Posted by: Rick Noll on May 13th, 2007
Just an exercise here but I was thinking about just what was on these two rolls of film. The creature walking along the creeks sand bar is only in 23′ 9 and 1/4″ of a 100′ roll (Bigfoot Times, Danny Perez, Center for Bigfoot Studies, pg.2) and is at the end of that roll. Danny states that 76′ 2 and 3/4″ of the first part of the roll contains scenery, horses and riders. Did he in fact watch this for himself? Hmmm.
So this roll of film obviously could not contain close-up footage of the track-way made by the filmed subject. Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin have both gone on record that Roger ran out of film and had to reload the camera right after filming the creature (the film is daylight loadable). They are also on record saying that it began to rain that night and they had to get out of there so packed up and left early the next morning. All casts and the roll of film that contains footage of the tracks were made before the end of that night. Some were covered with bark by Bob when it started to rain, but they never returned to make more casts or film more.
Therefore the #2 roll of film made that day (there may have been other rolls exposed earlier that day but for the purpose here…), the one everyone thinks has gone missing or is misplaced should only contain the tracks and the casting of them. Their camp was already setup and there was no mention of running into the creature with a pack horse in tow. SO there should not be any footage of either one of them leading a pack horse on the #2 roll. This second roll may even not have been all exposed.
I am thinking that we have in our possession all of the second roll, because there wasn’t that much filmed on it, and the material on the first roll has been mistakenly thought to have belonged to that second roll.
Many of you may already know all of this or have already come to this conclusion. Most likely though the only persons still with us who have seen the unedited, uncut rolls of film is John Green and Al DeAtley. I wonder if what we see today is what they saw then? I mean look at the images posted below. I tried to correct them with the same filter pack I use on the creature sequence and it still looks like a different emulsion, processing or was severally underexposed. Why would it be so different? Could Roger have taken a light reading beforehand and changed the settings? I don’t recall anyone mentioning anything like that. In fact I thought the camera was setup and left as is for quick pull and shoot tactics.
I cannot believe that Roger bait and switched in front of Bob a pre-exposed roll of film with a hoaxed creature in it but the film change happened at just the right time to have done so. Reloading a partially exposed roll of film I think was also beyond Rogers expertise with that rented camera. If this had happened we would most likely get some double exposure stuff on the roll and some over exposure at the transition point. Granted now I have only worked with a copy of it but there is a very sharp cut between the creature scene and the one before it. Was the camera capable of stopping like that on a dime without much content movement in the frame… handheld? The lever to turn the camera on and off was in a very awkward position to do so and the exposure was consistent at that particular spot.
Which now brings me to Bruce Bonney. He was commissioned by René Dahinden to print a select few frames deemed the sharpest in order to fulfill René’s rights as a co-owner. Bruce decided to use Cibachrome technology and supposedly had access to the original film down in LA at the time. Right after the images were made and published in Man Like Monsters on Trial though, these two had a falling out… a pretty serious one. What was that about I wonder? Did Bruce see something or want to do something different than René with the film? They were suppose to have written a book about the film but that got canned as well.
Any way… doubts I have had with the film have been the exposure problem, Bruce Bonney’s exodus and the timing of and transportation for development. The only answers I ever got from René was… just look at the damn creature… is it real or not… that is the question. I felt a bit misdirected with that.
Just some food for thought and musings from the past.