Bigfoot Encounters


"Planet of the Apes" Special Effects Designer Says He Didn't Do It


The article published by CNI News Agency was not completely factual. A complete video tape of the birthday party was made available to Bobbie Short by Scott Essman who hosted the celebration given for John Chambers along with the former actors who played the monkeys in the film, "Planet of the Apes" filmed in 1968.

In no way was this party an "interview" as claimed by Mark Chorvinsky in his magazine.

It was more a birthday-combination-memorabilia/Auld Lang Syne party than a birthday party as the actors presented Chambers with a scrapbook of the "Apes" filming with signature notes of a personal nature to the celebrant. This was in no way in "interview!"

At the end of the tape, someone yells across the room "hey John, did you make the monkey suit for the Patterson Film?" He replies to the negative, which was confirmed in an interview the following day by a non-staff nurse by the name of Bobbie Short.

Short states "if you compare the costume work Chambers was able to create in 1968 for the "Apes" film with the 1967 Patterson film, you can clearly see Chambers could not have created a costume for the Patterson film. The comparisons are clear."

November 1, 1997

CNI News Agency

Oscar-winning Hollywood special effects wizard, John "Planet of the Apes" Chambers, has been alleged by rumor for years to be responsible for creating a costume featured in the famous Bigfoot film footage shot by Roger Patterson in 1967. The rumor was masterminded allegedly by film director John Landis and Baker perpetrated the advancement of the rumor, which was totally false in order to promote Chambers reputation. This was then believed and subsequently noted to be supported by numerous artists within the special effects industry. However, new information from Brian Penikas, Creative Director for a company called Makeup and Monsters, puts to rest the theory that Chambers had any hand in the Patterson film. Penikas writes:

"Recently my crew and I were involved in a surprise 75th birthday tribute to Mr. Chambers, for which 9 of us recreated a parody skit re-enacting characters from the Ape movies. Mr. Chambers and the rest of the guests, many of whom were survivors of the Apes saga, were wonderfully surprised.

"I had only met Mr. Chambers briefly prior to the surprise party, and the opportunity to discuss the "suit" rumor was not high on my agenda. This past Saturday [October 25, 1997], however, the cast of the Apes birthday skit went back (sans costumes and makeup) to visit with Mr. Chambers and his wife... [This] was our chance to truly and finally confront Mr. Chambers about these rumors and stories about him being involved in the Patterson film project. "Mr. Chambers told his story, on video tape, to us to set the record straight. I now have pictures of the suit that Chambers did make and you can rest assured that it is NOT the famous Patterson Bigfoot. In fact, it's not a suit AT ALL. It is an 8 foot tall plaster dummy of actor Richard "Jaws" Keil that was built (in 4 days) as a prop for a travelling carnival to be billed as "Bigfoot's Body" or some such sideshow attraction, and was apparently displayed in a coffin. That's all. Just a solid, 800-pound prop. "Mr. Chambers did say (in regards to the Patterson footage) that he and his crew wished they had done it, because they would have done it differently. I believe his exact words were, jokingly, 'We could've one better.' "So there you have it... We can all smile with relief that the Patterson footage is still the most convincing proof of our great folk legend's existence, and that it still has not been debunked. "I want that film to be real just as much as the next guy," Penikas said in conclusion.
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Story CNI News Agency

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