I love historic accounts of Bigfoot encounters found in newspapers of the 1800’s in the USA. I wonder how many of these old news articles are still undiscovered. David Paulides came up with some fascinating articles for the first chapter of Tribal Bigfoot — possibly from the Ray Crowe archive he purchased.
After reading the entire chapter, the historic articles that remain in my memory are those with detailed descriptions of a possible Bigfoot-like creature. Back then they were called “wild men.” They are described as having skin resembling a horses’s — not what I’d expect at all — but it fits: hair-covered hide, hands similar to bear paws.
What’s very cool about these news articles is that there are several accounts of a captured Bigfoot. One article is from 1833 in Kentucky (pages 48 and 49), and another from 1839 in Ohio (pages 44 through 46). Both these provide detailed descriptions of the appearance and behavior of the “wild man” that we would probably call Sasquatch or Bigfoot today. Another account of a captured wild man was published in 1908 in Wisconsin about a Volva, North Dakota incident (page 46).
If they were actually captured back then, it makes me wonder why we have such a difficult time doing the same now. Could it be that we (as a species) have learned incompetence during the last 170 years? Could television and radio waves and cell phone EMFs have affected us … and made us lazy? Yes, times have changed.. so are we capable of duplicating the captures of the past? Or, were these accounts of hairy wild man captures simply facetious? (I think not.) Another wild theory of mine is that these captured wild men were able to put the word out to others of their species through psychic means, to warn them that if they had contact with humans they could end up captured. Are Bigfoot creatures more cautious now because of what has happened in the past?
Captivity seemed to drain the fight out of these wild men. The Ohio article stated, “He is now quite tame and quiet and is only confined by a stout chain attached to his legs.” I find it hard to believe that a stout chain could stop a Bigfoot from escape. A few years back I saw a thick and hefty chain which had held two goats, that had been broken so that something (a possible Bigfoot) could take the goats for food. (The remains were found nearby on a hill in a wooded area.) Perhaps the Ohio wild man lost his strength because of a changed diet, or just a lack of will to escape.
The Kentucky account involved a possible Bigfoot on a train. He was being taken to New York to hopefully be sold to PT Barnum’s circus. This article states, “When Conductor Harry Smith took out his glistening nickel plated punch to cancel the tickets the wild man watched the punch intently until he heard it snap. Then he got down in the corner of the seat fairly shivering with fear, and set up a low howl…”
Could it be that the Ohio and Kentucky captured wild men were one and the same? Not if you believe the stories from the newspapers. The Ohio wild man was captured near the Mississippi River and the wild man on the train in Kentucky was said to have lived in North Carolina. He was also said to have been a sharp shooter and murderer. The part about being a sharp shooter doesn’t sound realistic so that brings into question the credibility of the men who possessed the wild man. Even so, the Kentucky article pre-dates the Ohio article by six years so it is unlikely to have been the same creature.
Another old news article that changed how I think about Bigfoot is the “What Is It” article published June 25, 1891 in Woodland, California, found in Tribal Bigfoot on pages 33 and 34. It tells of Mr. Herman Gilbert who was exploring Capay Valley, near Rumsey. David Paulides identified Rumsey as being a small town near Clear Lake in Northern California. The article tells that Mr. Gilbert found and followed footprints to a ravine where he witnessed an agitated Bigfoot-like creature “covered in gore” near a pile of rotting animal remains that stank severely. It made me wonder if members of the Bigfoot species are in the habit of covering themselves with gore to produce a terrible stench. It could be a way of self-protection from forest animals, or a way to keep human beings at bay.
Any comments on this chapter are welcome.
Tribal Bigfoot – Comments on Chapter One: “Historical Bigfoot”
Tribal Bigfoot – Comments on Chapter Two: “The Bigfoot Map Project”
Tribal Bigfoot – Comments on Chapter Three: “Associations”
Tribal Bigfoot – Comments on Chapter Four: “Extreme Sighting Locations”
Tribal Bigfoot – Comments on Chapter Five: “Santa Cruz County”
Tribal Bigfoot – Comments on Chapter Six: “Amador County”
Tribal Bigfoot – Comments on Chapter Seven: “Trinity County”
Tribal Bigfoot – Comments on Chapter Eight: “Siskiyou County”
Tribal Bigfoot – Comments on Chapter Nine: “Del Norte County”