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DATE: Not Sure
COUNTY: Summit County
LOCATION DETAILS: We hiked from the Holiday Park area to the upper reaches of the Weber River drainage of the Uinta Mountains. The moaning sounds were heard close to Round Lake on the Wasatch-Cache National Forest.
NEAREST TOWN: Oakley, Utah
NEAREST ROAD: 213 to Holiday Park
OBSERVED: During the month of July of 1986, a friend and I wanted to try our hand at catching some Arctic Grayling in the Weber River drainage of the Uinta Mountains. The hike along Dry Fork was fairly flat and very pleasant. But after hiking a mile and a half and crossing the stream (Dry Fork) -- the trail snaked its way up a very steep mountain for over two miles. I remember the hike quit well, because both of us were loaded down with heavy packs and inflatable rubber rafts. After several hours of hiking in heavy timber, we finally topped the mountain at 9,995 feet and reached Round Lake.
The lake is located in a grassy meadow and surrounded by heavy pines. Both of us were very excited to blow up our rafts and start fishing. I remember we only had a few hours to fish before sunset and that we only caught a few trout on spinners. Somewhat disappointed with fishing, we gathered up our gear and found a good campsite several hundred feet away from the lake. After setting up our camp and eating, we walked to the lake and found an area that overlooked several heavy-timbered canyons. By this time the sun was completely hidden behind a chain of mountains and the temperature was dropping fast. To our shock, we both heard several howling moans in the heavy timber below us. I would guess about a half-mile away. The howling was loud and powerful. I'm almost certain we heard three to five howls and they sounded nothing like a coyote or wolf. The sounds seemed surreal and not human in any way--and as far as I'm concerned, they were not made by any animal that I was familiar with. We just looked at each other--trying to figure out just what in the heck would make such a loud and unforgettable moaning sound.
Spooked, we walked back to camp with our flashlights. We both slept in one tent, which was a little unusual, because we usually slept in separate tents. Blame it on me, because I was still a little shook-up. Sometime after midnight, something large moved through our campsite. As I remember it, we thought it was perhaps a deer or more likely an elk. From time to time, I would emerge from the tent flaps spotlighting for glowing eyes. Whatever it was, it had left me sleepless and bone tired.
The next morning; a group of horseback riders we met on the trail told us that something had spooked their horses during the night and they had mentioned something about a Bigfoot. Welcome to the wilderness I thought--it seemed the further you were from the trailhead--things became easier to believe. That day, we caught buckets of Arctic Graylings at Sand Lake, they were small. We moved on to Fish Lake that evening to camp. I remember we made a rip-roaring fire and talked about Bigfoot and had a night-visit from a chipmunk that scared us. I can't explain it--but the place seemed tainted with a bad vibe--we both felt it.
The next day, the fishing was good--almost too good at Fish Lake. The area was beautiful with steep rocky ridges, but the atmosphere seemed creepy and wanted us to move on. We caught dozens of good-sized Graylings, fishing from our handy rubber rafts in this L-shaped lake. Instead of staying another night at Fish Lake--we hiked to Round Lake and camped the night. The next morning, we hiked back to the trailhead at Holiday Park...a day earlier than planned. The really weird thing; we left a place where the fish were biting--just because we had a bad feeling around Fish Lake--very odd.
ALSO NOTICED: When we heard the moaning sounds...I wasn't thinking it was a Bigfoot. But after listening to sound recordings on your site, they sounded more like the moans recorded in the southern region of the United States.
OTHER WITNESSES: Myself and my fishing buddy.
OTHER STORIES: After doing some research, I read an article on the internet of eight hikers who spotted a Bigfoot near Fish Lake in 1977; this very much interested me.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: We heard the howls after sunset,it was getting dark fast. The evening was clear with no hard winds.
ENVIRONMENT: We were standing on a mountain ridge overlooking several heavy-timbered canyons...we were at an elevation near 10,000 feet.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Chad Hamblin:
I discussed the report with the man who submitted it and found him to be a credible witness. He emphasized several times the loudness of the sound – saying it was “unbelievably loud”. He said it was hard to tell exactly where it came from but that it was somewhere below them. It was a sound he’d never heard before and has never heard since, and he said it sounded like a big animal. He said the sound lasted about one minute or so and was off-and-on, two or three times, rather than one steady sound.
The witness said he and his friend didn’t think about a bigfoot making the sounds or coming through their camp until the next day when they met the riders on horses. He doesn’t remember if they said they saw a bigfoot or heard one or what, but remembers something about one scaring their horses.
The witness has spent a great deal of time in the outdoors, hunting and fishing, but said that in all his time in the outdoors he has never felt scared like on this trip. He said it's the only time he's left a trip to go home a day early. He said there was something in the air – a forbidding feeling that something didn’t want them there.
About BFRO Investigator Chad Hamblin:
Chad Hamblin is a life sciences/biology teacher with an interest and background in wildlife and the outdoors. He lives in a rural community in northeastern Utah. He participated in the first Utah BFRO expedition in 2007, as well as the 2009 and 2010 Utah expeditions. He attended the Wyoming expedition in 2008, the Bluff Creek California expedition in 2011, and the Idaho expedition in 2013. A few months ago Chad experienced a bigfoot encounter while hiking alone in Utah's Uinta Mountains.