A South African Sasquatch or an Example of Sensational Racism? (Probably the Latter)

The following notice appeared at the turn of the nineteenth century, tucked away on the third page of a Glaswegian periodical. Unlike other colonial news from this period, reportage from the Cape of Good Hope seems to have been devoted almost entirely to lamentable shipwrecks and cutting-edge cryptozoology.

There is now, in the River an astonishing large Hairy Wild Man, caught four hundred miles from the Cape of Good Hope, brought over in the Rambler, South Sea Whaler; he is of astonishing muscular strength, a specimen of which had nearly proved fatal to one of the Custome-house Officers, who inadvertently went too near him; he seized hold of the man, twirled him about two or three times with the greatest velocity, and then threw him over the side. Luckily the man escaped with a horrid fright and a sound ducking.

—Glasgow Advertiser, 7 September 1800

One thought on “A South African Sasquatch or an Example of Sensational Racism? (Probably the Latter)

  1. Perhaps “traveler’s tale” would be a better description. Maritime records show that the “Rambler” was not a South Sea Whaler and had not been to Africa in 1800 but was rather was in service of the British navy and based around Portsmouth and the English Channel from late 1799.

    However, on the 29th of August, 1800, just prior to the publication of the original article, a gale ravaged “Rambler” limped into Portsmouth with a captured French Privateer which may have inspired the Hairy Wild Man story…

    Further details – http://home.yowieocalypse.com/Hairy_Wild_Man/

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