The filmmakers were Roger Patterson (1933–1972) and Robert “‘Bob” Gimlin (born 1931). They are Bigfoot researchers that had traveled to Bluff Creek, a tributary of the Klamath River in the Six River Forest of Northern California.
The film is 23.85 feet long, contains 954 frames, and runs for 59.5 seconds. It was shot on a 16mm camera by Patterson who hopped off his horse and stumbled a little before steadying himself for the remainder of the film.
It was shot on 16mm film at 18fps. The time of the encounter was between 1:15 and 1:40 p.m. The film shows what Patterson and Gimlin claimed was a large, hairy, bipedal, apelike figure with short, “silvery brown” or “dark reddish-brown” or “black” hair covering most of its body, including its prominent breasts. People have named the creature “Patty”. They made plaster casts of the footprints, one of the left foot and another of the right.
Issac Tian, a computer science and engineering specialist specializing in computer graphics was given 22 differently sourced copies of the film. Each copy had some level of degradation like scratches, physical damage, film grain copying misalignment, and a general loss of detail.
He then used an AI program to integrate them, aligning all the films together creating a 3-dimensional image, as if the camera was in real space. Next, he used computer vision algorithms to stabilize the film, making it look as though Patterson had shot the footage from a tripod.
The host of “The Proof is Out There” (Tony Harris) asked “If it is a guy in a suit … what guy? what suit?” In a January 30, 1999 press release by his lawyer, Bob Heironimus said that he had worked with Patterson and Gimlin to create this hoax and that he was in the bigfoot costume.
Both Heironimus and Patterson both passed their conflicting Polygraph tests. Heironimus’s name was first publicly revealed, and his allegations first publicly detailed, five years later, in Greg Long’s book, The Making of Bigfoot, which includes testimony that corroborates Heironimus’ claims: Mother and Nephew saw the ape suit; Russ Bohannon, a longtime friend, said he revealed hoax; Bernard Hammermeister, another longtime friend, said he was shown an ape suit in Heironimus’ car.
Two other experts weighed in on the show: Jeff Mildrum (Professor of Anatomy and Anthropology at Idaho State) and Bill Munns (Hollywood Special Effects and Creature Designer). Let’s start with the feet. There is a lack of arch in the steps. Ape suits are usually made to wear a pair of tennis shoes inside which is not the way this suit is acting. The feet show prehension (the ability to grasp) unlike a human. The new clearer film shows the feet very well and Munns was convinced this was no inexpensive suit if it was a suit.
The calf muscles are seen very well in the cleaner footage. Munns said that without a costume fitting, and the correct muscular person inside, they would not be so defined. They compared Arnold Schwartzenegger, in his bodybuilding prime, and even he was not that muscular.
There has always been a line across the thigh that skeptics have said was caused by hip waders the costumed person was wearing underneath. In the clearer film, you can see that when the arm goes forward there is a line, when it goes back the line is gone. The is the same a running a vacuum across a carpet and seeing the track.
Another point of contention was the natal cleft (butt crack) or lack of one. In this improved version there is no doubt that it is there. The two gluteal regions of the butt are in view. This is not the way typical costumes are made. Another odd costume design is the breasts. They are very fluid in the new footage which would have been particularly hard to create for a costume. Also, the neck muscles do not match a human’s.
There is no indication whatsoever that the head of the costume will come off, another feature that would be hard to hide except in a well-made, expensive suit. Usually, long hair is used to cover the back of the neck and that is not the case here.
Then there is the skull which matches up with the Australopithecus (Lucy) skull which wasn’t even found until 1974, seven years after the Patterson-Gimlin film was made.
Although they make a nice case for validity there are still some glaring problems for me. The hair on the breasts is uncommon in the primate world and the casual manner in which Patty walks away. If a bigfoot was encountered it seems it would be in a bigger hurry. The new enhanced video makes it fun to examine it all again!
Here it is – the actual episode that I’ve written about:
“The Proof is Out There”, season 2 episode 13,