Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Delusions of M.K. Davis

I have listened to and read the theories of M. K. Davis now for a couple of years. I have watched his "documentary," Spotlight on: The Patterson-Gimlin Film, with incredulous bemusement. I found it unbelievable that anyone could buy into Davis' wild and unsubstantiated theories. However, I left it at that. I never bothered to comment, at least publicly, on Davis or his ideas. Davis was, in my opinion, just one of those people this subject seems to attract who was either totally delusional or an outright charlatan. Surely, I thought, no sane person would buy into any of the craziness Davis was promoting. Sadly, I was mistaken. That being the case, I can no longer sit idly by and say nothing.

M. K. Davis gained notoriety for his work in "stabilizing" the Patterson-Gimlin film. His work helped provide the clearest version of the Patterson-Gimlin film yet seen. However, the way he went about obtaining the images to stabilize should have provided ample insight as to what sort of person M.K. Davis would turn out to be. Davis used images illicitly obtained from well-known researcher Rick Noll to create his stabilized version of the film. Noll had spent countless tedious hours pouring over John Green's copy of the Patterson-Gimlin film. He photographed the sasquatch in each frame of the film using a microscope. The images Noll's efforts rendered were the clearest and sharpest ever seen of the creature that would become known as "Patty". Davis obtained Noll's images on the sly from a third party with whom Noll had shared the images. Without these images, the "stabilized" version of the Patterson-Gimlin film would not have been possible. The unprofessional and unethical method by which Davis acquired the images seems to have been forgotten, or forgiven, by most. Perhaps, most feel the end justified the means. I would simply say that, in my opinion, there is no right way to do the wrong thing.

Davis went on to make some outlandish claims based on what he was able to see in his new and stabilized version of the Patterson-Gimlin film. Here are a few of the claims made by Davis based on the "evidence" now visible because of his work: the sasquatch was obviously some type of human, a top-knot and braid were clearly visible on the top of the creature's head along with a bone hair clasp, the sasquatch was carrying a stick, thus, it was obviously a member of a remnant tribe of, in his words, digger Indians that still inhabited the Bluff Creek area, an anomalous bulging visible on the creature's thigh proved that it had been shot, and the way the sasquatch moved its head at one point in the film showed it was dodging a bullet or bullets still being fired at it by, presumably, Bob Gimlin. In addition, Davis claimed the shape of the creature's head in the film was the result of a head binding technique practiced by some Native American tribes in years past. Watching his version of the film, I was unable to see anything that justified these claims. Davis, in his documentary, went on to theorize that sasquatches were actually descendents of Asian yetis captured by the Chinese in ancient times. The Chinese, according to him, were exploring the world on massive junks and using the sasquatches as slave labor when some were released or escaped onto the North American continent. Are you beginning to get the picture here? This is stuff I could not make up if I tried.

As I mentioned before, I chuckled a bit, shook my head, and did not give M.K. Davis much more thought. After all, his theories did not harm anyone. The only person who seemed likely to be harmed by this foolishness was Davis himself. It was his legacy that he was endangering by promoting these wild theories. Now, I'm afraid, Davis has taken things to a whole new level. He has come up with a slew of new and increasingly illogical theories based on what he sees in a film he claims was shot at the same time as the Patterson-Gimlin video. Davis claims this film proves there was a massacre of numerous sasquatches at Bluff Creek and that well-known researchers John Green, Bob Titmus, and Rene Dahinden, along with Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin, were involved in a massive cover-up of the event. Davis makes these accusations based on "evidence" he found when he manipulated the film. It seems he intensified elements of red in certain spots on the film to reveal blood on the hands of those present and huge pools of blood on the ground. Davis even claims to have spotted a sasquatch skin and a ribcage in the film. The ribcage and skin I just don't see. The pools of blood and the red on the hands of the investigators? Well, I'm no expert, but photo-enhancing software is pretty standard on computers these days. You can toy with shading, spectrum, sharpness, and contrast to produce a radically altered image if you so desire. Anything with elements of red, orange, purple, tan, or brown can be altered to appear red quickly and easily. You can read more on the theories of M.K. Davis over at Cryptomundo. Loren Coleman has done a very good job of documenting all this nonsense in great detail.

So why do I feel compelled to speak out now? Several reasons, I suppose. First, and foremost, this newest round of foolishness impugns the character of others. No longer is Davis hurting his own reputation only. Now he is attempting to smear the reputations of others. It isn't right. Roger Patterson, Rene Dahinden, and Bob Titmus are all dead. They can't defend themselves. John Greene is one of the most respected researchers of this subject of all time. Bob Gimlin is a nice man who does not deserve this. He has endured more than his share of grief due to his being present that fateful day in 1967. Another reason I felt it was time to speak is that sometimes ignoring a problem does not make it go away. A cancer left untreated will spread and consume the entire body. The cancerous poisons that are the theories of one M.K. Davis need to be removed from the body of this community. Finally, and perhaps the simplest reason is that the greatest sin occurs when good men do nothing. I can do nothing no longer.

I think there is one more reason for speaking out. The field of cryptozoology is considered a fringe science at best. With people like M.K. Davis running around spewing nonsense we cannot hope for anything better. It is time for those of us in this field to say enough is enough and expel the whackos from out midst. No other scientific discipline would accept delusional rants as fact and not require some sort of actual proof beyond doctored bits of film and stills blown up so large they are just pixelated messes. If we continue to harbor the delusional and the charlatans the field will never be taken seriously. Our standards must be higher. It has been said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence in order to be believable. Fair enough. I accept and support that in regard to proving the existence of these incredible animals. We must demand the same standard of proof of M.K. Davis in regard to his hurtful accusations and wild theories.

I am not a well known researcher or scientist. Probably only a few dozen people will read this entry. That is ok. I've now done what I can to alert people to the crazy snake oil that M.K. Davis is selling. I will not be silent while the reputations of good men are soiled by baseless nonsense any longer.

My conscience is now clear.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Mike, just recently got back into the Sasquatch material and revisited all the new video's and write ups. When I saw what MK Davis was saying I got irritated. I am not one for conspiracy theories, but this masacre theory is too crazy. And you are right, Bob Gimlin is too nice to have to deal with such stupidity. I find the man sincere. And after all these years if a grand plan happened we would have heard about it. Thanks for clearing your conscience!