Steve Fidel, Deseret Morning News
Bigfoot Field Research Organization chief Matt Moneymaker, right, explains sound recording equipment to searchers in the Uintas.

WASHINGTON LAKE, Uintah County — Just how big Bigfoot's foot might be varies depending on whom you ask. A group in Utah on Thursday and Friday would be glad to speculate with you.

Jim Boudousquie, from Birch Bay, Wash., measured a track he found in his home state at 17.5 inches long by 7 inches in width. Boudousquie is interested enough in the Bigfoot phenomenon to join about 40 others who paid $300 apiece to be part of the Bigfoot Field Research Organization's current expedition, which focused its Utah stop in the Uinta Mountains Thursday and Friday before scurrying to another expedition site, probably in Wyoming.

When expedition organizer Matt Moneymaker guesses what a reporter's first question will be, he shoots out, "Yes that is my real name," not "yes, there really is a Bigfoot."

Or a species of Bigfoots.

Enthusiasts who joined Moneymaker's expedition used both "it" and "they" to describe their experiences with sights, sounds and markings that might confirm the existence of the elusive beast.

Utahn Dave Broderick said the group was enthusiastic about a Utah visit, though the chance of hearing a unique sound during an overnight search was complicated by the fact the searchers were amid crowded campgrounds and their noises. Perhaps Moneymaker's group should get a briefing on the black bears that have encountered humans in Utah's mountain country this summer.

A short visit with the Bigfoot group revealed searchers from both coasts and a number of places in between. Army Maj. Tom Neemeyer, who has served a tour of duty in Iraq, found great interest in joining Moneymaker's expedition. Dressed in partial uniform and packing night-vision goggles, Neemeyer appeared to approach the nighttime search amid the campgrounds as a serious mission. For his daughter Judy, who turned 9 on Friday, it was an outing that meant time with Dad.

Boudousquie said he enjoys the "ecotourist" experience and has fun swapping stories with like-minded Bigfoot searchers. "Everybody's got their various reasons for being here," he said.

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