Bigfoot Encounters

Bigfoot Filmmakers Had Backing From
Yakima Businessman Al DeAtley, Jr.

The AP Friday February 5, 1999 YAKIMA - Days after shooting their famous 1967 Bigfoot film, sasquatch hunters Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin were in Hollywood promoting the controversial footage, the Yakima Herald-Republic reported yesterday. 

Joining them as a full partner in Bigfoot Enterprises was Yakima business operator Albert DeAtley Jr., according to records in the Yakima County Superior Court archives.

DeAtley, one of the state's largest paving contractors, withdrew from the partnership less than three years later and gave his one-third share to Patterson, his brother-in-law, the newspaper said.

"The only thing I did was to loan Roger money," DeAtley said when asked this week about his role in the company.

The authenticity of the film has come under renewed fire since a Yakima man said last week he wore a fur suit and posed as the apelike creature in the grainy, 60-second segment.

The man is apparently negotiating the rights to his story, the newspaper said.
 Many Bigfoot believers are accusing the man - whose identity has been withheld by Zillah attorney Barry Woodard - of fabricating the tale in hopes of getting rich.

Woodard said his client passed a lie-detector test.
 "It sounds to me like he's just trying to make some cold, hard cash," said an angry Erik Beckjord, director of the Sasquatch Research Project in San Francisco, "That should tell you something about his credibility." 

Patterson and Gimlin claimed that in late October 1967, they filmed a startled sasquatch retreating across a streambed into the Northern California woods.
 Within 12 days, they were doing business as Bigfoot Enterprises in the movie capital of the world.

The company was formed Nov. 1, 1967.
 Patterson, who died of cancer in 1972, had written and self-published a book about Bigfoot in 1966, about the time Yakima became a hotbed of sasquatch activity.

He also was filming a documentary on the subject.
 By 1975, the partnership had soured.

Records show Bob Gimlin sued DeAtley and Patterson's widow, Patricia, claiming he wasn't receiving his share of the film's proceeds. The lawsuit was settled out of court.

Details were kept confidential.
 Gimlin and Patricia Patterson both have declined comment

Asked whether he ever questioned the authenticity of the 1967 Bigfoot film, DeAtley said he purposely avoided the subject: "I never asked, because I didn't want to know."

Copyright 1999 Seattle Times Company

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