[CNI News thanks Erik Beckjord (firstname.lastname@example.org), curator of San Francisco's UFO and Bigfoot Museum, for sending the following information.]
The November 1, 1997 edition of CNI News carried a story alleging that Oscar-winning Hollywood special effects wizard, John "Planet of the Apes" Chambers, was responsible for creating a costume featured in the famous Bigfoot film footage shot by Roger Patterson in 1967. The claim for Chambers' authorship of the alleged costume was attributed to respected film director John Landis and was reportedly supported by numerous artists within the special effects industry.
However, new information from Brian Penikas, Creative Director for a company called Makeup & Monsters, puts to rest the theory that Chambers had any hand in the Patterson film. Penikas writes:
"Recently my crew and I were involved in a surprize 75th birthday tribute to Mr. Chambers, for which 9 of us recreated a parody skit re-enacting characters from the Ape movies. Mr. Chambers and the rest of the guests, many of whom were survivors of the Apes saga, were wonderfully surprised.
"I had only met Mr. Chambers briefly prior to the surprise party, and the opportunity to discuss the "suit" rumor was not high on my agenda... This past Saturday [October 25, 1997], however, the cast of the Apes birthday skit went back (sans costumes and makeup) to visit with Mr. Chambers and his wife... [This] was our chance to truly and finally confront Mr. Chambers about these rumors and stories about him being involved in the Patterson film project.
"Mr. Chambers told his story, on video tape, to us to set the record straight. I now have pictures of the suit that Chambers did make and you can rest assured that it is NOT the famous Patterson Bigfoot. In fact, it's not a suit AT ALL. It is an 8 foot tall plaster dummy of actor Richard "Jaws" Keil that was built (in 4 days) as a prop for a travelling carnival to be billed as "Bigfoot's Body" or some such sideshow attraction, and was apparently displayed in a coffin. That's all. Just a solid, 800-pound prop.
"Mr. Chambers did say (in regards to the Patterson footage) that he and his crew wished they had done it, because they would have done it differently. I believe his exact words were, jokingly, 'We could've done better.'
"So there you have it... We can all smile with relief that the Patterson footage is still the most convincing proof of our great folk legend's existence, and that it still has not been debunked.
"I want that film to be real just as much as the next guy," Penikas said in conclusion.
Original file name: CNI - Bigfoot NOT Hoax.final
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