Sasquatch The Legend takes an in-depth look at J. Robert Alley’s Brushes with Bigfoot: Sasquatch Behaviors Reported in Close Encounters, Native and Non-native Perspectives
Seven pairs of red, glowing eyes stare at two men stranded on a remote Alaskan beach in the dark…A man on a search & rescue mission is chased out of the woods by a huge, whistling being running on two legs…A hunter sleeping in a car is terrified by three Sasquatch beings staring at him through the windows. Gripping stories like these are what most of us hope to find in a book about Bigfoot/Sasquatch. J. Robert Alley’s newest work, Brushes with Bigfoot: Sasquatch Behaviors Reported in Close Encounters, Native and Non-native Perspectives (2021) is chock-full of them.
Alley spent many years as a physical therapist working in Southeast Alaska. While there, he became acquainted with many of the local people and listened to their stories of experiences with the Kushtakaa, the Gagiit, and the Ba’oosh (various Southeast Alaskan tribal names for Sasquatch). Brushes with Bigfoot contains many of these stories, told to Alley firsthand by those who experienced them. Some of the encounters are even substantiated by signed affidavits from witnesses.
Reports included in Alley's new book range from the frightening to the awe-inspiring to the cute, such as the story of a woman mopping the floor of a retail market at the edge of a forest who hears laughter and notices a small, hairy being playing with her toddlers. Unbeknownst to the mother, the small figure, presumably a young Sasquatch, had been sneaking in and playing with the woman's boy and girl.
A surprise inclusion in Brushes with Bigfoot is the author’s own close encounter from the 1970s, which I had not heard before. Alley was camping with three friends in the mountains of Vancouver Island one night when the group’s peaceful sleep was interrupted by pebbles being tossed at their tent. At first puzzled, then irritated, the author went outside to investigate and came face to face with a Sasquatch. (For more on Alley's own "brush with Bigfoot," see his newest book.)
Additional attributes of this book that I like are that the author draws attention to specific Sasquatch behaviors at the beginning of each chapter (such as standing still, chasing people, whistling, etc.) and that he includes, rather than quietly filing away, a couple of eyewitness encounters that include accounts of Sasquatch beings performing extraordinary, seemingly impossible feats such as perfectly mimicking human voices or suddenly disappearing.
Just as Alley's previous book (Raincoast Sasquatch) did, Brushes with Bigfoot includes dozens of charming black & white illustrations of various eyewitness encounters with Sasquatch, drawn by Alley himself with the consultation and direction of the witnesses.
J. Robert Alley
J. Robert Alley, the author of Brushes with Bigfoot, will be a featured speaker at the second annual Forks Sasquatch Days in Forks, Washington May 26-28, 2023. For tickets, visit Forks Sasquatch Days.
By Christina Hebert