Thirty-six years after the fact, Bob Heironimus’ conscience finally caught up with him: He confessed to having donned a gorilla costume and appearing in the famous 1967 footage of Bigfoot.
1967 footage of alleged ‘Bigfoot’ creature
“It’s time people knew it was a hoax,” Heironimus told the Washington Post.
For decades, the grainy film clip has fueled study and speculation about the existence of a large mysterious creature in the Pacific Northwest.
“It’s time to let this thing go,” he told the paper. “I’ve been burdened with this for 36 years, seeing the film clip on TV numerous times. Somebody’s making lots of money off this, except for me. But that’s not the issue – the issue is that it’s time to finally let people know the truth.”
The Post reported Heironimus makes his official confession in a new book, “The Making of Bigfoot” by paranormal investigator Greg Long. The author says he spent four years investigating the 60-second film and the people behind it.
Long traced the Bigfoot costume to Philip Morris, a North Carolina gorilla suit specialist, who says he sold it for $435 to an amateur documentary maker named Roger Patterson (who died in 1972), according to the paper.
The hoax was staged near Bluff Creek in Northern California, according to Heironimus.
“Patterson was the cameraman,” Long told the Post. “They made a gentleman’s agreement that Bob would get in the suit and walk in front of the camera for $1,000.”
Heironimus’ story is a bit different.
“I was never paid a dime for that, no sir,” he said, adding, “Sure I want to make some money. I feel that after 36 years I should get some of it.”
The news doesn’t change the view of an open-minded Jane Goodall, a well-known primatologist.
“She’s spoken to people whom she respects who say they have seen one of these hominids,” said Nona Gandelman, an aide to Goodall, according to the report. “And to many other people she respects who have heard strange calls they thought were made by Bigfoot. As a scientist, she has a very open mind about this and has yet to close the door on the possibility.”
An associate of the deceased filmmaker is challenging the veracity of Heironimus’ story. The Post says it was contacted by Tom Malone, a Minneapolis lawyer, working on behalf of Bob Gimlin, an associate of Patterson’s.
“I’m authorized to tell you that nobody wore a gorilla suit or monkey suit and that Mr. Gimlin’s position is that it’s absolutely false and untrue,” Malone told the paper.