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Creature Suit Analysis - Part 5 - Building Patty


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Bill, make sure you press Return/Enter after inserting the atachment into the text editor, like this.

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Bill

Punisher:

Thanks. mkianni and M(can't remember the rest of his screen name, but an administrator) showed me the thingie about "managing your attachments", and i finally tested it successfully in the test thread.

Just wish I had the benefit of the instructions earlier so i could save everybody the hassle of trying to follow my oddly formatted posts.

Anyway, got it figured out now, so any future stuff should be formatted correctly.

Thanks to all who helped me figure it out.

:D

Bill

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  • 3 weeks later...
Roger Knights

Here's an exchange that's relevant to the contention that "Patterson was artistic and that's enuf":

RP did NOT “clearly have the skill to modify a base costume.â€

You're arguing against his demonstrated skill as an artist? Against his ability to make wagons, or to create things? That he could work with leather?

You’d be able to make a statement like that if RP had experience as a costumer for a school theatrical class or club, or if he’d had a hobby of sewing things.

Having worked in theater along with other things, I have to say that this isn't quite the case. Whether a person had ever worked with a flat or a sewing machine before isn't an issue before going into production. All that matters is that people are there to do the work. If we'd had someone with Roger Patterson's skills in my theater company we would have been ecstatic, as his skills as an artist and a craftsman would have raised all of our work.

Also, considering the Patterson's financial situation, I would argue that repairing clothing -- particularly heavy duty work clothes -- would have been a normal activity. As such, working with a cloth costume wouldn't have been a problem. … as a man used to being in the field I would argue that he had to repair his own clothing more than once. Heck, I didn't learn to sew worth a darn until I was in the military!

All one can say is that RP had an artistic flair, and was good with his hands, a jack of many trades, and a natural handyman. I know people like that, but I’d be surprised if they could sew on a button.

He could work with saddles, by your own admission, and per the book. Yes, a different kind of leather work, but still, it's leather work. He was a talented artist, as is demonstrated by the art in Long's book. He had a terrific eye for detail, per his artwork and on the wagons. Lastly, the most common refrain in the book was that RP was the most talented man the witnesses knew. As such, I'm still inclined to believe that he absolutely had the talent to modify a gorilla suit in the time allotted to create the film in question.

In any craft, there is a range of tasks, from the simple to the difficult. In order to do one of the difficult tasks, it’s not enough to have done some of the basic tasks of the craft , to have shown a talent with one’s hands in other crafts, to have an artistic flair, and to have the basic tools of the trade,. One needs to have experience, and time to study the subject, and a helpful coach nearby, and raw material to waste on one’s initial failures.

Here’s an analogy. I’ve done more do-it-yourself work than most guys, I have a bigger collection of tools and DIY books than most guys, and I’ve done the basics of auto repair (oil changing, changing and gapping spark plugs, changing a tire, etc.). But on the basis of that experience, it would be overreaching to say that I “clearly†have the ability to rebuild a carburetor or repair a transmission. Anyone can see, from looking at the “parts explosion†and parts count of a carb or transmission, that merely being handy and knowing how to change the oil would little avail the would-be Goodwrench at these more complicated tasks.

If Patterson could sew a button or a patch onto his work clothes, or could sew together a couple of pieces of leather in a situation not requiring smoothness or “fit†(matching edges, etc.), he’d be doing the equivalent of an oil change or spark plug replacement; i.e., basic stuff. In sewing, a basic task would be to lengthen or shorten the legs on a pair of pants. Anyone can to that. Medium level work would be to take in a pair of pants to fit someone with a smaller waist. There’d be the potential for a tyro to create a seam that didn’t follow a smooth curve, or was lumpy. More advanced work would be to enlarge a pair of pants by sewing in an insert, without making the repair obvious. That would (I imagine) require several tries and some wasted material by someone who hadn’t done that job before, who had only a low level of experience in the craft, and who had no coaches nearby. And even then the result would likely only have been Fair. Pants-enlargement is rarely done, presumably because it is such a pain even for an expert, and/or because the results look crude.

(BTW, it’s only speculative that RP would have learned to repair his work clothes. The guys who do that are usually men who are away from women for long periods: e.g., soldiers, sailors, and cowboys. But RP came home at night 95% of the time. It’s likely that, given his chauvinism, and with all the projects he had on his plate (he usually had more than one scheme he was working on), he’d have wanted to devote his free time to one of them, and asked his wife to do the sewing. (This can be checked, of course, and eventually should be.))

I notice what you did not say about welcoming RP into your theatrical production group: that you’d have felt confidant in tossing a costume in his lap and telling him to enlarge it. Patty’s great girth would require that a standard ape suit be enlarged in a realistic re-enactment. (As Wolftrax’s side-view pictures show, Patty is at least 50% thicker through the torso than the comparison human figure.)

Enlarging a costume would (I guess) be difficult. Of course, with an ape suit, that’s less of a problem, because the fur would cover the seam (hopefully), and the material would be so heavy that it would be hard to create a wrinkled seam. Experimentation with putting together pieces of Dynel would give us a better basis for making estimates of the difficulty faced in expanding one of Morris’s costumes. (I’m trying to obtain some Dynel gorilla fur samples over the Internet.) Maybe all that’s required is to make cuts alongside the chest piece and down the spine, fit in triangular inserts, glue the edges to a wide fabric tape in back of them with rubber cement, test fit the results on a crude frame, trim the inserts as necessary after softening the rubber cement with a solvent, and repeat until “Good Enough†has been achieved. MAYBE. Not “clearly.†The word you should have used was "arguably."

And there are other problems with your “clearly.â€

Now, don't go taking this all personal-like, Roger. :scratchhead:

What I wrote was impersonal. I suppose a hint of testiness might be detected.

The farthest one can go is to say that RP wasn’t a crude, hick cowboy, untalented and untrained in anything artsy-crafty, which is the image many people had of him. In other words, you can “move the bead†about 60% of the way down the wire toward Patterson-as-tailor. That’s only enough to say, “Hmmm, … maybe.â€

Though I agree with your basic assessment -- that RP was a more talented artist than at first known -- I contend that it goes a lot further to indicating that he had the skill to pull this off than was at first believed.

“A lot furtherâ€â€”that’s the way to think: on the grey scale. Not in black/white terms like “clearly.†It’s not clear.

Nice rebuttal on the skillset point, but I feel like we're both working almost in complete conjecture here. We both acknowledge that RP had certain skills, but we disagree as to what he would be capable of in this instance.

In cases like this, I tend to fall back on good ol' Occam's Razor. In short, what's more likely: That RP managed to do what no one else has in thirty-seven years since, which was to get a good film of a BF, or did RP figure out a way to provide for his family after he was gone by perpetrating a hoax and making a terrific amount of long-term income for his wife?

Of course, the beauty of Occam's Razor in this argument is that you can use it to reach your conclusion, and I can reach it to use mine.

What that last quote says, translated, is that because Patty can't be real, any implausible bit of debunkery will suffice to explain her away. That's scoftical SOP: any stick will do to beat the devil.

Here's a related bit of information I gleaned when I interviewed Ronald Hall, the guy whose company, Austin Canvas and Awning in Charlotte, sewed the latex chest pieces on Morris's suits. (Long's book, p. 450)

I asked him, "Could a person reattach an arm or a leg, or resew a seam, on a Morris suit?"

He said, "Sure, if you're a seamstress."

I said, "What if you're not?"

He said, "Then the seam would be crooked. Anyway, you'd need a special machine to do it."

I interpreted that later to mean that a special attachment on the foot that presses on the material was needed to sew such a bulky fabric as Morris's gorilla fur. Unfortunately I failed to ask him to confirm that.

I said, "Could you do it by hand?"

He said, "Yes, but it would take forever."

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Bill

RogerKni:

Thank you for posting that interesting dialogue. I'm not sure if it came from somewhere else on this forum, or elsewhere, but it certainly contributes to this thread and is appreciated.

The saddlemaker example is often mentioned, but I suspect most people actually don't know exactly what skill set, tools, and processes are used in heavy duty leathercraft, which would include saddlemaking. If sewing is done, the industrial leather sewing machines are significantly different from fabric sewing. But a lot of leatherwork is done by stitching and lacing, whereby the edges of the leather are punched so there are a line of holes along the edge, and a lacing strap is then stitched or woven through those punched holes to join two pieces of leather together. Leathercraft also relies on punched holes and rivets or gromets pounded into several pieces of leather and the metal fastener locks the pieces together. Creature suit costumes rarely use these types of joining methodology.

Cutting leather generally requires that you only concern yourself with the shape. But cutting furcloth requires you to pattern the cut pieces with consideration of the lay of the fur (it has a sense of direction), so leather patterning is different from furcloth patterning. Leather is generally soaked in water and stretched to a form, and tightened by heating the leather to shrink. Furcloth is never treated this way as a fitting to shape method.

So what many people fail to see is that the entire process of leatherwork or saddlemaking uses so many skills and processes that are substantially different from what we regard as "costume making" (and even "creature" costume making is vastly different from wardrobe theartrical costuming), that the assumption that saddlemaking skills carry over to some increased likelyhood of becomming a self-taught creature costume maker, is truly just wishful thinking

Bill

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Roger Knights

Thanks. That exchange was from this site. Here's another one:

And a highly expensive suit is unlikely--there'd have been no payoff, and the secret would be less likely to have been kept, and Patterson would have been less likely to have commissioned such an item.

Gotta disagree with you here. Patterson clearly did have the skill to modify a base costume. He had the motive (he was dying of cancer and wanted to leave money for his family), he had the method (film camera and the ability and skill to modify a suit) and he had the means (the base suit was fairly cheap, and his modifications likely wouldn't have cost much out-of-pocket.) Got to say that those are damning points against the subject actually being a sasquatch. :-(

RP did NOT “clearly have the skill to modify a base costume.†You’d be able to make a statement like that if RP had experience as a costumer for a school theatrical class or club, or if he’d had a hobby of sewing things. But he didn’t. (RP’s skills are enumerated on the following pages of Long’s book, where sewing is not mentioned: 45, 50, 52, 66-67, 87, 93, 109, 113-14, 126, 131, 205, & 429.) (BTW, readers of my critique of Long’s Index will not be surprised to be informed that this info. was not obtained from it.) There was no sewing machine in his home. (I presume Long asked this of people who’d been in his home, like the babysitter he employed, and they gave an Unwelcome Answer (“Noâ€).) It’s very unlikely that as a male chauvinist (p. 93) he’d have deigned to learn women’s work.

He had experience only with stitching a saddle. That’s a very crude level of fabrication, using an awl-needle such as Tandy Leather shops sell. And that doesn’t involve the sort of skill that is needed to make flat, invisible seams that don’t pucker. I’ve looked at a couple of articles and books on sewing and been appalled at the trickiness of the techniques, and at the great potential they offer for beginners like Patterson to screw-up. In addition, he had only a limited amount of material to work with, and a short time-span (three weeks at most, based on the testimony of BH (p. 342) and Morris (p. 446)) to get it done in. All one can say is that RP had an artistic flair, and was good with his hands, a jack of many trades, and a natural handyman. I know people like that, but I’d be surprised if they could sew on a button.

.........

And substantial additions to the suit would have been necessary, as the roughly 30% greater width of Patty’s shoulders, back, waist, and hips compared to a scaled-to-height human, and a roughly 30% greater torso depth, implies a body circumference about twice that of a human, even using a six-foot height estimate. Glickman, basing his estimate on a height of 7’3.5â€, estimated the chest and waist circumferences at over 80â€. Let’s cut that way down, to 60â€, for the sake of argument. This would still have required the ordering of a lot extra material in RP’s second purchase from Morris (including a good allowance for material wasted in the trimming-to-shape process). But the amount ordered was small. (I presume this, since Long isn’t forthcoming about how much was ordered, but would surely have said so if the amount ordered was large.) And such modifications would also have required a lot of complex sewing, since to equalize the addition between the front and back, so as not to throw off the central location of the arms, material would have had to be inserted in both front and back. And sewing conical shapes for breasts would have been just about impossible for a non-expert. If balloons were used, as GL theorizes, they mightn’t look like Patty's breasts--that's a theory that doesn't have much support yet.

The farthest one can go is to say that RP wasn’t a crude, hick cowboy, untalented and untrained in anything artsy-craftsy, which is the image many people had of him. In other words, you can “move the bead†about 60% of the way down the wire toward Patterson-as-tailor. That’s only enough to say, “Hmmm, … maybe.â€

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wolftrax
I notice what you did not say about welcoming RP into your theatrical production group: that you’d have felt confidant in tossing a costume in his lap and telling him to enlarge it. Patty’s great girth would require that a standard ape suit be enlarged in a realistic re-enactment. (As Wolftrax’s side-view pictures show, Patty is at least 50% thicker through the torso than the comparison human figure.)

The Poser figure used is thin and not as subjective to the same muscle and fat morphology as a human, meaning it doesn't have a gut that would stick out when bent over like a human would. Also, I wouldn't consider it based on the average weight and body fat levels of the American public.

The figure itself has no bearing on the "Standard ape suit" size, how do you know a Morris suit or any suit would have to be enlarged?

What that last quote says, translated, is that because Patty can't be real, any implausible bit of debunkery will suffice to explain her away. That's scoftical SOP: any stick will do to beat the devil.

You know, I've always despised the term "Scoftic" and found it akin to calling someone a racial slur, it's only purpose is to polarize the discussion and narrow the discussion out of realms one is not comfortable entering.

The comparison of what is more likely; Patterson hoaxed the film or filmed a real sasquatch, is valid when weighing the evidence and SHOULD be considered.

Why?

How many hoaxes are there compared to films of a real sasquatch?

There was no sewing machine in his home. (I presume Long asked this of people who’d been in his home, like the babysitter he employed, and they gave an Unwelcome Answer (“Noâ€).) It’s very unlikely that as a male chauvinist (p. 93) he’d have deigned to learn women’s work.

What is the basis of this? You asked people who knew Patterson if he had a sewing machine? Who did you ask?

Did Patterson's wagons have covers?

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Roger Knights
The Poser figure used is thin and not as subjective to the same muscle and fat morphology as a human, meaning it doesn't have a gut that would stick out when bent over like a human would. Also, I wouldn't consider it based on the average weight and body fat levels of the American public.

The figure itself has no bearing on the "Standard ape suit" size, how do you know a Morris suit or any suit would have to be enlarged?

Because I talked to Ronald Hall, whose company sewed Morris's suits, and asked him if a 250-pound person would fit in one of Morris's suits, and he hesitated and said, doubtfully, "Yes." So I infer that 250 pounds is the limit for an unmodified suit. And yet the consensus of weight estimates for Patty is much higher than that. (FWIW, in one of his interviews BH said the suit fit him loosely.)

You know, I've always despised the term "Scoftic" and found it akin to calling someone a racial slur, it's only purpose is to polarize the discussion and narrow the discussion out of realms one is not comfortable entering.

Scoftic is a mash-up of scoffer and skeptic. A scoffer is a person who has a knee-jerk nay-saying attitude toward anything unusual. Another term with similar connotations is "cheap cynic." A scoftic is a person who has adopted the terms and techniques of skepticism to camouflage his irrational scoffer-ness and pose as being objective. Worse, he routinely uses slipshod analogies, non sequiturs, and other crimes against logic to advance his case.

This was the essence of Marcello Truzzi's critique of the skeptical movement, which he quit in disgust after being a founding member of CSICOP--that they were scoffers in disguise. Here's one of his articles on the topic:

http://www.anomalist.com/commentaries/pseudo.html There are dozens of other well-formulated critiques of the "skeptical" movement online. One of them, which contains a link at the bottom to a page with links to lots of others, is Winston Wu's "Debunking pseudo-skeptical arguments," here: http://www.geocities.com/wwu777us/Debunkin...l_Arguments.htm

There is no genuine "discussion" to be ruined by employing my term, but only a pretense of fair-mindedness that deserves to be called-out what it is. Scoftics deserve to be called far worse. Anyway, on their sites, they are more vitriolic and routinely insulting, by an order of magnitude, than our side has been. Put-downs are their whole purpose. As a result, they've been more prolific and inventive in coining insulting terms for believers. It's not as though there's any common well around to be poisoned by my term. I don't believe the people on the other side are interested in discussion. I used to think so, maybe, but no longer. Their desire is to Be In The Right--by any means necessary.

That said, I do not and have not thrown the label around. Many times I've been tempted to use it and have refrained. I've virtually never used it to accuse a participant in a discussion of behaving scoftically. I haven't used this term as mud-throwing. I've virtually always used it as a complaint about a general behavior pattern: an unfair or absurd technique employed by the other side. I've been one of the most mannerly and level-tempered participants here. I make it a habit to resist the temptation to escalate the heatedness of a debate, or even to reply in kind to the sneers and arch digs delivered by SG and others of that ilk. I've taken the high road.

A good example of the phony logic employed by scoffers is the false analogy and non sequitur embodied in Avindair's statement that "Patterson clearly did have the skill to modify a base costume" because of his skills in saddle repair plus his general artistic nature and handyman capabilities.

The comparison of what is more likely; Patterson hoaxed the film or filmed a real sasquatch, is valid when weighing the evidence and SHOULD be considered.

Why?

How many hoaxes are there compared to films of a real sasquatch?

When we come to a final verdict on a large topic, however provisionally, we first come, or ought to come, to a series of mini-verdicts on smaller topics. Let's say an unlikely claim is made, such as "I shot **** robin." And let's say we know, or think we know, that's baloney, because we have it on good authority that **** robin still lives. Furthermore, let's say we know that the claimant is a poor shot, doesn't own a weapon, and was dead drunk on the day in question. The mini-verdicts on those subsidiary matters get weighed in along with the overall improbability of our "good authority" being mistaken and contribute to the degree of certainty we have in out final verdict, "No you didn't." That's fine.

But now let's say that the claimant was a good shot, owned a weapon, and was seen in the vicinity of the alleged deed. It would not be fair-minded procedure to say that the weapon he owned couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, basing our reasoning on our foregone conclusion that **** robin lives, and so the claimant just couldn't have shot him, for one reason or another--and any reason, however absurd, being legitimate. That's not weighing the evidence, that's putting the thumb on the scale. (Avindair's claim that Patterson could make a suit because he could fix a saddle is an analogously unreasonable reason justified by a foregone conclusion but posing as evidence.) Attempting to justify such a technique amounts to allowing prejudice to clandestinely skew rationality.

What is the basis of this? [My claim that Patterson didn't own a sewing machine.] You asked people who knew Patterson if he had a sewing machine? Who did you ask?

Did Patterson's wagons have covers?

That was a stretcher. (But hey, that was four years ago, when I was still in my first year of Internet debating. I've learned to be more cautious since.) I was just guessing that Long, a thorough investigator when he wanted to be, would have looked for incriminating evidence and asked anyone who'd been in Patterson's house, such as his babysitter, if they'd seen anything that might have been related to hoaxing, such as stompers, masks, sewing machines, etc. And partly I hoped, by being so assertive, to provoke someone who knew that the facts were different to contradict me.

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wolftrax
Because I talked to Ronald Hall, whose company sewed Morris's suits, and asked him if a 250-pound person would fit in one of Morris's suits, and he hesitated and said, doubtfully, "Yes." So I infer that 250 pounds is the limit for an unmodified suit. And yet the consensus of weight estimates for Patty is much higher than that. (FWIW, in one of his interviews BH said the suit fit him loosely.)

So Bob H would have to be weighted to be what, 500-2000 pounds?

There is no genuine "discussion" to be ruined by employing my term, but only a pretense of fair-mindedness that deserves to be called-out what it is. Scoftics deserve to be called far worse. Anyway, on their sites, they are more vitriolic and routinely insulting, by an order of magnitude, than our side has been. Put-downs are their whole purpose. As a result, they've been more prolific and inventive in coining insulting terms for believers. It's not as though there's any common well around to be poisoned by my term. I don't believe the people on the other side are interested in discussion. I used to think so, maybe, but no longer. Their desire is to Be In The Right--by any means necessary.

"Our side"? "Other side"? And thus the discussion polarizes. It is no longer about the film, it's about the person who disagrees with you.

That said, I do not and have not thrown the label around. Many times I've been tempted to use it and have refrained. I've virtually never used it to accuse a participant in a discussion of behaving scoftically. I haven't used this term as mud-throwing. I've virtually always used it as a complaint about a general behavior pattern: an unfair or absurd technique employed by the other side. I've been one of the most mannerly and level-tempered participants here. I make it a habit to resist the temptation to escalate the heatedness of a debate, or even to reply in kind to the sneers and arch digs delivered by SG and others of that ilk. I've taken the high road.

A good example of the phony logic employed by scoffers is the false analogy and non sequitur embodied in Avindair's statement that "Patterson clearly did have the skill to modify a base costume" because of his skills in saddle repair plus his general artistic nature and handyman capabilities.

When we come to a final verdict on a large topic, however provisionally, we first come, or ought to come, to a series of mini-verdicts on smaller topics. Let's say an unlikely claim is made, such as "I shot **** robin." And let's say we know, or think we know, that's baloney, because we have it on good authority that **** robin still lives. Furthermore, let's say we know that the claimant is a poor shot, doesn't own a weapon, and was dead drunk on the day in question. The mini-verdicts on those subsidiary matters get weighed in along with the overall improbability of our "good authority" being mistaken and contribute to the degree of certainty we have in out final verdict, "No you didn't." That's fine.

But now let's say that the claimant was a good shot, owned a weapon, and was seen in the vicinity of the alleged deed. It would not be fair-minded procedure to say that the weapon he owned couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, basing our reasoning on our foregone conclusion that **** robin lives, and so the claimant just couldn't have shot him, for one reason or another--and any reason, however absurd, being legitimate. That's not weighing the evidence, that's putting the thumb on the scale. Attempting to justify such a technique amounts to allowing prejudice to clandestinely skew rationality.

All a person has to do is go onto Youtube, or even all the films shown on here, and see how many hoaxed films there are that totally outweigh films of what could even be considered a real sasquatch. There is no need to tip the scale, the only films that could be considered real are the Patterson film and the Freeman film.

Just going by memory here, hoax films and photos include Marx's 2 films, at least 3 photos by Biscardi, Sonoma, The photos with the guy in the animal skins, the YouTube video where it is shuffling away in the trees, that guy who was hunting Santa Claus, the squirrel tail, Wallace's films (what, 3 of them?), jees there have been so many I can't remember their names.

So there we have 13 vs. 2. The scale is tipped in the favor of hoaxed films, and that's being conservative. Personally I think the Freeman film is a hoax, based on some research I've done, and then add Patterson's behaviour and the conflicting stories as well as anatomy, and the question of which is more likely, real or hoax, is valid, whether it's Avindair or John Green asking it. And if Green asked it, I'd seriously doubt you'd tell him it was scoftical SOP.

That was a stretcher. (But hey, that was four years ago, when I was still in my first year of Internet debating. I've learned to be more cautious since.) I was just guessing that Long, a thorough investigator when he wanted to be, would have looked for incriminating evidence and asked anyone who'd been in Patterson's house, such as his babysitter, if they'd seen anything that might have been related to hoaxing, such as stompers, masks, sewing machines, etc. And partly I hoped, by being so assertive, to provoke someone who knew that the facts were different to contradict me.

So basically this statement is not true:

There was no sewing machine in his home. (I presume Long asked this of people who’d been in his home, like the babysitter he employed, and they gave an Unwelcome Answer (“Noâ€).) It’s very unlikely that as a male chauvinist (p. 93) he’d have deigned to learn women’s work.
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Roger Knights
So Bob H would have to be weighted to be what, 500-2000 pounds?

As long as he had to appear to be 350 pounds, whether naturally or by means of padding, the suit would have required front-and-back extension-inserts.

"Our side"? "Other side"? And thus the discussion polarizes.

"The war is already begun."

It is no longer about the film, it's about the person who disagrees with you.

Not at all. I preach, and practice, de-personalization of arguments. I virtually never use emoticons to get salty with my opponents, for instance--maybe twice a year. I dislike ganging up on outsiders, and in the past I've urged people here to go easy on, among others, Greg Long (when he was posting here), Avindair, and Dfoot. (I stated that I believed his claim that he was conducting an experiment with his doctored photo.)

But if there is going to be a discussion, flaws need to be pointed out in a doctrine that is fundamentally "slanted" to ensure a "win" for the skeptical position, and "skeptical" doctrinaires who too-often engage in bad-faith argumentation (various kinds of debaters' tricks, etc., Daegling being Exhibit A) need to be named and shamed, to bring them to their senses. I haven't been aggressively defining my critics as "the enemy" until recently, when I realized that this is needed. I've only gradually become aware of "where they're coming from" and realized that their attitudes and platitudes were off-the-shelf garments they'd picked up from the skeptical "movement."

Here's an example of the way that scoftical doctrine slants things. It draws a sharp distinction between real science, which supposedly deals with provable facts, and pseudo-science, which deals in speculation (or worse). (I mention this example because, four months ago, you accused me of just speculating.) But that's not the case. Some 19th century French scientist (whose name has an accent in it) said that science is made of facts, but it is no more just facts than a pile of bricks is a house. In other words, there are organizing principles (theories), and these theories and so forth incorporate reasonable inferences that the scientific community agrees are not insane. In certain fields, there are only a few bricks and hence lengthy lines of inference tying them together. These are the sciences that deal with distant time and space, or episodic events (vulcanology, for instance)--the inferential sciences.

Furthermore, science, at least "frontier science," is not just about the provable but the likely. The main importance of a research paper in an evolving field is to offer clues to other researchers which lines of investigation would probably be most fruitful to pursue, which hypotheses seem most likely, which are "in trouble," etc. When one reads Discover or Scientific American, every second or third article contains phrases like "this evidence suggests" or "a reasonable interpretation of this data would seem to be," etc. In other words, science is not all black/white, facts-and-proof vs. guesses, well-established vs. poorly established.

But, because "textbook science" is well-established, especially lab science where replication is possible, unlike episodic anomalistics, it is falsely implied by scoftical doctrinaires that this is science "period," in order to create a striking contrast to what anomalists are putting forth and hustle them off-stage (marginalize them). That's more damaging to any discussion than using a term--scofticism--to point out instances where skeptics' built-in emotional and cognitive biases are coming into play. (The emotional part of their bias, imo, is the need most people have of some sort of Icon to cling to--if not a faith, at least a formula and a process--to cope with the chaos of existence.)

When the discussion of my neologism was ongoing on Cryptomundo almost a year ago, I thought of diving in with thoughts like these, but I wanted to wait and get my ducks in a row before engaging in a battle that can quickly get into deep waters. IOW, I have a lot of reading to do. I don't want to get further into this matter here than offer a defense of my use of the term in limited situations, such as pointing out that a particular form of argument (like that used by Avindair) is invalid and should be stricken from the scoftical playbook.

All a person has to do is go onto Youtube, or even all the films shown on here, and see how many hoaxed films there are that totally outweigh films of what could even be considered a real sasquatch. There is no need to tip the scale, the only films that could be considered real are the Patterson film and the Freeman film.

Just going by memory here, hoax films and photos include Marx's 2 films, at least 3 photos by Biscardi, Sonoma, The photos with the guy in the animal skins, the YouTube video where it is shuffling away in the trees, that guy who was hunting Santa Claus, the squirrel tail, Wallace's films (what, 3 of them?), jees there have been so many I can't remember their names.

So there we have 13 vs. 2. The scale is tipped in the favor of hoaxed films, and that's being conservative. Personally I think the Freeman film is a hoax, based on some research I've done, and then add Patterson's behaviour and the conflicting stories as well as anatomy, and the question of which is more likely, real or hoax, is valid, whether it's Avindair or John Green asking it. And if Green asked it, I'd seriously doubt you'd tell him it was scoftical SOP.

Yes, yes, yes, but that's all beside the point I was making (I thought), which is that one can't/shouldn't smuggle ones final verdict into the evaluation of the evidence. IOW, one shouldn't think that, because a certain conclusion is really unlikely, one is entitled to invent unreasonably scenarios to discredit the claim. The really extreme forms of this behavior are now known as "pelicanism." (UFOs don't exist, therefore Kenneth Arnold probably saw pelicans--an actual scoftical article argued thus. He might have, but "probably" or even "very possibly" is too strong, given the devilish details of his sighting.)

So basically this statement is not true:

There was no sewing machine in his home. (I presume Long asked this of people who’d been in his home, like the babysitter he employed, and they gave an Unwelcome Answer (“Noâ€).) It’s very unlikely that as a male chauvinist (p. 93) he’d have deigned to learn women’s work.

No, just "not proven." I guess there's a 1/3 to 2/3 chance that it's true. It wasn't a statement whose intent was to mislead, because the context--the next two sentences--exposed my assertion as being an overstatement based on inference only.

************

Incidentally, I’ve come up with another naughty neologism, one a Believers' organization should adopt: COP (Claims Of the Paranormal). It's been orphaned after CSICOP dropped it to become CSI, so now it's in the public domain.

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wolftrax
As long as he had to appear to be 350 pounds, whether naturally or by means of padding, the suit would have required front-and-back extension-inserts.

Not true, here's Reg Park, who later trained Arnold Swarzenegger, at 6'1" and 250 lbs.

"The war is already begun."

Well, it's a pointless one and actually self-defeating.

No, just "not proven." I guess there's a 1/3 to 2/3 chance that it's true. It wasn't a statement whose intent was to mislead, because the context--the next two sentences--exposed my assertion as being an overstatement based on inference only.

Roger, it's not even a guess, it's pretty much a fabrication.

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Roger Knights
Not true, here's Reg Park, who later trained Arnold Swarzenegger, at 6'1" and 250 lbs.

Let’s assume a six-foot height for the Patty-actor in a Morris suit. (Morris told Long that the maximum one of his suits would fit, height-wise, was a six footer—p. 451.) The proportions exhibited by Patty are those of a six-footer of 350 pounds or more. So although it’s true that a person like Rex might come close to filling the chest area of Patty, it’s irrelevant to the issue under discussion. He’d have been too large to have fitted into a Morris suit, according to Hall, because his chest had the circumference of a person exceeding 250 pounds.

A Morris suit lacked the circumference to accommodate Patty’s girth. (I’m talking about Morris’s off-the-shelf 1967 suits, not a subsequent model made to accommodate lots of padding underneath, such as was probably used in the Cow Camp recreation.) Therefore, given the need to provide Patty with the girth corresponding to a 350-pounder, a tricky enlargement of a Morris costume would have been needed, requiring sewing skills Patterson lacked.

(Soarwing: Your comparison photo isn’t apples-to-apples, because you’re not angling away from the camera at 40 degrees, but at a lesser angle that makes the width of your back appear broader than it should be for an accurate comparison. And the front-to-back depth of Patty’s torso, including her pelvis, isn’t accounted for by your comparison either.)

Well, it's a pointless one and actually self-defeating.

No, it's essential and self-justifying. First, it's a matter of self-defense against the slings and arrows of SG et al., to undermine their faulty assumptions, which are poisoning discussion here (and on other sites--and in society at large). Second, it's a necessity to restore intellectual integrity to discussion generally. Daegling's dodginess, as I politely put it in my papers (in the Daegling's Errments thread), is not just the flaw of an individual--it's the result of the unscrupulous "any stick will do to beat the devil" behavior pattern inherent in, for example, "pelicanism," and manifested by other stars of organized skepticism, such as Klaas, Randi, Wiseman, Blackmore, Park, etc. Other stars aren’t as bad, but have revealed their cloven hoof from time to time.

For instance, in our field, Ben Radford wrote, in "Bigfoot at 50," “Don Grieve, an anatomist specializing in human gait, came to the conclusion that the walk was essentially human in type and could be made by a modern man.†Here’s the rest of the story, from Grieve’s report: “If the film was taken at 24 fps, Sasquatch walked with a gait pattern very similar in most respects to a man walking at high speed. … The possibility of fakery is ruled out if the speed of the film was 16 or 18 fps.â€

I've noticed much worse behavior than this in the "Inquiring Minds" associate-forum of the CSICOP site, where a couple of SMU professors (Cotton and Scalise) claimed that Pat Patterson and her sons had stated that RP had confessed that the PGF was a hoax.

First I alerted CSICOP to the problem, and it (in the person of Amanda Chesworth) forwarded my e-mail to Prof. Cotton. Two furthermore lengthy, polite e-mails of mine to prof. Cotton went unanswered over the course of over a year. Eventually, I addressed an e-mail to Scalise and got him to reluctantly remove the claim.

But he still claimed he had seen the Patterson sons go to a shed and display a suit in their possession, even if they hadn't said that RP had confessed on his deathbed. I'd told him that he was mixing this up with the Wallace TV broadcast he'd seen, but he refused to accept my interpretation.

This arrogant behavior pattern is the same as that which made Cotton trash my e-mails without forwarding them to Scalise, who was the author of the Bigfoot section. I imagine Cotton saying to himself: Who was I, a mere believer, to correct the author of a lengthy published and online tome on Critical Thinking used in schools and endorsed by CSICOP? (What other explanation could there be for his behavior? It’s certainly not that of a genuine truth-seeker.)

This is pigheaded arrogance, which is "enabled" by the implicit We're It attitude of scofticism, and by the scoftical "template," or stereotype, of sober-scoftics-vs.-the-mad-world-of-the-irrational that it inculcates. Entrants into that sect absorb this mind-set through repeated reading of canonical accounts of a loose thinker or charlatan being EXPOSED by a careful, scrupulous white-knight of science/scofticism. (Example: scoftic Seth Shostak's pat-on-the-back interview of Long & BH on his Skeptical Sunday internet radio show in August 2004.) When an inductee has got this meme into his mental bloodstream, it colors his view of everything and he can't see around it. He thinks that his bunch is the White Hats, the believers are the Black Hats, and any fundamental questioning of the basis of this mind-set (e.g., of the "extraordinary evidence" requirement, subsequently renounced by its creator, Marcello Truzzi) is inconceivable.

Scalise, for instance, was so certain he was right about what he'd seen that he didn't mind setting me straight and recommending that I study-up on his critical thinking material, to get my mind right. As sometimes happens with crusading moralists, he's guilty of the precise sins he's accusing others of (i.e., seeing what he wants to see and being resistant to new information and the voice of reason), while being remaining blissfully unaware of the fact.

What was the result of this attitude? After I’d made my fruitless attempts at obtaining a correction, the Voice of America ran a program, heard by millions worldwide, claiming that Patterson had made a deathbed confession. When Bigfooters protested, the VOA responded that they'd based their assertion on Internet research--presumably meaning the Inquiring Minds site. It would have had the authority of the backing of the responsible folks at CSICOP. No one else of such supposed substance was endorsing this claim online.

Previously SI managing editor Ben Radford had come out with a hand-wringing book lamenting the irresponsibility of the media and how it misleads the public and what a tragedy it all is: Media Mythmakers: How Journalists, Activists, and Advertisers Mislead Us. He should clean up his own backyard. (His book itself is not half bad. I found only three objectionable statements in it, none of them too terrible.)

In both cases this self-righteous, I’m-right-by-definition behavior has spread widely accepted lies (media myths) into society and poisoned discussion. Millions of people widely think Patterson confessed, and that Daegling’s “Bigfoot’s Screen Test†article put paid to any attempt to use photo analysis to find inhuman qualities in Patty. Speaking out against this sanctimoniously hypocritical, bad-to-the-bone (extremist-mentality) influence is a social duty. I have not yet begun to fight: écrasez l'infâme!

Roger, it's not even a guess, it's pretty much a fabrication.

Technically speaking, it’s not a fabrication. But you don’t care. You want to smite a black hat, so you’ll stoop to anything. Your hypocrisy about the necessity of all of us hewing to the high-road is Greg-worthy, as is the obfuscation you’ve attempted on the Patty-girth issue. I’m turning you off. Click.

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Guest Crowlogic

Without digging up a long list of quotes from this page I'd like to offer my opinion of Patty's girth. Clearly it exceeds most human girth in proportion. From what I know of the most likely suit wearer (Bob Heronimous) Bob was notcidably leaner in 1967 than he appears today. Yet even today with his increased girth he would not properly fill out a suit with the proportons of Patty. So a leaner 1967 Bob H would have required significant padding in just about every appendage and a stouter 2008 Bob H would need just about as much with the exception of around the middle.

That said, they could have stuck a 97 pound weakling in the suit stuffed and padded it to the hilt and the costume would have worked. The important human element in the wearer was to have sufficient height and hopefully long arms. But lets ays Bob H did wear the suit. The all up weight of mime and suit would have been 260lbs perhaps. I don't see a problem with a 200lb human wearing a 60lb suit. Since we don't actually see a footprint being made by the subject its weight is meangingless.

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wolftrax
Technically speaking, it’s not a fabrication. But you don’t care. You want to smite a black hat, so you’ll stoop to anything. Your hypocrisy about the necessity of all of us hewing to the high-road is Greg-worthy, as is the obfuscation you’ve attempted on the Patty-girth issue. I’m turning you off. Click.

And this entire post proves my point. Roger, obviously you are frustrated, and I'm going to put aside my instinctual knee-jerk reaction to respond in anger, but I think you are putting way too much thought into this and applying whatever abuse you've received at JREF or any other skeptical forum to your interractions here.

First, if I'm understanding you correctly, you acknowledge that there are a lot more hoaxes than what we could consider as being real films of a sasquatch. That means that it is more likely that Patterson hoaxed that film, when weighing the odds against each other. Sure, there is a chance that it is real, but in terms of likelihood, of how often these films are hoaxed vs. real, the hoax side carries more weight. It doesn't make it a hoax, but that is the comment Avindair made that we are discussing.

But you are going into his motivations, and in this last post you go after all these other people, including myself, totally constructing this conspiracy that we are all against you. You are creating sides in an imaginary war and demonizing the other side in your propogation that I want to smite you, that's not the case, and here I'll be more specific.

You stated Patterson did not have a sewing machine. I asked you what the basis for that was, if you had asked people who knew him if he had one, and if I'm understanding you correctly you said that you didn't really know, you just threw that out there to see if anybody disagreed and had some sort of evidence. Correct? You really have no idea if he had one or not, right?

That is what you're beef is, isn't it? That these people don't want to know the facts, and just hate you, that is why they do what they do.

Well, I didn't say anything about Patterson giving a confession, I didn't ignore your emails, I'm responding to you, and I want to know the facts, and I want those facts to be clear. So, if this was just something you made up and threw out there (a fabrication), I'd like to know. I'm not out to hurt you, but I just don't want to be mislead or have to sort through the mess later when people read it and repeat it, "Well, Paterson didn't have a sewing machine!"much the same as you don't want to have to clear the mess that everybody believes Patterson confessed.

That is why this whole "War" is pointless. You're never going to have people agreeing with everything you say, and if you folks keep lobbing off missiles of misinformation all in the name of whatever crusade you feel you are leading, or making up alternative scenarios, you're just going to be stuck with a large pile of baloney. None of it will be true, the only thing you have is your suspicions of everybody's motivations, and nothing will be accomplished.

And SG and any other person who is skeptical of any or all of the evidence has a right to be here, as long as the mods and admin allow it. Half the time I've stomached reading these threads he seems to responding to this same sort of baloney war.

Anyways, how the heck did anybody get a reliable weight from Patty?

Let's be honest, the whole thing with weight and fitting into the Morris suit is subjective and is probably why the guy at Morris was hesitant to answer that question, you can have a weightlifter that weighs 250 or a guy with a pot belly that weighs 250, what really matters is the measurements.

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"..what really matters is the measurements."

At the risk of further polarizing the discussion (your favourite expression?), this is why your bias re the PGF affects your analysis. You've made up your mind that the PGF is a hoax based entirely on speculation. You never measure anything. When others measure the film and it doesn't support your suit theory you dismiss the results as either an illusion or you just ignore them. Analysis doesn't work that way. Didn't you post a gif a while back that you claimed demonstrated that Bob H and Patty's gaits did NOT match? What happened, change your mind? And you never did manage to contort your poser to match Patty. How come?

It's the closest you've come to actually measuring anything. But overlaying images can be misleading. Scale and body orientation are easily misrepresented. Unless you're very careful it amounts to eyeballing, which can easily be fudged according to your bias. On the other hand speculation is cheap and easy.

Since we're using silly visuals to make analogous points here's one.

So is this Elvis or an impersonator? There's a million impersonators out there so it's a million times more likely that it isn't Elvis, but it is. How many impersonators are easily identifiable as such? 99%? I've seen a Japanese woman Elvis impersonator. How many hoaxed BF videos have stood up to scrutiny? Not very many. This is why your "what is more likely" argument is fallacious. How many BF videos haven't been debunked in 40 years? By the very nature of the BF phenomenon, a real video would be very rare. But each video must be analysed on it's own merits and not simply reduced to a numbers game. Quality is statistically significant. Drawing conclusions based on speculation is your bias.

ps Nice to see you posting again RK.

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