July 12, 2006

Men in Bigfoot Research, Scott Herriott

If you are a member of the Bigfoot Forums, you come across many personalities, and you may be very surprised who you come across. When I first began reading the Bigfoot Forums I kept seeing the username Yetifan. Who is this I wonder?

Fast forward to the 2005 Texas Bigfoot Conference. On my second day I was introduced to Scott Herriott a/k/a "Yetifan", and I was amazed. Not only is Scott a very intelligent guy - he has to be about the funniest person I have met in my life. I never really had a chance to talk to Scott at the conference, only because everytime he opened his mouth, I was laughing too hard. Dont let his sense of humor fool you - Scott Herriott is a walking book of information on the Patterson/Gimlin Film. I have read his many posts on this subject, and while I have a different opinion, I respect his knowledge on this subject.

Scott has also been very open about the fact that he has had a sighting himself. In fact, I remember seeing the video of his sighting on television - long before I ever knew who he was on the Bigfoot Forums website, or even before I was an active researcher. I have always been impressed by his down to earth way of approaching his own encounter. While he does have a video of the experience, he still questions what exactly happened.

I am very honored that Scott agreed to this interview, and I can not thank him enough. If you do not know Scott Herriott - you really should. :)

Men in Bigfoot Research Scott Herriott a/k/a "Yetifan"

Question: Please tell the readers about yo

Scott Herriott: Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California. Went to Cal State Northridge and the University of Leeds in England for college. My major was Religious Studies (natural progression in to all things Bigfoot :)) Find the entire phenomenon of Bigfoot fascinating...the anthropological, sociological, psychological....great, great topic. I love to fact, I'm currently shooting my third documentary on the Pacific Crest Trail this year (

Question: How long have you been active i
n the field of Bigfoot research?

Scott Herriott: I would say since '86 when I saw a story on CNN concerning some bridge builders up in the High Sierra who drove out in the middle of the night because they heard and saw something upright screaming at them. The next year I went to the same general area...been pretty much been hooked ever since.

Was interested in the subject as a w
ee lad but as far as actively getting out and checking things out, that story was the genesis.

Question: What has been your primary focus, in this field of study? Please explain.
Scott Herriott: In a nutshell, whether or not these alleged beings actually exist. Everything else is secondary to me. My belief is that they do coupled with an equal belief that there's also a truckload of B.S. and misinterpretation associated with the phenomenon.

Question: Are you active in any Organized Groups, or are you Independant? Or Both?

Scott Herriott: Was involved with the longer.

Question: What do you think about the growing numbers of women becoming active in this field?

Scott Herriott:
I think it's great. I am of the belief that a woman has a better chance of potential long-term interaction with our alleged hirsute friends due to, let's say, less testosterone flowing through their veins....less threatening, gentler. Look at the history of Goodall and Fossey.

Question: How did you become involved in the search for this undocumented North American Primate?

Scott Herriott: I suppose, like a lot of others, having watched TV specials when I was a kid. Have always found it fascinating ever since I can remember.

Question: Have you had a sighting? If so ple
ase explain.

Scott Herriott: I believe I have. Can I say with absolute certainty? No. But I'm currently 99.87965 percent sure... :)

Following a sighting report I found out about in Sept. of '92, myself and the father of one of the two kids who had the sighting took a 1 1/2 - 2 hour trek up the hill, at the base of which, the kids had the sighting at. Near the top, we noticed, low down, and about 40 feet up the hill from us (at that point the hill had flattened out from around 40 degrees most of the way up to around 10-15 degrees) was this darkness, part of which we could tell was a fallen tree. Within that darkness were two big brown eyes. After looking at them for about 10 minutes (slow head apparent blinking... wasn't acting like any bear or large animal in the woods I'd ever seen) we decided to get closer to try and get a better look and that's when..coupled with an apparent eye dilation...a very distinct reddish glow appeared. Within a span of about 10 secs...the dilation decreased, then occurred again. As I've told others, it approximated, I would say, about 2/3 the intensity of an Exit sign in a darkened movie theatre. It was freaky.

That's when we decided we would seperate, working on the theory that it, whatever it was, would feel we might be trying to surround it and then
, hopefully, it would move off in another direction and then we would, hopefully, get a better view and subsequent video of it. I began moving to the right of Daryl and got about 10-15 away from him when I heard him wheel around and begin shooting. To say the least, he was freaking out. He was pointing and talking about what he was seeing. He described to me later that, peripherally, he saw something big kinda sidestepping out of the general area we were shooting previously that had the eyes. He then locates it in the view finder (it had stopped moving by then) and he taped for about 30 seconds. The camera then went limp in his hand and he began crying. Now, remember, at this point, in this thick of foliage, if you move just a few feet, your perspective completely changes. So while he was taping I couldn't see what he was seeing. But it was clear he was reacting to something. When we got back down the hill and popped the video in the tv that's when I saw what the gif illustrates. It's on camera the whole time. The head tilts out twice within the time period he shot. The following day we went back up the hill and, in my opinion, the area where the eyes were was too small too accomodate the humanoid form Daryl caught on video shortly thereafter.

Now, I'm as susceptible to a well-orchestrated hoax as the next guy, but I saw friggin' glowing red eyes! I'm supposed to believe that that 1) somebody had a fake swaying set of eyes with lights set up? and 2) If somebody in some type of suit was wa
iting alllll the way up the hill, they were able to stand next to another relatively big animal (the eyes) and not scare it away? Plus, Daryl didn't lead us all the way up the hill, I did a lot of the leading. So, what I believe probably happened was that a smaller squatch, hearing us head up this gnarly hill that probably hadn't been visited by humans in God knows how long, was curious. We happened to see it and Mom, Dad, or Big Bro. was closeby in the super thick stuff (a lot of rhodedendron) doing the ninja thing. But when we made the potentially threatening move of seperation, it did what a lot of big mammals do, it got between a young one and a potential threat.

That next day we returned up the hill and roughly 30 feet behind whatever was standing there we found an approximately 25 foot long and 15 foot wide area that had been clearly matted down by some type of animal. It r
eminded me of a gorilla nest...a nice little fortress near the top of a hill.

I've run through every scenario I can think of, and the above makes the most sense to me. And again, I know it's not, and nor do I of
fer it up as, proof.

Question: Did you even think this animal could exist before your "sighting"?

Scott Herriott: Yes, primarily based on the sheer volume of sightings reported over the years.

Question: Is their anything about your own sighting, that you still think about today?

Scott Herriott: Oh, I definately still think about it. Contemplating whether or not a hoax or a misinterpretation was involved. But I, personally, put the odds of that being the case at incredibly low knowing that I definately saw an animal whose eyes glowed red.

Question: And now, did having a "sighting" change anything about
what you thought previously?

Scott Herriott:
Nope. Just kinda confirmed it.

Question: You are very vocal in the debate on the Patterson/Gimlin Film - do you think the film is authentic? If so, why? If not, Why?

Scott Herriott:
I lean fairly strongly toward the film being a hoax. (the following is taken from a post I made about the subject at Bigfoot Forums)

After being interested with this phenomenon for many years and reading everything I could get my hands on concerning Patterson, my opinion of him is basically this: He's the exact type of guy who would try to pull off a hoax of this alleged magnitude. He was sly, streetsmart, creative, apparently played fast and loose with the truth with others on many other words, he was a bit of a lovable rogue who, I believe, genuinely believed there to be such things as Bigfeet but who wasn't above, uh, padding the case as it were.

There are many on this list who feel that Long's book is complete rubbish and I would argue that that opinion is basically coming from a position where the belie
ver of that has long believed and/or is emotionally invested in what they perceive to be the validity of the Patterson film showing an unclassified primate...and, also, that they may have never actually read the entire book (RogerKni withstanding wink.gif ) Long's book is certainly flawed in many places...first and foremost, that he conclusively proved it was a hoax. He didn't. But where the book helped sway me towards leaning towards the dark side, as it were, is in the sheer volume of people who actually knew Patterson and from those portraits (unless, of course, one wants to argue Long fabricated them all) indicating a talented, mischievious, and, at times, legally reckless guy.

Also, just after Greg Long's book came out, I called up Phillip Morris and talked to him for about an hour. As credible as Gimlin seems on TV Morris seemed just as sincere when he told me that he definately sold an ape costume to a guy named Patterson from Yakima in 1967 and that he talked to him not once, but twice on the phone when Patterson called back and wanted advice on how to make the suit look better to "play a joke" on someone. Personally, I lean toward the theory that Patterson eventually scrapped the Morris suit and then built his own with some of the knowledge he had gained.

Also, when I saw the picture of one of the stagecoaches Patterson made by himself, without blueprints, I thought....hmmm...he was talented with his hands...good drawer as well. One, I believ
e, really has to read Long's book in its entirety with an open mind and not be swayed, beforehand, by those who find it hard to contemplate the possibility it was faked and/or because they don't like Long. I don't like Long all that much either. But that doesn't mean everything or even the majority of the things he documents in the book are false.

Then you have the story that Gimlin himself has said on tape about Patterson bringing some guy on stage in the south and telling a big crowd of people it was Gimlin, when, in fact, it wasn't. If a guy is
willing to do that, what else is he willing to try?

As for the film itself, I agree that it looks cool and unique and, if a hoax, is certainly not a hack job. But I don't see anything that I could say is necessarily muscle movement. I see movement. But how can one know its not padding moving underneath giving the illusion of muscle movement? This is where experimentation needs to come in, not idle speculation. Hopefully, soon, Dfoot's suit he's been working on (for not a lot of money and with materials available in 1967...also keeping in mind those are up close and shot with a digital camera...not 16mm film) will be able to be filmed with the exact type of camera, lens, approximate distance and lighting conditions, etc. and then, I think, we'll all get a better idea how possible it was for Patterson to have perhaps hoaxed the film. So far, the still shots are quite a lot of people at this site have noted. Also, it seems to me that it's rarely taken into serious consideration that the film was shot on 16mm film and not, li
ke movie apes have been, on 35mm film. Objects, therefore, are not as sharp and are, therefore, open to much more speculation as to what is actually being seen. Again, hopefully, experiments with DFoot's suit (or others) should give us a better idea than just imagining what could or could not be the case.

As far as the prints are concerned, they need to be experimented with as well.

Can Laverty's photo be duplicated by a guy wearing a suit? Can they be duplicated with a couple of false feet? Hopefully, we can find that out. But to assume it can't be done without experimentation is presumptuous. If tube's experiments had never been done, I'm sure many on this list would be absolutely convinced that certain markings on foot casts had to be dermal ridges.

As far as other testimony from Patterson the Argosy interview with Ivan Sanderson he's quoted as saying they tracked the animal for "three miles". Roger says there was a bent stirrup. Gimlin says no. Gimlin seems very believable but he himself invokes
the name of Ted Bundy when talking to Long about how you just can't tell with some people. However, ultimately, testimony, pro or con for the film is some of the weakest evidence since we simply can't know for sure who's lying or telling the truth at any particular time about what. So the main thing is the film itself. Can it be reasonably duplicated? If so, I don't think, for me anyways, it would be absolute proof...but, rather, it would demonstrate that claims that the film has to be or is probably a sasquatch would be presumptuous at best and insincere and misleading or delusional at worst. Only time will tell.

Question: What is your opinion on the "Stabilized" version of the Patterson/Gimlin Film?

Scott Herriott:
I think it looks great but it doesn't add anything of quantitative substance to the debate. I see nothing that would automatically rule out a guy in the suit.

Question: Do you think its possible to create a suit - as authentic looking as what we see in the Patterson/Gimlin Film?

Scott Herriott:
Yep. Because no one has seriously attempted it (coupled with all the elements involved in the '67 filming), doesn't mean it can't be done.

Question: Do you think there is one piece of footage or picture, that has not been analyzed enough?

Scott Herriott:
None that I'm aware of.

Question: Are you active in Field Research?

Scott Herriott: Not as much as I used to. What with the explosion of Internet popularity, I find it harder to discern what might be considered a legitimate sounding encounter.

Question: One piece of equipment you think is the most important?

Scott Herriott:
An open-minded yet scientifically-oriented brain :)

Question: Do you ever talk to witnesses or take statements?

Scott Herriott:
I have, on occasion, in the past. Not in a few years though.

Question: Most people have one Report that "Stands Out" in their minds, is there a report that still "stands out" for you?

Scott Herriott:
I was and still am impressed with William Roe's story from Canada many years back. The detail in his account of an apparent female sasquatch chomping on leaves while he was laying low in the bushes doing some story.

Question: What do you think is the most important question to ask a witness?

Scott Herriott:
"Tell me what you saw and/or heard"

Question: Do you have any advice for a new researcher?

Scott Herriott:
At all times, strive to remain objective. So often in the years I've been involved with this phenomenon I've seen time and time again, presumptions creep into opinions which then become full-blown certainties. Always seriously consider other options as to what happened. Sure, it's cool to think there are relic hominids about...but that doesn't mean every story is necessarily dealing with one.

Thank you Scott!!!! :)


  • At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Cool enough..

    Herriott sounds like he's walked the walk so to speak.


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