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Geographical Index > United States > Utah > Salt Lake County > Report # 38797
Report # 38797  (Class B)
Submitted by witness on Sunday, January 6, 2013.
Woman recalls childhood experience of a terrifying night-time encounter while camping near Kennecott Copper mine
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YEAR: 1970

SEASON: Summer



COUNTY: Salt Lake County

LOCATION DETAILS: Butterfield Canyon Road below Kennicott Copper Mine

NEAREST TOWN: Tooele / Herriman

NEAREST ROAD: Butterfield Canyon Road

OBSERVED: When I was a child before bigfoot was known to me, we went on a family camping trip in Butterfield Canyon in the Oquirrh mountains below Kennecott Copper Mine. There were six people there. Two adults and four children. The tent was pitched by the creek next to a trail. Tent was tall enough to give the adults a couple feet of head room.

When we were in the tent getting ready to make our beds (it was thundering with alot of lightning) we smelled the worse smell. It made our eyes water and our noses run, it was that bad. Next we could hear a large animal coming up to the tent. It was screaming and yelling. When it got to the tent it stood over the top of the tent. Our bodies were vibrating from the screams, our noses and eyes were running from the smell. When the lightning would go off we could see the shadow of long hair hanging down from massive arms. This thing towered over the tent as we were all ready to die from the fear.

The adult male that was with us went out of the tent to do something. We had never heard of Bigfoot and he wanted to protect us. When he came back in the tent (after we heard scuffling and growling outside) he sat down with his back on the tent's zipper. His face was white and his eyes were huge with fear. First bit of daylight he had us packed and out of there. Years later he told my granddaughter that he confronted Bigfoot that night and could never get over it. He would never tell us that was there, what he saw. We knew it had to be nine feet tall at least to hover over the tent. There are three witness left that cant get over it.

OTHER WITNESSES: There were six witness. We were in the same large tent all together getting ready for bed

OTHER STORIES: Years later when I was a scout leader there was a scout from South America that said "I didnt know there were apes in Utah! My mom and I heard them calling each other across the canyon just like they do in the jungle."

TIME AND CONDITIONS: bright night with alot of lightning lighting the sky

ENVIRONMENT: forest and meadows

Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Chad Hamblin:

I talked to the submitter of this report and found her to be a credible witness. She told me she was really young at the time of the incident - only seven or eight years old - and she was accompanied by her sister that was engaged, that sister's fiance, another sister, and two neighbor girls. They were camped in a little level area next to a creek, with steep terrain on the other side of the creek.

The witness said that they first smelled something awful for a minute or two - and she said it got to the point where she felt like she couldn't stand the smell anymore. When I asked her what the smell was like she referred to it as “a flaming turd of death”. A minute or two later they heard the screaming and the witness stated that she and the other girls were “tight as a ball hanging onto each other screaming and crying”. She said a person could've reached the creature with a four-foot stick. She talked about how the creature stood over the tent, with lightning lighting it up, screaming at them for several minutes. She described the screaming as sounding like a coyote, wolf, and mountain lion all together. She stated that the creature's lung capacity was incredible, and she said “it was making us vibrate – like being under a fog horn”.

The witness talked about her sister's fiance (now the witness' brother-in-law) leaving the tent to face whatever was out there and she said that when he came back in he said “girls, there's nothing out there, go back to sleep”. She said that at dawn the next morning she could see that he still had his back on the tent's zipper. She stated that as soon as it was daylight they loaded the vehicle and were gone.

As she stated in her narrative, the witness said her sister's fiance would never talk about the incident until a couple of years ago when he talked about it to her granddaughter who was fifteen years old at the time. He said he wanted to get it off his chest, and he said “I faced Bigfoot – I looked him right in the face”. He told her he hadn't been able to talk about the incident.

The witness stated that her mind saw something it had never seen, and she said that there was a point in the experience where she'd seen enough and did not look anymore. She said that during the incident she was thinking “what is that?” She said that at the time of the incident she had never heard of bigfoot, and she said she and the other girls didn't know what it could've been until later when bigfoot came onto their radar. She said “us girls talk about it”, and she said she has told her sisters they are obligated to tell their story.

Toward the end of my conversation with the witness she emphatically stated “I testify that he exists and he is alive”. She then talked more about her feelings about her experience. She told me the brain can't process things like what she experienced, and she said it does something shocking to your brain. She said “the brain can't process something that's more than fear - it's something it can't process – it's worse than being afraid”. She told me she didn't know a person could experience such fear. She jokingly referred to the bigfoot as “a big meany”, and she said a friend made her laugh when they said the bigfoot was probably a teenager. She told me she's sure that if the bigfoot would've actually touched the tent, or done anything else to a worse degree than it did – for example been any louder or any stinkier - she would've died. She said the lightning lighting up behind the creature is something she'll never forget.

The witness talked about how some people are skeptical about the existence of bigfoots, and she said “It'll change your mind if you run into one”. About her experience she said “it was horrible - you never get over something like that”. She said that if the creature had wanted to kill them it could have. She said “he had a chance – we could've died and didn't”. The witness told me that since her experience she has spent a lot of time in the woods but has never again spent a night in a tent. She said she spent thirty years in Alaska – but not one night in a tent. She said “I haven't been able to sleep in a tent since” and that she has stated “I would never spend another night in a tent to save my life”. She said the other members of her group are also still troubled by the experience.

I find it interesting that, despite the traumatic and terrifying nature of the witness' childhood experience, when I talked to her she was very emphatic about the need to “prove he exists to save him”.

I was happy when the witness told me she wants to approach her fear by going back to the area this year and spending a night there in a tent. She said she's willing to stay in a tent now, but she added that she probably won't sleep. She also said that the more people come along with her the better.

Along with her own experience the witness talked to me about the boy from South America in her cub scout group who told her he didn't know we had apes in Utah, and then talked about he and his mother hearing monkeys or apes screaming back and forth in Butterfield Canyon. She also told me about a bigfoot story from Alaska that she learned about while living there, and I plan to follow up more on that story.

I look forward to visiting the site where this incident took place with the witness – and to possibly helping her overcome the fear she's been dealing with all of these years since the incident.

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.

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