Massacre Hoax

Chapter 3-3

The Massacre Theory Hoax


Thom Cantrall

            When our two men rode up that small creek bed in northern California they were searching for a myth… a creature who did not exist, according to science.  In the afternoon of that day, those men, mounted on their saddle horses and leading a pack horse rode around a large root wad left from one of the myriad trees washed out in the infamous 1964 floods that inundated most of northern California.  With that small step, they rode out of obscurity and into destiny.

For nearly five decades now, science and the public has tried their very best to debunk those few frames of film that gave truth to what a lot of us had known to be the case for many years prior.  It appears that every major attempt to discredit the subject only results in proving it further.  There are many experts like John Chambers and Peter Brooke who have testified publicly that it would have been IMPOSSIBLE to make a suit to do all that was seen in that film in 1967… but, it seems that there are many who are simply not to be swayed by facts when their minds are made up.  Today we are again assaulted by one such who tirelessly advances his pet theory, even though it makes absolutely no sense when viewed in the light.

A few years ago, at a conference in Ohio, someone advanced the theory that Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin did not encounter one female sasquatch that October day, but many and their response was to immediately shoot and kill several of them.  It was hypothesized that they obtained a backhoe to use in burying the bodies of these several dead beings.  The evidence cited does not bear up under scrutiny to anyone who understands the situation there.  Very few of those espousing this ludicrous theory have ever even been to the site, let alone investigated the claims.

The theory does not state how they happened on so many of these elusive creatures to begin with, nor does it offer any explanation as to why these intelligent beings, if so encountered would stand around allowing two men (only one of whom had a rifle as the other one was carrying a camera) to decimate their ranks with shot after shot, felling first one then another.  I don’t recall how many were allegedly murdered in this fashion. I’ve heard numbers that varied from five to nine.  Bob was, indeed, armed with a 30’06 bolt action rifle.  This rifle will hold five rounds in the magazine.  Bob has stated to me that it was loaded with 180 grain bullets, his elk load…

Let us examine this precept a moment. In all accounts where men have purportedly had to shoot at these creatures, in no case was there ever a one shot kill.  In the case of the Ape Canyon incident, many shots were fired and no bodies were ever found.  It boggles my mind to think that Bob could then expect to kill five of these beings with five shots.  The sasquatch weigh between five hundred and nine hundred pounds with some going larger than that.  Let’s compare that for a moment to an elk.  I have hunted elk and I have taken many of them.  A mature Roosevelt Elk will have a very similar body mass to the described sasquatch. I have NEVER had a one shot kill on a mature elk. Not ever… the minimum was two shots and I have taken as many as five shots to anchor a large animal.  Now, we are asked to believe that not one, but at least five such occurrences materialized? Of course, he could have reloaded… and, in fact, he would have had to have reloaded to murder creatures six through nine.

Bob’s rifle was a Remington bolt action… a model I myself owned many years ago.  In fact, my brother owns that rifle to this day as far as I know… it is top fed, meaning replacement cartridges are loaded through an open bolt down into the magazine one at a time.  This takes considerable time.  Now, think about this… what are these beings doing while he is reloading?  Evidently, according to the theory, they are lining themselves up, one behind the other so more than one could be killed with each shot.  Lest one think this possible, I have never had that bullet from that rifle penetrate an elk completely.  Never…

This begs another question… since we know that it was impossible for one person to have perpetrated this disaster, if Roger was indeed, helping with the murders… where did the film of Patty come from?  Perhaps he filmed her before the massacre and the victims all stood around and watched while the one subject exited the scene in a timely manner.  If this was not the case, perhaps Patty came back to get her frames of glory after the others were all dead?  No?  Oh… okay. Yes, I understand I’m being ludicrous here but no more ludicrous than the basic premise is to begin with.

I wondered what “evidence” led to this outrageous theory in the beginning.  In researching it, I found that one of the main observations was what appeared to be, on first look, a pool of standing water.  The author of this theory had postulated that this is not water, but is, in fact, blood.  Why?  Because it appeared red in the film…

Excuse me, but what time of day was this film made?  Oh?  Afternoon?  At the bottom of a canyon with the sun sliding down the western sky… Every photographer worth his ASA/DIN number knows that the later in the day one goes, the lower the angle of the sun, the more RED there is in the light… add to that, this was late October.  In the fall there are many shrubs that grow in this region that have leaves which turn red when the chlorophyll retreats to the roots for storage over the cold season of winter.  A couple of the more prominent of these species that are found in the Bluff Creek, California region are vine maple (Acer circinatum) and poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum).  There are others, of course, but these are prevalent in the area.

In addition, the trees growing on that flat creekbottom are RED Alder… Alnus rubra (rubra being Latin for RED…).  Most of those trees pictured in the flat are broken and bleeding red alder, having been survivors of a hundred year flood only just prior to this event. When red alder is damaged and the bark torn, it exudes a red tinted fluid…

Now, is it any great question where a red tint to that water might have come from?  Is it still a mystery to anyone?

Another comment concerns the supposition that the hunters might have been using dogs to chase the sasquatch because what appears to be a dog track appears in one photo.  This area is wild with coyotes… wild dogs… there are wolves known to roam here as well… another dog… and a week after the film was shot, dogs were, indeed brought in in an attempt to trail Patty… unsuccessfully, of course as I have never seen a dog who would track a sasquatch.  They simply will not do it.

In 1967, there was very little logging occurring in the region due to the incredible storm.  Roads were in a terrible state and simply could not yet sustain the truck traffic necessary to haul the logs.  The washed out logs in the creeks had been salvaged, for the most part, but little logging was going on then.  I worked for a major timber company some eleven years later and we did log in that drainage and little had been done before us.

For the final nail in the coffin of this foolishness, consider this… In 1967 there was no taboo against shooting one of these creatures.  In fact, he was being actively hunted in many areas… always without success.  Roger wanted a film to prove his thesis of their existence, but what would have proven it better, or would have supplemented a film more than the body of a sasquatch?  Then, as now, scientists would have clamored for such.  Why in the world would anyone seeking to prove their existence in the absence of any form of censure not have brought one of those bodies out to, at least, have it mounted to display with his film? It totally defies any kind of logic that this could have been the case.

The Hoax, Part II

            As is fairly common with such people as those who author these fantasies, as soon as this argument was logically presented, the scenario changed… it was no longer Bob and Roger who were the trigger men, but the “Evil Timber Companies” who were doing this to protect their interests.  Of course, there was no evidence of this evil doing, just the rantings of an individual.

Do I believe it impossible that a timber company would do things to ensure the continued viability of their businesses?  Oh yes!  Without a doubt they would and have!  I have, personally, known of incidences where timber companies have perpetrated hoaxes to help their cause.  Most commonly, as in the case of a major timber holder on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, they create fake tracks… such as those faked by road builder Ray Wallace in 1958 in this same Bluff Creek area.

The tracks they left were in an area where they were sure to be found and were ludicrously easy to identify as false.  The rationale, was simple… if this set of tracks is found to be fake, that makes every track ever found in the history of man fake as well in the minds of the general public.  With this history intact, now, whenever new evidence is found, they can simply laugh it off as another incident of fake tracks… “after all, weren’t those found in our yard office parking lot proven to have been faked?  It’s just another case of the same thing!”  Hence, there is less danger to their operations from the machinations of the preservationists that plague all those who would use the wild places.

What mitigates against this possibly being the case in this instance?  What factors are different from the scenario just presented?  To begin with, that company in Washington owned its own timberland… they were protecting access to their own resources.  The land at question in California is publicly owned.  It is part of Six Rivers National Forest and is owned by the American people and managed by the U.S. Forest Service branch of the Department of Agriculture.  There is no “evil timber company” involved in the process.

To explain that process… At that time in history, the Forest Service was charged with managing the timber resources within the National Forest system, including the sales of standing timber to feed the need for lumber and paper products in the world.  Periodically, the USFS would determine how much timber could be removed from the National Forest in question and still maintain the charges the managers had to maintain a sustained yield and multiple uses of the forests.

The individual Ranger District, in this case, Orleans Ranger District of the 6 Rivers National Forest, would mark out the areas that would be their highest priorities for harvest.  These “Sales” would then be advertised for bid.

There might be as many as thirty or more timber companies and sawmills bidding on any single sale depending on a myriad of factors including timber type and grade, distance to their manufacturing facility, ease of harvest and many others.  All bids are sealed.  There is no opportunity to change one’s bid when bidding is declared closed… a time designated in the sale information.

The winning bidder then had a specific period of time to build needed roads to access the standing timber, log the sale units and transport the wood off the ground.  This, being USFS wood, it was not eligible for export in raw log form.  It had to be manufactured in some way domestically, usually into the form of lumber, plywood or wood chips for paper, depending on the grade of the particular log.  It should be noted that the resultant product was then deemed qualified for export.  Also, many companies that had their own timberland holdings could and did purchase these sales to run their domestic mills so they could export the timber off their own land to gain the higher prices paid for export logs than what could be realized for logs used for domestic production.

Once the buyer was determined through this bid process, he would then engage contractors to construct the necessary road, fell the timber, log the timber and haul the logs to his required destinations.  Often, a prime contractor was engaged and all the subsequent legs of harvest would be effected by that entity.  A single buying company might have as many as thirty or more contractors available to them that they used as occasion demanded.  Likewise, a single contractor may work for multiple buyers, either simultaneously or separately.

It should be obvious from this description that the concept of an “evil timber baron” simple does not work.


            In view of the actual evidence as presented here in a logical, respectful manner, I do believe that no one with more than four active brain cells could possibly have believed that this “theory” could possibly be true.. and we did not even discuss where the mystery backhoe that would have been necessary to bury so many large bodies came from, how it got three and a half miles back up a narrow, steep sided creek channel to the film site in order to do this work and who would have operated it in this rocky defile… and, lastly, it’s just this.  Bob Gimlin looked me directly in the eye and said, “Thom, that day there were three beings in the bottom of that canyon… There was Roger, there was me and there was that creature… there was no one else nor was there anything else that happened other than what you see there and what I have related…” and I believe him because, above all else, Bob Gimlin is a genuine MAN… there is not an ounce of coyote in him and there is even less back up…. (you might have to be a cowboy to understand the last, if you have trouble with it, contact me and I’ll explain it to you…)

It’s most interesting to me that none of those promoting this poppycock will look me in the eye and speak straight concerning it… Now… you decide… Those are the facts… they are not suppositions nor are they pipe dreams…

This essay is Chapter 3-3 of this book… Order your signed copy here… or thru


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