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kitakaze

The Hoaxing Of Jerry Merritt

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kitakaze

The following are excerpts from Greg Long's interview with one of Roger Patterson's closest friends Jerry Merritt, Merritt's wife at the time, Florence Showman, and Merritt's son Larry Merritt.  Merritt lived five miles down the same road as Roger in the South Fork of the Ahtanum Valley and like Bob Heironimus and Bob Gimlin, was a cast member of Roger's Bigfoot film. 

 

Jerry Lee Merritt, MoB p. 108...

"Tracks had been found in our area there and Roger thought there was a Bigfoot there. I mean we're talkin' about right there where we lived. Now, I thought maybe they'd been planted, see. But I didn't want to get into this too deep because I'm a Jehovah's Witness, and people think I'm makin' up some demonistic story or somethin'. You know... I know a lot of things I've done. I just don't want to bring it up."

p.116...

"One night my ex-wife went down to the restroom. She looked out the window and seen a Bigfoot come right up to her. So she starts screamin'. She said it looked in at her and had red eyes. Well, I thought, maybe she imagined it. She couldn't even talk when she come up the stairs, she was so white. So did she see somethin'? No doubt. Well, Roger heard about it, and that done it. He had this giant bird cage built to put in the top of one of them cottonwood trees."


p. 119...

One night, we went to the movie, me and my wife and the two boys." Arriving home, Merritt drove down the sloping driveway. "Just as we swung in to come back in front, we seen something jump a big stump down there, like a Bigfoot down by the creek. And we really didn't think a whole lot about it because... I don't know, we just never did."

"Was it before Roger's footage?" "Yeah. It could be before that. I couldn't say, but I'll tell you what happened later."

I prayed, Tape, don't break.

"One night in the summer I had the window open in the bedroom. The bedroom was facin' out towards the ghost town. We had no street lights, but I had a 300-watt bulb on my front porch. I was layin' in bed about 2:00 in the morning. I was sleepin', and all of a sudden, something woke me up. I have never in my entire life heard anything like it! It was so loud! And it was screaming like a man. It was hurt, like a wild cave man. He was going, '
AHHHHHHHHHHHH!' It was loud, only it was different. I don't know, it wasn't a human sound, no way. And so I said, 'What's goin' on?' I thought it was over in the field. I got up. I run to the door. My dog, I heard him barking really loud, just yappin' and gettin' with it. He was a smart dog, and he was a Scottish border sheperd, a pure bred." Merritt held his hand a few feet above the floor. "He was about this tall. They have white-tipped tails." Mentally, I urger Merritt on.


"Well, I opened the door and kicked on the porch light, and I never in my entire life seen anything like it! The dust was just flyin' on the driveway. You couldn't hardly see. I looked, and the dog had this thing - this thing's rump was like this wide." Merritt measured about three feet in the air with his hands."And I thought, it's a bear, you know, but it wasn't. It wasn't a bear. It was just screamin' like a wild man. And he was reachin' down. What happened - that dog had him by the private parts! I hate to say that, but that's what happened. And so I hollered, 'Turn him loose, Tip!' And the dog turned him loose and headed back to the house, and that dog stunk so bad. I mean it was like terrible. It was a really clean dog, you know, and that thing smelt so bad, and it was going, 'AHHHHHHHH' And then it turned and went right up on the road. It wasn't fifteen feet from the road, not even that far, probably... Went out on the road there; and it headed down the road just like this." Merritt drummed his hands rapidly on the table next to him, simulating footsteps. "He had a padded sound. But you could hear it loud going down the road., just like a man runnin' barefoot down the road. And so I didn't tell anybody, you know. My wife, she knew about it, ande the boys. We went out in the driveway the next day, and there was all of these tracks. All over the driveway. Now I mean nobody - I was there when it happened, I seen it. These tracks were maybe 15 to 16", but they weren't like this, they were like this, and they were about this wide."

This event upset Merritt terribly. He worried that if Bigfoot started visiting his western town and Patterson got involved, it would ruin his new enterprise. "They'll think we made this up to try to get publicity. That's why I tried to get Roger away from there. 'Cause I thought people would say he's using this for a gimmick to try and make that town famous."

"I see."

"Do you understand where I'm comin' from now? 'Cause we had worked really hard. I told Larry, one of my boys, to sweep the tracks away. Anyway, Larry went out there and took some apple boxes, and he covered over two or three of those tracks - this is like two days later - and he went and called Roger up. Ah, ma-a-n! Here come Roger in the Volkswagen bus! He hit the brakes and jumped out, and he starts cussin' me and everything. He was so mad. Roger said, 'How come you did this, kept the tracks hidden from me?' I said to Roger, 'The reason I didn't call you I ain't made no money off of this. And not only that, I'm just **** of messin' with it. I just don't want no more of this, Roger.' Roger really got mad at me, he really did, because we had always been good friends. He went and grabbed this plaster cast thing and stirred all this stuff, and he got two or three tracks. They were good, I mean they were the real thing. I know it hadn't been faked 'cause I actually seen the thing do it! I told him, 'You don't understand what this does to us, man!' We got over it. You know, we were friends for too many years to not get over it."


Merritt begged and begged, and finally Roger agreed to keep secret where he got the tracks. I started, "If Patterson could have faked - "

"There ain't nobody that could have faked that," Merritt interrupted. "The way the dog was screamin' and bitin', and when that thing raised up, there was hair hangin' off it. And them big feet goin' down the pavement, I'll never forget that sound on a clear summer night. The dust was just foggin' everywhere. I mean, it couldn't have been faked. It could have been shot. I had a .44 Magnum, I'd shoot at anything that moved back then. No," he insisted. Now the thing that peered into the window and frightened his wife, that could have been faked. And the time his boys found tracks near the garden on the east side of the house near some garbage... "They come runnin' in the house yelling, 'We found some tracks!' They were gigantic, wide tracks. We checked them and called Roger up. He came down all excited. But there was one thing we found about them tracks. We never seen two tracks. Only the right one. That's why I thought it was fake..."

Merritt remembered one of his sons finding hair. "Roger and Bob Gimlin showed up. A gob of hair was in the crotch of a bush and stuff."

"But the prints from the right foot of the Bigfoot, you felt they were faked?" I asked.


"Yeah, I had a feelin' they were faked."

"Who would have done that?"

"Well, I thought maybe Roger tried to get us, to try to get me more involved..."
 Merritt's voice trailed off.

Fire in his blood, Patterson insisted that a Bigfoot was passing through Merritt's property because nearby was a little swampy area, and the Bigfoot might have been born there, and every fall he was foraging in the orchards for apples.

 

Florence Showman, Jerry's wife at the time, MoB, p. 131...

Soon I was on the phone with Florence Showman (née Merritt). I first introduced the subject of Bigfoot. Florence confirmed Jerry's story She described how one evening she was looking through the windows of the basement door that opened onto the back yard of the Merritt's house. Staring at her was a hairy, apelike being with reddish-brown hair hanging down from its head to it shoulders. The creature was partially grinning, and one of its hairy arms was extended towards her. She let out a cry and ran upstairs and screamed for Jerry. Not long after, Patterson came over and found some tracks supposedly left by the intruder. This first incident occurred in the summer of 1966 or 1967. Her next sighting of Bigfoot was in the driveway. She pinpointed this episode to May 1968; she had just come home from surgery.

 

Long speaks Merritt's son, Larry Merritt (MoB, p.131)...

 

He corroborated his father's account of the Bigfoot that invaded the property and was attacked by Tip. He also remembered Bigfoot tracks in the driveway, as well as a huge "bird-cage" lookout tower. 

 

JLMhdr.jpg

 

Here are some of the most salient points from these accounts...

 

- The size of the bottom of the "Bigfoot" which Merritt saw in his driveway is reminiscent of Patty though Merritt refers to it as a "him". I doubt this incident happened after the PGF. It should go without saying that I think Roger Patterson was behind the hoaxing of Jerry Merritt. I think likely the suit used by Roger was not the same or exactly the same as the one used in the PGF. I think Roger was unable to make another hoax film with the Patty suit as it was no longer in his possession after the PGF hoax.

 

- Merritt felt that the incident could not have been faked. The hoaxer did indeed take a risk of being shot and was attacked by Merritt's dog. The description of the "Bigfoot" which Florence saw outside the basement door window sounds like it may have been a Halloween mask, but it is interesting that Merritt felt convinced the driveway Bigfoot was real.

 

No doubt most here will not accept that Patterson would have been hoaxing Merritt, though Patterson had every reason to try and further indenture Merritt to his Bigfoot cause. The question then would be who do you think was hoaxing Merritt and his family in a way that was convincing to them? There is always the third option of considering that Bigfoot was in fact coming to Merritt's house.

 

One would also ask, if this was the work of Yakima hoaxers trying to pull one over on Patterson through Merritt, why then was Patterson himself never visited at home by the same Bigfoot(s) visiting his friend only five miles down the road?

 

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kitakaze

People can play Woods & Wildmen without Patterson's help.


But the subject is Bigfoot at Jerry Merritt's house. Do you think Bigfoot was really making house calls to Merritt? If not, what do you think was actually happening there. This is something that actually happened.

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norseman

That's a lot of suits and hoaxers.

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kitakaze

Only six Class A sightings on record with the BFRO...

http://bfro.net/GDB/show_county_reports.asp?state=wa&county=Yakima

Even if you always needed suits and hoaxers to account for Woods & Wildmen, which you don't, no, that's not a lot of anything.

Jerry Merritt was the target of multiple Bigfoot hoaxes. Patterson needed Merritt's support and wanted his Dry Gulch western movie theme town to be focused on Bigfoot. The Bigfoot that made house calls on Merritt never turned up at Patterson's house only five miles down the road.

If not Patterson, who was hoaxing Merritt to the degree that he could not accept what he saw was fake?

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norseman

Just in that county alone there are six class A sightings.

And I have no idea who might be hoaxing this man, but a couple of thoughts. First if you had a suit that belonged to Roger Patterson? I think it would be easy to verify if it had gone through the trauma of a dog biting and tearing at its crotch area. Did Roger Patterson ever go to the hospital for dog bite?

Lastly it boggles my mind that if a dog is attacking a suit that the suit would fail pretty easily. And that the owner would see the evidence of that all over their yard.

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kitakaze

The alternative being that a Scottish shepherd can maul a Bigfoot without being ripped in half. Patterson was not much over five feet tall. Him being the one wearing the suit would not be in keeping with what we know of him.

The "Bigfoot" screamed like a man when attacked and then ran down the street. This was a hoax. If someone was doing it to target Patterson, how come they did not bother to target Patterson himself? Hoaxing Merritt to indenture the support Patterson needs from him is a strong motivation. By the account of Harvey Anderson, Patterson had already been trying his hand at hoaxing since at least 1961.

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norseman

He then went on to say that it was a wild cave man sound and then later said it wasn't a human sound at all.

I have no doubt that if a dog was biting my crotch I could be capable of some pretty horrific sounds. But at 6'3" I have no doubt I could make that dog see the light as well. So your right in the fact that a Bigfoot should be able to do worse than me.

But still on the flip side? Was the suit made out of Kevlar?

I have no idea what you have here, but I reckon I could tell the difference between a hoax and a animal that is having its crotch bitten off....

Any blood found?

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kitakaze

If the suit were to incorporate hip waders that would not be something at Scottish shepherd could easily bite through. Merritt was very specific in indicating the large size of the rump, so there was likely at least some padding. Whether the dog had a mouthful of suit only, or actually hit gold can not be known.

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norseman

Assuming its a hoax I think we can determine the dog hit pay dirt by the sounds being emitted by the victim.

Edited by norseman

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kitakaze

Well, the screams could have been from fear, but I would have no problem going with the Tip did hit the target. No skin need be broken. Were similar pressure put on me, I'm sure I would be hitting every note in the book.

What we can fairly conclude was Patterson would not himself suit up. It's neither his style nor anywhere in the neighbourhood for his stature being as short as he was. Patterson would get others to don the costume, such as when he did his first 1961 film using a rented costume from LA.

Personally, I think Merritt's credulity is somewhat understandable given he thinks a hoaxer was taking a great risk. Indeed Merritt could have shot the "Bigfoot" and I doubt the hoaxer was prepared for dog on junk. The hoaxer was someone who knew Merritt well enough to know appropriate times to appear and how. Once jumping a stump by Merritt's creek, once outside the basement door window, once in the the driveway in the middle of the night. This is not including all the track laying incidents.

I think Patterson probably had plied Merritt so many times with the notion of Bigfoot being a primitive human that he felt confident hoaxing Merritt would not result in any gunfire. Patterson was not above very bad decision making. Regardless, the suit maker was not prepared for Tip the Scottish shepherd...

28327ba4c14dff6267cfde696bb00394.jpg

Edited by kitakaze

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roguefooter

If not Patterson, who was hoaxing Merritt to the degree that he could not accept what he saw was fake?

 

Why don't you ask the only guy in the city of Yakima who admitted to wearing a Bigfoot suit and having one in his car?

 

That others are witness to him having a suit in his car?

 

That people have heard that he had a suit made from gray horsehide?

 

 

This comment is very telling:

 

" Well, Roger heard about it, and that done it. He had this giant bird cage built to put in the top of one of them cottonwood trees."

 

So Roger went through the trouble of building a giant cage trap for something he was hoaxing himself? Where's the logic in that Kit?

Edited by roguefooter
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PBeaton

kitakaze,

 

It's  hilarious you use this as evidence to support the rest of your BS ! Do ya want one thumbs up...or two ?

 

Pat...

Edited by chelefoot
2a

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Rockape

You should re-title this thread Kit, it sounds like you are calling Jerry Merrit a hoaxer.

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kitakaze

I'm unable to re-title the thread, but I'm fine with the title and the OP makes very clear Merritt and his family were the hoaxees, not the hoaxers.

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