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Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film

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Jennifer O'Dell
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« on: March 11, 2007, 03:15:42 pm »

Background

Patterson said he became interested in Bigfoot after reading an article about the creature by Ivan Sanderson in "True" magazine in December 1959 (Perez, 6). His book Do Abominable Snowmen of America Really Exist? was self-published in 1966. The book has been characterised as "little more than a collection of newspaper clippings laced together with Patterson’s circus-poster style prose." (Hunter and Dahinden, 113) It did however also include 20 pages of previously unpublished interviews and letters, 17 drawings by Patterson of the encounters described in the text, five hand-drawn maps (rare in subsequent Bigfoot books), and almost 20 photos and illustrations from other sources. It was reprinted in 2005 under the title "The Bigfoot Film Controversy," with additional material by Chris Murphy.

Some decades after the Patterson-Gimlin Film's publicity, Greg Long interviewed people who described Patterson as a moocher, a deadbeat, and sometimes worse. Pat Mason, Glen Koelling, Bob Swanson and Vilma Radford claimed Patterson never repaid loans they made to him for various Bigfoot-related ventures. Radford alone had corroborative evidence: A $700 promissory note “for expenses in connection with filming of ‘Bigfoot: Americas Adominable Snowman. (sic)’” (Long, 300) Patterson agreed to repay her $850, plus five per cent of any profits from the film. However, other persons quoted in Long's book called him merely irresponsible, and some gave aspects of his character good marks. No one doubted the sincerity of his belief in Bigfoot; he was consumed by the search for it.

After securing funding for his Bigfoot documentary, Patterson and his friend Gimlin set out for the Six Rivers National Forest in northern California, USA. Patterson chose the area due to intermittent reports of the creatures in the past and of their enormous footprints near there since 1958. The most recent of these reports was the nearby Blue Creek Mountain track find, which was investigated by Green, Dahinden, and Abbott on and after August 28, 1967 (Perez, Cool. This find was reported to Patterson soon thereafter by local resident Al Hodgson.

Though Gimlin says he doubted the existence of Sasquatch-like creatures, he agreed to Patterson's suggestion that they should not attempt to shoot any such creatures they might see. According to Krantz (Krantz, 1992) years later, Patterson and Gimlin agreed they should have tried to shoot the creature; both for financial gain and to silence naysayers.

Patterson’s expensive 16mm camera had been rented on May 13, but he had kept it longer than the contract had stipulated, and an arrest warrant had been issued for him on Oct. 17 (Long, 167). This charge was ultimately dismissed after Patterson returned the camera in good working order. (Long, 169)

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