bob say it was a Bigfoot suit?” “ Yeah.” p 397
Hammersmeister is the only one who mentions seeing the suit after the Patterson movie was made. The others were talking about the previous year when there was a rash of local reports of Bigfoot sightings, or perhaps even earlier.
These statements set out clearly that Heironimus was the one who had an ape suit and that he was using it to stage Bigfoot ‘sightings’ for the amusement of himself and his friends A connection with Roger Patterson is suggested only by Greg Long, and in one case is specifically denied--although making a fool of Patterson may have been the origin of the game.
5) Heironimus drew a map of his supposed trip to Bluff Creek, indicating that he met Patterson and Gimlin at Willow Creek and they drove west from there before turning onto the Bluff Creek Road. Long, who knew that Willow Creek was many miles west of the Bluff Creek turnoff persuaded him to change his story. p 347-8 and 366-7
6) Heironimus told of seeing a rodeo banner at Happy Camp on his way to Bluff Creek. Long later learned there had never been a rodeo at Happy Camp and decided it must have been a banner for the Bigfoot Jamboree on Labor Day weekend, therefore the film must have been shot in early September—weeks before the leaves would have turned red. p 420
7) Heironimus drew a map of the area where he said the film was made, showing that they went two and a quarter miles up the Bluff Creek road to the place where they were camped, and another half a mile to the film site, a total of two and three quarter miles from the Klamath highway. p 366. The actual distance, on a twisting dirt road, is more than 10 times that.
8) Heironimus not only does not know where the film site is, he is also not at all familiar with the film, since it shows Patterson and Gimlin with three different horses, and he mentions only two, even claiming that he had to ride double behind Gimlin. p 348
9) To anyone who saw the film site before time altered it, Heironimus’ story makes it immediately obvious that he was never there. He tells of Patterson and Gimlin helping him to put the suit on and to stand up, then, “I started walking. I came to the creek. I walked through the sand.” p 349
He does not know that the creek bottom is not sand, but slippery rocks that are best walked on carefully, or that on the far side he would have encountered a vertical cut in the bank of the sandbar which was more than two feet high (it shows in the film) that would have been an unforgettable obstacle for a man in a suit with legs so stiff he needed help to get to his feet from a sitting position.
10) Heironimus continued, pointing at a map he had drawn, “I walked across here—through a few trees right here, maybe a downed log in here and some brush. Anyway I turned right here and looked at them. I looked back twice. I walked a little ways further towards these trees right here on the right. They said ‘Cut! That’s it!’ Here’s this big blow-over [uprooted tree]. I jumped down in this hole.” … “Why did you jump in the hole?” “I was afraid of getting shot’…. “It was October, you know. They did have hunters down there.” P 349
He is obviously not aware of what is plain on the film, that the creature was always on the same side of the creek, that for a considerable time it disappears from the camera’s view as it walks through the trees, that when it emerges it is much too far away for anyone walking beside a noisy creek (and supposedly wearing a padded headpiece) to have heard anyone say anything. Aside from that, since the sandbar is in the creekbed there could never have been a large tree there to blow over and leave a hole.
Note also that although Heironimus places the event in October, and in hunting season, later he apparently accepts Long’s conclusion that because of the “rodeo banner” the filming must have been in early September. Heironimus’ readiness to change elements of his story whenever someone else proposes a different version suggests that he thinks that the others may be telling the truth and might even be able to prove it, while he knows that he is lying.
by John Green
Used with Permission
For those who have not read Greg Long’s book, and those like me who failed to appreciate what they were reading, there is on pages 47 and 48 a very clear outline of the actual role played by Bob Heironimus. In recounting an interview with Les Johnson, an Ahtanum Valley rancher, Long writes:
“There was an ape suit. Bob Heironimus wore it.”
I couldn’t speak. Had I found the man who played Bigfoot in Patterson’s film? Was the mystery over?
“Bob Heironimus,” I finally managed to let out.”
“Yep, Bob Heironimus,” he repeated with a big grin. “I was in the Idle Hour Tavern in Wiley City. There were fifteen or twenty guys, some of the guys that hung around with Roger. The guys were drinkin’ and talkin’ about things they had been doin’. Bob Heironimus said that in the back of his Buick—he had a blue Buick—was an ape suit, or a suit. They were talkin’ about this suit. Someone said, ‘What are you talkin’ about?’ And someone said, ‘Go and look in the back of Bob’s Buick.’ The guys were teasing each other about it. Everybody in town talked about it. There were lots of guys who sat around and talked about it.”
I probed deeper into his memories of this event. He recalled that among the onlookers grouped around Heironimus’s car were the Ridge Runners, members of a jeep club. Johnson was either walking toward to (sic) the tavern or leaving it. “I heard them talkin’ when I went by. They were laughin’ and gigglin’. They were makin’ fun about this suit, like ‘We’re going to fool everybody.’ I mean, I got that opinion. But you couldn’t fool us. We all lived here.” He chuckled and then added: “The ‘monkey suit’ is what they called it. There’s four Heironimus boys, Bob, and Bill. Bill worked for me for a while. Then there’s Howard and Mike. The Idle Hour Tavern’s where we’d go to congregatge, lie to each other, ad tell these big stories and try to make out like we was somethin’.’
I asked, “Do you remember any discussion about Bigfoot, or Bigfoot pranks?”
“All the time.”
“Inside the tavern?”
Everywhere. It was just a hoax to me. And the group that we run with were all cowboys. We were up there in the hills runnin’ cows,, and you never seen any of those guys up there. It all took place down at the gab station [the Idle Hour Tavern].”
Farther down the page, Long asks:
“Who is this Bob Heironimus?”
“Well, I think he works for Pepsi-Cola. He must be getting’ old enough to retire. He apparently carried this thing around in his car for a long time.”
From the book "Meet The Sasquatch" by Chris Murphy
Used with permission
Without doubt, John Green is the pre-eminent authority on the Sasquatch/Bigfoot issue. Although no longer very active in field research, he spent many years investigating Sasquatch sightings and footprint reports. He has hunted for evidence in many remote areas throughout the Pacific Northwest and has traveled to eastern Canada and throughout the United States, methodically documenting and photographing evidence of the creature's existence. He has personally interviewed hundreds of people including all of the early Sasquatch witnesses-Albert Ostman, Fred Beck, Roger Patterson, Bob Gimlin, to name a few. John has authored several books on the subject, the most noteworthy being his "Sasquatch, The Apes Among Us". In the "Sasquatch fraternity", as it were, John Green is the "clearing house" for all matters. His vast knowledge in the field has no equal. John became involved in investigating the Sasquatch in 1957 while he was owner/publisher of the Agassiz-Harrison Advance newspaper. The Harrison area was noted for Sasquatch sightings. John, however, took little interest in the subject until he learned that some people in the community he had come to respect had been witnesses to an incidentat nearby Ruby Creek 16-years earlier. Thereupon, John teamed up with Rene Dahinden, who had come to Harrison to hunt for the Sasquatch, and the two men embarked on serious and dedicated research. Both John and Rene were founding members of the Pacific Northwest Expedition in California in 1959. John and Rene continued to cooperate with each other for over a decade. Eventually they parted company over the issue of sharing information with other people. Rene never wavered from his determination to solve the mystery himself. John gave up on that prospect and does whatever he can to help anyone he considers to be making sincere efforts in Sasquatch research. John has documented thousands of sasquatch related incidents, many of which he personally investigated. He has diligently analyzed the information he has collected and has provided many statistics on the nature and distribution of the creature. He has presented his findings at numerous conferences and continues to be called upon for speaking engagements. Mainly through John's efforts, some highly eminent anthropologists and zoologists are now involved in the Sasquatch issue. I met John in 1993. Over the years I have visited him a number of times and have listened intently to his views. Few things escape his notice. He is exceedingly critical and accepts absolutely nothing at face value. John is very careful where doubt is involved with people and Sasquatch related evidence. Indeed, John gives little or no credibility to most of the highly publicized Sasquatch encounters (videos in particular) of recent years. He is highly uncomfortable with all findings by Ivan Marx and Paul Freeman.
John Willison Green (from Wikipedia.org):
John Willison Green (born February 12, 1927) is a retired Canadian journalist and a leading researcher into the Bigfoot phenomenon. He is a graduate of both the University of British Columbia and Columbia University and has more than 3000 sighting reports, leading some, most notably his friends and supporters, to affectionately refer to him as "Mr. Sasquatch".
Green first began investigating Sasquatch sightings and track finds for the Canadian press in the late 1940s. In 1956 Green met René Dahinden and the two researchers collaborated in interviewing witnesses and sharing information of alleged sightings. A year later Green's curiosity grew into fascination while he was still the owner and publisher of the Agassiz-Harrison Advance newspaper. Since then Green has spent more than 38 years investigating the phenomena, and is still one of the most active researchers, frequently being called upon whenever another track is discovered. Green is also the only surviving person to have investigated the original Sasquatch tracks reported in Bluff Creek, California in the summer of 1958.
As a renowned authority in the field, Green has appeared as a guest speaker at all three of the major scientific Sasquatch symposiums held so far. Green has authored several Sasquatch books, including On the Track of the Sasquatch (ISBN 0-88839-341-5), Encounters with Bigfoot (ISBN 0-88839-340-7), and most notably Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us (ISBN 0-88839-018-1), the latter still being widely regarded by many as the single best book yet written on the subject.
The character played by Don Ameche in the 1987 motion picture Harry and the Hendersons is loosely modeled after Green.
Green currently resides in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia.