Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 23rd, 2007
John Green (right) interviews Albert Ostman about Ostman’s 1924 Sasquatch abduction incident in British Columbia.
As a newspaper man from Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, John Green began investigating Sasquatch reports in 1957, at the age of 30, interviewing witnesses and conducting on-site inquiries. He published several monographs and then a book on the subject, Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us in 1975.
Turning 80 years old in 2007, John Green is one of North America’s foremost Bigfoot researchers and enjoying the new reprint of his bible of the field, Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us.
British Columbia Reporter Michelle Vanderpol profiles the Sasquatch writing portion of John Green’s life in a recent news article for The Observer. Intriguingly, it mentions Green’s critique on trying to keep up with an ever growing body of people who want to correspond with him. Luckily, when John and I began writing letters to each other, in the early 1960s, he had some time for me.
John’s career in writing and publishing has been successful, and we are all lucky that he decided to spent a little time from his research, now and then, to become of the earliest chroniclers of the Sasquatch phenomenon.
In British Columbia, a local reporter decided to talk to him about his long career.
Even though Harrison resident John Green’s first book and various versions of it sold about a quarter of a million copies since it’s publication in 1968, he has never considered himself an author, he says.
His book’s beginnings started in 1957 when he began looking into the Sasquatch phenomenon and was looking for an outlet for the information he had been using to answer questions individually up to that point.
“I had far more information than I used by the time I decided to put some of it in book form,” he says.
His writing career started in 1944 when he was a student at UBC and covered campus news for the Vancouver Province.
“Then [it was] the main newspaper of record west of Ontario, not the tabloid it has since sunk to,” he says.
He moved on to full time work at the Vancouver News Herald, the Globe and Mail, the Province and the Victoria Colonist until his purchase of the Agassiz-Harrison Advance in 1954.
He sold The Advance in 1972, “when income from my books exceeded the net income from the overall business,” he explains. He worked off and on over the next 18 years part time for the Hope Standard, the Sidney Review and the Advance.
He published three books over five years while he owned a printing business. The books, On the Track of the Sasquatch, Year of the Sasquatch, and The Sasquatch File, sold mainly on magazine racks. The first two were combined and published in 1973 by a California pocket book publisher, selling 100,000 copies.
“Then in 1978 I co-published with Hancock House a 492-page hard-cover book, Sasquatch, the Apes Among Us, which included different coverage of much of the same information that was in the earlier books and a lot more, including information from eastern North America,” he says.
Moving into the eighties, he published extensively updated 64 page volume versions. Hancock House issued even more recent versions later.
Green continued to write and as recent as a couple years ago he “wrote four updating chapters of what was otherwise a combination of the 1980 books, which Hancock House published as The Best of Sasquatch Bigfoot. That book and the Hancock’s second paperback version of Sasquatch the Apes Among Us are still in print,” he says.
While he does not write regularly anymore, rarely gives talks, and has no interest in writing fiction, he does continue with aspects of Sasquatch research. He keeps in touch with some current researchers, but says, “nowadays there are too many to keep track of, let alone correspond with.”
For anyone who thinks writing a book is something that can only be done with an abundance of time, Green’s book output says otherwise.
“When I wrote the first three books I was still writing and printing a weekly paper and running a job printing business. Writing the big book took pretty much full time for about a year,” he says.
He says his writing experience was too far off the usual track to have any advice for aspiring authors. He can empathize with the difficulty of finding a publisher, however.
“The only time I tried to find an initial publisher other than myself, for the big book, I did not succeed, despite a good New York agent getting about 20 publishers to consider it. He said the only two who did show some interest were the New York Times and the National Inquirer,” Green says candidly.
Green’s Sasquatch books are carried in the Kilby Museum and Agassiz Museum gift shops as well as at least one souvenir shop in Harrison.
The small History of Harrison Hot Springs that he also wrote a few years ago is available locally and his works published by Hancock House are found in various tourism location book racks. by Michelle Vandepol, “Harrison author looks at Sasquatch,” The Observer, August 22, 2007.