(Editor’s note: This review contains major spoilers.)
Episode 2 of Chasing Bigfoot: The Quest for Truth is titled “Bigfoot Encounters” and is a mixture of historical accounts of sightings from the past interspersed with interviews of people who say they’ve seen Bigfoot.
Like Episode 1, the historical bits are the best parts. You can read my review of Episode 1 here.
The historical accounts are interesting enough to make Episode 2 worth a watch, including stories of a Bigfoot killing a trapper and a Bigfoot abducting a prospector. However, the interviews of modern Bigfoot witnesses do not add much to the Bigfoot canon.
The historical accounts start with a story in The Antioch Ledger from 1870 when an anonymous correspondent published the story of a Bigfoot encounter near Mount Diablo in California titled “The Wild Man of Crow Canyon.” The correspondent reportedly hid and observed two Bigfoots visiting the camp and wrote: ”It was in the image of man, but it could not have been human.”
In a book published in 1890 titled The Wilderness Hunter, future President Theodore Roosevelt recounts a trapper’s story at a pass near Montana’s Wisdom River. The trapper’s camp was destroyed twice, causing his partner and him to leave. The two split up to gather their traps before leaving, and when the trapper returned. he found his partner dead with a broken neck and fang marks on his throat. The trapper named Bauman reported seeing a strange figure before fleeing the area.
The wildest historical Bigfoot encounter happened in British Columbia, Canada, in 1924. That’s when a prospector named Ostman reported hearing “man-beasts” roaming the woods. Ostman then said he was abducted by a Bigfoot. The Bigfoot carried Ostman for three hours before dropping him onto a plateau where he was held captive for six days by a family of Bigfoot. Ostman escaped by feeding snuff to the male Bigfoot, which made it groggy. Ostman did not tell his story to a newspaper until 1957.
Again in British Columbia in October 1955, a highway worker named Roe scouted an area for a future hunt and saw a female Bigfoot covered head to foot in dark brown, silver-tipped hair.
Of course, the most famous of the historical encounters occurred in 1967 near Bluff Creek in California when the iconic Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot was filmed.
The interviews of recent witnesses are tame and not filled with a lot of details.
Dr. Russ Jones, a Bigfoot researcher and author, said he’s spoken to many Bigfoot witnesses.
“I’ve had witnesses where it was traumatizing, witnesses that had to get counseling for post-traumatic stress, and people that have moved from wilderness areas,” Jones said in the documentary. “Witnesses tell me they think about their experience almost every day.”
Bigfoot investigator Ron Boles said as a young man he saw Bigfoot behind a tree 15 to 20 feet away while walking through the woods near Springfield, Missouri.
“To this day, that still affects my dreams,” Boles said.
Scott Barta, co-founder of Sasquatch Investigations of the Rockies, believes he saw the silhouette of a Bigfoot outside his tent one night when he found a print the next morning.
Bigfoot investigator Mark DeWerth said he came across a Bigfoot in 1997 while in the forests of Ohio.
Perhaps the strangest interview was with Bigfoot hobbyist Shane Carpenter who claims he’s been closely studying a family of Bigfoot since 2013 after he discovered them on a hike in southern Missouri. The documentary shows some of Carpenter’s photographs, but none of the pictures clearly show Bigfoot. Carpenter’s son and a youth pastor friend also claim to have had Bigfoot encounters.
Derek Randles, co-founder of The Olympia Project, said the most common way statistically to encounter Bigfoot is having one cross the road while you’re driving.
What should you do if you encounter Bigfoot? Wildlife researcher Doug Hajicek suggested investigating the area, document any evidence like footprints with photographs, and do not hesitate to report it to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization.
NEXT UP: Chapter Twelve: Chasing Bigfoot: The Quest for Truth. I review Episode 3 in the 2015 documentary series Chasing Bigfoot titled “The Bigfoot Phenomenon.”