THE second newspaper reference to the Bear Lake Monster came in the April 6, 1870 Deseret News, when a Provo man theorized that if any “monsters” do inhabit Bear Lake, they must be of the seal species.
Then, in the D. News on June 1, 1870, Charles C. Rich reported that the grasshopper problem in the Bear Lake Valley was gone, but the Bear Lake Monster had been sighted once again.
A young man, Marion Thomas and three sons of Phineas H. Cook were fishing in a boat on the lake near Swan Creek (just north of Garden City on the Utah and west side of the lake).
Thomas saw something, perhaps a duck and started towing toward it. However, the other three boys had seen the Bear Lake Monster before and urged him to stop. However, his skepticism kept him rowing.
“He described his head as serpent shaped. He saw about twenty feet of its body, which was covered with hair or fur, something like a bitter, and light brown,” the newspaper report stated. “It had two flippers, extending from the upper part of the body, which he compared to the blades of his oars. He was so near it that if he had had a rifle he could have shot it.”
Rich then said this sighting makes the monster more than legend and capturing one would be worth it.
“The Monsters” was an Aug. 20, 1870 headline in the Salt Lake Herald newspaper.
“Bishop Budge informs us the Bear lake Monster has been seen very frequently of late. Even the most skeptical are giving away,” the story stated. “One reliable gentleman saw three of them together recently.”
-RESEARCH conducted and compiled by Lynn Arave in 2015.