As a young eight-year-old boy, anything at night can scare you. That’s why my dad’s decision to tell me about Bigfoot was a horrible one. Unless he really wanted me spending the next dozen nights or so sleeping in his room, it was obvious that he didn’t think it through when the word Bigfoot left his mouth as he tucked me in for bed.

Naturally, an eight year-old would ask, “What’s that?” That was the bad decision making on my part. We interrupted bed time by going down to the new  computer with dial-up Internet and began searching for Bigfoot online. After seeing several sketches of a tall, hairy, ape-like beast that stands on its hind legs as well as an alleged audio recording, this eight year-old boy didn’t go to sleep and still today has trouble falling asleep while camping,.

Thanks Dad.

Since then,  my brothers and I have always had an interest in the idea of Bigfoot. Over time, we learned that Utah has its fair share of reported sightings though not nearly to the degree of the Pacific Northwest. According to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO)—yes that’s a thing—there are 69 officially documented sightings in the state of Utah. Of those sightings, ten are from Weber county—the highest concentration in Utah.  If one were to do a Google search on Bigfoot sightings in Utah, outside the BFRO, that number is far higher. I’m not sure exactly what the BFRO considers a credible sighting, but more people claim to have seen the hairy beast than BFRO recognizes.

Many of those who have grown up in Weber County can remember stories circulating about sharing our turf with Bigfoot. Sightings have been reported in North Ogden, the North Ogden Divide, Ogden Pass, Barker’s Fish Farm and other locations. My great-uncle even claims to have seen the mountain primate around North Fork, just north of Ben Lomond Peak. Many of those accounts even made it into newspapers around northern Utah—the most recent newspaper coverage coming from the Deseret News in 1993. Aside from just newspapers, TV news has featured the creature as recently as February of this year on Fox 13.

Believe in the creature or not, all of this makes for some great reading and some fantastic campfire stories. Make fun of me all you want, but I would be ecstatic to get confirmation of his existence. Until then, if you see a hairy, bipedal creature walking around this Saturday, there’s always that chance, minuscule chance but a chance nonetheless, that you aren’t looking at a kid in a gorilla costume.

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