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Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film

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Author Topic: Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film  (Read 458 times)
Jennifer O'Dell
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Posts: 4546

« on: March 11, 2007, 03:28:34 pm »

Jeff Meldrum
Dr. Jeff Meldrum of Idaho State University cites efforts by John Green as important in his own studies of the Patterson film. "It has been obvious to even the casual viewer that the film subject possesses arms that are disproportionately long for its stature." Meldrum writes that "Anthropologists typically express limb proportions as an intermembral index (IM)" and notes that humans have an average IM index of 72, gorillas an average IM index of 117 and chimpanzees an average IM index of 106.

In determining an IM index for the figure in the Patterson film, Meldrum concludes the figure has "an IM index somewhere between 80 and 90, intermediate between humans and African apes. In spite of the imprecision of this preliminary estimate, it is well beyond the mean for humans and effectively rules out a man-in-a-suit explanation for the Patterson-Gimlin film without invoking an elaborate, if not inconceivable, prosthetic contrivance to account for the appropriate positions and actions of wrist and elbow and finger flexion visible on the film. This point deserves further examination and may well rule out the probability of hoaxing."[6]

John Napier
Prominent primate expert John Napier (one-time director of the Smithsonian's Primate Biology Program) was one of the few mainstream scientists not only to critique the Patterson-Gimlin film, but also to study then-available Bigfoot evidence in a generally sympathetic and even-handed manner in his 1973 book, Bigfoot: The Sasquatch and Yeti in Myth and Reality.

Napier conceded the likelihood of Bigfoot as a real creature, stating, "I am convinced that Sasquatch exists" (Napier, 205--2nd printing). But he argued against the film being genuine: "There is little doubt that the scientific evidence taken collectively points to a hoax of some kind. The creature shown in the film does not stand up well to functional analysis." [7]

He adds "I could not see the zipper; and I still can't. There I think we must leave the matter. Perhaps it was a man dressed up in a monkey-skin, if so it was a brilliantly executed hoax and the unknown perpetrator will take his place with the great hoaxers of the world. Perhaps it was the first film of a new type of hominid, quite unknown to science, in which case Roger Patterson deserves to rank with Dubois, the discoverer of Pithecanthropus erectus, or Raymond Dart of Johannesburg, the man who introduced the world to its immediate human ancestor, Australopithecus africanus" (Napier, 95).

While not challenging Napier’s expertise in primate studies, psychologist Barbara Wasson finds fault with his analysis of the Patterson film: “I must disagree with John Napier. In fact, I disagree most heartily with Mr. Napier. His logic is deplorable” (Wasson, 72). Wasson points out a number of what she contends are logical fallacies in Napier’s arguments, stating in summary, “It is clear to me that all of Napier’s views have very serious flaws in logic, thought process and visual perception. He primarily attempts to impose known standards on a creature that may be a live, unknown creature in an attempt to discount the existence of such a creature. Such an attitude, much less the ridiculous arguments he submits, is unworthy of a man of his profession” (ibid, 76).

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