A Meditation on Ray Wallace and Sasquatch
Part Six: Eeek, A Bigfoot!
Going on from our previous post we come now to the matter of what the four members of the expedition did when they encountered the sasquatch. “Four?” I can hear you ask. The two humans and their two horses I reply.
From all indications Gimlin remained calm and steady. Not so his friend Patterson and their horses. When Patty comes “on-screen” Roger’s shooting became unsteady, as though he had had a shock, become excited. He steadies again later, but still the viewer is left with the impression Roger Patterson is agitated by the event. Indeed, the problem with evaluating the film as it was shot lies in the fact Roger Patterson was not entirely in control of himself, of his emotions.
The impression one gets is that Roger Patterson got excited, as though he was experiencing an unexpected event. As if the sudden appearance of Patty had not been planned for. It could be acting, but his reaction has none of the studied response that marks acting, none of the rehearsed quality. It is a natural reaction, as occurs in a natural situation. Patterson wasn’t expecting this.
“What of Gimlin?” I can hear you ask.
What of Gimlin? The fact he kept his head means nothing. Some people are naturally cool and collected. From all I’ve heard of the man, Bob Gimlin was the Sancho Panza to Roger Patterson’s Don Quioxte. The calm center to Roger’s storm. ‘Sides, he had a job to do, and that was protect Patterson from harm. Thus armed with a responsibility Bob Gimlin kept his cool.
But what about the horses? We tend to forget the other members of the expedition, the men’s mounts. People who work with horses will tell you that the horse is not the brightest light in the chandelier. At the same time, horses are skittish things with an overactive imagination. Horses are prey animals cursed with vision that has severe limitations. That is, a horse’s vision is blurry, best suited to spotting motion. Combine this bad eyesight with an active imagination, and you get a flighty animal ready to assume the worst in any unexpected event.
However, once a horse gets used to something, it doesn’t bother him any more. A thing known, a thing a horse has seen before and gotten used to is no longer a threat. So the horses’ reaction to Patty presents problems, if you assume the Patterson-Gimlin Film is a hoax.
Why is the horses’ reaction a problem? Because they act as if they had never seen Patty before. That is, as if they had never seen, never experienced the man in an ape suit before. If Patterson and Gimlin had set the whole thing up, when it came time to film the bogus sasquatch you would think the horses would be used to the man wearing the costume, and to the costume itself.
There are many other problems with the hoax hypothesis, but this is one of the bigger ones to me. Man and horse, the animals encounter the sasquatch just act wrong for creatures meeting someone they already knew. Could it have been a fake concocted by other parties? That possibility is argued against by the fact that Patterson and Gimlin had no set itinerary, they set out to see what they could find. Pulling off such a stunt, while not impossible, requires a good deal of planning, and a lot of persistence. Knowing where your victim’s going to be helps a lot. Even then, the fact nobody reliable has ever come forth to detail how the hoax was pulled off argues against fraud.
And that leads us up to our next installment, how Patty reacted.
Next: Fuck, Tourists, and Me in This Ratty Old Thing
Mirrored from Mythusmage Opines.