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Photo of Dead Bigfoot?

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on November 16th, 2006

This photo was sent to Tom Biscardi by Lyle Billett of Victoria Canada. I found the photo on his website and wanted to share it, as I have never seen it before and imagined that many, or most, have not either.

Dead Bigfoot Photo 1894

Dead Bigfoot Photo 1894

The text from the back of the photo says:

Year 1894

Yalikom River Around Lilliott B.C.

Forestry- Hudsonbay Co.

They took the picture and the Guy that was in the picture went & stole them back from the forestry records (hudsonbay co.) I believe his last name was Holiday (Don’t know the first name)

Never took all pictures (only one) and took pictures of the rest.

(Glass Plate Photography)


I have scanned the uncropped image and posted it on Cryptomundo here at: Update: Photo of Dead Bigfoot?

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

52 Responses to “Photo of Dead Bigfoot?”

  1. dialthree responds:


  2. greywolf responds:

    The length and shape of the arms/front legs appear it could be. It does not look like a bear or any other dead animal I have ever seen. Hmmmm, very curious.

  3. jayman responds:

    The “hands”, if that’s what they are, look like furry boxing gloves.

    Any ideas what that cord or wire is?

  4. Riptor responds:

    Seems in those days, a lot of strange creatures were shot by people. I remember the famous thunderbird picture with Civil War soldiers standing around it, who had shot it down.

    I had never seen this picture before.

    But it’s strange that there are several pictures of that time period that show cryptids.

  5. DreamKeeper responds:

    That is really creepy, it reminds me of one of those bug bushy sheep dogs. All these pictures of creepy animals are making me afraid to go out hunting.

  6. Shihan responds:

    I hate to say this, but it looks like a dog to me – St Bernard or Causasian mountain dog? You can see the outline of the ear, the black muzzle and what looks like teeth in a partially opened mouth

  7. shovethenos responds:

    Why does it appear to be a color photo when they claim it’s from 1894? Even if one claims its a B&W photo, it looks much more detailed than the state of the art could manage in 1894.

    And if you have a dead one why take a picture too far away to see much detail and in a position where many distinguishing characteristics are concealed? I am pretty skeptical of this picture.

  8. BurningStarFour responds:

    Agreed Jayman looks almost like paws somewhat like a lynx would have except obviously larger.Great photo whatever the creature may be.

  9. Dragonheart responds:

    Hm, weird photo. well, I’m no dog-expert, but it doesn’t look like a dog for me. Any dog-experts here?

  10. busterggi responds:

    Don’t suppose the original glass plate still exists?

    I’m guesiing the wire or whatever is apparently tied around the wrists was probably for pulling the arms into the picture for focus (if its real).

  11. Bonehead_AZ responds:

    I thought “dog” when I first saw it.

  12. mystery_man responds:

    There really aren’t a whole lot of details surrounding this photo so it’s hard to even know where to begin. I do not believe it to be a dog due to the relatively even thickness down what appears to be the thigh and the calf of the alleged creature as well as the spacing of the joints. It seems to me from what I can see in the picture that a dog’s leg just would not be built that way. Also the front paws would be of an abnormal size compared to the rest of the body if this was a dog, even a very hair covered one. On the other hand looking at the arms, they also just do not seem long enough comared to the length of the body to be a sasquatch either if the Patterson film is anything to go by. Imagine it standing up and where its arms would fall. Seems to me that they would fall to around the hip bone which seems odd to me. Hard to tell from this photo, but that is my impression. Of course this could be an entirely artificial construction as well. The hair is not very sharp and detailed, but something about it does not seem quite natural to me although I admit this is merely my gut reaction.

  13. planettom responds:

    I thought monkey when I saw it. Maybe not. Really to hard to tell, but I’m not seeing a dog. Definitely a weird photo. I agree also with Shovethenos about the “high quality” of the photo from 1894.

  14. mystery_man responds:

    And am I missing something or does it at no point make the claim that this is a sasquatch?

  15. bill green responds:

    This is definitely a very interesting photo of possible dead sasquatch creature. I’m sure we will hear more about it in upcoming weeks.

  16. Loren Coleman responds:

    Found it. I knew I’d seen this before.

    It is a photograph found and subcontracted via Rene Dahinden through the Bords at FPL. It has been published in their 1982, 1982, and 2006 Bigfoot books.

    I’ll type up the specifics in a minute.

  17. JRC responds:

    If this picture was done on glass plate, I will eat my proverbial hat. If it is from 1894 I’ll eat my belt too.

    Glass plate photography kits were very bulky, very heavy, and very expensive. To take a glass plate photo in the field you would have more than likely been working with wet-collodion plates, which would mean that, in addition to your camera and glass plates, you would also need to carry on your back a complete darkroom, with all its chemicals, and in your head a fairly in-depth knowledge of chemistry.

    As if all of that wasn’t enough, every time you decided to take a picture, you’d have to set up your darkroom tent, prepare a glass plate, then expose and develop the plate while it was still wet. And this supposed photographer did all of this outside in the cold of winter?

    For these reasons it would be extremely rare to use this technique outside of a studio. Plus by 1894 the technology would have been old hat and far less common.

    Here’s a website that explains the glass plate process in more detail.

    I am prepared to declare this photo a hoax. If it is legitimate then why lie about the details? Without actually seeing the original photo, it is difficult to say how or when it was taken but I agree with the earlier comment that

    A) it looks to be in color and

    B) I’ll add that the details seem quite sharp for that depth of field, with natural light, and with the technology available at the claimed time period.

  18. Labyrinth_13 responds:

    A sleeping and very shaggy Newfoundland dog?

  19. Bryan1963 responds:

    IMO it is a fake. Just like the couple of faked photographs that supposedly showed civil war soldiers with dead pterodactyls, an old photo is easily faked. The absence of mass to the “thing” on the snow really bothers me as does the hair/fur, looks like a mink coat, perfectly groomed, does not look like something that has lived out in the wild it’s whole life. My shih tzu dog’s fur is a wreck 2 days after visiting the groomer!

    Unless the photograph is tested, including analysis of the paper itself, I would say definitely fake.

  20. Loren Coleman responds:

    I find this photograph is NOT published in Janet and Colin Bord’s Bigfoot Casebook (1982), but then appears in their Bigfoot Casebook Updated (2006) edition, with this caption, on page 27:

    “Figure 3: This photograph shows an unidentified animal shot by trappers at Lillooet at British Columbia early in the 20th century. Photo: RD/FPL.”

    “RD” refers to “René Dahinden” being the owner of the photograph. The photograph is not in Dahinden’s (1973, 1993 rev.) book with Don Hunter, Sasquatch/Bigfoot.

    The photograph however is published in The Evidence for Bigfoot and Other Man-Beasts (1984) by Janet and Colin Bord. The caption there, on page 14, reads:

    “Section of a photograph of an unidentified creature lying in the snow. It was shot by trappers at Lillooet, British Columbia, Canada, early in the 20th century. ”

    The photograph published in the 2006 book is the full-framed view.

    – Loren Coleman

  21. Loren Coleman responds:

    BTW, since Riptor brings this up here, to wit: “Seems in those days, a lot of strange creatures were shot by people. I remember the famous thunderbird picture with Civil War soldiers standing around it, who had shot it down.”

    The two photographs in circulation are both hoaxes, in which Civil War re-enactors were employed for those pictures. One was done by the “Freaky Links” people.

    If this Bigfoot photograph was a hoax, it was done before, at least, 1984, and has never been linked to a television program.

    That it is in Biscardi’s possession is merely an artifact of his being sent materials, of course. The photo must be judged on its own merits, and these should not be tainted by this image being on his website.

  22. DWA responds:


    Sometimes I just gotta go to the TBRC website just to clear my head.

  23. 3Macks responds:

    Although it is possible that it is a hoax, I couldn’t help but notice some similarities to Patty in the face, if that is in fact a turned head we see. The tuft of hair over the forehead, the features of the nose, etc.

  24. Beansly responds:

    That seems like an awfully good photograph for the technology at the time. A little too good.

  25. green lantern responds:

    Hello. This is my first time to comment on this site. I am no expert by any stretch, but the body really doesn’t look to be that big. But you can’t really tell the distance the subject was from the camera. If it’s real, it could be a half grown creature, but with Biscardi’s reputation I wouldn’t want to bet the farm on it.

  26. Riptor responds:


    Thanks for clearing that up. I didn’t know that.

    But are you talking about the picture where they nailed a shot Thunderbird onto a barn and lined some people up in front of it to compare its size?

    Just wondering.

    Thanks for the info anyway.

  27. Blue Steel responds:

    I have to join the ranks of those who think this is a dog. If you blow up the photo, I think the head shows dog-like features pretty clearly. Also, the front two arms seem to end in paws, rather than fingers.

    On another note, this photo gives me the impression of early 1970’s photography, rather than 1894. Most glass photography I’ve seen has a much sharper image, due to the quality of the lenses in early photography, as well as their focus through the depth of field. This photo reminds me of the cheepy cameras that started to be mass produced in the 60s and 70s, along with the beginnings of mass developing and processing. In addition, the colors remind me of the 60s and 70s as well. It may be unclear what’s in the photo, but I’m skeptical that it’s a Bigfoot.

  28. dharkheart responds:

    Hmm…looks like a lynx, or some other cat, to me.

  29. thegoblinking responds:

    It reminds me of the hoaxed films made in the 1970’s by Ivan Marx. And since it is now on the Man I refer to as “The Monster” site, Tom Biscardi. Who has ties to the Marx’s. I am dubious of anything he posts.

  30. BurningStarFour responds:

    Although I agree it looks like the subject is equipped with paws not hands, I must say it doesn’t look like the paws of a dog. In my opinion, and I’m probably wrong, it looks to have the paws you’d see on felines indigenous to snow covered colder regions such as snow leopards for instance, although obviously not a snow leopard.

  31. JacinB responds:

    I’m going to have to agree with BurningStarFour. I don’t see hands, I see paws. More specifically, I see the same sort of paws that I would expect to see on a feline.

    I also don’t see a ‘face’. If it were bigfoot, and its head were turned toward us (as the body position would dictate, were it an upright hominid), I would expect to see a face there somewhere.

    Once you see the paws, the whole animal looks more feline (like a leopard, puma, or mountain lion). The head position (looking forward), ears, legs, and even what might be its tail (running just beneath the tree in the image) are all relatively clear.

    I’d like it to be bigfoot as much as anyone else, but I’m just not seeing it.

  32. DWA responds:

    Cat, probably lynx.

  33. richcap responds:

    I have done field biology work with lynx in Alaska and my first thought – this is a lynx.

    They have surprisingly long legs and very large feet.

  34. One Eyed Cat responds:

    I do not know what it is. But the legs are the wrong shape for feline and canine to me.

    The ‘paws’ could be from a cord tied around the wrists as they appear narrow, as if something is wrapped there.

    Maybe when someone finds more detail on the background story something more will be learned

  35. lastensugle responds:

    I’ve seen this picture a few times before and always my first thought have been some type of cat too, even though I agree there`s something odd about the shape of the body. The paws could be those of a feline with a heavy winter coat, the face/head look cat like to me too. One thing it’s certainly not though, is sasquatch!

  36. Swamp_Screamer responds:

    I’d have to say it is an 1894 hoaxed ancestor photo of the present day Bigfoot. After looking at the old photos of my ancestors from 1894, they wore weird costumes too!

  37. Doug Skinner responds:

    I just wanted to add that it’s difficult to assess the qualities of a photo from its scan; if the scan of the text is any indication, a lot has been lost in translation. At any rate, what we see is a digital image of a photo, not the original. Those pixels change everything.

    Photography was pretty sophisticated by 1894; prints could be quite sharp and detailed.

    That said, I have no idea what that furry thing is!

  38. Swamp_Screamer responds:

    All kidding aside, it looks like the old photos displayed in some of our museums here. All these old photos have hand written descriptions as is on this photo. Look at the old Doubleday photos and postcards from this period. I would venture to guess it is something real, and the old tin photos of my great great grandmother have the same tones as do the old photos. G.G. grannies’ costumes were weird, but real, as I feel this creature’s fur is weird, but real.

  39. a_welch90 responds:

    It does have a bit of a dog look to it, doesn’t it?

  40. raisinsofwrath responds:

    I’m going to say dog. Possibly the rear leg is dislocated giving it an elongated appearance. Also as has been said the tied front paws look like, well, paws! If you look very closely at the paws you can see the individual claws that look very doglike. Also the front “leg” looks to be in the right configuration for a narrow chest (lying on its side).

    Possibly a strange mix feral dog.

  41. raisinsofwrath responds:

    When I mentioned the front leg I was referring to the one sticking out on the underside.

  42. cabochris responds:

    As a former photo lab owner, I would have to say this photo looks real. It is not a color photo. There could be chemical stains/fading and light leaks/flares, that some see as color? Photo/image quality is within or worse than late 1800s technology. There does not seem to be any sort of digital enhancement either.

    As is often the case, this photo lacks detail. But when I glance at this photo, I see some sort of ape-like creature. Look at how slender the waist is. This thing has hips! The arms are long and the shoulders are broad! I see a face with eyes, teeth, ears and off-color chin hair. Look how muscular the thighs are! This does not look like a dog or large cat to me. The fur looks right too. It is rough, sort of like a chimp or gorilla- yet still in place like an elk. I do not believe that Bigfoot would have fur/hair that looks like he/she stuck his/her finger in the electric socket, but more like that in the Patterson film.

    So to me this creature looks like it walked upright. Yet despite a muscular type build, it still looks smallish? So perhaps it is a young Bigfoot? Perhaps it got caught in a trappers snare, then was shot.

    I find this photo very interesting.

  43. MalcP responds:

    From the photographic perspective, there is no reason why this couldn’t be an original print from a glass-plate negative taken in 1894. That said, it could equally have been taken on a digital camera last week. The fact is that its nearly impossible to determine anything with any degree of certainty from a copy of a photograph. I think we can say its likely to be a dead animal on snow, but I think the only person who’d even know that much for sure is the photographer.

  44. vet72 responds:

    I distinctly remember the hoaxed photo of an alleged dead “pterodactyl” with posing Civil War soldiers on the defunct FreakyLinks site. Difficult to make a sound perspective on the authenticity of this photo though, hoaxed or not. As far as the identity of the creature goes it’s anyone’s guess. Too much ambiguity.

  45. DWA responds:

    Ah ogree, markm. ah see u kud spel ur name too. prolly hepz you git lotz o gurlz cuz dey is stoopid enywa.

    Tanks markm fer putn dis massage on udder treds tu. speekin o not gettin no gurlz or havn a lyfe. AND beein stoopid.

  46. joppa responds:

    These are bundles of rolled up furs, four to six of them, placed so as to give an impression of some kind of animal. The cords are visible at the ends of the “arms” which bind up the ends of the rolls of two furs. I don’t think it is a single animal of any kind.

  47. mystery_man responds:

    The fur does look an awful lot like what you might find on a fur coat. Interesting idea.

  48. pup responds:

    “For these reasons it would be extremely rare to use this technique outside of a studio. Plus by 1894 the technology would have been old hat and far less common.”

    You’re thinking of the old wet plate process from the mid-19th century. By the 1890s, glass negatives would have been dry plates, similar to modern roll film, that could be stored and developed later. Both glass plates and flexible film were in use in the same era for a while. Google for “dry plate” and “glass negative.” Film speed was fast enough that a tripod wouldn’t be necessary, and there were cameras that took glass plates, that were designed to be hand held with a viewfinder that you could look down on from above, like this.

    The 1890s was the dawn of the cheap camera era, and it’s possible that a combination of an extremely cropped photo and cheap lens could produce a photo with this poor quality.

    However, that doesn’t do anything to indicate if the subject is a bigfoot. In fact, the easier practicality of photography argues against it if anything, since someone might go to extraordinary effort to get a photograph of a bigfoot they killed, but easier-to-use cameras might be brought out even for more common subjects.

  49. CRH responds:

    The Hudson’s Bay Company is the world’s oldest continuous corporation, founded even before other more famous names such as the East India Company. HBCs archives are extensive with trading post records that have been used for weather studies over time, trends in species diversity etc. Anyone dug into the archives for cryptozoological references? Their archives branch is in Winnipeg, Manitoba, but any search would be a very considerable undertaking.

  50. Pete.Wilson responds:

    Hey All

    I don’t think we know enough about the photo’s background, much less be able to draw any real conclusions based on what’s on the photo, other than to say Sasquatch Skeptical.

  51. JP responds:

    In “Yeti’s, Sasquatch & Hairy Giants” by Davis Hatcher Childress, it says the oldest known Bigfoot photo was from the 40s and taken by Joe Roberts. Well I guess he was not aware of this one from 117 years ago.

  52. thesasquatchbeliever0302 responds:

    It looks suspicious, the hands are circular shaped, that’s a little odd. The head doesn’t quite looked coned it looks like the hands but bigger. But a gorilla suit with such detail could not possibly have been created in that year. So I’m both skeptical and curious at the same time.

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