Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Pursuit of Excellence with Faking Skunk Ape Photos

OK, two admission here:

I will confess to my readers that my blog is a bit eclectic. I bounce all over the place from subject to subject. One day I am passing out book reviews in the vein of Tim Challies and discussing heavy theology, then the next day I am hunting down celebrity figures who resemble images of Jesus found in plant matter. I tend to find new things all the time that amuse me, both theological and mundane, and I feel compelled to offer my comments via my blog. I guess in a manner of speaking, it is the power of the new media cross bred with a form of intellectual ADD.

Next confession: I am a secret Bigfoot fan. No, not the monster truck that goes by that name. You know, the so called giant primate-like, man-creature with big feet who leaves big footprints. Hence the nickname "Bigfoot." I prefer "Sasquatch" or what is translated from the tongue of the Canadian Indian tribe whose name escapes me at the moment: "Wild man." My other favorite is "Skunk Ape" referring to the horrendous smell that supposedly accompanies a Bigfoot sighting. Apparently, witnesses say you smell the skunk ape before you see him.

The 1970s saw heightened interest in Bigfoot. I remember watching an "In Search Of..." episode on Bigfoot and sitting transfixed as Leonard "Mr. Spock" Nimoy earnestly narrated the program. His calm, logical voice convinced this 2nd grader that Bigfoot existed. And the passion of those eye witnesses only confirmed his existence the more:

Log Truck driver: Well, I wus goen down this dirt road here when I looked up ahead and saw what I thought was a bare sort of crouched down in the road and I thought to my self, 'why is that bare sitting there like that' and I thought I was going to hit the bare becuz I was coming pretty fast down the dirt road and then all of the sudden, it stood up and it was a man, but then I thought 'that is the huggest man I'd ever saw' but he wudn't like a regular man, he was all huge and he had hare all over em, and he just sort of turnd and looket at me, just starren at me, but he didnt have eyes like an anmal it was like the eyes of a man, and then he walked off into the woods just like that right over there.

I determined then to learn all I could about Bigfoot.

When Buster Brown's jumped on board the Bigfoot band wagon, they came out with a pair of shoes with footprints etched on to the bottom of them. I begged my mother to buy them for me. I left footprints all over the greens when my family attended a party at the local country club with my mother's hospital friends.

I remember the Six Million Dollar Man met Bigfoot once. He was from outerspace or another dimension. At first, they fought an epic bionic battle and then I think in a later episode, the Bigfoot and Steve Austin worked together to stop some bad aliens. They even made an action figure out of the Bigfoot character. I tried in vain to get it for Christmas, but to no avail.

Then ABC put together one of the lamest Saturday morning live-action TV shows imaginable: Bigfoot and Wildboy. The Bigfoot looked more like a Wookie than a Bigfoot (or maybe like Rob Zombie). The "Wildboy" was named Lucan, and I had a friend in Arkansas whose parents thought the name was really neat, so they named his little brother Lucan.

When I went to my grandma's house in Batesville, Arkansas, she had a big, hundred acre woods behind where she lived. I thought I would attempt to get a good, clear picture of Bigfoot, not one of those grainy, taken from a distance of a football field pictures you see in all the books. I searched all over those woods, but I never found a Bigfoot. I did get a lot of tick and chigger bites on me, though.

Obviously, by now, my expectations about finding Bigfoot have changed. I want to have a biblical perspective about Bigfoot that would make Francis Schaffer proud. My take - speaking honest here - is that all of those eye witnesses cannot be easily dismissed. There is something out there in the woods of the Pacific Northwest people are seeing. What it is is yet to be determined. I personally think it could be a near extinct primate that has not been properly catalogued and researched. Not a missing link or inter-dimensional beings as is often discussed on Art Bell's program, but a large, undiscovered animal. You may think this is funny for me to say, but giant, lowland gorillas have only been discovered since the early 20th century. Before that, they were the product of local eye-witnesses and myth. The same can be said about panda bears.

At any rate, because of my early childhood fascination with Bigfoot (and lake monsters - may I not forget Nessie and Champ), any time I read about a Bigfoot sighting and the story is accompanied with photos, I drop everything I am doing and go immediately to the Internet. I am always on the outlook for Bigfoot photos, even the most blatantly hoaxed. However, if you are going to fake some Bigfoot photos, I believe it is reasonable to have some expectation of excellence. Give me something worth spending my time looking at. The Patterson footage has set the standard of Bigfoot photos (That is because I believe it is the real deal - see analysis here), so everyone else should aim for that mark of excellence.

So, yesterday, I am alerted via the Cryptomundo blog about some Bigfoot sightings in, of all places, Oklahoma. Now, these photos are so clearly fakes - woefully inept fakes - that I had to shake my head in disgust.

Take a look at this first one,

There are only two conclusions we can draw from this picture: Either this particular Bigfoot suffers severely with the mange, in which case this poor beast should be hunted down and put to sleep in order to relieve it of its misery, OR, it is a guy wearing a bear skin rug.

My money is on the second scenario. In fact, if you go to Cryptomundo link there are more photos of this particular Bigfoot. It is amazing that in one of the photos, the head and face of the "Bigfoot" is conveniently blocked with foliage. Those trees are all the time getting in the way of a clear shot.

I image the staging of this Bigfoot picture went something like this:

Cletus: Hey, Doyle, I wuz thinkin. You know what would be funny?

Doyle: Whut?

Cletus: Lets git that bear rug from your daddys and you can put it over your head and I'll take picktures of you pretenden to be Bigfoot.

Doyle: That sounds like a plan. I'll git the beer.

Now this second photo is also a clear fake.

In fact, to put it mildly, it sort of looks like a giant teddy bear going potty in the woods.

My first impressions is that it is the gremlin from the original black and white Twilight Zone episode when a nervous William Shatner sees a "man" on the wing of the airplane. Basically a big, dumpy looking flying teddy bear.

Look how large his legs and feet are in proportion to the rest of his body. As if he is wearing bell bottom pants. What on earth? Did these people really believe this was a convincing Bigfoot suit? Please.

Both of these pictures are terrible. I mean, if you are going to fake a Bigfoot picture, at least get a decent costume. I have to say I am sorely disappointed with both of these attempts. Did the hoaxters not even try? This is laziness at its worse.

So I beg all you potential Bigfoot fake picture makers: From a person who has carried a soft spot in his heart for Bigfoot since the 2nd grade: please do your best to pursue your hoaxing with excellence. Do some research and keep in mind, you may have to spend a little money for the material.



Blogger D.J. Cimino said...

I loved your descriptions of these 2 photos. Funny stuff!

8:10 AM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger ThirstyDavid said...

Bigfoot? I don't think so. However, I do believe there are or recently were (within the last century or two) creatures in Loch Ness.

I love stuff like this, though. I give a big high five to anyone who can pull off a good monster hoax.

8:45 AM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger D.J. Cimino said...

BTW, since we are on such topics as nessie and bigfoot, did you ever listen to anything Peter Ruckman had to say about UFOs (he even did a tape series on the topic)? Now that is some nutty stuff right there!

11:14 AM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

did you ever listen to anything Peter Ruckman had to say about UFOs (he even did a tape series on the topic)? Now that is some nutty stuff right there!

I have only heard about Ruckman's strange views of UFOs and aliens from secondhand sources and seeing stuff on the web. Ruckman goes into the realm of Art Bell land with his take on this stuff. It is embarrassing.


1:19 PM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger zdadster said...

You don't need faked photos. All you need to do is to finance me on a fact-finding, photographic expedition to the Pacific Northwest! 2 million dollars ought to do the trick (I am not greedy). Or... GO RENT OR BUY THE DEFINITIVE & FACTUAL MOVIE 'HARRY & THE HENDERSONS'. Everything you need to know!

1:30 PM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Well Z,
If you ever go on that excursion, please contact me and I will take the time off to go with you. I am sure we'll need some camping gear.


1:34 PM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger Jim said...


I grew up in Yakima Washington and went to school with one of Roger Patterson's sons (we were on the West Valley High School wrestling team together). At a party for the wrestling team in the Patterson's home, Roger's family vehemently denied that the footage was fake. I myself asked them about it and they assured me that it was indeed real. I was only sixteen at the time but I am very sure they were entirely serious.

2:01 AM, August 02, 2006  
Blogger C-train said...

I'll buy in to the whole bigfoot being an undocumented species thing; loch ness too.

2:27 AM, August 02, 2006  
Blogger Jeloman said...

If Bigfoot sightings were only isolated to the vast wilderness of the Pacific NW, Western Canada and Alaska, I would agree with your primate theory. However, there are supposedly credible eyewitness accounts in many states east of the Mississippi. Sure, there are still large forested regions back east but lots of people have lived there for hundreds of years now. It's really hard for me to believe an 8', 600-800 lbs creature could exist in the woods of Ohio without firm evidence for this long. Yet, if even a small fraction of the eyewitness accounts are credible we are dealing with something more than just an animal... either man-like or spiritual/inter-dimensional. Which then, if that were tue raises interesting theological questions.

10:22 PM, July 17, 2011  

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