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Saturday, January 30, 2010

"The Harley Hoffman Film": Teetering On the Edge Of Credibility And Incredibility

By James Alex Gerard

I've seen a number of films -- supposedly showing actual Bigfoot subjects -- come and go over the years. Most are downright laughable, obvious hoax attempts. But in my studies of such films, I recently came upon one that I considered unique.

I could find little information about it, except that it was attributed to one Harley Hoffman, and was taken in 2001 in British Columbia. The clearest video clip I found was posted here:

In my view, this film teeters on the edge of credibility and incredibility. First of all, I'll say that if that's a costume, it's a rather detailed one. Although the subject stays in frame only briefly, I note its apparent size -- mainly height and broadness -- compared with the surrounding environment. It has some scale to it, and I can tell it's big -- whatever it is.

If it's a person in a costume, it's a large person who's unusually wide, or the outfit itself has outstanding bulk. And I perceive a degree of musculature in the subject's shoulder and upper-back movements.

I also note the apparent patchy fur, and it's dark -- basically black -- coloration. Costumed hoaxers I've seen employ outfits with uniformed, even-distributed body hair or fur coverings. In addition, Bigfoot costumes I've seen use a brown color scheme, although the Halloween-type Gorilla novelty suits tend to be ebony in color. But the subject in "The Hoffman Film" sure doesn't look like any stock Halloween-type costume I've seen.

That suggests that modifications would be required to make it appear more credible, and I have my doubts that's what I'm seeing there. Also, the subject appears to have some sort of obtrusion on its upper back, from what I see. It resembles those square, padded neck and head protectors I've seen football players wear. Or maybe it's just my failing eyesight in my middle age, or some effect from the dark subject area -- or the lighting itself.

I'll say that the subject I see in this video bears a remarkable similarity to the subject I see in the Patterson-Gimlin film. It appears these two subjects are physically related, as it refers to a common ancestry or genetic background. And I do not feel it's case of reverse engineering by the costume-maker -- if it's such.

Considering the videos of supposed Bigfoot I've seen, it's only "The Hoffman Film" that comes close to having that same measure of "Boy, that looks like a real one" that I feel marks the subject seen in the 1967 film.

Now the downside of what I see. The subject stays in frame only briefly and fleetingly. There also appears to be some editing done on the clips, where the subject is at close first, then is seen at a distance in the next shot. And the subject never turns to the camera, keeping its front out-of-shot. Without being viewed from this angle, the subject lacks the detail seen in the Patterson-Gimlin film.

For those who haven't seen the digital enhancement of the subject's "mug shot" from the Patterson-Gimlin film, I found a "magnify-able" (enlarge and take a good look!) image posted here:

So, with "The Hoffman Film," we have the subject walking away from camera shot, so added physical detail is absent. And the subject never seems interested in the filmmaker, if it even recognizes or acknowledges the fact it's being observed.

I'll conclude that I believe in what I am seeing as some sort of unique species -- and not a costumed individual. I feel something "real" is captured on that film, and that it's also not some computer-generated, "digital special effect."

Like the Patterson-Gimlin film, if it's a hoax, it's a good one. -- and I've been fooled once again.

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