Bigfoot: West Coast Wild Men: A History of Wild Men, Gorillas, and Other Hairy Monsters in California, Oregon, and Washington State by Timothy Renner collects newspaper accounts of “wild man”, Bigfoot, “wild women” from the mid-1800s to the early 20th century.
This is more of a book you want to buy if you are really interested in Bigfoot stories in the west coast states. The articles are printed verbatim, with the source details and author’s notes as footnotes. This made reading it on a Kindle difficult as the footnotes didn’t work correctly. I had to read through a chapter and then read the footnotes.
However, it is an interesting read in two ways. First, the tone of the newspaper articles range from joking and ridiculing sightings, to being very serious. Every article is simply printing a story (mostly first-hand accounts) with no follow-up research by the newspaper internally. Where there are follow-up stories, they are still just interviews with people who actually come into the office. It doesn’t seem any effort is made by the journalists to follow up on their own.
Second, the similarity in the sightings. The interest in women and children. The scavenging for food. Even the locations are pretty similar in geography – remote canyons or mountain areas – except for two that stand out. The first are a group of sightings in the area of the current University of Washington campus. The University was in its infancy then and there was a rash, over several years, of a Bigfoot in what is now the Montlake/Univerisity district areas of Seattle. The other one involved a more residential area near present-day Stanford, CA area.
While I found the book fascinating, there isn’t much analysis by the author except to note when he believes the sighting was actually one of a human or, in one case, an actual primate escaped from a travelling circus.