Books sent a review copy of Greg Long's The Making of Bigfoot to
my postal box. I hadn't asked for it and it was not addressed to me, but
having taken the liberty of reading it, and even highlighting some of
it, I guess I am obligated to review it.
The author makes it clear that he began with two firm convictions, that
the creature in Roger Patterson's film of Bigfoot had to be a man in a
suit, and that if he could demonstrate that Roger Patterson was a bad
person that would prove he had hoaxed the film.
Burdened with those limitations he did a very thorough investigation,
but the limitations were fatal. In the valley west of Yakima where Patterson
lived he found a lot of people to tell him what he wanted to hear, even
a man who had been claiming for years that he wore the suit in the film,
he didn't consider it necessary to familiarize himself with that other
valley in California where the film was shot. As a result he was blind
to the fact that Bob Heironimus, the man who claimed to have driven there
to act the part in the film, obviously had never been there either.
Confusion over which towns are where in that part of California might
be explained by the passing of more than 30 years, but not "about
four, maybe five miles" up the Bluff Creek Road from the highway.
It would have been more than 20 miles of twisting dirt road, and not easy
miles, well over an hour's drive, and not a forgettable one.
Much of the book is a transcript of what people had to say about Roger
Patterson, mostly, but by no means entirely, unfavorable things, and Long
makes clear that he thought that would have been enough to disprove the
film even if he had never interviewed the man who claimed to have worn
the suit or the man who claimed to have made it.
He did interview those men, however, and made a further fatal mistake
by putting pictures in the book. Bob Heironimus is shown to be a typical
human, with legs too long and arms to short to match the creature in the
film, and the type of suit the owner of Morris Costumes claims he sold
Patterson is a typical gorilla costume not in the least like what the
movie shows. .
Long does have witnesses who say that Heironimus had a long history of
claiming to have been the "man in the suit" and that they once
saw such a suit in his car, but they make no connection to Patterson,
there is only Heironimus' word on that.
And Long has fitted blinders on himself so closely that he can see nothing
wrong with his two key witnesses describing, with many specific details,
two totally different suits--a three-piece suit made of raw horsehide
and a six-piece suit made of cloth. Philip Morris' story was apparently
last-minute addition after the book was finished. It would have been to
Long's credit that he chose to add material so damaging to the case he
was trying to make, except that he apparently thought he was making the
Long obviously worked hard on his book and I learned some things from
it, so perhaps I should feel sorry for him being so easily taken in. It
is his own fault however. Had he spent less time admiring of his own opinions
and not been so contemptuous of the work of those who investigated the
film in the beginning and those who have studied it since he could easily
have avoided making such a fool of himself.
Harrison Hot Springs, BC Canada
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