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Bill Munns

Researching the famous Patterson bigfoot film

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It's too late. I think it's rather funny that we are even discussing Bigfoot on a cinematography forum just because it was shot on 16mm.

 

Hi-

 

My impression was that this thread was about old 16mm cameras and lenses. I don't think it's just me, but I still find old gear cool and interesting and fun to discuss- more so than, say the thread currently underway about why Shane Hurlbut didn't dish on Christian Bale in the latest AC...

 

I get irritated (from a purely photographic perspective) with the dumptruck-loads of pseudo-science surrounding the particular chunk of film that Bill is referring to (Discovery Channel, ugh), so it's kind of refreshing to see someone making the effort to at least look into that basic aspect of it.

 

Plus I grew up in the PNW during the 70's, so I can't help but be drawn into this!

 

And as full disclosure, my last 2 personal, just for fun projects: www.kinografx.com

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Tom:

 

"It's too late. I think it's rather funny that we are even discussing Bigfoot on a cinematography forum just because it was shot on 16mm."

 

The only people I see talking about Bigfoot and ape suits are people here who apparently cannot read the subtopic of this thread, which is "camera and lens research questions I have encountered". Since you think talking about this is "funny", and you are one of the people derailing this thread off of it's stated topic to discuss the "funny stuff", then you must think your own behavior is funny.

 

Wouldn't you rather take your time and contribute to a thread where you think your contribution is respectable, knowledgeable, and meritorious, instead of funny.

 

 

Patrick:

 

"

I get irritated (from a purely photographic perspective) with the dumptruck-loads of pseudo-science surrounding the particular chunk of film that Bill is referring to (Discovery Channel, ugh), so it's kind of refreshing to see someone making the effort to at least look into that basic aspect of it."

 

Thank you for this observation. It is precisely because so much "pseudo-science" has been mis-applied to this film that I am trying to do factual research on foundation issues and topics that might facilitate some factual determination down the line. And as an indication of my interest in going to factual sources where there is no bias or pre-disposition to agree with me, I came to this forum precisely because it is a respectful repository of cinematography and film camera expertise.

 

I did not go into this film research looking for discrepancies of filming camera lenses, but once the issue came to my attention, I felt it deserves a factual and conclusive analysis. By helping to establish foundation questions resolved with good scientific and responsible research methods, maybe we can get the pseudo-science out of the picture, and that would benefit all, I believe, regardless of what final determination is made about the content of this film.

 

Bill

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I was looking at the pile of carts I have and I discovered that the Ansco Corp. also made these carts. The opening is slightly different than the Kodak cart.

16mm50ftmags024.jpg

I wonder if the other makers of the day (dupont?) may have also made 16mm cartridges.

 

They might be rare as the magazine was generally sent in when the film was processed, and most were probably discarded.

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Just to clarify - I was referring to Karl when I said "Well then... dont"

 

Just my point of view but I think Bills discussion is certainly worth merit - read his above post ...

 

...but more to the point - even it wasn't in anyones opinion not worth discussing who are we really to say it isn't ?

 

Righto, that out of the way - and please I hope upon hope that I'm not stirring up further off topic debate (another thread maybe ?) - lets get back to the discussion.

 

I dont have anything to contribute myself but I'm following it out of interest :lol:

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Charles:

 

The film I am trying to ID is definitely Kodak, because I personally scanned the camera original and it has the "Kodak Safety Film" latent image, on it. And the info contributed by Charlie Peich showing the difference betwen the Kodak and the Ansco cartridge apertures also verifies the Kodak type as matching the film frame in question.

 

So the remaining question for me personally is trying to ID the camera aperture marking of a Keystone K-50 magazine camera, to see if that supports or excludes the Keystone as having taken the film frame I posted.

 

But if there are other carridges, IDing them would be approprite simply for being thorough in this point of analysis.

 

Chris

 

I thank you also for your comment.

 

I suppose it would be appropriate for me to explain a bit more about the context of this research, in other words, what would it prove.

 

The Patterson/Gimlin film is, if nothing else a rather unique piece of film history. And as Patrick noted, documentaries about it have been subjected to a lot of pseudo-science passed off as analysis. The only way to get rid of pseudo-science is to replace it with good science and responsible research. If an iconic film, which has been subjected to a lot of pseude-scientific discussion, can be re-evaluated with a much more responsible method and consideration, than maybe the documentary people will take note and make other types of documentaries with better sceince and responsible methods.

 

Now this camera and lens thing I'm trying to sort out does not directly prove anything about the subject of the film. Any factual determinations I may find through this are just as much facts for people to argue the film is hoaxed, as facts for people to argue the film is not hoaxed. They are facts all can rely upon, as a foundation for further discussion.

 

The K-100 reported to have been used for filming the original film in 1967 was reported to have a 25mm Ektar lens on it, the standard issue of that camera, in its single lens configuration. But in my attempt to make a digital model of the Bluff Creek Site, (using 12 years of experience in 3D computer graphics work, including archaeological visualizations), the digital model simply would not solve with a 25mm lens specification, while a 15mm lens specification solved quickly and splendidly. And Kodak makes a 15mm Ektar lens with companion viewfinder lens, so it is a plausible option for the original filming.

 

That is persuasive enough for me to simply ask, could it be a 15mm lens on the K-100 instead of the 25mm? I am trying to answer that question. Now the second film I refer to, John Green's filming of Jim McClarin (one frame shown in this thread) was made the following summer in 1968, and the attempt was to have a man walk the same path so the films could be compared. And Jim McClarin, reportedly about 6' 5" (with shoes) is fairly similar to the subject in the Patterson film in terms of apparent height.

 

What I noticed in comparing the two frames from the two films, was Green's film shows the distant background trees as scaling about the same in image size on film, while the main foreground log does not scale as large at all. Now, as much as i know about cinematography, that is the likely result of Green being farther away from the camera position of Patterson, which makes everything smaller, the foreground objects shrinking more than background objects, but with a slightly longer lens focal length, the background object sizes were restored to comparative size while the foreground objects were still too small.

 

So I concluded Green was about 10' further back than Patterson's filming position, and Green had a lens of a focal length maybe 1 or 2 mm longer in effective focal length. Now Green's own testimony is that he used the Keystone camera and a 1" Cine Raptor lens on it (and he still has the camera today).

 

So I have a digital model, which works quite splendidly with a 15mm specification, but fails to solve with a 25mm specification, and a second filming that the lens should be off by only 1 or 2mm but is reported to be a 25mm (1"). Something is seriously wrong. I don't know what the answer is, but I'm trying to find out.

 

If the camera identification marks on the Keystone camera do not match what's in the scanned Green footage, than that disqualifies the Keystone and its 25mm lens. If it is confirmed that Green's camera has a 25mm lens and it is a good one, on spec in effective focal length, then Patterson's lens should be about 23mm, but that's way off spec for the Cine Ektar 25mm lens I tests and found only 2% off spec (22.65 degrees horizontal angle of view, compared to the ASC Manual stated spec on 23.0 degrees HAOV), not enough to account for the discrepancy.

 

And my digital model still fails to solve with a 25mm spec. Known distances and measures from the site also do not compute in a rational way with a 25mm spec.

 

So I have this curious mystery I am trying to solve, using responsible science and applied optics, and i am trying to sort out issues of cameras and lenses and camera identifications relying on facts, documentation, real proof, not pseudo-science.

 

I have also done some studies just trying to clear up what constitutes "full frame" since each camera is apparently a bit different, and some studies about the film's genealogy and copying history, because many flawed arguments are based on material in copies induced by the copy process, so resolving what's a true representation of the original camera film, and identifying what is an alteration made by copying, would also eliminate false arguments based on artifacts, not true film image content.

 

So if factual issues can be cleared up, regardless of whether you wish to argue for the film being hoaxed or not, at least you will be argumeng from a factual foundation instead of arguing about false data. And if this search for foundation facts can be done in a responsible way, it may encourage more responsible analysis of controversial films and photogrpahs, and not let pseudo-scientific methods prevail.

 

That's the goal, pure and simple. Find factual answers to specific questions.

 

Bill

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It's a hoax. And like I said, there is nothing that any amount of research that you do will prove otherwise. I just saved you a ton of money and time.

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I just did a Youtube search on Bigfoot and watched the footage over and over. There are several videos that debunk it as a hoax including one of Bob Heirmonius who claims to be the creature. There is a side by side comparison of the two walking and they are identical. Other videos point out different reasons for it being a hoax but most center around the feet looking not at all like feet but more like a costume. One video shows loose fur flapping on a foot, another shows what a biped foot should look like and bigfoot's foot looks nothing like a foot. I look at the video and see a lose fitting costume. The beast has no muscle tone like a normal animal, man , beast, ape or monkey. He looks more like a creature who eats at McDonald's. One viewer responded that Bigfoot had no ass crack. Does it not bother anyone that this species has never been discovered? No bones, no family, no den. If he were an apeman don't you think he would nebe smarter than a bear and figure out there's foot near campgrounds or is he just shy and elusive? :lol: Even one video talks about the guy that Patterson bought the feet from.

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Tom,

 

If it is a hoax or not is besides the point - it is still an object in itself and the amount of interest you're granting it just goes further to prove that.

 

As the saying goes - argue with fools ... (people are naturally free to choose the particular target I refer to here)

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Regrardless of one's belief, I think it's cool to examine this footage. And I am all for the effort being made by Bill to do so.

 

And while I do understand that this topic is about the technology, it must be expected that simply due to the controversy of the film, the discussion here will drift back and forth from the science to the hoax debate.

 

You can't expect people here to not comment on it.

 

I myself never once believed the footage to be anything more than a hoax. And as I learned more about it, I did appreciate the effort made by Patterson.

 

Here is something else to consider though. It's worth further investigation. And maybe there is something I am missing, but apparently, Patterson had quite an obsession with Bigfoot prior to the footage he "caught." He even wrote a book about it. And if I have my dates correct, he wrote the book BEFORE "stumbling into" filmming bigfoot.

 

Here is his book:

http://www.amazon.com/Abominable-Snowmen-A...t/dp/0969713673

 

According to my findings, the book was published in 1966.

His footage was captured in October 1967.

 

So, to summarize, we have a man so obsessed with the idea of bigfoot and so determined to prove that bigfoot actually exists...and then he actually finds footage of said creature. Amazing.

 

But again, I support the attempts at learning more about the footage. To really understand how the hoax was executed.

Edited by Keneu Luca

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Tom-

 

Try to explain this one, then!

 

 

( There clearly is an ass crack )

 

I guess I was wrong. Notice the prehensile middle finger.

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I just did a Youtube search on Bigfoot and watched the footage over and over. There are several videos that debunk it as a hoax including one of Bob Heirmonius who claims to be the creature. There is a side by side comparison of the two walking and they are identical. Other videos point out different reasons for it being a hoax but most center around the feet looking not at all like feet but more like a costume. One video shows loose fur flapping on a foot, another shows what a biped foot should look like and bigfoot's foot looks nothing like a foot. I look at the video and see a lose fitting costume. The beast has no muscle tone like a normal animal, man , beast, ape or monkey. He looks more like a creature who eats at McDonald's. One viewer responded that Bigfoot had no ass crack. Does it not bother anyone that this species has never been discovered? No bones, no family, no den. If he were an apeman don't you think he would be smarter than a bear and figure out there's food near campgrounds or is he just shy and elusive? :lol: Even one video talks about the guy that Patterson bought the feet from.

 

FOOD near campgrounds, I meant to say. Ever wonder why Patterson was in the woods shooting footage? Was he a nature photographer? He just happened to be there, I guess. Just like those unstaged videos on America's funniest home videos.

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I don't know why, Bill, that you or anyone else is attacking what I said.

 

I said I wouldn't personally go into your research, because I think it is overanalyzing it, and that Hollywood movies don't apparently warrant the same scan size as poorly-shot 16mm footage. Even if the footage IS fake, I don't criticize people for trying to get to the bottom of something. I only criticize people that look at results that are contrary to what they believe or supposit, and then ignore said results; I am sure you're not in this latter group of individuals. :D

 

 

 

I would hope, however, that the advice I gave you that followed, and my pointing out that none of what you are measuring can be ascertained without the original, I assume, positive film, and knowledge of which lens was used.

 

You will have to make assumptions taht woudl invalidate any research you are doing to get past the basic missing information in this case.

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Karl:

 

I am not attacking you or anything you say. I won't speak for the behavior of others, but my sole intent in this forum is to ask for, or provide factual information about camera/lens related subjects.

 

The film in question is like a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle, and many of the pieces are not yet connected into a relaible larger image. The puzzle has not been solved, although individuals certainly have a right to their opinions of the solution.

 

I am simply trying to clear up some of the missing or minunderstood pieces of this puzzle, in a factual and verifiable way.

 

Bill

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But, you cannot verify the camera aperture or lens used, or even the frame size without the original film, camera and lens!

 

So you are heading down Futile Avenue with your current approach.

 

 

Sorry if I come off as combatitive, but I just hate seeing someone waste energies on what ultimately is just supposition and guestimation.

 

 

I see too that it was Chris, not you that attacked me. Sorry for attributing his barb to yourself.

 

I'd like to see your study continue further, but I don't think your current approach can provide anything definitive.

Edited by Karl Borowski

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Karl:

 

Photogrammetry technology has the potential to solve a lens focal length if there is enough images from differeing camera locations to triangluate the various objects across the varied camera positions.

 

From my study thus far, there appears to be a sufficient number of camera positions to accomplish this.

 

Also the prints of the film are being studied to determine which is most faithful to the camera original, and that should be suffifiecntly relaible for a photogrammetry analysis, although i do acknowledge that there is debate on this question of what constitutes "sufficiently reliable".

 

So I consider it worth a try to find these potential solutions.

 

Bill

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Bill, you're wasting your time and money. Can you say with a straight face that this creature on the film doesn't look exactly like a human in a monkey suit? Do you think the bottom of the foot looks like a mammal's foot? The monkey suit doesn't even fit. How are you going to remotely establish subject distance. Even if you come to the conclusion that the creature is bigger than a human so it has to be a Bigfoot, do you think anyone is going to change their mind or believe your data isn't flawed. Put your intelligence to use some other way. Bigfoot is clearly a hoax. I'm surprised anyone cannot see that. There have been more Santa Clause sightings. Maybe you you could get to the bottom of that.

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Tom:

 

"Bill, you're wasting your time and money. Can you say with a straight face that this creature on the film doesn't look exactly like a human in a monkey suit?"

 

Yes, I can say that with a straight face, and absolute confidence, because I wroked professionally for nearly 40 years as a makeup effects artist, and made many ape suits, fur costumes, ape masks, and the like. I know what can be done, and what can't. I started in 1967 and know the fur and suit technologies of the time.

 

That said, I must ask why you are so determined to discourage me from "wasting my time and money", as you say. This is perhaps your fourth or fifth post trying to tell me to give up my research. You seem genuinely bothered by this very discussion, and leave me no alternative but to say, simply and directly, that I do not intent to follow your advice. This is my last divergence from the thread topic and discussion goals I specified when I started this thread. I will ignore any further posts which are off topic, (which is cameras, lenses, and camera identification marks).

 

I plan to continue this research, and continue to try and learn more factual matters about this most curious film.

 

Bill

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Tom:

 

"Bill, you're wasting your time and money. Can you say with a straight face that this creature on the film doesn't look exactly like a human in a monkey suit?"

 

Yes, I can say that with a straight face, and absolute confidence, because I wroked professionally for nearly 40 years as a makeup effects artist, and made many ape suits, fur costumes, ape masks, and the like. I know what can be done, and what can't. I started in 1967 and know the fur and suit technologies of the time.

 

That said, I must ask why you are so determined to discourage me from "wasting my time and money", as you say. This is perhaps your fourth or fifth post trying to tell me to give up my research. You seem genuinely bothered by this very discussion, and leave me no alternative but to say, simply and directly, that I do not intent to follow your advice. This is my last divergence from the thread topic and discussion goals I specified when I started this thread. I will ignore any further posts which are off topic, (which is cameras, lenses, and camera identification marks).

 

I plan to continue this research, and continue to try and learn more factual matters about this most curious film.

 

Bill

If you can't make a suit as good as the one in the Patterson film after 40 years as an effects artist, you must have been a horrible effects artist. That suit was pathetic. What about the foot and the suit flapping? Did that look real? Did it bother you that this is the most out of shape creature in the woods? The ape suits in all the Planet of the Apes movies were better than that. Does that fact that a guy has admitted being the man in the suit have any bearing on your position? Serious question, are you an old hippie stoner?

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Bill, I just looked at your creature gallery and all your work is better than the Bigfoot suit. How can you say that you could not make that suit. And what makes you say that it is more likely to find a smaller unknown species than a larger species? that I don't get.

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Bill, I read your analysis and the other pages you posted. I did not see where you even remotely touched the topic of the feet and the fur flapping. You simply ignore those facts. Unless I missed it, but I looked pretty closely. Honestly some of what you write makes you sound like a victim and all the naysayers just don't understand. You've obviously made up your mind that you believe the Patterson footage is real and are not interested at all in any opposing viewpoints.

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Oh for gods sake Tom - go elsewhere, get a coffee - follow your own pursuits ... whatever, just stop bogging this thread down.

 

;)

 

As I started to say in my last post:

 

Argue with fools ....

 

NO ONE CAN TELL THE DIFFERENCE

 

 

I think we ALL have something to learn from this ...

 

(and sorry Karl, not an attack... I know you from many a thread in these forums, and value your contribution - might have come across a bit personal...)

 

Now lets all listen to REM's Shiny Happy People - all of us holding hands, bigfoot incl.

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Now lets all listen to REM's Shiny Happy People - all of us holding hands, bigfoot incl.

 

post-201-1245637280.jpg

 

(I wish I could claim credit for this, but it belongs to a very clever Flickr member)

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Oh for gods sake Tom - go elsewhere, get a coffee - follow your own pursuits ... whatever, just stop bogging this thread down.

 

;)

 

As I started to say in my last post:

 

Argue with fools ....

 

NO ONE CAN TELL THE DIFFERENCE

 

 

I think we ALL have something to learn from this ...

 

(and sorry Karl, not an attack... I know you from many a thread in these forums, and value your contribution - might have come across a bit personal...)

 

Now lets all listen to REM's Shiny Happy People - all of us holding hands, bigfoot incl.

 

Chris, I think it was you in the Bigfoot costume and you are just trying to perpetuate the HOAX! I'm just curious as to where Bigfoot was going. It looked like he was just out for a stroll.

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Ok,

 

ha ha - yup, I'm laughing, barely - but yes, 'out loud' :lol:

 

Lesson learned:

 

Trying to keep threads on topic just fuels the off topic fire even more :rolleyes:

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