I’d like to thanks Bill Munns once again for coming on the show the other day. He was cordial and, at least for this show, thank God, I wasn’ t the yackiest mofo on there.
I’ve watched his presentation which he recently gave at the Texas Bigfoot Conference (online at 1080p and full screen) a couple of times all the way through and replayed various bits more than a few times and found it, overall, interesting. Persuasive enough to change my view that the film is probably a fake? No. But he’s moved me a bit…right around 8.37864 percent toward roughly 70% certainty of hoaxiness (In my next blog entry I’ll be spelling out, at least fairly specifically, why I still think the film is probably a hoax. I leave today for six days (PCT Kickoff!) then return home, and then have about two weeks before I leave for hopefully sunny Spain in mid-May. So I’m planning to post it before I leave). I truly do appreciate Bill’s time and effort he’s put into looking at the PGF. Though, it should go without saying, that it’s what is firmly established, or not, as a result of any analysis that counts, not merely the amount of time spent on it. (A notion I think Bill would agree with). I’ll go through each of his arguments one by one (except for his talking about the “notch” which I honestly couldn’t tell on my screen what the hell it was or whether it indented, etc. along with the “subduction” part which Bill admits is a wash…also, my thoughts on Chris Walas opinion will be at the end…I don’t recall specifically what section Bill mentions him in and I’m running late, dammit!). I’m curious why Bill didn’t address the “Diaper Butt” theory that many skeptics of the film (myself included) find perplexing…hopefully myself or one of the other boys will ask him about that the next time he’s on. Ohhh….one more thing…a thing that I think Bill does very well at times during his presentation is successfully counter claims made by those who essentially say that the PGF film subject HAS to be a suit. Kudos, Bill. Kudos. Of course, that’s a different thing from proving that it HAS to be a sasquatch.
(to spare myself and any readers of specifically detailing what Bill presented in each instance, I’m working on the assumption (good lord, an assumption!) that you, dear reader, have actually watched each presentation).
Bill chooses a frame that shows an approximate head profile of the film subject at a height so that a man around 6’2″ or 6’3″ would be the alleged man in the alleged suit. (We don’t know, btw, if this frame is perpendicular to the plane of the lens because, simply put, the Patterson film wasn’t shot in a controlled environment…i.e. it’s an approximation…also complicating matters is not a single frame of the PGF is crystal clear…not super fuzzy to be sure, but fuzzy to a degree, which, obviously, doesn’t help the notion of accuracy). Bill then draws an outline of the head, with the assumption that 3/4’s of an inch of hair is on the subject. The next frame he uses, where the film subject’s back appears to be parallel with the lens plane (again, necessarily an approximation for the same reasons given above), is quite a bit farther away, which means when he blows THAT frame up to get the approximate scale he’s looking for, that frame will be even blurrier than the first image. When it’s a matter of an inch or inches that are key here (we’re talking about a possible human head piece for God’s sake, people) how can he be absolutely sure (as he claims at 8:55) that the mask he made from these approximations would HAVE to fit the head of the person in the suit (if it was a suit) given his 6′ 2″ – 6′ 3″ scenario? Bill writes, pertaining to his methodology, “The frame chosen is the one closest to an average outline of 8 head shapes in profile. Diagram eight, overlay them with the interpolated eye socket as the anchor, and average their outlines, and the head I chose matches the averaged outline just about right. So it wasn’t just about picking one head shape and ignoring the others, but instead was averaging a large number of head shapes in various frames.” The trouble here is that “the average outline of 8 head shapes in profile” isn’t the same thing as any one particular individual’s head. If it’s a guy in a suit, we don’t know the actual size at all…because, as Bill admits, trying to deduce any specific measurements pertaining to the actual size of anything are up in the air in the PGF due to not knowing what type of lens was used. Quoting Bill from his site…”Lens distortion issues need further study and consideration since they impact on analysis of both the PGF and Green/McClarin footage. Render distortion in visualization software also needs to be studied further.”
Therefore, you’re left with approximations. I doubt anyone will disagree with the notion that humans, of varying heights, have different sized heads in length, width and height. If it’s a guy in a suit, again, we don’t know what that size and shape was. Also, when Brian tries on the mask, we obviously don’t know if his head size and shape is the same as someone who could have been in the possible suit. For me, way too many approximations and assumptions to make any claims of certainty or even probability.
Armpit Area Ruminations
Bill’s second mini-presentation which deals with a connecting piece of skin or fabric between the upper torso and upper arm (near the armpit)I found to be pretty interesting (along, naturally, with the boobies experiment).
He shows examples of humans and certain apes having a similar piece of connective tissue around the armpit area and how the PGF film subject shows something similar. Definitely interesting. But, in talking about how he says most suits are made a certain way (with a sleeve directly attached to the torso which, he claims, and I feel he fairly well demonstrates, would not show this type of connecting strip between torso and sleeve) he also readily admits that not all suits are made this way. I would like to know more about those type of suits (he didn’t mention any) and to hear from others in his field what they have to say about this. The fact that Bill admits a sleeveless suit is possible, coupled with Bill’s forthright admission on The Bigfoot Show that history has many examples of creative amateurs who have fooled the professionals (one reason being they don’t follow traditional guidelines) leaves me curious as to how, then, he can be so certain in his presentation that the film subject is a sasquatch? I think Bill would serve his case better in future presentations by not talking in such absolutes (which, btw, he didn’t do on the BFS) and, rathe,r put it in terms such as “Given my years of experience in this field, If it’s a suit, I don’t know how it was done.”
First off, congratulations to Bill for getting that many women to take their tops off for videoing purposes. Bill begins by showing a 2 frame back and forth toggle in the PGF that he claims conclusively shows the breasts jiggling. For me, maybe, maybe not. It’s 2 friggin’ frames! He then shows 3 types of manufactured breasts attached to breast plates which he seems to suggest are the only ones possible for a suit in 1967 and then claims they don’t really move at all (Recheck, though, the far right one…slight jiggle?). The trouble with this for me is that Bill admits on the show that a costume wouldn’t necessarily have to have a breast plate. I’d like to see experimentation from him and/or others with fake boobies attached and not on a breast plate. (In fact, anything more with boobies is welcome). Bill then, puts the bare naked ladies through a series of drop down tests because Bill says that the film subject makes a misstep and the subsequent jarring of the leg causes the breasts, real or fake, to thusly move. I admire his attempt in this experiment, but it left me unconvinced for a couple of reasons. First off. “Patty”‘s misstep is with one leg, his experiment with live humans has them standing with both legs on a platform that Bill feels falls the same approximate distance of the alleged misstep. Wouldn’t there be a different amount of force going up one leg (as is apparently the case with the film subject) as opposed to two (which is definitely happening with the topless female volunteers)? I mentioned this to Bill on the show and he seemed to be open to further experimentation concerning this. Secondly, I talked to a gentleman named Tom Sullivan, a special effects guy who worked on the early Evil Dead films, and he suggested that if the film subject is a guy in a suit that coffee beans or something similar within the breasts could have been used to give a pretty good firmness yet allowing some fluid motion. I mentioned this on the show and Bill suggested some experimentation might be good in regards to this. I concur.
Apparent Skin Shifting
Interesting presentation. Would love to hear other suit guys opinions on Bill’s claims. An issue I have with this part is the guy in the gorilla costume with the dots on his leg has a breast plate, which appears to be the source of the bunching witnessed. No such bunching apparently occurs in the PGF, therefore, not a suit. But Bill admits (as mentioned above) that if the PGF film subject is a guy in a suit, the suit didn’t necessarily have to have a breast plate.
I liked how Bill showed pictures of folks with back flab (since I enjoy going to WalMart) and how, if the PGF film subject is a sasquatch, that it, in fact, apparently could be flab. Good theory. Obviously, wasn’t crazy about his, once again, absolutism (“It’s flab”). In regards to this part, actually all parts of his presentation, as mentioned above, I would really like to hear the opinions of others in his field. And I say this again because I haven’t heard of a single other experienced make-up artist back him up, on anything. Not saying it’s not out there or that it wouldn’t happen…I just haven’t heard or read about it (specifically regarding at least his claims of what could or couldn’t buckle or stretch in this way or that).
Hip Wader line or thumb groove?
I think Bill gives a good argument that the hand and or thumb of the film subject is touching the leg (the light and dark alternating fur reasoning) but, dude, seriously, that appears to be a pretty deep and wide groove for just a thumb to make. It really, in all honesty, seems to me at least, to be consistent with a fabric crease. Look carefully at it. Get a general sense of the size of the thumb, then look how wide that indentation appears to be. Really? Experimentation from proponents on both sides of this issue, I think, would be good here. A
During one of his mini-presentations, Bill mentions that Chris Walas (yes, Academy-Award winning make-up dude Chris Walas!) who leaned toward believing the film was authentic until he watched the PGF footage on the Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science DVD and then shifted to the dark side when, for him, the several lines around the hip and upper leg area suggested to him that it was probably a two-piece suit with a crotch area connecting piece. Bill claims that bunching and buckling would necessarily occur if that was the case. Since my suit-making skills have been restricted to my 8mm classic “It – the Terror from Beyond Northridge”, I would very much like to hear Walas’ response to Bill’s claim (as well as any others with comparable experience).
In closing, let me say this…Bill is a nut job. But seriously kids, as mentioned above, there has been a wee bit of movement on my part on this issue away from the far end of the skeptical side. I’m also encouraged to see that Todd Disotell and Sarmiento are on the Relic Hominoid Inquiry review panel. My guess is that Bill’s analysis will ultimately be viewed as, essentially, interesting, yet inconclusive. (Current Vegas odds on Meldrum and Bindernagel buying the whole shebang…248 to 1 in favor with Jeff wearing slippers made from some of Paul Freeman’s casts while making the announcement at a press conference somewhere in Idaho. But, obviously, I could be wrong)