PhotoshopNews.com
May 16, 2007

Sasquatch: Man in a Monkey Suit?

bigfoot.pngSource: WIRED
Written by Joseph Rose
(originally posted on WIRED 01-19-1999)

YAKIMA, Washington — The scratchy movie footage shows a big, brown, hairy creature retreating over a stream bed into dense forest. But wait. Is that the glint of a belt buckle on Bigfoot? Or have skeptics gotten carried away with Photoshop?

Loyal Bigfootologists and some computer-imaging experts are giving disapproving grunts to two researchers who claim that a computer analysis of a famous 1967 film shows a man in a monkey suit, not the legendary giant of the Northwest woods.

Bigfoot buffs Cliff Crook of Bothell, Washington, and Chris Murphy of Vancouver, Canada, say enlargements and computer enhancements of the film’s frames reveal an object hanging from the fur that resembles metal fasteners used on clothing at the time.

“When the guy in the suit turned to look at the camera, it probably snapped loose and dangled from the fur,” said Crook, who has been searching for the elusive creature for 42 years. “It’s a hoax. Why would Bigfoot be wearing a belt buckle?”

The claim has howling-mad Bigfoot enthusiasts branding Murphy and Crook as traitors on Internet newsgroups and attempting to discredit their findings as a publicity stunt.

“It’s like picking a sheep out of the clouds,” said Western Bigfoot Society president Ray Crowe of Portland, Oregon. “They’ve blown up the images beyond the size of recognition. So, they can pretty much see anything they imagine.”

At issue is the footage taken 32 years ago, when Bigfoot trackers Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin of Yakima were investigating reports of sasquatch footprints in Six Rivers National Forest, near the California-Oregon border. They purportedly spotted a female Bigfoot darting across a sandbar, and Patterson let his 16-mm Kodak movie camera roll.

The minute of jerky, grainy film and the plaster-cast footprints Patterson made that October day became the veritable gold standard for trackers and enthusiasts, the evidence by which all things Bigfoot are measured.

Murphy began questioning the film’s validity after discovering an aberration in the footage while helping his son with a class project in 1995. Using a computer, he zoomed in tighter and tighter on the frames, finding what appears to be a glimmering ornate latch in the shape of a bottle opener.

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Note: in 2004, 36 years after the making of the film, Bob Heironimus confessed to having donned a gorilla costume and appearing in the famous 1967 footage of Bigfoot. That story is here.

Bigfoot on Wikipedia

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