Before the term Bigfoot took hold, many old papers referred to tall, hairy humanoids in the woods as ‘wild men’. This report from January in 1902 describes people’s encounter with what sounds exactly like a Bigfoot.
Below is the report that went out to papers all across the country, describing a group of people’s encounter with a tall, hairy, club-wielding monster. I’ve found multiple copies of it in the newspaper archives including this one from the January 31, 1902 Algona Advance.
WILD MAN IN IDAHO
Hairy Monster Eight Feet Tall Terrifies Bannock County
Salt Lake, Utah, Jan. 30.–According to the Pocatello, Idaho, correspondent of the Deseret News, residents of the little town of Chesterfield, located in an isolated portion of Bannock county, Idaho, are greatly excited over the appearance in that vicinity of an eight foot hair-covered human monster. He was first seen January 14, when he appeared among a party of young people who were skating on the river near John Gooch’s ranch. The creature showed fight. Flourishing a large club and uttering a series of yells he started to attack the skaters, who managed to reach their wagons and got away in safety. Measurements of his tracks showed the creature’s feet to be 22 inches long and seven inches broad, with the imprint of only four toes. Stockmen report having seen the tracks along the range west of the river. People of the neighborhood are feeling unsafe while the creature is at large, and have sent out twenty men to effect its capture.
Obviously this wasn’t a case of people misidentifying a bear as a Bigfoot. People in that area would absolutely know what a bear looks like, and of course they don’t use clubs. Early American accounts of Bigfoot encounters for me are incredibly credible.
As someone that grew up in North Idaho, I can personally attest that there is more than enough land for Bigfoot to live and survive there, even today. Back in 1902, much of that land was incredibly wild.
What I find interesting is that the older Bigfoot encounters often include the creature having some sort of weapon. This is something that we don’t often hear in modern Bigfoot encounters.
In the encounter with a Wild Man in Ottawa, they describe the creature as carrying a tomahawk that it threw at and hit one of the witnesses.