Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Patterson Bigfoot film - Real or Hoax: Chorvinsky, Gimlin, Morris and Heironimus

I came across this investigation conducted by the late Mark Chorvinsky. Back in 1996, he set out to get some answers on the Patterson Bigfoot film. The infamous Patterson Bigfoot footage has had the classic run-around that all convincing paranormal videos receive. It went from fame to being deemed fake. Yet,  Roger Patterson, the man who filmed the Bigfoot himself never said it was a hoax. Many rumors and questions surround the footage. If the video was a fake, where is the Bigfoot costume and who was the Bigfoot actor inside of it?

Chorvinsky's report goes in an interesting circle. He gets tips from some of Hollywoods most talented special effects artists. Many who strongly believe the video was a hoax and that the suit wasn't even made well. One rumor was that John Chambers, famous special effects and makeup artist who worked on films such as Planet of the Apes, was the creator of the Patterson Bigfoot suit. However, when Chorvinsky contacted a very old and ill Chambers, Chambers responded in a voice mail saying he did not make the suit.

In 2002, owner of Morris Costumes, Philip Morris, claimed he sold an ape costume to Roger Patterson in 1967. Morris said he made these ape costumes for a popular side show routine where a woman would transform into a gorilla. Morris continued to make this claim up until he passed away. Even speaking at paranormal conventions about it, bringing a fabricated ape suit with him stating, "I've been talking publicly about this for years now and haven't been sued yet." - Tossing It Out (2010)

It should be noted that Roger Patterson sadly died of cancer in 1972. That's 5 years after his Bigfoot footage was released (1967). Any attempt to get Patterson's say in Morris's claims would never come to fruition considering Morris did not make his claim till after Patterson was no longer living. Many others who were close to Patterson and the footage are also no longer with us and the only other witness to this event is Bob Gimlin. After reading many articles about if the video is a hoax or not, it appears through interviews with Gimlin, that he was tormented by septics. At one point, the stress almost broke up his marriage. It's possible that Gimlin has gone back and forth on whether to continue advocating for the video's authenticity due to outside pressures or Bigfoot haters wanting to squash what some call the "Holy Grail" of Bigfoot proof. Gimlin never seemed to raise concern about Morris touring conventions with an ape suit and it could have been because Gimlin just wanted to be left out of it and left alone at some point. Or, maybe he didn't want to start a fuss with a man who was just trying to get some advertising for his costume business. But, Gimlin didn't hold back in 2004 when a man named Bob Heironimus confessed he played Bigfoot in the famous video. According to this article, Gimlin did proceed to take legal action against Heironimus' claim. 

In conclusion, hearsay continues to circulate the most famous Bigfoot footage known to Bigfoot fans.  In my personal opinion, I was introduced to the video on TV growing up in the 80's and it was presented as the real deal. It continues to appear very authentic to me. It's only in later years that I noticed the debate on whether the footage was a hoax or not. Bigfoot skepticism is to be expected, but out of all the crypto creatures to grace mythology, Bigfoot seems the most tangible. We know humans exist and we know apes exists, so why is something in between so hard to believe in? You tell me. Leave your comments below. 

1940s Girl to Gorilla sideshow banner by Fred G. Johnson

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