Blair Dog Project: Gable Film Fakery?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 29th, 2007

Our excitement was so intense, as we saw the way to Solomon’s treasure chamber thrown open at last, that I for one began to tremble and shake. Would it prove a hoax after all, I wondered, or was old Da Silvestra right? Were there vast hoards of wealth hidden in that dark place, hoards which would make us the richest men in the whole world?H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon’s Mines.

It’s time to bring out the silver bullets. Okay, Cryptomundo will stop ignoring the Gable Film, and take up the hunt.

Since September 24, I’ve tried to get some straight answers about a piece of footage that has been floating around the internet, the so-called “Gable Film.” The footage shows, well, let me just say it outloud, what appears to be a “werewolf” and is being promoted as nonfiction.

As the story goes, Michigan disc jockey Steve Cook obtained the rights to the film reportedly taken with an old 8 mm camera. The Gable Film was allegedly found in an estate sale in the lower Peninsula.

Steve Cook’s Michigan Dogman site was created around the song “The Legend” that was allegedly recorded a couple decades ago as a prank. After it aired, folks began calling the radio station and saying they had seen the creature described in the song. Fast forward to this recent “discovered” film that is said to “prove” the “Legend.”

To me this sounds like a song and dance I’ve heard before, too good to be true. But Cryptomundo readers, here’s the footage – and the Dogman site (link below) gets their viewers from Cryptomundo. Below, there is more discussion.

Click to go see the Gable film.

Updates –

I’m not sure how long it will be there, but someone placed it back up on YouTube four days ago:

Chris Noel has also done an enhancement of the more gorilla-like moments of the film now on video:


What do you think?

I wrote Steve Cook about this, being very open with my concerns about this footage:

The Gable Film is a good story, and builds in many ways like The Blair Witch Horror and the discovered film canisters of the Jersey Devil film. As a work of cryptofiction cinema and art, it can stand on its own, without it being declared to be nonfiction. I’ve worked with Haxan Films folks, and understand [after the fact, why they went about] creating of such fakes, planted early, to promote such things.

I am not saying you are doing any of this, but the background of the April Fool’s prank, the Legend, the poetry of it all, the scenario, the unfolding have to be seen as obvious clues. You have to be asked the hard question – is this a piece of creative narrative fiction performance art – before this gets all blown out of proportion and it becomes a cornerstone of supposedly real werewolf lore?Loren Coleman

Steve Cook replied:

First, let me re-state that I do not take a position on the authenticity of evidence presented on Of course I have a personal opinion, but to state it publicly would serve nothing more than to encourage the kind of charges your e-mail implies. The simple answer is, I don’t know what The Gable Film is or what it shows.

I understand fully the scripted nature of this. For that reason, we expended considerable effort having it analyzed by a range of people from a variety of backgrounds. Even though none of those people was able to find an obvious flaw indicating a forgery, I still was very hesitant to release it before we had more answers.

Then a few weeks ago, I offered a private preview of the film to Linda Godfrey’s Yahoo group, the Unknown Creature Spot. Linda and I are old friends, going back some 15 years. I placed the film on YouTube for two days and invited members of UCS view and evaluate it. In that time, the film was pirated by at least three and perhaps many more individuals. That forced my hand, leading to the release of the video now on my website.

The key question you need to ask is, do I stand to gain by releasing a forged film? The answer is no. I have no intention of marketing or selling the Gable Film in any form. I have no desire to do interview shows or speaking tours. If the resulting publicity leads to increased sales of “The Legend,” it will just mean more work packaging and mailing – because I donate the profits from the sale of the CD/DVD set to charity. I put The Gable Film out there because I think it needs to be seen.Steve Cook

Obviously, I understand the gray area inhabited by Steve Cook, but the bottomline is that Mr. Cook did not answer my question with a “yes or no” response.

The footage in fact, I see, is now generating wider and wider discussions as if it is real, across the internet. People want me to state my opinion on Cryptomundo, declare one way or another – or even come out in careful support of the film. Other emails are also coming in, from fans like Melanie, asking me about the “Blair Dog Project.”

Even with offers to look at this frame by frame that is not really illuminating. A deeper analyses of the frames merely will only convey what the creature, costumed or otherwise, looks like more clearly. It actually won’t do too much in revealing the reality behind what was filmed, one way or the other. At this point, this film is only as good as its context and its source. The origins of this footage are cloudy, at best. Unrevealed and untestable, if you believe the stories. A prank, if you consider the history, perhaps. I’ll stop there.

Okay, I won’t beat around the wolfbane, any longer. I don’t buy it. My past experiences and eye for forgeries tell me there’s something here that smells like a fake, a copycatted forgery, with the telltale signs of a found-film, the shaky camera, and the blurry imagery. Steve Cook may be a film genius or he may have been hoaxed, but there’s something that is very off about all of this for me. I think this is cryptofiction, developed out of the traditional folkloric motif of found treasures.

Other than that, until someone comes forth declaring they created the Gable Film to keep the tale going, what else do we all have to go on but our gut?

As I recently noted here about a “Sasquatch” film shown as new on YouTube, these kinds of incidents are sadly piling up in an ever increasing daily body count. Perhaps a whole new division of cryptozoology will have to be cryptocinemahoaxology?

“How would that strike you if you read it?”
“It would strike me as either being a hoax, or else written by a lunatic.”Agatha Christie, The Secret Adversary.

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.

57 Responses to “Blair Dog Project: Gable Film Fakery?”

  1. WhiteTiger responds:

    Loren, are you referring to the “human foot” stills at the Steve Cook site and the conclusion drawn from them? If so, then personally I find them quite suspect in an evidenciary sense.

    The whatsit is plainly standing in a small hollow with the bottoms of all four limbs obscured by the intervening terrain and vegetation. The clipped off view of the left rear leg does give something of the look of a human foot, but bear in mind that the same terrain would cut off the voew of the lower digitigrade leg.

    Given the inconclusive nature of that “proof”, the hoax conclusion based on it goes out the window.

    As I said earlier, hoax is quite possible by any of several means, but the “foot” certainly does not establish that it exists.


  2. john5 responds:

    I agree White Tiger. Steve Cook may have received so much flack, and even from pro cryptozoologists, that they were looking for an easy out to designate the footage a hoax. The supposed ‘human foot’ they highlight on the Dogman website is not clearly human in my opinion. Steve even mentioons that there is no accounting for the superhuman movements of this creature after the foot frames.

    The terrain and grass disrupt a clear view of the lower left leg but the motions of this creature before it charges could not be reproduced by a human on their hands and knees. The sideways motion alone covers far too much ground per side step than what could be provided with the distance between 2 knees. As well when the creature lurtches the rear right leg can be clearly seen in full extension and it is clearly a non-human appendage.

    If one can stop the original footage at 3:09.367 on the film counter 2 ears can be plainly seen on the top of the head. I cannot say for sure that the end of this film is for real but I cannot see any reason for the footage of this creature up to and including the charge that appears contrived given the limited methods I have for analysis.

    When viewing cryptids and other rare subjects caught on film we need to be prepared to see motions and behaviours unlike anything observed previously. The highly unusual can give an instant illusion to a viewer, especially an inexperienced one, that whatever they are seeing is probably a fraud.

    In my books this footage remains as indetermined and somewhat disturbing!


  3. jamesrav responds:

    the phrase “allegedly clearly a hoax” is confusing to me – kind of like when Senator Craig said it was his “intent to resign” after the bathroom escapade, which he has wiggled out of for the time-being. Either it’s proven to be a hoax, or it’s an alleged hoax, it can’t be both at the same time. I will have to see the frames in question, if that was a guy in a costume he moves *really* convincingly, way better than I could do on all fours in a big bulky costume.

  4. Bob K. responds:

    Towards the very end, the creatures shape seems to “blur” pretty noticably, and not in a natural looking sort of way which would indicate swift movement. For this reason, it seems fishy to me. Does anyone else see this?

  5. ithilien responds:

    I’ve been looking for this video everywhere on the internet but was not aware it was called the “gable film”. Great and a bit of a surprise to find it at crypto. Visually it is quite compelling, but as mrdark commented, it falls apart when considered in context.

    As he also stated, the video of the sasquatch crossing the snowy road shot by father and son out getting firewood is more believable, and looks like the creature in my own sighting…large, massive but somewhat lanky from the shoulders down, a very large rounded head. curiously, there seems to be some “morphing” going on there too.

    I’m reminded of the sighting of the “black blob” on the trail that morphed into the standing sasquatch figure that i read o the internet a while back.

    Certainly some c-g expert would be able to tell if the morphing could be done digitally, but wouldn’t the movement be too fast for a human to hoax?

    If mrdak loves hoaxes, he should read The Trickster and the Paranormal by hansen.

  6. starburst7596 responds:

    I was listening to my dad tell stories about himself when he was younger and he told me a story about him and his whole family seeing a weird animal cross the street so we listened to a coast to coast podcast and a lady described the creature that was in the gable film and the description fit what my dad had saw perfectly..We watched the gable film and then we watched a video of a bear charging a man..the zigzag pattern the creature in the gable film was using to charge the man was almost the same pattern the bear used to charge the man…but when the creature turns its head you can see its not a bear and how it goes from bulky to skinny is definately not a bear..we then saw still frames of the gable film and i noticed that in one frame it looked like a deformed GIANT chihuahua…but in another frame we noticed that ALL four paws were off the ground which is impossible for any person in a suit to do…now the lady also said that some people have been chased well ive been researching everything that people say it kinda looked like..and well i started reading about wolves and taking notes and one of my notes said that their body is made for chasing large prey which is what the creature in the gable film does…and wolves are very intelligent well the creature my dad saw was intelligent because he didnt want people to know about it…so yeah this is why i think this creature is real maybe not the one in the gable film but still…by the way im only 13 and im investigating the area where my dad saw it in the 70’s which is when the gable film was filmed…did you ever say why you dont think this is real????

  7. Voidmaster responds:

    Hey guys, I’m new around here. This topic itself finally got me to join, though I had been thinking about it for a while.

    Anyway, I don’t know what the creature in the film is, but I’ve got a pretty good idea that it isn’t a guy in a suit.

    My reason?
    Well, at one point the in question leaps over something(I presume a log), and from what I can see, all four of its feet leave the ground at the same time, and all four of its feet land at the same time.

    Humans can’t do this. When I observed this I was actually curious enough to try, and I ended up with a face full of concrete floor when I was done. (I probably looked like an idiot too, but at least I discovered valuable information.)

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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