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HOLDMYBEER

CONVERSATION WITH AL DEATLEY

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HOLDMYBEER

My first attempt to interview Albert E. DeAtley of Yakima was in 1998.  I know he received my letter but I received no response. His lack of response was consistent with the reactions I have received from all the witnesses to the making of the PGF; each witness seemed to be very tired of going over the events of 50 years ago.

 

It has always been my opinion DeAtley likely knows the backstory to the film better than any other witness. Certainly, if there were monetary costs to making the film, DeAtley likely paid for it. If anyone picked up a vibe off Patterson as to the reality of the claimed encounter, DeAtley, who spent considerable time on the road with Patterson showing the film, likely formed an opinion based on something Patterson said or did during those early days.

 

In my view, to be of any investigative value, DeAtley would have to agree to a substantial interview (in person).  Just showing up on his doorstep without prior arrangement would likely produce little.  Even a cold call would not likely get into the depth of the subject.  Numbers of people have questioned DeAtley’s credibility.  Gaining corroborative details would be necessary to support his responses to broader questions.

 

In my most recent attempt at arranging an interview, I chose to send a letter that spelled out to Mr. DeAtley reasons why his cooperation would actually be to his benefit. I listed what I thought to be the best reasons for DeAtley to speak with me. From my letter:

 

Your cooperation could lead to several personal benefits. Firstly, your legacy would be enhanced. A simple internet search currently shows your name inextricably tied to Roger Patterson’s film. So long as the provenance of the film remains hidden or undocumented the film will generally be considered a hoax and your name will remain key to any unresolved doubts about the film. Secondly, while both you and I likely agree Roger had intentions of hoaxing a film, he may have had, as unlikely as it seems, a legitimate encounter with something never before filmed. Modern analytical techniques have been applied to the film and do reveal details that indicate the film is genuine. Failure to document the details of the film only guarantees the loss of potentially important evidence. Lastly, your cooperation would likely supply important facts surrounding the provenance of the film. No matter whether the film captures a real event or not, the original film is a highly collectible item of significant value. Establishing the provenance is an important step in the assessment of any collectible item.

 

I mailed the letter on October 8th, 2017.

 

On October 13th I received a call from Al DeAtley. He was cordial, business-like and asked what he could do for me. I reiterated the primary points in my letter, that I had a means of documenting the missing details about the film while also protecting any sources, that documenting the details would ultimately be to his benefit. I offered to meet with him and demonstrate the process.

 

DeAtley said he has always thought the film was a fake, that he has no proof of the hoax but that he still believes the film to be a fake. I said there were arguments that the film might be real but no one will know for sure unless we look at the details. I explained I had interviewed most of the witnesses to the making of the film, that I understood there were sensitivities that needed to be protected. I said I wanted to meet with him to demonstrate how I document facts while also protecting the sources of those facts. He seemed to think for a moment and then said,  “John, I’m 84 years old now and I just don’t want to open that thing up.” 

 

I asked DeAtley to take some time to think about it and to call me if he has a change of mind. I made clear he stood to gain benefits by cooperating in the process. He said he would call if things changed.  Our conversation ended. 

 

On November 13th I wrote another letter updating DeAtley on certain developments and indicated there was new reason to believe the film to be genuine.  I suggested he call me and that we talk further. I received no response to my letter.

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Backdoc
Posted (edited)

 

 

It seems Al just doesn’t care if it is real or a hoax.  States he always thought it was a hoax.  Maybe he feels that way.  Maybe not.  

 

For whatever his reason, sounds like it is something in his past he is done with.  Hope he reconsiders for history’s sake.

 

We all would gain if he could answer timeline Q and place of development-type of questions.  

 

Thumbs up for trying.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Backdoc

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bipedalist

Just curious HOLDMYBEER have you ever had an encounter/sighting, not that it is a talking point with this gentleman but just thinking to myself whether or not you have?

 

Feel free to respond by PM and I will honor any decision you have to keep that detail confidential.  

 

Thanks for firing off that series of letters, maybe he has some health problems and it is low on the priority list now.  

 

Perhaps he is not as sharp as he used to be. 

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HOLDMYBEER

No, no such luck.

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norseman

Good job! I wonder why he feels the film is a fake?

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OldMort
11 hours ago, HOLDMYBEER said:

On November 13th I wrote another letter updating DeAtley on certain developments and indicated there was new reason to believe the film to be genuine

 

 

Is it possible for you to share with us what these "certain developments" are that point to the film being genuine?

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Backdoc
8 hours ago, norseman said:

Good job! I wonder why he feels the film is a fake?

 

Doesn't that sum up the feelings of many though?

 

There are many who have a great interest in the PGF who still are classified as undecided.  Al could think Roger couldn't  be that lucky and still go with it anyway.  As long as the film was making money he did not have to be a convinced  himself.  Over those years it is possible Al leaned toward hoax at times and other times felt it could be real. We don't really know.  We can only go with what he has stated over the years which hasn't really been extensive.  The best I understand Al said he thought is was a hoax since he didn't think Roger could be that lucky.

 

I think it is reasonable no matter how close Al was to the events/people he had doubts.  There are many convinced it is real. There are many convinced it is fake.  (one group will end up being correct).  But, there are a lot of people who move along a complicated flux between those two certain positions.  

 

My hope is Al would just do the best he could to explain the film development timeline.  Maybe he could tell us if he financed Roger's expedition.  He would not be useful for much else as his personal feelings of the PGF don't mean anything.  The only exception is if he had proof of a hoax and wanted to come clean.

 

 

 

 

36 minutes ago, OldMort said:

 

 

Is it possible for you to share with us what these "certain developments" are that point to the film being genuine?

 

That would be interesting to all.

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HOLDMYBEER
11 hours ago, OldMort said:

 

 

Is it possible for you to share with us what these "certain developments" are that point to the film being genuine?

This may be a poor choice of words in my post. The updates I presented to DeAtley pertained to the revelation the PGF is Kodachrome II and that the only person in Washington state capable of processing such film in 1967 passed away in the month preceding my letter. Certainly keeping any secret for Frank Ishihara was no longer necessary. The mention of new reasons to believe the film to be genuine was in reference to different findings of the film that have been discussed on these forums in great detail but probably not known to DeAtley.

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OldMort

^^ Thanks for the clarification and thanks for your efforts!

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Backdoc

From Al's standpoint, why talk more about any of this?

 

If he was involved in a hoax it seems unlikely he would talk to anyone further. The fact he even responded to a 'can we talk to you?' question 'feels' like the actions of a man who was not involved or had no knowledge of any hoax.   If he was, why even give the letter/ calls any time at all?  I would think he would throw it in the trash. I think the fact Al even called back shows he was not involved in any PGF hoax.  

 

If Al was not involved he could think it real or a fake.  Either way, he might do the courtesy of a phone call and say, "look, I'm and old man now and I don't want to go back there for the 100th time on what Roger did or didn't do.  Yea, I think it was probably some hoax on Roger's part.  Heck who knows. I wish I had more I could help you with."

This might be esp. true if he didn't want to be bothered even if he thought it was a real.  Just say you think it's a hoax of some kind and get rid of the person so you are not bothered.  If you thought it was real and told the person you never get rid of them.  You invite even more disruption of life.

 

What kind of info could Al really have?

 

-A confession.  Not going to happen since he was not involved, it wasn't a hoax, or he was involved with a hoax and wouldn't likely confess anyway.

 

-More info about basics.  No doubt info on who flew the plane, what airport, where was the film developed would be great.   These seem like they are the only things Al might shed light on.  Even then, he had previously said he could not remember.  He might be able to say, "I'm not sure.  You know, I probably used <XYZ> since that is who I used back in those days."  Things like this might help.  

 

I applaud any effort to get Al to shed any light he can on any of this.  To me, the only thing we might get our of him is some possible clarification about some of the details around Oct. 20th events.  

 

Good luck and thanks for the effort.

 

 

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SweatyYeti
On 4/30/2019 at 10:36 PM, HOLDMYBEER said:

This may be a poor choice of words in my post. The updates I presented to DeAtley pertained to the revelation the PGF is Kodachrome II and that the only person in Washington state capable of processing such film in 1967 passed away in the month preceding my letter. Certainly keeping any secret for Frank Ishihara was no longer necessary.

 

 

Protecting Frank Ishihara was most certainly not the reason why Al has never revealed the details behind the film development, HMB....and for his defiance in answering questions regarding it, over the years.

 

Protecting Frank would not account for this quick, harsh ending to his interview by Greg Long... 

 

DeAtley_sByeBye1.jpg  

 

 

It seems to me that his reason has more to do with Al protecting himself/his reputation. 

 

 

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Backdoc
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, SweatyYeti said:

 

 

Protecting Frank Ishihara was most certainly not the reason why Al has never revealed the details behind the film development, HMB....and for his defiance in answering questions regarding it, over the years.

 

Protecting Frank would not account for this quick, harsh ending to his interview by Greg Long... 

 

DeAtley_sByeBye1.jpg  

 

 

It seems to me that his reason has more to do with Al protecting himself/his reputation. 

 

 

 

I agree. It sure seems that is exactly the tone here.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Backdoc

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masterbarber

Thanks for sharing, HMB. I think he probably told you what you needed to know, in your phone conversation with him.

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ShadowBorn
On ‎4‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 11:16 PM, HOLDMYBEER said:

“John, I’m 84 years old now and I just don’t want to open that thing up.” 

There could be another reason why he said this : There were two on that day when this creature was filmed. One is dead and the other is still alive doing tours. If it was a hoax well it was a well kept hoax that will die between the two. Maybe this could be his worry that he does not want to open things up. Might be better to take what he knows to the grave. Just my opinion.

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SweatyYeti
2 hours ago, ShadowBorn said:

There could be another reason why he said this : There were two on that day when this creature was filmed. One is dead and the other is still alive doing tours. If it was a hoax well it was a well kept hoax that will die between the two. Maybe this could be his worry that he does not want to open things up. Might be better to take what he knows to the grave. Just my opinion.

 

 

One problem with your theory, SB....Al has always stated that he thinks the film is a hoax. He isn't trying to "protect the hoax". 

 

In addition, Bob Gimlin wasn't making money off of the film for many years, well after Roger had passed. So, Al wouldn't have been keeping silent on the film development details for Gimlin's sake, during that period of time.  

 

 

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