Sunday, March 3, 2013

Newspapers


After searching older newspapers, in Washington as well as nationwide, with the key words “wildman”, “wild man”, “hairy”, “large”, “creature”, and “sighting”, I did not have much success. Wildman is an extremely common last name and returned hundreds of results, which was a quick disappointment. In order to avoid all the results for the surname Wildman, I added a space between the two with the hopes of finding reported sightings of the creature we know today as Bigfoot or Sasquatch. By combining “wild man” with other descriptions such as “hairy” or “large” I was confident the results would yield articles detailing Bigfoot sightings, but despite the article titles, “wild man”, in one newspaper, was the name of a criminal running the streets of Tacoma, WA ("Is wild man," 1916). Another article that caught my eye with the following opening sentence: “A strange, wild, hairy, creature, bearing some semblance of a man and some semblance of a wild creature…” ("Wild man of," 1917). I thought for sure I had found something good at this point, but sadly as I read on the description went on to depict the “creature” as a small man with a cane, curved back, and who posed no threat at all. A similar article from the Washington Times began with another misleading description: “Strange, hairy creature gives quartet of fisherman scare of lives” (“Lair of wild,” 1919). This article, along with a few others, turned out to just be mentally ill individuals who escaped their institutions and found refuge in wooded areas or caves.

I found the most success using Newspaper Source Plus to search more recent newspapers for the common terms “Bigfoot” and “Sasquatch”. I was able to find a few interesting articles that discussed sightings and motives or lack there of for hoaxing.

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