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The Patterson-Gimlin Film Of Bigfoot: What Skeptics Still Struggle To Explain



The most famous of all alleged “Bigfootage” ever produced, the Patterson-Gimlin film remains an iconic artifact of the unknown.

Shot nearly five decades ago on Bluff Creek in California near the Oregon border, the minute-long scene recorded onto 16mm film by Roger Patterson accompanied by Bob Gimlin depicts a subject covered in brown hair walking upright away from the camera.
Frame # 352 captures the subject in its most memorable and revealing pose relative to the camera, an image which has since become the face of Sasquatch-related pop culture around the world.
Above: Frame 352 from the Patterson-Gimlin film of Bigfoot
In the 40+ years since the release of this alleged Bigfoot documentation dozens of brains have picked over its every detail. Some such as the late Dr. Dmitri D. Donskoy, a leading expert on human biomechanics, believed the subject to be nonhuman.
Others outright deemed it an easy-to-spot fraud, including the late “father of cryptozoology” zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans. Countless TV specials have aired the footage for the public to decide for themselves – oftentimes showing highly deteriorated copies of copies of copies.
Numerous people have come forward over the years claiming to have either manufactured a suit for the film or having been a performer in a suit in the film, providing little evidence beyond their own word and the testimony of friends and family.
Most folks with memories of the Patterson-Gimlin film recall a shaky, blurry, faded image with a brief glimpse of a hairy biped walking in the distance.
To refresh readers memories here’s a stabilized version of the Patterson-Gimlin film originally put together by amateur researcher M.K. Davis and modified by a member of the Reddit online community.
Unlike the original shaky footage captured by Patterson on foot, this clip lets viewers see the film as if it were shot on a tripod. For the first time viewers get a clear, steady glimpse of the subject walking and turning its head back toward the camera.
So what of it? Scientists think it’s fake and hoax confessions have been made, right? Yes, but the former isn’t as ubiquitous as one would think, and the latter overlap and lack any substantial proof to back them up.
The unsettling truth is that almost 50 years later, several key facts about the Patterson-Gimlin film still raise the possibility that the subject shown is not an actor in a suit, but an unidentified hominid of the American northwest.
Matching footprints were found at the site starting seven years prior to the film
Photographs and plaster casts of large footprints on or around Bluff Creek were being documented starting in 1960 and leading up to the alleged Patterson-Gimlin encounter seven years later.
Professor D. Jeffrey Meldrum of Idaho State University, an expert in primate locomotion, foot morphology, and one of the few academics willing to analyze alleged Sasquatch evidence at-length, concludes each of these footprints found near Bluff Creek match the same individual source.
Hoax theories thereby must conclude that Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin were part of a coordinated effort involving several groups of unassociated people over seven years to create a specific Bigfoot identity for the sake of backing up a brief, shaky, film.
Not impossible nor improbable, but there are holes in this theory. For one, Patterson didn’t visit Bluff Creek for the first time until 1962, two years after the first of these matching footprints were documented.
Secondly, it’s a corroborating part of the narrative neither Patterson nor anyone else involved ever mentioned when trying to persuade others of the film’s authenticity. The link between the Bluff Creek prints was first noted by Meldrum decades later. Why go to all the trouble of building up alleged evidence over years only to omit it from your story?
Several respected anatomists, anthropologists, forensics examiners, and primatologists have analyzed the Patterson-Gimlin film throughout the decades. Many, including Meldrum, firmly believe in the film’s authenticity for a number of reasons including seemingly nonhuman dimensions and gait.
Others including the aforementioned Heuvelmans have been less favorable, pointing to hairy breasts and the subject’s seemingly too-casual demeanor as signs of fraud. However, of the six so-called unfavorable analyses of the footage, five couldn’t definitively say one way or the other.
Heuvelmans was the only one to say it was absolutely fake. Most of these unfavorable findings, such as the one reached by anatomist D.W. Grieve of the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in London, include opinions that the film is convincing enough to bring the researchers involved to the brink of believing in its authenticity.
The overwhelming majority of alleged Sasquatch footage is blurry and shaky to the point where discerning limbs is difficult enough, let alone further details about anatomy, behavior, and locomotion.
The Patterson-Gimlin film, however, offers enough of a look at the subject that only one of two conclusions can be made: it’s a human in a suit, or an unidentified hominid.
Despite being reduced to only these two options, over 80 percent of unfavorable scientific analysis of the Patterson-Gimlin film refuses to determine one way or the other, citing many convincing characteristics. If it’s fake, it’s so good it practically fools experts in every avenue of relevant science.
World-renowned makeup artists and costume designers believe if it was a suit, it’s a masterpiece.
Similar to the scientific response to the Patterson-Gimlin film, the opinions of Hollywood’s leading effects masters are divided as to whether the creature is real, but nearly unified by uncomfortable notions of legitimacy.
With that said, two major effects artists considered the creature to be fake. One was the late Academy award-winning Stan Winston of Aliens, Jurassic Park, Predator, and Terminator fame, who felt the suit looked unimpressive but whose work depicting primates and other hairy creatures ranks among his least revered or remembered.
The other is Rick Baker, creator of the Harry and the Hendersons creature costume, whose anecdotal dismissal, citing detailed knowledge of a suit being sold to prank Patterson, was later retracted by his studio.

The majority of professional makeup artists and costume designers familiar with the Patterson-Gimlin film consider the creature a work of unprecedented art if not the real deal.

The most notable was the late John Chambers, Academy award-winning creator of the costumes used in The Planet of the Apes released one year after the alleged Patterson-Gimlin encounter. Chambers stated that if the creature were fake it was achieved with skills surpassing his own.
Top brass at Disney believed their technicians wouldn’t be able to replicate the film either, and the technicians themselves refused to believe it was something accomplished artificially.
Not exactly smoking guns proving authenticity, but arguments counting on Roger Patterson’s ability to acquire such a suit must contend with the fact the cowboy and amateur Bigfoot hunter was connectionless, poor, and uneducated despite his self-taught skillsets.
Despite a well-funded attempt, no one has ever been able to duplicate the footage successfully.
Strictly speaking the burden is not on skeptics to prove the Patterson-Gimlin film is fake. However, that hasn’t stopped people from trying. The most famous and well-funded attempt to recreate the Patterson-Gimlin film to-date was conducted in 1998 by the British Broadcasting Corporation for inclusion in a program entitled X-Creatures.
Viewers were told the Patterson-Gimlin film was to be finally debunked through identical recreation. The program promised to prove it was possible to make a suit matching the subject seen in the footage.
Over 30 years after the alleged Bigfoot encounter on Bluff Creek, this was the supposedly similarly-looking suit revealed as proof the original creature could be faked by clever costume designers.
As of 2015 no one has successfully produced a duplicated version of the Patterson-Gimlin film. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done – it just hasn’t been done in nearly half a century despite a highly-publicized effort to do so.
Roger Patterson died of cancer in 1972, vowing to the very end that what he saw on Bluff Creek was a Bigfoot.
Bob Gimlin avoided the spotlight until the turn of the 21st century, when he began appearing at Bigfoot believers’ conferences, as adamant as ever that what he saw that fall day in 1967 was something nonhuman.
By Taylor Leonard, source:
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Human-Bear Cryptid Sighting told in 1883 Newspaper




The newspaper article from 1883 discussing the sighting of three human-bear cryptids.

The Salt Lake Herald featured a story in 1883 about three businessmen who stumbled upon a wild woman with three children who seemed to be half human and half bear.

The Human-Bear Cryptid Sighting in Louisiana

The newspaper article can be viewed in context here. We have reproduced it below.

A Queer Family: Consisting of a Mother of Three Children Who are Part Man and Part Animal

The Salt Lake Herald, Sunday 30th September, 1883

Messrs. F. Rosengay, Allen M. Vandal and Edward P. Strong, for some time past have been traveling through portions of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi inspecting pine lands.

These gentlemen are the emissaries of a grand syndicate. Or, at least, so they claim, which has been formed in Minnesota for the purpose of buying immense tracts of land in the south and forming a complete system of saw mills from which to furnish lumber for the world, but more especially for shipment into Mexico, where they claim they will always find a ready market at good prices.

These gentlemen are all men of means and very kindly in their deportment, making friends in every portion of the country they have visited, and bring with them undoubted credentials as to their honor and integrity, therefore some credit must be given to the following relation, which each of them declares to be nothing but facts.

It might be as well to state here that nearly on the line between St. Tammany and Washington parishes resides a man about 50 years of age, who answers to the name of “Crazy Aleck.” This dilapidated specimen of crazy humanity resides in the most lonesome portion of the parish that it would be possible to find, seldom making his appearance among the settlers, and then only when forced to do so from hunger.

He is harmlessly insane and sometimes when he visits a place to secure a snack of something to eat will become quite communicative and tell some wonderful stories concerning his forest home; but where he resides no one knows or cares, and his queer stories were never heeded, being regarded as the fancies of a madman’s brain.

But upon several occasions “Crazy Aleck” has told a story concerning “a woman and some bears” which sounded ridiculous and improbable in the extreme, but which, nevertheless, has proved to be true.

This is the narrative related by the three gentlemen first named:

Hearing while in the lower portion of Mississippi, that some very desirable land lay in Washington and St. Tammany parishes, LA., and that is could be procured very reasonably, our party started for that section. Upon arriving at the desired point we obtained accommodations at a farmhouse and the next day started on horseback in a tour of inspection; well, we had gone over considerable ground during the day and started on the return about 4 o’clock.

Mr. Vandal, who had become weary of riding, had asked one of us to lead his animal and that he would walk on while we stopped now and then to make observations and take notes, as was our custom upon such journeys.

Vandal got some distance ahead of the two of us who had the horses, and suddenly we saw him come around a bend in the road a short distance ahead of us on a dead run; we started up our horses to meet him, and when he came up, almost out of breath, he said: “Tie your horses to a tree and come up the road; there’s the greatest sight you ever saw.”

We did as he requested and followed him up the road some 300 yards, when putting his fingers to his lips, to indicate that we must be silent and cautious, he started to creep through an undergrowth on the side of the road and we followed.

At this juncture we were much startled to hear a deep coarse laugh issue from a space apparently a short distance in advance of us.

It was a human laugh, evidently, but still it was so hollow and unearth like that it sent a chill of terror through us all; this laugh was followed by another, and then another of the same kind, and these were succeeded by a long hearty laugh, apparently that of a female.

Partly recovered from our astonishment, at a motion from Vandal we creeped on about thirty yards to the edge of the thicket, and there in an open space, a few yards beyond, we beheld the most astonishing sight that ever greeted mortal eye.

Seated on the trunk of a fallen tree was a dilapidated looking specimen of feminine humanity, whose small bit of clothing was naught but rags and whose hair hung about her shoulders in a tangles mass; she was apparently about sixty years of age, was of medium stature, and dark, as though from long exposure to the sun and weather.

Near by her were three of the most hideous objects one could imagine, evidently playing, and she seemed to be watching them attentively.

To describe these three objects (you could not call them human) is very difficult.Their heads were shaped like human beings, the tops, ears, eyes and neck being perfect, but the mouth and nose coming together broad and thick, more on the order of a bear; the arms resembled perfectly those of men, but from the waist down they bore the shape and semblance of a bear, being covered entirely with long, coarse, black hair. The feet were also similar to those of a bear, being flat, and seemingly armed with immense claws.

For some time we watched them with mute astonishment, as they wrestled and played, now dancing erect as a biped, and then on all fours as a quadruped, and now and then giving a vent to their horrible laugh.

How long this would have continued we do not know, but jut here Strong let his excitement get the better of his discretion and changed his position, partly exposing himself to view, and at the same time making a slight noise. The noise attracted the woman’s attention, and she evidently saw Strong, for uttering a cry of alarm she started through the under growth on the other side of the opening with the speed of a deer, closely followed by the three queer-looking creatures, running on all fours.

As soon as we had recovered from our astonishment we attempted to follow them, but they were too swift of foot, and fearing we would become lost in this, to us strange section, we were forced to return.

The next day in company with several other gentlemen, we scoured the section thoroughly, but could find no traces of the strange family. “I have traveled far,” said Mr. Vandal, “and seen many wonderful things, but this human-bear family, as I call them, surpasses my experience heretofore by far.

Theories about the Human-Bear Cryptid Children

If we assume this story is credible, what could be going on here?

Some cryptozoologists believe the wild woman in this account may have found some orphaned bigfoot children and chosen to raise them as her own. Bigfoot and other strange cryptids have been spotted all over America and it’s possible that these young creatures were simply an undiscovered species being cared for by a reclusive woman.

It’s somewhat more likely that the children were in fact human but perhaps horribly deformed. The extreme body hair and strange facial features could be a genetic abnormality. The “claws” could have simply been unkempt toenails that had grown to an unsightly length.

Perhaps the children were actually bear cubs that that the woman had taken. If they had mange it’s possible that they would resemble humans a bit more closely. A recent viral video showing a bear in a Chinese zoo that people believed was actually human shows that some bears can be uncannily human-like.

A video of a bear showing strangely human qualities.

What do you think the truth is about the part-human- part bear family? Let us know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this article you might also be interested in the Stick Indians or the story of a Bigfoot being hit by a train in the 1800s.

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Stick Indians




A Native American artwork depicting the Dzoonokwa, a similar creature to the Stick Indian.

The Native American Salish tribe recounts tales of a cryptid known as the Stick Indians, which remarkably mirror many reported sightings of Bigfoot.

Description of the Stick Indians

Stick Indians are a nocturnal creature rarely sighted held in high regard by the Salish people. They are described as being hairy, humanoid creatures with a tall and slender frame. They are said to be able to move incredibly fast and silently.

The description of Stick Indians varies between tribes, with the Salish viewing them as large, hairy, Bigfoot-like beings, while the Cayuse and Yakama portray them as dwarfs of the forest.

In some tribal traditions, Stick Indians are believed to possess the power to paralyze, hypnotize, or drive humans insane. In other accounts, they simply lure people off their paths by creating spooky whistling sounds or laughter in the woods at night.

Stories circulate of Stick Indians potentially devouring humans who become their victims, abducting children, or harassing women. These entities are also said to seek fierce revenge against those who harm or disrespect them, even if such actions were unintentional.

Stick Indians reportedly speak a language resembling the sounds of birds and other animals rather than human speech.

Stick Indians are said to subsist primarily on hunting and fishing, and it appears they do not establish any permanent settlements, preferring a nomadic lifestyle. Their attire is reportedly made from deer skins and other elements found within the forest.

The origin of the term “Stick Indians” is speculated to come from their forest-dwelling habits and animal-like characteristics. Another theory suggests that the name derives from their mischievous behavior of inserting sticks into tepees, lodges, and even pranking sleeping individuals.

These entities show similarities to the Pukwudgies of folklore, primarily being harmless until provoked. In the darkness of the night, Stick Indians are known to engage in light-hearted mischief in nearby villages, such as pilfering fish from nets, sneaking away with food, or even undressing sleeping villagers.

However, these creatures’ true capabilities are said to surface when they are threatened or their lives are disrupted by humans. Known for their vengefulness, Stick Indians allegedly possess powerful mental influence abilities. These powers, reported to induce fear, confusion, and anxiety, vary in intensity and effect, with some accounts suggesting they can hypnotize or even drive people to insanity. They are particularly adept at disorienting travelers by mimicking animal noises and whistling.

Several instances of missing persons are often attributed to the Stick Indians, who are believed to abduct those who disrespect them as a form of retribution. The folklore especially warns children about wandering into the forest at night, as tales abound of Stick Indians kidnapping children and raising them as wives or slaves.

Living History’s Mysteries covers the Stick Indians

Stick Indian Sightings

A user on the HWHikers forum named kbatku posted his encounter with some Stick Indians back in 2008.

He recalled that on New Year’s Eve in 1991, him and his wife ventured into Boulder Cave to meet some friends and celebrate the New Year. Despite being dark, they were equipped with flashlights and warm clothes, and the trail was clear of snow.

As they navigated the trail through the pine forest, they started hearing distant noises resembling the laughter and shouts of playing children. They initially dismissed this, attributing it to a nearby cabin or camp, but there was no evidence of any other people in the area. The laughter seemed to fade in and out, as if carried by the wind, only to return moments later.

Once they reached the cave, they relayed their peculiar experience to their friends. However, as the night progressed with music, conversation, and laughter, the strange incident was temporarily forgotten.

When they started their journey back, the mood had changed, the forest seemed somewhat ominous. They discovered a peculiar object propped against the base of a tree, which they believed was left for them by whatever caused the laughter. The object was a small figurine made of tiny sticks, moss, pine needles, and lichen, intricately assembled, as if by tiny hands.

Taking it home, they scrutinized it for some time, but it eventually gave off a creepy vibe, and they discarded it. Years later, while recounting this experience to a Native coworker, he suggested that they had encountered “Stick Indians”.

Have you ever seen a Stick Indian? Tell us about it in the comments.

If you enjoyed learning about the Stick Indians you might be interested in similar creatures such as the Flordia Skunk Ape or the story of a bigfoot being hit by a train in the 1800s.

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