Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 7th, 2009
Recently, a Sasquatch scholar asked me what I might pick as my ten top Bigfoot books, including my own. I struggled but I came up with a list. With enhancements, I figured I might as well share my choices with you all here, since it makes such a good topic for blogging.
The list below is given with some extras. Frankly, I find there are too many good, positive books about the nuts and bolts of Bigfootery to fit on one list of ten. It was a difficult chore to narrow the field down, so even though I tripled the length of the collection, I’m sure I have left out some fine texts.
The picks following are the result of my thoughtfully taking into account each of these books’ place in the early and recent discussions on the subject of Sasquatch/Bigfoot (not Yeti, Yowie, Yeren, or other hairy hominoids), their contribution to furthering detailed analyses, their significance in initial theory treatments, and their historical/regional legacy (no matter what the rest of the book might be about). Each one is a nonfiction book and is reflective of the kind of Bigfoot work that goes on my reference shelf for years of use and re-use.
For example, Ivan T. Sanderson’s 1961 volume is the first book that comprehensively dealt with the folklore, sightings, and context of Sasquatch and Bigfoot in North America, in spite of its global title. There is no way it would not be my #1 Bigfoot book in these rankings. (BTW, it also is the first book to use any form of the word “cryptozoology” in print, in English, as far as has been discovered to date. I am waiting and willing to be proven wrong on this one. Sanderson used “crypto-zoological” in that book, on page 148 of the first edition. Of course, wildlife biologist Lucien Blancou, first used “cryptozoology” in print in 1959, in French, when he dedicated his book to “Bernard Heuvelmans, master of cryptozoology.” Heuvelmans would later write that Sanderson invented the term “cryptozoology.”)
A few of my picks, which are all in English, may surprise you, as they are from small publishing houses or privately printed. I didn’t let that deter me. I did, however, exclude cryptofiction, juvenile titles, and skeptical books from my selection process. All of these books are solidly claimed to be nonfiction.
Also, because this is, after all, my list, I have not placed titles on here that are reflective of one person’s encounters or individual remembrance tomes. For instance, in the last category, Valley of the Skookum: Four Years of Encounters with Bigfoot by Sali Sheppard-Wolford, Autumn Williams’ mother, is a fascinating book, but it isn’t on my list for that reason. You may feel I broke my own guidelines by picking Thom Powell’s book, but I actually think he does a great job collecting a variety of people’s stories and analyzing them with a level-head.
My top ten Bigfoot/Sasquatch books are ranked in my order of importance, and are followed by twice as many extras, the “honorable mentions,” in alphabetical order by author. I hope they assist those folks who are attempting to build a good resource library of new and used Bigfoot books.
Top Ten Bigfoot Books
1. Sanderson, Ivan T. Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life. Philadelphia: Chilton, 1961; New York: Cosimo, 2008.
2. Green, John. Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us. Seattle: Hanover House, 1978 and 2006.
3. Krantz, Grover S. Big Footprints: A Scientific Inquiry Into The Reality Of Sasquatch. Boulder: Johnson Books, 1992. Bigfoot Sasquatch: Evidence. Seattle: Hancock House, 1999.
4. Markotić, Vladimir and Grover Krantz (eds), The Sasquatch and other Unknown Hominoids. Calgary, Alberta: Western Publishers, 1984.
5. Coleman, Loren. Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003.
6. Perez, Daniel. Bigfoot at Bluff Creek. Santa Cruz: D. Perez Pub., 1994.
7. Napier, John, Bigfoot: The Yeti and Sasquatch in Myth and Reality. London: Jonathan Cape, 1972.
8. Meldrum, Jeffrey. Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science. New York: Forge Books (Macmillan), 2006.
9. Murphy, Christopher. Meet the Sasquatch. Seattle: Hancock House, 2004. Know The Sasquatch/Bigfoot. Seattle: Hancock House, 2009.
10. Place, Marian T. On the Track of Bigfoot. New York: Dodd Mead, 1974. / Bigfoot: All Over the Country. New York: Dodd Mead, 1978.
11. Alley, J. Robert. Raincoast Sasquatch: The Bigfoot/Sasquatch Records of South-East Alaska, Coastal British Columbia & Northwest Washington from Puget Sound to Yakutat. Seattle: Hancock House, 2003.
12. Arment, Chad. The Historical Bigfoot. Landisville, PA: Coachwhip Publications, 2006.
13. Bartholomew, Paul B. and Robert E. Bartholomew. Bigfoot Encounters in New York & New England. Seattle: Hancock House, 2006.
14. Bayanov, Dmitri. America’s Bigfoot: Fact, Not Fiction – U. S. Evidence, Verified in Russia. Moscow: Crypto-Logos, 1997. / Bigfoot: To Kill or To Film? The Problem of Proof. Vancouver, BC: Pyramid Publications, 2001.
15. Bindernagel, John A. North America’s Great Ape: The Sasquatch. Courtenay, BC: Beachcomber Books, 1998.
16. Bord, Janet and Colin. The Bigfoot Casebook. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1982. Bigfoot Casebook Updated: Sightings And Encounters from 1818 to 2004. Ravensdale, WA: Pine Woods Press, 2005.
17. Byrne, Peter. The Search for Bigfoot: Monster, Myth, or Man? Washington, D.C.: Acropolis, 1976.
18. Coleman, Loren and Patrick Huyghe. The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide. New York: HarperCollins, 1999. / The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates. NY: Anomalist Books. / Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti. Boston: Faber and Faber, 1989. Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology. Fresno, CA: Linden Press, 2002.
19. Halpin, Marjorie Myers and Ames, Michael M. (editors). Manlike Monsters On Trial: Early Records And Modern Evidence. Vancouver, British Columbia: The University Of British Columbia Press, Fall 1980.
20. Hunter, Don and René Dahinden. Sasquatch. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1973. Dahinden, René and Don Hunter. Sasquatch/Bigfoot: The Search for North America’s Incredible Creature. Buffalo: Firefly Books, 1993.
21. Hall, Mark A. The Yeti, Bigfoot & True Giants. 2nd Edition. Minneapolis: MAHP, 1997.
22. Patterson, Roger. Do Abominable Snowmen of America Really Exist? Yakima, WA: Franklin Press, 1966.
23. Powell, Thom. The Locals: A Contemporary Investigation of the Bigfoot/Sasquatch Phenomenon. Seattle: Hancock House, 2003.
24. Quast, Mike. Big Footage: A History of Claims for the Sasquatch on Film. Moorhead, MN: Quast Publications, 2001.
25. Shackley, Myra. Still Living? Yeti, Sasquatch and the Neanderthal Enigma. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1983.
26. Sprague, Roderick and Grover Krantz (eds). The Scientist Looks at the Sasquatch. Moscow, Idaho: The University Press of Idaho, 1977, (rev) 1979.
27. Steenburg, Thomas. Sasquatch, Bigfoot: The Continuing Mystery. Seattle: Hancock House, 1993./In Search of Giants: Bigfoot Sasquatch Encounters. Seattle: Hancock House, 2000.
28. Strain, Kathy Moskowitz. Giants, Cannibals & Monsters: Bigfoot in Native Culture.
29. Strasenburgh, Gordon R. Jr. Paranthropus: Once and Future Brother. Arlington, VA: The Print Shop, 1971.
30. Odette Tchernine, Odette. In Pursuit of the Abominable Snowman. New York: Taplinger Publishing, 1971.
+ Heinselman, Craig (ed). Hominology Special Number I. NH: Heinselman, 2001. / Hominology Special Number II. NH: Heinselman, 2002.
Amusingly, the photograph of those Bigfoot books on a shelf are not from my library but one that I found randomly on the Internet. The image is to be credited to a general all-purpose used bookseller located in California, with the name The Book Juggler. I have to say, I approve of their inventory!!
So there you have it. My best of the best, thirty Sasquatch selections for your consideration.
Your turn. Pass along the ones I missed, make your picks, and comment on the choices you would put on your top ten list. If you wander from my criteria, mention the reasons why you liked your picks.
Please, if you can, do…