Patterson’s Assassination

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 20th, 2006

Roger Patterson

FATE May 2004
Book Reviews Page 82-83
The Making of Bigfoot: The Inside Story
By Greg Long

New York: Prometheus Books (New York), 2004, 475 pages; $25

Greg Long’s book is not so much about Bigfoot as it is a well-orchestrated character assassination of Roger Patterson, the man holding the camera at Bluff Creek, California, on October 20, 1967, who allegedly filmed Bigfoot. (Patterson died in 1972.) At 475 pages, it is badly in need of more editing and less about when Greg Long eats chocolate doughnuts (p. 354). Two-thirds of this book is mostly flowery prose that you will have to endure to locate the kernel of the story. That core turns out to be a "he said/he said" tale viewed through Greg Long’s biased sunglasses.

The psychological warfare this book engages in is in evidence from one end of the text to the other. For example, Long wastes no opportunity to frame Roger Patterson using the phrase "little man," 14 times in the first nine pages of chapter one. (Some of the characterizations are extremely harsh, e.g. "the puny little man on his little white horse," p. 22.)

Long has also filled the book full of "innocent" mistakes and interpretations; including these examples:

– Getting the chronology wrong about when Sasquatch researcher John Green got into the field, saying he began with the 1958 Bluff Creek finds (p. 34).

– Projecting psychological feelings on people (e.g. Long writes on p. 452 of a London conference’s preview of the "man-in-the-suit" confession, "much to Coleman’s embarrassment," which, of course, is ridiculous).

– Misidentifying Ivan T. Sanderson, the well-known Scottish zoologist who lived in America, as a "botanist" (p. 163)

– Talking of court records that show that plywood was found in Bob Gimlin’s garage and Gimlin was charged with receiving stolen property. Long reports that the charges were later dismissed (pp. 169-170). What Long forgets to tell his readers, which the Gimlin family shared with me, is that Bob Gimlin was working for the city at the time and the person that told him to store the plywood was his boss, the Chief of Police. Greg Long has chosen what he wants to place in his book in the making of his case. By the time you get to the "confession" of Bob Heironimus (pp. 336ff), the alleged "guy-in-the-suit," you don’t know what or whom to believe. Heironimus started shopping around his story in 1998, according to media reports not mentioned in this book, to try to get some financial rewards from the tabloid The Sun.

Then Heironimus hooked up with Greg Long.

Heironimus’s story is as full of holes as the elusive Bigfoot suit surely must be, if it ever existed and could be found again in 2004. Several questions remain open thanks to Long’s narrative. Most are technical ones, but a few that obviously leap out include:

– When and where did Heironimus meet Patterson and Gimlin?

– Was it a three- or six-piece suit? The book gives both stories.

– Was the alleged Bigfoot suit created from a hide of a red horse skinned by Patterson or an artificial gorilla suit from a guy in North Carolina? The book details both origins.

– Did the Carolina suit maker get paid by Patterson or not? He has said one thing in the book and another to a reporter recently.

– Was Heironimus first approached by Gimlin as noted in the book, or by Patterson, as mentioned on a publicity appearance on MSNBC?

– How did the hair-covered breasts (seen in the October 20, 1967 footage) get on the front of the supposed three- or six-piece "gorilla" suit – despite Long’s "thought" that maybe they were "attached black balloons filled with sand"?

Of course, there’s more to the filming of Bigfoot than meets the eye. An open-mind about all aspects of this melodrama is helpful, but after you wade through this torturous book, you will walk away unsatisfied. I look forward to future examinations of the film. In the meantime, the Patterson-Gimlin footage remains worthy of our time as possible evidence of a filmed furry cryptid primate. And evidence of Bigfoot exists beyond the legacy of Roger Patterson and Greg Long.

– Loren Coleman

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

23 Responses to “Patterson’s Assassination”

  1. BurningStarFour responds:

    Thank you Loren now I don’t have to buy this failed attempt at debunking. I’ve read other reviews that would agree with yours, so it seems right on target. I do wonder why Mr. Long is so bitter though.

  2. busterggi responds:

    I partly retract my comment to the following post. Even if I could read this free from the library I’d pass on it.

    Character assassination of the late Bob Gimlin and promoting a proven liar like Wallace are not something i want to waste my reading time on.

  3. rifleman responds:

    Thanks for the heads up.

  4. Loren Coleman responds:

    Bob Gimlin is alive; Roger Patterson is not.

  5. lastensugle responds:

    So much have been claimed when it comes to the P/G Film, I really can’t bother anymore until someone actually makes a professional, scientific analysis of the footage, in order to let us know what we’re looking at. I’ve always seen a living creature in that footage.

    busterggi, you mention “the late Bob Gimlin”. He’s still alive!

  6. LSU_Crypto responds:

    I have always believed that film to depict a real sasquatch. Two cowboys with no technical knowledge of anatomy could not have pulled such a convincing hoax.

  7. DARHOP responds:

    Wouldn’t waste my $ or time on that book…I am reading BIGFOOT the true story of apes in America right now… And I must say that it is very interesting indeed… You can tell when some one has done some research… Good Book Loren…


  8. mememe responds:

    Im working on a New Bigfoot Book , my take on the whole Patterson thing is that Bigfoot was real.. Only the Cowboys were faked…

  9. Scarfe responds:

    The whole thing sounds like a mess.

  10. greywolf responds:

    I don’t read fiction or sci fi stuff

  11. joppa responds:

    Does the original film exist? Is it available for review and or study? I am sure the film was studied in the past, but has it been available for analysis in the past 5 years?

  12. longrifle48 responds:

    Question for the crypto faithful to ponder:

    If the Patterson movie is a fake, then why have all subsequent bigfoot witness taken movies failed to mirror the Patterson creature exactly?

    Cuz my fellow faithful, Patterson’s bigfoot is not a fake!

    I lived in Yakima for 2 years, stationed at the army base there, leaving shortly after Mt. St. Helen’s erupted the first time.

    Bob Gimlin was, and probably still is, as honest as honest gets.

  13. MrInspector responds:

    Why does everyone think Bob Gimlin is dead? He’s not dead! He’s just quiet.

  14. matty777 responds:

    The size of Patty is quite bulky. No way that is as suit!

  15. barharborbigfoot responds:

    Your absolutely right. Greg Long’s pitiful book is nothing but a character assassination aimed at making money. The book is a true travesty, and those of us who believe that his description of events is misguided need to say so publicly at ver opportunity. I thank you Loren for taking the time and energy to critique the book professionally. I hope Greg feels good picking a fight with someone who died thirty years ago. I think we all know who the “little man” is.

  16. YourPTR! responds:

    It’s interesting you have commented on this book now as I was just reading yesterday the reviews to Long’s book on Amazon. After reading them I am now more inclined to believe that what was filmed on that day was a real Bigfoot creature. It certainly looks real and Long’s debunking attempt is far from convincing.

  17. YourPTR! responds:

    If the film is such a fake why is it that no one can recreate it including the one who allegedly was in the suit? The BBC spent the most so far on trying to recreate the film but failed miserably. Their recreation attempt was obviously a man in a suit and looked nothing like the original. The creature in the P/G film just looks so massive, life like and difficult to hoax, especially when you consider this film is nearly 40 years old.

  18. Roboo8 responds:

    I am going to say this again as I say it to everybody who says the Patterson film is a hoax. I want to see somebody else build a suit like the one in the film. If this guy in North Carolina did, have him make another one. It should be easy this time, after all he claims he made the first one. Even in Harry and the Hendersons, it looked like a man in a suit. Somebody should check Mr Heironimus’ money background. I bet he is hurting for money.

  19. mystery_man responds:

    Yeah, the idea that these guys got together and made a suit that has fooled everybody, including experts, for so long and that nobody can reproduce is about as preposterous as they claim the PG film to be. At what point does a skeptic’s theories get as farfetched as they claim Bigfoot to be?

  20. mystery_man responds:

    Another thing that would be interesting if this is a suit is why they would want to make one with breasts. For what? To make it more beleievable? Let’s remember that not only would this had added to the expense of making the suit, but it would have also presented more chances for the thing to look fake. It just seems that making a suit that has breats would be an odd, expensive, and risky choice to make. If they had a suit with the musculature that Patty has, that looks as convincing as she does to so many people, why go through the added trouble of adding breasts?

  21. ToddPartain responds:

    I’ve always said, that IF the Patterson footage was fake, it’s the best one ever and no one else has even come close. We recently shot a large, bigfoot suited individual on old motion picture film to emulate the look of the patterson footage for a documentary film, and in my own opinion,even though I was thrilled with my results, I failed to deliver as good a sequence as the Patterson footage. The writer(s) of this book need to get a life.

  22. DWA responds:

    I can’t add a thing, except piling some more trash on to trash that deserves it.

    I read all the “little mans” in the preview on Amazon, and that did it for me. Long could be one of the bitterest people who ever lived.

    I still say this: there is only one way to debunk the Patterson-Gimlin film: recreate it, from scratch, with a man in a suit.


    1) you will show yourself a decidedly second-rate faker; or

    2) we got a real live sasquatch here.

    I’m not acquainted much with Matt Crowley; maybe someone can help out here. He has an interesting interview on the SRI site, in which he says that Chambers made the suit out of “parts he had lying around,” and that the actor in the suit “practiced a compliant gait.” Huh!?!??!?!?! Not only could Grover Krantz tell when he talked to Patterson that he was in over his head when it came to that biomechanical stuff; isn’t it the Patterson film that is the source of all we know about the animal’s walk?

    Crowley does, unlike some, try to hold himself to standards. But he’s way off here.

  23. YourPTR! responds:

    Chambers was adamant, during an interview shortly before his death, that he had absolutely nothing to do with the P/G film. This was the man of course who was the most competent make up artist/costume designer at the time the film was recorded and therefore the most likely to be able to pull off a hoax. But he said, not only did he have nothing to do with it, he only wished he was that good! (An executive from Disney also said they would not be able to recreate the film either!) So if Chambers, the one who was most capable of creating a successful hoax had nothing to do with the P/G film, the idea that a couple of cowboys from Yakima could have pulled off such a spectacular hoax by themselves that has fooled so many for so long seems quite preposterous!

Leave your comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

|Top | Content|

Connect with Cryptomundo

Cryptomundo FaceBook Cryptomundo Twitter Cryptomundo Instagram Cryptomundo Pinterest


Creatureplica Fouke Monster Sybilla Irwin


|Top | FarBar|

Attention: This is the end of the usable page!
The images below are preloaded standbys only.
This is helpful to those with slower Internet connections.