Sasquatch Coffee


Top Ten Bigfoot Books + 20

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 7th, 2009

Recently, a Sasquatch scholar asked me what I might pick as my ten top Bigfoot books, including my own. I struggled but I came up with a list. With enhancements, I figured I might as well share my choices with you all here, since it makes such a good topic for blogging.

The list below is given with some extras. Frankly, I find there are too many good, positive books about the nuts and bolts of Bigfootery to fit on one list of ten. It was a difficult chore to narrow the field down, so even though I tripled the length of the collection, I’m sure I have left out some fine texts.

The picks following are the result of my thoughtfully taking into account each of these books’ place in the early and recent discussions on the subject of Sasquatch/Bigfoot (not Yeti, Yowie, Yeren, or other hairy hominoids), their contribution to furthering detailed analyses, their significance in initial theory treatments, and their historical/regional legacy (no matter what the rest of the book might be about). Each one is a nonfiction book and is reflective of the kind of Bigfoot work that goes on my reference shelf for years of use and re-use.

itS ABSM cover

For example, Ivan T. Sanderson’s 1961 volume is the first book that comprehensively dealt with the folklore, sightings, and context of Sasquatch and Bigfoot in North America, in spite of its global title. There is no way it would not be my #1 Bigfoot book in these rankings. (BTW, it also is the first book to use any form of the word “cryptozoology” in print, in English, as far as has been discovered to date. I am waiting and willing to be proven wrong on this one. Sanderson used “crypto-zoological” in that book, on page 148 of the first edition. Of course, wildlife biologist Lucien Blancou, first used “cryptozoology” in print in 1959, in French, when he dedicated his book to “Bernard Heuvelmans, master of cryptozoology.” Heuvelmans would later write that Sanderson invented the term “cryptozoology.”)

A few of my picks, which are all in English, may surprise you, as they are from small publishing houses or privately printed. I didn’t let that deter me. I did, however, exclude cryptofiction, juvenile titles, and skeptical books from my selection process. All of these books are solidly claimed to be nonfiction.

Valley of the Skookum

Also, because this is, after all, my list, I have not placed titles on here that are reflective of one person’s encounters or individual remembrance tomes. For instance, in the last category, Valley of the Skookum: Four Years of Encounters with Bigfoot by Sali Sheppard-Wolford, Autumn Williams’ mother, is a fascinating book, but it isn’t on my list for that reason. You may feel I broke my own guidelines by picking Thom Powell’s book, but I actually think he does a great job collecting a variety of people’s stories and analyzing them with a level-head.

My top ten Bigfoot/Sasquatch books are ranked in my order of importance, and are followed by twice as many extras, the “honorable mentions,” in alphabetical order by author. I hope they assist those folks who are attempting to build a good resource library of new and used Bigfoot books.

Top Ten Bigfoot Books

absm medium cover

1. Sanderson, Ivan T. Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life. Philadelphia: Chilton, 1961; New York: Cosimo, 2008.

2. Green, John. Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us. Seattle: Hanover House, 1978 and 2006.

3. Krantz, Grover S. Big Footprints: A Scientific Inquiry Into The Reality Of Sasquatch. Boulder: Johnson Books, 1992. Bigfoot Sasquatch: Evidence. Seattle: Hancock House, 1999.

4. Markotić, Vladimir and Grover Krantz (eds), The Sasquatch and other Unknown Hominoids. Calgary, Alberta: Western Publishers, 1984.

5. Coleman, Loren. Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003.

6. Perez, Daniel. Bigfoot at Bluff Creek. Santa Cruz: D. Perez Pub., 1994.

7. Napier, John, Bigfoot: The Yeti and Sasquatch in Myth and Reality. London: Jonathan Cape, 1972.

8. Meldrum, Jeffrey. Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science. New York: Forge Books (Macmillan), 2006.

murphy new

9. Murphy, Christopher. Meet the Sasquatch. Seattle: Hancock House, 2004. Know The Sasquatch/Bigfoot. Seattle: Hancock House, 2009.

10. Place, Marian T. On the Track of Bigfoot. New York: Dodd Mead, 1974. / Bigfoot: All Over the Country. New York: Dodd Mead, 1978.

Honorable Mentions

11. Alley, J. Robert. Raincoast Sasquatch: The Bigfoot/Sasquatch Records of South-East Alaska, Coastal British Columbia & Northwest Washington from Puget Sound to Yakutat. Seattle: Hancock House, 2003.

The Historical Bigfoot

12. Arment, Chad. The Historical Bigfoot. Landisville, PA: Coachwhip Publications, 2006.

new bf book

13. Bartholomew, Paul B. and Robert E. Bartholomew. Bigfoot Encounters in New York & New England. Seattle: Hancock House, 2006.

14. Bayanov, Dmitri. America’s Bigfoot: Fact, Not Fiction – U. S. Evidence, Verified in Russia. Moscow: Crypto-Logos, 1997. / Bigfoot: To Kill or To Film? The Problem of Proof. Vancouver, BC: Pyramid Publications, 2001.

15. Bindernagel, John A. North America’s Great Ape: The Sasquatch. Courtenay, BC: Beachcomber Books, 1998.

16. Bord, Janet and Colin. The Bigfoot Casebook. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1982. Bigfoot Casebook Updated: Sightings And Encounters from 1818 to 2004. Ravensdale, WA: Pine Woods Press, 2005.

17. Byrne, Peter. The Search for Bigfoot: Monster, Myth, or Man? Washington, D.C.: Acropolis, 1976.

cz-fg4

18. Coleman, Loren and Patrick Huyghe. The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide. New York: HarperCollins, 1999. / The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates. NY: Anomalist Books. / Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti. Boston: Faber and Faber, 1989. Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology. Fresno, CA: Linden Press, 2002.

19. Halpin, Marjorie Myers and Ames, Michael M. (editors). Manlike Monsters On Trial: Early Records And Modern Evidence. Vancouver, British Columbia: The University Of British Columbia Press, Fall 1980.

20. Hunter, Don and René Dahinden. Sasquatch. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1973. Dahinden, René and Don Hunter. Sasquatch/Bigfoot: The Search for North America’s Incredible Creature. Buffalo: Firefly Books, 1993.

21. Hall, Mark A. The Yeti, Bigfoot & True Giants. 2nd Edition. Minneapolis: MAHP, 1997.

22. Patterson, Roger. Do Abominable Snowmen of America Really Exist? Yakima, WA: Franklin Press, 1966.

23. Powell, Thom. The Locals: A Contemporary Investigation of the Bigfoot/Sasquatch Phenomenon. Seattle: Hancock House, 2003.

24. Quast, Mike. Big Footage: A History of Claims for the Sasquatch on Film. Moorhead, MN: Quast Publications, 2001.

25. Shackley, Myra. Still Living? Yeti, Sasquatch and the Neanderthal Enigma. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1983.

26. Sprague, Roderick and Grover Krantz (eds). The Scientist Looks at the Sasquatch. Moscow, Idaho: The University Press of Idaho, 1977, (rev) 1979.

steenburg bk

27. Steenburg, Thomas. Sasquatch, Bigfoot: The Continuing Mystery. Seattle: Hancock House, 1993./In Search of Giants: Bigfoot Sasquatch Encounters. Seattle: Hancock House, 2000.

28. Strain, Kathy Moskowitz. Giants, Cannibals & Monsters: Bigfoot in Native Culture.

29. Strasenburgh, Gordon R. Jr. Paranthropus: Once and Future Brother. Arlington, VA: The Print Shop, 1971.

30. Odette Tchernine, Odette. In Pursuit of the Abominable Snowman. New York: Taplinger Publishing, 1971.

+ Heinselman, Craig (ed). Hominology Special Number I. NH: Heinselman, 2001. / Hominology Special Number II. NH: Heinselman, 2002.

Amusingly, the photograph of those Bigfoot books on a shelf are not from my library but one that I found randomly on the Internet. The image is to be credited to a general all-purpose used bookseller located in California, with the name The Book Juggler. I have to say, I approve of their inventory!!

So there you have it. My best of the best, thirty Sasquatch selections for your consideration.

Your turn. Pass along the ones I missed, make your picks, and comment on the choices you would put on your top ten list. If you wander from my criteria, mention the reasons why you liked your picks.

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Please, if you can, do…


Thank you, and come visit the museum at 661 Congress Street, Portland, Maine 04101.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. 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.


18 Responses to “Top Ten Bigfoot Books + 20”

  1. mrbf2006 responds:

    I have the majority of those books on your list, Loren, and I enjoy all of them. It is hard to pick which are your favorites when it comes to books on the Big Guy. Glad to see you included the excellent (and as-yet-unreleased except on .PDF) Know the Sasquatch/Bigfoot. Great topic, and great list.

  2. Viergacht responds:

    Although it probably doesn’t warrant a “best of” inclusion, I have a great fondness for Citro’s “Green Mountain Ghosts, Ghouls and Unsolved Mysteries”, because I was living in Vermont at the time it was published and I had no idea there had been sasquatch sightings so close to my house. In fact, about a year after reading it a friend and I were chased through the woods by “something” he claimed was bigfoot, but because of the poor light conditions, my own bad eyesight, and the fact I was concentrating on where I was going rather than what was behind us, I’ll never be able to say for sure!

  3. DWA responds:

    Why I NEVER.

    [flares nostrils indignantly]

    How could one omit:

    1. “Field Guide to the Sasquatch” by David G. Gordon?

    Concise. Slim (you can take it with you to your blind off that game trail. No matter how far that is; hey, it says Field Guide). An excellent keynote illustration of Our Big Buddy; family-tree discussion; review of some of the more noted sightings; an unfortunate, perhaps, tendency to focus too much on the Pacific NW, with however an acknowledgment that the anecdotal evidence is very widespread; an appropriate sense of both humility and humor.

    or

    2. “Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide” by Robert Michael Pyle?

    A biological treatise on the feasibility of the sasquatch, hidden within a personal adventure story and rumination on society and what it doeth to make us believe in things that aren’t real; and disbelieve in things that are.

    Other than those (shocking!?!??!?!!? UnCONscionable!?!?!?!?) omissions, good list. Actually better; damn near exhaustive. (I admit to a skin-crawl feeling that one of the above two is up there and I missed it.)

    Myra Shackley’s, largely forgotten it seems and unfairly so, is an absolute must read, and a healthy primer for how to assess the evidence (I frequently quote her “frequency and coherence” test of anecdotal evidence here). I actually have it on my night table, and frequently pick it up to review choice passages.

    And just in case Loren does not want to have the utter INCOMPLETENESS (J’ACCUSE! GRRR) of this list Exposed for All The World To See:

    Lemme just toss in my plug for Apes in America: The last chapter, alone, is worth the purchase price; and the cover illustration (fundraiser!) could be a way cool poster for one’s backwoods cabin. Or, heck, trailer. Maybe especially one’s trailer. When that sucker starts to shake around 2 a.m. and the doorknob starts to turn, you can see who’s outside without even getting up.

  4. tropicalwolf responds:

    I understand the “book shelf pic” is random, but the inclusion of the book “Bigfoot Exposed” is HORRIBLE! That is one of the worst scientific books EVER! That book should not be on this site.

  5. springheeledjack responds:

    Thanks for the list…while BF is not my top priority, I do enjoy reading about the big guy, and I think my little one will probably actually be more interested in BF when he gets older (he’s seen a couple of MonsterQuest episodes and likes “Assquatch” as he pronounces it:).

    One criticism…up at the top you state that “I did, however, exclude cryptofiction, juvenile titles, and skeptical books from my selection process.”

    I beg to differ. I’ve read a couple of them and they are “skeptical.” What some of the other books are not is open minded or realistic.

    This is and has been one of my biggest pet peeves in the cryptozoological field. We tend to make the distinction that people who do not believe BF is real are “skeptics,” while the rest of the supporters of BF are what? Something else?

    Wrong.

    Cryptozoologists, by their very nature are SKEPTICS. We have to be because there are so many hoaxes (as was seen in 2008 with those dudes down south), mis-identifications and so on. The BFRO scours sightings to verify authenticity and sift out the hoaxes and the delusions.

    The debunkers try to portray themselves as skeptics, but they spend more time trying to prove a negative rather than trying to go into investigations with an open mind, and find out what is really being seen.

    IT’s time we embrace the word “skeptic” and make it part of the cryptozoological jargon–anyone who is serious about cryptozoology takes sightings, photos, movies, and encounters and looks at them objectively with a skeptical mind to sift out the legitimate sightings from the frauds and mistakes.

    I consider Loren a skeptic, I consider Craig Woolheater, John Kirk and Rick Noll skeptics, and I consider myself and most others here in that same column. Being skeptical is part of the process, not a designation between believers and non.

    Anyway, thanks for the book list…will add them to my “get list” since there are almost no sea critter books I don’t own by now…

  6. DWA responds:

    springheeledjack:

    what else to say but “amen”?

    We’ve had the talk here, and maybe wasted too much time on it. But what the “skeptics” are is almost the antithesis of what a true skeptic should be. They are utterly credulous naifs who swallow – whole – anything that fits their predetermined, unsubstantiated, total-whole-cloth, pseudo-quasi (totally without evidence, backed by deep ignorance) kinda-but-not-really-in-fact-not-even-close thesis. If they are skeptics, I’d be ashamed of the term.

    Whoops. Sorry. I’ll try to be less gentle next time. Indulge me.

    If you want to listen to a skeptic on this site, I’m one. So, as SHJ noted, are many others who may come off as proponents (as I frequently do) to people who don’t understand the true nature of skepticism.

    Off soapbox. Here’s your library, ‘skeptic.’

    Read. And learn.

    For once.

  7. Loren Coleman responds:

    Yes, I slipped in using the word “skeptical,” perhaps, incorrectly. Of course, I meant blindly debunking. Good catch, SHJ.

    Good picks, DWA.

  8. fuzzy responds:

    Let’s not overlook researcher Bob Chance’s recollective report…Earthline: A 30-Year Anthology.

  9. Loren Coleman responds:

    Of course, my list is of Bigfoot books. On that basis alone, people should understand that Bob Chance’s collection hardly qualifies.

    Even the publisher acknowledges this: “Harford County, Maryland, naturalist Bob Chance presents highlights from his long-running newspaper column, Earthline. Compelling stories about wildlife, ecology, conservation, and local history are told from the perspective of a teacher and environmentalist who cares deeply about his planet.”

    It is extremely personalized and does not fulfill the more global requirements to be seen as a book adding to the overall knowledge about Bigfoot/Sasquatch.

  10. Loren Coleman responds:

    I have my own reasons for not having Gordon’s and Pyle’s books on my list.

  11. mystery_man responds:

    Very interesting list and added recommendations from the commenters. Good calls, DWA! Although this list is expressly on books in English, it gets me to thinking about some of the other possibly great books on the subject that are written in other languages. I wonder just how much good literature and research there is on hairy hominids that has not yet been translated into English as well as what other good selections there are from books by foreign authors that have already been translated into English.

    I often look into Japanese publications hoping to find hidden gems, so this is an interesting area for me.

  12. Shane Durgee responds:

    “Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide” by Robert Michael Pyle is the best book I’ve read on the subject so far, so I’m shocked by its exclusion as well. Keep in mind, I’ve only read a handful from Loren’s list, but still, Pyle’s book is beautifully written, even lyrical, as well as enlightening. Even if it’s not the most thorough investigation (it focuses on Washington state), it celebrates man’s fascination with this particular mystery and captures the passion that drives those in the field.

    I’m really curious as to why it would be excluded.

  13. Loren Coleman responds:

    I really didn’t want to go into this, because I wished to merely put forth a positive list of choices, not concentrate on why I didn’t put something on the list. Some books I may have forgotten, and for those, which I was hoping to hear about, those oversights would have been mistakes.

    But, since this one keeps coming up, here are my conscious reasons for excluding Pyle’s book even from my “Honorable Mentions.”

    Although it is a beautifully written book, the list is not just about works with poetic prose and great narrative word pictures. It is a list about Bigfoot books.

    I respectfully submit that Pyle’s tome, in large part, is not about Sasquatch/Bigfoot, but is a long, boring text on his personalized insights during a lengthy nature hike around Washington State, among the butterflies, other trekkers, and trees. Frankly, I have to agree with what one reviewer once said about it: This is not a book about Bigfoot; this is a book about where Bigfoot walks.

    Pyle is honest about his topic in his title. I find people giving this book much more credit and attention in hominology than it deserves. It does not further research of Bigfoot or enhance a better understanding of Sasquatch.

  14. DWA responds:

    Well, since opinions were invited:

    I think a lot of the books above take too sensationalized an approach to the sasquatch, and tend to minimize that the weight of the evidence shows we are dealing with wildlife here, not monsters. (Obviously Meldrum’s and Shackley’s and Bindernagel’s stand out as exceptions.)

    You may have to wade some to find it, but Pyle’s insights about the biological feasibility of the sasquatch tend to get left out of many of the ones on that list. And such insights are essential to getting science interested.

  15. Loren Coleman responds:

    Actually, I asked: “Pass along the ones I missed, make your picks, and comment on the choices you would put on your top ten list. If you wander from my criteria, mention the reasons why you liked your picks.”

    I am ending my input about a book I didn’t pick.

    The last thing I’m going to do today is get into a debate about that book…with DWA! I hope I answered Shane’s question, with regard to my view, which, is only my view.

  16. Shane Durgee responds:

    I would counter that Pyle’s book enhances a better understanding of the human condition which drives people into the woods in search of things like Bigfoot, and that has some value at least to the casual enthusiast like me. His book provides a beating heart to the largely ignored study of cryptids. I know he meanders, and I assumed his exclusion had something to do with that. I personally like his side stories, and I still think it’s one of the best written books I’ve seen come anywhere near the subject.

    I respect your list and your insights, Loren. I was just curious.

  17. DWA responds:

    No debates here. :-)

    But something for all of us to think about:

    It’s a little hard to come up with the ultimate library on something we don’t even really know about. Heck, people are going to go on for hours about the “ultimate” bird or animal-track book – and all that’s in any of them is stuff we know!

    When we know what the sasquatch is, you can bet that the list will change.

    Fast.

    (Besides, it’s a GREAT written book. Even better the second time around. :-D )

  18. DWA responds:

    I’m returning to this old thread to add Meldrum’s “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science” and Alley’s “Raincoast Sasquatch” to the list, with emphasis.

    Even though Alley’s is regionally focused, anyone with an interest in the animal will find it outstanding reading. And Meldrum’s may be the last scientific word, until the animal is confirmed and study really gets under way.



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