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Abominable Snowmen, Legend Come to Life

by Ivan T. Sanderson


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One day this fall, my sister-in-law visited me. We were exploring the Santa Cruz mountains when we stumbled on the Bigfoot Museum, a little two-room tourist attraction in downtown Boulder Creek. We were being regaled by the proprietor with his tales of encounters with Bigfoot. I noticed this book on his shelf and asked him about it. "Oh, that's the Bigfoot 'Bible,'" he said, "Sanderson started it all." The Bigfoot Bible! I knew at that moment that I had to add it to this site.

Sanderson, (b. January 30, 1911, d. Feb. 19, 1973) was a naturalist and science writer. He wrote a number of lively books about his adventures searching for rare and 'exotic' species in Africa and the Caribbean. Born in Scotland, Sanderson later became a US citizen. He was schooled at Eton and Cambridge, with degrees in zoology, botany and geology, so he was hardly an outsider to the field. He admired the works of Charles Fort and coined the word cryptozoology in the early 1940s to describe the study of unknown animals. Sanderson could be skeptical, though, as befits a Fortean. His speculations on unknown primates were informed by critical thinking and his years of observation of animals in the wild.

This book was originally published in hardback in 1961 by Chilton, (better known for their automobile technical manuals). The Chilton edition has xv+505 pages, and lacks an index. Abominable Snowmen was reprinted in heavily abridged form in paperback by Pyramid Books in 1968, as 'Abominable Snowmen, Legend Come to Life,' and the subtitle 'An Account of Reports on the Existence of Ultra-Primitive Hominids on Five Contients,' in all 365 pages, including an index. This etext was based on the extended Chilton version, for copyright reasons.

PRODUCTION NOTES: Most of the map captions in this book were placed on the facing page, but I have moved them underneath the maps they describe. The plates, which originally appeared between page 78 and 79, have been moved after the Contents page.--J. B. Hare, November 17, 2008.

Title Page
1. A Certain Unpleasantness
2. Ubiquitous Woodsmen
3. Further Sasquatchery
4. The Appearance of Bigfeet
5. Footprints on the Sands of …
6. In Our Own Back Yard
7. Late North Americans
8. On the Tracks of …
9. Africa—the “Darkest”
10. The East—the “Mysterious”
11. The Great Mix-Up
12. Anyone for Everest?
13. The Western Approaches
14. The Eastern Horizon
15. Some Obnoxious Items
16. Our Revered Ancestors
17. In the Beginning …
18. Some Basic Facts
19. Sundry Objectionable Facts
20. Certain Abominable Conclusions


Contents of Appendices
Appendix A. ABSMal Connotations
Appendix B. The Importance of Feet
Appendix C. Where We Come In
Appendix D. Others Involved
Appendix E. Sir Edmund Hillary's Scalp—A News Story from Nepal