Hovey Must Relinquish Rights To Bigfoot Photo

Posted by Scott McMan | August 8, 2013 37


  • Is the Mellissa Hovey photo really a shot from Karl Kozak’s,”Clawed”?
  • Forced to drop the copyright and spend thousands on court costs, why is Hovey still defiant?
  • Could it be that she’s actually telling the truth?

While I’ve never been convinced either way in the Bigfoot debate, I was impressed when the Melissa Hovey photo came out. It looked extremely authentic and I got in on the ground floor. In fact, it was our story (see “Associated Content”) that sent the photo into the viral tantrum it enjoyed.

Since that time, the Hovey photo has been under intense scrutiny with several individuals calling for Melissa to remove her copyright. This morning (08/07/13), it was reported by The Bigfootery Enquirer that Ms. Hovey is being forced to abandon her copyright claim.

Hovey v Poling Dismissed With Prejudice – Copyright, no, Copywrong

August 7, 2013 by thebigfooteryenquirer

With prejudice is important. It indicates misconduct upon the part of the claimant and forbids her from filing another claim.

A settlement agreement was brokered by the magistrate; we imagine both parties got a piece of his mind, but especially the moving party.

Stipulations include:

1. Both parties responsible for their own cost and attorney fees.
2. Removal of and cease further disparaging or defaming remarks towards each other.
3. Hovey must file within 20 days, at her own expense, a disclaimer and forfeiture of her registration of her claim to copyright in the “Photograph”.

We suspect this did not work out quite as she hoped, out filing fees, attorney fees and loss of her copyright claim instead of $75k or more.

To read opinions associated with this TBE story, take a look here….

One guy who’s been pushing Hovey to remove her claim is Director Karl Kozak who says Hovey has nothing more than a snapshot from his film, “Clawed”.

Here’s what Karl had to say:

Hi Scott –

As I’ve stated from the beginning, the photo of bigfoot claimed by Ms.
Hovey (taken at night from the rear) was snapped by a crew member on the
set of our movie in North Bend, Washington.

To prove that further, here’s a daytime photo that I came across in my
folder (and sent to Ms Hovey) that depicts our bigfoot actor with
the same rear view angle. If you look at the contour and shape of the
outfit – you can see it’s the same as the other pic. The lighting is
obviously different (night vs day) and that changes the coloring. Also, it
was damp when the night shot was taken, so the hair has a different look
and reflects the photoflash, but I think you can see — it’s our “Bigfoot”.

Below we see the photo Karl is referencing:

Kovak Bigfoot

As Much as I’d like to agree with Karl, I am just not convinced. Below we see the Hovey photo manipulated to show the same size and view as Karl’s picture. Take a look:


Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t see a match here. The hair is similar, but Hovey’s shows gaps, in fact several gaps, where Karl’s doesn’t seem to show any. Furthermore, even at night, such light colored hair wouldn’t appear as dark as Hovey’s example, not to mention the gray streaks are not evident on Karl’s side.

So, lets go a step further. Again, I’ve manipulated the pictures, but this time I overlapped them and faded Karl’s Bigfoot out enough to show that the shoulder width’s are different between the two. Furthermore, Karl’s Bigfoot shows to be more slight of build. Tell me what you think:


Just to make sure you can follow the Hovey Bigfoot outline, I added the red marker. Again, if forced to make a decision based on the variables, such as time of day, position, lighting, manipulation of a “costume”, etc…I still have to balk at Karl’s claim.

Way back when the Hovey photo was all the rage, I spent quite a few hours watching Karl’s film, “Clawed”. I have to say, I was entertained and do recommend it for anyone’s Bigfoot movie marathon. However, after viewing frame by frame shots, when the Bigfoot was on screen, I just couldn’t find any evidence to support Karl.

Clawed Trailer:

When I spoke to Karl, I felt that his photo was going to prove without a doubt that the Hovey Bigfoot was in fact, his Bigfoot. In my mind, Karl was going to provide the view I had missed in the film. In fact, I related to him that I wanted to set the record straight with our readers. My apologies Karl, I sincerely appreciate your input, but I can’t deny what I’m seeing.

Maybe Karl can dig up some other photos to refute my analysis? Until then, to me the Melissa Hovey photo stands as a continuing mystery.

Thanks to Karl Kozak for his contribution to this article. You can download his film, Clawed from Netflix, Amazon and many other outlets.
I’d also like to thank The Bigfootery Enquirer for content provided.

Associated Content:

GT: Breaking News: Is This The Best Photo Of Bigfoot Ever?
GT: Bigfoot Foot?
GT: Leaked Stills Of Bigfoot Matilda?

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I grew up in rural NWPA, surrounded in forest. I took an early interest in cryprozoology and sharks and have read many books on various crypto subjects such as Bigfoot and Megalodon over the years. I am not a professional writer or a journalist, but I do the best I can. I have a quirky, obscurely dry and sometimes sarcastic sense of humor than can get me in trouble. Some love me and some hate me, but I am who I am.

37 Responses

  • There are significant differences in the anatomy and the quality of the hair.
    None of which proves or disproves anything about bigfoot, but does serve to distinguish the two photos.

  • Scott_McMan

    Very true Henry. Frankly, I don’t know that the ruling was fair, however, I don’t have all the particulars as I’m sure there is documentation not made public.

    I do know this, Melissa is still fighting for what she believes and Karl is convinced that it is a photo of his costume. In fact, he’s pretty animate about it. Maybe he’ll find some other pictures. I did offer him the opportunity to refute my analysis.

  • Melisss Hovey

    You know Scott, your post here brings up a question… If Mr. Kozak is the owner of the photo I released last year – he is not saying he sent the photo to me, nor is he saying I somehow hacked into his computers and took it. So, if this photo is his, that would mean someone who works for him – has the photo and sent it to me. Who else would have access. One would think Mr. Kozak would be very interested in the name of the person who sent me this photo – or their email address. He has asked me neither of these questions. Any logical person would be wondering right now, “Why doesn’t Kozak care (if the photo Melissa released is his) who in his employment is taking his personal property and sending it out – without the permission of Kozak?

    I also know there is more to the photo, than what was sent to me. A friend of mine who seen it while working with another researcher told me the picture sent to this other researcher showed more of the subject going down the back. So, if the photo I released is the property of Mr. Kozak – he should have more photos showing more of the animal and possibly the background……….

    Just food for thought.

  • Melody Herman

    Im going to have to agree with you Scott. It clearly looks like 2 different pics to me and 2 different specimens as well. Hoveys spec looks very organic to me. Very interesting article, Thank you.

  • Scott_McMan

    Melody, interesting choice of words. When you say “organic” is that inferring that you may be so inclined to believe this to be a genuine Bigfoot photo?

    I’ve heard lots and lots of costume talk from so many sources, but I have yet to see an example proven in this case. Of course, I am in no way saying this is a real Bigfoot. As I said, it continues to be a mystery.

    Thanks for the post and please keep em coming!

  • Melody Herman

    I wouldn’t say that I believe that its genuine, (only dna evidence and scientific facts would let me say that) but if it is a costume or some sort of suit, I would say its extremely well done. As a skeptical believer I look forward to reading more about this.

  • keith

    Obviously two different

  • Bigfoot In Maryland

    Karl’s actor’s neck is longer than the one in the original photo which coincides with eyewitness reports of a creature with “NO NECK”. In Hovey’s photo the
    hair is longer and appears to be very coarse as a unclean wild animal would have and you can see the skin through the matted hair. The hair on the suit has the grain going in the opposite direction and the actors head is not as wide as the original and look closely at the muscles on the right shoulder which is not present on the actors suit…besides how on earth would she have obtained a photo of this actor to begin with? I might also add that when digital photos are taken there is a code within that .jpeg image that should have a date, time and the serial number make and model of the camera that would prove where it came from.

  • Bigfoot In Maryland

    Also it be should a simple task to put the camera back where the photo was taken and trip it herself to show that the vegetation matches.

  • Scott_McMan

    She didn’t take the photo. That’s the biggest part of the court order, the court ruled that the photo wasn’t hers to copyright. I apologize as I concentrated on the costume aspect. However, I hope to do a follow up and include info I’ve just recently received.

  • Melisss Hovey

    Just a point of clarification. The court didn’t rule anything. Settlements are not about “rulings” or “guilt” or “innocence” they are about settling the matter to avoid the time and expense of a court trial – if an agreement between the parties can be reached.

    Anyone can pull up the agreement online, and if anyone can find the words, “guilty” or “innocent” I will give you 50 bucks. :) LOL. I understand that people only know what they are told – but we shouldn’t always believe what we are told.

    Look it up yourself :)

  • Scott_McMan

    Melissa, as you can see, my comment came almost 3 weeks ago. That was before I got more detailed information. I am throwing that word (ruling) around quite a bit and I apologize.

    I stand corrected, thanks Melissa!

  • Melisss Hovey

    Oh, I am not upset, no need to apologize. I just see many people saying this and it’s just not at all correct.

    No biggie. :)

  • Para Breakdown

    No. It was not a ruling. It didn’t have to be since her case had no merit to begin with so it never made it to trial, or even past scheduling.

  • Bigfoot Gifts & Toys

    These are just gimmicks to make it exciting in hunting for Bigfoot.

  • Jaybird4535

    If you do a google image search on “Abominable the movie” you will come up with pictures that more closely match the Hovey picture, especially the ones that have a nightime shot of the creature with a hatchet in it’s back. If you do some manipulation on the picture you can actually see where the blood was from the “hatchet wound” was by changing the contrast on the various colors.

    This was discussed one night on a facebook group page and the foliage matched as well in the movie.

  • Scott_McMan

    I’ll check into that. Can you give me a time in the movie when I will see this image? I prefer to go right to the source and do my own analysis.

    I went thru both Yahoo and Google images and didn’t find anything conclusive.

  • Jaybird4535

    No I can’t give you a time because I haven’t watched the movie I just went by the still images from the google image search that I did some time back. I find the images very conclusive that this is the same suit used in that movie especially if you look at the still shots that show the hatchet in the back of the creature.

  • Scott_McMan

    if you get the time, please email me the images you find to be conclusive and I’ll take a look.

    Many people just believed Karl’s photo was the same subject as Hovey’s. When you really take the time to put them in an editor, you find the differences. As I said above, there is allegedly another costume that was used in the film, but until I see photos of that, I have to go with what is sent to me by Karl. By the way, he never mentioned another costume.

  • AaronD2012

    As a friend of Melissa’s, my post will be arguably biased…but let’s look at the fur, you think they just might be different? Aside from the obvious, the 2 pictures are just……different. Forgive me if I missed it, when is the flick supposed to be released?

  • Jaybird4535

    Both films have been out for years, you can do a search for them and find them online I am sure.

  • AaronD2012

    Aah, that explains it. Thanks :)

  • Scott_McMan

    Aaron, it has been contended that there is another costume that was used for night shots. Although, why would you used a dark fur for night shots and a light fur for day?

    Trust me, I’m confused by all of this myself. I spoke to a person close to all of this and he called it a big mess and I agreed.

    Melissa has always been nice to me, however, I can’t be biased and just want the truth. She’s never seemed the liar type, so unless it’s proven that she lied at some point, I have to assume in good faith that she’s being truthful in what she says. Then again, I have to treat Karl the same way to be fair.

  • ralphie boy

    if the photo is hers she should be able to produce the camera card on which it was taken. the picture will appear there in context, with shots immediately preceding and following the money shot possibly giving some idea of where and when…if it was uploaded to computer and the camera card “lost or deleted,” the image will still have associated metadata, which can tell what camera, time and date, maybe even location. did she ever produce this information?

  • Jaybird4535

    No she has never said anything other than the photo, was emailed to her and after years she posted it and asked what other people thought about the photo being real. It is all on her blog.

  • Caleb

    Kozak had nothing to do with the lawsuit. It was decided based on Hovey not owning the photo. In case people missed it, you can’t sue for copyright infringement if you don’t own the photo! She has always said that she did not take it, know who took it or even know who sent it to her. So how can she expect to win in court when she doesn’t even own it?

  • Scott_McMan

    The lawsuit was between Hovey and Poling.

  • Melisss Hovey

    Caleb said: “It was decided based on Hovey not owning the photo.”

    Really? That would be news to me, because I was there – and that conversation never happened…. LOL. Please don’t play internet lawyer, or pretend you know the details of a situation – you were not privy to.

    People copyright photos and things they did not take or create – every day. If what you’re saying is true – then how can Mrs. Patterson have legal copyright of the “Patterson Gimlin Film”? She wasn’t there when the film was shot – and she admits it. Yet, she owns the copyright on the film. Based on your “expert legal opinion,” I guess Mrs. Patterson is wrong. Oh, Biscardi owns the copyright on the Ivan Marx pictures… I wonder how they did it? LOL.

  • Panther

    I am inclined to agree with Scott. I don’t know what that is in the Hovey picture, (A body builder in a suit perhaps or maybe the real thing!?), but too don’t believe it is what Karl Kozak thinks it is.

    The top part of the cranium of Hovey’s has more of a Sagittal crest compared to Mr. Kozak’s actor and it head seems more wider. The shoulders are more broad in Hovey’s, plus there is definitely more meat and muscle to Hovey’s as compared to Koak’s actor.

    A real pity that there is not a front shot of Hovey’s anomaly. That would likely remove all doubt.

  • AaronD2012

    I’ll email or txt Melisa and see if she’ll share anything with me. Knowing her, there is likely more to the story than we’re getting. If I learn anything new that I can share with you all–I’ll let you know. Thanks Scott!

  • Scott_McMan

    There is plenty to this story Aaron. Ever since she published that photo, it’s been a rush to discredit her and take her copyright away. Do I support her? Again, I have to be neutral, but as said, she’s treated me with respect as has Karl and others involved.

    We hope to soon have much more detail in a follow up. Anything Melissa can add will be welcome.

  • Para Breakdown

    It’s very easy to understand despite all of the posturing. Scott, if your neighbor loaned you his car, are you then allowed to legally take it to DMV and have the title put in your name? Think about it. The only thing she can do to clear this up is to present the community with the legal name of the person who took the photo with a document relinquishing their rights to it. The lawyer above was absolutely right; anyone can pull any photo off line and send it to the copyright office and register it in their name. But it is not legal to do this and anyone who submits an item must sign a declaration that the item is legally theirs. Since Melissa doesn’t even know who took it, she can’t claim that she has any rights to it. No one was “taking her copyright away”. She never had one. Her registration was voided by default.

  • Melisss Hovey

    Hello. Good article Scott. I too have read all the comments about the photo I released being the abominable suit. There is one big problem with that:


    There is also a big problem with the “Clawed” suit – again – Mr. Healy of Healy FX (who made the suit) has said more than once the photo I released is not a picture of the suit he made.

    I emailed Mr. Kozak in 2012, 4 or 5 times, after he came out and said the photo I released was of the suit from his movie (in 2012), and he never replied. I don’t know why he didn’t, he just didn’t. I’m still curious as to why he never claimed ownership of this photo – he never said, until the news broke, (within the last couple weeks) that this is a photo he has ownership of. One would think that would have been the first thing he said back in 2012………

    Very few are also discussing the fact that Mr. Healy has fabricated 3 copies of this suit – since the movie was shot. Mr. Healy sent a photo (and I posted it last year) of a fabricated “Clawed” suit he did for a movie shot in Romania – and it was closer to the photo I released than the photo Mr. Kozak has been sending. I also posted that photo on my blog. Everything I have ever received, since making this photo public, I have released.

    The photo Mr. Kozak sent to Scott (above), was released last year – by me with the permission of Mr. Healy who sent it to me. I have asked Mr. Kozak to provide other photos of the back of this “suit”, and so far he has not done so. I don’t know why he won’t. He also won’t answer any direct questions as to how this photo I released (if it is his property) came to be in my possession. I wish he would answer questions and send more photos – because I would like to see the questions answered – if this is in fact his photo.

    I don’t know if the photo I released is of a bigfoot or a bighoax. I’ve never said any different. But, before we start giving credit to someone – I want to be positive – so it ends all the questions.

  • Bigfoot Gifts & Toys

    A back of Bigfoot?

  • spfx

    She’s taken a photo of a fake…or found the photo at a garage sale or thrift store….looks the same to me.

  • Para Breakdown

    The night shot on the left is placed higher up than the day shot on the right. Make the shoulders even straight across. Now look at the one on the left. The actor is looking down. On the right, he’s looking straight ahead. That’s why the head looks different. Hes’ just looking down. Karl is right about the fir material reflecting light at night and turning a silvery color. Now look at the one on the left. See the gaps in the fir? yep. What color is the “skin”? Not surprisingly, it’s the same light brown color as the one on the right. That shot has gaps too but they are harder to see because the skin is the same color. That’s the way these suits are made, skin matching fir so that it gives an even color and look over all.

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