Posted by: Craig Woolheater on July 21st, 2007
(KSL News) Over the next couple of days a group of people will comb Northern Utah for Bigfoot.
The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization says an area in Northern Utah is the most reliable zone in the state for sasquatch sightings.
For $300, participants help scour the woods for the elusive creature. The group says on all but three of the expeditions they’ve been close enough to actually hear the sasquatch, and some say they’ve actually seen one.
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WASHINGTON LAKE, Uintah County — Just how big Bigfoot’s foot might be varies depending on whom you ask. A group in Utah on Thursday and Friday would be glad to speculate with you.
Jim Boudousquie, from Birch Bay, Wash., measured a track he found in his home state at 17.5 inches long by 7 inches in width. Boudousquie is interested enough in the Bigfoot phenomenon to join about 40 others who paid $300 apiece to be part of the Bigfoot Field Research Organization’s current expedition, which focused its Utah stop in the Uinta Mountains Thursday and Friday before scurrying to another expedition site, probably in Wyoming.
When expedition organizer Matt Moneymaker guesses what a reporter’s first question will be, he shoots out, “Yes that is my real name,” not “yes, there really is a Bigfoot.”
Or a species of Bigfoots.
Enthusiasts who joined Moneymaker’s expedition used both “it” and “they” to describe their experiences with sights, sounds and markings that might confirm the existence of the elusive beast.
Utahn Dave Broderick said the group was enthusiastic about a Utah visit, though the chance of hearing a unique sound during an overnight search was complicated by the fact the searchers were amid crowded campgrounds and their noises. Perhaps Moneymaker’s group should get a briefing on the black bears that have encountered humans in Utah’s mountain country this summer.
A short visit with the Bigfoot group revealed searchers from both coasts and a number of places in between. Army Maj. Tom Neemeyer, who has served a tour of duty in Iraq, found great interest in joining Moneymaker’s expedition. Dressed in partial uniform and packing night-vision goggles, Neemeyer appeared to approach the nighttime search amid the campgrounds as a serious mission. For his daughter Judy, who turned 9 on Friday, it was an outing that meant time with Dad.
Boudousquie said he enjoys the “ecotourist” experience and has fun swapping stories with like-minded Bigfoot searchers. “Everybody’s got their various reasons for being here,” he said.Steve Fidel
Deseret Morning News
KAMAS – When Oakley resident Melissa Morrison used to come to Summit County as a child for family reunions, her uncle told her campfire stories about seeing Sasquatch wandering through the Uinta Mountains.
Those stories terrified her, and she had to wonder: Could the large big-footed creatures exist?
According to members of the Big Foot Research Organization who came from all over the country to search for Bigfoot sightings along the Mirror Lake Highway this week, the answer to that question is, Yes, Melissa, there is a Sasquatch.
Scott Taylor of Tacoma, Wash., says he saw a Bigfoot in 2005 while deer hunting on the coast of Washington.
“It’s not like going out and watching deer and elk,” said Taylor. “These are creatures that don’t want to be seen. But when you see one, it changes your life forever.”
At twilight on his 2005 hunt, Taylor saw a hulking figure with a strong smell and heard a “whoop” sound like he had never heard before.
He was among a group of about 45 people at the Uinta Mountains gathering led by BFRO director Matt Moneymaker. The group is using sophisticated equipment such as parabolic microphones and night vision goggles to search for a Sasquatch.
Taylor’s Bigfoot experience motivated him to pay a one-time membership fee of $350 to go on excursions organized by Moneymaker in search of the creature. Organization members say there are between 2,000 and 4,000 of the large, secretive animals residing in North America.
They point to personal experiences such as Taylor’s as well as a 1967 film by Roger Patterson that purportedly captures images of Bigfoot walking as proof that the creature many regard as fictional actually exists. Moneymaker said Friday that there is more modern and better footage taken in Kentucky, but the man who filmed it won’t release it because he is planning to use it in a documentary.
According to the group’s Web site, BFRO.net, the term Sasquatch is an Anglicized derivative of the word Sesquac, meaning “wild man” used by the Coast Salish Indians of the Fraser Valley and parts of Vancouver Island.
The group cites reports of 40 sightings or vocalizations in Utah over the years, the last one in July 2006 near the remote High Uintas area where the group hiked this week.
Moneymaker, a lawyer from Capistrano, Calif., said he started the organization as a clearing house for sightings from around the country. He claims to have been as close as 15 feet from a Sasquatch in 1994 in Portage County, Ohio.
“Utah has a reputation of being a place with enough sightings and steep terrain where it is possible to see one,” he said
Because of the Pioneer Day holiday, areas around the Mirror Lake Highway were crowded, which Moneymaker said reduces the chances of seeing one of the shy creatures. So he was moving his group Friday to a more remote area.
Other members of the group claimed to have seen one of the elusive animals in the past.
Take the story of Joe Yarborough of Rock Springs, Wyo., who was on a lonely road near Dubois, Wyo., in 1993 when he drove around a corner and saw a large creature step out of the shadows near the guard rail.
“It took three steps and disappeared into the woods,” he said. “It was not a bear. I screamed like a little girl and slammed on the brakes. I was going to follow it and then turned away from him. I didn’t want to take a chance.”
Taylor, who is an engineer for Boeing, said many people have seen Sasquatch but are too afraid of ridicule to actually report the sightings.
Acting Kamas District Ranger Dave Ream of the Forest Service said he was not aware of any Bigfoot sightings but was impressed with how seriously the BFRO group took the stories. He said that campers should be more worried about bears, which are coming closer than usual to campgrounds because of dry conditions and wildfires.
Still, those who have heard or seen Sasquatch are never quite the same.
“You have never felt fear until you’ve felt that,” said Taylor about his experience. Tom Wharton
The Salt Lake Tribune