On October 20th, 1967 Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin shot the controversial video of what we now know as Bigfoot near Bluff Creek, California. Some believe it is the real deal while others in the Bigfoot community just see it as a man in a suit…
On that Friday, the 20th, Gimlin and Patterson were riding on horses through Bluff Creek when they saw, crouched behind the creek, a creature kneeling and doing its best to hide from them. Patterson quickly got off his horse, took his camera out of his saddle bag and yelled to Grimlin to cover him.
Grimlin then charged his horse to the other side of the creek, rifle in hand, and quickly got off his horse in case it got spooked by the creature ( for all he knew the creature could well decide to charge in an act of aggression ).
The film itself is shaky until Patterson got about eighty feet away from it, but Patterson fell to his knees once the creature looked over its shoulder in a glance of “contempt and disgust”.
Patterson said it turned around three times in all, once when they hadn’t even started filming yet. The creature hid behind a grove then suddenly reappeared, then disappeared into the woods. Meanwhile, Gimlin was quietly following the creature but lost track of it around three hundred yards away as it made a turn.
Patterson called out to Gimlin because he didn’t want to be left alone without a gun, after all, there was a strange creature on the loose and who knows how many of them were still out there.
Realizing the creature was gone, they weren’t totally at a loss, they had their camera film and they had even more proof that the creature was there in the first place – its footprints.
So they went back to camp, got some plaster and came back and made casts of the footprints. They then left the area met up with Al Hodgson at his store in Willow Creek.
After a short conversation with Hodgson they convinced him to call up Donald Abbott, a local Bigfoot authority who also happened to be a scientist of some stature. They were hoping Abbott would assist them on a search for the creature they had filmed.
Hodgson eventually called, but Abbott declined.
The reason for the hoax is simple: how could two men, who intended to make a documentary about Bigfoot, just all of a sudden stumble across a Bigfoot and catch it on film?
Both Grimlin and Patterson said there was no hoax, and even Grimlin said that Patterson would have had to really plan it out in order for a hoax to be perpetuated, but he didn’t.
Peter Byrne interviewed the two men and felt they weren’t smart enough, or diabolical enough, to create such an elaborate hoax.
Ray Wallace’s family claimed, after he died in 2002, that Ray had created the initial interest in Bigfoot when he created Bigfoot footprints in 1958, nine years ahead of the Roger Patterson Bigfoot film.
They also claim that Patterson would come over and visit Ray frequently and that he begged to know everything there was to know about Bigfoot, where local sightings were made, and what to do if you found one.
Wallace finally gave Patterson a step-by-step model on how to approach the Bigfoot phenomena.
Bob Heironimus says he was the creature depicted in the film, and even his nephew and mother claimed to have seen some sort of hairy ape suit in the back of his car. Heironimus claims that the suit was created by Patterson from horse hide, but some say the material was synthetic.
It’s hair color has been under debate too, Gimlin and Patterson have claimed it was anywhere from “silvery black” to “reddish”. It is also rumored that the suit could well of been a ‘onesie’ with detached hands and feet that you could slip on.
Bob Heironimus had always been an underachiever who had always done the least amount of work to get by – because of this he wasn’t liked very much by anyone except his family. Gimlin, on the other hand, is loved by his community and has been known for decades as a man of honor.
Heironimus, it has been said, wanted to make money off Bigfoot like Gimlin eventually did. After all, Gimlin had been living a far better lifestyle with nicer cars and a nicer house. In short, he was jealous of Gimlin.
It’s easy to think that this could be a hoax, after all, it’s easy to imagine a man in a suit running around in the open being videotaped by his cohorts. Then there’s the other side of the coin, those who think the Roger Patterson Bigfoot video is the truth, those who believe that Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin really did come across what we today know as Bigfoot.
It really is in the eye of the beholder, but perhaps the truth is somewhere in the middle, perhaps he really did go to Ray Wallace’s house asking every question imaginable about bigfoot, but what if, just what if, he did come across a real live Bigfoot?
Both Gimlin and Patterson didn’t expect their Bigfoot footage to go this far, but when you consider that Patterson was dying at the time of a deadly illness and Gimlin was an expert horseman just trying to make an honest living, it isn’t inconceivable to think the two didn’t have the long term in mind when they captured the footage of this creature.
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