DATELINE: Historical Track
After a plethora of Bigfoot films, perhaps rivaling the numerous sightings, one grabbed our attention for its historical look at the topic. Well, that is novel and unusual in the spate of witness accounts.
On the Trail of…Bigfoot.
This little documentary wants to take us back to the roots in pioneer America, and it does contain many morsels hitherto not reported widely. And, you must couple that with breathtaking scenes of miles of forestland around the country.
One of the first stops is Ohio, hardly a place you’d think Bigfoot would be seen: yet there are some fairly wooded areas and some fairly surprising tales.
Back in the first-half of the 19thcentury the newspapers knew a good thing to sell the slow news day: but they did not call this creature Bigfoot. That was years away. He was known as The Wild Man, or the Mountain Devil. He was a creature shockingly naked and hairy. Of course, some of the more prudish newspapers had him putting on some clothes. We rather think this a convention to keep readers from too much shock.
The monster had been reported in late 19thcentury after discovery of the gorilla in Africa. Groups of thse mountain devils attacked prospectors regularly. The big galoot was impervious to bullets.
Produced by Seth Breedlove, this film is intelligent and careful, tries to be objective, and manages to be original in the process.
The Pacific Northwest started the “Bigfoot” verbiage when lumberjacks found bare footprints around their logging equipment and publicized it. It took till the 1970s before the phenomenon moved eastward again, with the Minerva Monster of Ohio.
However, the Abominable Snowman (from the 1920s) took hold in American movies and that sparked an Americanized form. The major characteristics developed quickly, though eastern versions were more aggressive and hostile.
By the 1990s, you had a merging of Bigfoot and UFOs—and the evolution of a legend reached a new apex. This fascinating documentary is worth your time, from 2018.