8 HIKERS SPOT ELUSIVE 'BIG FOOT' IN HIGH UINTAHS
By BERT STRAND
Two North Ogden men and six young companions said today they watched a "gorilla-like" creature in the High Uintah Mountains that matched reports of 'Big Foot."
Jay Barker of 1350 E. 2600 N., who has hunted big game animals for years in the area, said the creature was estimated at being 10 feet tall.
He said it was covered with a white mantle of hair over its shoulders and half-way down its huge body. The lower portion of the creature was dark colored, said Mr. Barker who said after it spotted his party it ambled off on its hind legs.
HIKES TO RIDGE
Mr. Barker and his two sons Brent, 12, and Danny, 6, had hiked to the top of the ridge between Pass Lake and Cuberant Basin at the head of Weber River drainage.
They reached the top of the ridge at noon Monday and made contact with Larry Beeson of 1311 E. 2600 N., and his three sons, Scott, 14, Michael, 11, David, 5, and Paul Carling, 14, of 1284 E. 2500 N.
About that time, they looked down upon a small alpine lake about one half mile below them and saw the creature standing on its edge.
At first, Mr. Barker thought he was looking at an elk. Then the creature turned to look up at the party after a couple of the boys had knocked rocks loose that rolled.
"What are we looking at?" said an amazed Mr. Beeson as the creature turned and walked off on its hind legs.
Mr. Barker said the distance was too far to get a good look at the creature's face, but he said it moved through scattered trees, turning its head back to look at them from time to time.
He said they watched it for some four minutes while it covered about one half mile through the scattered trees and then disappeared into heavy timber.
Startled and almost dumbfounded, the group stared. "That thing is standing on two legs," said one member of the amazed party as they looked. Mr. Barker said the party went down to where they had seen the creature after it disappeared. They found "paw-like" imprints in the earth, but the ground was too hard and dry to leave a clear imprint. He said the paw mark was "huge" and resembled that made by a palm and toes. The party followed the path of the creature to the timber and found other scruff marks on the rocks and in the dry ground and grass.
Mr. Barker said the group thought better about following the hairy creature into the heavy timber.
Excited and unable to sleep, Mr. Barker said he and his boys were too tired after their experience to make the return trip of over six miles back to their camper near Pass Lake.
They spent Monday night huddled about a campfire at Fish Lake near where the creature had been seen and came out Tuesday.
Mr. Barker estimated the elevation of the small lake where the creature was seen at about 12,000 feet. It was above the timber line.
He also said a sheepherder in the Gold Hills area below, Arlo Fawcett of Roy, reported he has been unable to get his sheep to stay in the area where the creature was seen.
Mr. Fawcett reportedly said he would take his sheep into the area to graze, and they would beat him back to camp, apparently filled with fear. The herder also said its the first summer this has happened. Its also the first summer that he has failed to see or hear coyotes in the area.
Utah wildlife officials, informed of the incident, said they will ride into the area on horses to check the area.
Jerry Dahlberg, conservation officer, northern region, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, when informed of the creature, said the description fits a grizzly bear "to a T," all except walking upright for such a long distance.
Officer Dahlberg says he plans a horseback trip into the area over the Labor Day weekend.
Mr. Beeson said when they reached the area where the hairy creature was seen, they found the carcass of a rabbit that had been completely "skinned as by a human" and partially eaten.
Ogden, Utah; Standard-Examiner; Thursday, August 25, 1977