Last Updated on September 30, 2022 by OtakuKart Staff
On the Utah-Idaho boundary, close to Bear Lake, there is a creature known as the Bear Lake Monster. A Mormon settler in the region named Joseph C. Rich wrote articles in the 19th century that purported to document firsthand accounts of the spottings of the monster, which is how the legend got its start. He later renounced the tales, though.
The monster is now regarded as a popular tourist destination. The monster was last reportedly seen in 2002. The Bear Lake Monster has been described in a variety of ways. Still, one group of folklorists noted that it “is mentioned to imitate a serpent, but with feet about 18 inches long upon which it marauds along the coastline.”
According to one editorial, the monster was “moving quickly through the water, at a path length of 3 miles from the observation location, with a huge serpentine body, with almost 30 feet of the external surface, of a creamy white color.” Others claimed to have seen a monster-like creature with a head that resembled a farm animal, otter, alligator, or walrus and moved faster than a steam train. It was said to measure at least 50 feet in length and most definitely not less than forty. Spikes have reportedly been observed across its spinal column, running from the base of its neck to the top of its body.
Even the newest member of the genus and relatively small creatures were mentioned in some incidents.
History/Origin Of The Monster
The Indians have a legend about a mysterious, serpent-like life form living in Bear Lake’s wetlands, according to an 1868 Deseret News story. Now, this water devil appears, as the Native Americans referred to it, has reappeared. Many of our white settlers claim to have witnessed it firsthand.
The writer, Joseph C. Rich, continued by relating numerous latest occurrences of the so-called “Bear Lake Monster,” which is generating a lot of hype up here. As a result of the controversy the article caused in Salt Lake City, “a news employee fellow… questioned many Bear Lake residents and discovered neither an individual who questioned it” within 30 days.
Representatives of the LDS Church were interested in the monstrosity and took advantage of the chance to interact with locals when they traveled there to profess. They claimed to have “conversed with brother Charles C. Rich and other fellows from Bear Lake Valley regarding the creature that has been spotted in the lake” and discovered that they believed the tale to be “unquestionable” because “Countless individuals, who have encountered this creature in so many sites including under such a broad range of circumstances,” had confirmed it, according to the report.
Although other regional papers started attacking the reports of a water devil, The Deseret News kept posting articles about the Creature, sometimes with skepticism and other times with defense. The Salt Lake Tribune even made the joke that the Creature was “cousin to Brigham and twin brother to the dark lord.” Over the following years, editorials about the Bear Lake Monster kept popping up, whether citing fresh reports of the monster as well as mystical creatures in other rivers and reservoirs in the Utah Land or disputing the reports.
Some people conjectured the existence of an underwater channel linking the Great Salt Lake and other waterbodies to Bear Lake due to the numerous reported sightings of lake creatures throughout northern Utah. The claims generated such a great deal of curiosity that at one point, even Brigham Young, the chairman of the LDS Church, chose to look into them to determine whether they were “a genuine story of a serpent or merely a fish story.” He even went so far as to send the sizable rope to Paris, Idaho, to assist in catching the Creature.
Not everyone wanted to kill the monster, including Young. To use a large fishing hook, a 20-foot cable, and 300 yards of one-inch rope, together with a big life raft with a flagstaff placed into it and an attachment to maintain it in a vertical position, was one solution put forth by a local resident, 100 yards of 3-quarter-inch rope out from the buoy needed to be lengthened to a tree on land.
After being apprehended, it was hoped that the monster could be used in show business to compete with the well-known P. T. Barnum for its amazing size. The topic ended up losing its appeal, and the general public forgot the occurrence. After writing his editorials and making his accusations for 26 years, Joseph C. Rich finally acknowledged that everything was a “fantastic first-class fake story.”
Recent Bear Lake Monster Sightings
Even after Rich acknowledged that he had made the initial reports of the Bear Lake Monster up as a fake story, occurrences persisted. 2 men allegedly saw the Bear Lake juggernaut strike their tents and kill one of their horses, according to a memo that was printed in a Logan, Utah daily paper in 1907; a 4-year claimed to have witnessed it in 1937, and a Boy Scoutmaster alleged to have seen it in 1946. The Creature was last reportedly seen in June 2002, according to Brian Hirschi, a company owner in Bear Lake.
Partly as a result of occasional reports of spottings and in aspect to joking, the Creature has entered native folk tales. A 45-minute stunning scenery cruise of Bear Lake with fables narrative was provided for years on a Bear Lake Monster Boat, a visitor vessel sculpted to resemble a green lake monster.
Some other example of local guys’ self-parody is their inclusion of neighborhood kids on a float in the Garden City, Utah Raspberry Days parade under the name “The Real Bear Lake Monsters.” Some other time, in 1996, Garden City kept a competition to determine which native schoolkids could name the monster during Raspberry Days.
Also Read: The Disturbing Tale of The Enfield Monster