Ivan T. Sanderson More "Things" (1969)
This is the follow up to Sanderson's "Things", incredible though that may seem, which I haven't read and am now unlikely to read, having read this one. Sanderson's name stood out from the shelves in the book store because I've noticed him mentioned in a few other cranky paranormal tracts as some sort of authority, which seemingly translates to overwritten prose and the founding of various clubs and societies catering to the interests of those who wouldst know the truth of that which conventional science has been unable or unwilling to explain. As a rule I'm sympathetic towards this sort of thing because it's entertaining, depending on the writer, and very occasionally it makes you think dunnit?
Some of that which Sanderson reports is fairly interesting because just maybe there's something in it, and he writes well up to a point, beyond which he unfortunately invokes a retired colonel droning on at the fireside, endlessly amused by his own testimony. He knows doctors, dentists, professional people, so these accounts of African dinosaurs, sasquatch, and persons who live under the sea must be considered serious business, presumably unlike the same accounts when delivered by nutters and airy-fairy types.
This is all well and good until one notices the considered pondering attended upon Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin's 1967 encounter with bigfoot, as captured on a minute or so of film which probably everyone in the world has seen by this point. The two sides of the argument are clearly presented and evidence weighed, leading to conclude that it's probably real because we can't absolutely confirm that it's some guy in a suit, particularly as more recent testimony from the guy who was commissioned to make the suit and from the one who got to wear it in the film might be just some stuff they made up for a laugh. Having recently re-watched the footage, it looks a lot like a guy in a suit to me. In fact, if you remember the episode of Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge where a disgruntled Alan walks back and forth across a stage to demonstrate a dignified gait to Rebecca Front's amusing impersonation of Vivienne Westwood, well that's how the Patterson-Gimlin sasquatch walks.
In the wake of this, it becomes difficult to take the rest of the book seriously, and Sanderson's blowhard persona becomes increasingly aggravating regardless of how many doctors and dentists he's had the pleasure of knowing as personal friends, and no matter how often he attempts to distance himself from the crackpots like some Fortean equivalent of Uncle Tom. Brad Steiger, for one example, would probably count as a crackpot on the Sanderson scale, not least because he writes in pulpier and more populist spirit, and if Steiger's books cheerfully encompass absolutely anything and everything weird regardless of how potty the source, they make for a better, even more thought provoking read where Steiger's angle is usually an amiable and free-wheeling what the fuck? - as distinct from stuff which is probably bullshit bolstered up on a blustering display of authority.