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In the Beginning..

J. W. Burns

Rene Dahinden

Bob Titmus

John Green

The British Columbia Classics

Sasquatch Country

 

My chat with Chris Murphy
May, 2005
Burnaby, B.C., Canada

GC: "Chris could you tell me how it happened that you became involved in the subject of Sasquatch?"

In 1993, my son, Daniel, was taking an anthropology course at Capilano College. All class members were required to do a presentation (assignment of some sort) and he decided to do a talk on the sasquatch - just why he selected this subject, I never asked. He got approval to do the talk and proceeded to put it together.

As I had a photocopier, he asked me to make overhead transparencies for him. He found Rene Dahinden's book at the library (Sasquatch/Bigfoot, by Don Hunter with Rene Dahinden) and noted Rene's invitation on page 200 for information on the sasquatch. As Rene lived in Richmond (very close to Vancouver) Dan telephoned him and asked if he would help with the college project. Rene said he would be pleased to assist, so Dan made an appointment to visit him. As Dan did not have a car, he asked me to take him to Rene's place. This I did, and just sort of sat and listened as Dan asked Rene questions.

Rene was very obliging and helpful - he explained the history of the creature and showed us photos and casts. He even gave Dan some photos and a cast from the Patterson/Gimlin film site. The session lasted for about two hours and arrangements were made to get together again in a few days. I assisted Dan with his presentation, write-up and so forth, and then took him back to see Rene as arranged.

By this time, I had started to get interested in the subject It was all completely new to me, although I had certainly heard of the sasquatch and recalled seeing the Patterson/Gimlin film. I also recalled seeing an article in 1982 showing Rant Mullens with a pair of wooden feet, and at that time sort of wrote off the whole issue as a hoax. I had absolutely no idea as to the extent of the phenomenon.
Rene was very informative, entertaining, humorous and a lot of fun. He went out of his way to assist Dan, and we all got along very well. After the college project was completed, we continued to visit Rene. I was considering retirement from work (B.C. Tel) and was sort of seeking new interests. I offered to work with Rene in marketing some of his material (posters made from film frames and casts). He agreed, and the more I got involved, the more I learned. After I retired in September 1994, I dedicated a lot of time to the subject and it gradually grew to a passion.

GC: "While it may seem to be a natural progression for a writer to want to write about his passion, wasn't your first involvement with Sasquatch literature, the re-publication of Roger Patterson's book? Where did that idea come from? And how did it finally make it into print?"

Roger Patterson's book, Do Abominable Snowmen of America Really Exist?, was my first major involvement with sasquatch literature. Actually, I did not know that Roger had written a book until 1995. As I recall, In that year I found it referenced somewhere and asked Rene if he had a copy that I could borrow. Rene provided a copy and told me that he owned the copyright. After reading the book, I returned it and suggested that we reprint it and market it along with the other items we were offering.
By this time, the internet was in full swing and I either had a website or was working on one. Rene was not that big on the idea and suggested that I see if Glen Koelling (who had the original book printed) had any copies we could buy. Koelling said he had only a few "somewhere," so that really left no choice but to reprint if we wanted to offer the book. On my next visit with Rene, I again suggested we reprint, and this time he agreed. I reprinted 300 books, that's all. Rene was quite impressed with the book and this led to the reprinting of Fred Beck's booklet, I Fought the Apemen of Mt. St. Helens. Here, again, I had no idea the booklet existed. I went to see Rene one afternoon and he simply handed me the booklet and said "here, you can do this one also, I've checked with Ronald Beck and he said it was okay". Both books were offered for about two years or so. They were all sold during that time

GC: "Bigfoot in Ohio;Encounters with the Grassman would have been your first colaboration book on the subject. How did this come into being and is it still in print?"

Ohio more or less came to the forefront with me upon release of photographs of a possible "nest" structure found in Summit County by Joedy Cook, George Clappison and Terry Endres in February 1995. As I recall, I contacted Joedy for more information, and in the course of providing such, he informed me of an unusual telephone call he had received from a U.S. Army colonel about such structures. Whether this person was who he claimed to be was not verified, however, the story he provided was in my mind very unique (all about a U.S. Army cover-up related to bigfoot). There was also a little mystery associated with the nest photo that Joedy brought to may attention - unusual formations in the photo background.

My son, Dan, was working with me at that time and we decided to do an article about the nest and the colonel's story - Dan's article, I assisted. The story got front cover prominence in the 1996 summer issue of Unsolved UFO Sightings and Other Unexplained Mysteries. While I don't give much credibility to such stories, there continues to be information surfacing along the same lines.

Some time later in 1995, Joedy sent me a booklet he had prepared on Ohio bigfoot incidents, asking if I would look at it for possible publication. While it was not suitable "as is," I saw that the information provided had potential for a proper book. I thereupon started working with Joedy and George to this end. In 1996, Joedy came out to Vancouver for a sasquatch symposium and stayed with me for a few day. I got to know him quite well during this time.
I published the book in 1997 (only about 200 or so copies). Barnes & Noble accepted it for their stores, but their deal was far to rigid. All of the books printed were sold and I did not do another run as I had hardly covered my costs.
Over the years, Joedy and I have kept in touch. About one year ago, we decided to update the work and seek a publisher. He sent me a lot of update information and in the course of time I completely revised the book. Now working with Hancock House Publishers, I offered the book to this company for proper publication. The proposal was accepted, and the book will be released under the title, BIGFOOT ENCOUNTERS IN OHIO, Quest for the Grassman, in the fall of this year (2005).


GC: "There was a stir withing the Sasquatch Community with a story that was released, about yourself and Cliff Crook, and certain conclusions which came about after you both had spent some time studying the P/G film. What was that all about?"

This story actually goes back to day one, when my son, Dan, asked me to help him with his college presentation. He asked me to provide transparencies of the printed Patterson/Gimlin film frames that are shown in the book Manlike Monsters on Trial (UBC 1980, plates 16-20). One of the prints (plate #18) is the famous frame 352 I provided the transparences and then, because I was intrigued with the prints, I took a 35mm photo of each. I have all of the proper photographic equipment (lenses, copystand, lights) which I used mainly for my stamp collecting hobby at that time.
The photographs came out very clearly, much clearer that the actual book prints. I now understand (I believe) that when the images were reduced to fit onto a regular 4 inch by 6 inch photograph, the camera tightened-up the pixels to the point where they could not be seen - even with a magnifying glass.
I took one of the 35mm prints, that of frame 352, to a local copy house and asked for an 8.5" x 11" enlargement of it. The owner informed that he had just installed a new Minolta laser color printer, and also that he now had the new gloss paper for print outs. I had a copy made with this printer using the gloss paper. The resulting print was amazing, I could see quite clearly the nipple on the creature's right breast. Keep in mind that at this time (1993) I had no idea what work had or had not been done on the film frames. As a matter of fact, I assumed that the film would have been subjected to detailed analysis long before now and certainly I was not looking at anything new.
The Minolta laser copy was filed away and I simply forgot about it. Time went by and I started working with Rene Dahinden in making posters from the film frames. Rene provided me with the Cibachromes (very clear photographs) for this purpose. I had to do a lot of experimenting to get the posters just right (color, sizing and so forth). I had a local reprographics shop do this for me. We would experiment with different settings and I always kept all of the experimental prints. These I placed in my "junk" file, which in time got very large

. In 1995 during one of my conversations with Rene, he imparted that Dr. Grover Kranz said one cannot see a nipple on the creature's right breast. I said that such was strange because I had been able to see it on one of my prints. By this time, I had totally forgotten about he Minolta print, but still had a clear picture in my mind of this detail. When I got home, I started going through the raft of prints in the "junk" file. The very last print was the Minolta print, but I thought it was simply just one of the experimental prints for posters. In other words, I thought that it was a print taken from a Cibachrome.
To prove the point that the nipple could be seen, I took several 35mm detail photos off the Minolta print. Now. the same thing happened here as with the book photo - the camera made the resulting prints appear like an actual photograph (pixels cannot be seen). I showed Rene the 35mm prints and proved my point that the nipple was visible. When I got home, I sort of dropped the photos on my desk, and one of them landed upside down.
In the morning, I noticed that a curious bell-shaped detail was seen in the creature's mid-section when the photo was viewed in this way. I showed Rene the anomaly and we agreed it was just photographic noise. Nevertheless, I did send the photos to Henry Franzoni who was involved in a detailed analysis of the film. It was Henry, in fact, who dubbed the artifact the "bell." I suggest that close attention should be paid to this area on the creature to ensure that there was no substance to what appeared in the photos.

Naturally, I thought the detail would be visible on the actual Cibachrome of Frame 352, but upon examination I could not see it. This confirmed to me that the detail was probably just "noise" so I dropped the whole matter. When I later discovered that the photographs were taken from the Minolta print, I was further convinced of this.
During this time, I learned that very little had been done on the film as to detailed analysis of the film frames. I therefore made close-up 35mm photographs of various parts of the creature directly from the Cibachromes (I did not have a scanner at this time). Remarkably, a detail from Frame 323 showed what appeared to me to be the same detail I had seen on Frame 352. However, the detail was rotated (more or less upside down as to that seen on Frame 352) Also, a trace of the detail could be seen on Frame 339 and 350. Now I was in a bit of a state - how could the same "noise" appear on different film frames?

It was now September 1998. The NASI report was out, and Rene and I had parted company. I decided to put together a report on all my findings (there were a number of other curious things as well as the "bell") and send it to prominent researchers, Cliff Crook was among these. Over the past year or so, Cliff had sent me a lot of material related to the Patterson/Gimlin film (court papers and so forth). I knew Cliff was of the opinion that the film was a hoax and at the time, I definitely had misgivings about some aspects of the film and its circumstances (most of which have now been cleared).

Response to my report was mixed. Those who replied, other than Cliff Crook, were non-committal. Cliff gave the evidence full credibility. In other words, he was convinced that the detail probably existed and could be a man-made item. I agreed, and indeed thought right from the start that this was a possible. We both set about to see if anything could be found to match the item (fastening device of some sort). After about two months of searching, nothing was found.

In November 1998 Cliff asked my permission to go public with the finding. I said that such would be "his call." I envisioned a article in a local (Bothel, WA) paper, and in some ways thought that if a lot of people saw an image of the detail, something might come to light. An article was published in The News Tribune on November 29 showing Cliff's clay model of the detail. The information went to the wire services and ended up in, I am told, some 148 major newspapers world-wide.

There was, of course, serious repercussions from the bigfoot fraternity. I thereupon sent all of my photographs to Dr. Henner Fahrenbach for analysis. He concluded right from the start that details of the size of the "bell" would not be visible in the film frames and what can be see is simply photographic "noise." I argued that the same "noise" appears to me to be visible on several frames. I will mention here that I did finally find traces of the detail on the actual Cibachrome of frame 352.
My final conclusion on the whole matter is that the detail probably exists, but it is just something caught in the creature's hair or fur and it sort of rotated when the creature moved. That the detail manifested itself into an odd bell-shaped form is just a printing/photographic anomaly. I do not provide my detail photographs on this whole issue for websites because they will get misinterpreted and the whole thing will break open again.

Being a "bigfoot buff, " I certainly could have buried the whole thing right from the start - why call attention to possible negative material on the film? Why give the skeptics more to chew on? However, keep in mind that hiding information is wrong. If we are going to resolve the sasquatch/bigfoot issue, then we need to put everything on the table. My mistake was in not getting a professional analysis of the finding before allowing it to be released.

Page Two


John Green

Thomas Steenburg

Chris Murphy

Dr. John Bindernagel

Hancock House

British Columbia Scientific Cryptzoology Club

 

 

GC's interview with John Green

GC's interview with Chris Murphy

GC's interview with Thomas Steenburg

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Revisiting Reports!

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