WOW! The image easily most synonymous with “Sasquatch” was recorded exactly 50 years ago. Real or not, cheers to you ‘Patty’, Roger Patterson, and Bob Gimlin!
And let’s not forget the horses people! They saw the damn thing too.
Without this footage, Bigfoot would be thought of as something completely different. Think about it, how many times have you seen that iconic, over-the-shoulder glance of frame 352. It is firmly embedded in the pop culture subconscious.
So, if you don’t know the full story, don’t fret. It is long and ridiculous. I have said it before, but the endless cast of characters, strange twists, competing agendas, possible motives, and clusterfuck aftermath deserve an entire TV series.
All you need to know in the 50 years after is that the Patterson-Gimlin footage has never been disproved. There has been an occasional Bob Heronimus poking in to grab the wheel, but, at this point, I am confident that no one will ever completely prove or disprove this footage. It has withstood a half century of intense ridicule.. and in the last two decades, increasingly intense scientific scrutiny. Endless suit reconstructions, frame-by-frame gait analysis, footprint reproductions, and on and on.
From Roger and Bob’s perspective, you could reflect on this event a couple ways:
1) Bob Gimlin and Roger Patterson woke up that morning ready to hoax the world.
Or 2) Bob Gimlin and Roger Patterson woke up that morning, ready to ride into the woods on the most life-changing day of their lives… About to see a flesh & blood Sasquatch.
Of course, you could also add in:
3) Roger Patterson woke up that morning ready to hoax the world and tricked good ol’ gullible Bob into his historic ploy.
Who knows. No one. Roger died a long time ago and Bob has maintained his version for 50 full years.
On a personal level, I remember pure captivation at this footage as a kid. I believe I first witnessed it watching Leonard Nimoy’s Ancient Mysteries program on a VHS tape. I have no idea how I ended up with this tape. Maybe it was my obsession with Swamp Thing, a VERY similar being, that led my parents to gift me this fantastic little documentary. That would make sense.
Ancient Mysteries really played up the creepiness and sobering weight of this footage. From the first steps of giant Patty on I was completely hooked. I vaguely remember visually seeing the ‘subject’ shuffling across frame for the first time, but I absolutely remember a HEAVY thought that bolted into my young mind like a world-crushing lightning bolt:
“Could this be real?”