Patterson showing foot size comparisons
In 1967, Roger Patterson was a young man, only 41 years old. He was strong and exuberant — an amateur boxer known for walking on his hands on the small town's main street — too lazy to take a regular job, too much in love with his wife Patricia, and too many stars in his eyes to stick within the confines of the even the flamboyant rodeo. He was inwardly happy but outwardly grumpy, frustrated with society's conventions that expected him to be less than he wanted to be.
But even at that young age, he was dying of cancer. Roger may have had a year left or five, and his thoughts were consumed with providing for his beloved wife while still being the rascal that he needed to be. When Roger put that film cartridge into his camera, it wasn't with the careful eye of a cinematographer. Nor was it with the deliberate mischief of a hoaxer. It was with the vivacity of a happy-go-lucky short cutter, a candle doomed to burn half as long, and desperate to burn twice as bright. His thoughts were on Patricia and with squeezing in one final success, a roll of the dice, a lottery ticket.
If his Bigfoot movie failed, he would die as the obscure debtor as which he'd been cut out; but if he won, he'd be the flash in the pan that he needed to be to sustain his wife and justify his years of skylarking. Roger Patterson made the gamble he needed to make. The wheel of fortune spun, and as it does every once in a great while, it made Roger the winner. It turned Bigfoot into a real monster that walked across the clearing and into legend and permanence.
Just over four years later, Roger Patterson lay in bed and drew his final breaths. The film had been a great success, and brought in a constant stream of money unlike anything he'd ever known. Patricia securely owned enough of the film rights to sustain herself. When he finally closed his eyes, Roger went to that great Bigfoot pasture in the sky, without ever having compromising the eternal youth that was in his makeup to be. He never paid his bills. He never sold hours of his life. He never put in an honest day of someone else's work. He never sacrificed his lack of principles. He never gave up being untrustworthy and living his few years on his own terms. Yet, perhaps it was that insistence on being who he was that caused his film to outlive nearly everyone else of his day. Even as a hoax, the Patterson-Gimlin film is perhaps the most honest film ever made.
One final note. Back in 1966, Patterson made a sketch of his idea of what a Bigfoot should look like . Note in the sketch, Patterson has pendulous breasts drawn. Just one year later, Patterson would claim to have filmed a Bigfoot and by a miracle of fate, it also has the same pendulous breasts.
I rest my case
References & Further Reading