Our long time member Tirademan (R.I.P. Scott McClean) compiled this extensive archive of Sasquatch related newspaper articles and donated it to the BFF before his passing. The earliest articles in this collection are from 1818 in Florida, 1877 (Australia), 1884 (Canada) and 1764 (Europe).
A coupla things to consider? The time back to camp for the plaster to cast the prints. Reel 2, or what there is of it shows Roger in somewhat low angled daylight casting a print. And then there's the photo of Roger holding the already casted prints. Was that just before sunset on Friday or very early or very late in the day on Saturday? And I've forgotten how Bob Gimlin's covering the tracks with bark/cardboard in the we hours of Saturday morning fits into the casting sequence.
The Spanish were in the Carribean before Mexico. They were chasing Mayan gold throughout the Americas including well up into the central US. You were right in that they were in Florida 300 years before the English. St Augustine Florida is the oldest established city in North America founded in 1562 by the Spanish. There is considerable evidence that Europeans were in North America even before the Bearing Land bridge migration 14,000 years ago. The Vikings were relative late comers. Most of what I was taught about this stuff in school was wrong. Part of the problem is that coastal settlements on both coasts during the ice age are now under 100+. Feet of water.