Bigfoot Encounters

Preface: The following is a narration from the program "The Quest: Bigfoot" originally aired on The Learning Channel, December 20, 1996. It is posted here on this website primarily for those who were unable to view it and for the people new to the Bigfoot phenomenon.

Aired on The Learning Channel…a documentary…

It lives in the shadows…
..thousands of people claim they have seen it,
but no one has brought it back dead or alive. Is it myth, monster or a distant cousin of man? The Quest tracks the truth about Bigfoot.

<Narration continues>
Beginning in the 1950’s, hikers and woodsmen roaming in the wilderness of Northern California came back with reports of a strange ape-like creature. Then in 1958, as loggers plunged ever deeper into the ancient forests of the Cascade Range, they found huge footprints unlike any seen before. The press immediately dubbed it "Bigfoot." Now The Quest picks up the trail.

<Re-creation >
A man, bending over noticing a Bigfoot print speaks over his walkie-talkie saying:
"Hey you guys better come up here and take a look at this."

<The Quest’s Narrator continues>
Is Bigfoot the last great undiscovered animal in the world? Or just a big hoax? Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest have long believed in a creature they call Sasquatch. . .an ape-like being dwelling on the fringes of civilization. That was only folklore, or so people thought! Then as legend turned into rumor, two hunters who had never seen Bigfoot <dramatization shown & re-created by actors> set out to shoot it. . .<pause>. . .shoot it on film! <Dramatic music>

<Visual re-creation of the Patterson Story>
They set out for Bluff Creek, California in the Trinity National Forest, 160 miles North of San Francisco. It had a reputation of being Bigfoot’s stomping grounds. . .

<Re-creation continues at a campsite as horses are seemingly disturbed by the presence of the creature>
Roger Patterson: <Actor reacting to noises> "What was that?" "A bear?"
Bob Gimlin: <Actor looking around his surrounding area with curiosity, horse reacts, Gimlin is cleaning his rifle by the late afternoon campfire>
"..a bear or something"

<Narrator continues>
Roger Patterson was a former rodeo rider and part time inventor. Bob Gimlin, an expert horseman and tracker. <scene shows them on horseback shooting from a 16 mm camera as they rode horseback through the wilderness> According to Patterson’s account, for seven days they saw nothing. All that changed on October 20, 1967. When it happened, the horses were the first to know. Patterson was so stunned he fell from his mount, as he stumbled forward with his camera, he claimed the creature paused to look back at them. Gimlin trained his gun <rifle> in case of attack. The creature had seen enough. It took off into the forest. Patterson filmed its flight with this camera, but he had already taken too many shots of the scenery, and abruptly ran out of film. This is the actual film shot by Roger Patterson. <infamous sequences shown as it was filmed>

Most scientist dismiss it as a clever hoax. Patterson earned a tidy profit as he licensed the footage world wide. His friend, Bob Gimlin, who didn’t make a nickel, maintains the film is genuine. What they saw he says, wasn’t a human dressed in fur, but a flesh and blood creature. Separating fact from fantasy isn’t easy. Since Bigfoot first appeared in the California Press, the story has multiplied in the tabloids, for every year brings another tall tale. <scene: Tabloid headlines are shown in flash forward sequences over Patterson and Gimlin riding horseback through the river>

<Narrator continues>
As if this weren’t enough to muddy it’s reputation, many of it’s alleged footprints (Bigfoot) and hair samples turned out to be fakes. One bit of fur found along side a footprint in California was actually the hair from a Barbie Doll. Do the fakes prove Bigfoot is a fraud? Or did the Patterson film actually capture a shy cousin of man, hiding out in the wilderness for thousands, perhaps millions of years.

<Patterson film sequences shown again>
As the worlds population grows, how could an animal as large as Bigfoot evade capture? Many zoologists believe all the earth’s large animals have already been discovered. Yet scientist spotted the first Mountain Gorillas in Africa only in 1901. The first Giant Panda was captured in China in 1936. Both were once dismissed as mere folklore. In 1939 zoologist in South Africa were stunned to discover a fish they thought had been extinct for fifty thousand years.

<J. Richard Greenwell> "I did a calculation and I came up with about 40% of all known animal species; 40% were discovered in this century."

<narrator>Richard Greenwell is a member of the International Society of Cryptozoology (ISC) which searches for unknown animals. For main stream scientist, Cryptozoology is a pseudo-science infatuated with giant octopuses and living dinosaurs. But Greenwell thinks Bigfoot is alive and well hidden.

<Richard Greenwell> "There are vast regions on this planet where there is hardly anybody at all or hardly anybody goes and certainly intelligent animals like primates could survive there and remain undetected. It is possible."

<Narrator> Greenwell also believes the animal may be nocturnal, further explaining why it hasn’t been discovered.

<Richard Greenwell> "Animals have strategies for survival, you know, some moving birds, others have spines on their backs perhaps some animals have strategies that make them more difficult to find, -I call that elusiveness."

<Narrator> Interested by such a large quarry and undaunted by the skimpy evidence, a small group of researchers mounted the most exhaustive hunt yet, to find the elusive creature. The most abundant evidence of Bigfoot according to believers are it’s footprints. So far, collectors have cast more than 400 of them. Bob Titmus, who has explored the back woods of British Columbia saw his first Bigfoot track on a logging road in 1958.

<Bob Titmus> "I’d never seen anything like it. I couldn’t imagine what on earth was making it and after I tracked him several times in the next few weeks, why I came to believe that it had to be, absolutely had to be some live animal."

<Narrator continues> Titmus has been a professional hunter all of his life, from Alaska to Mexico. But the trophies on his wall belong to Bigfoot. He believes no man or machine could have made those tracks.

<Titmus> "The fluctuation in that track and the movement in the foot and the places this would go that no mechanical thing could have gone…" <pausing reflectively>

<Narrator> The tracks would eventually lead Titmus to a remote canyon in the Rockies of Northern British Columbia on a Summer day in 1963. Thirty years later, the memory of what he claims he saw there, remains as vivid as when it happened.

<Bob Titmus> "I was going up an old glacier bed, and there was reports of Indians having shot one (Bigfoot) up there many years before…and looking across the canyon…there’s a huge canyon in front of me…I noticed three things going up the opposite wall. It was 3 Sasquatches and they were climbing just hand over hand like this <visual demonstration> and then they bring up a foot and heel round for a toe hold and that sort of thing…<pausing> and I watched them for alittle over 20 minutes before they got over the top. That was a sight to see!" <Titmus’s eyes are obviously in a distant stare mode as he relives the unimaginable event>

<Narrator> Like other Sasquatch hunters who came back empty handed, Titmus has only met with ridicule…without even a snapshot, no one believed him. . .except John Green, a journalist and former newspaper publisher in British Columbia. He had followed Bigfoot in the press. When he heard about Titmus’s find, he tracked him down.

<John Green> "In 1958 there was a picture in the newspaper of a man holding a cast. . .one of the huge footprints. . .I just got in the car and went down there to see what it was all about and footprints are real, there has to be something real to make them."

<Narrator> Since 1958, Green has collected more than 3000 eye witness accounts from the United States and Canada, in some cases even obtaining sworn affidavits. Most sightings are in the Pacific Northwest, others come from as far East as Indiana and Arkansas. Green admits some reports turned out to be false. But he is convinced "most" are authentic.

<John Green> "It reaches the point where the explanation that there is an animal with a foot like that and it looks like what people say they see, is by far the simpler explanation than to try to patch together some human conspiracy operating over hundreds of years and right across the entire globe."

<Narrator> From 1958 to 1962 both Titmus and Green became involved in expeditions led by fellow enthusiast Tom Slick. An oil millionaire, Slick spent a small fortune to try and track Bigfoot down. Even managing to collect his alleged droppings. When he died in a plane crash, the trail grew cold. Slick’s records of his expeditions and his evidence vanished. Some say his company destroyed them out of embarrassment. Others say they’re hidden away. Perhaps the most methodical search for Bigfoot is taking place here at Washington State University. Anthropologist Grover Krantz has risked his professional reputation by taking Bigfoot seriously. Largely because he believes the footprints are real.

<G. Krantz> "What happened here is the individual stepped on a stone <demonstrating with a footprint casting> and the stone impressed deeply into the foot. Now we know that this is not a fake that somebody put on and rocked it side to side to get the impression on both sides because a very good fingerprint expert was able to trace the dermal ridges running all the way across the footprint without any break right through the rock impression and since theres no human foot that’s this large, no human foot has that thickness of padding, we quite sure this is real."

<Narrator> By studying the Patterson film frame by frame, Krantz has even come up with how he thinks Bigfoot walks.

<Krantz> They do swing their arms back and forth in a human manner but the differences come from, umm -they lean forward at the hip, ah more than a normal human does or should. When they put weight support on one foot, they bend at the knee- -a so…" <Krantz demonstrating Bigfoot’s gait>

<Narrator> Whether by coincidence or design, most reports of Bigfoot have described the same slumping posture; slightly bent at the knees and free swinging arms. Some proof, like Bigfoot remains elusive, yet the camera shy creature gets around. It’s even been spotted on the other side of the world. The Himalayas have long been a home of the Yeti. Like Bigfoot, a hairy ape like creature with a cone shaped head. In 1921 British mountaineers ventured into it’s domain when they set out to scale Mt. Everest. At 17,000 feet, two thirds of the way up, a Sherpa guide spotted dark figures moving in the snow fields above them. According to the guide, the creature was the elusive Matoa Kambi, a man who is not a man. A mistake in it’s translation would give it it’s popular name "The Abominable Snowman." By the time the group reached the spot, the figures (true to form) were gone. Over night the reclusive Abominable Snowman became a world wide sensation. In fact he was a man like creature according to the Sherpa’s, who lived high up in the mountains. Occasionally coming down to pilfer food from the villagers or devour a Yak. He was abominable, but a shy harmless beast who shunned humans. For the next 40 years, dozens of other sightings were reported,. Then in 1960, the conqueror of Mt. Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary returned to the Himalayas on a scientific expedition. One of this goals, to find the Yeti. What he found were snowy footprints allegedly made by the creature. He concluded that they were ordinary animal tracks, perhaps those of a bear enlarged and distorted as the snow melted. Hillary also examined a so called Yeti skull cap preserved in a Tibetan Monastery. Instead it was the skin of a goat like animal. The Abominable Snowman it turned out, was also invisible. The Sherpa’s believed he could disappear at will. A Yeti, Hillary concluded was merely a fascinating fairy tale.

<Narration continues> The idea of an ape like creature living on the fringes of humanity has been around for thousands of years. From the epics of ancient Babylon to the English tale of Beowulf could it be that over a millennium, people around the world have conjured up the same myth? An extinct giant ape that’s a dead ringer for Bigfoot.

For two and a half million years a possible answer to the riddle of Bigfoot lay hidden in a remote cave in China. Then in 1989 anthropologist’s found the teeth and fossilized bones of an ape like creature far larger than man. The bones were mere fragments, but scientists estimated the animals stood more than 8 feet tall and weighed as much as 1200 pounds. They named it Gigantopithecus.

<Grover Krantz> "This is a specimen of a lower jaw of a Gigantopithecus.."

<visual demonstrating> "This is the only adult male specimen and contains the teeth and the tooth bearing part of the jaw, ah broken off at the same ah parts, you can see it’s obviously extraordinarily large."

Narrator> Some anthropologists believe we share a common ancestor with Gigantopithecus. Then 11 million years ago our lines split and we climbed difference branches of our family tree. By 2 million years ago, Gigantopithecus roamed the lands along side Homo Erectus, our up right ancestor. The proof lay in the cave in China. Along with the Giganto bones, scientist found fragments of Homo Erectus, dating to the same time. If the two creatures co-existed two million years ago ~ ~ could we still be living with Giganto’s descendants? Grover Krantz likes to think so.

<Grover Krantz> "The ah.. descriptions that people give of the ah…Bigfoot are the same size as what we have reconstructed here on the ah.. Gigantopithecus . He comes out to be about 8 feet tall, hairy, wide shouldered, very heavy set and with a nearly but ah ape like face but somewhat straighter, more vertical. . .and that’s an exact description of the Bigfoot."

<Narrator> According to his theory, Giganto originated in East Asia, where it’s bones were found. It could have crossed into North America over land bridges that formed during the ice ages. This was the same route taken by the first Americans <map demonstration> whose descendants still know the creature as Sasquatch.

With nothing to go on but debatable sightings and questionable footprints, Bigfoot by any name, remains the mere shadow of a ghost. It’s bones have never been discovered. But Grover Krantz thinks he can explain that. He believes animals dying a natural death tend to hide themselves before they die…and until someone bags a Bigfoot, no bones will ever turn up.

<Grover Krantz> "I have talked to so many hunters, game guides, ah officials and asked them all the same question: How many dead bears have you found that died a natural death? So far my grand total is zero!"

<Narration continues> Like Krantz, Joe Hovery of British Columbia remains a true believer. His revelation came one Sunday in July, 1988. He was camping along the Silver River and he’d gone to pick some berries.

<Joe> "Then I’d heard some noises, some kind of noises, like somebody walking, so I thought there is somebody human here and I said <out loud> "Anybody here?"

<Narrator> No one answered. Everything was quiet except for the rustling of the leaves. Then Joe saw an animal like a bear, standing on it’s hind legs, but it didn’t make the trampling noises a bear typically makes, and it DID NOT look like any bear he had ever seen.

<Joe> "I thought I was having a stroke…<chuckle> seeing double - <heh heh>
he <Bigfoot> reached for a branch like this <demonstrating> then he pulled it down to his mouth and ate like this…<continuing to demonstrate human behavior> ..very politely, and very civilized way. When I see this humongous creature, holy smoke, it’s ah over six feet tall, so I really kinda got in ..ah…instant shock. I couldn’t figure out what it was. It’s not bear, not standing straight up and looks like human in a bear coat <chuckle> I have goose bumps. See I never believe theres such a thing you know, never in my life!"

<Narrator> Close to 3000 people like Joe swear they’ve seen the same hulking brown creature. Are they all seeing the same mirage? Or simply looking for their 15 minutes of fame? Those who search in earnest for Bigfoot pay a price for their belief.

<Richard Greenwell, ISC> On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I absolutely believe in Bigfoot after I evaluate all the data and read all the information . On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays I think it’s a lot of nonsense…on Sundays I rest.

<Narrator> Bigfoot still lurks in the shadows, invisible and implausible. If he is just a figment of our imagination, his appeal is easy to see - - - a mysterious loner, jealously guarding his privacy. Thumbing his nose at civilization.

~ ~ END ~ ~


My intent was to show a postage stamp size AVI of the original show as it was aired on The Learning Channel on this website. As life goes sometimes, multifaceted red tape has bogged down permission from The Learning Channel and subsequent copyrights etcetera. To air would be to err….

<Personal commentary> In my humble opinion, this episodic rendition of a Bigfoot documentary, was basically more of the same stuff we’ve been hearing for years.

If you were expecting something new on the subject of Bigfoot, it wasn’t forthcoming here in the episode. I personally went to the trouble of transcribing in shorthand the narration specifically to upload on this website in the interest of the newbie Bigfoot enthusiast in their quest for additional information. Seasoned Bigfoot researchers and enthusiasts will find nothing in this narrative they didn’t already know.

Having said that, I uplink here the narrated portion of the show as it was spoken with no additions and only the subtractions of commercials. I continue to pursue permission to show the AVI video sequences with all the feminine wiles at my disposal. . . but I’m not holding my breath! ~ ~ Bobbie Short, January 7, 1997.

Producers: Tom Maughton and Nicolas Valcour
Directed by Stacey Foiles
Narrator: Will Lyman
Writer: Robert Clem
Line Producer: Mike Sinclair
Assoc. Producer: Steven Zorn
Production Mgrs: Joy Nimmo, Nuke Maleski
Director of Photography: Greg Voight and Bob Smith
Editor- Heidi Ann Perkins
Researchers: Christine Cipriani, Penn Kassin Goulart, Gary Legum
Composer Animation: Joe Pitts
Graphics: R. Joseph Jacobson
On-line Editor: Ed Morris
Assistant Editor: Scott Krehbier
Art Director: John Wade
Production Acct: Pam Chance
Production Secretary: Andrea K. Edwards
Music, Audio Post Productions
Earworks Digital Audio
Robert Smith, Producer
Tom Gwahney, IV, Composer

~Stills and Motion Pictures~

Archive Film
René Dahinden
John Green
Hot Shots/Cool Cuts
The Image Bank
International Society of Cryptozoology
Patricia Patterson
United States Geological Society, Vancouver, Washington

Special en Mitchell
Production Management, Olivia Foster, Linda Guiset
Executive Producer: Maurice Paleau

Produced by New Dominion Pictures
Aired in it’s 30 minute entirety, December 20, 1996
~ ~ Copyright: THE LEARNING CHANNEL ~ ~

Narration on this website done by Bobbie Short, 1996

Back to Films

Back to What's New?
Back to Newspaper & Magazine Articles