'True Terror With Robert Englund' to chronicle Theodore Roosevelt's 'half-devil' tale from Montana's wilderness
The story, which is considered to be the first Big Foot sighting ever is set forty years before 1883 in the depths of Montana's wilderness
Close to two decades before Theodore Roosevelt ascended to the Oval Office and became of the country's greatest-ever presidents, he heard a story that impacted him so gravely, he saw it fit to chronicle it in one of his books.
It was a story about a half-devil creature that resided in Montana's unexplored wilderness that Roosevelt, for the life of him, could not shake, and what many believe was one of the earliest sightings of Big Foot ever recorded.
The year was 1883, and Roosevelt, 25, was a well-respected state assemblyman from New York who had gone on one of his signature big game hunting expeditions in a bid to take his mind off from the political games that plagued his everyday life.
His guide for this particular expedition was a man named Bauman, who was a mountain man and had spent most of his life in the wilderness. He was an expert hunter himself. He, and others like him, were the first white men to explore the wild and remote areas of the American continent.
As they made camp for one of their nights in the woods, Roosevelt and the rest of the group heard surreal, otherwordly noises emanating from the depths of the forest, prompting Bauman to reveal a tale from his storied past that mesmerized the future president. Bauman shares that, 40 years before this hunt, he had been on a fur-trapping expedition in a haunted region of Montana's forests with a man named Jasper Jones. It was a pocket of wilderness that no other mountain man dared venture into because of its "evil reputation."
Legend had it that another fur-trapper had been eaten alive by an "unknown beast," with his half-eaten remains later uncovered by some mining prospectors who happened to be in the region. But Bauman was unconcerned and went about business as usual. He and Jones set up camp and went back out to trap some beavers, but as they ventured deeper into the woods, they began getting the unsettling feeling that they were being watched.
Suddenly, they heard a piercing scream that they initially put down as being from a bobcat. Nothing further happened, and as the hours went by, their nerves calmed and they relaxed. When they returned to their camp, however, they realized to their horror that something, or someone, had been there.
Based on its footprint, they surmised the creature walked upright but concluded it couldn't be a bear as the footprints were far too large. Eventually, they reached a tree where they found a 300-pound buck mauled, mutilated, and hung upside down. Back at the camp, they once again sensed they are being stalked and smelled something unmistakable. Bauman, in a panic, fired a shot into the woods and heard a pair of feet hurriedly scufflingly away as well as a "harsh, grating, peculiarly sinister sound."
Their ordeal wasn't quite over yet. Bauman and Jones decided they would hunt down this mysterious beast, and as the former filled his canteen in a stream, he saw a silhouette creep behind him. When he turned, there was nothing there and when he hurried back to camp, he saw the beast brutally attack Jones and kill him. He tried to escape himself but was caught and only managed to get away with his life due to a stroke of luck.
Roosevelt and the others at the camp were initially skeptical but are bowled over when Bowman retrieves the rifle he used in that hunt four decades ago and shows them an unidentifiable lock of hair stuck at the butt end that he had used to attack the beast.
The story of the creature eventually featured in Roosevelt's best-selling 'The Wilderness Hunter: An Account of the Big Game of the United States and Its Chase with Horse, Hound, and Rifle.'
It will also be chronicled on 'True Terror With Robert Englund', which premieres on the Travel Channel on Wednesdays at 10 pm ET/PT.