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Where Is The Patterson-Gimlin Film Site?


Where is the PGF Site?  

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Here are two maps of the upper Bluff Creek basin, the confines of which are known to be the area where the famous PGF was shot in 1967.

However, there is much dispute as to the EXACT location.

The first map is a wide view, just up from Louse Camp.

The second map, not to wholly bias the answers, shows the more precise area where most believe the location is.

In studying this so far I have found the following.

* MK Davis feels the site is 500 yards or so downstream from the "bat boxes" at the landing below the dirt road seen in map 2.

* Peter Byrne says it is is right across the creek from the nearest bat box at the bottom of the road.

* Christopher Murphy thinks the site is right at the bottom of the "big gulch" bend seen in Map 2, just east of the little creek.

* Daniel Perez was seen identifying the site and investigating just up from Murphy's location.

* Perez' BIGFOOT AT BLUFF CREEK places the site, according to Dahinden, upstream just a bit, on the second segment of sand bar, just below the "bowling alley" (where the creek juts directly north).

* Cliff Barackman (and myself, currently) believe the last choice to be correct. Associates and I are currently investigating this and documenting topography, dimensions, extant background trees, etc.

* Others, such as some locals like Al Hodgson, think it was shot WAY downstream, more towards Louse Camp. None seem to agree on this locally.

* A few speculate that it was shot up at the top of the "bowling alley," or perhaps even so far upstream and to the east as Scorpion Creek (off the maps provided here).

Weigh in: take the images and in your favorite image processing program put an "X" or arrow to the spot you favor.

Any supporting reasons or evidence, text or photos, as to why you believe such would be greatly helpful to all.

Note: the "bat boxes" are just to the other side of the small creek entering the gulch, past to the west where the road is shown ending on these maps. The road actually goes down past that little creek a few dozen yards.

Below please find two other maps that show the views of others so far.

Best to all, and thanks!


Bigfoot Books, Willow Creek

Bigfoot's bLog: http://bigfootbooksblog.blogspot.com/

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Edited by BigfootBookman
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post-37-073580800 1285963955_thumb.jpg

Here is a close-up Google Earth view,

the "bat box" landing is to the left,

the "bowling alley" is to the right,

and the "big gulch" is basically at center.

If you have a different notion, do feel free to post your own images, potentially with GPS coordinates.

Below are three more views, for your reference. At the very bottom are some GPS locations found using the TopoQuest web site. These are not verified on-site yet,



Bigfoot Bookman

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Here are the approximate co-ordinates we got in using the TopoQuest site. Your results may vary. The MK Davis site, as told to us by Weaverville researcher, Sean Fries, is 500 yards downstream from the "bat boxes."

Upper sand bar (Barackman location)

Map Center: N41.44069° W123.70039°

Daniel Perez' "X" (after Dahinden, as in Bigfoot at Bluff Creek)

Map Center: N41.44047° W123.70082°

Lower bar and gulch (as Christopher Murphy places it, and where Perez was seen walking around in 2003 and 2006)

Map Center: N41.43942° W123.70186°

Ferris Camp (historical) Locale [NEWS TO US!]

N41.44151° W123.70145°

Northern top of "Bowling Alley"

Map Center: N41.44347° W123.69975°

Bat Boxes (approximate) car/log landing

Map Center: N41.43854° W123.70453°

Datum: NAD27

USGS Map Name: Lonesome Ridge, CA Map MRC: 41

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a slightly rough sketch-out of our investigation on 10-10-2010.

We feel we have fairly conclusively proved the site and the approximate trackway. More formal measurements of the site dimensions and more confirmation of the background trees will have to be done on the next trip.

post-37-021668400 1287005477_thumb.jpg Click to Enlarge

Refer to maps above to find our location of the PGF Site in a larger context.

Results will be posted soon to my blog, with full elaboration and historical and current-day photographs.

Videos of our expedition shot and produced by Ranger Robert Leiterman will soon be up on BFRO-Videos on YouTube.

A rough preliminary write-up and summary:

We traced the old Jeep road up the creek, finding remaining signs of it there even today. We also think we have located the P-G base camp site and the proper film site/trackway location.

Well, we ruled out the MK Davis, Peter Byrne and Christopher Murphy film site locations, and clarified where it really is. I truly believe, all based on one "aerial" photo Rene D fortunately thought to take in 1972, that the case is now in the bag. I think Cliff Barackman's location is just slightly off. We climbed down the hill from above and I think very clearly found from that angle the properly rounded front of the sandbar, conforming perfectly to Dahinden's photo. Tall trees in back led us further. Moving back we found a cluster of big trees and an old stump buried by a big fern that match the film and known measurements pretty darn well exactly. The images will have to be manipulated in Photoshop to get the right comparative perspective (impossible now due to vegetation growth) to the old film site photos. The "big tree" seems still to be there. One large fir in that area seems to have fallen onto the sandbar. It has an alder growing out of its top, so now we need a tree ring sample to know its age. I feel no lingering doubt that we now know the exact location. Now all we need to do is measure the trackway in there for exactitude.

For now,



Bigfoot Books, Willow Creek

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This is very interesting, indeed. Thank-you so much for the great info., Steve! It would be so awesome to be in that exact spot on Wednesday or, any other time. Yep, I think I'm fixin' to pack my campy box and roll out. :B

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NYCBIG==Though I do not know anyone of that stature, I do know people who could fit the height and nearly the bulk of the previous 6'5" size for Patty. Ha ha.

However, it would do little good, as one cannot SEE into nor across the sandbar any longer. One can see the gravel bar in front, or go to the back and see the big trees, but internally it is a dense new forest, grown up since 1967, full of maples, vine maples and lots of young alders, not to mention the bracken brush and ferns, and many areas where seepage and run-off have created bogs and depressions in the sand bar.

This is why it is so difficult to re-identify the place, and why so many who were there back in the day can no longer recognize it. We were forced to look at the general topography from above, and then the bigger old-growth trees in back, always comparing with the older photos and Rene Dahinden's "X" as found on the map in Daniel Perez' BIGFOOT AT BLUFF CREEK booklet.

We think we finally know the real place, where no one else can prove it or really knows. By using topography and general sense to rule out the Davis, Byrne and Murphy sites we narrowed it down. We do not know, however, how precise Rene intended his "X" to be, nor whether it referred to the end, start or middle of the film. Hence we had to dispense even with that, and use other means to find the spot. We think, provisionally, that we have. A return trip will be required to get in there and try to measure the space. We used a laser pointer and eyeballing and pacing to get a general sense of the proportions, but a real tape measure will be necessary. It is just too dense, even to try to lay a straight measure line or do surveying like Dahinden did back in 1972 and 1977.

Here are two photos I took last weekend. One shows the bracken alders and the big fir trees in the background, the other shows Ranger Robert Leiterman, who is under six feet tall, standing on the front of the gravel bar where the old Rene Dahinden photo is centered (I believe). Enjoy.

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Photos by Steven Streufert, 2010; free to use with citation and blog link. CLICK TO ENLARGE.


Steve, BF Books


do you know anyone 7 ' 6 " so we can see what that looks like at the site?

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This would be roughly where they first saw the creature:

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This is the Rene Dahinden 1972 "aerial" photo of the site:

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With details...

The spot on the gravel bar where we were, roughly where Leiterman is standing, above:

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Here is the "big tree" cluster in Rene's image, where we found what we think is seen in the background of the film:

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Here is the cluster of big trees in back:

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You can see both big trees in frame 352, here:

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One problem remains... we cannot get the image of the trees we found from the perspective seen in the film. There is just no way to see them through the woods. In the recent "trees cluster" photo above, for instance, we are viewing from the south and east, whereas in the film Patterson is viewing them from the south and west. In the Dahniden "aerial" photo he is looking basically north and slightly east. Up close, with my little CyberShot camera, the size of these trees just does not get captured. These are, I assure you, big old-growth Douglas fir.

More later. Comments?



Bigfoot Books

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YAKCAM--just wait until you see the videos!

I'll post notice here. Leiterman has been editing our two weekends up there, but he's busy now preparing his talk for BIGFOOT DISCOVERY DAYS in Santa Cruz this weekend.

Hopefully they will be up, at least the first round of them, late this month.

I'll present dozens more pictures with a full analysis on my blog, hopefully on October 20th, the 43rd anniversary of the film.

One interesting bit of news is that they have CLOSED the road in to the PGF site. Now one has to either hike in from the dead end (almost a mile down) or hike up the creek from the lower bridge, replicating the Patterson-Gimlin horse ride up to the site that day. Here is a photo of the berm of definite closure--this one has been "put to bed":

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Behind this is a large gulch, which no 4WD truck can get past.

Here is one showing where the road once was. Now it has been restrored as a creekbed running down into the lower PGF site.

post-37-086946500 1287093340_thumb.jpg

Photos by Steven Streufert, 2010. Free to use with citation and blog link. CLICK TO ENLARGE.

Do check in at: http://bigfootbooksblog.blogspot.com/

Videos will be posted here, eventually:



BF Books

I'm really enjoying this thread, thanks very much for taking the effort to go into detail and posting the photos, much appreciated!

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Guest parnassus


I believe it was Peter Byrne who indicated that there was a small road on the east side of Bluff Creek, coming off of 12N10 near Notice Creek. I think he believed that Patterson and Gimlin were riding up that small road. I don't see anything on your maps that matches his map. Do you know if he was correct on that? If not, do you think that P and G were off road at that time?

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Byrne talks about that in his book, as I recall. However, he gets certain details wrongly (like the current film site location, I believe). The map in his book is UTTERLY useless, and completely off scale. It is actually 12N13 that goes over the bridge, and then down to Louse Camp. This is also the road where the current road (not there in 1967) spurs off down from the ridge to the PGF site. The 12N10 is the road that goes down to Louse Camp from Onion Mountain, and used to go back up to the ridge but has since been closed. It spurs up right above the bridge over Bluff Creek, where 12N13 goes over and past the bridge, so the confusion in the statement is understandable. The old 12N10 ran along the western ridge above Bluff Creek and eventually met up with Lonesome Ridge Road.

post-37-071851400 1287115972_thumb.jpg Bridge with clear old road cut entering creek.

From a tip from Al Hodgson about where he and others put in to the creek to access the film site, back in the old days before this bridge and the road down were built, he said that there was a ford across the creek. This spot can be found on your topo map if you head up from Louse Camp about a mile to where the road hits a high northward tip, and then drops back down southward. The ford went across the creek or up the creek, as this area was basically a triple junction. We looked under the bridge and at the banks of the creek, and indeed there are faint traces of where the ford was apparently cut, with a road cut totally obvious at the area on the east bank heading down into the creek.

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From Barbara Wasson's book, SASQUATCH APPARITIONS, we got that Patterson and Gimlin had crossed the creek at the bridge above Notice Creek (NOT the Notice Creek bridge itself), the one where it actually crosses Bluff Creek. The Notice Creek bridge (marked 1958, during Jerry Crew's time) is down by Louse Camp. Wasson says they proceeded up the creek here from the Bluff Creek bridge about a half a mile or so, and there they established their base camp site. Interestingly, it is very close to Gimlin's statement of 2.5 miles from this camp, up the creek, to the PGF site itself, it being about 3.5 miles from Louse Camp. Our associate, Robert Leiterman, measured the distance when he hiked up the creek, using a GPS unit, to get these measurements.

post-37-092429500 1287116326_thumb.jpg Map red dots are the bridge and the PGF site, the more faint one is Onion/Blue Creek Mountain junction.

On our second trip we went past the first gravel/sand bar up from the bridge, our initial suspect for the P-G base camp from our first trip, and we found a much better prospective area. This spot is a more raised sandbar, and is pretty much exactly a half mile upstream. At this spot we spotted an old piece of rebar metal pole, and we suspect that this may actually have been hammered in here by Rene Dahinden to mark the site. Rene did this on the PGF site as well, so why not here? Of course, we can't prove it; but it is so close to what Wasson says that we feel very close to convinced. After all, Wasson had many dealings with Rene, most surely her source on these matters. This would have been an ideal camp area, with fodder and room for horses, the only problem being that the "road" up the creek would have had to ford a couple of times to get to it (unless they just drove up the creek itself).

post-37-063226200 1287115784_thumb.jpg Probable P-G base camp site, with rebar marker.

Indeed, from my conversation with Jim McClarin recently, we knew that the old road (built in again after the 1964 flood for salvage logging in 1965-66, according to Al Hodgson) did indeed go up the creek, fording it frequently as the creek meandered back and forth in its bed. McClarin went up in a Jeep driven by Richard Henry, about two weeks after the film was shot (source, Daniel Perez; though McClarin recalls it being earlier). I have pretty darn good descriptions from him of the road up, the "horse camp" or "corral" down from the film site, and the film site itself with the creekbed road going up along its southern/eastern side. He was there after Titmus, and notes that they found plaster remains on the sandbar and around the ten tracks that Titmus cast.

There is much confusion and speculation on this old creek "road," part of which is now still present on the maps as the "Bluff Creek Trail." From all I can find about this, it was never a proper road, but more of a cat trail that was periodically bulldozed through to allow access for logging or other operations. It apparently had gravel put down on it at times, according to McClarin. However, there is no way it could be called a real road in the places where one would have been forced to enter the creek or ford it. In the summer season until October the road would have been easily drivable by a Jeep or even a logging truck, as the creek runs rather low and shallow until the rains come. Recall that Gimlin was unable to exit this way due to mudslides and flooding that night of the 20th (morning of the 21st, actually), and they had to take the road up the ridge toward where they got stuck and had to retrieve a backhoe from the Blue Creek Mountain construction zone to get back out.

post-37-079727400 1287116643_thumb.jpg Road cut just down from "bat boxes" landing and film site.

In our second day we paid special attention to the old signs of road cuts as we hiked all the way up the creek to the PGF site. These cuts are still readily visible in places, as is the course of the track over flat areas that have not been subject to erosion by the creek. We filmed and photographed these, and our observations all correspond with McClarin's characterization of the road's disposition. At the area of the film site McClarin describes the road coming in on the northern or "western" side of the creek (at this point it has bent to the east, causing many oldtimers to have the directions off when the describe it), and then fording at the area at the western edge of the "bat boxes" clearing (this took a touch of interpretative work on my part to place where he was describing). At this point they proceeded just a little ways (he says maybe a hundred yards) upstream to the south side of the film site, where the road proceeded around the site and beyond. There is a sketch by Richard Henry in BIGFOOT TIMES (I'll post it if Daniel Perez will give permission) which shows them parking on the film site's "big bend". Looking at the site and the creek in general today it is difficult to imagine there being a road in through there. One has to remember that there was a lot more sand and gravel deposited on the bars, due to the 1964 flood, and that the road had been either buried or washed clean away by that flood. I'd imagine that it had to be regularly plowed through to be useful at all, though the creek provides a generally good access (illegal now, I am sure) for a good off-road vehicle and a driver with the guts to take it on. There has been much erosion and settling, such that the creek today generally looks like it has returned to its original natural state.

post-37-077066900 1287116904_thumb.jpg Image: not much room for a road today. Images above (save for book and map) by Steven Streufert, free to use with citation and blog link. CLICK TO ENLARGE

More will follow on my blog. Pictures, too. This is just a short overview.



Bigfoot Books


post-37-036458500 1287117502_thumb.jpg Members of the "Expedition," October 9, 2010


I believe it was Peter Byrne who indicated that there was a small road on the east side of Bluff Creek, coming off of 12N10 near Notice Creek. I think he believed that Patterson and Gimlin were riding up that small road. I don't see anything on your maps that matches his map. Do you know if he was correct on that? If not, do you think that P and G were off road at that time?

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  • 4 weeks later...

post-37-037400000 1289429836_thumb.jpgRelevant to this issue is my informal INTERVIEW WITH JIM MCCLARIN, who was there then, 1967, right after the film was shot.

Check it out:


or perma-linked:


MORE TO COME. This is just the preliminary information. Coming up, some talks with John Green, Peter Byrne, Cliff Barackman, and info from Sean Fries and Daniel Perez, complete with some diagrams on the various proposed PGF site locations.

Should be fun.

And check in to BFRO Videos to see the full presentation and on-ground investigations we did.


Steve, Bigfoot Books, Willow Creek

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This is the map from Barbara Wasson's book. CLICK TO ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING.

Edited by BigfootBookman
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Are you griping, or griping about the gripers?

Not so sure what you mean here.

For those who might gripe: No Books Are Being Sold Here.

So, there you go.

This is just me spending WAY TOO MUCH time on Bluff Creek and the PGF history, when I really should be working.



In before the first gripe about allowing booksellers to post here.

BTW, here's one of Jim McClarin walking on the PGF site, summer 1968, taken by John Green

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