David George Gordon grew up in the metropolitan city of Chicago but felt a keen kinship with the denizens of his backyard.Today Gordon lives in Seattle and is the award-winning author of “The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook” and 20 other titles about natural species, including orcas, cockroaches and land snails. The New York Times called his “Field Guide to the Slug,” “gripping.”
In 2015 Gordon published the “Sasquatch Seeker’s Field Manual,” a guide on how to conduct a credible scientific search for the mysterious hominid rumored to inhabit the Northwest. Gordon is touring the state talking about “Sasquatch: Man-Ape or Myth” as part of a Humanities Washington program. Inland 360 caught up with him before his visit to Palouse area libraries next week.
If you look back over all of my writing the real theme is human-animal interaction, the way people and nature interact. The grand kahuna of all that is the sasquatch, a creature representative of nature but also representative of humanity. Sasquatch rides the edge of that. You wouldn’t want to go out and shoot it. It could be one of our relatives; it could be our textbook next-of-kin.
A lot of people are what I call “Iseenems,” they can’t tell you much other than that they’ve seen one.
Right now, I wouldn’t go to court with the evidence people have collected so far, but I wouldn’t want to dismiss the idea they exist. I wanted to weave into the narrative about humans and nature how to be better scientists and better data gatherers. One reviewer said it was like sneaking vegetables into meatloaf so you could get kids to eat the vegetables.
What can people expect in your presentation “Sasquatch: Man-Ape or Myth”?
I talk for about a half-hour, then turn over the floor to people in the audience who have had first-hand experiences or know someone who has. One guy came with reproductions of foot casts he’d obtained. The last one I gave I had four people in the audience with first-person experiences. It’s almost like an AA meeting. People stand up and tell their stories. I love to get that information out there.
You might wonder why is this relevant today? An interviewer coined the phrase “cryptotourism.” Cryptozoology is the science of hidden animals, like the Loch Ness monster or sasquatch. The mountain gorilla was a cryptid prior to someone photographing one. More and more people watch shows like “Finding Bigfoot” on TV and then they want to go there, too. So, I think there’s a lot of other people out there right now following in the footsteps of other cryptozoologists. I think right now there is kind of a renaissance of interest in the subject with two different TV shows and the internet. It’s become sort of this iconic thing in the Northwest.
If You Go
What: Author David George Gordon explores “Sasquatch: Man-Ape or Myth”
When and Where:
Tuesday, March 21
4 p.m. – Uniontown Library
6 p.m. – Neill Public Library, Pullman
Wednesday, March 22
4 p.m. – St. John Library
6:30 p.m. – Rosalia Library
Next Thursday, March 23
Noon – Colfax United Methodist Church
4 p.m. – Oakesdale Library
7 p.m. – Palouse Library
Next Friday, March 24
1 p.m. – Endicott School