Copyright 2020 T. S. Mart and Mel Cabre
In The Legend of Bigfoot: Leaving His Mark On the World, Mel and I explore the earliest rumors surrounding possible Bigfoot encounters. Fact or fiction, we explore the contextual history with an open and curious approach. What would happen if a Viking and Bigfoot crossed paths in the Northeastern Woodlands?
Excerpt from The Legend of Bigfoot
Leif Erikson was the son of a Nordic Viking—Erik the Red, who was credited with colonizing Greenland after he was exiled from Iceland. Red had three sons, the second being Leif Erikson.
In or around the year A.D. 986, Erikson was returning home to Greenland from Norway where he had been in service to King Olaf I Tryggvason. Having converted to Christianity, Erikson was commissioned to spread the Good News throughout Greenland’s Viking community. Instead, history records that Erikson’s ship, of which he was captain, drifted (or detoured) off course. He and his men landed in what is now Newfoundland. Erikson called it Vinland and is theorized to have been the first European to set foot in North America, five hundred years before Christopher Columbus arrived in the Caribbean.
The Nordic sagas document that Erikson built several large homes in Vinland, not as a permanent establishment but as an encampment from which they could launch exploration teams. During their first year in the new land, the Norsemen encountered skraeling—men, creatures, or barbarians that were “horribly ugly, hairy, swarthy with big black eyes.”
Throughout history, the definition of skraeling has fluctuated as the oral and written languages have changed, so it’s difficult to know if Leif Erikson was referring to a Bigfoot-like beast, because of the reference to being “hairy,” or offering descriptions of the natives they thought had “ugly” hair.
Details of Erikson’s exploration were not recorded for 250 years, so it’s likely many of the orally relayed particulars about their encounters with the natives remain as elusive as Bigfoot himself. So, who’s to say skraeling was not in reference to a beast living in the vast northeastern woodlands? What a fun thought to imagine a showdown between a Viking and a Bigfoot.
Other Bigfoot Stories
Within the history and legends chapter of The Legend of Bigfoot, Mel and I isolate five areas of the United States, establish historical context, then recount stories that in some form relate to Bigfoot or demonstrate how the Bigfoot culture has developed and evolved. The Viking and Bigfoot story, true or not, is one of over fifteen interesting stories.
Also within the book, we profile over 40 Bigfoot from around the world. The Ohio Grassman is one. You can read about him here.
To read an excerpt from the book, click here. This is a good chunk of the first chapter. If you’d like to preorder the book, please click here. We’re excited to share what we’ve learned with you. Let us know what you think.
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Thank you for reading. –T. S. Mart and Mel Cabre