Bigfoot Encounters

"The Making of Bigfoot," A Review by John Green

Prometheus 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, but 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 a
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 case stronger.

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.

John Green
Harrison Hot Springs, BC Canada

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