Yakima Organizers & Excluded Send Cryptomundo Comments

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 15th, 2009

Based on the news and details contained in “Yakima Bigfoot Round-Up Opens With Controversy,” the organizers and the excluded have sent Cryptomundo separate statements.

First, I want to reproduce a helpful quick summary from the JREF (a skeptic’s forum that freely reproduces material from Bigfoot sites). It actually gives a trim overview into the reasons behind recent events leading up to the upset linked to the Yakima Bigfoot Round-Up. The summary has been shared online and was written by kitakaze (a Tokyo, Japan-based skeptic) on what he sees as having happened:

Bob Gimlin, of the Patterson-Gimlin Film, alleged witness to the filming of a Bigfoot in 1967 is the center of an event this weekend on May 16th called The Yakima Bigfoot Round-Up. The organizers of this event are Paul Graves, Tom Yamarone, and James “Bobo” Fay. The organizers had used the BFF [e.g. Bigfoot Forum] to promote their event to members for many months and offered a waiting list for tickets. One person on the list was a fellow enthusiast, Scott Herriott. Recently, Herriott was notified by Yamarone that he was denied attendance and would not be welcome because of perceived insults to Bob Gimlin’s integrity. After this denial was posted on the BFF it was shown that the slight in question was reservations Herriott had expressed four years earlier in a post at the BFF where he relayed the words of writer Greg Long’s book on the Patterson-Gimlin Film whom refers to an arrest warrant for theft by Gimlin. Herriott was arguing that there might be at least some reason not to argue that Gimlin was beyond reproach.

Fellow organizer James “Bobo” Fey [sic – should be Fay] then told Herriott that they were doing him a favour by denying access to the event and that those doubts he had expressed four years ago would result in him being physically assaulted should he attend. Paul Vella, after learning details of the events, demanded that Yamarone and Fey apologize for their actions and told them they would no longer be allowed to use his forum to promote and event which discriminated against certain members of the board. Yamarone refused and threatened to claim copyright control on any pictures taken at the event (like an idiot) so that the photos could not be posted at the BFF. Paul then closed all threads related to the Gimlin event and resigned from the AIBR, which presumably the organizers were involved with as well.

Tom Yamarone

James “Bobo” Fay

Paul Graves

The events’ organizers have forwarded an email comment to Cryptomundo at mid-day.

They first wish to clarify the sense of this event, as noted, for example by Roger Knights in a comment to Cryptomundo, when he wrote: “This gathering isn’t like the average open-to-all conference….It’s akin to a tribute dinner, where attendees are either invited by the organizers or approved by them…”

Actually, the organizers appear to disagree with this and write:

This was a not a ‘private or invitation only’ event. It sold out very fast. And we processed over 75 people off a waiting [list].
Tom Yamarone
Paul Graves
James “Bobo” Fay

They note that “John Green and Rick Noll are unable to attend.”

The Round-Up’s three chairs then go into their decision to exclude Scott Herriott, the fallout from that and other points:

The situation with that arose was unfortunate, but we feel it was the right choice….we weren’t hosting this to be a debate of the P-G film….

We regret the interaction at the bigfootforums. I (Tom) have tried to retract my “no reporting from the round-up (to the bigfootforums, specifically)” post and the moderators would not alter it. So be it. I won’t have time to post a retraction – that was the offer I received yesterday.

We will permit photographs and, of course, reporting from the event.

Re: the press, none have contacted us. We have planned to set aside some time Sunday morning, post event, if there were interested individuals from the press.

We planned this event to discuss the best evidence for the sasquatch and also to analyze the Patterson-Gimlin film. We’re also having a tribute to the achievement of Bob Gimlin and Roger Patterson and also the contribution to this field by John Green.

We’re excited. People are arriving today and we are thrilled to organize and host an event to give Bob Gimlin the recognition he deserves.

Thank you. We’ll be glad to send updates when we can.
take care,
Tom Yamarone
Paul Graves
James “Bobo” Fay

May 15, 2009.

That email came in at 12:50 PM Eastern, and then at 1:43 PM Eastern, Scott Herriott sent in a statement to be exclusively shared on Cryptomundo.

Scott Herriott

Here is Herriott’s statement:

Following an inquiry into getting tickets for the Yakima Bigfoot Round-Up this year, on May 8th I received an email from one of the organizers that said I wasn’t being allowed to attend because “…you have publicly criticized the footage and have thought it to be most likely a hoax. that right there impugns bob’s character and honesty…”

To begin with, questioning and analyzing something is not the same as “criticizing” it.

I responded to the organizer with mentioning the possibility that perhaps Bob IS telling the truth about what he perceived to be the truth about the events at Bluff Creek that day but was somehow duped (which, by the way, Gimlin acknowledged as a possibility, though remote in his mind, during a phone interview on a Bigfoot TV special back in the early ’90s).

There was no response to this from the organizer.

I’ve stated several times at bigfootforums.com as well as the podcast “The Bigfoot Show” that Gimlin, in my opinion, appears sincere. I have never claimed he is lying about what happened that day at Bluff Creek.

Could he be? Of course.

Could he have actually witnessed an unclassified upright primate that day? Absolutely.

The only person who knows that for sure (barring the “Gimlin was duped” scenario) is Gimlin himself (along with, IF it was a hoax, anyone partaking in it who may still be alive).

I thought it would perhaps be enlightening and cool to meet the man and see him speak in person. Perhaps my leaning toward it being a hoax would have changed.

I had no intent of hurling vegetables at the man, wheeling out a portable lie detector or seeing if Bob H. would be willing to swing in from the rafters like Peter Pan (as potentially amusing and surreal as that may be).

I hope all those attending have a great time and if they see someone lurking in the bushes on the periphery of the event it’s either me, a rogue squatch or Loren doing a follow-up. 🙂

Scott Herriott
May 15, 2009.

Late updates

Besides Scott Herriott being asked to “not attend” the Yakima event, more names are being disclosed.

Joe Beelart writes that Todd “Toddzilla” Neiss sent a post to a list in which he identified two other people who were not invited to Yakima. One was Peter Byrne, and the other was Joe Beelart. Beelart has more fully written, wishing to clarify some things at Cryptomundo.

He emails, for publication, the following:

This was my response. This is my permission for you to put it on your site, if you wish. Please note Todd – Toddzilla Neiss as my good friend and long-time associate.

It’s a good thing my very good friend Toddzilla brought up this subject at this time. Thank you Todd.

I wrote a speculative analysis of the Bluff Creek film and subsequent timeline based on Critical Path Analysis, common in industry and construction.

My conclusion was that there is an untold story about what happened down there. I did not make any conclusions about the film.

Most importantly, I theorized nothing about killings.

In the last meeting of the old Western Bigfoot Society, I plainly stated that what Bob Gimlin says about what happened, is what happened. I was recorded by several people.

M.K. Davis, who is my friend, supposedly originated the major controversial theory.

I have no further interest in Bluff Creek. I have been in or around the area at least seven times now. I have been to all the mentioned sites, drove the roads, etc. But as I said, I have no further interest in Bluff Creek.

Yes, I was asked not to come to Yakima.

But it wasn’t over gun fire. The event is a celebration of a good man’s life, the life of Bob Gimlin. It was thought by the organizers that my presence might not be in concert with the event. I agree.

I am not in this “business” to make enemies, or people unhappy.

It would have been nice to have gone, but due to my sometimes bullheaded attitudes, I ruined my opportunity.
Joe Beelart
May 15, 2009.

Melissa Hovey, over at The Search for Bigfoot, weighs in on all of this. One point she makes, seems a fitting insightful end for now:

Once again we are reading about drama. Drama that in no way helps solve a mystery. Anger took over and the researchers are sitting back and wondering “what the hell just happened?”

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.

9 Responses to “Yakima Organizers & Excluded Send Cryptomundo Comments”

  1. yetifan responds:

    Loren, nice job on both postings regarding this issue. However, could you have found two worse pictures of me online? 🙂

  2. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    And, once again, Melissa makes a most salient point in a minimum amount of space…

  3. MelissaHovey responds:

    I can get some Yeti – and forward them to Loren 😉


  4. Loren Coleman responds:

    Late updates note three people being discussed as having been excluded from the event.

  5. Andrew Minnesota responds:

    It’s like “Mean Girls” but with grown men 😛

  6. cryptidsrus responds:

    Yep—anger can make people do extreme stuff.

    To be honest, this is quite pathetic. And further gives skeptics or just “doubters” ammunition.
    The last thing the field needs is accusations of “political correctness” or “unwillingness to debate.” Particularly since those who make those accusations are often the first ones who engage in behavior like that. It distorts ths search for truth.

    Melissa—couldn’t have said it better myself. 🙂

  7. DWA responds:

    I’m with Melissa.

    Sheesh. And yes, science can be like this too. (Just ask Pluto how science can be.) But heat like this tends to deflect light.

  8. hudgeliberal responds:

    Just a sad story all the way around. I have been a sasquatch enthusiast/researcher since I first learned of the creatures as a tot in the early 70’s and have studied this field for a few decades now,about 2 years ago,after lurking online and staying in the background,I started to get involved in the online community responding to blogs,exchanging emails,listening and participating in blogtalk chats and podcasts. I have met some very nice and intelligent people but it seems those people get overshadowed by those making outrageous habituation or paranormal claims. Now,the ever present discord among researchers flares up again during what was supposed to be a celebration of what,IMO,is the most important few minutes of nature film ever taken and one of the men responsible for that film. Now,I can understand both sides on this. I can understand the organizers not wanting people to come and start debating the film(not what the event is about) and calling into question the character of Mr. Gimlin,however,I can also see the point of Mr. Herriot,who always conducts himself with class and has always made people smile. I do not think that Mr. Herriot would have disrupted the proceedings and that should have been handled a bit better. So,while I understand both sides,what I dont understand is why our community constantly shoots itself in the foot. There will always be tension between the realistic flesh and blood crew and the whacked out paranormal and habituation believers,but to see those who really should be on the same page get down in the muck is just too much. Between the lies of the paranormal crowd and the drama queens/kings of both sides…it is enough to make one just stick to themselves and go about the research alone. Sad,because if we could just get along and work together so much progress could be made and if we could act like mature adults maybe mainstream science would give this field a better look and with that would come the funding needed to make REAL progress. Sigh……

  9. BFilmFan responds:

    The reporting is great Loren.

    I want to thank you for always maintaining a fair and balanced view on the cryptids. You are polite and respectful to everyone, including the sceptics of the Patterson-Gimlin film, such as myself.

    Frankly, sceptics and believers that aren’t willing to listen to a differing view and debate the relative merits in an honest, open and respectful manner are obviously afraid that someone might learn the truth, whatever it is.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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