Just say So-no-no-ma

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 22nd, 2005

Now that Boing Boing has pushed the so-called Sonoma Bigfoot videotape to the fore of public awareness, I suppose a comment here is overdue.

Many of us have known and discussed these recent "Sonoma Bigfoot" images on the internet for awhile. There is more dismay than joy with what we see happening here. Several people are finding it remarkable that the BFRO would step forth to serve as the photographer’s agent during a time when the moneymaking practices of the group are being challenged. Dr. Jeff Meldrum is only the latest of many "curators" to leave the BFRO.

The BFRO’s immediate jump in conclusions that this videotape is an actual record of Bigfoot seems premature. Their site states that they "are confident the Sonoma footage is not fake (i.e. not animation or a man in a costume). This figure is most likely a real sasquatch — a survivor of the gigantopithecus [sic] line of apes."

Of course, if there is any way to prove it is a Bigfoot, just because the videotape is a Sasquatch does not mean it is a Gigantopithecus.

The videotape does seem a bit funny that it shows this "Bigfoot" going back and forth in front of the camera so "it" can be photographed more obviously when the photographer is ready. There’s more problems than positives with it.

All in all, the Sonoma footage seems too good to be true, and law enforcement investigator John Freitas’ examination appears to confirm this.

Freitas caught the eyewitness-photographer Mark Nelson in several mistruths, such as Nelson’s saying he had never heard of Art Bell and yet Nelson posted his so-called experience on Art Bell’s message board on 11-16-2005. Or that Nelson now states he was on a fire road (as per the BFRO), although Nelson clearly stated he was following a "deer trail" ready to cross a gully to Freitas.

Freitas concluded: "The rampant inconsistencies with Mark’s story, his inability to answer questions freely, his contradictory statements and his unwillingness to show the video in the original format all have raised large red flags. The fact that the scene does not match the terrain is in itself deception, and therefore it is my professional opinion this video is a hoax."

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.

6 Responses to “Just say So-no-no-ma”

  1. 2400bc responds:

    If this “Sonoma” footage is the one where it zooms WAY in at the end of the encounter then I am sure it is a hoax. I’ll tell everyone what I told my friend who sent me that little clip the other day.

    The main thing which discredits it to me is how the cameraman zooms completely in on the creature before it goes out of sight – so much that the footage ends in a complete blurr. On the surface this is not particularly strange, but considering how close this creature apparently was to the cameraman – about 40? feet – I just have to ask myself WHY would anyone zoom-in AT ALL unless they were afraid of picking-up too many details of the ape costume? Plus all of the tall grass hiding the details of the “creature” just seems suspicious to me – AND how it walks to the left and then back to the right. Does he think he is a squirrel or something?

    What made the Patterson Bluff Creek footage so amazing to me is two things:

    1) How it gives that hard to describe “gut impression” that we are looking at a real, living creature.

    2) How the cameraman “pursued” the Bigfoot in an attempt at getting as much and as clear of footage as he could before the once-in-a-lifetime encounter was over; trying to steady the camera and being sure it was in focus and stayed in focus.

    In contrast, the “Sonoma” footage looks like it is afraid of filming too much, and zooms in at the end in almost a “maybe this will look like I was really nervous” way. Also, the “creature” looks more like a skinny human in an ape costume than the robust, muscular, and fatty Patterson creature.

    Yes, I suppose a starving Bigfoot would be skinny too, but the important comparison to keep in mind is this: It would be much more difficult to get someone big enough to “fill” and “carry” the suit required at the Bluff Creek sighting than the human-sized “Sonoma” encounter.

  2. Doug responds:

    I do feel the BFRO jumped the gun on this one. There were many questionable aspects about the film, including the gentleman’s just happening to be at the right place at the right time throughout the video. It is reasonable to believe that there could be different sized sasquatches with different builds, and many reports cite “slender” ones, but I am not conviced here. It seems the group has lost much validity and valuable scientific support with this clip.

  3. Scarfe responds:

    “Various people in the BFRO have seen sasquatches in the field and know what they look like. We’ve seen plenty of hoaxed footage over the years as well. With that said, we are confident the Sonoma footage is not fake (i.e. not animation or a man in a costume).” – BFRO

    I’m sorry but this statement just kind of invalidates the whole thing for me right off the bat. Obviously the BFRO believes in Bigfoot, but to approach a video and claim some sort of authenticity because you know what Bigfoot looks like in real life is just so unacceptably uncritical. They’re not even trying to pretend to be skeptical. Wouldn’t the best analysis of a video come from someone who didn’t already believe that Bigfoot existed, let alone that it is a survivor of the gigantopithecus line of apes? By the same logic, just because I claim to have seen the Easter Bunny hopping around my back yard, I can tell that photo/video documentary evidence of something that looks like the Easter Bunny is genuine because, “It looks like what I saw.” I never saw the BFRO as an impartial source, but I can’t help but see this as an obvious example of the availability heuristic fallacy, in which people estimate the probability of an outcome based on how easy that outcome is to imagine.

    Problematic at best, total hoax at the worst.

  4. doc007 responds:

    HOAX—–what is he filming to begin with??? nothing…..before the they see the creature, how much film time??
    Lets go film a GRASSFIELD for 2 seconds and then film “a once in lifetime shot”………love that classic left to right side view walk…..remind you of any other film???????gotta do better than that

  5. CryptoInformant responds:


  6. Loren Coleman responds:

    See an update on this story.

    This is a definite hoax.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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