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AAA.comAAA.com56 Westways | July/August 2019July/August 2019 | Westways 57bigfootSearching forWhat does a visit to the creature’s Northern California stomping ground reveal?By Robert Earle Howellst’s only 59 seconds of 16mm film, but those 954 frames are among history’s most-studied images. In 1967, Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin, two rodeo cowboys from Washington State, rode packhorses into the Bluff Creek drainage about 50 miles north of Willow Creek, in Northern California. While there, they filmed a shaggy giant as it walked along a sandbar across the creek from where the men were positioned on horseback. Some say the film depicts a person in an ape suit. Others contend it’s footage of Bigfoot. No question which theory is more intriguing.I wanted to meet this ambassador from an era when the world was wild, and huge, hairy, humanoid creatures were plentiful. Seemingly every locale has its resident numen, a spirit or a quality that represents the essence of the place—a mystery that h...