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The 'Costume' that Cannot be Re-Created

Frame 352 from the
Patterson Gimlin footage (1967).

The best attempt so far
to recreate the footage using
1967 costume technology.


Q: Why can't it be done? Why can't anyone accurately recreate the "costume" used in the Patterson footage?

A: It's not a man in a costume ...

The image on the right is from a scene in an episode of X-Creatures. X-Creatures was a wildlife documentary series made by the BBC's (British Broadcasting Corporation) Natural History Unit. The episode was filmed around 1995 or later.

Frame 72.
The moving footage reveals the movement of massive muscles in the back, and the shoulders and the limbs. These proportions and dynamics, among other things, cannot be simulated by a man in simple padded costume.


In this program the BBC sought to debunk the Patterson footage by recreating the "hoax."

In order to have the most exacting re-enactment possible, the BBC hired the best monster costume designer in Hollywood and even took the costume to the same location where the Patterson incident occurred in Northern California.

How could the BBC have missed the mark so badly with their replica of the Patterson "costume"?

In the Patterson footage, the figure's muscles are flexing noticeably as the figure walks away. To simulate that, the BBC's costume designers in Hollywood had to create a costume that would show the same effect of flexing muscles.

Remote controlled soft-tissue prosthetics were not invented until well after 1967, so they could not be used in an honest replica of a 1967 costume. The costume had to allow the actor's own muscles to flex the outermost surface of the costume.

It was assumed the muscle bulk of the costume could be amplified to match the Patterson creature's muscle bulk, just by fluffing up the fur. There was actually no other choice. There could be no significant padding between the actor's muscles and the fabric to which the fur was attached, without interfering with visibility of the muscles flexing.

The difference of the fur color may not have been so apparent to the designers until they took their costume on location and out into the bright mountain sunlight.

The Patterson figure has a mix of shiny dark fur with reddish auburn undertones. The fur colors and reflectivity change slightly as the fur moves in bright sunlight. The reddish undertones are not very pronounced in the frame 352 image above.


The BBC's costume designers in Hollywood used artificial fur with a reddish tint to simulate the reddish tones seen in the footage. While developing the costume, the chief designer said the Patterson creature's fur looks like "the typical cheap fake fur they used in the '60's." So that's what he used.

The images above show how that "typical fake fur from the 60's" doesn't create the same kind of reflective sheen, or change color much as the fur moves in the sunlight.

The side by side images above reveal striking difference in the muscle proportions of the two figures. The muscles on the Patterson figure are more than twice the size of the human's muscles in many places. These muscles flex as the figure walks, so they are not made of padding.

The Patterson figure's skeletal proportions can now be measured by computer. Positions of the joints can be determined from the rotation of the joints, and then modeled into a moving 3D skeletal frame. Although on the surface the Patterson figure looks more or less human in terms of the skeletal proportions, computer modeling demonstrates that the figure has a non-human frame.




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