'Bigfoot' spotted in footage from 1967
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Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti: These are some of the names given to a supposed species of giant, ape-like creatures that are said to roam the wilderness. According to popular folklore and myth, the Bigfoot inhabits the forests of North America and has been seen in parts of the US and Canada since at least the 1800s. Bigfoot is frequently described as being muscular, covered in fur, and standing between six and nine feet tall.
Some witness accounts claim the creature has a flat, human-like face, while others have described a more beastly monster with no visible neck and pungent odour that follows it around.
Another popular claim is that Bigfoot’s eyes glow in the dark with an ominous red or yellow hue.
The closest and most tantalising piece of “evidence” supporting Bigfoot’s existence is a grainy video clip captured by Bob Gimlin and Roger Patterson in 1967.
The so-called Patterson-Gimlin film was shot in Bluff Creek, California, and appears to show a large, humanoid creature trudging through a forest.
To many cryptozoology fans, the video is the ultimate Holy Grail of paranormal evidence and proof that Bigfoot is real.
Many more, however, believe the 59.5-second-long video is nothing more than an elaborate hoax even if the video’s authors always claimed the footage was genuine.
Mr Patterson, who died of cancer in 1972, is said to have “maintained right to the end that the creature on the film was real”.
So what is the deal? Was the Bigfoot caught by the duo the real deal or could it have been someone in a furry costume walking in front of the camera?
This was the question posed by the 13th episode of the History Channel’s The Proof Is Out There, Series Two.
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The episode, which is titled Bigfoot Revealed, brought together a panel of researchers who used the latest in cutting-edge technology and artificial intelligence to analyse the creature’s anatomy and movements.
And their findings are bound to surprise sceptics because they claimed the creature, which they called Patty, was most definitely real.
The Patterson-Gimlin film was broken down, frame by frame, by a team of researchers, including Dr Jeff Meldrum from Idaho State University.
Dr Meldrum is an expert in anthropology and anatomy, who was joined by computer scientists Isaac Tian, zoologist Roxy Furman, and anthropologist Kathy Strain.
A copy of the original footage was enhanced using artificial intelligence and Mr Tian ran a 3D algorithm to further refine the clip and bring out its hidden details.
According to Dr Meldrum, this helped bring out subtle clues about the creature’s movements, which he claimed, were uncharacteristic of the way humans move.
He said: “There are details that are very distinctive of the way in which this ‘Patty’ creature walks.
“One of the characteristics that seem to distinguish the Sasquatch foot from the human is the lack of an arch, a longitudinal arch, which is kind of a springboard creating a more stable platform in the human foot.”
Another major clue, he claimed, was the way the creature appear to place its feet on the ground.
He said: “That lead foot where you can see this upward turning of the toes at the last part of the swing phase just before the foot comes in contact with the substrate.
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“This is a remarkable detail that the film has made more evident.”
Taking other evidence into account, the expert determined the Bigfoot was most likely the real deal and not a prankster in a suit.
He added: “I am struck as an anatomist by the massive size of these trapezius muscles and their intermediate attachment on the back of the skull.
“This is not a human configuration at all but something that is intermediate between a human and a great ape.”
Of course, the 1967 footage has been subjected to intense scrutiny over the decades and many experts, from zoologists to Hollywood special effects experts.
Rick Baker, actor and special effects artist who created the Sasquatch character of Harry in Harry and the Hendersons, has famously said that the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot looks as though it was made from “cheap, fake fur”.
John Napier, the renowned primate expert, has meanwhile said Bigfoot is likely a real creature but suggested the Patterson-Gimlin film was a hoax of some kind.
He wrote in his book Bigfoot: The Sasquatch and Yeti in Myth and Reality: “There is little doubt that the scientific evidence taken collectively points to a hoax of some kind.
“The creature shown in the film does not stand up well to functional analysis.”
Whatever the case may be, you can learn more about Bigfoot on the History Channel’s The Truth Is Out There.
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