Believers seek clues to Bigfoot |

Believers seek clues to Bigfoot

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

John Andrews’ idea of ‘Bigfoot’ changed when he recorded the sounds of something howling in the Cascade Mountains near his home in Washington state.

"The calls, we’re pretty sure, are Bigfoot calls," Andrews said Thursday evening as he played the sounds for The Park Record at his campsite near Trial Lake east of Kamas.

On the North Slope of the Uinta Mountains in Summit County there have been many Bigfoot sightings, claimed 41-year-old Matthew Moneymaker, president of the Southern California-based Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization.

"You’re about 100 times more likely to hear them than to see them," Moneymaker said. "We’ll make sounds like them to encourage them to respond."

This week, members of the group camped in the county to track sasquatches, which some say belong to the genus Gigantopithicus.

"Wood-knocking is not too uncommon of a thing that happens with Bigfeet," Andrews explained while playing sounds he claimed were made by a roughly 8-foot-tall animal banging sticks together in the forest. "This is all the Bigfoot doing this. We don’t know what else it could be at one o’clock in the morning in the forest."

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Scientists determined to make the howls someone would require an ability that was "beyond human endurance," Andrews claimed.

Another recording was the clamor of rocks smashing against each other, he said.

"It’s a way of wanting to drive you out," said Andrews, who has studied sasquatches for about 50 years. "You’re a little bit scared, but you’re excited."

With Bigfoot sometimes described as a cursed incarnation of Cain, a figure in the Old Testament, Moneymaker rejected supernatural myths that attempt to account for sightings.

"The explanations that the skeptics give, those are the explanations that you should worry about," he said, adding, "you tend to rationalize beyond all rationalization to keep yourself sane."

The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization was in Summit County to encourage Utahns who have heard or seen the creatures to post their experiences at the Web site

"The top people in primatology are very interested in this subject," Moneymaker said. "We want to talk to more witnesses."

As some try to discard sightings by claiming they were people inside costumes, Moneymaker said "there are a hell of a lot more Bigfoots than people running around the woods in costumes."

Still, Ogden Valley resident Dave Broderick believes the history of the Mormon church explained Bigfoot’s existence as "a miserable, cursed creature who wanted to die but couldn’t."

"I think he could probably be a descendent of Cain," said Broderick, who attended the expedition this week in the Uintas. "They are so mystical, so elusive. They may not be found because I’m not sure they’re mortal."

Moneymaker says people pay $300 to attend trips like the four-day expedition about 30 miles east of Kamas, which drew college students from the Wasatch Front and a father and son from Provo, among its roughly 50 attendees.

"I want a class A sighting," said Morgan resident Enz Crane, who attended Utah State University. "I’ve done my research. They’re real."

A ‘class A sighting’ is a rare glimpse of a sasquatch up close, Moneymaker said.

"We were really excited to come," said Brinn Bagley, a student from Salt Lake City whose father convinced her to study Bigfoot.

Near the Duchesne Tunnel Thursday night, the Bigfoot researchers, while communicating with walkie-talkies, attempted to call creatures with loud, sustained screams.

Dead silence.

"They’re compelled to respond," Moneymaker whispered in the darkness. "They have to respond. It’s irresistible with them."

Then Louisiana native Jim Boudonsquie started banging two logs together twice.

But there was still no response.

"People could misinterpret vocalizations, but knocks are much more distinct," Moneymaker said, adding that the creatures are sometimes heard smashing wood and rocks.

Though believed to be nocturnal, sasquatches can reach 10 feet in height and have been spotted by people in the day, he said, adding that tracks have also been found.

"All animals are elusive, they’re just a little bit more elusive than most," Moneymaker said. "Several people who are on this trip have seen them or have heard them."

Boudonsquie said his wife described the creature’s odor as "a moldy, skunky, sewery, wet-dog smell."

For Scott Taylor, of Tacoma, Wash., the expedition in the Uinta Mountain was therapy.

"This is a way of coping with the terror that I experienced when I had an encounter," he said.