Bob Heironimus has become somewhat of an infamous celebrity in the Bigfoot community for claiming to have been the actually Bigfoot creature depicted in the Patterson film, and his claims are detailed in Greg Long’s book (The Making of Big Foot, The Inside Story, Published 2004). Bob Heironimus was a tall (6 ft), powerfully built Yakima, Washington native, age 26; when he claims, Roger Patterson offered him one thousand dollars to be dressed in a fabricated ape suit for a Bigfoot documentary film he was making. Bob Heironimus made a gentlemen’s agreement with Patterson that he would play the Bigfoot. Bob Heironimus met Bob Gimlin when Gimlin was a bartender in Yakima; the two men became acquaintances. Bob Gimlin was Patterson’s partner, and was with him during the filming of the Bigfoot.
Greg Long (Investigative Journalist) uncovered testimony that corroborates Heironimus’s claims: Russ Bohannon, a longtime acquaintance, says that Heironimus exposed the hoax in private in around 1968 or 1969. Bob Heironimus, the man who wore the Bigfoot costume, experienced Patterson’s lying when Patterson refused to pay him $1,000 for wearing the Bigfoot suit, as promised.
Bob Heironimus claims he did not publicly discuss his part in the hoax because he had hoped to be repaid eventually in the end. In separate incidents, Bernard Hammermeister and Heironimus’s relatives (mother Opal and nephew John Miller) allege to have seen an ape suit in Heironimus’ automobile. In fact, Bob Heironimus’s nephew John Miller was eight at the time and recalls playing with the Bigfoot suit and putting on the headpiece, so he claims.
The relatives say they saw the ape suit two days after the Bigfoot motion picture was shot. No date was given by Long for Hammermeister’s observation, but it apparently came well after the relatives’ observation, as implied by the word “still” in the justification Heironimus gave Hammermeister for requesting his silence: “There was still supposed to be a payola on this thing, and he didn’t have it.”
Greg Long argues that the suit Philip Morris (Morris claims to have made the Bigfoot suit) says he sold to Patterson was the same suit Heironimus claims to have worn in the Patterson film. However, Greg quotes Heironimus and Morris recounting ape suits that are in many respects quite dissimilar from one another; Long speculates that Patterson customized the ape costume, and offers collaborative evidence and testimony to support this idea.
- On a side note, Gimlin has not admitted to any hoax, although he has indicated in an interview that he allowed for the possibility of a hoax on Roger Patterson’s part.