Greg Long is a Pacific Northwest resident whose work has been featured on The Discovery Channel. He is a Journalist, Investigator and Researcher, and the author of the explosive exposé, “The Making of Bigfoot: The Inside Story,” published by Prometheus Books – March 2004
Why didn't Bob Heironimus confess he wore the Bigfoot suit a long time ago, right after he found out he'd never be paid his thousand dollars by Roger Patterson? You'd think he would have if he were an honest man!
1. Bob H. did confess he wore the suit early on. He confessed to several close friends that he wore the suit, in 1967 and 1969. He asked his friends to not broadcast the news because he still wanted to get his $1,000 from Roger Patterson.
2. Bob H. confessed he wore the suit to his wife Glenda, in about 1970. She has always believed him; has no reason to disbelieve him; she's been married to him nearly thirty-five years and he has stood by his story to her.
3. Bob H. didn't come forward and confess to the general public until now because he had made a "gentleman's agreement" with Roger Patterson not to tell anyone. He had the misguided notion that somehow he would get paid.
4. Beyond Bob H.'s friends, quite a number of people in Yakima have known for many years that Bob H. wore the suit. The story got around the Noell Corporation in Yakima where Bob H. worked for nearly 20 years. It was common knowledge in Noell as early as the 1980s that Bob H. wore the suit. Importantly, Bob H. never denied to ANY OF THESE PEOPLE that he wore the suit.
5. The reason that Bob H. never confessed to wearing the suit to the media or an attorney in 1967 or 1968, and for years later – REMEMBER THE FILM HAS BEEN SHOWN FOR YEARS IN DOCUMENTARIES, MANY OF THESE THROUGHOUT THE 1970s -- is Bob H. held out the hope that he would receive money, and although he has never stated this, I am sure he was concerned about legal ramifications. NOTE: Bob H. DID get an attorney in late 1998 to represent him.
6. Finally, it just isn't true that people who engage in a hoax or an activity and feel guilty about it IMMEDATELY CONFESS when their fellow hoaxer double-crosses them, as in this case Roger Patterson double-crossing Bob H. For example, members of the Mafia never turn in their fellow gangsters when they confess to crimes they commit until there is a benefit to confessing: i.e., witness protection program, reduced sentence, exoneration, etc. Bob H. held out hope that if he kept his promise "to keep his mouth shut" he would get paid.
In the world of Bigfootery, Ray Wallace never confessed to the public to making fake Bigfoot prints at Bluff Creek in 1958. But he did confess to his family. No one knew about Ray Wallace's Bigfoot track fakery until he recently died. Forty-five years had passed until the truth came out! In the annals of ufology, two boys took a photo of one of them holding a plate in his hand. With a bright light shining on one of the boy's arms and hand—and the plate in his hand, and with overexposure of the film—a "flying saucer" with a trail of light was successfully faked photographically. This fake UFO photo even stumped the famous Condon committee which the Air Force sponsored to get to the root cause of UFO reports. The boys, now grown men, confessed in the mid-1990s, thirty years after the hoax. Several years ago a British man confessed that he faked a famous Loch Ness monster photo that withstood explanation for sixty years when he explained how he photographed a small replica of a lake monster's neck and head mounted on a board and placed in the waters of the lake. The photograph was actually taken close to the shore of the lake.
Bob H is not unusual in the respect of coming forward decades after the Bigfoot hoax was perpetrated.
THEREFORE, NOT confessing a hoax until years later isn't unusual.
Well, Bob Gimlin has never confessed to the Bigfoot hoax. It's been more than thirty-six years since the alleged "hoax" took place, and his position is that Bob H. is a liar. Bob Gimlin was "screwed over" by Patterson and DeAtley and never got much money, if any. You would have thought Bob H. would have been angry and exposed Patterson. Bob Gimlin still contends he saw a Bigfoot.
1. That is Bob Gimlin's position: he saw a Bigfoot. But Bob Gimlin also doesn't give open-ended interviews to the media to allow an analysis of his statements.
2. When the Man Who Wore the Bigfoot Suit confessed to his lawyer, Bob Woodard, that he wore the suit, and reporter David Wasson of the Yakima Herald called Bob Gimlin for his response to the anonymous man's allegations, Bob Gimlin had no comment. Wouldn't Bob Gimlin have stated that the anonymous Man in the Suit was a liar?
3. Bob Gimlin told British TV documentary producer Chris Packham on record for X-Creatures, three to four years ago, that Patterson "could have hoaxed him." This sounds incriminating since Bob Gimlin has always maintained he saw a Bigfoot.
Why do you believe Bob H's story?
1. He has never changed his story.
2. He has never embellished the story or suddenly remembered details that would enrich the story. He has admitted to me that he just can't remember certain details. The details, although they would be useful for the story, are NOT CRITICAL DETAILS. The lack of the details doesn't undermine the CONSISTENCY AND TRUTHFULNESS of the story.
3. In interviews, Bob was always spontaneous and unplanned in his answers; no hesitations; no stumbling over words; no body language suggesting deceit; etc.
4. No criminal record.
5. Steady employment - not fired from a job ever, to my knowledge.
6. Married nearly thirty-five years; two children; homeowner. Stable with financial responsibilities and mouths to feed.
7. Open and frank, simple and direct.
8. His friends say he's honest; none has a reason to disbelieve his story.
9. His former employers say he's honest.
10. He was an amateur actor in Patterson's Bigfoot film being shot near Tampico, WA – we have photographic evidence of this fact. Therefore, Patterson knew Bob H. and was in a position to ask him to wear a gorilla suit.
11. He lives in Ahantum, WA, within fifteen miles of Patterson's house – thus, a CONVENIENT resource for Patterson.
12. He owned a horse that Patterson borrowed.
13. Opal Heironimus (Bob H's mother) is on record that she loaned Bob H her car to drive to Bluff Creek. Also, she saw the Bigfoot/gorilla suit in her car right after the hoax.
14. John Miller, Bob H's nephew, saw the suit.
15. Bob Hammermeister saw the suit in Bob H's car.
16. Most of the witnesses I have interviewed said that Bob H. wore the suit.
17. No one in the Ahtanum Valley or Yakima has ever mentioned ANYONE ELSE BUT Bob H. as the man in the suit.
18. Bob H. retained an attorney to advise him. Clearly, Bob H. knew what he was doing when he confessed to me, allowing his story to be put into print. Bob H. has stated that he is taking a risk, but "I am telling the truth," he states over and over.
19. I have NOT ONE SHRED OF EVIDENCE to doubt Bob H.'s word.
So, you're saying that Bob Gimlin is a liar?
I am saying that I believe Bob H's story.
So Bob Gimlin is lying?
I'll let the facts in my book speak for themselves.
Was Patty Patterson part of the hoax?
All that I can say is that Bob H. told me in an interview that Patty Patterson was looking out a window in the Pattersons' house when he, Bob H., was putting on the suit.
You don't have the Bigfoot suit! You have NO MATERIAL EVIDENCE that a suit ever existed! Where's the smoking gun?
1. I PERSONALLY do NOT have the suit. I don't know if it has been DESTROYED or is LYING IN A BOX in somebody's closet.
2. The suit is NOT required to PROVE THIS CASE.
2. Defendants in MURDER TRIALS have been found GUILTY WITHOUT the MURDER WEAPON, NOR even the BODY.
For example the History Channel recently ran a story regarding William Douglas, a Tufts University professor in Boston, MA, who bludgeoned a woman to death. They found her coat, but not her body. Nonetheless, he was found guilty and is serving time.
3. Even though we do not have the gorilla suit, we DO HAVE THE STATEMENTS of Philip Morris, who sold Roger Patterson the suit! Morris has studied the gorilla suit worn by Bob H. in the sixty-second film.
The analysis of all the suit's features MATCH Morris's suit, except for TWO ITEMS:
a) the mask,
b) the appearance of the fur; the fur was brushed down all over Patterson's (Morris's) suit (Morris teased the fur on his suits to give them a wild look).
Otherwise the suit was Morris's suit.
4. Amy Morris (Philip's wife) identified the suit as the suit Morris made (she sewed together the parts).
5. If a gorilla suit can be created by human hands which looks exactly like the suit in Patterson's film, and if a man confesses to wearing a suit that looks like the suit in Patterson's film, and has no knowledge where the suit came from (Bob H. never met or heard of Philip Morris), and if the man who confesses to wearing the suit walks like the fake "Bigfoot" in the film, it is logical to assume that the Bigfoot in Patterson's film is a man in one of Morris's gorilla suits. And this happens to be the case! Thus, we DON'T NEED the actual suit to prove the hoax!
What if Morris is a liar? Where is his proof that the Bigfoot is a man in a suit? Or that it is his costume?
1. He made the suit.
2. He has studied the suit in the film and compared it to his suits that he designed and made in 1967. The features, except for the mask match. (One difference: the fur on the suit in the film was brushed down.)
3. He ran ads advertising his suit in the time frame when Patterson would need the suit. The ads were in Amusement Business which could have been found in a local rodeo office. Patterson was a rodeo rider.
4. Patterson called up Morris and IDENTIFIED HIMSELF AS ROGER PATTERSON.
5. It wasn't long after Morris sold Patterson the suit that the suit appeared in Patterson's film on TV. Immediately, Morris recognized his suit. He used the suits in his own show and sold them to carnival owners and carnival showmen. He knew his suit. He was an expert in gorilla suits since he was the ONLY ONE IN THE U.S. who was making gorilla suits FOR THE PUBLIC in 1967.
6. He knew whom he had sold his suits to at that time and the areas of the country where they lived. He knew he had just sold a suit to Patterson.
7. Bob H. felt what seemed to be football player pads in his shoulders. Morris told Patterson to use football player shoulders in the suit when Patterson asked how to give the shoulders in Morris's suit bulk.
8. Weight of suit matches Bob H 's memory of weight of suit. Etc.
9. Morris was well-known in costume business. He has a reputation. Why lie? He's also 68 years old (just turned 68) and in early stages of old age. Why ask for a lawsuit at his age? Also, why risk his company—his kids work in the company.
10. Like Bob H, he kept the story to himself for decades. He saw recent TV documentaries. He felt the time was now right to tell the story – he wants the truth to be told. He had been telling people in his immediate profession his story, and no one doubted him; I have came along at the RIGHT MOMENT to hear his story and see that the public knew the TRUTH.
11. Good character references.
12. Sells costumes to Hollywood and TV shows. Again, he is known in the industry. He isn't a shady character, an opportunist.
13. He fits the right "role" in the story – he had a gorilla suit at the right time and the right price for Roger Patterson.
What drove you to solve this case?
1. I have had a love of mysteries since a child. At age nine, I started collecting stories on UFOs from my local newspaper, was a fan of science fiction and fantasy, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and other similar television shows. I read H.G. Wells avidly, collected sci-fi magazines, Famous Monsters of Filmland, Ray Palmer's Flying Saucer magazine, Amazing Stories, etc. I also fell in love with art and writing.
2. I have a love for the truth also. Life has taught me that "truth is stranger than fiction." In the late 1960s and on, I began writing fiction and nonfiction. When I moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1978, both UFOs and Bigfoot fell into my lap, so to speak. I wanted to know the truth: Are UFOs real? Is Bigfoot real? I viewed the subjects as fair game for investigation, research, and writing, and I approached them as a journalist: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
3. This led me to researching both UFOs and Bigfoot on the Yakama Indian Reservation. I had heard of Patterson's film, and I had seen it on television. Was there a real Bigfoot in that film? Given my decades of interest in mysteries, in both fictional and on-fictional stories, and a general curiosity about all aspects of life and the love to travel, I decided to see if the film did show a real Bigfoot. I wanted to know THE TRUTH. The world is, alas, filled with half-truths and outright lying; witness certain corporate thieves, modern snake oil sellers, less-than-truthful politicians, and terrorists we face today. I became OBSESSED with getting down to the bedrock about who was Roger Patterson; what did he do; when; where; and how?
In short, I was driven by the TRUTH and the DESIRE TO TELL A GOOD STORY – A NON-FICTIONAL ONE – to reveal to the world one of the great CON JOBS of the last century.
Roger Patterson was such a tragic figure. Are you picking on him?
Long: I go where the TRUTH takes me. Patterson was a sad figure, a sociopath and a man dying of cancer, but he could still have lived a MORAL life. He could have made a living in other ways than conning people. He had an ARTISTIC talent and a WAY WITH WORDS and could WORK WITH HIS HANDS. He could have funneled those talents if he had tried. But he took the EASY WAY OUT:
Lying, obfuscating, cheating, stealing, manipulating.
However TRAGIC Patterson was, he could have still died with HONOR and INTEGRITY. That's what counts in the end.
Regardless of who you are, poor or rich, ill or healthy, shouldn't you strive to be HONEST, GOOD TO YOUR FELLOW MAN, AND ACHIEVE SUCCESS WITHOUT LYING, CHEATING, AND STEALING?
Or, are certain people above the law?
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