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Posted 28 September 2014 - 03:59 AM
Evaluation of the Paper
A Critical Examination of the Todd Standing Sylvanic Video Subjects
By Daniel Falconer and Phil Poling
Their paper can be read here: http://woodape.org/i...ews/48-news/241
This is an evaluation of the research done by Mr. Falconer and Mr. Poling on the veracity of the two alleged sasquatch faces captured by Mr. Standing in videos 4 & 5. They make some intriguing conclusions but also field some subjective, hard assumptions, and inaccuracies in their combined paper.
First, some of the inaccurate statements (numbered below).
1. "The eyes of the video 4 subject never move."
2. "The eyelids of the video 4 subject never blink or squint. In fact, they never demonstrate any flicker of movement or life at all."
Please look at the following video that not only shows eye movement but might also include a blink and other eye lid movement including both the upper and lower eyelids as well. It first shows the subject looking left, and there is slight twitching of the eyeball, just like we do with our eyes, which is masterful if Standing faked that. It then shows a more straight on view of the subject in a different position with much more movement. It's best to enlarge the screen.
Evidently, the authors of this critique are writing from a very limited sampling of what is available free on the Internet. I assume they must have not purchased the videos themselves from Sylvanic but critiqued the subjects from some of what is found free on the Internet.
3. "In all the still images and video they seem to stare blankly in the same straight-ahead direction. . . . The pupils of the Video 4 Subject do not appear to dilate or contract at any point in the video or any of the still images, even when shadows fall across."
The authors don't seem to fathom that our pupils will contract if you are looking at a bright object regardless of whether someone's eyes are in the shadows or not. But nevertheless, notice in the above video how small the pupil is when looking in the direction of the sun. Also, there is slight movement of the eyeball. Compare that to the photo below. The eye seems to be looking away from the sun, looking more toward the nose, and the pupil seems larger, although sunlight is still hitting the eye. Contrary to the statements of the paper there likely is evidence of pupil contraction, dilation, and eye movement. The paper offered no photo evidence of the pupils being unchanged whether in light or shadows. Moreover, it is more difficult and often impossible to see the pupils in the darker images of the eyes which stymies their conjecture.
4. "Mr Standing may wish to clarify which are video still and which are still photographs."
Question: Is there a source or a reason to say two types of cameras were employed by Mr. Standing? It seems all the stills are taken from video. Regardless of how ambidextrous Mr. Standing may be, I do not believe Standing was operating a video camera and taking snap shots at the same time, with both producing identical zooms of the subjects.
5. "In Video 5, the wink . . . is awkwardly slow compared to an unconscious wink. . . ."
The clip released to the public showing the wink or blink in video 5 is slowed to 30% of normal speed, far from the natural 100% normal speed. So, like any movement slowed down that much it might appear awkwardly slow.
1. ". . . The videos indicate that he had a clear view of the subject. It stands to reason that if he did have a view clear enough to see the subject then the subject would also have a clear view of him."
According to Standing, he was a fair distance away using a zoom lens to capture the subjects. This assumption of equally observed probability would require the subjects to likewise have equal zooming capability; moreover, it doesn't account for whatever type of concealment Standing had while observing the subjects. On some of his forays he speaks of crawling in gullie suits. Thus, contrary to this assumption, it doesn't necessarily stand to reason that if he can zoom in on the subjects they can equally see him as well.
2. "He stated in the televised interview that there were 3 Bigfoots in the area and that he was surrounded by them. There was a map that indicated the exact locations of all three Bigfoots. We are made to believe that Mr. Standing was able to discern how many Bigfoots there were and pinpoint the locations of all three as he was quickly leaving the area."
According to Standing, after he was discovered they became hostel, apparently making noise and throwing things, and it's not unreasonable that he could ascertain their relative locations as they were driving him away, as he explained. He doesn't say he knows exactly how many there were or their precise locations, that's hyperbole. The map the paper mentions is on the following video. On the following video look at the map of bigfoot locations at the 8:25 minute mark of the video.
3. "It is curious that the hairlines of the subjects in Videos 4 and 5 are inconsistent. Even allowing for natural variation between individuals, it would be expected that if these two are members of the same species that there would be some commonality."
There are reports of sasquatch young being "bald faced" as opposed to the hairy faced adults. If memory serves me correct, Standing estimated the one was a 6-year-old. If real, perhaps the short fuzz gives way to more hair with age. Regarding the fuzz on the face the paper claims it ". . . looks exactly like the flocking used in toys and physical make- up effects as a proxy for a short-furred surface."
To explain the difference in the hair of the two subjects the paper states, "Surely a more likely explanation that this level of variation within the species is that of differences in the construction of the two props, the Video 5 subject being a more sophisticated second attempt?"
That is an interesting conclusion worthy of consideration, albeit assumptive. Regarding natural variations within a species, how would the authors of the paper view the bushy bearded Grizzly Adams as an adult compared to him as a child?
1. The paper claims the direction of the sunlight changes indicating hours passed during the making of video 4, the innuendo being that these are staged props that took a long time to film. But I don't see the sun coming from a different direction. The authors claim the sunlight direction changes as the subject's head is shown in different positions. Instead of just taking their word for it I will attempt to evaluate that statement.
In the below photo we can see the direction of sunlight as it lights up the snow on the rock. The sunlight is streaming in from the right side of the screen. The face is not facing the direction of the sunlight.
In the below photo the face is turned some in more of a profile to the camera man, being turned to the left so that the sunlight streaming in from the right of the screen lights up the face. The light and shadowing on the face in the photo below mimics the light and shadows we see on the snow in the photo above. I don't see any difference in the time of day between these photos. But that doesn't rule out some passage of time, I just don't see it being a great difference in time.
The Paper makes this statement:
"In the various video clips and still images grouped under the Video 4 title the lighting appears to change quite dramatically, with certain twigs lit by sunlight in some images and clips but shadowed in others. Did hours pass during which several videos were shot or were the images/videos obtained on different occassions in the exact same spot? The two options available for us are that either Mr. Standing had been there recording for that entire length of time or the short snippets of video were shot at different times, or even on different days."
This paragraph, like the rest of the paper, focuses on options that points to the subject's being faked and should expand the alternatives. First of all, I don't see anything in those photos that suggests the sun is coming from some completely different angle indicating it's hours later. Secondly, can anything else affect the light striking a twig in a still photo? like the wind blowing trees or other vegetation around, throwing shadows on twigs. The authors must think of possibilities like this, but steadfastly the paper renders narrow alternatives designed only to point to a hoax.
It seems they only focus on a few still photos of the outdoors where the head has moved to a whole new position and then look for variations in light hitting a surface. But if the authors want to claim the sun is in a different position they need to show where actual shadows are cast at different angles, something they don't do.
The paper states
2. "In all images associated with Video 4 a branch bisects the picture frame. It is the same branch in each image, although the subject moves in position behind it. Snow is present on this branch in some stills but not in others, suggesting some significant time has passed between them - possibly hours."
The diminished snow would indicate a passage of time. But the paper only offers one possible alternative. I'll provide some alternate possibilities. It's a very small amount of snow, not all of which goes away despite the above statement. It is unknown how quickly the direct sun, wind, or the creature bumping into it could have diminished it, or if sunlight highlights its presence better in one of the stills and not as well in others. Alternatively, the authors of the paper could be right and the diminished snow does indicate a longer passage of time. It is reasonable to conclude that.
I really don't know how long the alleged sasquatch could have hung out there, perhaps peering out at times and not at others, or what took place. A lengthy encounter could mean Standing was staging props and video taping them as the authors suggests, but it doesn't necessarily mean that is what is going on at all, and the paper is more decidedly firm in its conclusion of a hoax than the subjective nature of the evidence warrants.
3. There are a number of subjective elements to this paper, including the paper's claim of the lack of a caruncula lacrimalis in the corners of the eyes of the video 4 subject. Humans and all primates have that. However, the resolution of the blown-up image of the photo shopped head is not good enough to be conclusive. In the paper it is Fig. 01.02. Moreover, the image they used to show a lack of caruncula lacrimalis is an image that is photoshopped by a man named Alex Putney to show what the subject might look like if the branches were removed, and the area of the caruncula lacrimalis on the right eye is created on a computer, and they therefore use a made up image to point an arrow to showing the lack of anatomy.
The photo below, which shows the image before and after it was photo shopped, demonstrates what Mr. Putney did, unsolicited by Todd Standing, to extrapolate what the face might look like if it was unobstructed by foliage. He sent it to Mr. Standing who did post it.
The paper also made the following statement using the photoshopped head as its reference:
4. "The anatomy of the Video 4 subject's eyelids is exceedingly simple and uniform, having more in common with a toy than a living animal, suggestive of a sculpture rather than real anatomy."
Again, the paper included the above statement just below Fig. 01.02 of the photoshopped head, saying the eyelids are too uniform and look sculpted. Indeed, Mr. Putney created the upper eyelids of both eyes himself. The only eyelids he didn't create on a computer is the left lower eyelid and part of the lower right eyelid. The authors of the paper are claiming the eyelids look like something someone created on a prop, when in fact they are critiquing what Mr. Putney created on a computer. At the end of the paper the authors acknowledge they are aware it is a photoshopped image.
5. The paper commented: "The nasal septum of the Video 4 subject has an unnatural looking line where it joins the surface of the face (see Fig 05.01). This suspicious looking feature is not present in extant nonhuman ape species or humans. In each case the nasal septum blends smoothly with the surface of the face."
The chimpanzee septum in Fig. 05.03 of their paper has lines across the septum, not as deep as the one on the alleged sasquatch, but it still has vertical lines and it is not smooth. Also, unlike the photos of the human and apes the paper shows, the subject has a short layer of hair under the nose which might contribute to the shadowy line. That doesn't mean that the authors didn't find a flaw in the septum indicating a prop, but its subjective nonetheless.
6. The paper notes how the subject's bodies primarily remain hidden from view which raises the suspicion that these are bodiless prop heads. Video 5 does show a piece of a shoulder, and other images show a dark mass in the undergrowth during times the head is not in clear view. So, video 5 is not so much the problem. The paper notes how the subject in video 4 doesn't show any other part of the body but the head. The paper notes how the head rises up above a branch at a certain point (Fig. 06.09) where the body should be clearly visible if the camera man had zoomed back or moved the camera down to show its body.
However, they need to revisit how they reached that conclusion. The overlay in Fig 06.11 of their paper shows the camera has moved to a different location. The camera man has changed positions when he records the subject with its head above the branch. If the camera man had been in the previous position then without question the subject's body would have been exposed when it looked over the branch. But it is unclear what obstruction might have existed between the camera man and the subject from the new position. In other words, the paper shows what would be visible from the former camera position and applies it to the later camera position. Their purpose in claiming the video avoids showing a body is to imply Standing only has a prop head in video 4, and therefore the videos are intentionally not showing a body since there is no body.
Go to the following link to see a comparison of two images over-layed. The main image shows the former camera angle. It is overlayed with a smaller image captured from the new camera position. As you can see a tree visible in the former position is no longer in view in the latter camera position. The camera man repositioned down hill.
So, it is unclear what obstruction could have been in the way when the subject stuck its head up above the branch. The following link shows three overlays including the subjects head sticking up above the branch. Although it should be noted that the head that is looking over the branch is overlayed higher than it should be. The sticks don't match. But as you can see the one that looks over the branch is further back; so, the camera man that has repositioned himself down hill might not be able to see the body from that vantage point. Here is that link.
The point I'm trying to convey is the paper claims the subject's body would be in full view when it looked over the branch and the camera man failed to capture it, but the paper is using a photo of the former camera position to claim the subject's body would be in full view. Below is a photo from the former camera position. The blurred tree in the foreground to the right of the picture is no longer in view when the camera man zoomed in from further down the hill. This movement does suggest a prolonged encounter, the duration of which is unknown.
The authors showed how the proportions of Todd Standings head fit nicely with the subject in video 5. Something that should be considered though is adult sasquatch heads are larger than human's, and there is no way of knowing how large the alleged sasquatch head is before you make Todd Standing's head the same size on a computer and compare the anatomy of each. A lot of people would match up if you make the heads the appropriate size.
But there is something else to consider. Sasquatches might not have the same facial proportions as humans. In the following video by Thinker Thunker he notes the proportions from the center of the eyes, to the bottom of the nose, and from the bottom of the nose to the lips are different in sasquatches. They are equally proportioned in sasquatches, but in humans the distance between the bottom of the nose and lips is shorter than the distance between the center of the eyes to the bottom of the nose. Look at this video.
Likewise, look at Patty from the Patterson/Gimlin film. She has correct sasquatch proportions of equal distance between those three elements.
Now, look at the alleged sasquatch from video 4. It has the same sasquatch measurements. That doesn't mean it is not a prop, but it is unlikely to be a person with special effects make-up on.
Now look at the subject in video 5 below. It has the same proportions as a human.
Now, we don't have a large sampling of sasquatch faces to say that there are no variations, just like there are slight variations in human faces. But the proportions of the video 5 subject would work if designed around a human head as the paper notes is often done when creating a prop. I have to credit their paper for putting me on to this. I only thought of making this comparison of proportions after seeing their rendition of Standing's face compared to the face of the video 5 head pictured above.
I did discover that the proportions on the following video of an alleged sasquatch licking a trail cam would work for a human.
I also liked how the paper used overlays to show how Standing video taped the subject in video 4 from different locations, particularly Fig. 06.11, although the paper itself fails to use that overlay to point out the camera man has changed positions, being more interested in claiming Mr. Standing intentionally doesn't show a non-existent body. The camera man changing positions doesn't mean it's hoaxed, but it does show a prolonged episode that the authors vied for. I would have included the photos of those figures from the paper in this evaluation but for whatever reason I'm unable to copy pictures from the pdf file their paper is on. I've found images elsewhere.
Posted 05 October 2014 - 10:06 PM
The critique of the Sylvanic videos 4 & 5 subjects is primarily based on subjective assumptions and inaccurate data, not on definitive evidence. It appears the author’s beginning premise is Standing hoaxed the subjects, which is evidenced by them never attempting to acknowledge or suggest any alternatives except those that point to a fraud.
I believe the authors are influenced by a vocal segment of the bigfoot community that views anything Todd Standing does is a hoax. The source of this distrust resulted from what Mr. Standing did years ago. What happened years ago is Todd Standing produced a movie in Edmonton, Canada that he hyped as proof of bigfoot, getting the bigfoot community all excited that he had something that proved its existence beyond a doubt, and he had special showings where people paid to see it. However, the movie was badly done, poorly acted by a lot of actors doing re-enactments which people didn't expect to see in the documentary, with one brief video of a sasquatch, and it was not the slam dunk like he hyped it, and many people fell out with him over that, that he had hoaxed them by hyping the film much more than it was, generating a lot of negative reviews by people infuriated with him for leading them to believe he had some overwhelming evidence, which he didn’t, and since then there has been an almost cult following of people who scream fraud at everything he does regardless of them having actual proof of a fraud or not.
So, Standing is somewhat responsible for bringing this negative reaction on himself. He up-talked a film to generate excitement for his commercial venture that was a dismal letdown. It was not proved that he faked the film itself, but his hoax was overselling what he produced – with the resulting excitement yielding to the embittered disappointment that has ensued to this day.
Now that Standing has resurfaced with unbelievable head shots on film this same crowd doesn’t believe him. To them he is the man who has already hoaxed them. At issue is whether Standing is the serial hoaxer like many want to believe he is, or even if he did commit a hoax in the past could he still do genuine research that gets results? Among the various ideas advanced as proof of a hoax one primary type of proof is absent, a witness to the hoax. There are no first or second hand witnesses, or even third hand hearsay, with knowledge of him making props or staging these events. Standing's detractors are therefore left to seek other means to expose him as a hoaxer.
This critical examination of the two subjects does not present any concrete, definitive proof that the two subjects were hoaxed. As far as what is used in their arguments to critique the two subjects, the authors allude to their limited materials. Certainly Sylvanic has released some short video clips and stills of the videos free to the public while selling the videos at their site. I don't know to what degree they studied the videos, but for the type of scrutiny they want to subject these subjects to, and by pronouncing their professional expertise to do so, they should purchase all the videos and write a paper that examines what is taking place on the videos instead of guessing with a few free stills and video snippets.
The critique hosted a multitude of bad conclusions. A large volume of their critique centered around the eyes. It claimed there was no eye or eyelid movement by the subject in video 4 which is false. It spoke of the pupil not changing size regardless of whether the eye was in the shadows or not, not fathoming that the brightness of whatever the eye is focused on can impact the pupil’s size regardless if the eye is in the shade. Moreover, the pupils are impossible to see in most all of the shaded images of the eyes which makes one wonder how or why they even made that determination.
They also claimed the eyelids of the video 4 subject looked sculpted on a prop, but they used the example of a photoshopped image in which two of the eyelids were created on a computer. The end of the paper notes how the photoshopped image is a composite stitched together from several images, but even so two of the eyelids are not visible on any of the stills they propose the composite was stitched together from. Even without that error it is a highly subjective argument.
They claim a lack of a caruncula lacrimalis in the corners of the eyes of the video 4 subject, with an arrow pointed at the right eye of the photoshopped head. That portion of the eye is not visible on any of the images the paper claims the photoshopped head was stitched together from. They are pointing to what was created on a computer as an example.
They claimed the sun had moved meaning hours likely passed while Standing was staging the photos, but they offer no evidence of the sun casting shadows at a different angle. Rather they point to some still photos where the same twigs are in sunlight then later in the shadows, not contemplating that wind blowing trees or bushes overhead could account for the shadows in still photos. They did mention a small amount of snow that had melted which would indicate some unknown passage of time. But passage of time does not mean there was a hoax.
The critique tries to claim a bodiless prop by claiming the body would have been in full view when peering over a certain branch, but uses a view from a former camera position to support that claim.
I'll stop there, but there are numerous other bad assumptions and subjective claims noted in the body of this evaluation. Overall it is poorly thought out and written from a strong bias that fails to objectively examine the options. The two pundits note their credentials to give their crucifixion a semblance of authority, but the treatment of the data betrays their prosecutorial intent to build a case devoid of any objective reflection, and this over sensationalized work is therefore written to feed their anti-Standing cohorts.
Nevertheless the critical examination does field some interesting points. The lack of bodies shown with “both” heads is interesting. That does not say they were hoaxed, but it leads to speculations both pro and con, just as speculations arise from the length of time of the filming and the changing of camera positions on “both” subjects, along with the cropping of photos. Out of those mysteries the authors weave a web of Standing staging props, but it lacks any substantive support that one can use to definitively bind all that together into the staged narrative they propose.
I found some dissatisfaction with the proportions of the video 5 face. although the wide nose bridge and distance between the eyes don't work well for most humans. Unfortunately, we have such a small sampling of sasquatch faces to draw a comparison from that it’s difficult to draw a firm conclusion, that variations may exist. Here are the proportions that Thinker Thunker proposed for sasquatches compared to humans:
Here is how Patty compares to those proportions:
Now, here is a look at the subject in video 5 whose facial proportions don't match the above sasquatches.
Below is a photo of a supposed dead sasquatch killed in the 1940's. The face, including the hair pattern, nose, and facial proportions looks a lot like the video 5 subject.
The blinking of the video 5 subject seems odd to many as well. We also lack a lot of examples of sasquatches blinking on video to say that creature’s anatomy does or does not work that way. But I did run across one video of a sasquatch blinking when a flashlight is shown in its eyes, and the brows seem to move down much like the brow moves on the video 5 subject. Around the 40 second mark Thinker Thunker talks about the motion of the eye brow during a blink.
Above is the blink in real time. Below is a link to the blink slowed to 30% speed that has been circulated a great deal. It is what Mr. Falconer and Mr. Poling referred to in their paper when they wrote, "In Video 5, the wink . . . is awkwardly slow compared to an unconscious wink. . . ." Here is a link to the slow motion video they critiqued.
It is not the purpose of this evaluation to write a defense of Todd Standing, but to make a neutral evaluation of the evidence presented in this critical examination. Some are convinced the subjects are faked. I really don’t know if the subjects are faked or not. What I do see in works like this is a lot of conjecture grounded on the premise that Standing is a serial hoaxer, with that starting premise set as the primary goal to be achieved.
Posted 07 December 2014 - 03:26 PM
Falconer's and Poling's paper used the morphing of Todd Standing's head with the subject of video 5 as evidence the subject could be Standing with special effects make-up on. Here is a simple exercise that settles this issue without a doubt. Take a piece of paper and pen, hold it up to your monitor, and mark the distance from the center of the eyes to the line between the lips on either subject and compare it to the other. It is the exact same distance on both subjects. The same is true for the bottom of the nose to the line between the lips, both are the same distance. Now measure the distance between the eyes, from center of one eye to the center of the other and mark the paper. The sasquatch eyes are much further apart, its not even close. Since the proportions agree one way but not the other its impossible for Todd Standing to be the sasquatch. It's pure mathematics; you can't make it work.
Can you use special effects make-up to change the shape of the eyes to make them so different? The lower lid takes on a different curve under the eyes. Also, the bridge of the nose on the video 5 subject is so monstrously wide that the eyes are set much further apart. This excludes Standing, and I wonder if it excludes most all humans? This does not rule out the possibility of it being a prop though, just not Standing.
The morphing of Todd's face with a sasquatch creates a family resemblance because most of the features are from the sasquatch. The mouth is completely the sasquatch's, just brushed down a little. If you look at the un-morphed photo of Todd his mouth is not as wide and the line between the lips forms a different pattern. The nose is from the sasquatch, just brushed down a little. Standing's nose isn't that wide. It seems all that's been done is cut and paste Standing's eyes on it, do some overlay, and using a computer brush over some of the hair to make it look like skin. Of course putting most of the sasquatch features on Todd looks like the sasquatch, unlike when you look at his untouched photo of Todd's face.
Did whoever morph this do an overlay and notice the mouth and eyes didn't land properly? Is there such a thing as hoaxing to prove a hoax?
Below is a quote from Dr. Meldrum on his opinion of the morphing of Todd Standing's head onto the video 5 subject.
The skull below is a possible sasquatch skull. If you notice the nasal cavity begins mid-level with the eyes. Human nasal cavities begin below the eye sockets. This could explain the wide nose bridge on sasquatches like Patty. I wrote a paper studying bigfoot head anatomy and posted it to my blog here.
Note the high nasal cavity, protruding jawline, brow ridge, retreating forehead, and vaulted cranium -- all typical sasquatch features.
Posted 07 December 2014 - 05:05 PM
Dr. Jeff Meldrum's Evaluation of the Falconer and Poling Report
Dr. Meldrum wrote his own evaluation of the paper by Daniel Falconer and Phil Poling a few months after I wrote my evaluation of it. Independent of one another he was likewise dismayed at the explanations and conclusions their paper reached. Below is an abbreviated version of what Dr. Meldrum wrote (fewer images). To view his entire evaluation click on either of the following links.
DR. MELDRUM'S REPONSE
I have been challenged and badgered to respond to the criticisms aimed at Todd Standing's images. So today I set things aside and wrote a quick and dirty response to Falconer and Poling report. I still have not drawn a conclusion myself, but I am certainly not convinced by their arguments that these are definitely hoaxed. I continue to be dismayed by the tenuous arguments and baseless certitude by so many on this. A lot more work needs to be done.
Let me reiterate -- neither my visit to Nordegg for a few days, nor my co-hosting, what I thought turned out to be a very interesting radio show, constitute an endorsement of everything else that Todd has done. I am still considering the evidence. - Dr. Jeff Meldrum
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