Cache Valley may be one of the best places to go for an encounter with Sasquatch.
Jon Marshall, author of the recently published book “Cache Valley Bigfoot,” about the creatures that roam the area, says the two “hot spots” are White Pine and Tony Grove campgrounds.
“One (Bigfoot) likes to throw rocks or other things,” at the people who spot it, Marshall says. “He’ll never hit anyone, but he throws softball-sized or bigger rocks toward them.”
Marshall established a Facebook page dedicated to the Cache Valley Bigfoot. The group has 1,100 members. “At least 900 have had serious encounters, but most of them lasted only a minute or two. Some people like the anonymity that we use to help their stories get told. People are worried about the chastising that goes on. A friend of mine says she has a few Polaroids of a Bigfoot family, but she is too afraid to show them. One guy says he has a hand of one he found.
We all agree that the Bigfoot that is in White Pine and Tony Grove is a big male.”
Utah State University wildlife specialist Nicki Frey is openminded, but has a more scientific outlook. Sightings pique her curiosity, but she writes them off as bears.
“Black bears are surprisingly humanistic…especially when you combine their behavior with a human imagination,” Frey says.
She says Cache Valley has many bear dens near campgrounds in the surrounding woods.
“Maybe they are seeing something unique, one never knows,” Frey says. “Animals are adapting to humans in novel ways all the time. The scientist in me wants footprints, scat, and hair samples, though. Or, a photo at the very least.”
The way Marshall describes Bigfoot, it would have to be quite some black bear. “They typically range from seven to eight feet tall — think of Shaquille O’Neal — but I have seen one at least 10 feet tall, and it is said someone saw a 12-foot tall one, but I doubt it.”
Females are smaller and both sexes are strong. “Some people have seen big rocks fly over the top of full-grown pine trees,” Marshall says. “I think that all have this ability that makes you sick or nauseated, and gives you the feeling of ‘I have got to go now,’ but not all of them are able to use it. They use sounds and whatnot to communicate with one another.”
Marshall says he was 12 when he saw his first Bigfoot. “One of my buddies and I decided to go collect golf balls at the Smithvale Golf Club in High Park because we could sell the balls back to the club. Well, as we are looking, we stumble upon a fresh deer carcass that was in a gully nearby. Its neck was completely snapped.”
Marshall said he at first believed the deer had fallen into the gully. “Well, I turn to my friend, his face goes white as a ghost, and he bolts. I take off after him, and I find him hiding in another gully. I asked him why he freaked out, and he told me a big, hairy arm had poked out of a bush that was behind me and he thought that it had gotten me. As we get ready to start walking away, we hear a loud roar and heavy, heavy footfalls, and we see something big and brown, and furry bolt faster than a human can.”
Marshall’s favorite encounter? “A few years back I was camping in Wind River, Colorado. It was a three day trip, and I didn’t have many encounters for the first two days, just fished and hiked. Well, I was camped near this rock-slide area, give or take a few yards, and I just start hearing rocks hit together on the third night.
“At first I thought that it was just rocks falling, but they were oddly rhythmic. Then I started hearing something like someone knocking on wood, but far away. I dismissed that and cleaned and ate the fish I had caught that day. It was 10 p.m. when I got into my tent and fell asleep.
“I remember waking up at 2 a.m. to the full moon, and it was strangely quiet, dead quiet. I look up, and I see the outline of a hand that is ten times bigger than I have ever seen just pushing into my tent. I end up coughing, and the hand retracts and I hear feet shuffling back, I call out and hear more shuffling and the Bigfoot walks away.”