The “Massacre Theory”

The Massacre Theory Hoax

On the afternoon of Oct 20th, 1967 two Washington men rode up a small creek bed in northern California on a quest for knowledge. 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 packhorse 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 history.

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 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 Academy Award winning costumer, John Chambers and Peter Brooke, head of “Jim Henson’s Creature Shop” 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 terrible 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 area… 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.


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…

Thom Cantrall

August 21st, 2014