In Celebration of Bigfoot’s Patty

Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 20th, 2007


Lost in the sands of time is the proper credit for the first person who called the large-breasted Bigfoot filmed with a hand-held camera by Roger Patterson on October 20, 1967, by the name Patty.

But Patty she is and Patty she will remain.

Here are some popular culture views of how artists and others have remembered hominology’s Patty on the way to her big 40th film debut anniversary. After today, she may not wish to give out her real age to visitors.

Patterson Bigfoot

Jeff H. Johnson’s sculpture of the Patterson Bigfoot (above and below) is a resin model, and not exactly a toy.

Patterson Bigfoot

But a children’s Bigfoot toy is popping up all over the country, being resupplied into shops, just in time for the holidays.

Accoutrements Bigfoot

I include the apparently male Accoutrements Bigfoot action figure (above) as it can be posed into the classic Patty walk. While doing on-site mobile research on Exchange Street in Portland this week, I saw one of these displaying the Patty clone position in the front window of the Treehouse Toys store. It was positioned right there next to the mammoths, elephants, and armadillos, shown as part of the natural history of the figurine landscape.

Needless to say, since I already own two, I didn’t have to buy the Bigfoot figure, but I did venture inside Treehouse Toys to capture some more animals from their excellent Schleich collection for the International Cryptozoology Museum. (More on animal figurines and models next week, and their importance in the cryptozoological education process.)

NagleWorks Bigfoot

The more massive but fragile (nearly twice as tall and made from plaster) NagleWorks Bigfoot (above) is also of a male version of Patty, doing the famed arm swing. However, the configuration of the face and body is much more graphic comic novel-like.

And you don’t have to look too far for those comix images. How about art by Richard Corben on the Rob Zombie and Steve Niles comic book?

Rob Zombie Steve Niles Bigfoot

The more female Patty is displayed in a Long Island park, the creation of artist Cameron Gainer, shown here, on the right. But the sculpture reportedly has not attracted any juvenile Sasquatch males looking for a date.

Long Island Bigfoot

In the works on Fate covers by R. Crumb, there is no doubt of the tribute to Patty – although the imagery is all Crumb (thank goodness):

FATE Magazine Bigfoot

FATE Magazine Bigfoot

Is Patty an iconic image? She is.

Why should we be surprised that so many have copied her, so exactly?

Hey, you have even, of course, seen the walk in copycat form by an elder male who probably didn’t have that stomach 40 years ago. And yet he makes claims he walks like Patty. Frankly, I don’t buy it; we can all walk like Patty. Just don’t lock your knees and watch the film a few times.

So let Patty be Patty, at least for today:


Click here for more on the Patterson Gimlin Bigfoot Film’s 40th Anniversary.

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.

17 Responses to “In Celebration of Bigfoot’s Patty”

  1. Bob K. responds:

    As they say, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” We often get caught up in the complaining mode, i.e. I can’t believe that we haven’t had any footage as good as P/G for 40 years now. Sometimes, it’s smart just to be grateful for what we DO have. Just think; where would we be if we didn’t have Patty?

  2. Ceroill responds:

    Thanks again, Loren.

  3. Doug responds:

    Regardless of what you think as to her existence, she is a cultural icon now.

  4. jamesrav responds:

    I’ll give Bob H. credit, he has mimicked that few frames very well. I do wonder how much ‘scaling’ down was done to make them match up – if Bob is 6′ tall, and the photos showing a guy 6’5″ superimposed precisely over Patty indicate the film’s subject is at least 6’8″ – that’s just too much to difference to swallow.

  5. Jess-the-ICM-Docent responds:

    The clarity of the P/G footage L.C. posted really shows the fat on Patty’s right thigh rippling. As a woman, I feel for her. As a skeptical believer, I have to say that a human in a Bigfoot costume would unlikely show that sort of natural, rippling fat. Unless that human was naked, real hefty and wearing a fur-unitard, which somehow seems unlikely (I wouldn’t do it). So I’m convinced at this point that it’s credible evidence. You go, girl!

  6. Cryptid Hunt responds:

    Patty will always be remembered! 🙂

  7. Chris Noel responds:

    Can it be that after hundreds of viewings, I notice now for the first time that she takes a kind of unsure step–about the third step in the clip at the top of this post? She’s looking back and not quite paying attention to her footing. Fascinating. Just goes to show that with such a rich piece of film, one never ceases seeing new things. Thanks, Loren

  8. bill green responds:

    hey loren & everyone wow.. another very informative new article about the p/g sasquatch filmfootage. interesting above photos as well. thanks bill green 🙂

  9. Nachzehrer responds:

    I suggest a bronze “Patty” be awarded for “Outstanding Contribution to Cryptozoology” at a black-tie reception every October 20th.

    If not black-tie, how about plaid flannel?

  10. bucko responds:

    I gotta say I’ve always believed Patty to be a real Bigfoot. Always. Of course I grew up in the ’70’s when Bigfoot was hot!


  11. robtastic responds:

    one of the few pieces of evidence that keeps me wondering if sasquatch is real.

  12. Bexta responds:

    The first thing I noticed was the jiggling fat too, that would be very hard to replicate I would imagine, especially in the 60s

  13. wshinhamjr responds:

    As a highly interested 13 year old when the film showing Patty was first made public, I instantly thought it was a fake and actually kind of funny. Now, years later with the ability to analyze the object of the file much better I must admit that if this is indeed was a fake they did a superb job on the costume and it has withstood scrutiny to this day. The who setting just seemed too theatrical with the horse rearing, Patty appearing, and walking calmly away, especially when viewed with the entire event surrounding it. It would seem preposterous not to be a rehearsed shooting but the bigfoot does indeed look very convincing indeed. The breasts, the hair being thin almost rubbed off at various places yet really dark and thick around the neck just seems not to indicate a suit.

  14. wshinhamjr responds:

    After reading excerpts from the book of the guy who supposedly wore the “Patty” suit I am now inclined to believe this was a total fake and a hoax bar none! The guy inside the suit said the headpiece was made with a football helmet and when you look at the shape and in particular the brow and the general helmet shape of the head it is easy to see. To try to cover this up they pointed up the top of the hair on the helmet Also the extra dark patch on the back of the neck and shoulders was added horse hair to cover up where the helmet joined the suit. The ‘jiggling” of the thighs was nothing more than the suit being lose over the football thigh pads. A clever job but a hoax indeed!

  15. Loren Coleman responds:

    Unfortunately, a closer reading of that book suggests the two different suits discussed in two different parts of the book undermines their entire hoaxing theory.

    It is always easy, after the fact, to create hoax-driven explanations for the visuals, but when you can’t even get your stories straight about whether you are using a created horse hide suit or a costume company’s gorilla suit, the bridge does come tumbling down.

  16. wshinhamjr responds:

    I am now not sure what to think. A Monsterquest episode shows that with computer enhancements the creature actualy opens its mouth. I don’t think this would be possible with a fake head. Maybe this is the real deal. Nobody really knows other than Patterson (who’s dead) and Bob Gimlin, who states its real but has never agreed to a polygraph which would help prove his veracity.

  17. BigFootShopping responds:

    May I know where can I purchase the replica of the Jeff H. Johnson’s sculpture of the Patterson Bigfoot resin model? Your assistance is very much appreciated. Thank you!

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