Mondo Bizarro Oct 20 2009
PLANTING OF THE APE
Bigfoot or big fake? To this day, nobody can prove either.


It was today in 1967 that Bigfoot enthusiast Roger Patterson shot his famous movie of what he claimed was a genuine Bigfoot, aka Sasquatch, in a remote area of California’s Six Rivers National Forest. We took a look at the Wikipedia entry on this, and it goes into excruciating detail. In fact, we think the entry on regular apes is shorter. But these types of things do fan the flames of passion, if for no other reason than so many people seem to have a deep seated need to believe in the bizarre and/or supernatural. Roger Patterson's Bigfoot encounter certainly qualifies as the former. After reading everything we could find on the event, we draw no conclusions, except to say that if it was a hoax, it was one of the most perfectly planned hoaxes of all time.

It happened in the afternoon. Patterson and his companion that day, Robert Gimlin, were in a section of Six Rivers called Bluff Creek, and both were on horseback. The figure emerged from behind an overturned tree and was initially about twenty-five feet away. Patterson’s horse reared, and he lost valuable time as he struggled to dismount and retrieve his camera. Meanwhile the creature was moving away. When Patterson finally did begin filming, he was running to catch up, and the image he produced was shaky. Only in the middle of the sequence does the film stabilize, and at that point the creature looked over its shoulder at Patterson (as you see in the frame above).
 
Patterson’s film and some plaster casts of footprints eventually made their way to various members of the scientific community, but scientists tend not to be terribly interested in phenomena that don’t accrue evidence—and one shaky Cine-Kodak film sequence and some casts don’t count. The few scientists that deigned to comment on Patterson’s claims pointed out simply that primates—and Bigfoot certainly appeared to be one—don’t have hairy breasts. Yeah, we know—your buddy once knew a Belgian chick that did, but excepting her, primates’ mammaries are hairless. Patterson’s Bigfoot had pendulous breasts, making it female, and those breasts were fur covered, making the creature a hoax.

For scientists, all the film analysis claiming Patterson’s Bigfoot was real meant little. Contradictions of established scientific patterns must come with proof, and Patterson had nothing to explain why his Bigfoot violated a universal rule of primate physiology. But he swore on his deathbed in 1972 that his film was authentic. Robert Gimlin said the same for decades, wavering slightly only in 1999, when he admitted, “…I’m an older man now...and I think there could have been the possibility [of a hoax]. But it would have to be really well planned by Roger.” In the end, we may never know what happened that day. Scientific evidence supporting a genuine Bigfoot encounter is lacking, yet nobody has come forward with irrefutable proof of a hoax. The only analysis of the event must rely on the film, but the original negative is lost. Only Roger Patterson knew the truth, and he took that with him to the grave.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 02
1954—Joseph McCarthy Disciplined by Senate
In the United States, after standing idly by during years of communist witch hunts in Hollywood and beyond, the U.S. Senate votes 65 to 22 to condemn Joseph McCarthy for conduct bringing the Senate into dishonor and disrepute. The vote ruined McCarthy's career.
December 01
1955—Rosa Parks Sparks Bus Boycott
In the U.S., in Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give her bus seat to a white man and is arrested for violating the city's racial segregation laws, an incident which leads to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott resulted in a crippling financial deficit for the Montgomery public transit system, because the city's African-American population were the bulk of the system's ridership.
November 30
1936—Crystal Palace Gutted by Fire
In London, the landmark structure Crystal Palace, a 900,000 square foot glass and steel exhibition hall erected in 1851, is destroyed by fire. The Palace had been moved once and fallen into disrepair, and at the time of the fire was not in use. Two water towers survived the blaze, but these were later demolished, leaving no remnants of the original structure.
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