Monday, November 30, 2009
NOTE: THIS IS PART ONE OF THE INTERVIEW. WE WILL HAVE MORE COMING UP IN ABOUT A WEEK....
Bigfoot researcher and Patterson-Gimlin Film (PGF) expert, M.K. Davis commented on our recent blog entry on the Port Orford Cedars in the Bluff Creek, CA area, and that contact has led to this interview. It was started November 10th and is still ONGOING. It was done via email exchange.
MK DAVIS: Steve, I'd be very happy to do this. My wife quit her job and went to nursing school full time, so my funds did not permit a return [to Bluff Creek] this year. I should be ready when they open it up again. I wish I had fully appreciated what I was seeing, because I feel that I could at least have gotten good photos of the thing [Ed.: this story follows]. M.K.
BIGFOOT BOOKS: I have a bunch of things I want to ask, but first, do you mind doing an interview in the manner of a discussion? I prefer to keep these interviews more free-formed and open, rather than simple Q-and-A. If you'd prefer to keep it more brief I can try to manage that, too.
* The "massacre" theory--do you still believe in it? Why?
* Your current projects, and future steps in bigfooting?
* What else do you do in life besides Bigfoot topics?
MK DAVIS: Hey Steve, it sounds like some good stuff to talk about. I do want to be careful about the more sensitive topics. I appreciate a chance to clear some things up, but I am aware of how things can get a little convoluted.
BIGFOOT BOOKS: Well, good. I think personally that it would be good for you to deal, at least a little, with the controversy, as there are folks wondering what's up with you, as you kind of withdrew from public debates at that point. Some are kind of angry. I think an interview that didn't include something on that would be a bit incomplete, you know? I'm not out to attack, nor to discredit you. I just want to know your thoughts, views, and especially where you're heading into the future. I'm not one of those who think that Gimlin and Green are superhuman gods, though I do respect those guys a real whole lot. One thing: if possible it would be great to find new territories that you perhaps might not have spoken about before in other venues.
Image: Says MK, "Here is an example of the high quality of the film in its original format. This is only a screen capture of the image. It is truly a very large file and is in pristine condition. I'll get into how this kind of quality exists side by side with some very bad stuff."
MK DAVIS: I am aware of the refractive qualities of water. I used to bow-fish in the shallow sandy bottom creeks near home. In order to get a fish, you had to know about where the true location was, compared to the refracted image. However, this was in shallow water. We do not have this type of depth, combined with this type of clarity. I was looking down on it at a steep angle, so the refraction wasn't that great. It was on the bottom, but the water was extremely clear. I could see that it had an unusual mottling pattern on its back. It appeared to be about three feet long, down there on the creek bottom. I could see that it had appendages, but my mindset was that it must be a fish of some kind, so I just assumed at the time, that these must be fins. That's the only thing that I have to go by, since I haven't had any experience with pools that deep and clear. If it could be netted, I guess we would know for sure.
My background is a simple one. I was born and raised in the area where I now live. I have always been interested in science and nature. I am married, and I have four grown children. My wife and I have been married for 32 years. I own two large telescopes that are outfitted for photography. I have used these scopes to pursue astro-photography for a number of years. I have had a long career in industry, and I currently work in the chemical industry.
Image: Gluteus Maximus musculature quite evident in the film. Do these buttocks look like those of a man in a suit?
I have been "cold-trailing" this film for quite a few years, and like I said earlier, this has largely been a singular effort. Like a good bloodhound, however, once the scent trail has heated up, the slow bloodhound is replaced by the faster and more heads-up walker hounds. From this point on, the outcome is inevitable.
My sons are interested, but I think that they will probably make their own tracks upon this earth, and not follow in mine. I hope that this is the case.
BIGFOOT BOOKS: So, we can take it that your view, used to making fine distinctions in astronomy, for instance, would not be inclined to see things that are not there. A three-foot salamander seen by MK Davis, then, is going to be more or less a bit a three-foot salamander, right?
Image: The foot, by the arrow, showing the mid-tarsal break flexibility of the Bigfoot/Sasquatch foot.
And re. Bigfoot: I take it, then, that you did not have a particular obsession with the phenomenon, but rather just found it an enigmatic challenge of analysis? Bigfoot didn't have some great mysterious appeal or meaning for you, like it does for some (like it does for me)?
As far as Mr. Blevins and his work, I do not know him. I have not had any affiliation with him. I have not shared anything with him, nor him me. I did see some of his YouTube postings, and I do not agree with him at all on his findings. I looked into some of his findings that were posted and found that most, if not all, did not agree with what I had on film. Mr. Blevins, as far as I know, does not have quality images to work with. The better images usually prevent this kind of thing from developing. I tend to look askance at people who refer to themselves as the best, or the greatest, because I believe that this film should be looked at completely neutrally, without a view of how it might be a vehicle to take someone to some sort of level of greatness. There are no pontiffs in this business. I'll attach a file that demonstrates how Mr. Blevins was incorrect on one of his assumptions [see above], and there are many more. I do, however, wish him the best; but he should be aware that there are very good images and versions of this film out there, and that being said, the film tends to be "self-correcting", when properly observed.
The first such feature that I was to find on the film were features on the face,the lips in particular. The film must be exhaustively advanced frame by frame, until the synchronicity between the filmogrpaher and the film subject are aligned, and the lighting good. This occurs as she is beginning to look back towards the men. [See photo.] The image on the left is the "raw" image from the film. The right has been filtered. This filtration is the same technique used to filter the sun and planets in order to see the different wavelengths of light. If very subtle lips can be made to more dominate the image by splitting the two very different light wavelengths and then boosting the diminished tones. It is not in any way "adding" anything to or taking anything away from the image. It is simply making the more subdued tones dominate the image. This is called enhancement. When I was able to get access to the transparencies from the original film, I was able to confirm that [this] image did indeed contain the the lips of the individual, and those lips were of a "full" nature and appeared human.
When the two frames are animated then a flexible, dynamic mouth becomes apparent. While following the film frame by frame, I could see that the hair on the side of the head was quite long, and was blowing in the wind. I followed it until I saw it blow forward, over the ear, and there was the ear itself, in plain view briefly until the hair fell back over it.
The ear appeared to be of normal proportions. There was nothing "non human" about it. If the viewer looks carefully at the raw image on the left, the ear can be seen without the aid of enhancement, but much better with it. The skin of the subject is of a different tone than that of the hair. The hair is very light, and is easily penetrated by the sunlight. The sunlight reflects off the skin and back through the hair. This essentially creates two reflective surfaces that are of two different tones. These tones can be split apart and the two tones treated independently of each other. By doing such, I was able to turn "down" the tones of the hair, and boost the tones on the skin. I did such to all the images where the sunlight was striking the back directly, and when I animated the sequence, the muscle movement along the back and spine and gluts became much more obvious. Here is a file that demonstrates this. Again, this was very laborious. The gluts can also be seen to move independently of each other.... There are many more files to consider that I don't have time for here, but I think you can see my point that, the question of whether this is a man in a suit can be solved with the film itself, and leaves little room for argument.
BIGFOOT BOOKS: MK, what were the origins of the source film materials you used and what software do you utilize?
I've heard heard all of this talk about Sasquatch being human, not just coming from the MK camp. But what do you mean by “human”? I'll elaborate....
Patty/Bigfoot may indeed be on the hominid branch of the primate tree, but "human"? Unless one has a pretty darn flexible idea of what is human, I'm not sure this makes sense. To me it is like a gorilla sitting around asking, Are orangutans gorillas? No, but we are all related. Humans are apes, too. Genetically, Sasquatch and Homo Sapiens are obviously quite different. If we put Patty on the streets of a city I'm not sure anyone would mistake her for human. Evolutionarily, there is no reason that bipedalism could not have evolved in two separate lines--I mean, look at dolphins: they evolved fish-like form completely separately from fish. It is function and survival success that causes this parallelism, I think. If they were "human" like us don't you think we'd find at least SOME cultural and tool artifacts from Bigfoots? So far we have sticks and stones, and a few beds.
The details you reveal in the film are amazing. The ear, lips, muscles, head movement all suggest not just authenticity, but yes, a very human-like quality to the creature. I'd argue that she is obviously evolutionarily CLOSE to us, but you seem to be going further than that. To me, being “human” is more than just genetics. It is about how our genetic basis expresses itself in evolutionarily-advantaged and exaggerated higher brain function, tool utilization, culture, aesthetics, social organization, technology, language, etc. Even so-called “primitive” societies living in the wilds have really quite elaborate cultures and survival technologies. We have lost a lot of the “animal-like” qualities that apes have, that our ancestors had: the fang-like canine incisors, the brow ridge, the sagittal crest, the hairiness. Patty does have more of these features than we do. So how is she... human?
The Hoopas [ed.: "Hupas" is technically correct] have told me that in years past, they used to trade with them. They conversed with them and actually traded goods with them. They told me that, by and large, the Sasquatch were untrustworthy, and were considered "rule breakers." The Sasquatch were said to raid the nets of the Hoopa and were pretty much lawless. If that was the case then, I wondered, how do the Sasquatch handle such a cold environment with little or no clothing? There again, there are examples of this.
Image: The strange, large,long-toed feet of the Yahgan/Yaghan people. Above, showing them in their natural state. Tragically, only one full-blood member of this tribe survives today. The majority died from contact with European diseases, often caught once they had put on clothes for the first time.
I mentioned earlier that there were two reflective surfaces on the Patterson film subject. One being the hair, which is thin and wispy. The other being the skin itself, which is of a lighter color than the hair. The sun strikes both surfaces, i.e. the sun penetrates the fine layer of hair, then reflects off the skin and back through the hair and to the camera lens. This is why the muscle movement is so easily seen, because the hair does not obscure "totally." Here is an example in the attached file called "Backhair pattern." There are many places, in the film, where the sun strikes the subject's back in such a way that the skin is visible beneath the hair. Here are some samples in the photo attached called " Back detail collage." There are many more as well.
This level of detail is best seen in the higher quality versions of the film, which I have been privy to. I cannot, here, divulge the sources of the film that I have and have worked with, but I have seen and worked with the very best. Let me digress a moment back to the subject of humanity. I hoped to make the point that the human genome contains, within its make up, the potential for variation. The human genome has been said to be "The treasury of human inheritance, and a vast dump or recycling center" (from Medicinenet.com).
The word "homo" has been around for a while, but the sapiens part is fairly recent. Science has hunted for the proper word to accompany the homo, that would describe the entire family of mankind. Sapien means "Wise," so...homosapiens would be "wise man." I am open to the possibility that these ones called Sasquatch may not be that wise, but we've all had our moments. If these are not sapiens, then they are certainly not simians either. Then...what are they? Perhaps "Homo Exotica." My mind is open.
It's pretty clear that this is not a man in a suit, isn't it Steve? You're a smart guy, you know what you are looking at here. Whatever kind of woman this is, she is living naked and in the wild. It has been a privilege to work with this film. These kind of images do not need a lot of explaining. No complex, scientific formulas, no indecipherable jargon. It is a good photographic record of a living being, and it shows in the film so splendidly as in these images and many more.
BIGFOOT BOOKS: For the record, I do NOT think it is a man in a suit. No way. It is, to me, very, very convincing. But the question, What IS "Bigfoot?" still remains....
MK DAVIS: As far as culture is concerned, if what I can gather from Native American accounts is true, there is a rudimentary type of culture among them. We really do not know if they use fire or not. It is not prudent to assume they do not because we do not find any of the remains of their fires. The reason that I say this is that it has been documented that, among primitive peoples, certain ones are skilled at producing fires with little to no smoke, by careful choices of wood types. Ishi, the last wild Native American to come in from the wild, stated that he lived in a ten square mile area, surrounded by settlements, and was never detected, because he only burned low-smoke wood types, and then covered the fire over with chaparral bush to absorb the little smoke that was produced.
This same thing was observed among the primitive peoples of the Amazon basin, on a recently aired documentary by National Geographic. The primitive people were encountered on a river bank, and when they ran off, the fires that they had cooked with the previous night had been carefully hidden. Tool types among the most primitive, can be something as simple as a stick, or rock. The Yamana, or "Yaghans" spoken of earlier, were very proficient rock throwers, and many of them could get dinner with a well aimed throw, even hitting birds in the air. If the Sasquatch did raid nets, if they did converse with the Hoopa, if they did trade with the Hoopa, if they are human although rudimentary and primitive, then some culture must exist among them.
Image above: Hirsute Woman, from the medieval Nuremberg Chronicles
MK DAVIS: I know that much has been made of the "closeness" of the simians to humans genetically, especially the chimpanzee, which is said to be 98.4% genetically human. The complexity of genetics must be accounted for, however. A lot of people tend to look at things in the most simplistic of ways. With a number like 98.4%, they must be nearly human...right? Well...not if the other remaining 1.6% are a prerequisite for being or having the ability to behave as a human. There was a chimpanzee that took nearly six years to learn to crack nuts with a rock. This particular chimpanzee never was able to teach any of the others in its group to use the rock. This is my point, while much has been learned about genetics in the past 100 years, not nearly everything is known, and the importance of chromosomal information is not uniform across the board. That 1.6% appears to be essential in being able to put intelligence to work, which is a human trait. Oddly enough, a chimp of such limited ability, seems to have no trouble picking up the habit of smoking, which is common in zoos that still keep chimps in close proximity to people. There are other biological uniquenesses in the simians, especially the gorillas, that might be a barrier to such a cross over. While the chimp can and does eat meat, the gorilla is a strict vegetarian. The stomach of a gorilla is distended and is tailor-made to digest very rough vegetation. The gorilla will sometimes catch its own excrement and eat it, in order to get a particular vitamin from it that could not be broken down with one pass through its system.
Hey Steve. It will be a bit touch and go for a day or so, until the holiday is over. I still plan to touch on the humanity/culture question some more, if you don't mind. Please be patient, and have a safe holiday. M.K.
BIGFOOT BOOKS: No hurry, really. I'd say that we're about 2/3 through the interview, unless you have any other issues to raise. I'm glad to go on forever talking about this stuff, if need be. Re. culture: to me it is the real sign of human-ness, as all that higher brain power just HAS to go somewhere, like into aesthetics, religion, philosophy, science, music, etc. A big, human brain out there in the wilds might run out of things to "DO," you know? I often wonder about the intelligent animals. Like, what does a whale think about? What is the inner life of a gorilla? Etc.
MK DAVIS: ?????? [Tune in next week!]
EDITOR: AT THIS POINT MK HAD TO TAKE A THANKSGIVING BREAK, SO WE HAVE DECIDED TO PUT OUT THIS INTERVIEW IN TWO PARTS. CHECK BACK IN A WEEK OR SO AND WE SHOULD BE DONE WITH AN EQUAL LENGTH OF MATERIAL.
THANKS! Bigfoot Books
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE! GO TO PART TWO HERE!
MK has a film out, available to order on Amazon: Spotlight on the Patterson Gimlin Film. We have not yet seen a copy, but it looks good....