Customer Review

44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Sourcebook for Beginner or veteran Bigfoot enthusiast, October 11, 2003
This review is from: Bigfoot!: The True Story of Apes in America (Paperback)
Loren Coleman, America's reigning cryptozoologist, studies, collects information and pursues wildlife that are not-yet-discovered by the legitimate scientific community.

Books about the supernatural usually read like newspaper clippings strung together with the occasional "Gee whiz, holy mackerel can you believe it?" side remarks from the author.

Coleman has evolved beyond that style. He remains excited about the subject, and succeeds with this book on a level where he hasn't before. He weaves the historical accounts together with a writer's skill, excellent research, and honest reporting to produce a readable and informative history of the elusive beast.

He starts the book by comparing Bigfoot to other cryptid primates (yeti, almas, Yowie, etc.) and follows with an interesting retelling of Sasquatch history in North America, from Indian legends to pioneer accounts. His use of Native American history is as good as anthropological monographs in the research and connections he makes to present the Case for Bigfoot.

Along the way he presents the most comprehensive version of the `Minnesota Iceman' that I've ever read, as well as a final chapter to the famed 'Jacko' story. Well-rendered retellings of all the classic encounters--the 1958 Bluff Creek flap, the Patterson-Gimlin movie, and a thoroughly researched version of the 'Ape Canyon' saga.

Coleman does an excellent job in painting a picture of the diverse `brotherhood' of modern Bigfoot hunters. The remote locations and difficult terrain was obstacle enough to seek the beast. But possibly the greatest obstacle in the search for the mystery hominid were the Bigfoot groups' bitter rivalries and petty disagreements.

If you're going to read one decent book on the Sasquatch, I recommend you read this one first.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 11, 2013 2:24:07 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 11, 2013 2:25:16 PM PST
You state that Coleman engages in honest reporting and to an extent that is true - he does acknowledge several known frauds and hoaxes. However, he repeatedly fails to provide conflicting evidence that casts doubts on his stated opinions that particular incidents were genuine bigfoot sightings (see my comment to the lengthier 1-star review for examples). A particular example of this would be lack of discussion of how completely implausible the story is for the promoter of the Minnesota Iceman (the nonsense about the California millionaire wanting to test the "body" on regular people at Midwest fairs), the fact that the promoter/owner had commissioned a Hollywood special effects expert to make a latex hominid in 1967, years before the alleged Canadian border crossing incident that he claims later led him to use a phony body, and the fact that the two so-called experts who initially examined the alleged body trapped in ice later backtracked significantly in their opinions in later years.

Posted on Aug 7, 2013 9:59:50 AM PDT
I wrote the above comment shortly before reading Jeff Meldrum's Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science. I think Meldrum's book is a vastly better one than Coleman's - better written, better edited, better support by facts, not weakened by reference to the implausible and hoaxes. It is easy to tell which of the two authors is a dedicated scientist and who is the amateur investigator; although I will say that Legend Meets Science is written for a popular audience, not a scientific/academic one and I wish Dr. Jeff had catered a bit more toward the latter group, via footnotes and endnotes, to bolster his credibility. Even if you are not looking for a highly technical study of this cryptid, Meldrum's book has at least 10, maybe 20 times the number of photos as Coleman's book, so I would recommend it over Coleman's book even for light and casual reading.

If Jim Hisson has read both books, I think he would agree with my comparison of them (it would be hard to articulate many reasons how Coleman's book is superior to Meldrum's) and he should edit the last sentence of his review to read "... I recommend you read Meldrum's Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science first and then read this one second." I certainly cannot fault the reviewer for omitting mention of Meldrum's book, though, since it had not been published when this review was written a decade ago.
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