Wild Man of the Navidad

The Wild Man of the Navidad has been claimed to be the first Bigfoot in Texas. It was widely reported in 1837 along the Navidad River, in Sublime, Texas.

The slaves of that era called it “The Thing That Comes,” because it was never seen, but evidence pointed to something being there. During the night inside the cabins, food would go missing; their fattened hogs would be replaced with thin ones. However, no valuables were never touched. Tools would sometimes go missing but would return later polished.

The creature was described mainly as being covered in short brown hair and nimble. In 1845, Rev. Samuel C.A. Rogers found three footprints and continued seeing them for years. An organized hunt for the creature was arranged in 1850, and a man was trapped in a tree during it.

This may be where the legend began and split into different variations. The most common legend refers to a wild man being captured and in 1851, a sailor who spoke the man’s language established that he was a prince who was sold as a slave when he was a child. He later escaped with another child, but his companion died a few years later. The wild man is believed to again be sold to slavery and lived in Victoria, Texas until he died in 1884.

A film in 2008, The Wild Man of the Navidad, was based on claimed encounters with a creature by Dale S. Rogers and his family in 1975. Dale is a descendent of Samuel.

Image Caption: Drawing of a Neanderthal, possibly similar to the wildman. Credit: Hermann Schaaffhausen/Wikimedia (public domain)