Bigfoot Terrorizes Beach Residents (1885)
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Bigfoot Chicks, Melissa Adair. As serious researchers, the Bigfoot Chicks are committed to seeking the truth regarding the Bigfoot mystery. You can visit their blog at bigfootchicks.blogspot.com.
This is the first account I have come across of an alleged Bigfoot at the beach. What I found interesting in this account was the number of eyewitnesses who said they saw the creature perform some type of "war dance". Not entirely sure what a "war dance" is - maybe he just had to pee?
Newark Daily Advocate
Newark, Ohio: Thursday, December 3, 1885
A Rockaway Wildman
The Residents Of The Beach Alarmed By A Stranger
Clad in a Salt-Sack He Dances Didoes
Terrifying Women and Children
A Searching Party Returns Without Him
Drinks All Round
New York, Dec. 3 - Peekskill, Westchester county, this time last year was terrorized by the appearance and actions of a strange being, whom the residents of that little town for want of a better name dubbed "a wild man." He was seen by everyone, frightened everyone, everyone tried to catch him and everyone failed. After a score of tramps who looked more or less wild had been arrested without checking the familiarity of the Peekskill wild man, he disappeared as suddenly as he appeared, and the good people slept peacefully without being compelled to barricade their doors to prevent him gazing in at them as they prepared themselves for bed. This habit was adopted by the wild man, who when he saw others disrobe always did the same thing himself.
Recently, along the south shore of Long Island, there has been reported about a man with long hair, two sharp front teeth that hang down over his under lip, a long shaggy beard, and muscles that even terrorize the hardy members of the life saving crews. His dress, like that of all other wild men, consists only of a salt sack girded across his loins, and his body is of a dark saffron color. This is "the wild man of Rockaway Beach." He first put in an appearance two weeks since, but then he was only seen by men who were returning home late at night and the men who told what they had seen were advised to give up drinking.
On Friday, Capt. Rhinehardt, of life saving station No. 16, while patrolling the beach saw the wild man. He ran out of a clump of cedars and executed a sort of war dance on the sand, much to the consternation of the captain, who ran back to the house as fast as he could, and could only be coaxed to do patrol duty again by Zophiar Pearsall going with him. These two worthies patrolled the beach, but did not see him. On the same night while Mrs. Falling sat in her little cottage mending bathing suits for next summer, she heard a tap at the window, and when she turned to see who it was she saw a most hideous countenance, which she likened to a big false face. She, with true womanly instinct, screamed and the face, like that of all wild men, disappeared. He was also seen by F. Foster, of Brooklyn, who was gunning at the beach. Mr. Foster was lying in wait for duck and saw him come out of the cedars, do a dance on the beach and turning a handspring, land in the water. After plunging in the breakers a few minutes he came out and sat on the beach in the sun to dry and then ran back in the cedars.
On Saturday evening, several reputable citizens saw him and a searching party was organized. They met at "Al" Meisel's Sunday morning, The searchers were those who live on the beach during the winter, and their search was for the wild man. "Al" Ruland was elected captain, Thomas H. Bond, lieutenant, and George Bennett, ropemen. At 10 o'clock Capt. Ruland got his forty eight men in line, and spread them from the ocean to the bay and each man within calling distance of the other and they marched over the entire beach, but of course found no wild man. Once they thought they had him. Immense footprints were found in the sand and the toes pointed inward, gave the prints a peculiar appearance. They followed them up to John Reinsen's barroom, but did not arrest John as he is said to be extremely tame, but the prints occasioned "a set them up for all hands." Sunday evening the wild man was seen again, an another party will go out and see if they can locate him. Uncle Jim Remen is authority for the statement that the wild man is one of the museum wax figures out for a walk.