JOHN GREENS INTERVIEW WITH BOB GIMLIN 1992
My thanks also to Peter Guttilla who made this interview known to me and causing it all to come together with prodding encouragement from the wings. Peter has been generous with his honest recollections; he's testimony to veteran Bigfoot generosities.
Gimlin: Yes. I knew Roger in the early 1960s. I met Roger about 1958-59.
Green: So that was before he got interested in Bigfoot?
Gimlin: Yes. I cant recall just exactly when he did start talking to me about Bigfoot. But it was probably in the early 1960s.
Green: Did you go out with him at all, looking into this?
Gimlin: Yes. Roger and I had gone out many times in different areas and over in the Mt. St. Helens area and actually up in this area here because there was a fellow who said he sighted a bigfoot right up here at Cowiche Canyon near Yakima, which is about 20 miles from here. I went up there with Roger on that investigation. Of course, we covered as many of them as we could when theyd call or somebody would give us a report on something thats happening in the area. Roger and I rode [horseback] in the mountains quite a bit because I was training the horses at that time. Of course I rode a lot in the mountains and Roger would go along with me and hed play tapes and talk to me about the creature. I was a skeptic in those days. I trusted Rogers thoughts and his knowledge, but I wasnt really convinced that they existed.
Green: How did you come to take this particular trip to California?
Gimlin: Well Roger and I had been over in the Mt. St. Helens riding the roads and just more or less going by the lava rock caves and things when we came back from there... well, lets go back a little bit here...it started raining real heavy over there and this was in the last part of August and the first part of September. When we got back to the Yakima area, somebody in California had phoned Rogers wife and left a message that there had been tracks sighted on some new road they had been pushing back into the Bluff Creek area, ...that they were building logging roads into... you know, Roger wanted to leave right away, that is the reason we went down in to that area.
Green: Did Roger usually carry a movie camera with him?
Gimlin: Yes. Most of the time he had a camera that I can recall. I wasnt much on cameras but Roger did have a camera and prior to that he had been working with a guy up in this area here and thats when he bought the camera. I knew he had that camera, he usually kept it in his saddle bags on his horse.
Green: When you went to California, did you have some definite time you were going to spend there?
Gimlin: Yes, well we didnt know exactly because I was working construction at that time and I was in-between jobs, so I said yes, I can take off and go down there. I cannot recall the exact amount of time I was going to stay down there with him but we stayed longer than Id planned on staying. In fact we stayed a week longer than I planned.
Green: How long were you there?
Gimlin: I think we were down there [California] a total of three weeks.
Green: ...and what were you traveling with?
Gimlin: I had a one ton truck with a horse van on it to haul the animals and all of our equipment. Of course we took all our supplies to stay as long as we needed to stay, the hay, the grain, our own food...because once we got in there, we never went into town.
Green: How many horses did you have?
Gimlin: We had 3 horses, two saddle horses and a pack horse. I had a saddle horse and Roger had a saddle horse and of course we had a small pack horse along.
Green: What was Al de Atleys role in this?
Gimlin: Well, Al de Atley was Roger Pattersons brother-in-law and he backed Roger financially with whatever expenses it took Roger to go to these places. He was supposed to help me on some of the expenses which I never did receive.
Green: So you provided the truck and the...
Gimlin: yeah, and the fuel, my own horse and my own food. The agreement when we left on any of those investigations was that whatever Roger spent that we would split the expenses with me but Al de Atley was backing Roger, because Roger didnt have a job at the particular time.
Green: ...so in fact he only financed Roger, he didnt finance your share at all?
Gimlin: No, he didnt finance my part of the trip at all. I had my own horse, my own equipment and my own food. I didnt expect somebody else to support me on that. It would have been nice if I could have gotten part of the fuel pay paid and expenses on the truck.
Green: So you went to an area where you heard tracks had been seen fairly recently?
Gimlin: Yes. Just prior to the time we had gotten there, they had sighted tracks on that Tuesday after being off over the Labor Day weekend. It had also started raining all up and down the West coast. By the time we got down there, these tracks supposedly were 3 different sizes and were just globs in the mud as far as I was concerned. We couldnt get any plaster cast definition of them at all.
Green: I never realized that you went down there for that specific set of tracks....
Gimlin: Yes, thats the reason we went into that area. I wasnt real anxious to go down there because I needed to go back to work, but Roger kept saying these guys were pretty good down in that area, I cant remember the fellows name that called up here...
Green: ... probably Al Hodgson.....
Gimlin: Yes! It was Al Hodgson, but there was somebody else who had talked to Roger too, a guy that worked for the Forest Service.
Green: Syl McCoy maybe?
Gimlin: Yes, I think that was his name, yeah, McCoy... something like that. Course it took me a while around here to get things ready, so my wife could do my chores because I had animals at that time, to be able to feed them and take care of them...to be gone that long, ...[reflecting] ...why I had to make provisions for her to take care of the animals.
Green: That is interesting because I was there and saw those tracks youre referring too and when I was there Al Hodgson told me he was expecting Roger...well maybe hed called him already by then.
Gimlin: ...may have...
Green: I took that to mean that Roger already had a trip there planned before that...
Gimlin: Uh huh, well I dont recall whether he had a trip planned prior to the call or not... in fact I dont think he did. Like I said, wed been in the Mt. St. Helens area and when I came back here I was going to go back to work in two weeks. Then I talked to him [Roger] again. We said we were kind of in-between jobs so we can take a couple of weeks off and thats mainly the reason I went on down and Roger went with me because it was my equipment.
Green: So what did you do when you got there?
Gimlin: Well first we set up camp of course. Then the way we do is just ride the roads, when these guys were working on the roads with bulldozers and everything, as quick as theyd quit working, we would ride up in that area and search for tracks or whatever wed run into - then we would take the one ton pick-up when the equipment was off the road, so we could drive the roads. We would drive the roads at night real slow looking for tracks crossing the road. Of course in the day time we couldnt drive the roads cause they were working on the roads up in there. They had started logging in some areas and the logging trucks had started coming down from there. We covered as many miles as we could with the amount of time that we had. We could only go out so far then we had to go back to camp. I mean, we did ride back to camp and use the truck to drive the roads at night time.
Green: What happened on this particular day?
Gimlin: The day we got the film footage, I left early in the morning and Roger slept in. I just rode out and around, I always got up early and so I rode on out. My horse loosened a shoe and I came back in to tack the shoe on tighter. About 10:00, mid morning or so, I sat around there for a little while, because Roger was gone when I got back. Supposedly he had gone down the creek there, ..ah Bluff Creek there and after awhile he came back and asked what area I had covered that morning? I told him and he says why dont we ride up into this area we had ridden into before, a desolate type area down a couple of canyons, theres a creek running through it. So we went ahead and fixed lunch and he said lets get our gear together so when we ride out we can stay if we have to and stay a little bit later into the night if we need to. We packed up the pack horse and it was about mid day, perhaps a little bit after noon time when we went around this bend in the creek bed. There was a fallen tree and as we came around it there was this creature standing by the creek. Thats when everything started happening. The horses started jumping around, raising the devil and spooking from this creature. Roger, well his horse was rearing up and jumping around. . .he slid off him, got his camera out of the saddle bags and started trying to get pictures of this creature as it was walking away.
The film footage that you see [the Patterson film] is what was acquired from that particular sighting in the few seconds that we had film to take pictures with. . .and then Roger ran out of film in the camera. The reason for him running out of film was. . as we were riding up there, we just took our time and fooled around. It was in the fall of the year, the maple trees were turning red and it was kind of pretty and Roger was taking pictures of me riding up the canyons, pictures of the trees and photographing the surrounding areas. So when this all happened, he didnt have much film left in the camera unfortunately. Of course, some of it was kind of blurry because he was running across the creek to get a better view, - a closer view of the creature in a better way and get more pictures of it. When he did run out of film, why naturally it was one of those old cameras, that he had to get under a poncho to change film.
We went to catch his horse and the pack horse because I kept my horse under control. I had my horse with me all the time. So we caught his horse, got the new film out of the saddle bags, he got under this old poncho and changed the film around. Then we tried to track the creature on up from where we had last seen it. We didnt have much luck doing it. Then we decided it was getting late in the afternoon. In that area, that time of year, the sun goes down about 3:30 or 4 oclock. We wanted to get back and take plaster casts of the tracks and then go on into town to see if we had anything on film. We werent sure from Roger stumbling and falling down on the sand bar and getting up and running, ..we didnt even have an idea that we had anything on film at that time...in fact it was doubtful that we did have anything.
Green: So you cast the tracks the same day?
Gimlin: Yes we did. In fact right that afternoon. By the time we got the tracks cast and the different deals that we did to cast the tracks done, it was getting late. It was almost dark by the time we got back down to the truck and got the horses fed and tied up. By the time we got into town at Al Hodgsons store, it was good and dark. I imagine it was about 8:30 or 9 oclock. Then we went on over to...[reflecting] oh whatever town that was to mail the film up to Al de Atley, Rogers brother-in-law, so he could take it and get it developed to see if there was really anything on the film.
Okay, Ill go back a little bit to the casting of the tracks. I rode the big horse. The horse that I was riding was around 1200-1300 pounds. I rode him along side the tracks with this new film in the camera, Roger took pictures of how deep the horses prints were in the soil compared to the creatures tracks. Then I got up on a stump which was approximately 3 to 4 feet, you know? We didnt measure it, probably should have. Anyway I jumped off with a high heel boot as close to the track as we could. Then we took pictures of that to illustrate the depth that my foot print went into the same dirt with a high heel cowboy boot and at that time I weighed 165 pounds. These were all things that we did prior to leaving the scene. It was a good thing we did, because that night when we came back, ..course we were pretty excited about just seeing it and we sat there and talked about it until about 12:30 or one oclock in the morning.
Around 5:30 a.m. or so it started raining and it was just a pouring down rain. I told Roger we better get up and do something about the tracks or theyd wash out, and he said no, it would stop raining after a while. I went ahead and got up, put the saddle on my horse and decided I would ride up there while it was raining really hard and Roger says "ah itll quit, dont ride up there." I said "no, Im going to go ahead and ride on up there." I had gotten a couple of cardboard boxes from Mr. Hodgsons to cover these tracks the night before. So when I went outside to get a couple of these boxes that were folded up out there, they were just soggy old pieces of cardboard. I disregarded taking those back up there - so I rode back up to the scene, pulled some bark off some trees and covered up the tracks as best I could and went back to camp.
By then we decided it wasnt going to quit raining. The little creek that was six or seven feet across was now ten or twelve feet across and four feet deep! We were on the side of the creek which had to be crossed with the truck to get out to the main road. I said "well Im going to go ahead and cross the creek with the truck and get started out." And of course Roger thought it would stop raining and he suggested I leave him there and come back and pick him up.
In the meantime, why ah...they had called the track-dog people in Canada and they were supposed to come down. I think they had also phoned you, Mr. Green and René Dahinden. Im not sure when all that happened but I do remember the people in Canada had been called with the track-dogs to come on down to see if we could track it up on through the mountains from where we last saw it.
Green: I think it was the B.C. Museum that was called, cause that was the people who phoned me...
Gimlin: ...was that it? Oh, I couldnt recall just exactly how that went....
Green: ...a man from the museum had come down with me at the beginning of September...come down after I was there and told them the tracks were there.
Gimlin: Oh was that it? Okay well, I didnt remember just exactly how those sequences happened.
Green: yes, well it was from him I learned of the movie...the call must have gone to the museum...
Gimlin: ...must have, yeah, well Roger didnt do that, I think it was Al Hodgson. I think Roger had talked to him about the calling...well they had talked about it, but I was not present at the time they did.
Green: About how far was it from your camp to where this a...
Gimlin: Oh a calculated guess, I think it was about four miles...
Green: That movie that you took, comparing the depths of the tracks, that would be the one that you showed at the University of British Columbia?
Gimlin: Yes. That is the one shown in British Columbia.
Green: Are you aware that movie has been missing almost ever since?
Gimlin: Yes I am aware of that. I asked before Roger passed away and his reply was that Al de Atley had that somewhere. He didnt tell me exactly where. He [Roger] said that Al has the film in his possession somewhere. Of course I asked Al de Atley about it and he denied having it and denied it ever existed. That seems strange to me because I knew it existed and Roger knew it existed!
Green: ...and so did all the people at the University of British Columbia!
Gimlin: Exactly. See....so why the film disappeared, Ill never know and probably never find out....
Green: ...sounds almost as if Al lost it....
Gimlin: ...or sold it. Who knows what happened to it?
Green: ..well youd think if it had been sold it would have shown up sometime...
Gimlin: Well you know Al and Roger toured with that film afterwards and its hard telling what went on in those days and of course Roger made some deal with American National which I never did know...
I never was allowed to know the exact depth of it or what exactly happened there.
Green: But you know René Dahinden and I were the first people to make a deal for the use of the film itself. Al brought to Seattle the film of the creature and a great deal of footage that Roger had taken of the waterfalls and trees and various thing like that. The footprint film was supposed to be there but it wasnt.
Gimlin: Was it suppose to be on the same role of film?
Green: Oh no!
Gimlin: It was just a different role of film then?
Green: Well, I dont remember now if he brought a lot of little boxes or whether this film had already been spliced .
Gimlin: Yeah, see
Green: But anyway, we showed it expecting to find the footprint film but it wasnt there.
Gimlin: Yes, being as I didnt know much about movie cameras or splicing film or any of that sort of thing, anybody could have shown me the film and I wouldnt have been able to detect a splice except I knew what was taken [filmed] - -we all saw it, you know? Course the film footage of the creature wasnt that good but the other film footage was plain. It was taken during sun light hours and I thought it was a good film. I dont know what you guys thought about it, but I thought it was a pretty good film.
Insert: [History will no doubt record the greatness of the Patterson film, if not now on this 30 year anniversary, perhaps in the years to come.]
Green: Oh yes, as I remember I only saw it once but it was perfectly clear I thought [inaudible]
Gimlin: Well I saw it at the same time you guys did. I dont really recall everything that happened way back then you know. Course there was a lot of speculation at that time and Roger and Al had big dollar signs in their eyes you know. They were just going to go here and go there and well we did travel a lot with that film. There was a lot of money spent. Course _Argosy_ bought one article at that particular time, I think it was the fall of 1967 _Argosy_ bought the article. After that Al and Roger traveled with the film and promoted it somewhat.
That was about the time I went back to work because I didnt have any income. They just kind of cut me completely out of the thing. It took me forever to kind of even .well even after Roger died, I had to go to court to get any rights at all out of it which .[reflecting] you know was kind of an odd thing. But between Mrs. Pattersons attorney and her it was a deal where they did not recognize that I had any interest at all in the film. At one time I was supposed to be one-third partner on everything that happened. If there was money coming in, but then that all changed. The film itself, now maybe Al lost it, I really dont know what happened to that film footage where Roger and I took film of the tracks, my boot tracks and the horses and so forth .
Green: Remember how deep the horse tracks were compared to that of the Sasquatch tracks?
Gimlin: The horse tracks were not as deep as the Sasquatch tracks of course. I just walked the horse through. I walked him as slow as I could but you figure he is distributing his weight on four feet. The tracks were better than half as deep but they werent as deep as the tracks of the creature.
Green: But the area of the four hoof prints wouldnt be any greater than two of those footprints, would it?
Gimlin: No, no the hoof print area if youre familiar with sizes of horses hoof prints, well the horse wore a size one shoe, which is not quite 6 inches in diameter, probably more like 5 inches in diameter with a number one shoe on the front feet. The shoes were a little bit smaller on the back fee. They were size ones trimmed down is what they were. Of course I rode the horse too, so there was my extra weight plus the horses weight plus the saddle and tack and everything I had on him. There was probably a total weight of about 1400 pounds.
Green: How about when you jumped off the stump?
Gimlin: Now when I jumped off the stump with a high heel boot in the dirt, the footprint went almost as deep as the creatures footprint. We didnt actually measure, we didnt have a ruler, we just took pictures of it. Viewing it [the film] you could actually tell better for depth. By looking at it and making a judgment on the sight of it, it wasnt as deep as the creatures footprint. They werent exactly side by side either, they were probably two or three feet between my track and the creatures track but there was some distance between them. The soil was practically the same. That soil had all been washed in there from the flood a year prior. There could have been some variation in the soil. We really didnt get into it that deep, it was a thing where we were pretty excited about it all and there was a time element there to get all these things done before dark.
Green: You know when you walked around the tracks when you took that movie, your boot tracks were there too, werent they?
Gimlin: Yes, right! We walked around it quite a bit trying to stay out of the tracks as much as possible.
Green: But still you would have been close then?
Gimlin: Oh yeah, just walking, we were close but the boot prints lacked a whole lot going as deep, considerable amount going as deep as the creatures tracks were.
Green: Going back now to what happened .When you first saw the creature, how did it come into view?
Gimlin: You mean when we first saw it John?
Green: Did you come around a corner or did you see it from a distance or ?
Gimlin: No, it wasnt exactly a corner. We came around a bend. We were riding the creek beds, is what we were doing and so when we came around the bend in the creek, this thing was standing alongside the creek. Stand upright. We were about 60 to 80 feet away from it when we first saw it. Then at different times we were at different distances from it. At one time I was probably as close as 60 feet to it when I rode across the creek and got off my horse. When Roger ran across the creek, the thing immediately started walking away. Then whenever it was that the horses started spooking and throwing fits, the commotion started and the creature just started walking away.
Green: So it was standing when you first saw it?
Gimlin: It was standing still, right at the edge of the creek when we first saw it, yes.
Green: Right at the edge?
Gimlin: Right by the edge of the creek, yes.
Green: But fully upright?
Gimlin: Fully upright, standing upright, yes.
Green: What exactly did the horses do?
Gimlin: Well Roger was in the front and his horse tried to spin around and come back. I was riding behind him on the big horse leading the pack horse along. My horse was kind of spooky but not near as bad as Rogers horse. Rogers horse was a spooky little horse. He was a young horse of course. The horse I was riding was an older cow horse, been roped on and used for a lot of things. Rogers horse threw all kinds of fits and when Roger got off the horse, he ran off and the pack horse jerked free from me and ran off back down the way we came.
Green: Did Rogers horse buck?
Gimlin: No, it never did buck, just reared and jumped all around. His horse was in front of me and of course I wasnt looking straight at him all the time. This all happened in a couple of heart beats you know. It happened fast!
Green: But then Rogers horse didnt go down?
Gimlin: No. It didnt fall down, just reared up is all.
Green: Because this has been said since [inaudible] you know that Rogers horse fell down ?
Gimlin: No, no his horse never did fall down. No.
Green: Okay, thats interesting. So did he get the camera while he was still on the horse?
Gimlin: Yes, while he was stepping down off the horse. Umm, a lot of people have asked me about that and they probably dont realize the agility that Roger had. He was a tremendous athlete. Roger had tremendous agility! He had been a rodeo rider, he did gymnastics and this wasnt a full size horse Roger was riding either. It was a pony, a small horse.
Green: Yeah, Ive seen those little horses, he used to haul them in a Volkswagen bus
Gimlin: Yeah, we used to haul two of them in a VW bus. Roger rode these horses because they were easy to get on and off of because Roger wasnt a very big man. So actually when he was getting off his horse, he always kept that saddle bag ready. The saddle bag had two flaps on it to keep it buckled down. He kept one buckled and one of them unbuckled so he could get his camera in the event he needed it in a hurry and this was the case at that particular time.
Green: So he practiced getting the camera out of the saddle bags in a hurry?
Gimlin: Oh yeah, lots of times. Yes, he did, that was his theory that if he ever had to get it, ah kept the one buckle on there so it would not bounce out while he was riding and the other one loose so he could get it out in a hurry.
Green: Did Roger have a gun at all?
Gimlin: Yeah, Roger had a 303 British rifle in his saddle scabbard and I had a thirty ought six rifle in my saddle scabbard.
Green: Did you have any expectation that you might see one?
Gimlin: No. I surely didnt. I dont think Roger did either! We always carried rifles with us when we went into the mountains, at least I always did and Im sure Roger did too.
Green: Had you discussed whether you would shoot at one of these creatures if you saw one?
Gimlin: Yes, many times. We had talked about it but decided unless it was necessary, we would never shoot. In other words, unless it was violent or attempted to attack us or something in that sense of the word, you know?
Green: So when Roger was off of his horse and ran after the creature with the camera, what did you do?
Gimlin: Roger said "cover me" as he pulled the camera out. If they dont understand what that means, well he didnt have any protection, just the camera in his hand and in case something were to happen
What I did was ride across the creek, pull my rifle out of the scabbard, stepped down off the horse and just stood there with my rifle. I never raised the rifle like I would shoot or anything like that, just held it in my hand and with the other hand held my horse to keep him from getting away from me.
Green: So there was never a gun pointed at the creature?
Gimlin: No never. I didnt point the rifle at the creature.
Green: Did you ever feel the creature was acting at all threatening?
Gimlin: No, it kept walking away all the time. It turned and looked around, once at Roger and once at me. The first time it turned and looked was the time a rode across the creek. I was off to its right
[reflecting[ behind it and that is when it made one turn with it head. Then when Roger relocated himself on a log, steadying the camera at one time, then when he ran to another position to get a better view and a better picture the creature turned its head a second time and I assume it was looking at Roger. When you view the film, I never could really decide whether it turned to look at me or Roger because all these things happened tremendously fast and I was trying to hold onto my horse and a rifle at the same time and also keep an eye on the creature and Roger.
Gimlin: I dont think that its changed that much. Yes I still have a mental image of what really happened that day. There may be a few things Ive over-looked or forgotten over the years but basically the time of the day and how the thing moved and what we did is pretty much still in my mind. Pretty exact in my mind because even though we were excited, you never seem to forget those things.
Green: When you first saw it, how big did you think it was Bob?
Gimlin: I thought is was about six and a half feet tall and I would have guessed its weight at 250 to 300 pounds. It did have tremendous muscle bulk. This was an estimated guess at the time of course. Im not used to seeing things like that. I was just guessing weight compared to the amount of muscle quarter horses have, it was as big as a quarter horse naturally and the height because we were up on our horses at the time we first saw the creature., Therefore it probably didnt look as tall as it really was Now the horse I was riding was a 16 hand horse. One hand is 4 inches on a horse. My horse was 16 hands tall plus my saddle. That would make him approximately sixteen and a half hands high. Now of course, with me sitting up there, you can figure my eye level was about 9 feet high. So anything actually less than nine feet you would be looking down at it.
Green: Was it obvious whether it was a male or female?
Gimlin: Well, it appeared to be a female, but you know I had never seen one. I had never even seen a track until that day so I couldnt even make a statement whether it was male or female. But the film indicates that it had mammary glands, so we assumed it was a female.
Now they had told us that the tracks they found in the road were three different sizes. We talked about that at length and discussed it and assumed there was a male, a female and a younger one with those three different sized tracks. So our first assumption was it was a female.
Green: What color did it appear to be to you?
Gimlin: It was a dark brown, brownish color
Green: then it wasnt as dark as it looks in the film?
Gimlin: No, it wasnt as dark as it looks in the film. It was a long ways from being tan, but it wasnt a very dark brown like it shows in the film. It was a lighter color brown. Of Course it was lighter in different areas of its body too, I suppose where the hair was shorter it was lighter or vice versa, it might have been darker where the hair was shorter.
Green: Can you remember details on its face?
Gimlin: Yes I can. The face would have a flat type nose, the lips, I cant really remember what the lips looked like except it did have lips and we could see its teeth. The eyes were large eyes but not big round eyes like a horse or a cow but there were large eyes. The hair on its face was short. There wasnt a whole lot of hair around its cheeks and down along side the face .the best I can remember is the face didnt have a whole lot of hair on it.
Green: What would the skin color be then?
Gimlin: It seemed like it was a brownish color skin [reflecting deeply]
Green: Was it doing anything with its hands?
Gimlin: You mean a .
Green: Well in the film they were just swinging .
Gimlin: Well John, that is all I ever saw. It never raised its arms or anything to that effect. It just walked with an easy type motion away from us and swung its arms like a human being. The best I can remember is the hands were about the same color as the face [Bob Gimlin now reflecting with a deep stare of recollections]
Green: The bottoms of its feet looked quite light colored but that could be the sand
Gimlin: I think that is the case. The sand wasnt a white sand, it was kind of a funny type soil there where the creature walked through and it was lighter colored dirt. I think you can remember the color of the soil John .
Green: Oh yeah .
Gimlin: It was pretty light colored soil in there and might have been why the soles of the feet looked light in the film footage.
Green. In the movie, it hasnt quite disappeared when the picture stops because it looks as if its about to disappear behind a big pile of .well it looked like a stump or pile of wood of some kind.
Gimlin: Yeah, it hadnt disappeared when the film footage ah, when Roger ran out of film because it traveled on, oh probably not half again the distance of where he [sic] but another thirty or forty yards. There was some trees down in that area. I suppose from the flood and so forth. There were many fallen trees and different things in that area. Then when the creature did disappear up a little draw, why I wanted to follow it. Of course Roger didnt want to follow it because he was on foot and he didnt want to be left there. We thought there was the possibility there were the two others around we didnt know at the time whether that was one of the ones that had made the tracks up above the scene or not.
Roger was a little bit upset about that so he wanted to catch his horse and get some more film in the camera. It took quite a while to catch the horse and to catch the pack horse as well and tie them up. Then we rode on in pursuit of the creature. Now see, the way it went
to see if we could see more tracks or [reflecting again] I dont know, I thought maybe we could see this creature again. I dont really know why I was thinking that. We never did see it again, but we saw scuffs in the gravel and in the creek bed there that indicated where it had possibly ran when it went out of sight. We measured 68 to 72 inches in the stride which was not even close to accurate because it was, as I have said, just scuffs in the gravel. Then we tracked on up the creek bed quite a ways. We saw one wet half of a footprint on a rock as it went up into the mountains and that was as far as we went with it.
Green: So there wasnt sand to show footprints beyond where you saw it ?
Gimlin: No, it was gravel mostly, but there was sand and dirt where it went across the creek, but it never left a footprint in the sand or in the dirt or soil. It did leave a wet mark on the rock in the creek where is went across and went on into the hills from there.
Green: Were you ever closer to it than Roger was while he took the pictures?
Gimlin: Yeah, I was. When I rode across the creek and got off my horse I was closer than Roger was with the camera at that time. I rode fairly close to the creature.
Green: and I suppose Roger wouldnt have had much of a look at it because he was looking through the lens of the camera all the time
Gimlin: Well yes, I feel that I had a better look at it. We talked about it like I said when we got back to the camp that night we stayed up and talked about that for hours. You know, talked about what each one of us had seen. There was things that I had seen about the creature that Roger didnt. Of course, he couldnt see it too well, because he was looking through the camera.
Green: When you got off the horse, what size did it appear to be then?
Gimlin: Well, to be plum honest with you, I didnt even think about sizes at the time it was going away. It was large, but I never gave any thought to how high it was or how heavy it was because it was moving away from me. That was about all that was in my mind at that time. That this creature was of no threat to us and oh yeah, I was trying to keep my horse under control cause you know I never had any idea what might happen and I sure didnt want to be on foot!! So I knew I could get back on my horse and maybe if I had to .[pausing reflectively] Well if I had too, if I had to shoot it and it didnt go down, I could get on my horse and I could get out of there and Roger would have to fend for himself [slight grin]. Im not a coward, but Ill be darned if I was going to stick around if this creature got violent, you know? So I was concentrating on keeping my rifle in my hand and my horse under control [his voice fading off in deep recollection]
Green: There is of course, this widespread opinion that this was some kind of masquerade having the film of course there is a certain amount of blurring and a certain amount of under exposure of the creature itself. You cant see the face, for instance. You had a much better look at it than that, what was your impression?
Gimlin: My impression is that there is a creature and I dont feel it was a man in a suit. If it had been a man in a suit, I dont know how they would have gotten him back into that particular area. I have heard this story and thought about it many times. God! At one point with the film circulating all around and people criticizing, I was almost to the point of not being even sure myself. But I thought about it all these years and Im quite sure it wasnt a man in a suit. I saw the face. I saw the expression on its face. With all the muscles in the arms and legs, I dont know how it could be a man in a suit! Plus I never had anything to do with a man in a suit and if Roger did, how would he know I wouldnt shoot it?? [slight hint of a smile on Gimlins face] In my opinion, that creature was not a man in a suit.
Green: Could you see the muscles move when it walked?
Gimlin: Yes, I could see the muscles clearly and that was one of the deciding factors in my opinion that this was *no man* in a suit. The thighs, the buttocks, the arms and shoulders, you could see it move clearly underneath the hair.
Green: You have estimated this thing to weigh a great deal less than the horse and yet the footprints were deeper, what explanation could you think of?
Gimlin: Well you asked my estimation when I first saw it.
Green: No, no but
Gimlin: Oh you mean afterwards? Well God John there was no way of really knowing. We knew it had to be heavier than it appeared to be when we first saw it. Of course, we thought the horses weight was distributed on four feet and Im not good with the mathematics of such things but ah .if you figure 1400 pound horse distributed on four feet would be about 350 to 400 pounds, so we figured it must have weighed much more than we originally figured. Course Roger did some research by going over to the zoo in Seattle, watched the gorillas there and asked how much they weighted and so forth. They had one over there named Bobo and I dont remember his weight exactly but I do remember he weighed more than it looked like he weighed.
Green: Yes, I did the same thing with those same gorillas .
Gimlin: Uh huh,
Green: and there was a female gorilla there that was quite small but was *tremendously* heavy
Gimlin: Yeah John, that is what Roger was telling me. I wasnt all that interested at the time, whatever it was you know? In the end it probably weighed approximately 500 pounds to make tracks that deep in the dirt. Of course, when it walked, it kicked up a certain amount of dirt from the pressure of the toes pushing away.
Green: Well it would have to distribute the weight on different parts of the foot when it walks otherwise there is no way it could have made a deeper print than the horse.
Gimlin: Yes, right.
Green: If its feet were put down flat each foot would have an area as big as three of the horses feet
Green: You would have to roll that imprint in some way or another
Gimlin: Yeah, right.
Green: So when you saw it, up until that moment you had never seen a track?
Gimlin: Never. Never seen a track at all, thats right.
Green: And you werent at all convinced that there were any such animals to be seen?
Gimlin: That is true. I was not convinced that they really existed. You know, I figured Roger must have had a reason. He showed me plaster casts and I heard different stories from people who had seen then, so I thought well maybe there is something to this but I just didnt believe in them basically, didnt believe it was possible they could exist. Even after we got the film many people said "ah they dont exist" and still people tell me its a bunch of malarkey you know? There will always be a certain amount of people you just cant convince less they see one.
Green: Well when you did see it, there wasnt any doubt you were looking at an animal was there?
Gimlin: There is no doubt in my mind at all.
Green: Okay, that ought to do it Bob, -thanks a lot!
Gimlin: Youre quite welcome John.
Length of video-taped interview ran more than an hour. This interview may NOT be used, copied or any portions taken out of context for use elsewhere without express permission from John Green and Bob Gimlin. All rights reserved.
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