Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Fylng serpents in Utah: 2 reports

This ISN'T about the Bear Lake Monster, but a related topic -- there have been at least two reports in Northern Utah regarding flying serpents.
The first was way back in 1894 with the practically the entire Ogden Valley town of Eden seeing it fly by -- and the second in 2005, out west of Salt Lake City, near the Great Salt Lake.

FIRST REPORT:  “A veritable Eden. The serpent is at his old tricks again” was a July 23, 1894 report in the Ogden Standard-Examiner.
This was from the Eden of Weber County, in Ogden Valley. On the previous Friday evening about sundown, “a number of Eden’s reliable men” claimed they spotted a “monster serpent,” 100 feet long and 18 inches in diameter,  flying through the air and swooping down near Wilbur’s Store, at the corner of Independence Park.
They estimated it was moving at 36-40 mph and soon disappeared over the mountains in the direction of Middle Fork Canyon – apparently never to be spotted again.
A serpent in Biblically named Eden, just this side of Paradise (Cache County). Who knew?

SECOND REPORT: "Winged Snake?" By Todd Miller and two others and reported to occur on May 4, 2005, about noon.
The description was a big serpent, no hair,dark brown with purple stripes, a long tail (split in two), glowing eyes, lots of scales and movement like a cobra. Miller said it hissed at him.
Smelled like a dead skunk, or sewer and rose up to a height over nine feet on the ground. Was at least 245 pounds and four yards long/ Observed it for about 10 minutes.
 (Also listed on "Alien Dave's" website)

--True or not? There are simply weird things out there that defy explanation -- perhaps supernatural.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Canadian visited Bear Lake in 2009 seeking 'strange creatures seldom seen'

 John Warms is on a monstrous quest for "strange creatures seldom seen."

The 65-year-old researcher from Manitoba, Canada, visited Utah back in 2009, hoping to hear firsthand tales of legendary beasts.

A retired public school teacher, Warms is working to publish a new book on "Strange Creatures."

"I'm certain they exist," based on many expeditions and interviews, Warms told the Deseret News.

Warms is one of many proponents of such creatures but one of few to take a special interest in purported creatures that may reside in the Beehive State.

Last week, Warms drove to Utah in search of its alleged water creatures, like the Bear Lake Monster and other strange beasts allegedly spotted in the Great Salt Lake in the 19th century.

Depending on what he finds, he hopes to write a book and enhance his Web site, which he hopes will break new ground with previously untold stories about sightings of strange creatures.

Warms isn't well known in the monster quest field just yet, but depending on what he finds in Utah and other places, that could change.

Living with Canada's Fairford River in his backyard, he's heard many tales of strange creatures — from the traditional serpents to giant prehistoric beavers.

These gigantic beavers are his favorite focus.

Though believed to be extinct for over 10,000 years, these are scientifically named "castorides Ohioensis" and can grow to up to 9 feet tall and weigh 440 pounds. He stresses that the fact that these giant beavers actually existed makes some of his claims much more plausible.

"I have encountered people in northern Manitoba and along the Alaska Highway who claim to have seen the bear-sized creature," he said. "I saw one in southern Manitoba, swimming, and the head was about basketball size. They seldom come ashore; that is why we don't know about them."

In Utah, Warms is especially interested in Bear Lake. Because it is a deep — 200-plus feet — body of water, its probabilities of harboring a Loch Ness caliber monster seems quite probable to Warms.

He also talked of a recent creature sighting in Lake Powell, where a woman described what Warms believes is another giant beaver.

"Lake Powell was an isolated sighting," he said. "I am sure many more people must have seen them around but perhaps didn't want to be laughed at."

In southern Manitoba, he has discovered large tunnels — up to 3 feet in diameter — along shorelines that he believes are made by such creatures to live in. Many are reinforced by clay linings and as soon as they are disturbed by man, the creature fills them in.

There are even tales of what he calls "underwater moose" and giant frogs, among other water creatures.

He's also amazed at how many tales of large snakes — 25-35 feet long — considered an impossibility by experts, because of the cold Canadian climate — that he hears about in his home area, too.

There are even reports of large flying creatures in Canada, with 3-foot wingspans and that only come out at night.

So far, he said, no scientific experts will take any interest in these purported creatures.

He recently built a large aluminum sled that a snowmobile can pull so he and friends can better penetrate the Canadian wilderness this winter to look for more creature evidence.

Drilling holes in the ground next to lakes and searching with underwater or infrared cameras will be his next steps to find evidence of strange water creatures.

"It could rewrite books," he said of what he could find.

He also said he once met a Manitoba Interlake hunter (now deceased) who thought he shot a wounded moose in some willows in 1941.

"It took me thirty-five years to figure out what I had shot," the old man told Warms. He had supposedly shot and killed a bigfoot (but that term was unknown until 1958).

Warms' interest in such creatures began 15 years ago. He has found that Native Americans who live near lakes and rivers are the best sources for encounters with such creatures. Once they know he believes in such creatures, too, he finds they are very talkative about them.

Native Americans at Idaho's Fort Hall had told him about some Sasquatch sightings there, on his way to Utah.

He planned to stop at every reservation he could, as he proceeded south to Flagstaff, on what he described as a working vacation. A part-time job in Canada helps fund his travel expenses.

In Flagstaff, he was planning to meet his wife, who will fly there, since she doesn't favor his long drives. (He drove from Manitoba to Salt Lake in less than three days.)

What does his wife think of his creature quests?

"She wishes I were an ordinary person," Warms said.

Warms can be contacted through his Web site: strangecreaturesseldomseen.net or by e-mail atroviera@xplornet.com

-Originally published in the Deseret News by Lynn Arave on Dec. 27 2009.

1915: The Bull Moose 'Bear Lake Monster'

                                 Some typical Utah moose, near Jeremy Ranch.

“A Bear Lake Monster seen on Lake’s Shore. Swims seven and a half miles in one hour. Ranchers unable to capture animal” was the headline in the Logan Republican newspaper of Oct. 7, 1915.
A “Mr. Smyth” on horseback was chasing a large bull moose running southward, near the hot springs on the northeast corner and Idaho side of the lake.
The moose took to the lake and began swimming toward Fish Haven. After a 7.5-mile swim, the moose broke through a trap ranchers had set, after being telephoned of his route. He made it into the hills, west of the lake.
 “It resembles the Bear Lake Monster story in so many ways,” the story stated of the bull moose chase.

-RESEARCH conducted and compiled by Lynn Arave in 2015. 

Modern Bear Lake Monster sightings lacking ...

          The shores of Bear Lake are very busy each summer in the 21st Century.

MODERN era Bear Lake Monster sightings are a rarity.
There were so many 1868-1915 sightings, but they diminished substantially after that 47-year period.

Did the "monster" retire, slumber, die or move away?

Still, there are OTHER "Bear Lakes" in other states, besides Utah and Idaho. For example, California has a Bear Lake too ... But only Bear Lake seems to have had monster sightings ....

-A young child claimed to have seen the monster in 1937, while a Boy Scout leader sighted it in 1946.
-A tale of some scuba divers spotting something large underwater in the late 1970s is one of those rare stories. One of those spooked divers claimed he'd never go under the water again at that lake.
-A Murray man said he was boating on the east side of the lake with family in 1985 when they saw what could have only been a large creature swimming in the lake. It quickly disappeared, though bubbles kept coming up to the surface for a few minutes afterward. He said in 2017 that he has no doubt the Bear Lake Monster is real. 
-A Bear Lake Valley businessman reported seeing it in 2002.

-There have been NO known sightings reported of the Bear Lake Monster from 2006 to early April of 2015, according to
wildlife biologist Darren DeBloois in Bear Lake Valley, with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

-The "Lost Tapes" show on TV's Animal Planet Channel also had a two-minute segment on the Bear Lake Monster. It can be found at:

-The Utah State University Digital Collections Library also has a wealth of easily accessed material on-line.
Go to:

-In recent years, more commercial and sporting enterprises are using  the Bear Lake Monster theme.
A tour boat, named and shaped like the Bear Lake Monster, sometimes cruises the lake, from the south shore.
There's a 7-mile Bear Lake Monster swim across the width of the lake each summer, plus separate 1-mile and 1/2 mile water races.
There is a Bear Lake Half Marathon, a Bear Lake Monster relay race, plus various other "Monster" footraces, like one up to Minnetonka Cave.

How could a creature (or creatures) so large not be spotted regularly with more people than ever living around the lake, plus each summer recreating in the lake?

-There are likely more tales out there and anyone wanting to share what they saw, heard or know of, can send and email to: LRA503777@gmail.com

Stories will be added here to a more recent sightings compilation.

   Have you seen anything mysterious at Bear Lake, Utah?

-RESEARCH conducted and compiled by Lynn Arave in 2015. 

Logical Explanations for the so-called Bear Lake Monster

                   There are many boats and such on Bear Lake each summer.

HOW could a creature (or creatures) so large as the Bear Lake Monster not be spotted with more people than ever each summer recreating in and around Bear Lake, Utah?

--Here’s one possible explanation:
“Swimming elk” was a Nov. 19, 1976 story in the Davis County Clipper newspaper.
Bryce Nielson, a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Fisheries Biologist, reported on Oct. 24, 1976, that a small group of elk – cows and calves – were boxed-in near Bear Lake, with their escape blocked by the highway.
They then took off in the water, swimming 6.5 to 7 miles across the lake in 3 ½ hours. The next afternoon, Nielson saw the elk swim back across the lake, though a cow and a calf were missing, presumably drowned.
“Local residents indicated that they had never before seen such an event,” this story stated.
Also, it ended with: “Nielson mentioned that looking at the small herd of elk in the middle of the lake made him and other residents think about the legend of the Bear Lake Monster. Could it be that we have solved another mystery.”
The elk swam in a long chain, whistling to each other along the way. In low light, they could appear possibly appear like one creature, a sea serpent.
The Native Americans told the first settlers in Bear Lake Valley in 1863 that there was a monster in the lake. However, they had not seen it since the buffalo in the valley had vanished. Historically, the buffalo were gone from the area by about 1840, likely due to two brutal winters.
Would that frigid event not have wiped out or decreased the elk population as well?
Five years later, in 1868, was the first Bear Lake Monster sighting by the pioneers. Perhaps elk had now returned to the area. (Although this doesn’t explain an monster attacking stories.)
Given the increasing homesteading and human population in the Bear Lake Valley though the decades could also mean that elk are rarely seen around the lake now.
-Wildlife biologist Darren DeBloois in Bear Lake Valley, with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, stated:
"I haven't had any "monster" sightings since I have been here.  I have heard the story about the elk swimming the lake, and that could account for something in the water.  Elk numbers around the lake are small, and I haven't personally seen elk in or around the lake since I started up here in 2006."

             Bear Lake, Utah-Idaho is a high elevation lake at 6,000 feet above sea level.

OTHER explanations of the Bear Lake Monster:

-At one time, a half-grown Beaver was seen swimming in Bear Lake. Somehow its image on the water made it appear dozens of feet long, instead of just several feet.

-On another occasion, a bull moose swimming in the lake conjured images as a possible "Bear Lake Monster," especially in low light.

                     Tubing is popular in Bear Lake.

-RESEARCH conducted and compiled by Lynn Arave in 2015.

The Most outrageous Bear Lake Monster sighting of them all!

                     A single boat at desk on a calm Bear Lake, Utah.

THE Logan Republican newspaper had a followup to another 1907 sighting with the headline: “Quil Nebeker sees monster. Verifies Mooney and Horne’s story of the Bear Lake Terrorizer and gives own experience” on Sept. 21, 1907.
Aquilla C. Nebeker was a very notable Utahn. He had not only served as President of the Senate of Utah, but as acting governor of the State for a brief time.
So, just like Charles C. Rich, a prominent leader, believed in the Bear Lake Monster in the 19th Century, so did Nebeker in the early 20th Century.
The Logan newspaper account stated it had received much response to its initial 1907 report.
It then published a lengthy report from Nebeker:
“In response to your inquiry, I can confirm the main facts of the "Bear Lake monster" story published in your last issue, but Messrs. Looney and Corn were probably too greatly excited to give you the details in an unexaggerated form. The eyes of the "monster' were not as large as wagon wheels, as stated, but they might easily have been mistaken for the headlights used on Logan automobiles, and it is an undisputed fact that either eye shed forth a light ten times more intense than any Logan street fixture.
“But, of course, this is of minor Importance. That the animal, monster, leviathan, prehistoric saurian, ichthyosaurus, pterodactyl, or mastodonaflshlcus, or whatever It may have been, was as vicious and bloodthirsty as the villain in Lincoln J. Carter's plays is evidenced in the fact that after killing the horse mentioned by your Informant, this same reptile (unless indeed there were two of them out on the fateful night)
Came to the Nebeker ranch, overturned the pigpen, devoured eight of my finest shoats, and on the return trip to the lake ate a stack of hay (small stack) and terribly lacerated two of my finest milkers. The monster came up near the house between 11 by and 1 o'clock and we were awakened by the glow from the creature's eyes, the whole country around being flooded with light.
“We all rushed to the windows, and there  in the brilliant light we could see this terrible monster, easily fifty feet long, fifteen feet high, and covered with scales like armor plate. There were countless arms and legs, and the two that extended from the rear of the head were shaped llke grappling hooks. It was with these that he (I merely presume it was or masculine gender) tipped over my pig-pen, and then as the porkers attempted to scamper away, these grappling hooks again came Into play with disastrous effect.
“He would pick up a 200-pound pig, toss it high in the air, and catch It In the descent, just like it had been trained In a circus. In less than eight seconds my eight fine pigs had found a resing (resting) place In the monster's "bosom" and it still seemed dissatisfied. It's eyes took on a greenish hue, It's face a ghastly, ghoulish appearance, and it began to swish it's tail at such a rate that the commotion in the air was well-nigh like a cyclone.
“In it's enhungered fury the monster tore down a dozen bales of barbed wire standing near my barn and gulped them down as though they were delicate morsels. By this time all of the folks but me were terribly frightened, and they confidently expected that the monster would smell the fresh-baked pies in the cellar and turn over the house In order to get them.
“Confidentially, I rather hoped he would in some way get the pies, but I sensed the danger to my loved ones and set my mind at work to devise ways and means to divert the animal's attention in case he decided to come up our way. At this juncture my dog, which seemed mesmerized before, let out a terrible howl that attracted the monster and here he came full tilt, mouth open wide enough to swallow the front porch.
“Here was my time for action, and while I dislike to speak of myself, I must confess that I arose to the emergency. As I attempted to kick my dog Into silence, I noticed my large graphophone standing on the  table ready for use. An inspiration struck me -- I called to mind the value of music in taming the snakes and wild animals of the forest and I decided to try It.
“Hastily winding up the machine, I opened wide the front door, squarely in the face of the approaching monster, and turned loose my music. As It happened, the record on the machine was that incomparable tune, "Home, Sweet Home," and as its strains floated out on the midnight air, I noticed that the monster halted, then stopped. His head being low, a reminiscent smile played o'er his features, and as the chorus was readied we were surprised to see the monster's tall switch 'round toward his neck.
“As we watched we noted a stringed Instrument, something like a Iyre, at end of the animal's tail, and us "Home, Sweet Home" continued, that monster didn't do a thing but utilize his several hands or feet In playing an accompaniment to that grand old tune. Ah, but It was sweet, and as "the band played on" we really fell in love with the Bear Lake monster. As I moved to his side, the monster seemed to welcome me as a friend of other days, and before "Home, Sweet Home" was ended the animal's head rested on my shoulder and we were mingling out tears together.
“All was going splendidly and I had definitely decided to adopt the animal and make him it member of my family. but just here sorrow, deep and tearful sorrow, shook the frame  of my newly made friend, and he began to weep. Great streams of tears poured from his eyes, and finally they flowed so copiously that the monster floated away in them. Thoughts of his subterraneous home were too much for him, and though he seemed loth to go, he waved us a sad farewell and disappeared from sight.
“A point of particular Interest just here Is that as the monster passed the barn it left my barbed wire stacked up nicely, and on top the pile left that lyre on which it had played that accompaniment. Imagine my surprise at discovering that stringed instrument to be a portion of a bale of that wire and a part of my pigpen worked up Into the most approved form.
“Now, boys, this is the straight of that "Bear Lake monster" story, but don't call him a "monster" any longer, for he is truly wondrously human. He was my friend and I learned to love him. Kindly convey my regards to all my friends in Cache and say to my Logan friends that If they want any further proof of this monster's re-appearance on Bear Lake's shores, I can show them the barbed wire he ate and the graphophone wlth which he was subdued. Yours respectfully and truthfully, AQUILLA C. NEBEKER.”

-An unbelievable account, or an imaginative work of fiction? One has to decide for themselves.

-RESEARCH conducted and compiled by Lynn Arave in 2015. 

Bear Lake Monster a popular Utah legend by the 1880s

 ,          Even the shallow Great Salt Lake spawned one monster tale.
THE Logan Leader newspaper of Sept. 2, 1881 reported that the “yarn” of the Bear Lake Monster had regenerated lately. It challenged someone who sees it to photograph it.

By now tales of this monster had made their way in political jabbing, newspaper vs. newspaper squabbles and many jokes in Northern Utah and Southern Idaho.
Even if you didn't believe in the monster, it was now a part of area history.
-Later in the 19th Century, there was also reports of a Great Salt Lake Monster and even a Utah Lake Monster. These limited sightings never got traction and the Great Salt Lake sighting took place in water only a foot or so deep, so no one took it seriously.

The Utah (Logan) Journal newspaper on May 11, 1883 defined the Bear Lake Valley as “The Home of the Monster.”
This story said that “quite a number of people really believe there is a large being living there.” It was described as 60 to 200 feet long.
The account then told of a fishermen’s account from years earlier when they had a wagon full of fish on the shore. They spotted something large moving toward the shore at terrific speed. One of the men shot at it. It disappeared and then a few minutes later floated motionless to the surface. They paddled out to it in a boat and found it to be nothing more than a “half grown beaver.”
“Yet so curiously did it reflect itself on the water that it really appeared to be from 50 to 100 feet long.”

-The next reference to the monster was a pre-pioneer one, as recounted in the Dec. 14, 1907 D. News. “Peg Leg Smith,” a mountain man, was said (according to Brigham Young, Jr.)  to have gotten the Native Americans in the Bear Lake Valley to bait hooks by the water with venison to legs to try and hook the monster. But, Smith would return in the night to take the strippings for himself.

-RESEARCH conducted and compiled by Lynn Arave in 2015.