Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 28th, 2006
August 1974 was a busy month for politics; Richard Nixon resigned, Gerald Ford became the President of the United States of America. People are thinking and writing a good deal about Ford this week because he died the day after Christmas, repeating the pattern of his hero, former President Harry Truman, who also died on December 26th years earlier.
So how does Bigfoot fit into the mix?
I guess it depends on how you recall August of 1974.
In a column in The Signal, discussing the time that Gerald Ford didn’t show up in Santa Clarita Valley, California, John Boston uses it as a jumping off point to talk about…
Then there was the Bigfoot.
Back in August of 1974, Saugus resident Bob Curasi made a plaster of paris model* of a Bigfoot spotted locally. Curasi had been curious after a series of reported Sasquatch sightings in the SCV, including one by a pair of boys staying at a remote hog farm up Lost Creek Canyon. Of course, the teens were ridiculed after perfectly describing a 9-foot-tall Bigfoot, adding that he had been wearing a blue bell.
But then, the boys’ story (save for the bell) was corroborated by a pair of young lovers who were parked up Plum Canyon and making out by the full moon. The young woman screamed when she opened her eyes in the front seat and saw a hairy face the shape of a bullet staring in through the windshield.
The creature, she estimated, was between 9 and 10 feet tall. It ran away when she screamed. Curasi went out to where the couple had been parked and that’s where he found the bare footprint. However, it was only 10 inches long and 6 inches wide – unusually small for other reported Bigfoot tracks of creatures being reported as the same size.
(*Does Boston mean to describe the collection of a plaster of Paris mold of the track of a Bigfoot? Or an actual plaster of Paris sculpture – a model – of the sighted Sasquatch? The article does not carry a photograph of either.)
During the wild days of that late summer in 1974, “high strangeness” reports of California Bigfoot were being recorded from the Antelope Valley, not far from the other canyons and valleys that John Boston is talking about in his column. Many of the reports from southern California during this era were via Ken Coon, B. Ann Slate, and Alan Berry, and included various elements of close contacts.
Placing the old report recounted in today’s newspaper in context, here are the sightings that appear in the Bigfoot Casebook Updated’s chronology of Bigfoot sighting for California around that time:
Late Aug. 1974 Big Rock, CA Bruce Morgan Saw shaggy, white-haired Bigfoot with long arms on hands and knees and 6 ft tall in that position, near group sitting with a psychic.
Summer 1974 Big Rock, CA Terry Albright Almost hit 7-ft black Bigfoot while driving down mountain road.
Sept. 1974 Antelope Valley, CA Neil Fern & Rich Engels At night saw 7-ft black-haired Bigfoot standing on rocky crag; 3-toed, 15-in footprints later found.
Remembering Gerald Ford recalls a bizarre time in American history, that’s for sure, so there’s no reason a reporter won’t throw a Sasquatch sighting into the midst of these media memory moments.
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.