The man who shot a Bigfoot video that many believe is the most compelling proof of the creature’s existence says the experience “ruined” him.
Bob Gimlin shot the controversial film footage with Roger Patterson near Bluff Creek in Northern California in the fall of 1967.
Nearly 50 years later, he tells Outside magazine that he wishes he’d never left his home in Oregon to go searching for Bigfoot with Patterson.
The Patterson-Gimlin film, as it is called, depicts a tall hairy animal reportedly 7 feet high walking near the creek, away from the two men and briefly glancing over its shoulder to look at them.
The film, less than a minute, caused years of grief for Gimlin, who felt Patterson edged him out of the three-way deal they shared with Patterson’s brother-in-law to exploit the film.
Gimlin also had to deal with ridicule from his friends and neighbors in Yakima, Washington.
“They’d come driving in my driveway all times of the night and go ‘Bob! We want to go out Bigfoot hunting!’” he told Outside magazine.
Gimlin was torn: If he acknowledged he believed in Bigfoot, he was the town loon while people assumed he was lying if he stayed quiet.
“I can understand why they don’t believe in it — because I didn’t believe it either,” Gimlin recalls telling one interviewer. “But I saw one. And I know what I saw. And I know it wasn’t a man in a suit. It couldn’t have been!”
Although many researchers believe the creature in the film is just a man in an animal suit, the Patterson-Gimlin film has never been completely debunked, according to Animal Planet star Matt Moneymaker, founder and president of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO).
“Contrary to what many people assumed, the footage has never been proved to be a hoax,” Moneymaker told HuffPost in 2012. “And every scientific examination and analysis of the footage has either fallen into the category of inconclusive or demonstrating something that can’t be explained by 1967 technology.
“Many imposters have claimed to be the man in the costume and all of them have been debunked by people who were there,” he added.