The Gait of ‘Big Foot’

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Bigfoot, which is also known as sasquatch, is the name given to an ape-like mythical creature or legend that some people believe still lives in the forest. Most reports are from the Pacific Northwest area of North America. Bigfoot is described as a hairy bipedal hominid. Most experts agree that Big Foot is mostly a mix of folklore, hoaxes and poor identification.

On October 20 in 1967 Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin filmed in the north-west of Orleans in California what is claimed to be Bigfoot. Many have tried to debunk and authenticate the film.

The Gait Guys have done an analysis of the above video clip from the film. They noted the following:

Man or Ape? That is the question ! Lets see what can be noticed :
1. protracted head, shoulders and a forward and downward drop of the anterior rib cage through probable weak upper abdominals
2. internally rotated upper limbs with excessive forward arm swing (overswing, likely pulling/flexing too much from the pectorals to drive arm swing as opposed to driving normal pendular arm swing from triceps extension)
3. no hip extension during gait, (see #2 above). Without adequate triceps use/posterior arm swing the degree of hip extension/gluteal use cannot be optimized.

So the question remains, if this is a man how did he get so posturally imploded ? Unless of course, he was trying to walk like a bipedal monkey. The only problem there is that ape contra-body movements (symmetrical fluid opposite arm-leg swing) are not this clean even though this is pretty poor gait for a human. So, either this is a non-computer age man trying to walk like an experienced ape, or, this is bigfoot.

Stanford University also did an analysis of the gait:


One blog devoted to Sasquatch Enlightenment has suggested that there are five variations of gait seen in all the different sightings of Big Foot:

1. Walking with small vertical displacement of the centre of gravity
2. Walking with large vertical displacement of the centre of gravity
3. Biped Jog/trot
4. Biped Sprinting/running
5. Quadruped running

Karl Sup and Sharon Day have proposed the Horizontally Dynamic Foot Theory to explain some of the observations of Big Foots alleged gait:

Humans have a vertically dynamic foot for upward lift. In this theory, we propose that Sasquatch have a horizontally dynamic foot for enhanced step grip.
Visual evidence in films such as Bluff Creek Patterson-Gimlin film (1967), show a creature whose body length is highly disproportionate with human beings, with powerful gluteus and leg muscles, wide hips, as well as a smooth, compliant gait that does not generate any head bounce. This evidence demonstrates that there is no “step off” in their gait, but instead the sasquatch maintain a knee-bent, ‘snow-shoeing’ compliant gait in which the rear foot and forefoot exhibit separate flexibility, often referred to as a mid-tarsal flexion break. This theory proposes that there is an additional shift of the rear foot towards the forefoot (or an inchworm effect), that can create a composite pinch of substrate or forest litter like pine needles and leaves.

They claim that this theory explains the unusual break in the foot print pattern seen in pine needles of what is thought to be Big Foot footprint. See this for more.

Bigfoot Exposed: An Anthropologist Examines America’s Enduring Legend
The Gait of 'Big Foot'Buy:

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Related Pages:
Comparative Anatomy | Determinants of Gait | Gait Analysis | Pseudoscience

External Links:
Big Foot entry at Wikipedia | Patterson-Gimlin film entry at Wikipedia | Forensic Expert Says Bigfoot Is Real (National Geographic story) | Big Foot (Skeptics Dictionary)

Big Foot at eBay:
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