HUNTSVILLE, Weber County — If Sasquatch, alias "Bigfoot," exists, does he have a permanent address in the Ogden Valley area?
The way some valley residents talk, there could be a "Sasq-Wasatch" creature stomping around this area on a regular basis.
Purported sightings of a strange creature fitting the description of Bigfoot date back to at least 1968, and interest in the elusive beast has never been higher here.
Bob Taylor, who owns a tire store in Roy, said he was on an archery hunt in Scare Canyon, east of Ogden Valley, in the mid-1980s when he watched something roaming around and stepping over a wire fence as if it wasn't even there. He said what he saw fits Bigfoot descriptions.
"It's undeniable to me," he said. "I saw what I saw. … I've never seen anything like it."
Doug Wilson said he and two other men were traveling up the Powder Mountain road back in 1965 searching for deer with a spotlight when they saw some sort of creature with eerie eyes.
"We never really decided what we saw," he said, explaining they rarely dared talk about it.
About 400 people gathered in a park behind the Texas Pride BBQ restaurant in Huntsville for what was billed as "Dave's Bigfoot Show" — a chance for some people to tell their strange tales of the unexplained.
During the three-hour event, host and organizer David L. Carver, of Eden, talked with more than a dozen eyewitnesses from the area about their alleged sightings of Bigfoot.
"For every (eyewitness) person that's here, I could have brought three more," Carver said, explaining that sightings in the North Fork, North Ogden, Monte Cristo, Powder Mountain, Causey Reservoir and Mountain Green areas seem to be the most plentiful, along with the high Uintas region to the east.
Nick and Jamie Froerer and a friend talked about a sighting they had in the fall of 1997 at the summit of the North Ogden divide road.
They saw something weird cross the road after dark and stopped, thinking it was someone pranking them.
However, "that wasn't a guy in some suit," Nick Froerer said.
"The hair on my neck was standing. We were just shaking," Jamie Froerer said.
Jay Barker of North Ogden said he operated the Cold Springs Trout Farm in North Ogden. One morning in the early 1980s, he found large footprints around the farm and several dozen fish scattered about the lawn.
"I have a cast, 14 inches long with five toes," he said, adding the creature took some of his fish.
Soon after, he said, one of his neighbors spotted a creature — fitting the Bigfoot description — running off with one of his smaller pigs in hand.
The neighbor had a gun. "He pulled the trigger, and it didn't go off," Barker said, and the creature escaped up Coldwater Canyon. Later, the neighbor reused the same bullet, and the gun did fire.
"Bigfoot apparently can't be killed, and he likes fish and pork," Barker said. "He exists. It's a mystery."
Barker also recounted one of the state's first reported Bigfoot sightings, which he and seven other people had in the Cuberant Lakes/Fish Lake area of the high Uintas in 1977. He said they watched a Bigfoot there for about three minutes.
Later that same night, Dave Beeson, a member of that group, said they heard weird screams and the sound of breaking timber back at camp. Something pushed against their tent in the night, collapsed it and then sat on it for a long time with several terrified boys trapped underneath.
After the tale telling Monday night in Huntsville, Ogden resident Rob Alley said he thought it was enlightening. "I enjoyed the Bigfoot show," he said. But he isn't concerned about Bigfoots roaming around the area, since they've never physically hurt a person.
Julianne Salazar also said the show was interesting and that she has had her own Bigfoot experience in Weber County.
"I've smelled it and heard it," she said, adding she wouldn't be surprised if one resides in the area. She believes there are many local Bigfoot stories yet to be heard.
Her husband, David Salazar, said he has a strong interest in Bigfoot, too.
Even a light rain at times through the evening didn't send any of the Bigfoot show's crowd away.
Carver's already talking about a "Bigfoot 2" show. He organized the Monday event because one of his grandchildren needed a project, and "it got out of control," he said. "The Bigfoot program took a life of its own."
He posts assorted Bigfoot information on a blog at davesbigfootshow.blogspot.com.
About 20 people, likewise Bigfoot enthusiasts, attended a similar event in 1997, held in nearby Eden. They told stories of sightings then, too.
The first reported sighting of a Bigfoot in Ogden Valley dates back to the summer of 1968, when a woman living in Wheeler Canyon reported seeing the creature.
e-mail: [email protected]