Posted by: Craig Woolheater on December 15th, 2006
With the recent mentions of David Daegling around these here parts, I thought I would share some thoughts and communiques that I have had with him in the past. For more on David Daegling and Bigfoot, check out these posts here on Cryptomundo.
After reading Daegling’s article entitled "Bigfoot’s Screen Test" from Skeptical Inquirer magazine, I had a hard time accepting his "scientific" studies.
In the article, Daegling attempts to replicate the compliant gait of the subject of the Patterson-Gimlin film, under ideal laboratory conditions (Daegling’s own words). That’s where I took serious issue, so I decided to email him and ask about that. Following is my email to Daegling.
I enjoyed reading your book. I found it an engaging skeptical take on the subject, as opposed to Greg Long’s book on the Patterson film.
I do have questions about your take on the compliant gait that is witnessed being used by the subject of the film. The first being that your figures for the length of stride using the compliant gait were, in your own words quoted in the article "Bigfoot’s Screen Test" from the Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 1999, done "under ideal laboratory conditions".
That was far from the case with the subject being filmed. The filmsite covers some rough terrain. That doesn’t take into account that if it were hoaxed, and if it was a man in a suit, then it WAS a man in a suit, with, I imagine far less mobility than someone unencumbered with a bulky suit, peering out of the eyeholes in a mask. I imagine that would increase the difficulty by many magnitudes, yet the film subject moves quite fluidly. It manages to make its way over the rough, uneven terrain for the length of the film without stumbling or even hesitating.
I find it far more difficult to believe that a man in a suit, supposedly strapped with water bottles to give the illusion of moving muscles under skin and hair could keep that up, than that the subject was a bipedal ape.
Here is Dr. Daegling’s reply:
You raise an interesting point, and the question of how the terrain at Bluff Creek would effect gait is interesting and presumably testable. My impression (from the film) is that the site is relatively flat and that there were some obstacles to be negotiated. What might be the critical variable is the compliance of the soil and sand and how that affects gait. The wildcard is subject velocity, and with the film speed unknown this is problematic. We can’t even be sure what the distance traversed is during the film sequence. Unfortunately everyone has to deal with estimates of unknown validity here.
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.