Ref: Fernando G. The Making Of Bigfoot: The Inside Story by Greg Long, Prometheus Books (Book Review). Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Book Reviews, 2005; Vol. 4, No. 2 (July - December 2005): ; Published July 1, 2005, (Accessed:
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...The book reaches it's climax with the confession of Bob Heironimus, the man in the gorilla suit but Long goes further and tracks down Philip Morris, the supplier of the gorilla suit. Along the way, Long tracks down a number of colour film lab processors from that period...
The Making Of Bigfoot: The Inside Story by Greg Long. Foreword by Kal K. Korff. Illustrations, References, Index, Hardcover, 6" x 9".
Prometheus Books, 59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, New York 14228-2197, USA. Phone: (716) 691-0133 or Toll Free: (800) 421-0351 Fax: (716) 691-0137. Publication Date 2004. 475 pages, Category: Science & The Paranormal, ISBN 1-59102-139-1. Price $25.00
Official site of this book: Please Click here to access
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Visit author Greg Long's personal website by clicking here
As a pathologist and well-versed in the art of the Autopsy ("looking for oneself") I must confess at the outset that I am not a believer of Aliens, Crop Circles, The Yeti, Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. Okay, I have seen Mermaids; or rather formalin preserved examples of Sirenomelia . This book therefore didn't tell me anything that I already didn't know about Bigfoot, the American version of the Yeti. Neither was the ending and conclusions of this book a surprise to me.. but do read on!
The only person claiming to have filmed Bigfoot was undoubtedly a small-time crook with big ideas. According to Roger Patterson, who died of lymphoma in 1972, he and a companion, his semi-Indian sidekick Bob Gimlin, were riding their horses on October 20, 1967, in Bluff Creek, California, when they suddenly encountered a Bigfoot. Not coincidentally, the two were in the area to "look for the creature" and were hoping to capture it on film with a movie camera rented specifically for the occasion. Patterson was in fact working on a motion-picture documentary about the subject. He also had ideas of opening a theme park.
According to Patterson, the two men were quietly riding, when he saw the creature and his horse suddenly "reared and fell over." After spotting the creature and having his horse fall on him, Patterson managed to regain his composure and pull out his 16 mm camera. He started filming while running toward the Bigfoot, steadied himself, and snapped off sixty seconds worth of footage on Kodachrome 16 mm film as it walked away, glancing back at them over its right shoulder. This brief footage is at least as famous as the Zapruder footage of the fatal shooting of JFK (Abraham Zapruder shot his Kennedy assassination film on November 22, 1963 and Roger Patterson, his bigfoot film almost four years later - on October 20, 1967. Thus arguably the two most famous short amateur films were shot within a span of four years. Alas, the latter turned out to be a fake!).
It was only when I started reading this book and searched the web that I realized that there are plenty of people out there spending their free time searching for Bigfoot or 'researching' it. Some of the sites are rather scathing about Greg Long's work to the extent of being venomous. The facts however are that Bigfoot has never been filmed since nor captured alive or dead. Not even a skeleton has been found.
Greg Long from Washington State is a technical editor and writer for an environmental engineering company, and the author of Examining the Earthlight Theory: The Yakima UFO Microcosm, a study of UFO sightings on the Yakima Indian Reservation in south-central Washington State
Kal K. Korff, who has written the foreword, is an internationally known analyst, author, investigative journalist, and researcher. The president and CEO of Critical Thinkers, Korff is the author of Spaceships of the Pleiades: The Billy Meier Story and The Roswell UFO Crash: What They Don't Want You to Know.
The book reaches it's climax with the confession of Bob Heironimus, the man in the gorilla suit but Long goes further and tracks down Philip Morris, the supplier of the gorilla suit. Along the way, Long tracks down a number of colour film lab processors from that period.
This is a good bit of investigative journalism although for readers like myself the final conclusion was no surprise.
Helped by his wife Patricia as they piece the jigsaw together, Long seems to have a tape recorder permanently attached to his arm as he seems to have recorded such trivial details as the number of aspirins he washed down (three) and the texture of the egg foo yung (like paper!).
A well researched book and quite entertaining. But do watch out! There are a lot of Bigfooters out there!
Dr Gyan Fernando is the Home Office Forensic Pathologist for Devon & Cornwall, and an inveterate reader, traveller and commentator. He claims he does not believe in Yetis but nevertheless is a dedicated Yetiphiliac, gobbling up myths, legends, news, notes and stories related to Yetis from every source he can lay his hands on (It is not surprising therefore that he claims in the review that this "book didn't tell me anything that I already didn't know about Bigfoot"). His life long ambition is to catch an actual Yeti and make him his pet. He has been to Tibet twice in search of the ever elusive creature, and although he hasn't been able to catch one, he has not lost hope. In a true Voltairian fashion, he often asserts, "if the Yeti did not exist, we would have to invent one!". Dr. Gyan Fernando may be contacted via Email by clicking here.
Comments from Editor-in-Chief Dr. Anil Aggrawal and Excerpts from the book:
Yeti is known around the world by thousand and one names - the ones most common are Meti, Shookpa, Migo, Kang-Mi, Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Abominable snowman - and of course Yeti. Its legend goes back at least to 1832, when Nepal's first British Resident, B.H. Hodson described a hitherto unknown creature which 'moved erectly, was covered in long, dark hair and had no tail'. Since then this creature has been sighted almost regularly by mountaineers, scientists, investigators and laymen alike with amazing regularity. The description is almost the same: a hairy apelike 10 ft tall creature, weighing around 300 pounds, who walks like a human on two legs. The implied genus is Homo ; species not known. Henceforth lies the untold interest of everyone; we are the only existing species under the genus Homo (Homo sapiens). A discovery of another species would be tantamount to finding a brother in a zoologist's language.
What has lent credence to the legend of Yeti is the assertion of many well-known, educated, serious mountaineers and scientists that they have indeed seen the footprints of Yeti. In 1951, the well known British mountaineer Eric Shipton published a series of photographs of humanoid footprints, 13 inches long and 8 inches wide. These were taken in the Gauri Shankar range of the Himalayas. He dispelled doubts of all and sundry by asserting that the tracks were too large to have been made by a bear and too fresh to have been enlarged by melting. To dispel further doubts that they were just artefacts produced by vagaries of nature, he asserted that wherever he had to jump crevasses, he could clearly see deeper footprints, as if the creature too had dug its toes in order to make a jump! In 1948, a Norwegian uranium prospector, Jan Frostis claimed he was attacked and his shoulder badly mauled by one of two Yetis he encountered near Zemu Gap, in the Himalayan Indian state of Sikkim. In 1957, Thomas Slick, a Texas oilman co-sponsored a Yeti hunt. He was told by a number of Nepalese villagers that Yetis had battered to death at least five people in the preceding four years. An expedition sponsored by the London "Daily Mail" found footprints of Yeti and droppings, an analysis of which suggested it came from a human like creature, who could be - who else - a Yeti! In the early 80's the legendary Polish mountaineer Andrzej Zawada (1928-2000) - the first ever to lead a winter expedition to the Everest - too expressed belief in the existence of Yeti. I am an avid collector of Yeti clips and after I received this amazing book from Prometheus, I fished in my collection and came up with this beauty here from a leading Indian newspaper Hindustan Times. This cutting is from 8 March 1985 and graphically explains the experiences of Andrzej Zawada.
The book by Greg Long attempts to discredit Roger Patterson's story thoroughly. Based on a number of interviews which Long conducted with persons known to Patterson, it is a watershed work in the literature related to Bigfoot. A sample will show the quality of work done by the author. Here is how the author meets Larry Lund, the Bigfoot "community's" publicist and archivist, sees the legendary Bigfoot film on his video and later buys a related book from him for $20.
I closed the books. I now had solid background on the Bigfoot subject and Patterson. The only sources who could help me further were the Bigfooters. I sensed they were secretive and defensive, but if I were to learn more about Patterson, I would have to penetrate their group. I discovered the Western Bigfoot Society in Portland, Oregon. After a few phone calls, I found myself in the basement office of Larry Lund in Vancouver, Washington. I had to duck to avoid smashing my head on the low ceiling of his cramped basement office. I'm 6'8" tall, as big as a Bigfoot, and to avoid puncturing my skull, I quickly lowered myself into a rickety chair to study the many Bigfoot novelties scattered around Lund's musty quarters.
Distinguished by a gleaming crop of smooth, silver hair and a sporty mustache, Lund projected warmth and openness. The patter of his mellow, liquescent voice was that of a salesman. I knew he was considered by Bigfooters as the group's main publicist, and he had been in front of TV cameras many times, trotting out Bigfoot artifacts for eager producers and lobbing forth sound bites composed of high-sounding pronouncements about Bigfoot and Roger Patterson. Without my prompting, Lund's words turned smoothly to Patterson. "Here's Roger Patterson," he said as he slid forth a notebook from a shelf and opened it to a glossy black-and-white photograph protected under plastic. Frozen forever in an instant of time, Patterson's lean, handsome face stared out as if into a darkened theater empty of admirers. He wore a black, western string tie and a new black cowboy hat, its sides crisply rolled. Clearly, this was a professional shot, a publicity still.
"Here's some buddies Roger hung around with." Lund flipped to another photo. This one showed five cowboys and an Indian on horseback. The horses and their riders were in a row, somewhere amid trees and brush, a country setting. All the riders were looking at the camera, with unremarkable expressions on their faces. Again, the shot looked staged. But for whom? For what? A movie?
Lund pointed to the cowboy on the left. "That's Roger. And," he tapped on the image of the Indian in the photo, "that's Bob Gimlin." I could see that Gimlin played the part well: his black Indian tresses hung to his chest.
Lund's finger alighted on another photo. "This was Roger and Bob Gimlin's horse truck. They carried their horses in the back." The grainy black-and-white revealed an old-fashioned Chevrolet pickup.
"Would you like to look at the film?" I jumped at the offer.
Lund turned on his TV and VCR and pulled a video cassette off a shelf packed with Bigfoot documentaries. I was about to view the "gold standard" of Bigfoot evidence, as the Bigfooters called it -supposedly the one, single item that proved the existence of the legendary creature. Plaster casts existed, as well as a few strands of hair and a handful of audio recordings of alleged "vocalizations" of the creature. But the Patterson film outshone all those scraps of evidence. It put them to shame. The video began to play.
It didn't take long for the footage to put me under its spell. I understood why the film captivated the public. The spasmodic, jerking images of the hairy creature suggest the authentic shock of an uncontrolled event amazingly captured on film by an innocent, totally surprised witness. But there is more that compels the viewer. The creature's motions project a strangely familiar, yet elusive and unachievable idea. The idea points to something that is like us, but not us, both man and ape but actually neither. The ambling, androgynous creature suggests a living, breathing being that is utterly untouchable and free of man and the tyranny of his cities and the prison of his mass communications that shape our perceptions of reality, free from the fear of sudden violence coming from the hands of strangers or from a hidden, unknowable terror, walking away calmly, completely fearless in the face of the two hunters who could shatter its skull in an instant with a well-placed bullet. In the film, the creature is escaping, quietly stepping back inside the woods from which it came. And because it is freely escaping, it is undiscovered, never to be found, catalogued, recorded, numbered, or named. It is a powerful, American image, I thought. It's out-sized. It's strong. It's daring. It's confidence has a touch of sublime arrogance. Its stride and the unfettered backward glance at the camera is distinctly American, as though it were saying, "I don't give a damn. I'll go anywhere I damn well please, when I want, where I want, how I want. I own nature. And I'm free." Yes, I concluded, the creature is pure American freedom.
Truly, I thought as I studied the footage for the fifth time, the film of this utterly free American manape overshadows the dull, plaster-gray boredom of the Bigfoot casts, the photos of the oversized foot impressions, the remnants of scraggly hair, the few dubious sound recordings, the disgusting feces poked at in labs that form the sole body of material evidence for Bigfoot reality. It is quite a show, this big Bigfoot - it isn't cold and immobile like the casts; instead, it's warm and alive, towering in real-life blazing color, standing up and striding proudly in the gold light of day, its arms swinging effortlessly, its majestic feet treading their solemn way into our TV screens. And it is made more believable, I thought, when it is run and rerun, flickering late at night, gliding in swells of eerie intonations and in dark, undercurrents of anxiety and fear, of terrifying attraction and longing for absolute power and total freedom. It's an image that's been burned for nearly four decades again and again into the American consciousness, and into the country's myths, its stories, its sense of self, and its culture.
But is it a real Bigfoot?
I asked Lund to roll the film yet again.
As I watched, I knew I needed to find out who Roger Patterson really was. If he withstood the test of honesty and integrity, then perhaps his film would, too. For no one before Patterson and no one after him had ever duplicated his feat; no one had ever captured a demonstrably real Bigfoot on film. The mythic stature of the film had been kept alive and defended for decades by the repeated declarations of a handful of aging Bigfoot hunters such as Green, Dahinden, and Byrne, the founders of the modern Bigfoot field. It had also been kept alive by the media. There, there, the creature on the film was looking back at me, a quick glance. It was "the look." It was the single, most powerful symbol of all of Bigfoot-dom. It said, "I dare you to follow me. Catch me if you can."
Then and there I declared silently to myself, I will.
Turning off the TV, Lund opened a box. "Here. This is Patterson's book. I sell them for Rene Dahinden. He owns the copyright."
I held the book in my hands like a rare gem. A cartoonish drawing of a Neanderthal-looking face adorned the black-and-white cover. "Latest Facts!" a bubble announced under the title: Do Abominable Snowmen of America Really Exist? I handed Lund a twenty.
"You know, a guy who you might want to interview is Jerry Lee Merritt," Lund said with a smile, his glossy hair glowing under the light of the basement bulb. "He's a musician in Vancouver. Roger was his good friend. Jerry liked Roger. But he knew what Roger was. He knew he was just a crazy shyster trying to pay his bills by inventin' this and inventin' that. He'll tell you about all kinds of crazy things Roger did." Lund explained that Merritt had been the lead guitarist for Gene Vincent, a famous rockabilly musician in the 1950s and early 1960s. Lund's sister had married Vincent, and Vincent had lived for awhile in Lund's house. Through Vincent, Lund had met Merritt.
Merritt sounded like an intriguing lead, mainly since it suggested Patterson's connection to show business. But when I left Lund with Merritt's phone number in hand, a different investigative strategy began forming in my brain. I felt that I should begin out at Tampico, where Patterson lived most of his life. I remembered that the building contractor had given me another name of someone who had known Patterson. Back at my apartment I started madly rummaging through my notes. The scrap of paper surfaced. Les Johnson. He had lived right near Patterson, up on the far reaches of Ahtanum Road.
The book is based on a number of such interviews. I am sure our readers would enjoy the book as much as I did.
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Bigfoot photo and video gallery - The most definitive collection of Bigfoot films and photos. If you are a member, you can download all pictures and movies. URL suggested by Tom Blaschko.]
First Photos of California's Abominable Snowman - Argosy's Bigfoot Article 1968 by Ivan T. Sanderson [Very useful article. Gives several related color pictures including the one which appeared on the cover of February 1968 issue of Argosy magazine, a popular "men's magazine". This figure appears on page 106 of the book reviewed here too.]
Bigfoot - Article from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [This amazing free encyclopedia never stops surprising us. Very good article on bigfoot. A primer you would like to read before buying this book. There are many valuable external links at the end.]
Patterson-Gimlin film - Actual Yeti film available on the net [Our expert reviewer has elaborated so much on the Patterson-Gimlin film (the one taken in the early afternoon of October 20, 1967 by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin), that many readers may now want to see it. Thankfully it is available on the net free of cost as an animated gif file. Click on the link to see or download. Size: 4074 kb. A smaller version is here. For the information oriented, the total runtime of original film was 39.7 seconds. The film was shot with a 16mm Cine Kodak K100 with a mobilgrip handle. A total of 952 frames of bigfoot were shot at perhaps 24 frames per second (exact rate is disputed. Frame 352 from the film is reportedly the most printed still picture in books/magazines/web. This is what appears on page 23 of the book under review as well as in Wikipedia. The Yeti is peering over her (!) right shoulder in this frame). Of course if you are interested to know more on this film, you may want to click here.]
Patterson-Gimlin film - Some facts [Do you know it was a female and not a male Yeti that Patterson and Gimlin spotted!? (She had big, droopy breasts which were covered with short, shiny, black hair! ) Study this link to know every little detail about what happened on that fateful day.]
Bigfoot - Fact or Fantasy - [Largest repository of information on Bigfoot available on the web at a single site.]
Audios and Videos of Bigfoot - [Largest repository of Videos and Audio sounds of Bigfoot. Listen to him growling!]
More sounds of Bigfoot - [Audio sounds allegedly made by Bigfoot. Very interesting. Listen to him growling, screeching, whistling!]
Interview with Greg Long - [Interview with Greg Long - the author of the book under review. The page features interviews with Michaela Kocis and Kal K. Korff as well.]
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