A Nitpicker's Guide to the Patterson Bigfoot Film
by Davy Russell

16 January 1999

Author Phil Farrand is known for his "Nitpicker's Guide" books exposing the errors, flaws, plot discrepancies, and production oversights for television series including the X-Files and Star Trek. It appears now that another film has fallen under the scrutiny of nitpickers...but not Mr. Farrand.

Instead, Clifford Crook and author Christopher L. Murphy, two bigfoot enthusiasts, claim they have found evidence to support the story behind the famous 1967 Patterson/Gimlin film as a hoax.

They base this claim on findings by Chris Murphy in 1995 when he used a photocopier to duplicate a frame of the footage and became increasingly suspicious as he zoomed in on a "bottle opener" shaped object at bigfoot’s waist. The object appeared in four consecutive frames and seems to be moving with the fleeing Sasquatch. Murphy theorizes this object is geometric and man-made....a fastener keeping the bigfoot costume in place.

Bigfoot researcher, Clifford Crook supports Chris Murphy’s idea that the Patterson film is a hoax
. Interestingly, the X-Project Magazine, along with many of our readers, have cast a skeptical eye on a famous photograph published by Crook in 1995, showing an alleged bigfoot in a swamp.

This is not the first time that the famous 30-second 16mm film footage, showing a female Sasquatch escaping into the woods of Bluff Creek, California in 1967, has suffered skeptical claims of fakery.

Strange Magazine editor Mark Chorvinsky conducted a one-year investigation into claims that the famous Patterson bigfoot was actually a man in an ape suit fabricated by sophisticated Hollywood make-up and special effects. Chorvinsky haggled with Bobbie Short for months trying to obtain rights to her audiotaped interview but a deal was never struck.

Unconfirmed rumors suggest Hollywood make-up artist John Chambers was involved in creating the fleeing man-beast. John Chambers is credited with several cinematic costume/make-up projects including "Planet of the Apes", "Outer Limits", and "Lost in Space". Chambers is believed to be the only person who had the knowledge and skill to create such a realistic bigfoot in the Patterson film at the time. (see note at the bottom of this article)

Among the other criticisms of the Patterson film is the fact that Patterson conveniently ran out of film, providing a safe reason for ending the taping...perhaps to limit the likeliness that other production flaws would be discovered, as some suggest. Nevertheless, the Patterson bigfoot is the standard for many researchers who compare plaster casts of tracks against the creature. Much information on bigfoot’s behaviour and anatomy has been taken from analysis of the film as well.

Crook and Murphy’s claims are probably not going to have a very devastating impact on the Patterson bigfoot film, as it has avoided concrete evidence of fakery over the last 30 years of its existence despite similar claims from others. We will just have to wait for the next observation that once again sheds controversial light on an already controversial film.

The Nando Times
New Claims allege Bigfoot film was Hoaxed - Nando Media and Associated Press 1999
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Important note: In October of 1997 Bobbie Short interviewed John Chambers in person in his facility and recorded on audiotape John Chambers lack of personal involvement and his denial that he had anything to do with the alleged costume for the Patterson-Gimlin Film; in fact, he claimed he didn't know either man at the time the film was made. He was busy doing his Academy Award winning work for the 1968 release of "Planet of the Apes," which was as good as his ability with costume work ever got and it won the Academy award that year. Have a look at "Plantet of the Apes," the costume work Chambers did, it was top of the line in 1967 and 1968, yet none of the costumes come even close to resembling that of the Patterson film. Chambers, of course, died in August of 2001, but his interview was personally audiotaped by Bobbie Short and another videotape done by Scott Essman. Any of the Hollywoodites who proclaim Chambers made the costume for Roger Patterson need to try and duplicate it today; it still cannot be done. Chambers is on record saying he was the best and he could not have duplicated what he saw in the Patterson film. It should also be noted that Mark Chorvinsky of Strange Magazine NEVER interviewed John Chambers and his haggling for the rights to Short's interview never came to fruition.

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