When it comes to Bigfoot, many will argue that the hundreds of recorded eye-witness encounters are simply a man in a monkey suit running in front of a deliberately shaky camera. Fair enough, as most of the videos posted online are just that! However, upon further investigation and intricate analyzation of eye-witness videos, we can better determine the difference between Bigfoot fact and fiction. Here’s your formula to proving fact or fiction.
If you’re not familiar with the Bigfoot Independence day video, it depicts a large creature carrying (what appears to be) a small Bigfoot child. At first glance, the creature in the video almost appears to be a CGI insert, simply created on a computer by a graphic designer. Similarly, the Patterson-Gimlin film has been just about the most controversial piece of footage that has ever existed. Most believe it to be an elaborate hoax, and many have admitted to being involved in its production. However, as scientists, we must not discredit any evidence, as it would be unscientific to assume footage is a hoax without dissecting and analyzing the small details within it. Unless we can prove the evidence to be false, we must not assume that it is. After all, upon further investigation of the Independence Day film and the Patterson-Gimlin film, citizen-scientists have gathered enough information and scientific backup to rule out human involvement in both sets of footage. In order to determine a video or photo’s credibility, it is important to understand the difference between the subjects in the footage, and Homo sapiens (us.) Throughout the dissection of hundreds of credible Bigfoot footprints, scientists and researchers have discovered the difference in anatomy between Homo sapiens and Bigfoot. This differentiation is what can help the average person determine the credibility of footage or photos within seconds. If you understand the difference in anatomy, you will be an evidence expert.
Let’s talk Homo Sapien: A human has a longitudinal arch in their foot, which means the entire foot is incorporated into the lever which propels it off of the ground, and weight is pushed to the ball of the foot while walking. The bending happens at the toes, providing traction while moving. This is why we, as Homo Sapiens, only lift our foot slightly between strides.
Let’s talk Bigfoot: By analyzing the structure and imprint of credible footprints, scientists discovered that a Bigfoot has mid-foot flexibility, like the subject in both films. The weight of the creature is not concentrated on the ball of the foot like Homo Sapiens, but rather the midfoot. A Mid-tarsal break causes weight to transfer from rear to forefront. This anatomy is typical of great apes, and causes these creature’s legs to lift at a higher angle between strides in order to support their midfoot flexibility while walking. In fact, Bigfoots lift their leg 21 degrees higher than a human with each step. Another aspect of anatomy that differentiates Bigfoot from us is the ratio of the arm to the leg, which are approximately the same size. If a human was wearing arm extensions under an ape costume to create a more primitive appearance, their elbow would
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still bend at the exact same place, making it clear that the subject is a human in a suit. Arm extensions can provide a more ape-like appearance in some photos, but videos will not lie. The subject in the Patterson-Gimlin film has arms that measure almost exactly as long as its legs, impossible for a human to recreate, even under a suit, because the elbow placement during each bending motion is relative to the creature’s forearm and upper arm ratio. Arm extensions would skew this ratio, as the elbow would appear to bend in an awkward and unnatural position upon the arm. Although small details, the Bigfoot’s motion of lifting its leg at almost a 90 degree angle while walking fluidly cannot be replicated by a Homo Sapien. Similarly, the arm-to-leg ratio of a Bigfoot is not possible to be recreated either. Our anatomy would not even allow an imitation of either action, as our feet and arms are structured so differently from theirs. When it comes to determining if a video is real or not, one must look carefully at the subject of the film. A few questions beg: What angle is the leg bent at between strides? How does the foot come down onto the ground (heel toe motion or mid-foot stepping?) How fluidly is the creature moving relative to its terrain? What is the arm-to-leg ratio? All these questions truly matter in determining the credibility of the subject in the footage or photograph. Unfortunately, not every image is always clear, something skeptics like to harp on. However, realistically speaking, anyone alone in the woods who has just encountered a large, hairy, man-like creature, almost twice the size of a Homo Sapien, would likely run the other way, let alone take out a camera and avoid fumbling it around while trying to keep tabs on the Bigfoot. Similarly, when it comes to drone footage, it is often hard to capture anything clearly, as the dense tree canopy blocks what lurks beneath. However, there are a few good pieces of footage from drones depicting large, dark figures running swiftly and rather quickly through open fields, practically in the middle of nowhere. If Bigfoot is a worldwide hoax like skeptics suggest, it must be an extremely time-consuming and dangerous career.
Unfortunately, there are many hoaxed videos and photographs mixed in with legitimate evidence. This creates an overall novelty image of Bigfoot within many people’s minds. By making this creature the star of horror movies, T.V. shows, and viral videos, Bigfoot has gained the reputation of being a legend, or perhaps a master hoax. Those who have seen the creature know the truth, and those who have filmed it have captured a memory they will never forget. Whether you’re behind the camera, casting the footprints, or observing from your computer screen, there are a few fool-proof ways to distinguish evidence from hoax. By discovering these scientific differences, the Bigfoot community has proven certain video evidence to be anatomically IMPOSSIBLE to recreate. Those who argue that CGI is what creates this evidence are simply not educated on the process of CGI creation. Projects such as CGI movie characters and animated videos take years to perfect, and require large teams of people to produce. If the subjects in the Independence Day and Patterson-Gimlin films are CGI generated, the artist would have to place each hair individually on the creature within each frame in order to mimic the realistic muscle flexing movement that appears in the stabilized versions of both sets of footage. This process would take several years for one person to even attempt, and the image would still stand out against its natural background. Take into account that the Patterson-Gimlin film was shot in 1967, before technology allowed such elaborate projects to be attempted. Bigfoot may not be the star in every eye-witness video, but by using scientific facts, anatomical knowledge, and a close eye, we can better determine which films capture the real thing. Comment below if you have ever filmed or recorded a Bigfoot!
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"21 Degrees between Bigfoot and You." YouTube. N.p., 23 Feb. 2012. Web. 25 Jan. 2017.
The Unwonted Sasquatch. Dir. Darcy Weir. Indie Rights, n.d. Web.
“You Think Bigfoot Is a Hoax? Explain This.” YouTube, 10 Nov. 2017, youtu.be/lECNg10fJ9I.