Sunday, October 20, 2013

46th anniversary of most famous "crypto" footage ever taken

It was 46 years today
That Patty taught the band to play
Squatch is going in and out of style
But it's guaranteed to raise a smile
So let me introduce to you
Still puzzling after these years
Patty Bigfoot's lonely creature band!

OK, that's guaranteed to be the worst Beatles parody ever written.  Be glad I don't sing. 

Today in 1967, at Bluff Creek, California, Roger Patterson, a rodeo rider and general odd-job man, and his pal Bob Gimlin went looking for Bigfoot.  Against seemingly stupefying odds, they found her. and Patterson shot what is probably the second most analyzed amateur film ever taken (after the Zapruder film of JFK). 

Despite a flood of books, there is still some mystery here.
If it was a hoax, it was a well done hoax.  None of the countless enhancements and enlargements done since then has shown any obviously artificial detail like a zipper.  Neither the simplistic theatrical costume alleged by Greg Long in The Making of Bigfoot nor the homemade costume others skeptics have attributed to Patterson would have measured up.  There are lots of rumors attributing the costume to John Chambers of the Planet of the Apes films, and he probably could have done it, but has said he didn't, and how would he have hooked up with P-G anyway?
If it's an animal, it has just as many problems.  Dr. John Napier, the most eminent primatologist ever to endorse sasquatch's reality, thought it was an unacceptable hybrid - top half like an ape, bottom half (despite the fur) quite distinctively human.  No one has been able to get any footage nearly as good in 46 years despite the explosion of people and money poured into the phenomenon by TV.  No one has found the animal itself, for that matter, or even a piece of it, even a DNA sample that hasn't been shredded by scientific critics.

My thought? The nays have it.  Probably.  The only thing that keeps me from closing the sasquatch file entirely is some of the seemingly clear and puzzling witness reports, but I've closed the file on the film.  I'd bet my house, here and now, that it was a hoax.  (You would, too, if you had my mortgage.) But there are mysteries about who made it and how.  I'd like someone to solve those.


Laurence Clark Crossen said...

Otto Neugebauer, the famous historian of astronomy, felt it necessary to justify his involvement in studying ancient astrology by writing an article in Isis entitled, “The Study of Wretched Subjects.” How would you justify your involvement in the wretched subject of cryptozoology?

Laurence Clark Crossen said...

I think that it is possible to define cryptozoology as extremely speculative zoology. Then some would be sound science and some pseudo-science. I think it is unfortunate that it is usually considered a priori to be pseudoscience.

Matt Bille said...

I don't agree with defining cryptozoology as pseudoscience, and certainly not lumping it into the grab bag called "paranormal." It is, properly practiced, an entirely proper aspect of zoology. (Granted, it's often improperly practiced, but that doesn't invalidate its premise.)