There have been 3 notable historic reports. One from 1792, One from 1721 and one from 986. The last of the 3 is a bit suspect when you consider the time line and whom it was that is supposed to have made the report. You will see that one last and you can judge for yourself.
One of the earliest accounts in recorded history of Bigfoot sightings dates back to 1792 and was recorded in a journal named Noticias de Nutka: An Account of Nootka Sound in 1792 by Jose Mariano Mozino. The journal was written during a time when the exploration of the Pacific Coast was underway by the Spanish and English.
The story starts in 1774, when Captain Bruno de Esceta documented an inlet he discovered called Mowichat by the local Nootka tribe. Eighteen years later, in 1792, Juan Vincente Guemes, Viceroy of New Spain, ordered an exploration of the Pacific Coast to compile an extensive ethnography of the inhabitants. Among the group of explorers was a naturalist named Jose Mariano Mozino from Temscaltepec, Mexico. Mozino chronicled the expedition in a journal, which, oddly enough, remained undiscovered until 1913; after which it was translated to English. The journal now resides in the Beinecke Rare Book and Library Collection.
In his journal, Mozino writes about a creature named the Matlog which dwelled in the mountains and terrorized the tribespeople. Matlog was described as having a huge monstrous body covered in black bristle-type hair. The creature’s skull was similar to a human’s in shape but much larger with sharp, strong fangs similar to a bear or wolf. Its arms were long with curved claws on the fingers and it was known to emit a terrible scream. It’s no wonder the tribespeople believed the creature was some type of demon.
Christmas Day 1721
Monster Beast, Natchez, Mississippi
The following passage is from a book called "Charlevoix's Louisiana." It's from the journal of Pierre François-Xavier de Charlevoix, S J, a French Jesuit and explorer. Though he did not have a true sighting, there is enough evidence to make one wonder if a bigfoot type creature was behind it.
If so, then this account this would be the earliest known white man written report of such a creature in North America. The area around Natchez, Mississippi in this day still brings forth reports of bigfoot type creatures. That a wolf was behind this report seems highly unlikely. Wolves were not common to the area at the time and hardly match up with the characteristics described herein:
"The first night I lay in the settlement, there happened a great alarm about nine o'clock in the evening; upon asking the reason of it, [sic] I was told there was, in the neighborhood, a beast of an unknown species, of an extraordinary bulk, and whose cry did not in the least resemble that of any known animal. Nobody however could say he had seen it and they formed a judgment of its size entirely from its strength: it had already carried off some sheep and calves, and worried some cows. I told those who gave me this account, that an estranged wolf might very well have done all this and that, as to its cry, people were deceived in these matters every day. I could persuade nobody, they still would have it that it was some monstrous beast. It was heard again, and every one ran out armed with what he could find, but it was to no purpose."
Pierre François-Xavier de Charlevoix, SJ
Letter Thirtieth, At the Natchez, December 25, 1721
986 ad Report
The oldest account of Bigfoot was recorded in 986 AD by Leif Ericson and his men. During their first landing in the New World, the Norsemen wrote about manlike beasts that were “horribly ugly, hairy, swarthy and with great black eyes.”
Among his accounts, Leif told of seeing huge hairy men who towered over him and his men. The “huge hairy men”, according to Leif, lived in the Woods and had a rank odor and a deafening shriek. It should be noted that Leif Ericson and his men describe huge manlike beasts that were loud and foul-smelling and clearly distinct from native peoples. Apparently, Leif had several sightings of the “huge hairy men” before departing the island.
They called the creature “Skellring”. People believe that the creature “Skellring” is what we know today as Bigfoot. This is the earliest recorded encounter with Bigfoot, or Sasquatch.
The Norse word “skellring” is a term of contempt. It means, roughly, a “barbarian.” What is interesting is the word “hairy.” The Norse were a hairy people themselves, big men with matted hair and beards. Why did they remark on the “skellring” being hairy? Was it because they were very much hairier than the Norsemen?
This last report has several problems with it. There were translation issues as well as the time frame that Leif Ericson was reportedly in North America. See if you can find out what these issues are and let us know what you find out. We have looked into this and only included it here because everything that far back is open to different points of view. Even with these issues it could still be possible that it is true. But we are just not sure.