Legendary Bigfooter and author Peter Byrne shares with his readers his opinions on fabricated Bigfoot stories and his opinions on the Patterson Gimlin film.
The following excerpt is from the book, "The Search for Bigfoot: Monster, Myth or Man?" by Peter Byrne.
Related: Part 1
We investigated and found small bear paw prints arriving at one side of the road, crossing the road and then leaving from the Other side, at the precise place where the boy said that he had seen a "large hairy figure." When we showed him the bear tracks he refused to accept them, suggesting that we were wrong and that they were Bigfoot prints. But imagination in an individual is, I believe, in direct proportion to the individual's measure of intelligence, level-headedness, and plain common sense. Some of the sightings reported to us have been the result of pure imagination. But not all of them, and certainly not, to my way of thinking, those that I describe in the preceding chapters.
How many of the sightings are simply fabricated stories, concocted by the ego-hungry individual as a means of supplying something missing in his life? Answer: not a few. But the fabricated story is often fairly easy to expose especially if, like the members of The Dalles Information Center team, one has a background of experience and knowledge that can be used in the questioning of a "suspect." A knowledge of the country, for example, is very useful when questioning someone about a particular area where they may say they had a sighting. One man told us that he had once seen a Bigfoot about half a mile down a canyon in the central Cascades. He was riding a horse at the time, he said. The expression, "down the canyon," struck us as odd in his story and I asked him which way he had entered the canyon. He told us, after a slight hesitation, that he had entered the canyon from its upper end and that he was riding downstream when he saw the Bigfoot. Unfortunately for the credibility of his story, we had been in that canyon only a few months previously and we knew that its upper end was enclosed by a sheer rock wall several hundred feet high.
Another man told us that his sighting took place high on a mountain ridge and the Bigfoot that he saw was moving at a distance of 350 to 400 yards. It was never closer than 350 yards and he saw it without binoculars or rifle scope. But he was able to tell us the color of the creature's eyes (dark blue, he thought) and also to notice that its fingernails were thick and broad and flat. Fingernails, like eyes, could not be distinguished for color or shape by the human eye, unassisted by binocular magnification, at a distance of 350 yards. A story of a sighting at this distance, that included these details, could only be construed as being a fabrication. This kind of story, like the canyon story, simply goes into the files and we waste no more time on it.
I think that most people will agree that there are some fabricated sightings, stories of Bigfoot seen in the forest, that have no basis in truth. At the same time I do not believe that this detracts to any great extent from the accounts given of sightings by men of character and integrity like Bill Taylor and the Welch brothers of British Columbia and others of their standing and character.
This brings us, in conclusion of our examination of the Bigfoot supporting evidence, to the 1967 footage. We have already discussed this to some extent, so let us recap the pros and the cons on the filming.
The skeptics, who say that the 1967 footage is a hoax, put forward a very unconvincing argument. The basis of this argument is that the Bigfoot does not exist and that therefore the footage must have been hoaxed. Among the skeptics, as I have mentioned previously in these pages, are many scientists, and their reasoning why the footage must be faked is summed up in the only three statements that I have been able personally to hear on the subject. These are 1) "They do not exist because if they did exist we would have known about them by now." Personally I think that it would be very interesting to apply this statement to the Tasaday, of the Philippines. "The Tasaday do not exist because if they did we would have known about them by now." Or to the coelacanth, the fossil fish that was discovered, alive and well, off the coast of Africa just a few years ago. "The coelacanth does not exist because if it did we would have known .about it by now." 2) "Nothing walks like that and therefore something walking like that must be faked." A fascinating statement and all that I can say about it is that I am glad that I do not have the mentality that went into the creation of that utterance. For surely a halfwit can see that if the Bigfeet do exist, and if they are indeed a totally new and unknown species of giant primate, that they probably do walk quite differently from anything known to science.
Surely any scientist can see that if the Bigfeet do exist, they are entitled to have a neuromuscular system different from the human system. That being different, they are not obliged to walk in the same manner as any other primate, including man, regardless of what the rules of the anthropological and biological game say. To me it does not matter if the subject of the 1967 footage does not straighten its leg in stride, as the footage seems to suggest. It does not matter if it has a forty-two-inch stride which is scientifically believed to be wrong for its height. It does not matter if its feet are too big or too small, in proportion to the size of its body. It is obvious, if the thing in the 1967 footage is real, that it is something completely different from anything ever known to science. Something that is totally new and unknown and thus, by its very newness, is entitled to look different, entitled to move differently, entitled to be different in all of its physical behavior, from any other animal on the face of the earth.
The 1967 footage is further discussed in the appendix of this book. For myself, I am inclined to give it a 95% chance of being real. I allow it this because of the reasons which I have already discussed. They are not scientific reasons. They are a layman's reasons and they are based on personal contact with the people who made the footage and my knowledge of how they made it, of their intellectual limitations, and of the circumstances surrounding the production of the footage. If the 1967 footage is a fake, then it is a masterpiece, and I think that I can sum up on my belief in the validity of the footage by saying that it is mainly based on my inability to understand how the two men concerned
could have created that masterpiece. I give it 95% credibility and I reserve 5% to apply to the possibility that I could be wrong. But it would not take too much to have me drop that 5%.
Toward the end of his book about the Bigfoot and Yeti phenomena, Dr. Napier, having gathered all of the evidence and analyzed it in an intelligent and scientific fashion, arrives at the point where he feels that he must come to some conclusions and, as a writer, put them down on paper. He does this in an ambiguous statement which, I believe, leaves his readers very much up in the air as to what he really means. He writes that he is convinced that the creatures exist but thinks that they are not all that they are cracked up to be. I find this statement confusing. For me it clouds an otherwise—with the exception of his 1967 film examination and his views on the dearth of food in the northwest for a primate as large as the Bigfoot—reasonable analysis of the phenomenon. A statement of conclusion should be more definite than this.
The evidence that has been examined in these chapters is not all of the evidence extant in support of the Bigfeet. There is a great deal more, in fact. What has been presented in these pages is the more solid evidence that I and my team of associates have been able to uncover and examine and analyze in our five years of investigation. It is not, and I shall be the first to admit this, what the scientists call hard evidence. But nevertheless it is evidence and I feel that all of it together presents us with supportive material that is well worth the time and money that was spent on its finding. Because it has allowed us to make some very definite conclusions on the phenomena as a whole.
How have we gone about collecting this evidence? In all the ways I have discussed: examining footprints, investigating reports of sightings, and continuing full time research, one example of which is the surveillance we conducted of a potential area in 1972 and 1973. This was done with the assistance of the Academy of Applied Science of Boston, and an account of the surveillance and how we conducted it seems worthwhile here,
You can read more buy purchasing the book, "The Search for Bigfoot: Monster, Myth or Man?" by Peter Byrne here.