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Lair of the Beasts: Here Come the Hairy Giants
Bigfoot, the Yeti and More
By Nick Redfern
September 04, 2010
Bigfoot and the Yeti in print.
© Bob Trate
A tremendous amount of books have been written on such topics as the legendary Bigfoot of the Pacific Northwest and the Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas. And some of those books have been very good, and others have not been so special at all! But, here’s a new one that I most definitely recommend: Yetis, Sasquatch and Hairy Giants, which is the very latest book from prolific author and publisher, David Hatcher Childress of Adventures Unlimited Press.
For those of you who are already well acquainted with the controversy surrounding the many and varied hairy, giant man-beasts of our world, Childress’ title will prove to be a very welcome addition to your book collection. And, if you’re a total newcomer to the subject, but are wondering what the truth is about all these elusive, ape-like creatures, then Yetis, Sasquatch and Hairy Giants is a great place to start.
And the book is very good value for money too: for your $18.95 you get a near-400-page-long book, and it’s one that is packed with color photographs, too, some of which you most likely will never have seen before.
More than that, however, Childress’ book is an excellent study of a phenomenon that – as the author skillfully demonstrates – is actually a very old one. I know from speaking to people – and particularly so when it comes to dealing with the media – that there is a tendency to conclude, or assume, that Bigfoot and its hairy ilk popped out of nowhere midway through the 20th Century, as nothing more than folklore, myth, legend and a lure to bring tourism to certain areas.
In reality, however, the truth is very different, as Childress shows time and again. Indeed, in the chapter of the book titled The Giants of Yore, Childress delves deep into ancient, historical and biblical tales of encounters with giant humanoids. And, in this same chapter, we get to learn much about the giants of Patagonia, and the huge, hair-covered man-beasts that were said to roam around the wilds of New Mexico in times-past.
We are then treated to a chapter – Giants among Us – that reveals some fascinating and little-known stories of North American encounters with Bigfoot-style entities in the 1700s and 1800s, as well as accounts of regular human giants.
Childress then takes us on a trip to my own part of the world, Europe: home to the Woodwose, an ancient name for hairy, wild-men of the woods, whose exploits have become legendary in traditional European folklore. Were they merely normal human beings afflicted with certain medical conditions that led them to develop abnormal amounts of bodily and facial hair? Certainly, a rare condition called hypertrichosis causes such symptoms, and the possibility that at least some wild-men reports might be due to nothing stranger than tragic medical anomalies cannot be dismissed.
But, as Childress shows, this certainly isn’t the whole story. Other cases suggest the presence of creatures that seem far more beast-like in nature and appearance – although whether they still roam the wilder parts of Europe is a matter of deep debate. Certainly, my place of birth, England, has a lot of legends attached to it of such creatures lurking in the woods and forests of the land – even to this very day. In other words, the Woodwose just might still be among us.
Then, in Yetis, Sasquatch and Hairy Giants, it’s time to focus on the far more well-known types of Goliath-sized ape-men that secretly share the planet with us: the Yeti and Bigfoot. As Childress points out, however, there are several variations on these creatures: Russia and China are also the domains of such beasts. And, on reading Childress’ book, you’ll develop a good understanding of the nature of the animals, the historical reports of encounters with these mysterious critters, and much more.
The United States features heavily in the book, too, of course, and we’re given solid accounts of some of the near-legendary reports and incidents, such as the story – and attendant film-footage - of Roger Patterson, who claimed to have near-literally stumbled across a female Bigfoot at Bluff Creek, California in 1967.
Teddy Roosevelt’s Bigfoot story (yes, you did read that right!) is related, as is the infamous Battle of Ape Canyon of 1924 – perhaps the one case more than any other suggesting that the Bigfoot beasts can be highly dangerous when the mood takes them.
And to demonstrate that these giant animals are still lurking in the shadows – and sometimes in the not-so-shadowy places too – Childress rounds things off with a look at more recent sightings, showing that whatever these creatures are, they are apparently still surviving, still thriving, and remain blissfully unaware of the controversy they provoke within the realms of both mainstream zoology and the alternative worlds of cryptozoology and monster-hunting.
If Bigfoot is your thing, or you just want to know what all the fuss is about, I definitely recommend you get hold of a copy of David Hatcher Childress’ Yetis, Sasquatch and Hairy Giants.
Nick Redfern is the author of many books on paranormal, supernatural and cryptozoological subjects. His new book is Final Events, a study of the beliefs of those people who believe UFOs have demonic, rather than alien origins.