The Memorial Day Bigfoot video
The Memorial Day footage was filmed by Lori and Owen Pate near Lake Chopaka, Washington on Memorial Day Weekend, 1996.
From the Oregon Bigfoot blog:
I received this email from a blog reader, who happens to be the father of the woman, Lori Pate, who filmed the Memorial Day Footage.
Larry agreed to allow me to share his email with you here.
I was wondering when you would get to the point where you would have to do this. At one time I got to the point where I got on several forums trying to defend the Chopaka Incident where Lori my daughter took that Memorial Day photo. All I did was open up the sighting to a bunch of people that used every technique imaginable to throw dirt on the sighting. I tried to counter them the best I could but to no avail. For one thing, everyone on the internet seems to think that they are the experts. Autumn, can you imagine this, two sightings a few days apart, both seeing a bipedal creature, sighted by two different people (actually, one sighting was by a whole string of people), the sightings were actually several days apart and no one realized this until eleven years later. We even had a forensic team examine the area, resulting in a release of a DVD. This sighting eventually died because of the campaign against it. One might say that there really isn't enough proof. Let's look at the facts:
1. The first sighting was by a fisherman a few days before the Memorial Day sighting in 1996. The guy was eating his lunch on shore when he noticed something looking at him just a short distance away. He put the binoculars on the creature and described what he saw. This event has been logged on the BFRO web site. The end result is that the animal was hairy, and estimated to be about 7 feet tall. Derek Freel interviewed the guy 11 years after the sighting occurred and concluded that it was legit.
2. The second sighting (also logged on the BFRO web site) occurred on the Memorial Day weekend in 1996, in three parts. The first is when a woman saw this thing running down the mountain side. It disappeared when it got down below. It had ducked in behind the trees at a fence line. The woman called Owen (My daughter's husband). When Owen got there the thing came out again, this time behind a bush at the fence line. The fence is 5 feet high. Owen said that it was around 6 1/2 to 7 feet tall and wide at the shoulders. My daughter Lori was called to bring the camcorder. She scanned the hill. Nothing. Several minutes later it came out again back up the hill at the original location. The creature ran across the hill, not at a pace that you would expect BF's to run. It kind of ran in a spurt, and slowed down to a walk. It eventually disappeared behind a knoll on the mountainside, but came out again when suddenly it's head became taller. Lori got about 23 seconds of the creature crossing the hill. The actual event was witnessed by about 30 people. There were probably 70 to 100 people at the site on this particular day.
3. After the kids got back home, they called me. I sort of leaned on them for not going back up to where the creature was seen crossing the hill. They decided to go back and recheck things. "Guttsy" Owen when back up by himself and took a video of the underside of the trees (the umbrella). He found a cleaned out area (no branches) and a number of little bones. Then he came out and ran what he thought was the course that the creature took on the mountainside. Owen stumbled somewhat for it was not an easy course to run. Lori took a video from below on this run. No footprints were found.
4. When they got back, they managed to send me copies of their videos. The first thing that I noticed is that Owen did not look smaller than the creature running across the hill. In fact the creature was smaller in height. This was a pronounced difference from what Owen saw. I originally thought that Owen might have misjudged. Owen insisted on what he had seen.
5. A few years later, there was a BF conference held in Bellingham, Wa. Rick Noll presented a photo negative video of Lori's video. This video was quite fascinating as it was shown on a large theater screen at Western Washington University. You could easily see something on the back of the creature. Some might argue that it was a backpack. It definitely was not. It looked too animate to many of us (it looked like there was hair). We kind of ignored at that time the part where the head got taller, although we were informed that there may be a little one (baby) in that film.
6. Later Rick worked to get together a forensic team to go to Lake Chopaka and reinvestigate the sighting. Doug Hajicek from WhiteWolf film industries put together the actual team. This became the background for the DVD. We learned a lot of things about this creature. For one, it was only around 5 1/2 feet tall. For another it may have been carrying a child on its back. Remember, the head got taller, like about a foot and a half.
7. About 11 years later, (1) above was recorded. This sighting in my opinion verified what Owen had seen. The creature indeed was quite tall. Why the difference? We probably had a family of these creatures in this sighting.
Now, I have heard and read all the crap on the internet about this sighting. I have personally been to the Chopaka Site. This is not a picnic although it is quite popular as a fly fishing lake. To get there will grow hair on the bottom of your feet because you have to climb very steep logging roads on the sides of two mountains before you even get to Chopaka Mountain. There are no guard rails so you are looking at steep drop offs. There are rocks and boulders all over the place. If you cannot drive over them, you will have to remove them yourself.
When you get to the actual campground it is quite primitive. But people do come there with campers and tents.
The open side of the mountain where the event occurred is steep. This is not a simple Sunday walk to where the creature was seen. The sghting was actually measured to be just under 900 feet from where Lori was standing with the camera. That is a long way but remember this is a fairly steep hill side. So what was seen presented a fairly clear view.
Also note that the creature when traversing the hill did not once look down at the people watching it from down below. In Lori's film, there are clearly 7 other people shown watching all these events. In Owen and Lori's group there were also 7 of them. This is a lot of witnesses. Yet this sighting got chopped up horribly by people out east where someone had shown Lori's film.
I am disgusted, as you can see, but I have not let this event die yet. If I can ever get off my butt, I will release my book on this event. These sightings (1) and (2) really prove to me that our Sasquatch really does exist. The people that think that the creature on the hill is human, I challenge you to go there. Then tell me that some half pint mom climbed that hill with a kid just to fool the people below.
While many have been quick to dismiss the Memorial Day Footage as a hoax, I have always reserved judgment on it. From what I understand, the Pates were unaware of the "infant lift" until the footage had been enhanced.
In the Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science DVD, a track star ran the same course and it was discovered that he was both larger and faster than the subject in the film. Some feel that those details automatically discount the Memorial Day Footage as a hoax. (I guess Bigfoots are never supposed to be shorter than humans no matter what their age or gender, or run slower than a track star when they're reportedly carrying a baby on their back...) The funny thing is, Mr. Track Star biffed it on his first attempt. In running shoes.
AND HE WASN'T RUNNING IN A GORILLA SUIT.
If they wanted to make it a valid comparison, why didn't they dress Mr. Track Star in a monkey suit?
In my opinion, it's unlikely that anyone in a gorilla suit could run like that across a steep, uneven hillside without falling.
When we were filming my documentary, we had to shoot some B-roll for the beginning of the film in order to get some "Sasquatch" shots for the film's intro. (Bigfoot's SAG card was expired and he's a diva anyway.) So I procured a gorilla suit from Ebay for this purpose.
My luck would predict that no one could fit into it but me, so I ended up having to wear it. I'm glad I did, and I'll tell you why.
First of all, the suit was so baggy that we had to strap a pillow on the front and back of me to wear under the suit to fill it out. I climbed into the suit, and despite the fact that it was dark and cold out, I started overheating almost immediately. Then, the feet... the silly rubber-gorilla- foot-slippers with an opposable big toe did their best to trip me up at every step. We had to strap the toe down with electrical tape so that I could walk without falling. Finally, I donned the head. The eye holes were impossible to see out of, and I couldn't BREATHE. Period.
I. COULD. NOT. BREATHE.
Jeff, the cameraman, set up the lights in the woods behind me to create some spooky back-lit atmosphere. We chose an area that was relatively flat. My job was to walk into the frame and out of the frame - a total of about 15-20 feet. Simple enough. Except for the fact that I was overheating, hyperventilating and running into trees because I couldn't see a damned thing... not to mention the fact that I was flopping around in gorilla feet trying to "walk like a Sasquatch".
The point is, even despite the mood lighting, the dark and my determination to get a spooky shot for the documentary, it was still so OBVIOUSLY a suit that it was PATHETIC. The shiny rubber chest (complete with ridiculously large rubber nipples that had me dissolving into fits of giggles) shone in the light and we had to adjust my angle to the camera in order to avoid the light hitting it.
Having attempted to "be" a bigfoot in that suit and experiencing all the agony that goes with it, I have a thorough understanding of the limitations of "gorilla suits" now and I simply have a very, very hard time believing that the image, below, shows someone in a gorilla suit maneuvering at high speed with great agility across a bumpy, uneven hillside.
The subject in this film is estimated to be about 5 1/2' tall. How much distance do you think this leap encompasses? Want to take a guess? Maybe about 7 feet? Try it in a monkey suit. G'head.