Bigfoot on the East Coast

by Rick Berry
Self-published, Stuart’s Draft, VA, 1993, 164 pages, photos, paperback, $12.95.

Reviewed by Bufo Calvin

“If we were to dismiss all of the eastern (Bigfoot) reports then we would also have to dismiss all reports of the same quality from all other places, including the Pacific Northwest. And that would leave us with almost no sightings from anywhere.”

Grover Krantz, Big Footprints.

Many people find it easier to accept that something like Bigfoot is real if it isn’t happening in their own backyard. For instance, if you live in New York, you might laugh at someone who said they encountered a big smelly monster in Kinderhook, while accepting an identical report from a logger in Oregon. Perhaps it’s because we can’t admit that we wouldn’t know about it if it was in our own stomping grounds. Maybe we’re just more likely to believe strangers. Whatever the reason, distance lends credibility.

If you’re on the East Coast, Rick Berry’s recent book may shake that “only on the West Coast” attitude. He has assembled over one thousand sightings from fifteen eastern states, and given each one about a paragraph. All of the familiar characteristics found in Northwestern reports are here, from glowing eyes to putrid smells. If you accept those, there is no reason to reject these.

There certainly are some interesting things in these reports, whether you read it cover to cover or just browse. It appears that the Eastern Bigfoot is not so streetwise as its Western equivalent…there are several reports of car/creature collisions. There are also a few cases of their being seen swimming underwater. The wealth of data will make this a useful tool for the statistically oriented researcher.

The book does have some significant flaws, though. One obvious result of its being self-published is the lack of professional proofreading. Possessives and plurals are often confused. In one case from Morristown, New Jersey, we are told that the “indecent” was reported to the police. While some descriptions of naked Bigfoots might justify the term “indecent,” it is obvious that “incident” was intended.

Also, the back of the book claims that it is “the only book available that lists every reported sighting of the legendary East Coast Bigfoot.” However, we are told in the beginning that there were eighty-two sightings in Vermont and fifty-four sightings in Pennsylvania which have been left out of the book “due to lack of space.” Hopefully, they will appear in later, larger editions of the book.

Still, a lot of effort has been put into this book, and it does fill a gap in the literature, and the author is to be commended for taking on the challenge.

Originally published in Strange Magazine 13, Spring 1994

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