Most people scoff at Bigfoot reports — Meldrum's colleagues at ISU signed a petition when he hosted a Bigfoot symposium on campus and some of his fellow science professors want his tenure revoked. Detractors point out that to date scientists have not found fossil evidence to support the existence of a nomadic apeman.
Layton, an independent Utah Bigfoot researcher who lives in Layton, believes Utah Bigfoot sightings go largely under reported because the possibility of ridicule prevents many people from coming forward.
Layton has interviewed numerous people who claim Bigfoot sightings since 1980, and said he believes the majority told the truth — they saw something they can't explain.
Salmond helps maintain the Web site utahsquatchinggroup.com.
"I respect their viewpoint," new BFRO member Salmond said of nonbelievers. "I'm not here to convince them. … There's a lot of mysteries in the world still to discover."
Some purported Utah Bigfoot sightings
When the Deseret News first did an overall look into Utah bigfoot phenomena back in 1993, it found at least 36 total purported sightings/signs of the creature from 1977 on. In the 16 years since, there have been at least another 49 new alleged sightings (an average of more than one a month) reported in Utah.
Here's a sampling of some reported bigfoot sightings in Utah:
Early June 2009 — Two campers along Reservation Ridge, northwest of Price, were frightened by a strange creature they saw in the area. They quickly packed up and left.
December 2008 — A man driving along state Route 44 three miles west of Flaming Gorge reported seeing an upright figure with eyes that reflected his headlights. It had long black and gray hair and was not afraid of his noisy pickup truck, but soon disappeared into the trees.
Jan. 8, 2008 — A semi driver on I-15 near Scipio said he had to swerve to avoid hitting what he thought could have been a bigfoot running across the freeway during foggy conditions. It was hairy and the creature's leg alone was the size of a man's body. The man said it was like looking into the face of a gorilla when he made eye contact. He said he was a bigfoot skeptic prior to that experience.
Aug. 22, 2007 — A family reported unearthly whoops and howls heard at night in the Yellowstone Canyon area of the high Uintas wilderness area.
September 2006 — A woman camping in the Monte Cristo area, Cache County, reported seeing a tall, dark figure in the moonlight, about 25 yards away. It was unlike any other animal she had ever seen. Her usually calm dog also had whined and whimpered a lot that night.
July 2006 — A man and other witnesses in the high Uintas near Beth and Trident lakes heard screams at night that they said could have come from a bigfoot.
October 2004 — Two men hunting in the Chalk Creek area near Coalville reported seeing a 9-foot-tall black creature unlike anything they had ever seen before.
May 2003 — Some teenagers in Farmington reported hearing strange noises and seeing a bigfoot along the Lagoon Trail east of the amusement park.
2002 — Various sightings are reported in the Oquirrh Mountains.
2002 — A Layton man scouring the mountainside with a scope spotted a strange creature roaming in the foothills above the state Route 193/U.S. 89 junction. He used his camcorder to film the creature for about five minutes from about 500 yards away. A few hours later, he went into the area and despite snow on the ground, could not find footprints.
1997 — Strange footprints are found all over Ogden Valley during the winter.
1996-97 — A woman and her children in Eden, Ogden Valley, reported seeing bigfoot twice in some brushy areas. "I can't deny it," she said.
1996 — A group of children in North Ogden's Coldwater Canyon said they were chased away by a bigfoot. Footprints also are found at the fish farm in North Ogden and at Nordic Valley.
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