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Man Claims He Played Bigfoot In Patterson Film

  1. Mar 7, 2004 #1
    washingtonpost.com > Style > The Reliable Source

    The Reliable Source
    By Richard Leiby
    Sunday, March 7, 2004; Page D03
    Sasquatch Speaks: The Truth Is Out There
    Now it can be told: Bigfoot isn't real!
    So says Bob Heironimus, a retired Pepsi bottler from Yakima, Wash., who reveals to the Reliable Source that he donned a gorilla costume and appeared in the famous grainy film clip that helped fuel the Bigfoot craze in 1967 and is studied by Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti investigators to this day.
    "It's time people knew it was a hoax," Heironimus told us. "It's time to let this thing go. I've been burdened with this for 36 years, seeing the film clip on TV numerous times. Somebody's making lots of money off this, except for me. But that's not the issue -- the issue is that it's time to finally let people know the truth."
    Heironimus, 63, makes his full "confession," as he calls it, in a just-published book by paranormal investigator Greg Long, "The Making of Bigfoot." Long spent four years investigating the 60-second film clip and the people behind it. He traces the shaggy Bigfoot costume to a North Carolina gorilla suit specialist, Philip Morris, who says he sold it for $435 to an amateur documentary maker named Roger Patterson (who died in 1972). The hoax was staged near Bluff Creek in Northern California, according to Heironimus.
    "Patterson was the cameraman," Long tells us. "They made a gentleman's agreement that Bob would get in the suit and walk in front of the camera for $1,000."
    But, Heironimus says, "I was never paid a dime for that, no sir," and adds, "Sure I want to make some money. I feel that after 36 years I should get some of it."
    Backers of the Bigfoot legend include primatologist Jane Goodall, who was in Silver Spring last week to tout a new chimpanzee documentary that premieres tomorrow on Discovery Communications' Animal Planet network. Too busy to comment herself, Goodall authorized an aide, Nona Gandelman, to tell us she has read "countless books" about Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, Chinese wild men and other creatures. "She's spoken to people whom she respects who say they have seen one of these hominids," said Gandelman, "and to many other people she respects who have heard strange calls they thought were made by Bigfoot. As a scientist, she has a very open mind about this and has yet to close the door on the possibility."
    Bigfoot researcher John Green, a retired Canadian journalist, says the book doesn't disprove the existence of the mysterious beast. "It's all [expletive]," he told us. "There are going to be libel actions flying."
    Tom Malone, a lawyer in Minneapolis, called us Friday on behalf of Bob Gimlin, associate of the now-dead Bigfoot filmmaker. "I'm authorized to tell you that nobody wore a gorilla suit or monkey suit and that Mr. Gimlin's position is that it's absolutely false and untrue."
    And the mystery lives on . . .

    The Reliable Source (washingtonpost.com)
    Address:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A37009-2004Mar6.html [Broken] Changed:10:13 PM on Saturday, March 6, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
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  3. Mar 7, 2004 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    I wonder where the alleged suit went.

    Interesting; Patterson's family says that he confessed to a hoax and his lawyer says he didn't.

    'Sure I want to make some money. I feel that after 36 years I should get some of it.'

    Sounds like the making of another book. :wink:
  4. Mar 8, 2004 #3
    This is the thing, yes. It seems to me that claiming this was a hoax should entail as much evidence to back it up as anything else. Otherwise nothing is debunked.

    This author, Greg Long, claims to have "traced" the suit to a North Carolina gorilla suit maker, Phillip Morris. I would expect Phil to be able to produce sketches of the unusual suite, as well as molds for the face and boobs. Otherwise it's all hearsay.
    I haven't heard this claim by Patterson's family. It could mean he actually made such a confession, or it could mean his surviving family is sick of being contacted by people wanting more info. Unless he told them where he put the suit it doesn't make much difference for them to say this.
    Yeah, statements like this don't help the "hoax" case at all.

    You might do an experiment, Ivan. See how many people you can round up who are willing to claim to have played the star in the Patterson film for $1000.00 per testimony.

    The film may well have been hoaxed, and this guy might have played bigfoot, and Phil might have made the suit, but from the brief article it doesn't look like they have any evidence to back it up. I'll keep my eyes open in the library for Long's book, though, since he may present more actual proof in the book.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2004
  5. Mar 8, 2004 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    Really I was the guy in that monkey suit and I tell that to anyone who pays me to say it!

    I have never been able to get past the boobs. They sure look real to me...the muscles seen flexing in the legs do as well. I have long believed that if the Patterson film was hoaxed they used an extrodinarily good monkey suit. I have never even seen one with real looking boobs.

    The last thing that I heard - this along with the claim that Patterson confessed to a hoax shortly before his death - was that the family was working a book deal. It bothered me at the time that Patterson himself never made this public admission. Now to hear of his lawyer's position raises even more questions in my mind.
  6. Mar 8, 2004 #5


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    I seem to recall seeing a piece on the Discovery channel about bigfoot. Part of it involved a specialist analyzing this film very closely (if it's the one I'm thinking of-- the infamous one), and his conclusion was that those physiological movements could not have been made by a human. I don't remember any of the details (as you can probably tell-- backup/corroboration would be appreciated), but it seemed like a very sophisticated argument that strongly suggested that the film could not have been hoaxed just by a guy in a monkey suit.
  7. Mar 8, 2004 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    I have seen this - this was on AC Clark's Mysterious World. You may remember that AC did not find this explanation convincing - he pointed to the actors in 2001 - but then AC's not an expert at bipedal locomotion.
  8. Mar 8, 2004 #7
    I saw that, too, Hypnagogue.
    I wasn't sure I trusted the man's claims about the movements not being humanly possible. The primary reason I had misgivings is that that field of study seems to be in the sketchy, beginning stages to me. They didn't present any other experts in that field to support him, and there's no telling if that guy, who struck me as a bit eccentric, is really any good at that discipline.

    I did alot of theater in high school and college and wore alot of costumes that caused me to move in ways he might not think humanly possible. By which I mean, of course, that if something you're wearing puts unusual restrictions on your movement, you adapt with new strategies.

    The boobs are still what give me pause, because a person would have to be both unusually creative and also courageous to think to include that in 1967, when morals were vastly more restricted than they are now.
  9. Mar 9, 2004 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    Here is a good shot from the film.

    http://www.public.iastate.edu/~ryan82/pattersonfilm.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  10. Mar 9, 2004 #9
    The pic posted here:


    is even closer and better.

    If you click on the larger view it is very clear that it is not a gorilla mask. The nose is all wrong for a gorilla, and it seems to have a distinct full lower lip, as opposed to the very thin lips of gorillas. You can also see the boobs very well in this pic.

    So, if hoaxed, they went a long way to create a custom costume that wasn't just a gorilla suit.
    Very hard to believe anyone would have done this for a mere $450.00, even in 1967. Takes an incredible amount of time to make a suit like that, and materials are not cheap.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2004
  11. Mar 17, 2004 #10
    Hi, I came across your forums while doing a search for background information on Bob Hieromonius. Ivan Seeking you are confusing Roger Patterson with Ray Wallace as to whom confessed on their deathbed, as well as the family working on a book and movie deal. It sometimes gets confused because both incidents occurred in the Bluff Creek area of Northern California. However the incidences were 9 years apart, Wallace in 1958 and Patterson in 1967.

    After the death of Ray Wallace, and his family stating that he was in fact Bigfoot, using a pair of hand carved wooden feet to make the tracks the file was considered closed, until scientists took a closer look at what was being offered as proof. First of all the shape of the feet carved by Wallace, do not match the shape of the casts taken. In 1958 there were 3 sizes of prints found, yet Wallace only had 1 set of carved feet. They had a variety of people, even including some of Wallace's family try to reproduce the prints using the carved feet, nobody even came close. The feet acted like snowshoes on the soft soil and did not sink to a depth of the original casts. Upon further investigation, and questioning the family members individually, they all told different stories. So it looks like the family may have been in it for the money, book and movie deal. My guess is that Wallace had a crew working in the woods where the tracks were found, they probably became a little scared when they found them. Wallace carved the feet after the fact, and let his crew believe he had produced the tracks to scare them. If he had not, his entire crew might have become frightened and left him unable to complete his contract of building the road.

    Roger Patterson, of the 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film fame, never confessed to his film being faked, and still on his deathbed said it was a real bigfoot. Mr. Gimlin, who is still alive in the Yakima, Washington area, still claims to this day it was a real bigfoot. A book is being released at this moment, titled "The Making of Bigfoot: The Inside Story" by Greg Long, is attempting to be an expose' on how the film was hoaxed. Mr. Long claims the suit was in fact designed by an expert gorilla suit manufacturer on the east coast, and sold to Roger Patterson for $425, but he has been unable to produce the suit and his proof is simply hearsay. He claims Bob Hieronimus wore the suit during the filming, also hearsay and a personal claim by Mr. Hieronimus, who shares this claim with a number of other people since the 1967 film. In 1999 a claim was made the film was a hoax, because someone claimed to have found a belt buckle clearly visible on the suit. They said with the advancement of the computer, and graphic editing software it was now possible to see this belt buckle. Now in 2004, when computers and software have even advanced to a higher degree, the belt buckle is not visible, so they now claim they've found a small zipper tab. The evidence and stories keep changing.
  12. Mar 17, 2004 #11

    It would be handy for me to have a link to some official reportage of this debunking of the Wallace "confession". There are some people who have heard that confession but who, like myself, weren't aware it had fallen apart upon closer examination.

    This is good to know.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2004
  13. Mar 17, 2004 #12
    BFRO Investigation of Wallace Claim

    At the top of this page is a photo of one of the feet that Wallace carved, next to a casting made of the prints. It's obvious the cast was not made with that foot.


    Here is something that has come to light only in the last few years regarding Bigfoot prints. A forensic expert has found that some of the print cast show dermal ridges (similar to fingerprints), something you won't get with artificial feet tied on. Dermal ridges found on human footprints run from side to side, on primates they run in the direction of the length of the foot.

    On another forum I belong to that specializes in discussions about Bigfoot, we welcome skeptics, and those who are actively persuing Bigfoot, either through field work or scrutinizing evidence and reports. It's a good combination. The issue of using certain types of woods to make feet, and their tendency to have their grain raised when wet was looked at, as a possible explanation for the appearance of these dermal ridges. Possible, but for the most part the measurements are wrong, as well as the pattern that would be produced. The casts of tracks have improved significantly over the plaster casts of those days by using new materials, such as dental stone and hydro-cel, which can pick up finer details, giving us more points to look at in verifying the probability the tracks being real versus faked.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  14. Mar 18, 2004 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    Thanks for dropping in and for the correction. :smile:
  15. Mar 19, 2004 #14
    Yes it is. No expertise needed to make that call.

    The stories of his relatives trying to recreate the prints with his carvings are pretty funny. (Holding onto a rope behind a moving vehicle?)

    Thanks for the links. That Wallace certainly was some kind of odd character.
  16. May 17, 2004 #15
    What about the Boobs?

    Mon, May. 17, 2004

    Charlotte costume maker gets last laugh with story about famous Sasquatch film
    Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)
    "CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Philip Morris may own one of the nation's largest wholesale costume retailers, but in his heart the 70-year-old is still a suave magician and storyteller.
    Now, one of Morris' stories has put him at the center of a debate over one of America's most enduring legends - Bigfoot.
    Since starting his Charlotte, N.C., business in the early `60s, the entrepreneur has built Morris Costumes into an empire, whose costumes have appeared in big Hollywood films. Some 10,000 businesses buy his costumes, props and other stage products. He is holding court with tours and a dinner for HauntCon, a trade and convention show for the amusement industry at the AdamsĀ“ Mark over the weekend.
    Although a giant in his field, the tale of one of his gorilla suits is generating buzz outside the amusement industry and has Bigfoot believers stomping mad.
    In "The Making of Bigfoot: The Inside Story," (Prometheus Books) published in March, author Greg Long devoted a chapter to telling Morris' alleged connection to the famed Bigfoot film shot by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin. The film, which has aired on TV specials, shows a grainy image supposedly of Sasquatch walking in a northern California national forest in October 1967.
    Morris says the Patterson-Gimlin film depicts a man wearing a gorilla suit, which had been hand-sewn in the basement of his Kistler Avenue home.
    When he started his costume business more than 40 years ago, Morris, a Michigan native, was a touring magician who recruited his wife and her friends to help make gorilla suits from their Charlotte house.
    In 1967, a man called, identified himself as Roger Patterson and said he was a rodeo cowboy who wanted to buy a gorilla suit for a gag, Morris recalled.
    Morris Costumes was one of the few companies making relatively inexpensive gorilla suits. The suits were in demand because of the popular carnival trick in which a woman morphed into a crazed gorilla and sent patrons screaming from fair tents. Patterson paid $435 plus shipping and handling for the suit.
    "I didn't think it was a real big deal," said Morris. "It was just another sale."
    Patterson later called asking how to make it more realistic, Morris said. Use a stick to extend the arms, brush the fur to cover the zipper and wear football pads to make the shoulders bigger, Morris told him.
    He never heard from Patterson again."


    KRT Wire | 05/17/2004 | Charlotte costume maker gets last laugh with story about famous Sasquatch film
    Address:http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/news/nation/8685900.htm Changed:8:08 PM on Monday, May 17, 2004

    There's no explanation of the pendulous bigfoot boobs in this story.
    Last edited: May 17, 2004
  17. Jan 28, 2010 #16

  18. Jan 29, 2010 #17
    no one's ever produced a bigfoot, either. apparently, they never die and never leave a corpse. either that, or they are the elusive extraterrestrials on walkabout. if one ever does die on walkabout, the body is quickly evac'd by its brethren offworld.
  19. Jan 29, 2010 #18


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    well, the story ended six years ago, but thanks for digging up its rotting corpse...
  20. May 7, 2010 #19
    I reviewed the film a few hundred times and if it is a suit it would have to be a very expensive suit made with modern technology.
    You can see muscle mass move and shimmer as it stode away. Sorry This is almost impossible to do today in a closed set so, very dificult to disway.
  21. May 7, 2010 #20
    Almost end of story. I watched the special on TV. The man who claims to have been in the Bigfoot suit had EXACTLY the same gait and stature as the hairy creature in the Patterson film. When the unsuited human turned his head to the right as he walked it was litterally breathtaking. The Patterson film is a hoax to my total satisfaction. Having said that, I personally think there is a real creature we call Bigfoot- just not in the Patterson film.
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