About Thom Powell

Thom Powell is a science educator and author who writes on  paranormal or 'fringe science' topics.  One such topic is the bigfoot phenomenon and it's fair to say that, when it comes to bigfoot, Thom Powell's first book, The Locals (Hancock House, 2003) completely changed the thinking. It is a book that is still being read and praised fifteen years after publication.  Then in  2011, Thom tried his hand at fiction, authoring the cleverly-crafted  novel, Shady Neighbors, centering on a rural family that is targeted by mysterious beings for equally mysterious reasons.  In 2015, Thom went 'round the bend' again and published Edges of Science, a compendium of paranormal or 'Fortean' investigations that boldly unifies most of what currently falls into that dumpster of scientific disparagement known as 'paranormality.'

Now retired from teaching, Thom was a career science teacher, spending his entire thirty-one year teaching career in one oppressively small, poorly appointed, 1950’s era, converted kindergarten
classroom at Robert Gray Middle School. He did his best to teach eighth graders earth science in the face of ever-dwindling school budgets and ever-increasing class sizes. He would have been committed to an asylum long ago if he had not lived in a rural location outside Portland, Oregon where he  explored the forests, mountains, and rivers of the Pacific Northwest.  It was these explorations, beginning in the late 1980's, that led to his interest in the sasquatch mystery.

By the late 1990's Thom had accumulated a sizeable collections of  bigfoot sighting reports from his immediate area, and he began writing articles  and ultimately a book on the sasquatch subject.  The Locals (2003), was more radical in its assertions than anything previously published and it was largely dismissed by the established bigfoot devotees of the time. As times changed and the subject exploded in popularity, The Locals found favor among the new breed of active field researchers who observed that it correctly described virtually all of the more subtle aspects of the phenomenon that had never before been addressed in print. It is now considered a 'must read' and even  the best book ever written on this
hairy subject.

The Locals truly broke new ground but that was only the beginning. Two books later, Thom Powell has emerged as a great author, speaker, and thinker, not just on the familiar bigfoot topic, but the much wider subject known as  'paranormality' or Fortean science; so named for its originator, Charles Fort. This oft-misunderstood subject actually describes a wide array of phenomena that are as real as they are difficult to quantify by mainstream science. Thom's most profound contribution to this outside-the-box subject is the view that numerous seemingly-unrelated paranormal subjects actually intersect and interconnect on a fundamental level. Thom frames this idea as 'paranormal unification.'

There are many YouTube videos of Thom's presentations but you can also hear Thom speak live at any number of conferences in 2018 that delve into cryptozoological or paranormal matters. He will speak at the "sQuatchfest" in Longview, Washington on January27, 2018, then the Paranormal Summit in Ocean Shores, WA on March 2-3, and the Mile High Mystery Conference in Denver on May 4, 2018.

Thom currently lives in the Hillsdale district of Portland, home of the Sasquatch Brewpub.

The formative years: 

Thom’s interest in the out-of-doors began with his involvement in a boy scout troop in Shaker Heights, Ohio. While Ohio is not known for its outdoor recreation opportunities, Thom gained an appreciation for camping, hiking, and water sports by accompanying his scout troop to the few wild places that did exist, eventually earning the rank of Eagle Scout.

While attending Ohio State University, Thom found weekend work guiding whitewater tours on wild rivers in the neighboring state of West Virginia. He made the acquaintance of one particularly talented guide, James Snyder, who would go on to radically redesign whitewater kayaks, thereby revolutionizing that sport. These tiny new kayaks, called ‘squirt boats,' were capable of very gymnastic moves and even underwater maneuvers. Thom sponsored Snyder's first trip to the western U.S. to introduce this new breed of kayak and the new approach to kayaking that it implied to boaters in the West.

Upon completing college with an honors degree in Environmental Education, Thom emigrated to Portland, Oregon where he continued guiding on rivers in California, Oregon and Idaho, while also teaching environmental science at a series of outdoor education centers around Portland. He responded to the lack of local river safety instruction by establishing his own kayaking school about the same time that he was hired as a science teacher for Portland Public Schools. His operation of River City Kayak School led to the acquisition of property along the Clackamas River in rural Clackamas County, Oregon, a place known for rich outdoor recreation opportunities and bigfoot sightings.