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Sasquatch writer coming to town


Illustration from the book, by artist Richard Goettling

Northwest author and naturalist David George Gordon will speak about the mythical and iconic Sasquatch, aka Bigfoot, at the Grand Coulee Library on March 8 at 6:30 p.m. in a free, hour-long program.

For over 25 years the Seattle author, who has a degree in biology, has written about Sasquatch. His book "The Sasquatch Seeker's Field Manual," explains how "citizen scientists" can gather data in a relevant way to be usable by science, as well as elaborates on the legend of Sasquatch.

"I'm interested in iconic nature in the northwest, and when you get down to that, Sasquatch is pretty iconic," Gordon said in an interview. "It's really grown in terms of interest. There's a whole legion of people who want information on Sasquatch. There's also a human element to Sasquatch, so of course we're fascinated."

Gordon elaborated on why Sasquatch has captured so many imaginations. "We like to think we know everything, but we really don't," he said. "People like a certain degree of mystery. Our world has become more and more tamed, and we like to think there is something wild out there."

A favorite quote of Gordon's is by John Steinbeck: "People need seamonsters in their own private oceans."

Gordon says that Native American tribes all across the continent have similar legends of giants or "stick Indians" that resemble Sasquatch, with depictions of them ranging from benevolent to malevolent.

Although Gordon hasn't had firsthand experience with Sasquatch, he has spoken to many people at his presentations who claim to have those experiences.

"When I give talks through Humanities Washington there are usually four or five people who have firsthand experiences," he said. "That makes me think that for every report there is online, there are probably dozens more that weren't reported at all. People are a little reticent to share what they've seen, because people might call them nuts, so I try to make a safe environment where people are free to share."

So, does Gordon believe?

"I'm a fence sitter," he said. "If I said it didn't exist and they found one tomorrow, I'd be wrong, but I also would not go to court with the evidence we have so far."

Sasquatch first became something of a pop sensation in 1967 with the release of what is called the Patterson-Gimlin film, which shows what is reported to be a female Sasquatch figure strolling through a forest.

Gordon, who has also written books on subjects ranging from Orca whales to cockroaches, will be at the Grand Coulee Library on March 8 at 6:30 p.m., making a presentation that is free and open to all.

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