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Defending the Non-Existent (Forges On)

A Meditation on Ray Wallace and Sasquatch

Part Five: Keeping the Story Straight

Continuing on from this post we come to a sticking point for a number of people, a certain inconsistency in Roger’s story. Patterson’s account of the encounter is noted as having certain discrepencies. For one thing, Roger tended to guess at greater weight estimates as time went by. according to Greg Long the purportedly extraordinary nature of Patterson’s claim means we must be especially wary of errors in the account.

The matter of just how extraordinary the claims of a great ape native to North America are is a matter for a later post. Where Roger Patterson’s and Bob Gimlin’s stories are concerned we need to keep one thing in mind; memories are not perfect.

We all make mistakes, we all misremember. When interviewed about an event we tend to change our stories depending on what we remember, and what we’ve forgotten. Naturalist Ivan T. Sanderson reported the encounter as occurring at 3:30 pm, in other accounts Patterson said it happened about 1:30 pm. This is said to be a sign that Patterson was lying about the event, but it is more likely an honest mistake on Roger’s part, or an error by Sanderson. Even so, a mistake as to when something happened does not, in and of itself, mean the event never happened at all. What the two men showed in their recollections is that they are human. They made mistakes, they forgot details, then recalled them again later. This is how people operate. In the field of criminal investigation the one thing detectives watch out for is stories that are too perfect, too consistent. Studies done on people being interviewed has also shown that stories will differ depending on the question asked, and as the interviewee remembers details he’d forgotten before. What Patterson showed in his interviews is that sort of thing, changing certain details as he remembered or mis-remembered them. Keep this in mind as this series continues.

With that unplanned detour out of the way we’ll go on to the curious thing Patterson’s horse did during the encounter. Curious that is, if you assume Patty was a man in an ape suit.

Next up: Short Term Memory Problems in Equines.

Mirrored from Mythusmage Opines.

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