Idaho Bigfoot Connections

"Discoveries" at the Idaho State Historical Society today

Read along for fun with the Idaho Historical Society today…

While researching records for the Historical Society’s 140th anniversary, staff and spring intern Hailey Palmer uncovered a shocking revelation regarding a 63-year-old mystery that has remained unanswered to this day. Found in the deepest depths of the vaults was a box labeled “AR-12, Box 20043858, Wells Correspondence, 1972-1984.” The box contained various letters and files from Dr. Merle Wells, former archivist, historian, and director of the Idaho State Historical Society (1965-1975). The second-to-last folder within the box was labeled “Dr. Wells’ Letters, 1972.” Within that folder was a letter, dated April 12, 1972, addressed to Charles L. Bailey in Mountain View, California, a mere 386 miles from Bluff Creek, California. Why is this significant? Bluff Creek is the location of the first known Bigfoot tracks reported in the United States.

The legend of Bigfoot began in 1958 when journalist Andrew Genzoli followed a story about large, mysterious footprints found in a northern California forest. Upon publishing the findings in late September, Bigfoot became an instant celebrity, renowned for his mystique and social distancing abilities. Bigfoot is well-traveled in Idaho, given the 93+ reported sightings. The Gem State even has its bevy of Bigfoot researchers and enthusiasts who span over almost six decades. While the contents of Dr. Wells’ statement were not preserved in the same folder, we can only speculate on the Historical Society’s contribution to the national historic record of Bigfoot. We hope you enjoy this April Fools’ Day, and if you do happen to run into Bigfoot, we recommend keeping a six-foot distance…or more.


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