Patterson/Gimlin Film a Proven Hoax?

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on April 18th, 2006

I think not… 

What is it with people claiming that the film has been proven a hoax? During the Q & A after Peter Byrne’s talk at the Institute of Texan Cultures a few weeks ago, one person in attendance brought up the fact that Patterson had made a deathbed confession that the film was hoaxed. Where do they get this stuff?



About Craig Woolheater
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.

26 Responses to “Patterson/Gimlin Film a Proven Hoax?”

  1. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    my favorite hoax theory is that Patterson and Gimlin were the victims of a hoax…
    I know I’d just LOVE to chase two men on horseback for miles to dress up in a suit and risk getting shot by a scared hunter or spooked lumberjack.

  2. RocketSeason responds:

    I think that documentary with the guy who claims to be the “man in the suit” changed alot of peoples minds.

    Changed my mind. I mean, come on! that walk is un-canny and that guys body shape is perfect!

  3. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    HaHa… haven’t seen that documentary you are talking about (don’t watch much TV).
    Which one are you referring to?

  4. fuzzy responds:

    I just found a great Site.

    It’s called “Bigfoot Stabilized”, and it is a marvelous detailing of Patty’s figure stabilized in the center of each image, so you can really concentrate on the creature herself, instead of trying to compensate for camera bounce.

    Look at her amazing stride length, her arm length and swing, her musculature flexing, her steady movement! Everything about this version of the film screams “Real Creature” to me!

    Never mind all the pretenders comin’ out of the woodwork ~ obviously some of them are lying, ipso they may ALL be lying!

    Look at this stabilized version, then tell us what you see.

  5. Porkchop responds:

    First off the stabilized footage is fantastic. Nice find.

    Maybe I’m just a newbie and these are obvious questions, but
    1. Why do the bottoms of the Bigfoot’s feet (In the first third of the clip) look like felt bottom wader boots?

    2. Animals move for motivation, what is the Bigfoots motivation? I have never seen an animal walk at this speed. I have seen them walk (run)

    a.Faster, in flight. (obviously not in flight)
    b.More haltingly, to leave but check out the scene. If it looks over its shoulder, why wouldn’t it stop to look over its shoulder, as most any other animal might?
    c. Slowly foraging for food. This one is obviously not looking for a meal.

    d. This is the pace of a herd animal in migration.

    Perhaps the bigfoot is late for something, because frankly that’s about what I look like on my way to teach.

    3. When I see the clip and the arms swinging, I think ‘why doesnt that make her back hair bounce the way my lab’s does when he runs? that can’t all be muscle?’

    The answer may just be my dog is fat, Bigfoot is not.

  6. RocketSeason responds:

    Yeah that stabilized footage is great, but to me, it just helps to solidify the thought in my mind that the Patterson footage is fake.

    It really looks like a guy walking around in a suit. The arms look to be normal human lenght, as does the stride, as does the weight of the movement. It just looks like a guy in a snug fitting fur suit.

    I am an animator, so I make it a point to study human movement. Nothing about this video looks in anyway to be non-human. (other than the thick covering of fur.)

    I think there is much better evidence for bigfoot than this. I really like those audio recordings of bigfoot howls. I think that is good stuff.

  7. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    re: post #5, point number 2

    I’ve seen whitetail deer nervously pause, look back over their shoulders and hesitate when they weren’t sure if what they were looking at was a threat or not (of course once the breezes shift, and they caught wind of me, they were gone)
    True, as noted in your post, they do pause while looking back. But this is not a deer. It’s an unknown cryptid. One must also consider the placement of the eyes here. For a deer, looking back over the shoulder while running might be disastrous. But for a sasquatch, with eyes placed like a humans, this wouldn’t be such a feat.
    I don’t find it so curious that the Patterson/Gimlin creature looks over it’s shoulder as it flees.
    As any hunter will tell you, a curious deer often circles back to check out an area if you are patient. So why wouldn’t a curious Sasquatch look back over it’s shoulder to see what is following it?

  8. kaboobi responds:

    I have always been very intrigued by this footage. But seeing it presented in this manner leads me to believe this it is indeed a fake. Although, it pains me to say it as I would love it to be our shining example of proof positive. But I think the comment about the bottom of the feet in frame 3 is correct. Looks alot like a boot to me. Also the stability of the pictures takes alot away from the creatures alleged non-human movements. The more I see it, the more doubtful I am that it is authentic.

  9. Senor Chubba responds:

    This stabilization is by MK Davis and I believe he has other “movies” where he zooms in on various parts of the body- like the feet, legs and hands. Those closeups address some of the concerns raised above – there is quite a bit more detail in some of those- showing toes flapping, finger curling, muscles bulging, – etc. If you got the links – post them! I’ll see if I can find where I saw them…

  10. kidquid responds:

    Well, hundreds if not thousands of pages have been written about the P-G film. After reading pretty much everything I can find I think it is probably real. The positions put forth by Jeff Meldrum, Grover Krantz, Dmitri Donskoy, and the NASI research make a lot more sense to me rather than those of Ray Wallace, Bob Heironimus, or Greg Long. But check ’em out for yourself. Debate is good! Loren Coleman’s “Bigfoot!” and Christopher Murphy’s “Meet the Sasquatch” are both excellent sources of info about the film, the analyses, and the hoax claims. Of course there are lots of other books out there too.

  11. Chymo responds:

    See my comments in the Disney-Patterson thread.

  12. Jack D. responds:

    IMHO it is very real and the Silver Star Mountain photos as well. These are the only two that I’ve studied that I’m convinced are authentic. Of course, I haven’t studied them all…..yet. My reasoning is on my website.

    Of course not all will agree with me and I’m sure I won’t change many minds.

  13. planettom responds:

    You can go here for an excellent explanation of the “deathbed confession” story/misconception.

  14. dewhurst responds:

    I find it strange that people can ask why Patty would look over her shoulder as she walks away.

    Bigfoot have no natural predators when they are fully grown-I would imagine even Bears would think twice about tangling with something that size and strength.

    Humans they avoid like the plague but are not necessarily scared of-Hence they walk away not bolt like a deer.

    My opinion is that Patty just walks away as she can see no reason to be around these strangers-one of whom is pointing something unknown at her. She then checks over her shoulder as she strolls away to make sure that the humans are still a ‘safe distance’.

    Had Patterson/Gimlin got any closer or let off a shot then I’m sure Patty would have increased her pace.

    All in all its 2006 and with the massive advances in technology (that any would be fakers would not have known about in the 60’s) the film has not been discredited-nor has anyone made anything near as realistic. It looks better than a lot of big Hollywood style monster epics with massive budgets.

    I like to think the film is real and find myself even more convinced every time a new debunker creeps out of the woodwork and fails to discredit the film-surely if it was a man in a suit someone would have been able to prove the film was a fake-after all they have have plenty of time to do so!

  15. RocketSeason responds:

    #14, surely if the film is real someone would have been able to prove the film was real. After all, they have had plenty of time to do so.

  16. Quazie responds:

    This website leads you to the version that is stablized with enhancements, very interesting, i make no judgements on if the patterson film is real or not though, just another interesting look at the famous film.

  17. Mike Smith responds:

    The blog sent by RocketSeason about the guy that clams to be the one in the suit. Yes his walk did look some what the same, and his body did during the filming of the program looked close,but I can show you 50 people that walk the sameway, and most males bodys as they get older start to look the same as his due to the body starting to lose muscle tone. It happens to all of us.

  18. stonelk responds:

    I have seen the stablized pic, I still don’t see the zipper. As to the bottoms of the feet. If the feet are damp sand and soil may cling to them.I hate to wear shoes and rub pine pitch on the soles of my feet in the summer. I have made it as far as 8,000 feet up the side of Mt Adams without boots.Would have gone farther but my feet got cold.

  19. Josh Harris responds:

    You can’t really prove it’s a hoax unless one of them says it is.

  20. wendysjungle responds:

    Oh boy, this is the first time I have seen the stabilized footage. Up until now I had no opinion on the real vs. hoax question, but this footage has me leaning much more towards hoax. There is nothing that looks remotely like any animal in that walk, and everything that looks human!

  21. Mnynames responds:

    Ok…not that I’m advocating that it’s a hoax, as I myself tend to find the footage persuasive, but I have a possible solution to the zipper issue- Maybe there isn’t one. Having big breasts, the suit is obviously custom-made, not just some discount gorilla suit. So perhaps it’s a 2-piece construction, the top of the hairy pants being hidden by overhanging fur from the hairy shirt. If there is any visible seam on it, it seems to me that it is there, at the waist. Has anyone investigated that angle?

  22. Mnynames responds:

    Let me just reiterate that I am not saying that it IS a suit, just proposing a possible explanation if it was one…

  23. youcantryreachingme responds:

    Fuzzy (4) points us to a stabilised version of the footage.

    That site has a second stabilised version which zooms in at various points.

    There is a good description of why each zoom is significant.

    The Bigfoot Researchers Organization, in their Truth Before our Eyes article, goes to great length (pardon the pun) explaining why it is not possible that the figure is a person. The logic is simply that the proportions between arms and legs do not match (taken with the zoomed footage showing hand movement).

    To help simplify the explanation, take a look at the footage. Where do the bigfoot’s right finger tips swing past its leg? At the top of its knee (seen just before it turns around for a look and especially whilst looking backwards and the arm swings forwards – as this view is practically side-on).

    Now stand up and see where your hands come to against your legs.

    Still not sure? Walk a little. Using a normal gait, your knees will not rise anywhere near high enough for your fingertips to come close to your knees.

    Note that this logic (and hence the article’s) depend on the camera being on a horizontal from the bigfoot. If, say, the camera were raised above the bigfoot and looking down, then it could *appear* that the hands move past the knees.

    Knowing a human’s actual arm/leg ratio would enable you to calculate the angle that the camera would have to be above horizontal to acheive that effect. I don’t know the ratio and haven’t got the time, but instinct tells me the camera is not raised anywhere near enough.

    In other words, the arm length is a good point.

    The article’s apparently absurd claim that the actual arm lengths of either human or bigfoot, and even the precise accuracy of the ratio measurements are quite valid.

  24. youcantryreachingme responds:

    Actually, this bigfoot-sized photo of Andre the Giant demonstrates the point nicely.

  25. manycoloredcrow responds:

    All I can say is I have met Bob Gimlin and talked with him at the Bigfoot Daze in Washington State. I found him to be sincere, credible, and adamant that film was no fake, and that he and Roger Patterson could not have afforded to pay any actor anything. The man is deadly serious, if he is a liar, he has fooled me completely. I also met Dr. Grover Krantz, and until his death he maintained that film was consistent with a large, hairy, bipedal, unknown primate. Dr. Krantz discussed at the Bigfoot Daze festival the body movements, of said creature. He talked about how the gait was only possible for a human if you broke bones or put them out of joint. The one that got me is where the Bigfoot turned, and looked at Patterson. It turned its whole body, as an ape would do, because their heads are stuck directly on their shoulders. Watch an ape, if you drop something, either it turns its whole body, or lifts its head up and over. The creature in the film does this exactly. It turns its whole body. Dr. Krantz also said, and so do I, Bob Gimlin is a wise, and well spoken man, but he is no primatologist, and he could not know, nor did Patterson, about ape movement. No one can exactly approximate the creatures movement. Because the creature is simply not human. If you believe nothing else, listen to Bob Gimlin when he speaks. The man is very credible, and tells exactly the same story he did all those years ago. A liar would make mistakes, or variations, and have incosistencies. He tells exactly the same story as years ago. These are all things to think about. If this is a hoax, it has fooled sceintists the world over, and skeptics as well. I personally believe it is exactly what it purports to be a film of a large, unknown, hairy hominid. This is my opinion. Others will undoubtedly reach different ones, I respect that, but I want to be on record that I think Bob Gimlin is neither a liar, crazy, or a hoaxer.

  26. JacK_RabBiT responds:

    Probably ressurecting a dead thread here, but just wanted to note that the arm length as proof for the footage isn’t that strong.

    I can touch my knees standing straight which is kind of freaky but great in sports lol.

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