In 1994, former US Forest patrolman Paul Freeman claimed to have encountered and filmed a group of Sasquatch near the Blue Mountains of Washington. The quality of the film is poor, but after viewing analysis of the film and examining some of the other evidence associated, I have come to the conclusion that Paul Freeman filmed a real family of Wood Apes in Washington. For quite some time, I refused to refer to the female Wood Ape in the Patterson-Gimlin Film as anything other than the "subject of the film". After speaking to Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum about the validity of the film and the evidence for it, I now refer to the subject of the film as a real animal. Now, I feel that I am able to refer to the subjects of the Freeman Film as real animals. In my view, the scene plays out like a real encounter with animals. Paul had found very fresh tracks, he tracked the animals who left the tracks, and then he filmed the animals. So why do I think that the blurry footage is of a living, breathing animal? We will discuss the evidence for its validity here.
|A gif from the Freeman Film, showing what is possibly an immense adult male Wood Ape.|
Original Freeman Footage ^
The subject of the Freeman Film stood between seven and eight feet height, which was determined through measurements of a snag (which it had walked under) by retired game warden Bill Laughery and guide Wes Sumerlin. The very wide bodied "animal" also walks through the forest with a consistent stride, and does not stumble at all. Dave Bittner, a videographic specialist, analyzed the video for signs of a hoax and concluded that there is nothing in the footage which points to a fraud. While preparing the footage for the documentary Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science, Doug Hacjicek noticed that Freeman films what appears to be a Wood Ape picking up a juvenile near the end of the footage. It appears that a large Wood Ape is scooping something up, and what may be the legs of a juvenile are briefly seen as they dangle. An aspect of the film which few people know about is that it appears that Freeman may have filmed a family of three different Wood Ape individuals, instead of just one. In his great recent analysis of the Freeman Film, biologist Michael Merchant proposes an intriguing theory. Merchant theorizes that when Freeman approached the family, a male Wood Ape entered the clearing to distract him while the male's mate and infant escape to safety. This behaivor does exist in known animals, and it seems to be exhibited in this footage. The large Wood Ape also does not walk straight through the clearing, but stops abruptly to stand behind a tree for a few seconds. This "tree peeking" behavior is commonly reported, and it seems to be a defensive strategy. After filming the male, Paul walks into the woods to try to get clearer footage of it. This is when he films what may be the male's mate picking up its juvenile. It is also possible that the same male was picking up its juvenile, and that Freeman filmed two Wood Apes (the adult male and juvenile) rather than three. However, you can hear him say "oh my God, there's two of them", which lends credibility to the theory that he filmed three animals (two adults and one juvenile) and also means that he would have had to hire two actors in immense gorilla suits to hoax it! The scene plays out very realisticly, as Freeman finds a track way, casts some tracks, searches for the track makers for quite some time, encounters one of the track makers, and then continues filming while he pursues the animal (instead of simply filming the part where the alleged Sasquatch comes out, which is what a hoaxer would do).
|Did Paul Freeman film a family of Wood Apes?|
Another feature of the Freeman Footage which makes me think that it may show a group of real Wood Apes, are the footprints which are involved. Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum (who found Wood Ape tracks which showed midtarsal flexion while visiting Paul Freeman) had an interest in the film due to the footprints shown in it (the prints which were filmed right before the adult Wood Ape appeared). The footprints were about fourteen inches long, and had a resemblance to prints which he had found in the region in 1996. The footprints were very intriguing due to the detail that the second and third toes were longer than the big toe, which could be considered as a variant of Morton's foot. Morton's foot is a rare condition in humans, where the second toe is longer than the big toe. In some cases, the second and third toes are longer than the big toe, which is what is seen in the Wood Ape tracks of the Freeman Film. It is very unlikely that Paul Freeman would have had enough knowledge of this rare foot condition to successfully hoax it. Also, the similarity of these footprints to animate prints which were found by Dr. Meldrum two years later in this region is very compelling.
|Morton's Foot as exhibited in Homo sapiens. |
The foot on the right shows a variant which is very similar to the toes of the footprints in the Freeman Film.
|Some of the possible juvenile Wood Ape tracks casted by Paul Freeman at Gifford Peak, Washington.|
|A possible Wood Ape footprint casted by Paul Freeman, which possibly exhibits dermatoglyphics.|
|A view of the side of one of the "Wrinkle Foot" casts, exhibiting coarse dermatoglyphics.|
A diagram showing the healed scar ridge is at the top right.
Please click to enlarge the image.
|My copy of the right foot from the "Wrinkle Foot" cast pair, bought from Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum|
|A close up of dermatoglyphics on my copy of one of the "Wrinkle Foot" casts|
|A view of the fifth toe on my copy of one of the "Wrinkle Foot" casts|
Several other intriguing footprint casts made by Paul Freeman in the Blue Mountains of Washington exist, and many show exciting features such as flexibility and splaying of the toes. Paul Freeman has also made casts of possible Wood Ape hand prints, knuckle prints (I have a copy of one), and a buttocks print. Please check out the Paul Freeman Cast Collection to view some of these intriguing casts. Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum visited Paul Freeman in 1996, and found footprints which exhibited midtarsal felxibility and animation while going to his area of research. It seems that Paul Freeman did find and document authentic Wood Ape footprints, which lends credibility to the possibility that he filmed an authentic Wood Ape.
|Convincing evidence exists for Wood Apes in the Blue Mountains. A lot of this evidence comes from Paul Freeman.|
- "Bigfoot Evidence: Here Is The Breakdown You've Been Waiting For: The Paul Freeman Footage." Bigfoot Evidence: Here Is The Breakdown You've Been Waiting For: The Paul Freeman Footage. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2013. http://bigfootevidence.blogspot.com/2013/03/here-is-breakdown-youve-been-waiting.html?utm_source=feedburner.
- Meldrum, Jeff. "CAUGHT ON CAMERA: PHOTOGRAPHICS AND FORENSIC MEASUREMENTS." Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science. New York: Forge, 2006. 128-131. Print.
- "The Crypto Crew: Oh There He Goes! - The Lost and Last Interview of Paul Freeman." The Crypto Crew: Oh There He Goes! - The Lost and Last Interview of Paul Freeman. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2013. http://www.thecryptocrew.com/2012/10/oh-there-he-goes-lost-and-last.html.
- "Paul Freeman Cast Collection." Paul Freeman Cast Collection. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2013. http://www.stancourtney.com/portfolio/freeman.php/.
- "1982 Dermals." CliffBarackmancom. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2013. http://cliffbarackman.com/bigfoot-prints/cast-index/1982-dermals/.
- Meldrum, Jeff. "LINE UPON LINE: DERMATOGLYPHICS." Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science. New York: Forge, 2006. 249-59. Print.