15th Anniversary: Memorial Day “Bigfoot” Footage

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 29th, 2011

memorial day bf

No other piece of Bigfoot film has become so tied to one specific holiday on the calendar as one taken in 1996. For those that say we only have the Patterson-Gimlin film to talk about, they forget about the mystery of this moment encounter saved on moving pictures.

Fifteen years ago, on Memorial Day, video footage of an alleged Sasquatch was captured and named after this holiday.

Some have declared that the second-best piece of Bigfoot film/video footage, after the Patterson-Gimlin film, is this series of moving pictures, while others give their vote to the Redwoods footage. Needless to say, other films and videos receive various researchers’ attention, depending upon their points of view or focal areas of study. Truly, to each to their own, of course, but the name of this video will automatically have a temporal reminder tied to it.

The Memorial Day video is a Hi-8mm video that is purported to show a rapidly moving Bigfoot, going from left to right. It was videotaped on May 26, 1996, by Lori Pate while they were on a fishing trip with family and friends at Chopaka Lake, in Okanogan County, north central Washington. (Some credit the footage to both Lori and Owen Pate.) It was preceded by two sightings of an anthropoid, hair-covered seemingly bipedal hominoid, at lesser distances, by others on the trip.

The Memorial Day video shows a figure, matching the description of a Bigfoot, running across a hill. It disappears behind a less-inclined, sloped area, then reappears briefly, walking this time, before going into the trees at the extreme right of the frame.

This is the third clip analyzed in the program Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science (the so-called Exhibit 8). The History documentary produced and directed by Doug Haijcek (today most recalled for “MonsterQuest”), was released January 9, 2003. In the hour-long program, the location where the Memorial Day footage was taken is used to make forensic measurements to determine the film subject’s height, path, speed, and stride by measuring the subject against fixed objects in the background.

Derek Prior, a three-time All-American sprinter from the University of Washington, runs the same route as the filmed figure to determine if the alleged Bigfoot’s running speed was too fast for a human to duplicate, to compare his speed and stride to the subject’s, and to give a visual comparison to the figure in the footage.

In the concluding segment of Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science, the results of the forensic measurements are revealed. The film subject – supposedly a Bigfoot – has the following alleged measurements:

A height of 5.3 ft (1.61 m)
A leg length of 2½ ft (0.76 m)
A running speed of 8.56 mph (13.77 km/h)
A stride of 4.25 ft (1.29 m)

Derek Prior, a Homo sapiens, on the other hand, was able to run the same path at 17.1 mph (27.51 km/h) and had a stride of 6.8 ft (2.07 m).

One aspect of the film continues to remain a mystery. At the end of the Memorial Day footage, before the subject disappears into the tree line, it seems to grow taller by 8 inches (20.32 cm). One possible explanation was suggested that if it was indeed a real animal, it could be carrying a younger animal that had climbed higher on its back.

As the years have passed, more and more skeptics within the Bigfoot field have surfaced, regarding the footage. It has been pointed out that Dr. Grover Krantz decided to avoid any discussions of the Memorial Day footage when he revised his book on Sasquatch, commenting that “he wouldn’t waste ink on that footage.”

It appears Daniel Perez has become one of the most outspoken critics from within Bigfootery to question the footage. He wrote, for example, in part:

When the Memorial Day footage is displayed, the audio is silent without any narrative explaining why. If the producers of the program felt the remarks made on camera were racist, they could have bleeped the questionable dialog. The real reason, I believe, is that the audio is both illuminating and revealing.

Here are excerpts of the audio:

“He was right behind that small pine tree, right?”
“I’m freak.”
“Yeah, I’m scared.”
“I could make a million bucks.”
“That’s a guy with a big hair cut. . . .”
“Sure is ambitious, running a lot. . . .”
“It’s a Bigfoot.”
“That’s not a Bigfoot. . . .”
“It’s a Dickfoot.”
“It’s all on video!”
“I’ve only had two drinks.”
“Me, too, two too many.”

And somewhere in the audio, as the subject comes into view is this: “looks like a white boy to me,” a statement made without a doubt by the late Fred Bradshaw, an avid Bigfooter from Elma, Washington. Having known Fred Bradshaw since 1995, his voice is easily recognizable. Isn’t it convenient, or too convenient, that a Bigfooter would be present when a camping couple just happens to film a Bigfoot? What was Fred Bradshaw’s connection to Owen and Lori Pate? And why has the couple never acknowledged Bradshaw was there? Their reluctance to be interviewed or questioned on the matter speaks volumes. ~ Daniel Perez, 2007

Since there are new readers here, what do you think?

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.

4 Responses to “15th Anniversary: Memorial Day “Bigfoot” Footage”

  1. Kopite responds:

    I’m still on the fence wth this one. On the one hand I don’t have a ‘gut feeling’ that it’s a real sasquatch and the size and speed isn’t impressive. On the other hand the lack of any slippage during the run across the hillside and the curious ‘growth/movement’ at the end (that isn’t a mask lift in my opinion)makes me think “hmmmmmmmmmmm”.

    Mark me down as a boring ‘maybe, maybe not’.

  2. Lu Ann Lewellen responds:

    Fred Bradshaw’s voice is not in the audio. He was ill and not there that day. This wasn’t an easy location to get to. The voice in question belongs to Tom Lines, the outfitter. Rick Noll confirmed with family members it was not Fred Bradshaw’s voice. I don’t know why this myth continues to circulate.

    Some of those comments were from the boy – the “million bucks” comment, for instance – and the outfitter who joked about seeing a pink elephant on the lake earlier. What’s incriminating about a kid saying something like that?

    Lines described seeing flowing hair on the forearms through binoculars during the last few seconds of the run. On a really hi res screen I think I see this too, not flapping clothing.

    Eleven years later a fisherman reported having seen a large male at Lake Chopaka that weekend. Owen Pate saw something large when he went to check out the “monkey face”, not a small female. Small family group in the area perhaps?

  3. InTheGloaming responds:

    I never believed this was a Sasquatch and I can’t believe that this piece of video it is still such a hot topic 15 years later. Grover Krantz called it on this one, its a total waste of time.

  4. dermal_ridges_are_proof responds:

    What’s telling (after the official analysis) is that the figure is only 5’3” (a little bigfoot) if it’s contrived comedy footage to feed to the masses, then it fails as there’s no sense of scale; we aren’t able to chuckle at the ‘little urchin’ in motion, as we can‘t tell it‘s a ‘small un‘!

    I wonder if more likely it was a ‘set piece’ planned in advance, perhaps for the amusement of the people present and a joke aimed at the well known ’big footer’ in their midst, at least on paper that might seem probable.

    That’s not to say that I don’t want to believe!

    I think for the future we have cause to be optimistic as I believe the ‘law of averages’ will definitely prevail; one day we’ll get footage on a par with the P.G. footage, or better! Lenses are everywhere, and after a hundred or so (insert your own figure) inconclusive ’blobsquatches’ etc have appeared on the internet, a real gem will surface, it‘s inevitable!

    Through the law of averages! ….We will ultimately be vindicated (told you so) !!!

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