Bigfoot apparently spent his youth building a national
NASA cover-up unearthed! Bigfoot sighting concealed
for 35 years!
Proof at last that bigfoot hailed from the Northwest!
A crackerjack Yankee fan, bigfoot preferred cold
suds and pretzels.
may not have a scientific name, but bigfoot liked to talk issues
as much as the next humanoid.
the 1967 home-movie classic showing the abominable snowman traipsing
through the forest? Sasquatch, AKA bigfoot, was supposedly a huge,
humanoid hunk that gallivanted through the woods -- imagine a hairy
hybrid of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Bigfoot caught in his natural habitat, in a photo
leaked to the press April Fool's day, 2004.
of the most durable legends of the Northwest, bigfoot just would
not go away, despite the fact that nobody could prove its existence.
Turns out that the neo-Neanderthal in the flick was actually
Bob Heironimus, a Pepsi bottler from Washington state who donned
a gorilla suit and loped through the forest for a good purpose:
He got paid for it.
That, at least, is the word from The Making of Bigfoot, a 2004 book by Greg Long. Long has tracked
the gorilla-suit merchant who sold the gorilla suit to filmmaker
Roger Patterson. Although Patterson died in 1972, his movie lived
to become the "best evidence" for bigfoot.
Now, Heironimus has recanted, saying his conscience
finally got the better of him. "It's time people knew it was a hoax,"
he told the Washington Post (see "Reliable Source" in the bibliography).
"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
Sounds like an honest confession to us. But not to some of the legions
of bigfoot fanciers. When your best evidence for a mysterious creature
dives into the dumpster of history, you might want to suspend your
belief. But bigfoot is a durable legend. Even famed primate researcher
Jane Goodall would not admit that bigfoot is a hoax, or close
the door on the possibility that unknown humanoids are not afoot
somewhere. In remarks issued through a representative just after
Heironimus's historic revelation, Goodall alluded to the quantity
of first-person evidence for a variety of potential close relatives:
a resident of Belize.
The "wildman" of China.
a four-foot-tall "ghost" of Borneo.
small, stinky, ape-like
man of Mato Grosso State, Brazil.
speaking, Goodall's good on this point: Science cannot prove a negative.
It's impossible to prove that bigfoot or its many relatives around
the world are pure fiction. And just because Heironimus debunked the best evidence, that does
not disprove other evidence.
But years of empty-handed searches for bigfoot
and his ilk makes their existence more and more dubious. And that's
true even though the searchers have concocted the high-falutin'
"scientific discipline" of "cryptozoology." In their websites, you
can find some awful convincing evidence of strange critters. Take
the sludge creature, a "strange thing found somewhere i (sic) cant
Although nobody has dragged the best proof
- a bigfoot carcass -- out of the woods, plenty of people have seen
footprints. (Is bigfoot hunter-proof?)
As the many people who have taken bigfoot
seriously try to confront the unveiling of a 36-year April Fool's
joke, we Why Filers want to know. Why do some people want to believe
the unbelievable? Why lend credence to a humanoid creature that
has eluded cameras, rifles, and scientists for more than a century?
Bigfoot may have started as a legend, but
it's been fueled by coverage on TV magazine shows over the past
two decades, says Glenn Sparks, a professor of communication at
Purdue University. "When you have a credible communications medium
like TV, that people generally believe when it handles news, and
you have these stories presented over and over, in a semi-news format,
that conveys a powerful credibility."
Oddly, he says, that remains true even if the televised evidence
is severely wanting. "The very fact that TV is treating these stories
in a way that suggests that they might be believed creates a willingness
to at least consider the plausibility of the story."
In other words, we'll cover the story. What me worry if it's true or false?
But Sasquatch is older than the television tabloids.
Indeed, Sparks, who studies how media cover the paranormal, says
the growing reach of science has sparked a reaction among people
who want to shield some parts of life from science. "I believe there's
a kind of anti-science movement out there... In an age of technology,
certain people may have a need to react against what they see as
scientific determinism. The more science progresses, discovers,
the more people want to try to hang on. ... There's some kind of
deeply seated need to have something that's unexplainable."
So The Why Files started out searching for
gullibility, and ended up talking about credulity.
Was bigfoot a political animal?
Whatever. In the meantime, we need to get
ourselves over to Big Saul's Big-and-Tall Shop. We hear they got
some mighty hairy customers in the fitting room!
And then it's over to Loch Ness for a quick
dip with Nessie...
-- David Tenenbaum
The Reliable Source, Richard Leiby, The
Washington Post, Mar. 7, 2004.
Crypto photo gallery.