Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The events of 1958 propelled the Sasquatch, or Bigfoot, in the World’s headlines. They unfolded with ever increasing speed to an astonished and bewildered public that found itself torn between excitement and scepticism. The fact that the stories got such wide coverage was partly due to the fact that reports about the Yeti had been filling the international news media for some years. Cryptozoology – though the word had not yet really caught on – was an acceptable topic for coverage. It was also due to the dramatic and very photogenic evidence that was produced. Any reporter will confirm that a good photo will “give legs” to a story and ensure that it continues to run, while the same story without a photo would soon die down and lose public interest.

The trail of events actually began in 1957 when work began on building a road through the Bluff Creek area of northern California that was designed to aid the logging industry by opening the region up to heavy machinery. The head of the firm hired to do the job was Ray Wallace, who had his brother Wilbur as one of the team foremen handling the actual workteam tasked with clearing a flat roadbed through the rugged and densely forested terrain. The Wallace company was an established construction outfit in the area and was running more than one project.

With hindsight workmen at a Wallace site near Mad River remembered that in March 1958 they found some strange tracks. Nobody could recall exactly what they looked like, and at least one man said that they were bear tracks while another said that they were faked by some unidentified prankster who wanted to spook the workmen. At this distance in time it is impossible to state anything definitive about this event, except that it was odd but quickly dismissed at the time. It is only later events that have given it any importance.

On 3 August the workmen on the Bluff Creek Road turned up for work to find some of their equipment disturbed. A spare tire weighing around 700lb had been rolled about, causing the men to wonder who or what had been interfering. On 27 August the workmen found that the site had again been visited by something odd overnight, but this time it had left footprints.

from SASQUATCH by Rupert Matthews. Buy it on Amazon HERE

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