Sunday, November 6, 2011

Finding Bigfoot: Cliff Barackman comments on Birth of a Legend (Patterson-Gimlin) episode at Bluff Creek, CA

Cliff Barackman holding the Kodak K-100 camera
the same camera used by Roger Patterson while filming the PG film.

If you want to check out Cliff Barackman's commentary of Finding Bigfoot: Birth of a Legend episode, head over to his blog at North American Bigfoot.

In his write-up, Cliff takes us through the planning stages and the different scenarios near Bluff Creek CA. Because of how well the show did in season one, they decided to make the Halloween episode a big one. "Before the entire seven episodes of Finding Bigfoot were even aired, it was pretty clear that we were going to go onto season two. The ratings were really high, and the network was very excited about doing a bigfoot show. They were so excited that they decided to do a two-hour Halloween special in addition to ten regular episodes that would be the second season," wrote Cliff.

The Finding Bigfoot crew also met with Bob Gimlin, the guy who was there during the filming of the famous Bigfoot creature we now call Patty.

Here's what Cliff said about filming at the Bluff Creek location:

Recreating the film at the actual film site was challenging, but much less so due to the various maps made of the filming event by Ranae Dahinden, Grover Krantz, and Bob Titmus. We knew the distances from the camera to the subject (“Patty”) for all of the key frames, as well as the general route of travel.

The difficult part was that the film site is no longer a wide open sand bar as it once was. The great flood of 1964 wiped the area clean and deposited a thick layer of silt and sand over the entire area. This sand bar is still there, but the forest has reclaimed it. The entire area is thickly wooded and impossible to see through. The creek has worn its way down to the bedrock, but in 1967 it had not yet done so. Bob noted that there were no really big rocks in the creek at the film site in 1967. The biggest rocks were about softball size. He also noted that the berm between the creek and the top of the sand bar was only about three feet tall, whereas now it is about six or seven feet. It was clear that the creek has eroded the bar significantly.

Bobo's walkthrough had to be done at a slightly different place than where Patty herself walked due to the changes in the location, but I think it still provided some insight on some things. First of all, Bobo's gait does not resemble Patty's on anything more than a superficial level. Even though Bobo has done that walk literally thousands of times in his 25+ years of bigfootiness, he could not duplicate it on the uneven terrain and wild environment he walked through. Also, Bob's comments that the creature seemed to walk slower, yet cleared far more distance than Bobo was also very enlightening.

I was honored to play the part of Roger Patterson while filming the recreation. We had the same model camera that Roger used that day, and that alone was super cool. It is far larger and heavier than I expected. Heaving that bulky think around while running across the sandbar really gave me a deeper appreciation of Roger and Bob's accomplishment that day.

Read the full commentary at


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