Utah man says he's seen Bigfoot 9 times since '68

Published: Saturday, June 7 1997 12:00 a.m. MDT

You've heard of animal magnetism? How about Bigfoot magnetism?

Ron Mower, a 40-year-old construction worker, seems to attract Bigfoot. He claims to have seen the legendary apelike creature nine times in Utah between 1968 and 1990."At times, I think I've been singled out," said Mower, who will speak this weekend at the International Sasquatch Symposium in Vancouver, B.C.

"Maybe I'm blessed to be able to have this happen. . . . People think you're crazy, but there's been a lot of activity."

Mower's closest encounter with one of the creatures, he said, was some 30 feet away and witnessed by his entire family of six on a remote highway. The encounter occurred on a winter evening in 1990 when the Mowers suddenly stopped their truck at the top of Fairview Canyon, north of Orangeville, to avoid hitting something in the middle of the road.

That "something" turned out to be a Bigfoot. The creature stood there - 30 to 40 feet away - for five minutes, clearly in the vehicle's headlights, Mower said.

Mower is not alone. Thousands of people across North America and other parts of the world have reported seeing tall, hairy bipeds roaming about the hinterland this century. In numerous cultures, stories have been handed down through the ages about a mysterious being known variously as Bigfoot or Sasquatch in North America, and as Yeti or the Abominable Snowman in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Bigfoot tracks were reported in the western United States as long ago as 1810 by David Thompson, a surveyor and trader who spotted giant footprints near the Columbia River Gorge. But nearly 150 years passed before the legend became prominent in American culture. The creature generated headlines in 1967 when Roger Patterson took what is still the most well-known film footage of an apparent Bigfoot, a one-minute segment taken in northern California.

More than 100 Utah and southern Idaho sightings have been documented since the 1930s, according to Bigfoot researcher Ryan Layton of Layton. But Layton admits the rest of the research community may not be aware of the creature's apparent presence here.

"(Utah) is becoming more and more known as one of the states that has a bulk of the sightings," Layton said. "There's been thousands of actual sightings that cover the Florida Everglades, the backwoods of Georgia and Alabama, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, the Mountain West, the Pacific Northwest, Arkansas, Alaska and the swamps of Louisiana and Texas."

Many observations, footprints, hair and fecal samples, and unearthly screams in the night have been attributed to Bigfoot. But no skulls or bones have been found, at least none generally accepted as belonging to Sasquatch.

The creature has a reputation as a stealthy and elusive traveler. Some tracks have seemed to disappear in midstep. And some who pursue Bigfoot believe there may be a link between the creature and UFOs.

Jack Lapseritis, a Bigfoot researcher from Tucson, Ariz., has written a soon-to-be-published book entitled, "The Psychic Sasquatch, a UFO Connection." Lapseritis said he and others have communicated with Bigfoot telepathically and have watched the creatures "dematerialize."

Lapseritis said conventional Bigfoot investigators have not found the creature because they are limited in their belief that Bigfoot is "simply a relic hominid that never became extinct."

"That really may be true," Lapseritis said in a telephone interview. "But in addition to that, (Bigfoot) may literally be, as I've discovered, a paraphysical, interdimensional native people that have told me and other people telepathically that they were brought here millions of years ago by their friends, the star people."

Mower definitely believes there's a supernatural aspect to Bigfoot, and that this mysterious being is more than some gorilla-like animal running loose in the wilderness.

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