An interesting Bigfoot video called scientists weigh in on Bigfoot was posted by Jeff White and then analyzed and broken down by ThinkerThunker has sparked a recent debate.
It showed mainstream scientists from the Motion and Gait Analysis Laboratory at Stanford University taking an indepth look at the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film and weighing in on the Bigfoot phenomenon. ThinkerThunker went on to do a breakdown video of some of the research done by the scientists and had some very interesting thoughts and talking points. The group tried to have a human reproduce the walk and gait of Paddy from the famous Bigfoot footage with some help from the famous Bigfoot researcher and Professor of the Department of Anthropology at Idaho State University Dr Jeff Meldrum. Dr Meldrum is a highly respected voice in and around the Bigfoot community and had this reply to the ThinkerThunker Bigfoot video:
Some good points raised. Seemed overly critical , or perhaps merely naive about how these productions come about. Dr. Rose agreed to one single objective — to determine whether or not an actor could be trained to approximate the joint angles evident in the P-G film subject. She had already taken considerable flak from colleagues for even agreeing to participate in this documentary, and so was rather cautious about what she would say on the record. At one point, as she and I were looking on, while off-camera, she said of the actor “That’s obviously a man-in-a-fursuit.” Then she turned to look again at the looping clip of the PGF projected on the wall and said, “That’s not a man-in-a fursuit.” I said, “Dr. Rose, I agree. Won’t you say that on camera?” She would not. Dr. Gamble was similarly impressed, and we had long discussions over lunch about various aspects of the film and its implications — off-camera. On camera he was open and intrigued, but much more circumspect in his remarks. I can understand their conservatism.
You also have to realize that hours and hours of filming and interviewing are edited down into the brief show you watch on television. The composite graphics were produced by the studio, after the fact. They aren’t always the ones the voice-overs have us appear to be commenting upon. Those who say that I “caved” don’t know me well. I acknowledged that with considerable coaching and effort, an actor could roughly approximate the walk to a greater degree than I would have expected, but that failed to address the issues of limb proportions, shoulder and hip breadths, head proportions, foot anatomy, etc. Not to mention the short comings of the suit itself, which although was a fairly expensive suit, that had appeared on TV commercials, was ridiculously inadequate. Most of that discussion was not included.
The participation by Drs. Rose and Gamble was indeed a significant development, appropriately taking place at Stanford where Edward Muybridge pioneered studies of animal locomotion. But it was a cable TV documentary, with a shoestring budget and tight time schedule, shot in less than one day, and edited down to show length according to the director’s story telling. It was not an in depth analysis carried out for publication in a scientific journal. If you can’t appreciate the significance of that, while acknowledging the caveats of those circumstances, then you don’t understand the position academics find themselves in, endeavoring to further serious consideration by mainstream science, since that’s what we do. If that is of no interest to you, then those of you who “know” can sit around the campfire, or computer screen, and share your testimonials, but to what end criticize and disparage the “PhDs”, whose professional objectives and structures may be a bit different than yours?
~ Dr. Jeff Meldrum