Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 5th, 2008
October 5, 1958
At a road construction site in Bluff Creek, California, Gerald Crew finds big tracks in August and then again on October 1 and 2, 1958. He is told by his fellow workers, some of whom are Hoopa Indians, the maker is a hairy forest giant. Crew, using plaster of Paris, thanks to instructions from taxidermist Bob Titmus, makes a replica of the large print at the site on October 3, 1958.
Jerry Crew brings his cast to the local newspaper and shows it to the editor, Andrew Genzoli who publishes his illustrated story in the Humboldt Times on October 5, 1958. Genzoli repeats the name that he hears from the all-male construction crew and their wives (especially Jess Bemis and her letter to Genzoli), that the creature that made the track is called “Bigfoot.”
The publication of that photograph of Crew holding an enormous foot-shaped plaster cast becomes a turning point in the pursuit of hairy wild hominoids in North America, and soon the world. Everybody wants to see whatever was making such imprints, and the public becomes interested in learning more about “Bigfoot.”
The surviving copy of that Jerry Crew 1958 cast from Bluff Creek, California, clearly shows it does not match the fakes revealed by the Ray Wallace family, after Ray Wallace died in 2002.
While those wooden Wallace hoaxes may have been used to create other contemporary dubious prints, they do not mirror the Jerry Crew “Bigfoot” cast from October 1958.
Sources: The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates (NY: Anomalist Books, 2006) and Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America (NY: Simon and Schuster, 2003)
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.