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Creature Suit Analysis - Part 9 - A Study of Probability


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Guest SoundMan
Very detailed listing of odds. I'd tend to say that the 1/20,000 number points TOWARDS it being a hoax. When you consider the odds of the other option.

What are the odds that Roger Patterson filmed a living, breathing, unclassified, bipedal, female, hairy creature?

Bill and others,

First, excellent work, Bill. Like I said at the end of Part 7, the likelyhood (still can't spell that word) or probability if you will, of it being a suit is beyond comprehension. But something needs to be stressed although Bill you did touch upon it (or I might have missed it if you expounded upon it). That is the subject of what it is by design you are postulating or hypothesizing and what it is that you are not postulating. What is not being postulated cannot be made a part of the equation even though it might seem intuitive to attempt to do so. This seems to have been lost judging by some of the comments throughout these related threads.

To make clear, in any scientific investigation the hypothesis is critical to how the experiment is conducted and how the results are then interpreted in order to determine whether the hypothesis was correct or not. Even though this "experiment" is a work in progress and not a formal scientific research project (although it certainly could be), the preliminary "results" if you will, favor validation of the hypothesis that it is not a suit.

That "result" if you will, is the antithesis of an affirmative of it being a "bigfoot" (whatever that is). There are, believe it or not, many possibilities of what it might be other than that specific thing, probabilities aside.

What would be needed to "prove" what it is and not what it is not, is hypothesizing whatever anybody wants to postulate. And whatever it is that they want to postulate requires an established protocol to be followed. At a minimum it requires establishing a method and procedure together with experimentation, that can be replicated, which provides a conclusion as to the validity of the hypothesis. If one wanted to postulate that the subject in the PGF is a bf then one would need to go through the scientific method. Of course, establishing an hypothesis, setting up an experiment and getting to a conclusion would prove most elusive, would it not?

I know this may sound simple and obvious especially to those with scientific backgrounds, but it is imperative to understand in order to put this whole subject in its proper perspective.

There is but one conclusion to the research project at hand (either yes or no to a suit) and its corollary as it has been framed in these discussions is not, and scientifically at least, cannot be a part of the equation. Philosophically, of course it might be, but not scientifically.

To be perfectly clear, what I am suggesting is that if a formal experiment were conducted, a subsequent paper written and a peer-reviewed publication process be conducted, with the results showing it was not a suit, it would not, in the scientific world mean anything in terms of what the subject actually is. The process would prove a negative not a positive. That is something entirely different.

I readily acknowledge, however that it does not mean it might not prove very meaningful to a lot of people, myself included.

Soundman

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Guest Remember November

You know suitniks, the bigfoot counterculture. They took copious amounts of Benzedrine and realized bigfoot was just Maya. They would steal cars and drive across the country reading poetry and mocking the establisment.

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Soundman:

Here's another way to think about it.

The film is potentially remarkable evidence, with excellent scientific validity, but it is "tainted" by the accusation of being falsified. So effort to remove the accusations of being false and fabricated may then restore it's fundamental integrity as scientific evidence of an unknown bipedal primate currently not in the existant wildlife inventory.

Efforts to establish it as a known, identified and studied wildlife specimen (or human ancestral species) can simultaniously be done by the search for a live specimen. And disproving a suit or other fabricated falseness of the film doesn't give the positive search all the finality of species a live specimen would. But it may restore the integrity of one of the best pieces of evidence that justifies a search and funding to positively identify the species.

And please keep in mind, my notes are a "first draft" concept that may hopefully lead to something more structured scientifically in the future.

Bill

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Very detailed listing of odds. I'd tend to say that the 1/20,000 number points TOWARDS it being a hoax. When you consider the odds of the other option.

What are the odds that Roger Patterson filmed a living, breathing, unclassified, bipedal, female, hairy creature?

http://www.kidsnewsroom.org/newsissues/042...sp?page=Weekly3

According to this, for 60 years a breeding population of woodpecker has gone UNNOTICED. There are some seemingly credible sightings of BF.

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The film is potentially remarkable evidence, with excellent scientific validity, but it is "tainted" by the accusation of being falsified. So effort to remove the accusations of being false and fabricated may then restore it's fundamental integrity as scientific evidence of an unknown bipedal primate currently not in the existant wildlife inventory.

My bold

I may be misunderstanding you, but I think I have to respectfully disagree with you here - and I'll be the first to admit I once felt somewhat the same for a while whilst investigating this subject.

There is conclusive, verifiable evidence of the existence of humans disguised as fake animals in costumes going way back before this footage was shot. Some (not being date specific here) have fooled people into thinking they were real animals. Others have suspended disbelief, in clear footage, long enough to carry a story for a couple of hours or so. Others are laughable. Horses for courses though.

The materials & techniques to achieve this were available at the time of this footage - your valuable opinion (which I've enjoyed) as to their suitability & logistical application aside.

There is no conclusive evidence whatsoever that the figure in that footage is an unidentified species.

The default ergo should be that it's a guy in a suit until proven to be real. The desire, wish or urge to 'believe' does not or should not enter the equation.

Posted without emotion or confrontational intent :) .

Edited to alter a line that sounded unintentionally condecending :thumbsup: .

Edited by JohnWS
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Guest Sam Farris
Sam

Suitniks?

I may be generalizing, and if I am I'm sure I'll hear about it, but my impression is Suitniks are those that know these creatures do not exist and therefore, by default, the film must be of a man in a suit. Any idea or notion that it may be a real creature is swiftly knocked to the ground by this group, because, as we all know, BF is just a fairytale.

Sam

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HOLDMYBEER

Bill, Your first two paragraphs introducing part 9 say it all for me; I will probably be posting on that topic in the near future. Congratulations on your series of articles. I think you have caused more thought on the part of forum readers than anything I have seen posted in the year I have been a member. Good Job!

Question: Perhaps you have addressed this in a previous post and it got past me, but would you be willing to articulate the minimum number of persons that, if the PG Film is a hoax, had to have taken part in the conspiracy? I presume someone had to bankroll a substantial amount of cash, someone had to design the suit, someone (perhaps the same person who designed the suit?) had to construct the suit, the mime, assistants, et cetera. Using a conservative best guess, how many people had to knowingly have been a part of the hoax?

Again, good job. HMB

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JohnWS

Here perhaps we should seperate two issues: One is the more generalized question, Have people dressed up in fur costumes to cause other people to think they saw a creature of unknown species? and the more specific question, was this done specifically for the PG Film.

In answer to the more generalized question, I would emphatically agree it has been done many times, in all degrees of sophistication or lack of same, with varying degrees of success in convincing the observers that they were witnesing a real event as opposed to a staged or 'fake" event. Nothing in my notes has ever attempted to dispell the generalized question. Faked sightings with people in costumes is a fact and has occured.

All my notes deal with the specific incident filmed by Patterson. And in that regard, there are simply two opposing explanations for what is seen on that film. A.) It is a human costumed to look like an unidentified primate species, or B. ) It is a real unidentified primate species. I'm not aware of any third explanation of what the figure on film is.

My notes, and my own curious mind, have not proven that a human in a suit or costume is impossible, to the exactitudes of science, in that film. The notes deal more with probabilities, with degrees of difficulty, and known capacities to accomplish things.

But I must respectfully disagree when you say "the default ergo should be that it's a guy in a suit until proven real."

There is nothing biologically difficult about it being real. It's size, anatomical structure, method of locomotion, and all other detail elements of it's apparent anatomy are perfectly "credible" as an unknown or as yet unstudied live species. Truthfully, no default assumption can be made either way, real or faked. There is no conclusive evidence either to prove a human in a suit or a real unknown species of primate. So the lack of conclusive evidence doesn't favor one option above the other. And the sad scientific mindset which dictates "all the big animals have been discovered" is actually a lame and unscientific bluff.

Consider also the first studies of the platypus by European scientists concluded it was a fake, a duck's bill somehow grafted on a beaver's body.

The default is a draw, not favoring either real or faked. So proponents of either opinion must strive to prove their case, and similarly strive to prove the unlikelyness or improbability of the opposite if their case.

So as much as proponents that the figure is real must strive to prove such, and must prove the improbability of a fake, those who may advocate that it's a fake must prove it can have been accomplished with the materials of the time (and no one has yet), as well as prove the improbability it may be a live and unidentified primate species.

Neither side gets a free ride as the default assumption.

:)

Holdmybeer :

Thanks for the note. I will think about your question as to the "manpower, etc." needed to accomplish a hoax, but I don't want to just throw out a guess off the top of my head. Let me think it through, and I'll get back to you and the forum on this.

Bill

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Guest soarwing
.......

There is no conclusive evidence whatsoever that the figure in that footage is an unidentified species.

The default ergo should be that it's a guy in a suit until proven to be real. The desire, wish or urge to 'believe' does not or should not enter the equation.

- - -

There is no conclusive evidence whatsoever that the figure in the footage is a guy in a suit either.

That being the case, the default status of the PGF (for now) should be "inconclusive" - not the positive claim that "it's a guy in a suit".

While it's true that some think or believe that there is little or no chance of the PGF being genuine, that also should not enter the equation. You could be dead-on accurate - - but it doesn't matter. Without verifiable data it's just another opinion regardless of "probabilities".

I can understand someone lacking the belief that the PGF is genuine - and lacking belief in bigfoot as well - but that's much different than stating that the film should be considered a fake by "default".

"Fake by default" reasoning is not skepticism or even logically sound.

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Guest SoundMan
Soundman:

Here's another way to think about it.

The film is potentially remarkable evidence, with excellent scientific validity, but it is "tainted" by the accusation of being falsified. So effort to remove the accusations of being false and fabricated may then restore it's fundamental integrity as scientific evidence of an unknown bipedal primate currently not in the existant wildlife inventory.

Efforts to establish it as a known, identified and studied wildlife specimen (or human ancestral species) can simultaniously be done by the search for a live specimen. And disproving a suit or other fabricated falseness of the film doesn't give the positive search all the finality of species a live specimen would. But it may restore the integrity of one of the best pieces of evidence that justifies a search and funding to positively identify the species.

And please keep in mind, my notes are a "first draft" concept that may hopefully lead to something more structured scientifically in the future.

Bill

Bill, I realize after reading my post again that it appears I am principally addressing you. However primarily what I was addressing included comments such as what was quoted. It seems to me that there is this built in reaction to the corollary to your main objective.

On the one hand I agree with you with the falsification issue and in fact I argued pretty strenuously that if Meldrum's tracks and trackways could be classified why not the actual animal? After having spent considerable time in the field gathering data that convinces me beyond doubt that a bipedal ape-like creature exists and after reading through these threads and then after re-thinking the scientific method, I am left with the "other hand".

What is on the other hand is the issue of probabilities and possibilities. Things aren't always what they seem. The scientific method is the best means to show how things actually are. While I agree that there is an accumulation of anecdotal reports which combined create a set of physical and behavioural traits thus leading one to be able to "paint a picture" of an animal we all know as bigfoot, the problem is in sorting out which anecdotes are real and which are simply misidentifications of known animals.

Let me illustrate. I have conducted probably hundreds of hours of audio surveillance in areas where bf have been reported. I have numerous examples of what appear to be wood knocking recordings in wee hours of the morning in remote areas that fit a particular pattern. What I have found is that after time and scrutiny many of these (not all) are eliminated as possibilities of a bipedal ape-like creature causing the noise. One of them turned out to be a horse coughing but the sound clearly sounded like a wood on wood concussion and fit a pattern established by other wood knockings in other areas away from horses. How many sounds may fall by the wayside if there is not first convincing evidence linking a real bipedal ape-like creature striking a tree with a stick or branch? Even if you obtained a photograph of one doing this how do you know without being able to physically examine it what it is?

With no animal as the "holotype" as it were, there is no animal to make a comparison to and thus no means to scientifically come to an affirmative identification. The best that can be said sans a physical body for examination is that whatever is on that film has a certain set of characteristics that could be shown to make biological sense from a structural standpoint. Since this is a one of a kind film, there are not even other recorded moving images that can be used for comparative purposes to at least show that there are other things out there that have similar traits.

Again, there are no bones, no hair, no scat, no blood, no flesh, that to date have been associated with photographic evidence of something resembling this thing on the PGF. So no amount of scrutiny to the PGF can provide the positive side of the coin.

You make a good point that what it can do is provide a theoretical possibility of it being an animal and thus provide at least one reference point for an initiation of serious scientific study. Further clear video showing movement would also help to substantiate the case.

My concern is that the science does not get watered down, undermined, misused or politicized as in the case of global warming for example. In other words, we cannot let our desires get ahead of the facts or we will find that our foes will use the facts to get our heads.

Soundman

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Guest Sam Farris
Sam- What do you call those who look at Patty and believe it is a guy in a suit, yet, still believe there is a Bigfoot out there then?

Stubborn?...and in all honesty Drew my response is not meant to be flippant.

I guess I just don't know.

Sam

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Soundman:

I would agree with you and share your concern that "science does not get watered down, undermined, misused, or politicized".

So what do we do when scientists are the ones watering down, misusing and politicizing the issues? Frankly, some of the worst junk science I've ever seen or read came from esteemed paleontologists and physical anthropologists (letting their desires and agendas get ahead of the facts with dinosaurs and human origin studies, respectively).

The only thing I know, personally, is to take the issue where I have some level of experience and expertise, and try to clear up the facts from the misconceptions and false assumptions, to at least put this particular issue on a more solid foundation and level playing field. And I wish scientists would do the same. I wish skeptic would do the same.

We all would gain if they could.

Sam:

Stubborn seems the right word.

:)

Bill

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MikeZimmer
JohnWS

...

My notes, and my own curious mind, have not proven that a human in a suit or costume is impossible, to the exactitudes of science, in that film. The notes deal more with probabilities, with degrees of difficulty, and known capacities to accomplish things.

...

Bill,

Not disagreeing, but trying to formulate some caveats in this area:

Perhaps it is my background in experimental psychology that make me think so, but it seems to me that all evidence in science is to some extent probabilistic.

All observation is, by definition, subjective, and only in certain areas of science is it possible to replicate observations, or even to do all of that much experimental work. Many fields of study (e.g., Geology) are essentially historical.

Even taking a position reading from a meter is subjective, though certainly potentially repeatable. I read an excellent paper years ago as an undergrad detailing this view.

It takes a lot of creativity to do experimental work in field biology, and when I worked with the breed (drunken herpetologists), for a short time, they mostly just did species surveys along survey transect lines.

Perhaps I have it wrong but I don't like to see people applying models from hard sciences where experiment rules the day, to something like cryptid research. So, I like your probabilistic analysis, and it could probably be made more rigorous.

Regards

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Guest SoundMan
Soundman:

I would agree with you and share your concern that "science does not get watered down, undermined, misused, or politicized".

So what do we do when scientists are the ones watering down, misusing and politicizing the issues? Frankly, some of the worst junk science I've ever seen or read came from esteemed paleontologists and physical anthropologists (letting their desires and agendas get ahead of the facts with dinosaurs and human origin studies, respectively).

The only thing I know, personally, is to take the issue where I have some level of experience and expertise, and try to clear up the facts from the misconceptions and false assumptions, to at least put this particular issue on a more solid foundation and level playing field. And I wish scientists would do the same. I wish skeptic would do the same.

We all would gain if they could.

Sam:

Stubborn seems the right word.

:)

Bill

Bill,

Great question. Wish I had the right answer. But actually I think its twofold: 1) Spine and 2) Resist temptation. Science more than ever is driven by pragmatism as opposed to truth-finding. I have a good friend in the field of meteorology who is somewhat of an enigma. In my opinion he is silent when he should be more vocal on the skeptical side. However, I feel he doesn't want to cut his own throat and acquieses (can't get the red line out of that one either) to the majority opinion.

It's tough when your livlihood (I can't spell) is wrapped up in research and further research is wrapped up in only one possibility. The reality is the science is so complicated it is hard to just state the truth - We cannot know for certain at this time. More data is needed. Or the sun may trump everything else.

As far as bf research it is now the least advanced and least corrupt it will ever be. Funding of research to simply find out if they exist for the wonder of discovering the species trumps every other motive. Its just that there is very little incentive for big bucks kind of people to front such an operation. And so it is small scale and limited to eccentrics.

I have blabbered enough. Look forward to hearing Bill tonight.

Soundman

Edited by SoundMan
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