Monday, December 25, 2006

Revisiting Bigfoot

As a kid, I uncritically devoured dozens of books and TV shows on all paranormal topics, especially cryptozoology. My favorite legendary creatures, unsurprisingly, were the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot, and I well remember the hairs on the back of my neck prickling whenever I saw the infamous "Patterson film," more accurately known as the Patterson-Gimlin film, which purported to show a Bigfoot ambling through the California woods. It sure convinced me!

Now that I'm older, I'm a lot more skeptical, as are a number of people who have studied the film, and a number of people who claim to have insider knowledge of a hoax perpetrated by -- or, perhaps, ON -- filmmakers Roger Patterson (who died in 1972) and Robert Gimlin (who's still alive, and whose only concession is that someone, perhaps Patterson, conceivably could have played a hoax on him). Here's a fine Wikipedia summary of the claims, counterclaims, counter-counterclaims, etc. While no one has proven the film's Bigfoot is fake, certainly no one has proven the film's Bigfoot is genuine, either.

Far less impressive than the Patterson-Gimlin effort is the latest alleged "Bigfoot photo," taken in the El Dorado National Forest in the High Sierras, notable only because the photographers have helpfully pointed out Bigfoot's "male organ." Bet you'll click the link now!

[NOTE: I revised my above comments on the Patterson-Gimlin film after my favorite cryptozoologist, Loren Coleman -- a regular contributor to the Cryptomundo website, which I highly recommend -- wrote me pointing out severe problems in the claims of the Patterson-Gimlin debunker whose comments I had linked to before. So I substituted the above link to the Wikipedia article as a far more objective (and detailed) guide to this fascinating story. Thanks, Mr. Coleman.]

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