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Patterson-Gimlin Film

September 2012 UPDATE – The PGF subject was most likely Bob Heronimus in a suit made by a professional with some modifications by Roger Patterson.  That suit is claimed to have been found by a person known on the Bigfoot Forums as Kitakaze.  He claims it is without question the suit Patterson used for his famous film.  That discovery will put this subject to bed for good, although there is plenty of evidence currently that literally screams hoax.

April 22, 2011 – UPDATE – AS I SUGGESTED IN MUCH OF THIS DISCUSSION, MULTIPLE PROBLEMS EXIST WITH THE PGF. I AM NOW FAIRLY CONFIDENT THAT THESE PROBLEMS ARE HURDLES THAT WILL NOT BE OVERCOME. IN THE ABSENCE OF DEMONSTRATIVE EVIDENCE THAT THE FILM IS NOT A HOAX (HOAX BEING THE MORE PROBABLE SCENARIO IN THE ABSENCE OF PHYSICAL EVIDENCE) – IN PARTICULAR THE SIZE AND STRIDE OF THE SUBJECT, THE CURRENT CONCLUSION MUST BE THAT THE SUBJECT IS A HUMAN IN A SUIT.-

Bill Munns has taken data in the form of xyz coordinates that have been extracted from several frames of a two-dimensional 16mm film shot on October 20, 1967 by Roger Patterson, the famed Patterson-Gimlin film.  He has been able to render this to a 3-dimensional model due to the fact that Roger Patterson was filming the subject while running or walking toward the subject as can be clearly deduced from the footage.

Munns Object/Camera View Chart

Munns Object/Camera View Chart

His movements create unique camera positions of identified objects such as trees and fallen logs that are repeated in numerous frames.  Using simple geometry and laws of optics, he has selected specific, strategic objects in selected frames which allow for computations of the relationships of these objects to each other and the camera.

WHAT DOES THIS DO? It provides a relational aspect that can be converted to a 3-dimensional model of the Bluff Creek site at the time of the shooting of the film.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Because it can create a simulation of the site showing 3-d rendered features (trees, logs, etc.) that when scaled according to various possible lenses for the known Kodak 16 mm camera will either line up and match at each succesive tested frame or not.  If they do match, it gives credence for the lens size selected.  If they don’t, it eliminates that lens as a candidate.  Once you know the size of the lens, its’ aperature and focal length, the geometry and math will provide a significant empirical result: the size of the subject of the film, plus or minus perhaps only a fraction of an inch.

And why is the size of the film subject important?  Because it can either confirm statements made by individuals who emphatically state they were the mime inside the suit, or it can effectively rule them out.  If it rules them out or if it rules out a large percentage of the human population due to extremes, it provides greater probability that the subject was not a human in a suit.

What the experimentation does not and will not do:  it is not and will not be, evidence for the existence of an unclassified bipedal hominid.  While it can go a long way to possibly rule out a mime in a suit on the negative side, it is not sufficient evidence in itself to argue in favor of bigfoot on the positive side.  It would be further intangible evidence to be sure, but it is not sufficient in its breadth to argue definitively for the classification of a new organism.  This is due to the large hurdles that must be overcome, the most glaring of which is the lack of documentation of a single North American primate of any kind, in any age with the exception of modern humans.  While the Bering Strait land bridge conceptually provides an historical migration route, evidence for actual migration of primates is lacking.

This is not to disparage in any way the work of Mr. Munns, because I personally think it is extraordinary, but rather to put the subject in its proper biological context.  In short, if his work can establish an extreme, it helps…but not much.  It will take, perhaps unfortunately, the collection and thorough analysis of at least one, perhaps more, specimens.   It would argue at a minimum, however for serious and significantly funded research efforts to be initiated in areas where credible witnesses have reported clear sightings of similar bipedal hominids over years and decades.

Bill Munns has put out his first release of his work related to building a 3-D model of the Patterson-Gimlin film site.  Download the pdf version at:

http://themunnsreport.com/the_munns_report_r1.pdf

I will attempt to summarize what he has done and comment on its significance as it relates to the subject of the film from my perspective without getting into the merits or the technical details of stereophotogrammetry or 3-D modeling.   We will leave that up to various experts in appropriate fields to either confirm or find flaws with the assumptions, calculations and data he has generated thus far.  What we can contribute is an overview of the concept and provide some perspective to the potential assuming the technical details can be validated by appropriate experts and by replication of the experimentation.

It is hoped that by building this model, some heretofore unknown or undocumented details may be derived mathmatically which can shed light on such things as actual size of components of the film, the most significant being the height of the subject of the film.

Stop by in the days ahead for more on this.

See Leg Bone Analysis added 9/04/2008 at bottom –

What Should We Make of the Famous 1967 Patterson-Gimlin Film?

Most of us are familiar with the 60 seconds of footage taken by Roger Patterson with assistance by Bob Gimlin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patterson-Gimlin_film at Bluff Creek in nothern California some 41 years ago. Many of us assume, without carefully examining the evidence ourselves that that film was nothing more than a man, namely, one Bob Heironimus, in a monkey suit. Mr. Heironimus, after all confessed to the stunt. But was it him under that hair, or anyone else for that matter?

A pioneer in the field of cryptozoology (the search for unclassified animals) Dr. Grover Krantz, was interviewed for a television show called “In Search of” on the subject of bigfoot back in 1977. Dr. Krantz believed the evidence pointed to a real creature, not a man wearing some type of hair-covered suit. You can watch the interview yourself here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=3z0S2zPNP6s, starting at about the 4:20 mark. Dr. Krantz was convinced it was not faked after examining the evidence and interviewing the filmmaker.

Patty Walking

It is noteworthy that while Patterson has now passed on, he has never, even on his death bed confessed to the story being a hoax. Bob Gimlin, very much alive, has consistently held to the belief the subject of the film is not a hoax, but rather a real creature.

But is there an objective way of analyzing the subject of the actual film to determine, if at the time the film was made, and given the circumstances of the people involved and the film’s setting, that it is a realistic expectation for such a hoax to have been carried out? One Hollywood suitmaker, with an interest in anthropology and who is familiar with the available material at the time and the people in the business has weighed in.

His name is Bill Munns. He has meticulously gone through each of the major suit components and aspects of a Hollywood-type suit as would be used or available in the film industry at the time, in order to provide a basis for determining whether sufficient technology, fabric, knowledge or capability would realistically have been present for pulling off such a feat. And feat it would be, after going through his rigorous discourse and observing the numerous aspects of a suit that would need to be “variant” from the industry standard at the time.

arm musclesBut why read my take on it? Here is a link to the repository of his notes and the discussions that occurred during his recent posting of these items on The Bigfoot Forums:

http://www.bigfootforums.com/index.php?showforum=35

Click on any of the pinned threads at the top that refer to “Creature Suit Analysis”. I will be summarizing each of his points and providing my analysis in the days ahead.

NECK HACKLES

One of the most interesting aspects of the creature suit analysis to me, as a biologist, is the aspect of the hair around the back of the neck that Bill has picked up on which gives a distinct impression that the hair in this area is raised (as observed by the distinctly darker pattern seen in a few frames, including the first series above, reproduced here:

Patty Walking

Patty Walking

Notice how the hair near the back of the neck (as well as the lower back) appears darker as it apparently is reflecting light back to the source differently.  This difference in reflectivity could be caused by hair which is raised, thereby diffusing the light and decreasing the reflectivity to the source (camera) which would result in darker appearing hair.  If you have witnessed agitated or scared animals such as dogs for example and noted their neck hairs during a frightened or aggressive state (particularly from the rear) you may have witnessed a similar effect.

This aspect, according to Mr. Munns would have several problems associated with it, if indeed the subject is actually a man in a suit.  Primarily, given the technology and commonly available materials at the time used in the creature suit-making industry, producing varying shades as is seen in the film sequence would have been extremely difficult for a number of reasons he suggests here (read his first post) :

http://www.bigfootforums.com/index.php?showtopic=21820&st=0&start=0

From that page are his two (2) graphics which illustrates his points:

Munns, like others who have researched the issue of whether the P/G film gives evidence for a suit have made strong arguments opposing such notions.   Munns, currently attests to not having access to some of the higher quality copies and hedges his conclusions while awaiting such an opportunity.  Glickman (1998) in a North American Science Report, discounted by many because of some faulty assumptions of body mass and height did have access to some higher resolution copies and found no evidence of seams using edge detection algorithms on key frames including the famed frame no. 352.

The value and significance of edge detection algorithms is unknown to me to any great extent, but it does sound rather impressive. The more telling aspect to me is whether with a higher resolution copy that has been adjusted to eliminate the bounce or up and down motion of the camera while Patterson chases the subject, there are visual clues that would indicate a seam such as as any of those indicated in Munn’s Part 7 Neck Seams study.  According to Bill, there are 4 possible head arrangements that could have been used had the subject been a mime in a suit.  These 4 different possibilities however do not have equal probabilities of being used, if in fact, it is a suit.  This, as Munn’s explains is due to the range of motion and movement seen in the film. If you have a copy of the Legend Meets Science DVD an added feature is film analyses from various film or video sequences of purported sasquatches.  One of those is a copy of the Patterson/Gimlin film with various slow motion, zoomed and reversed sequences which allow for study of movements of the subject.

Because of the fluid movements and range of motion observed in these sequences, it is Munn’s opinion that none of the possible head arrangements (which by the way would be absolutely necessary for such a feat) are obvious in the copies of the film he has access to and has studied.  I agree with Bill that the neck hackles and neck study are the most compelling aspects and provide the greatest potential for conducting further study to provide more definitive answers than have been derived to date.



All graphs/charts used by Permission of Author

LEG BONE ANALYSIS

Some recent work by my friend Bill Munns has turned up some very interesting data based upon some Poser models he has constructed and manipulated to fit the image of “Patty”.  The purpose was to compare a human model of similar proportions to the subject of the PG Film.  I have always felt from conversations with Jeff Meldrum that there were certain aspects of the gait and dimensions of “Patty” that put her outside the norms for humans.

While much of that speculation focused on the apparent arm length as pointed out by many, it is actually a ratio of the upper and lower leg bones (femur and tibia) that may hold the most promise of arriving at some quantitative demonstration of a skeletal framework that excludes a reasonable possibility of the subject being a mime in a suit.

Bill has done some preliminary work that provides a ratio of the length of the femur compared to the length of the tibia as well as some other aspects that create some genuine interest for valid scientific study.  As it turns out some preliminary analysis and feedback he has received on the Bigfoot Forums under “Creature Suit Analysis Part 6” (Here) reveals anatomical features that appear to be at odds with the normal distribution of humans for these parameters.

He is still working on the details but taking into consideration the myriad of problems inherent in the unknowns of camera angle, distance and relative position to the subject at various points along the trackway and factoring in what could be considered extremes, the variability appears nearly insignificant.  Thus, at this point there is much hope that some quantitative information can be derived which will prove fruitful for some definitive conclusions.

While we don’t want to jump the gun, unless he is way off on the selection of points where the joints occur, or in his interpolation of limb dimensions, you can clearly see that what “Patty” represents has significant problems if she is actually a human in a suit.  While there may be some explanations for lengthening of limbs (prosthesis, for one) it is difficult to perceive how one would shorten them (or why they would for that matter).

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