Mondo Bizarro Oct 20 2009
PLANTING OF THE APE
Bigfoot or big fake? To this day, nobody can prove either.


It was today in 1967 that Bigfoot enthusiast Roger Patterson shot his famous movie of what he claimed was a genuine Bigfoot, aka Sasquatch, in a remote area of California’s Six Rivers National Forest. We took a look at the Wikipedia entry on this, and it goes into excruciating detail. In fact, we think the entry on regular apes is shorter. But these types of things do fan the flames of passion, if for no other reason than so many people seem to have a deep seated need to believe in the bizarre and/or supernatural. Roger Patterson's Bigfoot encounter certainly qualifies as the former. After reading everything we could find on the event, we draw no conclusions, except to say that if it was a hoax, it was one of the most perfectly planned hoaxes of all time.

It happened in the afternoon. Patterson and his companion that day, Robert Gimlin, were in a section of Six Rivers called Bluff Creek, and both were on horseback. The figure emerged from behind an overturned tree and was initially about twenty-five feet away. Patterson’s horse reared, and he lost valuable time as he struggled to dismount and retrieve his camera. Meanwhile the creature was moving away. When Patterson finally did begin filming, he was running to catch up, and the image he produced was shaky. Only in the middle of the sequence does the film stabilize, and at that point the creature looked over its shoulder at Patterson (as you see in the frame above).
 
Patterson’s film and some plaster casts of footprints eventually made their way to various members of the scientific community, but scientists tend not to be terribly interested in phenomena that don’t accrue evidence—and one shaky Cine-Kodak film sequence and some casts don’t count. The few scientists that deigned to comment on Patterson’s claims pointed out simply that primates—and Bigfoot certainly appeared to be one—don’t have hairy breasts. Yeah, we know—your buddy once knew a Belgian chick that did, but excepting her, primates’ mammaries are hairless. Patterson’s Bigfoot had pendulous breasts, making it female, and those breasts were fur covered, making the creature a hoax.

For scientists, all the film analysis claiming Patterson’s Bigfoot was real meant little. Contradictions of established scientific patterns must come with proof, and Patterson had nothing to explain why his Bigfoot violated a universal rule of primate physiology. But he swore on his deathbed in 1972 that his film was authentic. Robert Gimlin said the same for decades, wavering slightly only in 1999, when he admitted, “…I’m an older man now...and I think there could have been the possibility [of a hoax]. But it would have to be really well planned by Roger.” In the end, we may never know what happened that day. Scientific evidence supporting a genuine Bigfoot encounter is lacking, yet nobody has come forward with irrefutable proof of a hoax. The only analysis of the event must rely on the film, but the original negative is lost. Only Roger Patterson knew the truth, and he took that with him to the grave.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 08
1953—Jomo Kenyatta Convicted
In Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta is sentenced to seven years in prison by the nation's British rulers for being a member of the Mau Mau Society, an anti-colonial movement. Kenyatta would a decade later become independent Kenya's first prime minister, and still later its first president.
1974—Hank Aaron Becomes Home Run King
Major League Baseball player Hank Aaron hits his 715th career home run, surpassing Babe Ruth's 39-year-old record. The record-breaking homer is hit off Al Downing of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and with that swing Aaron puts an exclamation mark on a twenty-four year journey that had begun with the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro League, and would end with his selection to Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame.
April 07
1922—Teapot Dome Scandal Begins
In the U.S., Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall leases the Teapot Dome petroleum reserves in Wyoming to an oil company. When Fall's standard of living suddenly improves, it becomes clear he has accepted bribes in exchange for the lease. The subsequent investigation leads to his imprisonment, making him the first member of a presidential cabinet to serve jail time.
April 06
1930—Gandhi Leads Satyagraha March
In India, Mahatma Gandhi raises a lump of mud and salt and declares, "With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire." His words, which were a protest against the British salt tax, mark the beginning of the Satyagraha March, which in turn triggers the wider Civil Disobedience Movement that ultimately culminates in Indian independence.
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