The Patterson film, which was taken in the Northern California forest in 1967, remains the quintessential piece of indecisive evidence for the existence of the famed cryptid Bigfoot. I’m currently reviewing a book on the subject, and I’ll let the author’s words sketch out its significance:
“Patterson’s film has been studies by amateurs, evaluated by special effects experts, and looked at by scientists. It has been picked over, poked at, trumpeted as the most important piece of wildlife film ever taken, and laughed at as an obvious fake. The reason it resists scrutiny — and probably always will, regardless of whether it is genuine or fake — is the material fact that the film itself is of poor quality. Even with all the high tech gadgetry available to examine the film, the low resolution of the original grainy 16mm footage renders it practically impossible to analyze in great detail. We may never know whether Patterson meant it to be this way, or that it was just dumb luck of an individual unskilled and unsophisticated in the ways of filmmaking. In North America at least, it has become the toll booth all anomalous primate enthusiasts, academic or amateur, must pass to proceed. it lurks and skulks and peeps about just off to the side of every believer and skeptic, challenging, mocking, and encouraging. Regardless of who owns it, the Patterson film became a central component of Sasquatch studies. It allows for no middle ground. It is either real or fake, with no chance it is a misidentification of something else. Patty’s now legendary backward glance in frame 352 [Ed. Note: See image] teases and tests anyone who has ever seen it. It survives when all others associated with it have come and gone. It is not the only evidence, and it is not the only contentious evidence. Everything ever brought forward to support manlike monsters, mystery-apes, and anomalous primates has been controversial and will continue to be.”
From Brian Regal, Searching for Sasquatch: Crackpots, Eggheads and Cryptozoology (New York: Palgrave, 2011), 129-130.
Image found here.
Still seems tantalizingly elusive, this film — shaky, confused, out of context and scale. And yet somehow completely haunting.
So, what do YOU think??