The Bear Lake Monster Described by an Eye witness—Its Existence Authenticated

By courtesy of President Brigham Young we are enabled to print the following letter, which, from the known veracity of its writer, is sufficient to extinguish all doubts as to the existence of the monster, which has so long been supposed to inhabit the waters of Bear Lake, Rich. Co.

Paris, Oneida County, Idaho
May 18, 1874

President Brigham Young:

Dear Brother:–Last Friday morning (May 15), on our return from Conference, William Broomhead, Milando Pratt and myself were in a light wagon traveling northward by the Lakeshore, when our attention was attracted to an object in the water about a hundred yards ahead of us and about twenty-five yards from the shore.  At first sight we thought it might be a very large duck, as we distinctly saw ducks nearer the shore, but as we got near, we saw that it was an animal, the head and a portion of the back about a foot from the head being visible, leaving also about the space of a foot between the back part of the head, and the beginning of the back where the animal was not visible, the invisible part no doubt being the neck.  When we were within about 70 yards the animal dived under the water, and from its action we judged it was not more than five or six feet long, still we did not see its length.  When it went down we stopped our wagon and waited, hoping it would come up again, which it did in perhaps about a minute, a little behind us and probably 25 yards from shore, and not more than 35 yards from us.  Its face and part of its head were distinctly seen, covered with fur or short hair of a light snuff color.  The face of the animal was apparently flat, very wide between the eyes, and tapering to the nose, with very full large eyes and prominent ears, resembling those of a horse, but scarcely as long.  The whole face, in shape, was like that of a fox, but so large that the space between the eyes equaled that of the distance between the eyes of a common cow.  It did not look ferocious, and was in no hurry to go, but kept moving slowly, then diving again, came up and moved off into the Lake as fast as a man could walk.

We had an excellent opportunity to see what was above water, and the Lake was perfectly still.

As there had been considerable interest excited in regard to the “Bear Lake Monster,” I submit a description of what we have seen, thinking it might be acceptable to you.

Very respectfully,
Wm. Budge

[Deseret News, May 27, 1874]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Aug. 2006]

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