Tag Archives: Deseret News

You might have seen the Bear Lake Monster if…

Did you see something in the water? Could it have been the Bear Lake Monster?

The first report of the Bear Lake Monster came from J.C. Rich in 1868. His article claims that four men, along with six women, were returning home from Fish Haven, traveling north, when halfway to St. Charles they saw something in the water about three miles away.

But descriptions of the monster sightings have varied greatly. You may have noticed strange happenings on the lake yourself. In fact, you may have seen the Bear Lake Monster with your own eyes if:

YOU SAW something that looked like a SERPENT…or an ALLIGATOR…or a WALRUS…or a HORSE…or a PIG!

  • It’s been described as “A serpent like animal, water spurting out of its head, with the capabilities of moving about on land with short muscular legs.”
  • In July, 2010, Salt Lake Magazine quotes that “The creature’s head is alternatively described as a be-tusked walrus or a toothy alligator, both bearing giant eyes, set widely apart.”
  • It has also been described as being “…covered with fur like a seal with a head similar to an alligator.”
  • Or “…with a mane like a horse, large eyes a foot apart and about the size of person’s head.”
  • But it’s also got a head “sloped down to a point, giving it the shape of a monster pig head minus the ears.”

YOU SAW something between 30-feet and 300-feet long.

  • One witness “distinctly saw the sides of a ‘very large animal’ judged to be not less than 90 feet in length.”
  • Another account put the monster “at least ninety feet long – er – at least forty.”
  • Yet another report said the length of the monsters “varied from 30 to 80 feet.”
  • In 1889, the Jake Miles description in the Salt Lake Herald said it “appeared at least 300 feet in length, and for size would discount any antediluvian sea monster that ever rode the main.”

YOU SAW something that was FASTER than a locomotive…or at least a HORSE.

  • They say it is awkward on land but can swim, as one account has it, “faster than a locomotive.”
  • In his story, S. E. Schlosser warns, “But in the water—watch out! It can swim faster than a horse can gallop—makes a mile a minute on a good day.”

YOU SAW something with very SMALL legs…or DOZENS of legs.

  • According to the Idaho State Journal in March, 1972, Mr. S. M. Johnson said “It had short sturdy legs, a serpentine like tail, ears that looked like bunches on the side of a head almost like a horse’s except for extended nostrils and a forked tongue that flicked in and out as it shifted its head along.”
  • Another witness said “Its arms seemed to come out on either side of its head where the ears naturally would be.”
  • Someone else reported that it had “an indeterminate number of legs.”
  • Oh, and one person said “The hind legs were long and bent like that of the kangaroo.”

YOU SAW something with GREEN skin and RED eyes…or with BROWN skin and BLACK eyes.

  • In a 2004 sighting, the Deseret News reported that Brian Hirschi said”…it had “really dark, slimy green skin and deep beet-red eyes.”
  • In an 1889 sighting, the Salt Lake Herald reported that Jake Miles “discerned a long, black, snakey form…the round, fiery eyes, seemingly a foot in diameter, were deep set and well back.”


  • In 1870, Marion Thomas observed the following regarding the monster: “A long, thin, blood-red tongue darted out, wrapped itself several times around a huge clump of bushes, and before I could tell it, the snapping of roots was heard, the enormous jaws opened and the bushes disappeared down its hideous throat.”

So did you see something unusual? Something green or brown or fast or long? No matter what you saw, one thing’s for sure—there’s a chance that it was indeed the Bear Lake Monster.