“The Bigfoot Stories You’ve Never Heard” #WeirdDarkness

“The Bigfoot Stories You’ve Never Heard” #WeirdDarkness


Welcome to “Weird Darkness” I’m your creator and host, Darren Marlar. This episode is a collaboration with my friends
and Haunting Stories. I’ll be telling you about Bigfoot – and
over at Haunting Stories they’ve posted another video, with me narrating a continuation
of this regarding the Minnesota Iceman! Be sure to check out their video right after
you watch this one! This is Weird Darkness – where you’ll
find creepypastas, ghost stories, unsolved mysteries, crytptids like Bigfoot, and other
stories of the strange and bizarre. Feel free to share your own creepy story at
WeirdDarkness.com, I might use it in a future episode! Now.. sit back, turn down the lights, and
come with me into the Weird Darkness! It all started with a bunch of footprints
at a construction site. Or at least the modern-day fascination with
“Bigfoot” did. Stories of hairy giants in the woods and wandering
“wild men” had been a part of American lore for nearly two centuries by the time
the nickname “Bigfoot” was coined in the late 1950s. But it was then, with the advent of television
and the modern media, that chasing down giants in the woods became a national craze. It was the spring of 1957 and a road construction
project was underway near Bluff Creek in northern California. The project was run by a contractor named
Ray Wallace and his brother, Wilbur. They hired thirty men that summer to work
on the project and by late in the season, Wilbur Wallace reported that something had
been throwing around some metal oil drums at the work site. When winter arrived that year, cold weather
brought the work to a halt, even though only ten miles of road had been completed. In early spring 1958, some odd tracks were
discovered near the Mad River close to Korbel, California. Some of the locals believed they were bear
tracks. As it happened, this was close to another
work site that was managed by the Wallace brothers. Later on that spring, work started up again
on the road near Bluff Creek. A number of new men were hired, including
Jerry Crew, who drove more than two hours each weekend so he could be home with his
family. Ten more miles of road were constructed, angling
up across the face of a nearby mountain. On August 3, 1958, Wilbur Wallace stated that
something threw a seven-hundred-pound spare tire to the bottom of a deep gully near the
work site. This incident was reported later in the month,
after the discovery of the footprints. On August 27, Jerry Crew arrived for work
early in the morning and found giant, manlike footprints pressed into the dirt all around
his bulldozer. He was at first upset by the discovery, thinking
that someone was playing a practical joke on him, but then he decided to report what
he found to Wilbur Wallace. At this point, the footprints had not been
made public. That occurred on September 21, when Mrs. Jess
Bemis, the wife of one of the Bluff Creek work crew, wrote a letter to Andrew Genzoli,
the editor of a local newspaper. Genzoli published her husband’s “Big Foot”
story and caught the attention of others in the area. One of these was Betty Allen, a newspaper
reporter who suggested in a late September column that plaster casts should be made of
the footprints. She had already talked to local Native Americans
and interviewed residents about hairy giants in the area. She convinced Genzoli to run other stories
and letters about Bigfoot. This would be the beginning of a story that
would capture the imagination of America. On October 1 and 2, Jerry Crew discovered
more tracks, very similar to the first ones. In response to the new discovery, two workers
quit and Wilbur Wallace allegedly introduced his brother Ray to the situation for the first
time, bringing him out to show him the tracks. On the day after the last tracks were found,
Jerry Crew made plaster casts of the footprints, with help from his friend Bob Titmus and reporter
Betty Allen. He was irritated that people were making fun
of him and wanted to offer the casts as evidence that he wasn’t making the whole thing up. On October 5, Andrew Genzoli published his
now-famous story about “Bigfoot.” It was picked up worldwide by the wire services,
and soon the term was being used in general conversation. In 1959, famous zoologist Ivan T. Sanderson
was touring the country for a planned book on ecology and used the time to also do some
investigative work on unexplained phenomena. He had long been interested in the Yeti creatures
of Asia and decided to stop off in Bluff Creek for a look at the site involved in Jerry Crew’s
accounts. He stayed at a local hotel for a little over
a week, looking at files provided by Betty Allen and talking to witnesses from the area. When he left, he was supposed to make some
candid assessments about the incidents to Tom Slick, a Texas millionaire who had funded
some on-site investigation into the Bigfoot encounters, as well as a search for the Yeti
in Nepal. When the report was made, though, what he
called “various small items in the past” were left out. Sanderson was impressed by many of the people
that he met, including Betty Allen and Jerry Crew, but he had some reservations about others
— especially Ray Wallace. It’s likely that he had good reasons for
those reservations. When Ray Wallace died in November 2002, newspapers
across America ran stories that featured three words: “Bigfoot is dead!” When Wallace passed away, his son, Michael,
told the Seattle Times that his father had been “Bigfoot” all along, and that the “reality
is, Bigfoot just died.” Needless to say, the media — and those skeptical
of the idea that a creature like Bigfoot could even exist — went wild. Many hastily written stories followed that
declared that Wallace, using a pair of crudely carved wooden feet, made phony tracks all
over the Pacific Northwest, and that his wife had donned a monkey suit and helped to hoax
a controversial film that many respected researchers believe shows an authentic Bigfoot. The answer as to whether or not enormous,
hairy, human-like creatures could be lurking in the woods and remote regions of the American
continent had just been answered. There is no Bigfoot, the newspapers said;
it had been a hoax all along. But had it really? For many, Ray Wallace was the father of modern
Bigfoot stories, but what happened at a construction site where he was a contractor was actually
a minor event involving some mysterious footprints. The incident occurred at a time when Americans
were ready for something exciting to grip their imaginations, and the media pounced
on the discovery of the tracks. The word “Bigfoot” was coined and became a
term that people have used ever since. No matter how you look at it, what happened
in Bluff Creek in 1958 ushered in the modern era of Bigfoot and created an interest in
the subject that is still alive today. “Bigfoot” didn’t die when Ray Wallace
passed away in 2002. He’d already been with us for centuries
and if many people – hunters, researchers and scientists – are to be believed, he
is alive and well today. In 2002, the media was trying hard to convince
the general public that Ray Wallace was a highly respected figure in the world of Bigfoot
research, but in truth, he had been regarded with suspicion by luminaries in the field
like Ivan T. Sanderson, as far back as 1959. During his lifetime, Wallace claimed to have
seen UFOs as many as two thousand times. He said he spotted Bigfoot hundreds of times
and also claimed to have filmed footage of Bigfoot a year before Jerry Crew found the
footprints at the construction site. At one point in 1959, he even claimed to have
captured one! When Tom Slick offered him money for it, though,
Wallace failed to produce the creature. He later claimed that he told amateur documentary
maker Roger Patterson where to go to film Bigfoot in 1967, but few believed this. Wallace said that he had many films of Bigfoot
but each turned out to be an obvious hoax. Later, a retired logger named Rant Mullens,
who was known for perpetrating hoaxes, said that he often made large wooden footprints
and gave them to Wallace, who then prepared plaster casts from them to put on display. With his involvement in all sorts of questionable
activities, Wallace had been regarded with suspicion by those with even a mild interest
in Bigfoot for years. Sanderson was concerned about Wallace from
the beginning, and became even more worried when he received letters about Bigfoot tracks
being discovered in areas that turned out to be near other Wallace construction sites. He stated that everyone who did not believe
the tracks were made by some sort of unknown, living entity believed that they had been
made by Wallace. “He was a great ‘funster,'” Sanderson wrote,
and hinted that if there were enough problems on a work site, Wallace could get his work
contracts changed and get no-cost extensions granted. Could this have been the motive for creating
the phony tracks? Unfortunately, the other things that Wallace
got involved in from the 1950s until his death did not alleviate early suspicions about him. His continued involvement with fakes and frauds
and his later claim that he hoaxed the tracks to bring attention to the plight of the real
Bigfoot and to keep him from being killed by hunters, caused many to believe that the
1958 Bluff Creek tracks were a hoax. It also appears that Wallace planted phony
prints at other worksites in the region over the years. This seems to mean that the so-called “birth
of Bigfoot” was nothing more than a clever hoax: a hoax that managed to fool people all
over the country and around the world. So, if this is the case, does this mean that
the existence of Bigfoot — a giant, hairy creature that lives in the most remote regions
of America — is just a hoax? The skeptics would certainly like you to think
so. But just as they, and the media, overlooked
the fact that most Bigfoot researchers had already discredited Ray Wallace at the time
of his death, they also overlooked the scores of reports, first-hand accounts and authentic
evidence of the man-like creature that had been around for years. Before we go any further, I should note that
I’m not a Bigfoot researcher. While I have always been intrigued by the
idea that such beings could exist, I have never encountered one, hunted for them, investigated
case reports, picked up dung samples or took anything other than a mild interest in them. I have occasionally run across reports of
Bigfoot creatures while researching other things, though, and being intrigued, have
sometimes included accounts of Bigfoot in my writings. However, I think it was my non-expert interest
in Bigfoot that got me so upset in 2002 when Ray Wallace passed away. To be honest, I was alarmed by the revelation
that Wallace had been involved in so many hoaxes over the years. Having no other knowledge about him or that
he was already a suspicious figure to those in the field, I wondered about the damage
this was going to do to Bigfoot research. Rather than jump to conclusions about the
validity of Bigfoot study as a whole, however, I decided to do a little research into its
history, which is probably something that the media should have been doing rather than
printing half-baked theories about how Bigfoot had been a hoax from the beginning. To “discover” Bigfoot, I turned to the past. How had history shaped the creature that we
have come to know over the years, and in turn, how had Bigfoot shaped the unexplained in
America? I began looking into the “history of Bigfoot”
and what I found was fascinating. Bigfoot had not been “born” in 1958 but had
been around for decades — even centuries. I soon discovered some pretty amazing accounts
of Bigfoot encounters from the past and it became obvious that the Bigfoot reports had
not started in 1958, as the media claimed. Before continuing, let me make it clear that
I do not consider myself to be an expert on Bigfoot research. You won’t find any technical writings here
that delve into Bigfoot physiology or the best ways to capture one. What I have instead tried to do is to make
the case that the existence of Bigfoot is possible — even probable — based on the
fact that these creatures have been with us throughout the history of America. I have tried to collect the best, and most
compelling, historical incidents of encounters with Bigfoot and have also included a few
of the most interesting ones from modern times, as well. Strange things are out there “in the wild”
and the creatures that lurk in the dark woods and remote regions may even be stranger than
anything you’ve ever imagined. There was no question what the first entry
in this book had to be. There is no greater mystery in the annals
of the unexplained in America than Sasquatch, the creature most commonly known as “Bigfoot.” Reports of giant, ape-like monsters have been
documented all over the country, although primarily in the forested regions of the Pacific
Northwest. There are tales of giant hairy figures in
every state in America, although the “traditional” Bigfoot is believed to roam the vast regions
of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and the western edge of Canada. The narrative that follows will include history
and lore from a variety of locations. Although most mainstream scientists maintain
that no such creatures exist (and short of an actual specimen, their minds will not be
changed), it is not inconceivable that undiscovered creatures could be roaming this wide region
of mountains and forests. There are areas there that have been almost
completely untouched by man and where few signs of the modern world can be found, even
today. If we combine these remote areas with the
hundreds of eyewitness accounts and pieces of evidence left behind, then we have no choice
but to at least consider the idea that these creatures may actually be real. Of course, the reader is asked to judge for
himself, but let’s consider the history of Bigfoot in America. According to many eyewitnesses, Sasquatch
averages around seven feet in height, sometimes taller and sometimes a little shorter. They are usually seen wandering alone and
hair covers most of their bodies. Their limbs are usually powerful, but they
are described as being proportioned more like humans than like apes. However, their broad shoulders, short necks,
flat faces and noses, sloped foreheads, ridged brows and cone-shaped heads make them appear
animal-like. They reportedly eat both meat and plants,
are largely nocturnal and are less active during cold weather. The creatures are most commonly reported as
being covered in dark, auburn-colored hair, although reports of brown, black and even
white and silver hair do occasionally pop up. The footprints left behind by the monsters
range in size from about 12 to 22 inches long, with around 18 inches being the most common. Their tracks are normally reported to be somewhere
around seven inches in width. The stories of Sasquatch and other man-like
creatures have been part of American history for generations. Native American legend and lore is filled
with creatures that sound a lot like Bigfoot. One such creature was the “Wendigo.” While this creature is considered by many
to be the creation of horror writer Algernon Blackwood in his classic tale of the same
name, this spirit was considered very real to many in the north woods and prairies. Many legends and stories have circulated over
the years about a mysterious creature that was encountered by hunters and campers in
the shadowy forests of the upper regions of Minnesota. In one variation of the story, the creature
could only be seen if it faced the witness head-on, because it was so thin that it could
not be seen from the side. It was said to have a voracious appetite for
human flesh, and the many forest dwellers who disappeared over the years were said to
be its victims. The American Indians had their own tales of
the Wendigo, dating back so far that most who were interviewed could not remember when
the story was not part of their culture. The Inuit called the creature by various names,
including Wendigo, Witigo, Witiko and Wee-Tee-Go, each of which roughly translates to mean “the
evil spirit that devours mankind.” Around 1860, a German explorer translated
Wendigo to mean “cannibal” among the tribes along the Great Lakes. Native American versions of the creature spoke
of a gigantic spirit, over fifteen feet tall, that had once been human but had been transformed
by the use of magic. Though all of the descriptions of the creature
vary slightly, the Wendigo is generally said to have glowing eyes, long yellow fangs and
a long tongue. Most are said to have sallow, yellowish skin,
but others are said to be matted with hair. They are tall and lanky and are driven by
a ravenous hunger. But how would a person turn into one of these
strange creatures? According to the lore, a Wendigo is created
whenever a person resorts to cannibalism in order to survive. When tribes and settlers were cut off from
civilization by bitter snows and ice, they occasionally resorted to eating human flesh
– and the Wendigo was created. But how real were these creatures? Could the legend of the Wendigo have sprung
up merely as a warning against cannibalism? Or could sightings of Bigfoot-type creatures
have created the stories? While this is unknown, it is believed that
white settlers to the region took the stories seriously. It became enough of a part of their culture
that tales like those of Algernon Blackwood were penned. Purportedly real-life stories were told as
well, and according to the settlers’ version of the legend, the Wendigo would often appear,
banshee-like, to signal an impending death in the community. A Wendigo allegedly made a number of appearances
near a town called Rosesu in northern Minnesota from the late 1800s through the 1920s. Each time that it was reported, an unexpected
death followed. Even into the last century, Native Americans
actively believed in, and searched for, the Wendigo. One of the most famous Wendigo hunters was
a Cree Indian named Jack Fiddler. He claimed to have killed at least fourteen
of the creatures in his lifetime, although the last killing resulted in his imprisonment
at the age of 87. In October 1907, Fiddler and his son, Joseph,
were tried for the murder of a Cree Indian woman. They both pleaded guilty to the crime but
defended themselves by stating that the woman had been possessed by the spirit of a Wendigo
and was on the verge of transforming into one. According to their defense, she had to be
killed before she murdered other members of the tribe. There are still many stories told of Wendigo
that have been seen in northern Ontario, near the Cave of the Wendigo, and around the town
of Kenora, where a creature has been spotted by traders, trackers and trappers for decades. There are many who still believe that the
Wendigo roams the woods and the prairies of northern Minnesota and Canada. Whether it seeks human flesh, or acts as a
portent of coming doom, is anyone’s guess, but before you start to doubt that it exists,
remember that the stories and legends of this fearsome creature have been around since before
the white man walked on these shores. Like all legends, this one was likely started
for a reason. The Yakama Indians of the Pacific Northwest
had a tradition of a “Qah-lin-me,” which was a devourer of people and the Hupa Indians
called the man-like beasts the “Omah,” a demon of the wilderness. The Nisqually tribe of western Washington
had the “Tsiatko,” a gigantic, hairy beast, and the “Tenatco” was known by the Kaska. These creatures were known to dig a hole in
the ground as a place to sleep and would sometimes kidnap women and children. Most of the woodland giants in the lore of
the Native Americans seem to be more aggressive than the creatures we know as Bigfoot, but
there is little mistaking them for something else. In fact, in 1934, author Diamond Jenness reported
that the members of the Carrier First Nation of British Columbia, now generally referred
to as the Dakelh, told of a monster that left enormous footprints in the snow, had a face
like a man, was very tall and was covered in long hair. This hardly seems to be coincidence when compared
to “modern” version of Bigfoot. The legend of Bigfoot-type creatures is so
mired in the history of American that even the Native American term “Sasquatch” is a
bit of an extraction from mythological stories. The folkloric Sasquatch (the word is the Americanized
version of a term used by the Coast Salish Indians of Canada) was introduced to the world
in the writings of J.W. Burns, a schoolteacher at the Chehalis Indian
Reservation near Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia. Burns’ Sasquatch was a legendary figure that
he learned of through native informants and was really more man than monster. He was an intelligent “giant Indian” who was
endowed with supernatural powers. Somehow, the name managed to stick for the
huge beings that we would come to call Bigfoot. Legend has it that Bigfoot began to be encountered
on this continent as early as the days when the first Vikings landed on our shores. Leif Erickson reportedly wrote of encountering
hairy monsters with great black eyes, and in 1603, Samuel de Champlain was told of a
giant, hairy beast that roamed the forests of eastern Canada. This creature was said to be much feared by
the Micmac Indians of the region. In the 1790s, accounts told of large, hairy
monsters in North and South Carolina and in that same decade, creatures were being reported
in the Northwest by explorers and hunters who came to the region. While exploring the coast of British Columbia
in 1792, naturalist Jose Mariano Mozino interviewed locals who spoke of the “Matlox,” a large,
hairy, human-like creature with huge feet, hooked claws and sharp teeth. Throughout the nineteenth century, accounts
of Bigfoot-type creatures continued to appear in newspapers and periodicals of the day. Obviously, the word “Bigfoot” had not been
coined yet, and frankly, readers were not even familiar with any creature of this sort. The idea of even an “ape” was completely foreign
to them, as the great apes of Africa were not officially “discovered” until later
in the century, although there had been reports of them dating back to the fifth century B.C.E.
by Greek explorer Hanno. For this reason, a search through old periodicals
will not reveal historical Bigfoot accounts, but what did sometimes appear in newspapers
of the 1800s were stories of “wild men” and beast-like creatures that were encountered,
sometimes captured and occasionally killed. These reports likely thrilled readers of the
day and may offer the modern researcher the first reports of Bigfoot in America. Likely the oldest account of a man-like creature
in North America appeared in the London Times in January 1785. The report stated that a wild man was caught
in the forest, about two hundred miles from Lake of the Woods, Manitoba, by a party of
Indians. The creature was said to have been seven feet
tall and covered with hair. The wild man did not speak and seemed incapable
of understanding his captors. It was found beside the body of a large bear,
which it had just killed. This is unfortunately the extent of the information
offered and no other news apparently followed. The oldest known Bigfoot account in American
newspapers appeared in September 1818 in Ellisburgh, New York. The incident apparently occurred on August
30. The story involved a local man of good reputation
who had an encounter with an animal resembling a “wild man of the woods.” The creature came out of the forest, looked
at the man and then took flight in the opposite direction. He described it as bending forward when running,
hairy, and having a narrow foot that spread wide at the toes. The article, which appeared in the Exeter
Watchman, went on to say that hundreds of people searched for the wild man for several
days, but no trace of it was found. In the late 1830s, there were reports of a
“wild child” around Fish Lake in Indiana. It was said to be four feet tall and covered
in chestnut hair. The creature was often seen on the shore as
well as swimming in the water. It made awful screeching noises, and no one
was able to catch up with it because it ran so quickly. There were also reports in Pennsylvania of
similar creatures, each much smaller than the typical Bigfoot creatures of the modern
era. One of the creatures seen in Pennsylvania
was covered in black hair and was said to have been the size of a six- or seven-year-old
boy. Could these have been young Bigfoot, or perhaps,
as authors Janet and Colin Bord have suggested, a different species of creature altogether? The Bords also make reference to several
wild men that were seen in Arkansas in the 1830s. The creatures were of gigantic stature and
had been well known in St. Francis, Greene and Poinsett Counties since 1834. Two hunters had a close encounter with a wild
man in Greene County in 1851, after seeing a herd of cattle that was apparently being
chased by something. They discovered that the cows were being pursued
by “an animal bearing the unmistakable likeness of humanity. He was of gigantic stature, the body being
covered with hair and the head with long locks that fairly enveloped the neck and shoulders.” Apparently, the wild man looked at the two
hunters for a moment before running off into the forest. His tracks measured about 13 inches in length. Interestingly, the local explanation for this
creature was that he was a “survivor of the earthquake disaster that desolated the region
in 1811.” The implication was that he was a human who
had lost his sanity and home during the massive earthquake along the New Madrid Fault and
had “gone native,” living in the woods and growing his hair long. Author and Bigfoot researcher John Green pointed
out that some of the prospectors of the 1849 California Gold Rush were also encountering
Bigfoot. According to a correspondent, his grandfather
prospected for gold around Mount Shasta in the 1850s and told stories of seeing hairy
giants in the vicinity. In the late 1860s, residents in the Arcadia
Valley of Crawford County, Kansas, were encountering their own wild man. What the newspapers were calling a “wild man
or gorilla” or a “what is it?” was approaching the cabins of settlers, tearing down fences
and generally wreaking havoc. The creature was described as being so near
to a human in form that the “men are unwilling to shoot at it.” However, it had a stooping gait, very long
arms with immense hands and claws and an extremely hairy face. According to newspaper reports of the time,
the settlers were divided as to whether or not the creature belonged to the human family
or not. Some thought it to be an ape that had escaped
from a menagerie that was located at a settlement east of the valley. In the fall of 1869, a hunter from Grayson,
California, wrote a letter to the Antioch Ledger and described his own experiences with
a wild man in the forest. He returned to camp from hunting in the mountains
around Orestimba Creek, and found that the ashes and burned sticks from his campfire
had been scattered about. He searched around the area out of curiosity
and a short distance away, he found “the track of a man’s foot — bare and of immense size.” Thinking that he would try to catch a glimpse
of the odd, barefooted visitor, he took up a position on a ridge overlooking his camp
and waited there for nearly two hours. Suddenly, he was surprised by a shrill whistle
and looked up to see a huge figure, standing erect by his campfire. “It was the image of a man,” the hunter wrote,
“but it could not have been human.” The creature stood about five feet high but
was very broad at the shoulders. Its arms were of great length but its legs
were short and his head seemed to be set upon his shoulders with no neck. It was covered with dark brown and cinnamon-colored
hair that was quite long. The wild man continued to make the odd whistling
sound as he scattered the rest of the firewood and ashes. After a few minutes, he started to leave the
clearing where the camp was located but went only a short distance before returning. This time, he brought with him another, similar
figure, although this one was unmistakably female. The two creatures passed close to the hunter’s
hiding place and then disappeared into the forest. Another wild man that was encountered in the
late 1860s was seen in northern Nevada. The creature caused great excitement, and
unlike most Bigfoot reports, this wild man carried a weapon. According to accounts, an armed party started
off in pursuit of it shortly after it was spotted. The searchers concluded that it had once been
a “white man, but was now covered with a coat of fine, long hair.” It was seen carrying a club in one hand and
a slain rabbit in the other. The moment that it caught sight of its pursuers,
it let out a scream like “the roar of a lion,” brandished the club, and attacked the men’s
horses. The men set their dogs after it, but the wild
man managed to hide behind some fallen logs, uttering terrible cries throughout the night. It was gone by the following morning, leaving
only “size 9” tracks behind. In 1870, a report appeared in the Antioch,
California, newspaper that spoke of a man seeing “a gorilla, a wild man, or whatever
you choose to call it” in the forest. The creature’s head “appeared to be set on
the shoulders without a neck,” which sounds remarkably similar to a modern Bigfoot report. One wild man report from February 1876 was
likely just that: a wild man. Except for the fact that the creature was
covered with hair, it had no other characteristics of Bigfoot. While prospecting in San Diego County, a man
named Turner Helm heard a whistling sound and came face to face with a wild man. He was sitting on a large boulder, and while
Helm first assumed it to be an animal, he soon realized that it was a man. He was covered with coarse black hair, like
that of a bear’s fur, and had a beard that was long and thick. He was of medium size and had fine facial
features, unlike those generally described for Bigfoot. Helm was startled but spoke to the man in
both English and Spanish. He received no reply. The wild man looked at him for a few moments
and then jumped down from the rock and vanished into the woods. Helm later stated that he and his prospecting
partner had seen a man’s tracks in the mountains many times, but had assumed they belonged
to an Indian. The rugged Green Mountains of Vermont have
always had a reputation for strangeness. The area known as Glastonbury Mountain was
once home to a small village of the same name. The town is long since gone and stories are
told of how the residents were plagued with misfortune, disease, death and madness. It was near the vanished town that a coach
full of travelers was attacked by the “Bennington Monster” in the 1800s and where, in 1892,
Henry MacDowell went insane and murdered his friend, Jim Crowley. He was locked away in the Waterbury Asylum
but he escaped and disappeared into the forests and rocks of Glastonbury Mountain and was
never seen again. These tales were recalled in October 1879
when two young men who were on a hunting trip south of Williamstown, Massachusetts, saw
a wild man. They described the creature as being about
five feet tall, and while he resembled a man in form and movement, he was covered with
bright red hair, had a long beard and very wild eyes. When they first saw the creature, it sprang
from a rocky cliff and began running toward the woods. Thinking that it was a bear or some other
wild animal, one of the young men fired a shot and apparently hit it, because the creature
let out a cry of pain and rage. It turned and then started toward the hunters
in a furious state. The two men ran quickly in the opposite direction
and lost their guns and ammunition on the way down the mountain. They never returned to retrieve them. But one of the strangest of the early “wild
man” reports is undoubtedly the “Jacko” story, which allegedly occurred in July 1884. According to the story, several men actually
captured a young Bigfoot along the Fraser River outside of Yale, British Columbia. I remember reading this story when I was a
kid in several books for young readers about the unexplained. I always considered it one of my favorites
and always wondered what the eventual outcome of it was. In hindsight, the story was almost too good
to be true, probably because it was. I was to be disappointed years later when
I learned that respected Bigfoot author John Green revealed that it was likely a hoax. The story appeared in Victoria’s Daily British
Colonist and told the story of several railroad workers, on the regular Lytton to Yale line,
who found the creature lying alongside the tracks. Apparently, it had fallen from the steep bluffs
and was injured, although when the train stopped, the creature jumped up, let out a sharp, barking
sound and attempted to climb back up the bluff. The railroad men gave chase and managed to
capture him. They nicknamed the creature “Jacko” and described
him as being “half man and half beast.” He stood approximately four feet, seven inches
tall and weighed about 130 pounds. He had long, dark hair and resembled a human,
except for the fact that his body (except for his hands and feet) was covered with hair. His forearms were exceptionally long and he
was very strong. As no one was able to determine Jacko’s identity
or origin, he was eventually entrusted to the care of George Telbury, who planned to
take the creature on tour or sell him to the circus. Some reports say that Jacko was on display
in Yale for a time, but all trace of him later disappeared. At the time of the creature’s alleged capture,
newspapers reported that more than two hundred people came to the jail in Yale to see him. However, another newspaper, the British Columbian,
stated that the only “wild man” present was the head of the jail, who had “completely
exhausted his patience” with the curiosity-seekers. The Colonist, which originally ran the story,
never disputed the criticisms of the other newspaper, and it was likely just another
of the tall tales that were common in the Western papers of the late 1800s. In the summer of 1885, hunters led by a man
named Fitzgerald encountered a wild man in the Cascade Mountains. When spotted, the creature was eating raw
deer flesh. Interestingly, the locals were so sure that
this was a man, not a beast, that they even identified him as a missing person. The “wild man of the mountains” was said to
be a man named John Mackentire, who had been lost in the forest while hunting about four
years before. He and another man in his party had wandered
off and were never seen again. The hunters claimed that the man they saw
resembled Mackentire. He was naked but was “as hairy as an animal
and was a complete wild man.” He was bent down by the river and was eating
part of a deer that had been recently killed. The hunters approached to within a few yards
before he saw them and fled. According to the account, the wild man had
been seen in the area as far back as two years before by other hunters, and it was believed
that Mackentire had become deranged and was now living in a cave. A group of men organized a search party to
go back and look for him but no other information was ever given about the result of the expedition. In October 1891, a wild man encounter in Michigan
had dire results for the dogs used to hunt down the creature. George Frost and W.W. Vivian (“both reputable citizens,” the report
added) were near the Tittabawassee River in Gladwin County when they ran into a naked
man who was completely covered with hair. He stood over seven feet tall, with arms that
hung down to his knees. Vivian released one of his bulldogs at the
wild man, but with one mighty swing of his arm, the creature struck the dog and killed
it. Another hairy wild man appeared in late November
1893 in Rockaway Beach, New York. Both this report, and the one that follows,
are important in that not every “wild man” report that appeared in newspapers of the
period could have been a Bigfoot sighting. Some of the accounts, like these two, are
just as strange, though, and are perhaps even more frightening. A series of unprovoked attacks in Rockaway
Beach were made by a “wild man of large stature, weird in appearance, with fierce bloodshot
eyes, long, flowing matted hair and a shaggy beard.” Armed with a “large cavalry saber,” the wild
man wreaked havoc in a saloon and later wrenched a shotgun out of a man’s hand and fired it
at him. According to witness descriptions, the man
was about six feet tall and weighed about 200 pounds. Unlike most of the earlier reports about naked
wild men, this one reportedly wore one shoe and a tattered oilskin jacket. The locals believed that he was a deranged
sailor named James Rush, whose boat had been driven into shore during a recent storm and
had gone missing. This was obviously not a Bigfoot, but seemed
to be strangely tied into another case that occurred just five weeks later. A similar wild man terrorized the Mine Hill-Dover
area of New Jersey. In early January, three young women named
Bertha Hestig, Lizzie Guscott and Katie Griffin encountered a wild man near the edge of town. He stormed out of the woods, completely naked
and covered with cuts and bruises. With a shriek of terror at seeing the young
ladies along the road, he ran back into the forest. A few days later, two woodcutters were working
near the Indian Falls clearing when their dogs began barking at a nearby rock. Thinking that a bear was nearby, the two men
grabbed their axes and cautiously approached the area that seemed to be bothering the dogs. As they approached, a savage-looking figure
jumped up from behind the rock. The stranger was said to be middle-aged, nearly
six feet tall and weighing about 180 pounds. His face was covered with a long, unkempt
beard. The wild man looked at the two woodcutters
for a moment and then jumped onto the rock and began speaking loudly to himself in gibberish. Whenever the men got too close to him, he
began to run back and forth yelling frantically, “all the time working his arms as though rowing
a boat,” they said. The woodcutters tried to seize the man but
he picked up a club and swung it at them. The two men wisely fled and telephoned for
help from a nearby store. A search led by police officers commenced
and lasted throughout most of the night, but no trace of the man was found. He appeared again on Saturday and tried unsuccessfully
to break into the home of the Russell family. On Sunday, a man named William Mullen encountered
the wild man when taking a walk. He appeared in front of him on the road and
the two of them eyed one another uneasily for a few moments before the wild man shrieked
loudly and ran into the woods. The search continued for the man but only
prints from his bare feet were discovered, along with a brush hut and an axe that may
have belonged to the strange individual. The last sighting took place at the Dover
Silk Mill when several ladies who were looking out the window saw the underbrush part and
a naked man walk out. Their screams brought other employees but
the wild man ran back into the woods. By the time the mill workers got outside,
he was long gone. Various search parties continued to look for
him, but he was never found. According to reports, inquiry was made at
the Morris Plains Asylum but no inmates were missing. Who this man may have been is unknown but
I suppose it’s possible that he could have been the same wild man who was causing problems
in New York just five weeks earlier. In May 1894, a more classic Bigfoot-type of
“wild man” report was recorded in rural Kentucky. For months, people around Deep Creek had been
noticing that someone – or something — was stealing chickens, eggs, young pigs, lambs
and various food items from area farms. Finally, a man named Joseph Ewalt spotted
a creature and reported that it had long white hair all over its body and wore only a piece
of sheepskin for clothing. Ewalt said that a “light came from his eyes
and mouth similar to fire,” which may have been a bit of an embellishment on his part,
or on the work of an imaginative newspaper reporter. Some of the local men decided to try and capture
the creature, but had no luck. One morning, Eph Boston and his sons saw it
lurking around their barn. They described the creature the same way that
Ewalt did, but added that it was about six and a half feet tall and had long claws. There was no mention of it having glowing
eyes, though. A few moments after they spotted it, the wild
man went running from the barn with three chickens clutched in its hands. Tom Boston shot at it but missed. He and his brothers and father, along with
several neighbors, tracked the creature to a nearby cave, where a scattering of bones
and feathers suggested that the wild man was living there. They walked a short distance into the cave
but an “unearthly yell” sent them running. Efforts to try and capture the beast, including
smoking it out of the cave, failed. In 1897, a wild man sighting took place near
Sailor, Indiana. A man took a shot at it and seemed to hit
it, but no trace of the creature was found. The sighting occurred in late April when two
farmers saw a hair-covered, man-sized beast walking near the edge of a field. When the wild man saw them approaching, it
dropped from two legs to four and raced into the woods with great speed. In April 1897, another wild man was seen in
the woods near Stout, Ohio. Although covered with hair, the creature was
said to be wearing a pair of tattered trousers. It attacked a young boy in the forest and
then led a party of thirty men on a chase for several hours before disappearing. On May 26, the same creature may have appeared
near Rome, Ohio. It was described as a “wild man” and “gorilla-like,”
and was spotted by two men who were cutting timber in the forest. They chased the figure into a rocky area along
the Ohio River, where it vanished. One of the final reports from the 1800s shows
a traditional Bigfoot in a less threatening role than was noted in most of the previous
encounters. In 1897, a Native American fisherman reportedly
discovered an emaciated Bigfoot near Tulelake, California. The man took pity on the creature and gave
it his catch. A few weeks after the encounter, the story
goes that the fisherman awoke to find several fresh deerskins neatly arranged outside his
cabin. In the following months, a nighttime visitor
left firewood, pelts, berries and fruit for him to find each morning. The fisherman came to believe that it was
the Bigfoot that he had helped who was leaving the gifts. Eventually, the offerings ceased and the man
guessed that the creature had left the area. About a year later, though, the man was bitten
by a rattlesnake and fell unconscious in the forest. He awoke a few hours later to find himself
being carried by three large creatures, who took him to his cabin and wrapped his snake
bite with moss, which drew out the poison. The monsters left him at his door and he never
saw them again. In his 1893 book, Hunting the Grizzly, Theodore
Roosevelt relates a purportedly true story of a hunter who was abducted from his campsite
and killed by an eerie creature that was covered with hair. Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858, and
he spent his childhood as part of a privileged family in New York City. He was the seventh generation of Roosevelts
to be born in Manhattan, and the second of four children in his household. Always a sickly child afflicted with asthma,
the young Roosevelt was educated at home by private tutors prior to going to Harvard,
where he excelled in boxing and academics. After college, Roosevelt married Alice Hathaway
Lee, a nineteen-year-old friend of his Harvard roommate. He then enrolled in Columbia Law School, but
dropped out after one year to begin a career in public service, winning election to the
New York State Assembly in 1882. A double tragedy struck Roosevelt in 1884,
when his young wife died giving birth to their daughter, followed by the death of his mother
– on the same day, in the same house. Devastated, Roosevelt left his daughter, named
Alice after her mother, in the care of his sister and fled to the Dakota Badlands to
forget. After two years out West, where he “busted”
cows as a cattle rancher and chased outlaws as a frontier sheriff, Roosevelt returned
to New York rejuvenated and full of energy. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of New York
City, wrote three books about his adventures in the West, and campaigned for Republican
presidential nominee Benjamin Harrison. When Harrison won the election, he appointed
Roosevelt to the U.S. Civil Service Commission in 1889. His burgeoning career in politics would later
lead him to the White House. Roosevelt then married his childhood sweetheart,
Edith Kermit Carow. He took little Alice and moved with Edith
to a beautiful house at Oyster Bay, Long Island, that he had built for his first wife. He called the house Sagamore Hill. The happy couple soon filled the home with
four boys, another girl, and little Alice. Even during his political career, the adventures
that Roosevelt experienced in the American West left a permanent mark on him. His thirst for adventure would later lead
him to act as the police commissioner of New York City, to fight bravely in Cuba with the
“Rough Riders” and, later in life, to become renowned as a big game hunter. In 1893, when he wrote his first books about
his Western adventures, Roosevelt had already roamed most of the country in search of big
game. He wrote: “In hunting, the finding and killing
of the game is after all but part of the whole. The free, self-reliant, adventurous life,
with its rugged and stalwart democracy; the wild surroundings, the grand beauty of the
scenery, the chance to study the ways and habits of the woodland creature — all these
unite to give to the career of the wilderness hunter its peculiar charm.” And “peculiar” would be the only word to describe
a story that Roosevelt saw fit to include in one of the volumes of his Western accounts. “Frontiersman are not, as a rule, apt to be
very superstitious,” Roosevelt wrote. “They lead lives too hard and practical and
have too little imagination in things spiritual or supernatural…. but I once listened to
a goblin story which rather impressed me. It was told by a grizzled, weather-beaten
old mountain hunter named Bauman, who was born and had passed all his life on the frontier. He must have believed what he said, for he
could hardly repress a shudder at certain points of the tale.” When the event occurred that Bauman related
to Roosevelt, the mountain hunter was still a young man and was trapping with a partner
among the mountains dividing the forks of the Salmon River from the head of the Wisdom
River in Idaho. The two men worked the area for a time without
much luck and then decided to try another location, where a branch of the Snake River
ran through a particularly wild and lonely pass. The stream was said to be filled with beaver
but was avoided by many of the Indian trappers in the region. The story went that a lone hunter had wandered
into the pass the year before and had been killed by some wild beast. The man’s half-eaten remains were discovered
by a party of prospectors who had passed the man’s camp only the night before. Bauman and his friend decided to trap the
stream anyway. They rode to the foot of the pass and left
their horses tied in a meadow, because the rocky and heavily forested lands were nearly
impassable for the animals. The trappers struck out on foot through the
gloomy woods, finding the country dense and hard to travel through with their heavy packs
and their need to bypass the stands of fallen timber and outcroppings of rock. After about four hours of walking, they found
a small forest glade that offered easy access to the river. An hour or two of daylight remained when they
made camp, so they built a brush lean-to and unpacked their gear. Then they decided to take a short hike upstream
and look for signs of game, returning to camp around dusk. They were surprised to find that in their
absence, something, apparently a bear, had visited the camp and had rummaged through
their things. The contents of their packs had been scattered
about and the lean-to had been torn down. The beast had left a number of footprints
behind but the men paid little attention to them as they had much to do to rebuild the
camp before darkness fell. After starting a fire, they quickly rebuilt
their shelter. While Bauman began cooking supper, his companion
studied the animal tracks more closely in the failing light. He was so intrigued by them that he lit a
small stick in the fire and used it as a torch to follow the tracks to the edge of the clearing. When the light flickered out, he returned
to the fire and ignited another stick, continuing his inspection of what appeared to be increasingly
curious tracks. A few minutes later, he returned and stood
next to where his friend was cooking dinner, peering uneasily out into the darkness. He suddenly spoke up. “Bauman, that bear has been walking on two
legs,” he said. Bauman later recalled laughing at this, although
his partner insisted that it was true. The two of them again examined the tracks
and Bauman’s partner showed him that they had been made by just two paws or feet. After discussing whether the prints could
be those of a large person, and deciding that they could not be, the two men rolled up in
their blankets and went to sleep beneath the shelter of the lean-to. Around midnight, Bauman was suddenly awakened
by a loud noise. He sat up quickly in his blankets and remembered
later that he was struck by a strong, pungent odor. The horrible smell was soon forgotten, as
the embers of the fire illuminated a large form looming at the entrance of the lean-to. Bauman grabbed his rifle and immediately fired
off a shot. Almost as soon as he squeezed the trigger,
the huge shape vanished and he heard the thing crashing through the undergrowth as it ran
off into the night. Not surprisingly, the two men slept very little
after this. They sat up next to the rekindled fire, waiting
and watching, but heard nothing more. In the morning, they checked the traps that
had been put out the night before and began finding locations for new ones. By an unspoken agreement, they stayed within
close proximity to one another all day and returned together to camp as night began to
fall once again. Again, they saw that the lean-to had been
destroyed. The visitor from the previous day had apparently
returned and had again scattered their gear and belongings. Whatever the beast was, it had left more of
the large, two-legged tracks in the soft earth by the river but neither man had the nerve
to follow them. Instead, they gathered up as much wood as
they could find and built a roaring fire that lasted throughout the night. One or the other of them stayed on guard during
the darkest hours. At one point, both of them heard the creature
approach once again, staying on the other side of the river. They heard it moving and crashing around in
the forest and once it uttered a harsh, grating moan that chilled both men to the bone. This time, it did not venture near the fire. In the morning, the trappers decided that
they’d had enough. They were too almost too tired to tend to
their work and believed that they could find just as good a location somewhere else. They discussed the strange events and decided
that it would be best to pack up their gear and leave the valley by the afternoon. The men pulled their trap lines all morning,
staying close together, and strangely, they found that all of the traps were empty and
sprung. It looked as though they had snagged something
but then the animals had been removed from the trap. Signs and tracks remained behind and the men
hurried their work along even faster. Ever since leaving camp, they had experienced
the uncomfortable sensation of being watched and followed. Occasionally, they would hear the snap or
crack of a twig in the gloom of the forest, as well as the rustling of pine trees, and
while they saw nothing, they became convinced that something was there. By noon, they were within a couple of miles
of the camp and there were still three beaver traps to collect from a little pond in a nearby
ravine. Bauman offered to go and gather them while
his friend went ahead to the camp and put their gear together. They planned to meet as soon as Bauman returned
and then go down the mountain to the horses. His companion agreed and they parted ways. On reaching the pond, Bauman found three beavers
in the traps, one of which had pulled loose and had carried the trap into a beaver house. He spent the next several hours securing and
preparing the animals and when he started back to camp, he experienced a sinking feeling
as he saw how low the sun was beginning to dip in the sky. As he reached the clearing where the camp
was located, Bauman called out to his friend but got no reply. The campfire had gone out and the packs lay
nearby, all secured and ready to go. The woods were silent and Bauman called out
again. Once more, he was met with silence. The trapper looked around, at first seeing
nothing, but then he glimpsed a splash of color at the edge of the camp. As he walked forward, he spotted the body
of his friend. He was stretched out on the ground next to
the trunk of a fallen spruce and blood was sprayed all over the ground and the surrounding
trees and bushes. Bauman rushed over to the man and found that
his body was still warm. His neck had been broken and his throat had
been torn out with what looked to be huge, sharp teeth. The footprints of the beast that had been
visiting the camp were marked deep in the surrounding soil and told the story of what
had occurred. Bauman’s friend, having finished packing their
gear, must have sat down on a log facing the fire, with his back to the woods, to await
his partner. While he was waiting, the unknown assailant,
which must have been lurking in the woods the entire time, came silently up behind the
man and broke his neck, while burying its teeth in his throat. It had not eaten the body but had apparently
tossed it around, rolling it over and over, before retreating back into the woods. Bauman was utterly unnerved by his gruesome
discovery. The creature, which they had assumed was a
bear, was either something half-human or half-devil or some great beast from the stories of the
Indian medicine men, who spoke of evil beings that haunted the forest depths. Roosevelt wrote that Bauman “abandoned everything
but his rifle and struck off at speed down the pass, not halting until he reached the
meadows where the hobbled ponies were still grazing. Mounting, he rode onward through the night,
until far beyond the reach of pursuit.” In 1901, another account of a Sasquatch encounter
appeared in the Daily British Colonist. In this story, a lumberman named Mike King
stated that he was working alone on Vancouver Island, near Campbell River, because his Indian
packers had refused to accompany him, due to their fear of the “monkey men” they said
lived in the forest. Late in the afternoon, he observed a “man
beast” washing roots in the river. When the creature became aware of King, it
cried out and ran up a nearby hill. King described it as being “covered with reddish
brown hair, and his arms were peculiarly long and were used freely in climbing and brush
running; while the trail showed a distinct human foot, but with phenomenally long and
spreading toes.” Three years later, on December 14, 1904,
the Colonist again featured a Sasquatch story, this time from “four credible witnesses” who
saw a man-like creature on Vancouver Island. In 1907, the newspaper told of the abandonment
of an Indian village due to the inhabitants being frightened away by a “monkey-like wild
man who appears on the beach at night, who howls in an unearthly fashion.” One of the most bizarre Bigfoot encounters
in history occurred in 1924, although it would not be reported until many years later, in
1957. It involved a man who claimed to have been
abducted and held captive by a party of the creatures while on a prospecting trip in British
Columbia. Although such tales seem to stretch the limits
of believability, those who interviewed the man years later, including esteemed investigators
John Green and Ivan T. Sanderson, did not for a moment doubt his sincerity or his sanity. Primatologist John Napier remarked that the
man gave a “convincing account… which does not ring false in any particular.” The same cannot be said for all alleged Bigfoot
“abductions,” though. In 1871, a young girl named Seraphine Long
was said to have been kidnapped by a male Bigfoot and taken to a cave where she was
held prisoner for a year. She eventually got sick and so her captor
allowed her to leave. However, when she returned home, it was discovered
that she was carrying the creature’s baby. She gave birth to the child but it only lived
a few days. Of course, that was the story. The reader asked to judge the validity of
it for himself. A story with a much more authentic feel to
it took place in 1924. That summer, a man named Albert Ostman was
prospecting for gold near the Toba Inlet in British Columbia. He claimed that he was abducted by Bigfoot,
and his detailed accounts of the creature’s habits and activities remain unique to this
day, leading many of the most respected authorities in the field to wonder if perhaps he was telling
the truth about this adventure. Toba Inlet was a secluded wilderness in 1924
when Albert Ostman decided to visit the area during a much-needed vacation. The construction worker and lumberjack liked
to prospect for gold as a hobby, and in addition to doing some hunting and fishing, he planned
to search for a legendary lost gold mine that was rumored to be in the area. Ostman hired an Indian guide to take him to
the head of the inlet and on the way, the Indian told him about a white man who used
to come out of the area laden with gold. When Ostman asked the guide what happened
to the man, the guide replied that he had disappeared and had probably been killed by
Sasquatch. Ostman scoffed at the story, not believing
a word of this tall tale. When they reached the inlet, the guide helped
Ostman to set up his base camp and then he departed. Ostman had paid him to return in three weeks. For the first week or so, he hunted and fished
a little and spent quite a bit of time hiking in the woods and searching for any traces
of the lost mine. He was quite casual about the search, though,
enjoying the outdoors and the freedom away from his work. Then one day, he returned to camp to find
that his gear had been disturbed. Nothing was missing, but it had all been moved
around. Ostman assumed that a porcupine or some small
animal had been looking for food. He tried to stay awake for two nights to try
and catch the annoying animal but each time, he fell asleep. On both mornings when he awoke, he discovered
that food was missing from his pack. Now irritated, and determined to trap the
culprit, he loaded his rifle and shoved it down in his sleeping bag, along with his clothes
and some of his personal belongings. He planned to stay awake the entire night
and drive off the pesky animal. Despite his good intentions, however, Ostman
fell asleep. Later on that night, still half asleep, Ostman
awoke to find that he had been picked up, still inside his sleeping bag, and was being
carried through the woods. He first assumed that he had been tied up
and thrown over the back of a horse, but then realized that he was pinned into his sleeping
bag by two large arms. Unable to reach his rifle, or his knife, he
was trapped in the bedroll. There was no sound but the huffing of breath
from the figure who carried him, the sound of powerful feet trudging through the forest
and the occasional rattle of a fry pan and canned food in Ostman’s pack, which the giant
had also picked up from the camp. Ostman traveled for several hours and estimated
that he journeyed about thirty miles inland. Eventually, he was dumped onto the ground
and he slowly crawled out of the sleeping bag in the darkness. His whole body ached from being jostled, and
as he was trying to massage some feeling back into his legs, the sun came up and the prospector
got his first good look at his abductors. Squatting nearby were four hairy giants, the
same type of creatures that had been described to Ostman by the Indian guide. They sat there looking at Ostman with curiosity,
but did not seem threatening in the least. The two older creatures were male and female
and the two younger ones were also of both sexes. The oldest male stood nearly eight feet tall
and weighed an estimated 750 pounds. The oldest female was slightly smaller and
had large, hanging breasts. The younger creatures were of smaller proportions
than what Ostman assumed were the parents and the younger female had no breasts. All four of them had coarse, dark hair that
covered their bodies. Ostman later recounted that the older female
seemed to object to his presence during the first day of his captivity. She chattered and grunted angrily at the male
like a nagging housewife displeased by the presence of an unwanted guest. Eventually, her mate seemed to win the day
and was allowed to keep Ostman around. The two females avoided him as much as possible,
spending their time hunting for roots, nuts and berries. The two male creatures were curious about
everything the prospector did and found the contents of Ostman’s pack and sleeping bag
to be quite fascinating. He had carried along with him his food, his
rifle, a few pots and pans and his knife. They often looked at these items but never
touched them, although the oldest creature was very interested in Ostman’s snuff box
and its contents. This keen interest would eventually prove
to be integral in Ostman’s escape. Two days into his captivity, Ostman tried
to run away. The Sasquatch lived in a small ten-acre basin
that was cut between two cliff walls. A narrow break in the rock provided the only
entrance. When Ostman tried to slip out of the valley,
the oldest male quickly caught him and pulled him back into the basin. He considered using his rifle and trying to
shoot his way out, but knew that if he did not kill the creature with the first couple
of shots, the beast would surely tear him apart. After six days, Ostman had another idea. He was becoming increasingly nervous of the
creatures because he was starting to get the impression that he had been captured in order
to provide a mate for the younger female. Not wanting to spend the rest of his life
in captivity, he began working on a plan to break free. He knew that the elder Bigfoot was very interested
in his chewing tobacco. Each day, he gave the creature a small amount
of it to chew on. He wondered if there might be a way to use
the Bigfoot’s interest in his snuff to his advantage. On the morning of the seventh day, Ostman
made a fire for the first time since he had arrived. He decided to make some coffee, which interested
the two males. As he was eating his breakfast and drinking
coffee, he decided to try out his idea. He reached over and offered the older creature
some of his snuff. He held on tightly to the box so that the
creature could only take a small amount, which irritated him. He jerked the box from Ostman’s hand and proceeded
to devour the entire contents. He liked the taste so much that he literally
licked clean the inside of the container. It only took a few moments for the creature
to become violently ill. Retching and coughing, he ran towards the
stream and collapsed on all fours. At the same time, Ostman grabbed his rifle
and his pack and began to run. He shot towards the narrow entrance but his
escape attempt was noticed by the older female, who set off after him. He made it to the gap in the rock just seconds
before she caught up with him and turning quickly, he fired a shot over her head. The creature stopped in her tracks and let
out a squeal. She did not pursue him any farther. Using his compass, Ostman managed to make
his way back to civilization. After three days, he met up with a party of
lumberjacks and told them that he had gotten lost while prospecting. He was sure that no one would ever believe
his account of what really happened and he remained silent for more than thirty years,
finally telling his story in 1957. Although Ostman has long since passed away,
Bigfoot researcher John Green knew him for more than twelve years and questioned him
extensively about his captivity. He had no reason to consider him a liar and
neither did the police officers, primate experts and zoologists who also looked into his account. None of them ever believed that he was lying. The truth of his story remains for the reader
to decide. In July 1924, a weird incident involving a
group of Bigfoot occurred in the Mount St. Helens region of southwestern Washington. The incident involved an all-night assault
by unknown creatures on a cabin where a group of miners were staying. The men had been prospecting a claim on the
Muddy, a branch of the Lewis River, about eight miles from Spirit Lake. One of the most interesting parts of the story
is that there are detailed news articles that exist from the time of the incident, and there
has been much since then to substantiate the events of that summer. An article in the Portland Oregonian for July
12 noted that the encounters with the creatures were not the first. The article begins by calling these “the
fabled ‘mountain devils’ or mountain gorillas of Mount St. Helens” and mentions that “Smith
and his companions had seen tracks of the animals several times in the last six years,
and Indians have told of the ‘mountain devils’ for sixty years.” In the news article, the “devils” are
described as “huge animals, which were about seven feet tall, weighed about four hundred
pounds, and walked erect.” Tracks “thirteen to fourteen inches long”
were found where the animals were seen. In 1967, Fred Beck, who was one of the miners,
and his son, R.A. Beck, privately published a small booklet
about the incident called I Fought the Apemen of Mt. St. Helens. For many years, prior to the advent of the
internet, it was extremely hard to find. Since then, the story has become a classic
of Bigfoot literature and is essential to the narrative of Bigfoot in historical terms. But this case may be even stranger than most
people believe. And when it comes to Bigfoot stories, that’s
really saying something. Starting in 1918, Fred Beck and his partners
– Marion Smith, his son Roy Smith, Gabe Lefever and John Peterson – began prospecting
for gold in the Mt. St. Helens and Lewis River area of southwestern Washington. Before they built a cabin, they lived in a
tent below a small mountain called Pumy Butte. There was a small creek nearby and a sandbar
that was about an acre in size where they went to wash their dishes and get drinking
water. Early one morning in 1922, one of the men
came back to the camp and urged the others to follow him back to the creek. When they got to the sandbar, he showed them
two huge, human-like tracks that were sunk about four inches deep into the sand. Strangely, there were no other tracks nearby. Because the nearest place where someone could
have jumped and landed in the center of the sandbar was 160 feet away, the men reasoned
that the creature either had a huge stride, or “something dropped from the sky and went
back up.” As time passed, the miners came upon similar
tracks, which they could not identify. The largest of them was nineteen inches long. After they had built their cabin, Beck and the other four miners who were working the
claim would hear a strange “thudding, hollow thumping noise” in broad daylight. They could not find the cause, though they
suspected one of their number might be playing tricks on them. That proved not to be the case, since even
when the group was gathered together, the sound continued all around them. They thought it sounded as if “there’s
a hollow drum in the earth somewhere and something is hitting it.” These were not the last strange sounds they
would hear. Early in July 1924, a shrill whistling, apparently
coming from atop a ridge, was heard in the evening. An answering whistle came from another ridge. These sounds, along with a booming “thumping,”
as if something huge was pounding its chest, continued every evening for a week. Thoroughly unnerved by what they were hearing,
the men began carrying their rifles with them when they went to the spring that was located
about one hundred yards from the cabin. Beck and a man only identified as “Hank”
in order to protect his anonymity (it was later revealed that it was Marion Smith) were
drawing water from the spring when Hank yelled and raised his gun. Beck looked across a little canyon and saw
a seven-foot-tall apelike creature standing next to a pine tree. The creature, about one hundred yards away
from the two men, ducked quickly behind the tree. When it poked its head out to get a look at
them, Hank fired three quick shots, hitting the tree but apparently missing the creature,
which momentarily disappeared from sight. It then reappeared about two hundred yards
down the canyon, and this time Beck managed to get off three shots before it was gone. Unnerved by the encounter, Hank and Beck ran
back to the cabin and spoke to the other two men there. The third member of the party was absent. They agreed to abandon the cabin, but not
until daybreak. It was too risky to try and make it back to
their car after dark. They went ahead and packed up most of their
gear, ate some supper and then settled down to try and get some sleep. Around midnight, they awakened to a tremendous
thud against the cabin wall. Whatever it was, it hit the wall with such
force that some of the chinking between the logs fell out and landed on Hank’s chest. The impact was followed by what sounded like
a group of people tramping about and running around outside. The men grabbed their guns, fearing the worst. Since the crude cabin had no windows, Hank
tried peering out through the gap that had been opened between the logs when the chinking
had been dislodged. He said that he spotted three of the “apes”
outside. From the sounds the men could hear, there
were likely many more of them. The creatures pelted the cabin with rocks. The men inside were terrified – in fact,
two of the miners cowered in fear in the corner – but Beck said that they should only fire
at the creatures if they physically attacked the cabin. This would show that the miners were only
defending themselves. A short time later, Beck’s worst fears came
true. The “apes” began to attack the cabin. Some of them jumped up and down on the roof,
trying to get it to collapse. Hack and Beck fired upwards through the roof,
hoping to scare them away. In the meantime, other creatures were trying
to break down the door, slamming against it as they tried to smash it open. The miners inside braced the door with a long
board that was taken from a bunk bed. It seemed to hold, but Beck and Hank riddled
the door with bullets in an attempt to frighten the invaders away. The attacks continued all night, pausing only
for short periods of eerie silence. At one point, a creature reached through the
gap between the logs and grabbed an axe by the handle. Beck lunged forward and turned the axe upright
so that the creature couldn’t get it out. As he was doing so, a bullet fired by Hank
barely missed the creature’s hand. It quickly withdrew its arm and retreated. Finally, just before daybreak, the attack
ended. The beleaguered miners waited for the sun
to rise and then cautiously stepped outside, guns in hand. A few minutes later, Beck saw one of the creatures
about eighty yards away, standing near the edge of the canyon. Taking careful aim, he fired three times and
then watched as it fell over the cliff and plunged down into the gorge four hundred feet
below. The men hastily departed, heading for Spirit
Lake, Washington, and leaving $200 worth of supplies and equipment behind. They never returned to retrieve any of it. At Spirit Lake, Hank told a forest ranger
about their experience. Once back home in Kelso, the story leaked
to the newspapers and caused a sensation. Reporters found giant tracks at the scene,
but no other evidence of the creatures. The canyon where the incident allegedly occurred
became known as Ape Canyon and it still bears that name today. As mentioned, the tale has become a classic
of Bigfoot literature and while it’s certainly strange, it’s gotten even stranger over
the years. In the 1967 booklet that Beck wrote with his
son, he gave the experience a completely different spin, noting that even prior to the encounter,
he had numerous psychic experiences, including many with supernatural “people.” He was convinced that the “apemen” were
“not entirely of this world… I was, for one, always conscious that we were
dealing with supernatural beings.” Beck stated that he believed that creatures
known as Sasquatch were from “another dimension” and were a link between human and animal consciousness. They are composed of a substance that ranges
between the physical and the psychical, sometimes more of one than the other, he said, and because
of their peculiar nature, none will ever be captured, nor will their bodies ever be found. According to the booklet, Beck saw the entire
experience as spiritual, with the thumping as poltergeist activity and the Bigfoot as
spirits. It’s hard to say whether or not Beck’s
1967 booklet was merely the fantasy of an old man, or was due to the contemporary 1960s
influences of his son, who wrote a large section of it. But he had certainly changed his views on
the 1924 events during the four decades after they happened. It should be noted that Fred Beck never mentioned
the paranormal when Bigfoot researchers interviewed him about his experiences in the early 1960s. The paranormal elements popped up when Beck
and his son decided to tell the story in 1967. The news stories of the 1920s seem to be closer
to the actual details of the event. Those stories told of ape-like creatures that
were far shorter than our standard idea of Bigfoot, with smaller strides and footprints. The articles, which were a series of stories
from the Kelso area between 1918 and 1924, also mentioned four stubby toes, as opposed
to the five toes normally included in modern Bigfoot reports. According the newspaper articles, the Native
Americans in the region called the reported creatures Seeahtiks, Siatcoes and Selahtiks. In July 1924, the sheriff sent out search
parties, but only footprints were ever found. Regardless of how you look at it, the story
of Ape Canyon is a strange tale and presents another classic example of the historical
Bigfoot. Sasquatch sightings and encounters continued
and were occasionally mentioned in newspaper accounts, most of them issuing from Canada. Bigfoot did not enter the American mainstream
until 1958, when the now-infamous tracks were discovered at Bluff Creek. This was a time when America’s fascination
with Bigfoot was only beginning. Through the remainder of the 1950s, the 1960s
and the 1970s, interest in these elusive creatures reached its high point. After a cooling down period of about two decades,
when only Bigfoot hunters and diehard enthusiasts were seeking information about Sasquatch,
public interest began to rise in the late 1990s and continues today. But that interest has not been without controversy. By the decade of the 1960s, Bigfoot was firmly
entrenched in the American imagination. Though scientists refused to admit that what
witnesses were seeing was actually what they claimed to see, a number of investigators
had begun seeking out sightings and venturing into the forest, hoping to catch a glimpse
of one of the monsters. Books began to appear and articles began to
generate even more interest with readers of magazines like True and Saga. Among the amateur investigators who went looking
for Bigfoot was Roger Patterson, a onetime rodeo rider, amateur documentary film maker
and Bigfoot hunter. In 1967, Patterson was barely scraping by
as an inventor and promoter when his interest was piqued by a 1959 True magazine article
about Bigfoot. From them on, he devoted as much of his spare
time as possible to roaming the woods of the Pacific Northwest in search of the elusive
creature. Patterson always carried a motion picture
camera with him on his expeditions, hoping that he might be able to catch one of the
monsters on film. Around 1:15 in the afternoon on October 20,
1967, Patterson and a friend, Bob Gimlin, were riding on horseback north along a dry
stretch of Bluff Creek in the Six Rivers National Forest of northern California. At one point, a large pile of logs in the
middle of the stream bed blocked their path, and they had to maneuver their horses around
to the east. As they rode along the logs, they veered left
and resumed their original course, only to see something that still has investigators
and researchers puzzled today. A female Bigfoot stood up from the creek where
she had been squatting and walked away from the approaching men and horses, moving briskly
and swinging her arms as she moved toward the forest. At the same time this occurred, all three
horses (including the pack horse) began to panic. Patterson’s horse reared up and fell over
sideways, but managed to stagger back to its feet again. As it did, Patterson quickly reached for the
16mm camera in his saddlebag and began to follow the creature, filming as he went. Unfortunately, only 28 feet of film remained
in the camera but Patterson managed to use it to record the Bigfoot’s escape from three
different positions. After his return to civilization, Patterson
enlisted the help of researcher John Green to get some sort of scientific confirmation
of the evidence that he had captured, without any luck. The amateur investigator was ignored and berated
by the established scientific community, so in 1968, he took his case to the public. After padding his film footage with a documentary-style
look at other evidence gathered in the search for Bigfoot, he went on a tour of the American
West, renting small theaters and auditoriums for one-night shows and lectures. Since that time, the footage has gone on to
become one of the most famous — and most controversial — pieces of Bigfoot evidence. Patterson’s life was cut short in 1972 when
he died, nearly broke, from Hodgkin’s Disease, but he swore to the end that the sighting
and the film were authentic. Bob Gimlin also maintained that the events
really took place and that his friend’s film was the genuine article. Gimlin did not start out as a believer in
the creature. He was interested but unconvinced and only
came along on Patterson’s expeditions out of friendship, rather than a belief that they
would actually find anything. “He’d talk about it around the campfire,”
he said in an interview. “I didn’t care, but after a time you’d find
yourself looking for the doggone thing too.” The first investigator on the scene of the
sighting was a man named Bob Titmus, who found tracks that matched the creature’s stride
depicted in the film. He made ten casts of them and discovered that
the footprints led up a small hill, where the creature had paused to look back on the
men below. Patterson and Gimlin had elected to recover
their horses rather than pursue the Bigfoot and risk being stranded in the wilderness. The legacy of Patterson’s film lives on,
despite the fact that it has never settled the question as to whether or not Bigfoot
exists in the forests of America. Researchers have argued about the speed of
the film, the gait of the creature, the length of its stride and more. Most biologists and zoologists who have studied
it remain noncommittal. Film experts and individuals experienced with
hoaxes have been unable to find evidence that it is not authentic. For this reason, the film has never been successfully
debunked. Of course, that’s not for lack of trying. Recent claims against the validity of the
film have stated that the Bigfoot was actually a man in a monkey suit. Some maintain that Patterson and Gimlin were
knowing participants in the hoax, and that they rented the suit with the idea of profiting
from the resulting film. This is in spite of the fact that the men
made very little money from it and Patterson died nearly broke. Regardless, this theory has it that Patterson
and Gimlin (who were both barely making ends meet  as rodeo riders in 1967) rented an
expensive costume, transported it to an area that was nearly inaccessible by car and cleverly
shot the grainy, jerky and poorly executed film. Defenders of the film believe this is ridiculous
and state that a frame-by-frame analysis of the footage shows a creature that does not
walk like a man. Anthropologist Grover Krantz demonstrated
that humans lock their knees when they walk, but the filmed Bigfoot does not do this. It would have been very difficult for a hoaxer
to pull off and still walk as smoothly as this creature does. In addition, after viewing the film with Bigfoot
investigator Peter Byrne in 1973, the chief technician at Disney Studios stated that “the
only place in the world a simulation of that quality could be created would be here, at
Disney Studios, and this footage was not made here.” If the Bigfoot was a fake, it was one that
was very, very well done. And while the Disney tech may have been overstating
the importance of his studio, there were very few places that such a film (or a suit like
that) could have been made in the late 1960s. Even the detractors grudgingly agree that
Patterson and Gimlin did not have the resources to pull off a hoax of that magnitude, and
certainly could not have paid to have such a convincing-looking suit created. Only two companies could have created a costume
of that type, at that time, and both claimed that they did not do so. To make matters more mysterious, the person
in the suit (if there was one) has remained silent for more than thirty-five years, ignoring
the opportunity for financial gain by confessing. Interestingly, a more popular theory as to
who made the suit has emerged within the last few years. According to some conspiracy theorists, the
Patterson Bigfoot was actually a man wearing a suit created by master makeup artist John
Chambers, who created the makeup for the classic film Planet of the Apes, along with numerous
other makeup credits. The debunkers have fixed on Chambers for a
couple of reasons, including his award-winning makeup effects for the movie and also for
the fact that the movie finished filming on August 10, 1967, just a couple of months before
Patterson’s encounter. The idea is that Patterson could have easily
rented one of the surplus monkey suits for his own purposes. Even though this seems somewhat plausible,
the theory has its problems. For one thing, the Bigfoot in Patterson’s
film looks nothing like the apes that were created for the movie. The apes in Planet of the Apes were not suits
but were mostly facial makeup. The Bigfoot in Patterson’s film does not resemble
these apes at all. The idea that Chambers may have created the
Bigfoot suit was apparently the result of director John Landis joking about it to some
friends at a party. As anyone who knows anything about Hollywood
knows, you can’t take every rumor you hear seriously in that town. To complicate things further, Chambers repeatedly
denied the claims until his death. He told interviewers that he was “good, but
not that good” in response to the story. It has been the general consensus that Chambers
enjoyed having people think that he might have made the suit because it bolstered his
skills as an artist. The truth is that it’s very unlikely that
he made it. In spite of this, the story lives on. To this day, the debate continues to rage. Many Bigfoot experts believe that it is valid
footage of an unknown creature, but just as many people laugh when the subject is brought
up. While I see that it might be possible for
Chambers to have created the suit and helped to perpetrate a hoax, I really have to ask
if it’s plausible. I have no hard evidence to back up my opinion
that the film is genuine. I have followed the debate for quite some
time and have found nothing to convince me that this is a person wearing a costume. Based on the time period, I don’t think that
enough information had been made available to the general public for someone to have
imitated a creature in the way that the Bigfoot moves in the Patterson film. Just because Chambers could (and this is debatable)
have made the suit does not mean that he did. After the remarkable film footage obtained
by Roger Patterson began making the rounds, the feeling in Bigfoot circles seemed to be
that they were close to catching the animal. Over the years, there have been literally
thousands of fraudulent footprints, photos and film that have been “discovered” since
Bigfoot entered the mainstream. While much of the alleged evidence appears
dubious at best, other Bigfoot so-called “evidence” has managed to defy easy explanation. When such evidence appeared, it gave researchers
the feeling that anything could happen next. In the wake of the Patterson film, the next
major event to occur was in Bossburg, in the extreme northwest corner of Washington State. On November 24, 1969, near Bossburg’s town
dump, a butcher named Joseph Rhodes found a bizarre set of tracks. They appeared to belong to a creature that
walked on two feet, one of which was deformed. The word spread quickly among Bigfoot researchers,
including Rene Dahinden, a Canadian who spent decades conducting field investigations and
interviews throughout the Northwest. He was a major advocate for the authenticity
of the Patterson film and the character of the French Canadian Bigfoot hunter in the
film Harry and the Hendersons was based on him. When Dahinden arrived in Bossburg, he found
and covered one of the better pair of tracks. One clearly shows that the right foot that
had made the track was deformed. It looked as if it had two bumps out to the
side and only four toes showing. Using what he had available (a cardboard box),
Dahinden casually preserved what many consider to be one of the best pieces of Bigfoot evidence
ever found. From seven hundred miles away, in western British Columbia, Bob Titmus, a taxidermist
and Bigfoot researcher who taught Jerry Crew how to make plaster casts of the tracks at
Bluff Creek in 1958, made his way to Bossburg. His behavior seemed eccentric to Dahinden,
who wrote that Titmus, “went out and bought an eight-pound slab of beef and hung it in
a tree. I believe that he was sitting out there at
night in a panel truck, watching the meat, thinking that if this thing was a cripple
and was living off the garbage dump, when it came along, he would just grab it by the
arse and throw it in the truck and run off home with it.” Another Bigfoot hunter named Norm Davis
had a similar plan. He put out a big bowl of fruit in the hope
of luring Bigfoot. Titmus left within three days. Dahinden and Davis became friendly and began
sharing a trailer, which they moved onto land that belonged to Ivan Marx, who had been part
of the Tom Slick expedition to look for the Yeti a few years before. The three of them combined resources to continue
the search around Bossburg. On December 13, 1969, after a significant
snowfall, Dahinden, Marx and a local man named Jim Hopkins went scouting for signs of Bigfoot
around Roosevelt Lake. It was there that they stumbled upon a series
of 1,089 tracks: the remains of the best footprints ever discovered in America. They measured 17-1/2 inches long and about
seven inches wide and seemed to indicate that the creature that left them had a right clubfoot,
the result, some surmised, of a childhood injury. This minor detail seemed to rule out any chance
of a fraud for it’s unlikely that any hoaxer would have gone to the trouble to include
this deformity in such a huge number of tracks. The unusually long trail followed waterways,
going around a lake and along a river. It crossed railroad tracks, and stepped over
a five-wire fence that was forty-three inches high. Then, the creature rested, apparently in a
depression in the floor of the pine forest, before going up a hill, then back down, leaving
a patch of yellow snow where it had relieved itself. From there, the Bigfoot appeared to backtrack,
going through some underbrush, and to an overhang by the river’s edge. The trail of tracks finally vanished where
the creature descended the river’s bank to the rocky edge where the trail could not
be followed. Dahinden photographed the tracks carefully
and examined each print along the route. The three men did not have many resources,
so they kept some of the prints from the snow in Marx’s freezer. They were later inadvertently destroyed. Regardless, plenty of proof existed to show
that the prints were real. Their sheer number and occurrence in a remote
and seldom-traveled area argued against a hoax. Why would someone go to the trouble of creating
phony Bigfoot tracks in a place where no one would likely ever see them? Not surprisingly, when word of the tracks
leaked out, tourists with cameras descended on the area, ruining and trampling the fragile
evidence. But the Bossburg events continued anyway. A U.S. Border Patrol officer found new tracks
on the far side of the river on December 18. The distinctive prints of the crippled right
foot could be seen, though a recent rain had mostly washed them out. More Bigfoot hunters arrived, including Roy
Fardell and Roger St. Hillaire, a young zoologist from San Francisco; Roger Patterson and his
associate, Dennis Jensen. Patterson came and went, but Jensen stayed
behind to “protect” Patterson’s role in the hunt. Ohio millionaire Tom Page pledged money to
the hunt and soon off-road vehicles and snowmobiles arrived and the hunters were backed up by
air searchers. Dahinden, Patterson, Marx, Jensen, Fardell,
St. Hillaire and others held together as a loosely-knit group of hunters through most
of early January 1970. Then on January 27, a startling announcement
was received at the hunters’ camp. On that day, Joe Metlow began claiming that
he had found a cream-colored Sasquatch, discovered where it lived, and had captured it in its
cave. He wanted the researchers to start bidding
for the cave’s location. Patterson was being marginally funded by Tom
Page and he was on the telephone to Page right away. Page flew out to meet him and the big split
between the Patterson camp and the Dahinden camp began. Page was initially willing to spend $35,000
for a Bigfoot, dead or alive. Then Dahinden got into the bidding and researcher
John Green came to Bossburg. Green essentially served as a mediator between
the two camps. The bidding had reached $55,000 for the Bigfoot. Page’s helicopter was standing by at Colville
airport to take the creature away. Things were reaching circus-like proportions. The problem was that Metlow’s story kept
changing. Dahinden, during a moment of truce with the
Patterson camp, paid a visit with Dennis Jensen to Metlow’s home. Conversation was general and friendly until
Metlow casually mentioned that he had a Sasquatch foot in his freezer. Dahinden became excited and offered $500 for
a look at the specimen. Metlow demanded $5,000. Before anything could be confirmed, a crony
of Metlow had a contract sketched out that would include John Green to write a book about
the discovery, Bob Titmus to skin and dissect the owner of the foot – presumably stashed
in a cave somewhere above the snow line – and Dr. Grover Krantz to present the creature
to science. Dahinden was soon shut out of the mix, and
so was Patterson. After a series of fruitless searches, following
instructions provided by Metlow, the Bigfoot hunters figured out that there was nothing
to his wild claims and things grew heated and raw in Bossburg. A lot of time, money and energy had been wasted. The hunters left town discouraged, but a little
more aware of the shenanigans that would often run rampant in the Bigfoot hunting field. But that wasn’t the end of the Bossburg
story. Rene Dahinden kept in touch with Ivan Marx
throughout 1970 and Marx always had some new, exciting find to tell him about: a new footprint,
some handprints and even a new Bigfoot film in 1971. Tom Page returned to the area, offering Marx
$25,000 for the film, but it turned out to be a hoax. Researcher and author John Green called Marx
“the biggest, well, yarn-spinner in California.” Marx had lived in California for many years
but had moved to Bossburg in 1969. The famed Bossburg “crippled” footprints
started soon after and continued until 1971, with Dahinden, Krantz, Green, Patterson and
others finding their way to the area. Millionaire Bigfoot enthusiast Tom Page made
an appearance and researcher Peter Byrne reportedly put Marx on a $750 monthly retainer as a Sasquatch
hunter after the 1971 film surfaced. But Byrne soon discovered that the film was
a fake. Were the Bossburg prints authentic, or were
they, as some researchers came to believe, the product of Ivan Marx? In 1978, John Green simply stated: “I tend
to write off the whole Bossburg episode to entertainment.” But not everyone agreed. Many believe the prints were genuine, their
reputation damaged by the questionable activities (and people) that surrounded the incident. The casts that still exist of the crippled
tracks led authorities like Grover Krantz, the late anthropologist who was one of the
first academics to consider the possibility that Bigfoot exists, to believe in their reality. Anthropologist John Napier also felt the tracks
were genuine. He wrote, “Either some of the footprints
are real, or all are fakes. If they are all fakes, then an explanation
invoking legend and folk memory is adequate to explain the mystery. But if any of them is real, then as scientists
we have a lot to explain. Among other things we will have to rewrite
the story of human evolution. We shall have to accept that Homo sapiens
is not the one and only living product of the hominid line, and we shall have to admit
that there are still major mysteries to be solved in the world we thought we knew so
well.” The Grover Krantz-certified footprints have
become famous in the Bigfoot community and have been largely accepted as authentic, at
least to everyone who considers the possibility of the existence of Bigfoot. But the question still remains: was Ivan Marx
merely lucky once and then attempted to stay in the limelight through hoaxes later on? Or was the Bossburg incident, from start to
finish, just an entertaining episode that we can only view today as a cautionary tale? The reader will have to be the judge. Growing up in Illinois, and always being in
search of the strange and unusual, I discovered the works of author Loren Coleman, another
central Illinois native who went on to write a number of books and articles on the state’s
mysterious monsters. Loren’s passion for high strangeness was
infectious, and I was soon tracking down the sources of his stories – as well as stumbling
into a few of my own. For more than a century, reports have filtered
out of rural and southern Illinois about strange, man-like beasts that resemble a cross between
man and ape. Most witnesses talk of their odd appearance
and the horrible odor that seems to accompany them. The stories of these Bigfoot creatures have
been passed along from generation to generation and have long been chronicled by both professional
and amateur researchers. There are so many reports of Bigfoot in Illinois
that it is only rivaled by the Pacific Northwest for its number of creature sightings. Some of the classics of Bigfoot literature
stem from Illinois, which makes it worth mentioning in this chapter. The earliest sighting that I could find from
this region comes from Centreville in September 1883 and concerned a “wild man” that was
seen in the nearby woods. He was described as a “naked roaming madman,”
who had been “roaming around the country” for several days and had been causing “intense
excitement and consternation” among the rural folks who lived in and around this small
community. The man was described as having a long, dark
beard and his body was covered with matted hair. He had a tall “athletic form” and a fierce
look in his eyes that “make him exceedingly unpleasant to meet in a lonely spot.” The creature was first seen by the wife of
Dr. John Saltenberger, who was returning home shortly after nightfall when she saw him creeping
out of the orchard on her property. As he made a quick rush toward her horse and
buggy, Mrs. Saltenberger lashed frantically at him with her whip and then snapped the
reins. The horse picked up the pace but the creature
stayed close behind and then, suddenly, it leapt onto the back of the carriage. He only remained there for a few moments before
jumping down and running into the woods. Needless to say, Mrs. Saltenberger was terrified
by the encounter. The following day, her husband placed a telephone
call to Belleville and asked the sheriff to come and capture the creature. He was joined in his hunt by several young
men from the area but despite a thorough search of the woods around Centreville, the monster
never turned up. After that, the next report dates to around
1912. A woman named Beulah Schroat reported that
she and her brothers had often encountered hairy creatures in the woods near their home
outside of Effingham when they were children. According to her description, the beasts stood
on their hind legs and were about as tall as a normal people, with large eyes and copious
amounts of hair. The creatures seemed very shy and harmless
and always ran away whenever they were approached. The children usually saw them near a small
creek on the farm, where they waded and splashed about. Mrs. Schroat said that her brothers would
often run to the house after an encounter to report the sighting, but their parents
dismissed the stories as practical jokes until they found an article about similar monsters
in a Chicago newspaper. The next documented account was a brief report
about a man-like beast covered in brown hair and with an apelike face that was spotted
near Alton in 1925. There are unfortunately no other details to
accompany this account. Another report comes not long after the Alton
sighting. In this brief snippet, we find that a “huge
gorilla” was seen in the woods near Elizabeth in July 1929. Then, in 1941, the Reverend Lepton Harpole
was hunting squirrels near Mt. Vernon when he encountered a large creature that “looked
something like a baboon.” He struck it with the butt of his rifle and
fired a warning shot that sent it scurrying back into the underbrush. More sightings of the same creature occurred
the next year, and searches were conducted along the Gun Creek Bottoms in hopes of tracking
the creature down. More than 1,500 men attempted to flush out
the beast, which was said to have a “wildcat’s scream,” combing the bottoms with shotguns
and rifles at the ready. The animal was blamed for the death of a dog
in the vicinity. No trace of it was ever found. From the 1940s and into the 1960s, huge prints
were discovered along the marshy areas of Indian Creek in southwestern Illinois. The creature leaving the tracks was dubbed
the “Gooseville Bear,” taking its name from an area of farmland and small businesses
that were located about three miles east of Bethalto at the intersection of Route 140
and Indian Creek. Some identified the tracks as belonging to
a bear but others insisted that they were man-like. Whatever the beast was, it was never seen,
and after leaving its mark on the area for almost two decades, it disappeared. In 1962, a grayish-colored creature was spotted
by Steven Collins and Robert Earle standing in a riverbed east of Decatur, just off of
East Williams Street Road. The monster was looming upright in the water,
looking straight at them. At first, they thought it was a bear, until
they noticed its strange, human-like features. The creature vanished into the woods and the
astonished witnesses told the local newspaper that it was “like no other animal we had ever
seen before.” In September 1965, four young people were
parked in a car near an undeveloped area outside of Decatur called Montezuma Hills. The area would later become a housing addition
but at that time, it was a secluded lovers’ lane. The young couples were sitting in the car
when a black, man-like shape approached the vehicle. The creature seemed massive and it frightened
the teenagers badly. They drove off in a panic, but after dropping
off their dates at home, the two young men returned to the area for another look. They once again saw the monster, and it walked
up to their car as though it were curious. The boys were too scared to get out, but even
with the windows rolled up, they gagged at the monster’s horrible stench. They quickly summoned the police, and with
several officers as support, they made a thorough, but fruitless, search of the woods. The police officers said they had no idea
what the young people had witnessed, but they were obviously very frightened by whatever
it had been. Another man-like creature was encountered
near Chittyville in August 1968. Two young people, Tim Bullock and Barbara
Smith, were driving north of town on August 11 when they spotted a ten-foot-tall monster
that was covered with black hair and had a round face. It threw dirt at their car and they quickly
left to summon the police. When the authorities returned, they found
a large depression in the grass that was apparently a nest. Local residents claimed that their dogs had
been “carrying on” for the two weeks before the encounter. Another frightening encounter occurred about
one month later, in September 1968, a few miles outside of Carpentersville in Cook County. Two young men were driving along some back
roads, searching for a party they had been invited to, and got lost somewhere east of
what is now Barrington Hills. As they drove along the wooded roads, they
stopped and then started to turn around and drive back towards Carpentersville when they
saw something at the edge of the road. A creature, which the witnesses stated was
“about as tall as our Ford van,” started out across the roadway, about fifteen to twenty
feet in front of their vehicle. The creature had a long stride, stood upright
and was covered with dark brown (almost black) hair that was matted and longer in some spots. It swung its arms as it walked, in a manner
that suggested they were too long for its torso. As it crossed the road, it turned and looked
at the two men. Its face was covered with hair, except around
the eyes, nose and mouth. Its face was flat, they said, more like an
ape’s than a man’s. As the driver was backing up and turning the
vehicle around, the passenger looked to his right as they pulled away. What he saw gave him quite a fright: the creature
had changed direction, as if to chase their van! They were terrified as “it looked so powerful
that it could have torn the doors off the van with no trouble whatsoever.” They immediately left the area and did not
return for another look at whatever they had encountered there in the woods. A violent encounter with some sort of hairy
monster occurred about one month later, in October 1968, just outside Lewiston in Fulton
County. At about 9:30 p.m. one Friday evening, three
high school boys in a truck were following a friend in his car near the Dutch Henry crossing. All at once, the boys in the truck were forced
to stop, as they saw their friend’s car was now parked crossways in the road in front
of them. In the headlights, they could see their friend
lying on the road, seemingly unconscious. The boys got out of the truck and were walking
toward the other boy when something came out of the darkness and knocked them to the ground. Each time they tried to get up, they were
knocked back down again. The boys later reported that, whatever it
was, it did not hit them with its fists but backhanded them with terrific force. At one point, the boys managed to wrestle
the creature to the ground, but it knocked them aside with ease. During the fighting, the first boy, whom the
others had discovered lying on the ground, ran for the truck and locked the doors. He said he got a fairly good look at the creature,
and that it was not too tall but was very strongly built and seemed to be very hairy. Too terrified to get out of the truck, he
remained there until something frightened the monster away. It vanished into the woods. The boys were not badly harmed but they were
shaken up and the incident was reported to the local police. No trace of the creature was ever found. One of the strangest Illinois incidents took
place in July 1970, near Farmer City. Early that spring, three sheep had been killed
near town. Local officials dismissed it as the work of
wild dogs, which had been known to roam the area. Outside the small town, near Salt Creek, was
a ten-acre section of woods and fields that was a popular parking spot for teenagers. Three teenagers decided to camp out there
one night. Very late in the evening, they reported hearing
something approaching their campsite in the tall grass. They turned a light in that direction and
saw a huge, black shape crouching near their tent. The shape had a pair of gleaming, yellow eyes,
which was a color that would be repeated in every account to follow. The terrified screams of the teenagers scared
the creature and all of them ran off in different directions. Stories about the “Farmer City Monster” quickly
spread. Dozens of people reported seeing the creature
over the next several days, with all of the sightings taking place near the wooded area
outside of town. Robert Hayslip, a Farmer City police officer
who investigated the scene, reported his own encounter. In the early morning hours of July 15, he
saw the broad back of the creature moving along the trees. The creature turned in his direction and Hayslip
noted its yellow eyes. The local police chief, who until that point
had been skeptical about the sightings, decided to close off the area. The creature was soon to move on. On July 24, a couple driving near Weldon Springs
State Park, outside of Clinton, saw what looked like a huge bear in the river. Later, a policeman and a conservation officer
found tracks along the water‘s edge that definitely did not belong to a bear. They were reportedly very large and human-like. A few days later, farther north, a woman caught
the reflection of eyes with her car headlights as she was traveling outside Bloomington. She thought the eyes might belong to a dog
that had been injured by a passing car, so she stopped and approached the ditch where
she had seen the eyes shining. Suddenly, a large creature jumped out of the
ditch and ran away on two legs. She was unsure about what she had seen, but
whatever it was, it seemed ape-like. Later that same week, another witness reported
seeing an identical creature near Heyworth. On August 11, three young men reported seeing
a large, dark-haired creature near Waynesville, and five days later, construction workers
saw the creature near the same location. It ran across the highway in front of their
truck and disappeared into the forest. That was the last report of the so-called
“Farmer City Monster.” One can’t help but wonder if it continued
its strange journey northwest across central Illinois. If it did, it was never reported again. In May 1972, there were new reports coming
in from the Pekin and Peoria areas. In late May, a young man named Randy Emmert,
along with some of his friends, reported a large, hairy creature near Cole Hollow Road. This monster was eight to ten feet tall and
whitish in color. The witnesses stated that it made a loud,
screeching sound and they suspected that it was living in a hole beneath an abandoned
house. It left very unusual tracks, having only three
toes on each foot. Soon, others were reporting the same monster
and it became known as “Cohomo,” short for the “Cole Hollow Road Monster”. On May 25, local police logged more than two
hundred calls about the monster, including one where the creature destroyed a fence. The police departments were naturally skeptical,
but the calls kept coming in. By July 1972, there had been so many sightings
that nearly one hundred volunteers were organized to search for Cohomo. Tazewell County sheriff’s officers eventually
sent the volunteers home after one of them, Carl R. Harris, accidentally shot himself
in the leg with a .22 caliber pistol. The sightings continued and they couldn’t
be written off to local panic, either. One witness, from Eureka knew nothing about
the creature, yet happened to be in Fondulac Park, in East Peoria, for a birthday party
when he spotted it. He reported the creature and, strangely, a
set of strange lights that seemed to descend vertically and land behind some trees. Were the two sightings connected? No one knows, but whatever the creature was,
it was gone. In the summer of 1973, the town of Murphysboro
in southwestern Illinois became the scene of a series of monster sightings. The enigmatic creature, now recalled as the
“Murphysboro Mud Monster,” or the “Big Muddy Monster,” appeared without warning
and then suddenly disappeared two weeks later, seemingly without a trace. In its wake, the monster left a number of
confused and frightened witnesses, baffled law enforcement officials and an enduring
legend. The monster that wreaked havoc in Murphysboro
was first seen around midnight on Monday, June 25, 1973. On that humid and steamy night, a young couple,
Randy Needham and Judy Johnson, were parked near a boat ramp into the Big Muddy River
near Murphysboro. The night was quiet until a strange, roaring
cry shattered the stillness. It came from the nearby woods and Randy and
Judy looked up to see a huge shape lumbering toward them from out of the shadows. Whatever it was, it walked on two legs and
continued to make the horrible sound. They later described the noise as “something
not human.” According to their account, the monster was
about seven feet tall and was covered with matted, whitish hair. The “fur” was streaked with mud from the river. As it lurched toward them, the tone of the
creature’s cry began to change, alarming them even further. When the creature approached to within twenty
feet of them, they quickly fled the scene, and went directly to the Murphysboro police
station. “They were absolutely terrified,” former Police
Chief Ron Manwaring recalled in 2003, the thirtieth anniversary of the sightings. The retired officer agreed to be interviewed
about the case and remembered all that he could about what happened. “I’m convinced that they saw something that
night… I can’t tell you what it was that they saw,
whether it was a bear or something else. But something was definitely there.” A short time later, Officers Meryl Lindsay
and Jimmie Nash responded to the area and surveyed the scene. Although skeptical, they were surprised to
find that a number of footprints had been left in the mud. The footprints were “approximately 10-12 inches
long and approximately three inches wide.” At 2:00 a.m., Nash, Lindsay, a Jackson County
sheriff’s deputy named Bob Scott, and Randy Needham returned to the scene. This time, they discovered more tracks and
Lindsay left to go get a camera. The others followed the new footprints, tracing
their path along the river. Suddenly, from the woods about one hundred
yards away, they heard the creature’s terrifying scream. They didn’t wait to see if they could spot
the monster. They made a quick retreat for the patrol car
instead. Needham later recalled that the sheriff’s
deputy was so scared that he dropped his gun into the mud. After waiting in the darkness for a little
while, they got back out of the patrol car and spent the rest of the night trying to
track down a splashing sound they heard in the distance. Things quieted down after daylight, but the
next night, the creature was back. The first to see the monster this time was
a four-year-old boy named Christian Baril, who told his parents that he saw a “big white
ghost in the yard.” They didn’t believe him, but when Randy Creath
and Cheryl Ray saw an identical monster in a neighboring yard just ten minutes later,
Christian’s parents, and the police, quickly reconsidered the little boy’s statement. Randy and Cheryl spotted the monster at about
10:30 p.m. while sitting on the back porch of the Ray house. They heard the sound of something moving in
the woods near the river and then spotted the muddy, white creature staring at them
with glowing, pink eyes. Cheryl would insist that the eyes were actually
glowing and were not reflecting light from some other source. They estimated that it weighed at least 350
pounds, stood seven feet tall, had a roundish head and long, ape-like arms. Cheryl turned on the porch light and Randy
went for a closer look. The creature seemed unconcerned and finally
ambled off into the woods. Investigators would later find a trail of
broken tree branches and crushed undergrowth, along with a number of large footprints. They also noticed a strong odor left in the
monster’s wake, which lingered for a short time. The officers who arrived on the scene, Jimmie
Nash and Chief Ron Manwaring, quickly summoned Jerry Nellis, a local dog handler who often
assisted the police department in searching buildings and tracking suspects. He brought a German shepherd to go in pursuit
of the monster. The dog followed a trail through the weeds
and then managed to track the creature through the woods and down a hill to a small pond. Eventually, the trees and undergrowth became
too thick for the dog to continue and he was put back on the leash after almost pulling
Nellis off a steep embankment. The officers began searching the area with
flashlights, and the dog began sniffing near the trees, hoping to pick up the scent again. He then set off toward an abandoned barn,
but refused to go inside. Instead, the animal began shaking with fear
and started barking. Nellis called the two officers over and they
opened the barn and went inside. After a few moments, they realized that it
was empty. The three men were puzzled. The dog had been trained to search buildings
and Nellis could not explain why it had refused to enter the barn. A short time later, the search was called
off for the night. The Mud Monster was reported two more times
that summer. On the night of July 4, traveling carnival
workers stated that they spotted the creature disturbing some Shetland ponies that were
being used for the holiday celebration at Riverside Park. This report actually came in on July 7, because
the carnival owner was concerned that the sighting might scare away potential customers. However, he did tell the police that several
of his workers noticed the ponies attempting to break loose from the trees where they had
been tied up for the night. According to the police report, the workers
described the monster as being seven to eight feet tall with light brown hair all over its
body. It stood erect on two legs and weighed at
least 300 to 400 pounds. The creature stood very close to the ponies
and while it seemed curious, it did not advance on them or threaten them in any way. Then, on July 7, Mrs. Nedra Green heard
a screaming sound coming from a shed on her rural farm. She did not go out to investigate but the
description of the cries matched the description given by Randy Needham, Judy Johnson and the
police officers who also heard it. This was the last incident connected to the
monster to occur that summer. As the story leaked out, it turned up in the
newspapers, got posted to the wire services and soon made headlines across the country. Even the New York Times sent a reporter to
investigate. The story of the Big Muddy Monster made it
around the world and soon letters came pouring into the Murphysboro Police Department from
as far away as South Africa. Researchers, curiosity-seekers and even scientists
were pleading with the local authorities to release more information. They received letters from hunters and trappers
who offered to track down the monster and kill or capture it. Two men from Oregon offered to do the job
and wrote that they “would be willing to take on this adventure at only the cost of expenses
and materials for doing so.” Some wrote suggesting that the police try
using bait to snare the creature. A Florida man suggested, “Why don’t you put
bread and cheese and eggs out for your creature? You would have a splendid attraction if you
could have it in a little hut, to show people.” Assistant professor Leigh Van Valen, from
the University of Chicago’s Biology Department, also wrote to Chief Manwaring. “I have heard of your creature,” his letter
stated, “which could be of considerable scientific interest. There have been many reports of such animals
but no real specimens have been available for scientific study.” Professor Van Valen went on to explain how
the creature, if circumstances required shooting it, should be properly embalmed or “preserved
in good condition.” The professor agreed to cover the necessary
expenses to procure the monster for scientific study. In the end, all of the ideas and suggestions
didn’t matter, for the monster never returned to Murphysboro. There was only one other sighting that could
possibly have been the creature. It occurred in the fall of that same year,
a number of miles southwest of town, near the Mississippi River. A local truck driver told police that he saw
a monster that resembled the Murphysboro creature along the edge of the road. It vanished before he could get a good look
at it, but it left behind a number of large tracks in the mud. The authorities made casts of the impressions
but they were unable to determine if they matched the previous footprints or were the
work of a prankster. After that one last gasp, the Big Muddy Monster
simply faded away. So what was the Murphysboro Mud Monster? Local authorities admitted that they didn’t
know then and to this day, no one has offered a logical explanation for the sightings. One of the police officers involved in the
case said, “A lot of things in life are unexplained and this is another one. We don’t know what the creature is, but we
do believe what these people saw was real.” Some of the locals were skeptical. Jerry Nellis, the dog handler, said many years
that that, “in my opinion … we were tracking a bear.” But Randy Needham, one of the first to see
the monster, disagreed. He stated with certainty, “It would be kind
of naïve for us to think that we know everything that’s out there.” Needham added that after his encounters in
1973, he never went into the woods at night again. And even in the daytime, he never went alone. “I always look for way out in case I need
to leave fast,” he said. Many Bigfoot researchers, like author and
cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, have come to believe that perhaps the Sasquatch of the
Pacific Northwest and the creatures sighted in some other parts of the country may be
different monsters entirely. The creatures of many of the southern and
central states (like the so-called “Skunk Apes” of Florida) seem to be different than
the traditional Bigfoot. They have been seen and tracked throughout
the South and lower Midwest, usually in the swampy woods, bottomlands and along the rivers. The classic Bigfoot stands upright, walking
on two legs, and averages between six and eight feet tall. It leaves a giant print that looks like an
oversized human footprint, complete with five toes. However, what Coleman called the “North
American Apes,” are more ape-like, shorter (as has been noted in some of the previous
accounts), and are sometimes seen walking on all fours. It often leaves a footprint that is more like
a hand – that is, with the big toe sticking out to the side, like a thumb. In many reports, the word gorilla was used
to describe these river-bottom dwelling creatures. In Boone County, Indiana, in 1949, two fishermen
were chased away from Sugar Creek by a brown “gorilla.” In 1962, a Kentucky farmer named Owen Powell
spotted a “gorilla” that was six feet tall, walking on its back legs and having
front legs or arms that hung down to its knees. In 1968, a Kinloch, Missouri, boy was allegedly
snatched and then released in the backyard of his home by what he called a “gorilla.” The creature was frightened off by a barking
dog and the screams of the boy’s aunt. In 1968, newspapers near Hamburg, Arkansas,
printed stories about a prowling “gorilla.” Over a three-year period from 1967 to 1970,
a Calumet, Oklahoma, man believed that he was seeing an ape on a regular basis. He left out bananas and oranges for the animal,
which he hoped to capture. The effort ended without success. These reports – along with many others – are
often buried in among the traditional Bigfoot accounts because that term is more widely
used today. In many such cases, sightings and reports
have become part of the folklore of the area in which they occurred. In Allen County, Kentucky, the name Monkey
Cave Hollow was given to an area northeast of Scottsville. Early settlers to the area stated that it
was inhabited by a tribe of beings that they identified as some kind of monkey. The creatures foraged in the woods and took
refuge in small caves. An account from an “old-timer” recalled
seeing the carcass of the last “monkey.” A hunter had brought the body to his father’s
house when the man was only seven or eight years old. He could not remember exactly what it looked
like after nearly eighty years, but said that the creature had hands and feet “like a
person,” was about the same size as the boy, had no tail, but was covered in brown
hair. In some cases, the old events become cloudy
with the passage of time. An incident from 1900 in Hannibal, Missouri,
said that local residents noticed a mysterious animal moving about on a large wooded island
on the Mississippi River near the town. The sheriff was notified and he said that
he thought it was a hyena, except that it was eating grass. When the sheriff and a few other men captured
it, it turned out to be “the man from Borneo,” who had allegedly escaped from a circus, which
was happy to get him back. In those days, the “man from Borneo” was
a common nickname for an orangutan – which would have been incapable of swimming the
Mississippi or any other river. Despite the fact that the known species of
great apes do not swim, the North American apes never seem to have a problem doing so. They are very often found up and down the
Mississippi waterways, as well as in the forests that border the river systems. A high percentage of sightings take place
in the river and creek bottoms of rural America. The popular film The Legend of Boggy Creek
(a docudrama in that it was mostly factual in the details, but melodramatic in the re-creations),
is about Fouke, Arkansas’, ape-like “monster.” It noted several times that “he always travels
the creeks.” A sighting of a swimming ape in 1969 reinforces
the point. On November 7, a man named Charles Buchanan
was camping on the shore of Lake Worth in Texas when he awoke around 2:00 a.m. to see
a hairy creature that looked “like a cross between a human being and a gorilla or an
ape” towering above him. Buchanan had been sleeping in the bed of his
pickup truck when the beast suddenly jerked him out and pulled him to the ground, still
trapped in his sleeping bag. Gagging from the creature’s foul stench,
Charles did the only thing that he could think of and grabbed a bag of leftover chicken and
shoved it in the creature’s face. It took the sack in its mouth, made some grunting
sounds and then ran off through the trees toward the lake. It first splashed into the water, then began
swimming with powerful strokes toward Greer Island. The authentic tracks and credible sightings
of these mysterious apes seem to suggest that there may be another creature lurking out
there in woods and forests of America, along with Bigfoot, the most elusive of the hairy
bipeds. Are such creatures real, the product of wild
imaginations run amuck, or could they be an almost-vanished race of unknown animal that
is encountered on rare occasions in remote and isolated areas? Believe it or not, evidence suggests that
there really is something out there. In addition to the numerous eyewitness accounts,
there are the hundreds of plaster casts and photographs of giant, unexplained footprints. Other evidence that has been discovered consists
of feces and hair samples that are either associated with sightings or may have been
indications of a Bigfoot’s recent passing. Many of these samples seem to resist identification. But what about the body of a Bigfoot? Debunkers and skeptics say that Bigfoot cannot
exist for if it did, then someone would have found the corpse of one by now. Jeffrey Meldrum, an associate professor of
anthropology at Idaho State University, disagrees. “Think about it,” he said in an interview. “It’s rare, reproduces infrequently, and if
it’s like other apes, it may live for fifty years. It’s at the top of the food chain, so death
most likely comes from natural causes. When an animal is ill or feeble, it’ll hide
somewhere safe, which makes it more difficult to find any remains. Scavengers strip the carcass and scatter the
bones. Rodents chew up what’s left for the calcium. Soil in the Northwest is acidic, which is
conducive to plant fossilization but not to bones. They disintegrate.” Beyond the physical evidence, there have also
been recordings that have been made by Bigfoot hunters of what is alleged to be the “voice”
of the creature itself. Many of the tapes have been analyzed, including
one notable recording that was obtained on October 21, 1972 in California’s High Sierra
Mountains. That night, investigators recorded a series
of moans, whines, growls and grunts that were coming from the darkness. Two electronic specialists, one from the University
of Wyoming and one from Rockwell International, came to the conclusion that the sounds came
from “more than one speaker, one or more of which is of larger physical size than an average
human male. The formant frequencies found were clearly
lower than for human data, and their distribution does not indicate that they were a product
of human vocalization and tape speed alteration.” But, no matter how convincing the pieces of
evidence might be, the real proof of the creature’s existence would be not just capturing its
footprints – but the creature himself. If someone could find one and bring it back,
it would be the ultimate evidence that Bigfoot really exists. Today, there are still many researchers out
there hunting for Bigfoot, hoping to bring back remains, tracks or anything else that
will prove these creatures exist. As mentioned already, the reader is asked
to judge the existence of these creatures for himself, for short of solid evidence,
we can only surmise that the mysterious giants are out there in the forests of the Northwest. Until one is found, though, they have to remain
one of the greatest of the mysteries in the annals of the unexplained in America. Thanks for listening to Weird Darkness (and
My Haunted Life Toosday). This episode is a collaboration with Haunting
Stories, and if you like Bigfoot, you’ll love the true story surrounding a similar
creature that traveled the freak show circuit… The Minnesota Iceman! Check out that video now at HauntingStories
on YouTube! This series is made possible by all of my
generous Patreon supporters. All Marlar House patrons giving $10/month
or more automatically receive every audiobook I narrate as they are released. If you’d like to learn more about becoming
a patron, visit Patreon.com/DarrenMarlar or click the Patreon button at WeirdDarkness.com. “Plaster Casts: Bigfoot In America” is
used by permission from Troy Taylor from his book “Cabinet of Curiosities 2”. Music provided by Shadow’s Symphony
All content in “Weird Darkness” is used by permission of the authors and composers. Copyright Marlar House Productions, 2016. Rebroadcast or duplication without express
written permission is strictly prohibited. I’m your creator/host, Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me… in the Weird Darkness.

Author:

100 thoughts on ““The Bigfoot Stories You’ve Never Heard” #WeirdDarkness”

  • I KNOW THE MUSIC IS TOO LOUD. Unfortunately I had to learn that after I'd already posted this and it had been up for a while. My other videos do not have the same problem. Sorry if you find the music irritating. Meanwhile, if you like what you see here, be sure to check out my regular podcast, "Weird Darkness" every day of the week! Here's a direct link to the website where you can subscribe for free! http://www.WeirdDarkness.com.

  • Richard Hurts says:

    "Bigfoot" is the Olympic Grand master, Hide & seek world champion. I was on a UFO once. IT was Me, Elvis and "Bigfoot"

  • Melody Nequette says:

    In the story where the Bigfoot attack the cabin on Mt. Saint Helens what is that blob of brown the guy in the green and white striped shirt is holding.

  • Cameron Coleman says:

    I was hunting in the Pacific Northwest and saw "something" that was about 8 feet tall from only about 200 feet away and it sure as hell wasn't a bear.

  • Anita Whitfield says:

    can you find a u.f.o. ? and if you do ,do you think you can keep it ,or will it go missing, there has been big foots killed they say,but the big foot family takes them or the people that have the body are gone,no one left to tell the story,so are you sure you want a big foot body,if so say good by to your family before you go, it may be the last time you see them,theres more to big foot than meets the eye,thats why we will never no the truth…..but dont we no the truth already why do we need some one to tell us what we see,hear,smell,think…are we dummies,sheep,why do we have to be told whats true??????

  • Anita Whitfield says:

    D.N.A. is never proof? hair is not proof? foot prints not proof,people saying they seen them,shot them,heard them, were hurt by them, why go on….not proof…whats wrong with this picture…..one person had done the d.n.a. with out being told what it came from, she was like wow you found some thing, what was the blood from," he told her", she was not happy, didnt want any thing to do with it and was worried she would lose her job.it was human and a lot of diff. things, but had a 1/2 a d.n.a. strain ,one leg strand ,nothing here has this,not on earth that is?????? you tell me????

  • Apache White Crow says:

    …some say the multitude of missing persons in our National Forest; over decades (a Popular topic on YouTube Cannels-about unsolved 411 cases), could/perhaps- might be the result of stealth- Islamic terrorist groups(SITG)…stalking, trapping, kidnaping and exterminating the unsuspected(ing) victims. These conspiracy theorist- suggest Muslim SITG assassins dress in Bigfoot outfits/costumes-with BF foot gear to match…throwing off trackers and public search parties. Ancient underground- volcanic Caverns cut deep beneath the Earth's surface; used by these SITG's to conceal their genocide extermination of Free subject 411victims. To me, this makes more sense/logical- but then who am I to call it out? If I sound like an; Islamic Phobic-the thought is subjective…think/say what you like. This is still America, and Land of Free Speech!

  • Phillip Honeysett says:

    In Oz yowie n bigfoot had fangs n not the devil n scare beware or care n was told a truck took off n the back was ripped n torn n hacked n the truck took of roaring watever sworing n screech or scree ground don't scream n others differ n countries most ate or eat meat n creation or giant walking ape not a face n evolve times megafaunial or time evolve n apes around n print that's ground not unfound n that lived can't be placed n prob copped the jurrasic fate n civil being that's human being born point of being not earth evolve link any being n ball adem n eve planetree not a lost life not of be

  • Sandy Marshfoot - Traveling Hobbit says:

    I won't say a word about the phantom of the opera music. Lol 🎼🎶❤
    But I do want to say… Being there are quite a few completely covered in black hair (so much 3" hair covering their whole body-except feet/hands/face you can barely see their skin) people living in N MN…I can see why they would say BF was people gone mad…living in the Forest 😋😂😎 I met 2 of these men in 1997…snorkeling in Lake Tahoe…without a wetsuit. They said the lake was warm.

  • some of the comments you people make, amazing. If you are not curious about it why come on here. To attack people and act like an ass. Calling people names because they believe what are you guys 12? Grow up and talk like adults. Assuming you are.

  • Uncanny how close the descriptions are; usually, would dismiss such folk tales, but it seems more illogical and unreasonable to deny these stories , at this stage.Consider that in Africa, they very rarely have found remains of the great apes, for a number of specific reasons.

  • john singleton says:

    Good thing old Albert had his Snuff with him…now me I wont leave home without my Snuff box…YYYYYYYYYYYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWW GET YA SUM SISSY.

  • Crazy i listened to this when i got home from a long weekend upnorth, was chilling the one about the tittabawasse river in gladwin county Michigan. Because thats where i was lol.

  • 1:55:00 This (Bull Shit) story is a test of critical thinking…Three high school boys tackle a Bigfoot who had already at this point of the story, caused a wreck of another vehicle and "repeatedly backhanded the three (boys) to the ground with tremendous force"
    This particular story should have NEVER been told by anyone other than original IDIOTS…I call BULL SHIT

  • I THINK THE ONES THAT NEED TO B HONEST,R THE INTERNET SYCOTICS,WHO THINK THEY NOW WHATS BEST 4 US,BULL GOVERMENT NEEDS TO INYERBEEN

  • Honestly were 2019 i been watching bigfoot videos my hole life and actually beleived in them but its already 2019 if they were real we would have found them already and had hard evidence they exist i really dont beleive they real anymore its so sad im crushed but i have to accept reality that bigfoot doesnt exist

  • jeff deathrage says:

    I seen a cougar in vermont. Seen a huge fishercat, too. Huge. Beaver size head, but much wider. They say there are no cougers up here. There are. Point is- it could easily be real.

  • I'm from England never heard of one here, were to small,but some of those pics are real despite people who can't grasp that something that's been around long before white settlers and is intelligent enough to know that White men kill anything that moves, and could easily keep its distance.and there's plenty of sound recordings of thing's that aren't bears or cougars, and people always describe them very much simular.

  • If u watch the party video u can clearly c that there's 2 bigfoot in the video bit one. There's a bigger one walking towards the woods wen Patterson stumbles but u can c it walking away then as he recovers his feet and continues u can c pattys moved much further away. LOOK CLOSLY AND U WILL SEE

  • I seen the little monkeys in Allen county scotsville Kentucky I thought I was crazy but then I hear it was called monkey man hallow I couldn't believe it when I heard it on this video

  • I spent much of my youth in Northern California, I can’t say that I have ever encountered anything that I could say was Bigfoot, I considered myself a very good stalker of game and got closer to many predators than would be considered as safe.. but no Bigfoot

  • I would not be surprised if they exist, modern man have no skills when it comes to blending into the forest, they would be easily spotted and avoided . An intelligent creature would learn to avoid leaving evidence of its existence

  • I live very near the place in northern MN where the winndego stories began. No locals have ever spoken about it that i know of though. Lake of the Woods is also very near here. It crosses the border of Manitoba and MN.

  • Ape Canyon the creatures are called Skookum, meaning evil spirit or man eater. It's from the Chinook people we get the name skookum as a common word means powerful, dangerous, evil, hungry or greedy. Skookumchuck both the creek and the passage mean dangerous water.

  • Michael Abercrombie says:

    It's the Facts Verse guy. I recognized the voice and had to go back and find where I heard it before. Places you should never ever swim.

  • Great stuff dude, would of been epic too hear the calls at the end, the Mountain of the Dead and the 9 hikers would of been good addition, but dude it was great to listen too, good job.

  • Sorry, go to , how to hunt channel he will break it down for you. They are real. I dont need a window licker to tell me they aren't

  • MyKeyVengeance13 says:

    Sorry but the story of the 2 trappers like come on. Some sort of beast is stalking you and you are just completely ignore it ? I’m not trying to sound heartless, but hanging around is why the one trapper died. I was definitely worried about the horses as well.

  • Its NO hoax, they been here for many decades. They have familes an want to live, eat an be left alone. they see you before you see them.don't bother them, or they will hurt you.

  • The bigfoot I saw wasn't black brown or Auburn looking it was greyish salt and pepper colored and was HUGE!!! like a giant body builder or something and you never forget the eyes

  • I am 64 now, but when I was about 12, my family went on a camping trip. We were stopped on the road going into a little Missouri town by National Guard. My dad asked what was wrong. He was told there had just been a bigfoot sighting and no one could come into the town. I BEGGED my dad to show his badge, (he was a homicide detective), and somehow get us into that town. He would not. I was sooooo excited and watched the trees all the rest of the way thru Missouri, hoping to get a glimpse of bigfoot. lol

  • Well you got your facts mixed up on the cripple oot tracks. And lots of other points. Seems that some of this came from certain person book. And from mk davis

  • The music wasn't too loud, it was perfect!. This was a great video, It covered so much Bigfoot information that some of us haven't heard before!. I'm glad I got the chance to see this!.

  • I have to agree with what Beck wrote about Bigfoot being from another dimension. Being able to travel in and out of our dimension at will would explain a lot.

  • Bigfoot sightings and ufo sightings are connected in some way. Wonder if there dropped off by ETs for periods of time, then picked up again. The information and memories in the creatures head could be downloaded. Well, only saying!

  • If you consider all the sightings, those in very remote areas where no one had knowledge of the investigator in order to pull a prank on them, the sheer number of sightings and the sightings all around the world of similar creatures, I think it would be harder and more bizare to not believe in sasquatch than it would to believe in them. If you dont believe in them then you would have to think there is a very secretive society of people running around the globe secretly that knows when and where research is being conducted and they secretly coordinate to place the track and appear at the precise location where people will be. So that story is easier to believe than believing that there could possible be a distant relic ancestor of Giganto (my theory) that has survived this long and still inhabits the forests of the world?

  • Bigfoot is a species and you are going to get different attitudes per being.Ive been researching this since I could read , oh and all the neigh sayers out there,,,,YOU SEND YOUR KIDS TO SCHOOL TO BE TAUGHT ABOUT BIG LIZARDS THAT LIVED MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO????? BUT THERES NO SUCH THING AS BIGFOOT??????PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh Im 52 years old by they way,and they discover new species everyday,so why not this big guy!!!!!

  • Just leave Bigfoot to the coropations! In a cuppel of decades THER won't be enney Forestry left for Bigfoot to hide! THEN the men THER GUNS will HUNT THEM TO exstention! Isn't that how humanity reacts ?.

  • Great video and very informative. I just had to laugh when I overheard that “The Bigfoot took the sack into it’s jaws” I’m sorry!🙏

  • The story of Gilgamesh talks about a wild hairy man…. I don’t understand why ppl would doubt they exist, this world doesn’t belong to us..

  • National parks had a lot wildlife cams placed out . All people today carry a very good phone cam or other cams..why is there not a single clear shoot taken or none captured at wildlife cams.. That said i don`t disbelieve the sightings some had. would have been great to know that here is a missing link still running out there in the wild..they have one in Russia locked up in a cage.. search youtube for the clip .. nedless to say..it is close up fotage but blurry as all other

  • These things are Real but the population of them has dwindled you have to go off the beaten Track up in BC & Alaska to see them not just off the beaten Track but off off the beaten track

  • Yet the USG & scientists who scoff at the PG film trust as historically valid the Zapruder film whose provenance is widly suspect (frames damaged, frames reversed, the film first held for sale, not given to authorities, then put through a secret lab for 48 hours, & not shown to public for 12 years – notwithstanding all that!)
    The family of Abe Zapruder was paid $8M for its time & trouble by taxpayers – after multiple checks had been collected form private sale to Life Magazine & others. Zapruder was also an event witness, like Patterson & Gimnlin – but Zapruder walks under the TSBD window himself that day, then mimes for a reporter a front shot from his side of the street into JFKs temple, which his film shows – but Zapruder never speaks again about these aspects which eliminate a lone shooter situated as claimed, Both Patterson & Gimlin have a plausible account of all they did in the moment.b

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