Bigfoot sightings in North America began in the early 1800s apparently, though newspapers of that time often printed hoax stories, so one cannot be sure. The first of many bigfoot sightings began with an 1811 account near Jasper, Alberta, Canada by a fur trader by the name of David Thompson. He claimed to have found four-toed, strange footprints in fresh snow.
In 1884, a report of another bigfoot (or sasquatch) sighting was found in the Daily Colonist of Victoria, British Columbia. A train crew had the first bodily bigfoot sightings along the Fraser River. The animal was purportedly captured and quickly named, “Jacko,” although reports of his description sounded more like a chimpanzee than a giant bigfoot: “…something of the gorilla-type, standing four feet seven inches in height and weighing 127 pounds. He has long black, strong hair and resembles a human being with one exception, his entire body, excepting his hands (or paws) and feet are covered with glossy hair about one inch long…he possesses extraordinary strength, as he will take hold of a stick and break it by wrenching it or twisting it, which no man could break in the same way.”
The legend of the bigfoot tale was little more than folk lore, until more actual bigfoot sightings would occur in 1924. Albert Ostman reported something more than just your run of the mill bigfoot sightings, as he claimed to be abducted and held captive by bigfoot creatures, until he slipped away a week later. The Canadian lumberjack reported the bigfoot to be docile, vegetation consuming animals. His story of being captive to a mother, father and daughter bigfoot was not released until 1957. The next two bigfoot sightings from 1924 were both reported to have occurred at Mount St. Helens in Washington state. A prospector claimed rocks were thrown at his cabin during the middle of the night, while he hid underneath his bed until morning. The last of the 1924 bigfoot sightings occurred when a group of miners shot and killed a bigfoot, but were later to experience many bigfoot animals stoning, pounding and climbing on their cabin. The area is now known as “Ape Canyon” for the sounds the bigfoot creatures made at night. Many believe this particular bigfoot sighting to have been a hoax perpetrated by other miners.
1958 however, brought renewed interest in bigfoot sightings, as an excavator, Jerry Crew reportedly found very large footprints on the job site in Humboldt County, California. A newspaper reported Jerry’s bigfoot sighting and showed a photo of a plaster-cast footprint of the animal, made by Mr. Crew and his fellow workers. This big plaster print of the sasquatch foot is where the name “bigfoot” was coined, as the story made its way across the United States and abroad via newspapers. This excitement culminated with the now infamous 1967 Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin bigfoot video, which has been seen around the world. The first video of all bigfoot sightings was filmed in color near Bluff Creek in northern California. Many have asserted the film to be fake, but still today it stands as the hallmark of all bigfoot footage. Though other videos and bigfoot sightings have surfaced since, none have stood the test of time or scrutiny as well as the Patterson-Gimlin bigfoot clip.
As of this writing in 2007, over the last two decades, there have been over 200 reported bigfoot sightings in Canada. During that same time period, the U.S. has seen over 2944 bigfoot sightings, with nearly half of them documented in Washington, California, Oregon, Ohio and Texas. It should also be noted that the Pacific Northwest seems to be a hotbed of bigfoot sightings, while Texas may have recently given up the first bigfoot skeletal remains. Additionally, over 65 bigfoot sightings (sasquatch, yeti) have been reported around the rest of the world. For more information on the bigfoot sightings database, please visit: The BFRO Database
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