Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Problem of the Ray Wallace Hoax Tracks in Bluff Creek, and Their Contrast with the Jerry Crew and Other Tracks Found from 1958-1967

Originally Posted 18 October 2010 - 11:31 PM
I have to admit feeling rather disturbed by the Wallace feet when they were presented by his family to the public after Ray's death. They did look abominably familiar. Not long after that I, too, was looking back at my John Green books. Though the Wallace feet do not match many of the Bluff Creek historical footprints, they do match very closely the ones found in 1967, before the Patterson-Gimlin film was shot. They do not match with the P-G sandbar track casts, nor the original Jerry Crew one, nor Patterson's Laird Meadow print from 1964. The similarity with the Al Hodgson cast is, I think, debatable. 
blue creek mountain 2.jpg 
The feature that stands out most is the so-called "double ball" on the side of the foot, with the "hourglass" general curvature. Also, the boxiness of the toes is a Wallace-foot feature. Looking at the photos from Onion Mountain and Blue Creek Mountain I have to admit that there is similarity. The OM trackway looks fairly artificial in photos, and the close-up taken by Rene Dahinden, especially, looks identical to a Wallace foot stomper. What can we say? The tale goes that the tracks led down from the hill and over the other side down an embankment. These tracks showed great variance and adaptability to the irregular terrain, not to mention covering ground where it would be exceedingly difficult to utilize Wallace's stated means of hoaxing. That method was supposedly to put the wooden feet onto one's boots and be pulled behind a truck on a rope while walking, achieving greater stride and depth of impact upon the ground. At least, that is the way the account goes. We weren't there, unfortunately, to witness these aspects. To my eye, the tracks in the photo that Kitakaze provides, above, DO look fake. They are too flat and too regular in placement; but that is just my eye, and it is such using an incompletely documented history and sets of photos. I'm sure there are many, many unpublished photographic examples still in the files of the Dahinden brothers and Mr. Green--if only we could see them all!
Bigfoot Wylie.jpg 
You surely have heard the "believer" defense on this matter: Wallace copied his footprint stompers from tracks they found earlier, i.e., from the REAL tracks. To me this is plausible, to some degree. 

Blue Creek Mtn. Track.jpg 
Also, one has to ask was Wallace even THERE in 1967? He was employed on the earlier Bluff Creek Road project, but was he employed on the later Blue Creek Mountain ridgeline add-on??? Kitakaze, above, presents 1967 footprints in an attempt, I assume, to discredit tracks and events that occurred in 1958. I'm personally not sure that this makes sense. If the Wallaces weren't there, then what does it have to do with it? Did he pass on his footprint stompers to someone else? It's a bit of a mystery.
1964PattersonLairdMdRd.jpg Patterson's 1964 Laird Meadow Cast
Look at the photo of the tracks in the road dirt below the Hodgson cast... there are TWO different footprint shapes there. Also, look at the photo of Wallace (actually, that looks like Rant Mullens to me) with the row of fake footprints--NONE of these match, and ALL of them look ridiculous. In the case of the BCM prints there were supposedly THREE different trackways found, all differing in shape and size.
Al Footprint Casts.jpg Al Hodgson's footprint casts, as seen in A&E documentary.
It is so difficult to say anything concrete and verifiable in these matters. It is undeniable that Wallace and his brother(s) were around on and off in the late 1950s, up to some time in the early 60s. The article presented in Roger Patterson's book (Humboldt Times, October 14, 1958, by Andrew Genzoli) mentions Bigfoot-type events occurring two years or so BEFORE 1958. So, from this, we apparently know that the Wallaces were working in Bluff Creek in 1956. The fact that there was a Wallace presence through these years does cast some suspicion on the early Bluff Creek reports. But who knows? He may have picked up on reports and sightings that already existed in this area LONG before Mr. Ray arrived. These, also, have persisted after he left the area and after he left this earthly realm. Was Ray Wallace imitative, or originative? I think it was the first case, but that he started to play into the expectations of the media and the researchers of the topic. It is undeniable that there WERE hoax events going on back then; but one is hard-pressed to ascertain WHEN, and WHICH were Wallace or Wallace-influenced or -encouraged hoaxings.

I know from conversations with the fellow (Delaney, his last name, but he doesn't want his full name out there) whose father owned the Orleans Inn that there were good-old-boys and loggers and construction workers joking around about hoaxing Bigfoot. They used to sit on his porch at the Inn, when my contact was just a kid, and talk about doing it. Also, another old logger named Joe Ramos, who worked mostly up in the Blue Creek and farther north watersheds, up from Bluff Creek, that most of the local workers considered it to be a hoax. That is, according to him, and those he knew. Ramos used to own the store in Klamath, down on the coast, and would drive back and forth over Bald Hills Road regularly in the course of his business. He died recently at the age of 92. 
Green on BCM with Tracks.jpg 
Then again, there are other old-timers, including my neighbor, Jay Rowland, along with Al Hodgson, who INSIST that Wallace did not do those footprints. As a person trying to find out the truth on these matters, or rather, seeking to tell the truth from the baloney, it can get extremely frustrating. One hears so many differing historical points, often contradictory ones, that a lead often spins in on itself into a dead end culdesac. 
Footprint Casts.jpg Track casts at 2007 Willow Creek PGF Anniversary event. Photo taken by Steven Streufert.
We know from Patterson's book that Wallace moved to Toledo, WA "a few years back" before 1966. Assuming this was written in that year, then perhaps Wallace moved in 1963? We need to find out the dates of his time not only living down here in the Willow-Bluff Creek area, but also the dates of his presence on the work projects. With Shorty-Wilbur Wallace involved, though, who knows? And if their joke hoaxes spread to other workers who also wanted to try their hands...? Well, we're really hard pressed to say what is real and what is simulacra and farce. Look right at the cover of John Green's ON THE TRACK OF SASQUATCH and there it is, a life-sized image of the Wallace footprint stomper (or page 70 of the current "BEST OF..." edition). The classic Rene Dahinden (page. 45, BEST OF SASQUATCH-BIGFOOT) also looks suspiciously Wallacian. However, right next to it on page 44 one can see the Hyampom track from 1963, which looks much different, and to my eye at least, more authentic.
Green with Casts.jpg Green's casts show great variation.
It's hard to explain all of this. In fact, some of it can't be explained. All I as an individual can do is take some things with a grain of salt. I'll stand up for John Green's great work any day, even if he may have fallen for a hoax or two. I will not say that I believe these Onion Mountain and Blue Creek Mountain tracks to be a hoaxes, but I will admit that they COULD have been. The last thing I think one should do is try to bend evidence to match one's expectations. And, as far as that goes, there is simply an amazing amount of stuff to suggest that Bigfoot is real, even without these possible Wallace tracks; and yes, even without the PGF.
Bluff Print.jpg 
I would like to suggest, however, that the PGF tracks are QUITE DIFFERENT from the Wallace stompers, and VERY variable, as cast by Titmus and Patterson.

All I can offer for now is to TRY to get more clarity from the memories of those who knew or worked with the Wallaces, or from those historian types who may have records of those days somewhere. It's a long shot. See, this is how human memory and reportage works: witnesses are unreliable, accounts vary, memories get blurred, the timelines get mixed up.... It makes the Patterson film timeline issues look simple in comparison.


'parnassus', on 18 Oct 2010 - 6:59 PM, said:
Did I write that I know where everybody was back then? or is that just a straw man?

If that is your way of asking for a source for what I wrote about the Wallace brothers in 1958, it's in a book written by Roger Patterson, back in 1966.


I agree that those overly-straight trackways look absolutely faked, to my eye anyway they look just like what I saw in one news clip or documentary where one of the Wallace family was re-enacting how they faked footprints along the road. This was by being pulled behind a truck by holding a rope, while wearing the wooden feet. To accomplish this one would naturally be inclined to keep one's feet in a straight line with the axis of the rope, so as not to lose balance. I've had certain Bigfooters tell me that this linear stride alignment is just how Bigfoot creatures walk; but to me that seems an explanation after the fact, trying to make up things to make the theory of what a Bigfoot is and does match the ostensible evidence. Just how, I would ask, would a giant, broad creature such as the Sasquatch develop the habit (and evolutionary trait) of walking with steps in such a straight line? This would suggest a creature that actually turned its feet inward, a walking style that not only does not make any real anatomical sense, but would also incline the creature toward tipping over all the time. That big, adaptable foot, it would seem to me, would be more mobile, widely spaced, adapting to the terrain, certainly not tip-toeing around.
Titmus2.jpg Titmus Hyampom 2.jpg 
I am looking forward to Meldrum completing his online footprint track scan database. He was here in Willow Creek and scanned all of the Bigfoot Collection's specimens in 3-D high density. There are many casts from around this general area that do NOT match the Wallace classic stomper as shown by his family after Ray's death. There are many that match more closely to Patterson's casts. And then there are the famous ones from Hyampom.
Wallace Tracks Feet.jpg 
Look again at that photo of the line-up of the Wallace prints Kitakaze presents, above--NONE of those look realistic at all. They don't even look as realistic as the foot stomper. They show a consistent pattern of shoddy craftsmanship, a tendency quite in line with his other presentations of Bigfoot to the world--ridiculous letters (See them on the NABS site), bad recordings, tall tales and exaggerations. Those Wallace tracks wouldn't even fool the most credulous child at his road-side display.
Wallace Comparisons.jpg 
I am of the persuasion that there was a lot of hoaxing then, just as we today have a lot of silly blobsquatches and fake game camera images. However, I am quite persuaded by all the other reports I hear, and the other track casts, and by the PGF itself, that there IS something real roaming around out there in the Klamath-Trinity-Siskiyou wilderness.
Al Hodgson BF Days.jpg Jerry Crew Bookmark.jpg 
Steve, Bigfoot Books, Willow Creek

'parnassus', on 19 Oct 2010 - 1:48 PM, said:
Great post, BFBM; Ray moved to Toledo WA in 1961. The Wallasoid tracks, according to a couple of sources, match all of the tracks found at Bluff Creek between 1958 and October 1967 with the exception of: 1) the one cast by Jerry Crew 2) and those "found" by Roger Patterson, and possibly one or two of the three found after Labor Day, 1967. This link has some good info. The Wallace brothers and Rant Mullens had been in the hoaxing culture since 1924, and there is no reason to believe that they didn't sell or distribute their creations, and/or inspire others. The Wallasoid trackway seen in the 1967 Green photos, at least, could hardly have been made by a bigfoot. The axis of the feet is straight ahead and the straddle appears to be nonexistent. Not to mention the monotonous adynamic nature of the prints.

The truck tracks are clearly seen. However, Green and others speak of the tracks coming down the hill and then eventually heading off the opposite bank in at least one of the trackway finds. So? One has to wonder. I'll have to go back to the Green books to clarify which track find this was in reference to. Anyone here recall?

I will hold to the opinion that some tracks were hoaxed and others were not, at least until any evidence proves otherwise. I mean, there were reports of sightings, too, and vandalism of work sites, and not just from the Wallace crew.


'nycBig', on 20 Oct 2010 - 3:17 PM, said:
I am suprised that no one was skeptical that the wallace trackways seem to always follow the path of a large truck..


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