Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Charles Canyon, Idaho

Saint Charles Canyon, Bear Lake, Idaho, 2011

There are at least two reports of sightings near St. Charles, Idaho or actually in St. Charles Canyon (which is due west of the city of St. Charles).

St. Charles Idaho is just under nine miles from the Utah border.  St. Charles Canyon connects with the Franklin Basin drainage where there have also been sighting reports.  They start to all make sense and connect with the physical characteristics of the landscape when you start to look at the points on a map.   

The first sighting is difficult to pinpoint even a rough location to go and photograph, so I will include both stories with the above image which was taken very near the campground mentioned in the second sighting which took place in St. Charles Canyon in 1967.

The third story is pretty amazing.  It is a second-hand account of what happened there in the summer of 2008, but I will include it to add to the body of accounts from St. Charles Canyon.


Until Justin 'Judd' Phelps, resident of St. Charles (Idaho), disclosed his 1972 sightings, the Bigfoot phenomenon had not been reported outside of the Pacific Northwest. Phelps, a lineman-engineer on the Union Pacific Railroad, claims to have seen the creature in the depths of a canyon near St. Charles on January 2, 1972.

His (Bigfoot's) tracks were similar to a bear's but slimmer and about a size 13 in length. They sunk about a foot into the snow. Each time the creature was sighted, it stamped its feet and shook its head like a child in anger. Measured against a nine-foot (2.7 meter) tree, it measured six feet (1.8 meters) tall.

In hopes of catching a glimpse of the creature again, on January 2, 1972, Phelps left his St. Charles home on a snow machine and arrived at the place of his previous sighting around noon. It was bitter cold, so he built a fire.

He had been there about two hours and the fire was getting hot, so he decided to put a little snow on the fire and then he got a feeling that he was being watched.

It was between 1:30 and 2 p.m. He looked up from where he had been resting, stretched on his snow machine, and saw just 100 yards away, an ape-like creature with grayish-brown hair returning his gaze.

It was standing by a young pine tree, and when it saw Phelps look his way, it waved its arms and stomped its feet and headed for the deeper woods.

The first time Phelps saw the creature it frightened him and he fired above its head.

This time, however, he spoke soothingly to it and attempted to take a picture. When he pulled the self-developing (Polaroid) film from the camera, there was no figure on the scene, possibly because he had an older-model camera and his hands had been shaking while attempting to capture the creature on film.

Upon investigating the spot where he had seen the creature, he found tracks which had sunk about a foot (30 centimeters) into the loose snow. The snow at the site was six to eight feet deep, about two feet being new snow. He did not follow the trail.

Phelps tried two days later to make contact with the creature again but was unsuccessful.

Source:  FLICKERING MEMORIES: FOLKLORE IN THE BEAR LAKE VALLEY, Volume 2, by Bonnie Thompson, Printers Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah, 1977, pages 59 and 60.

------ second sighting report-------

Report # 1795 (Class B)

Submitted by witness Alan Meyer on Friday, December 26, 1997. Two campers' night observation of large creature near campground

YEAR: 1968

SEASON: Summer

STATE: Idaho

COUNTY: Bear Lake County

LOCATION DETAILS: Saint Charles Canyon, Bear Lake County, Idaho (near Bear Lake)


OBSERVED: A dark humanoid form was observed standing in the woods, just outside the campground clearing. Four of us were camping in sleeping bags, no tents, in a clearing recently cut by the Forest Service to develop a campground. No one else was in the area. It was in the early morning hours, perhaps 3am. My best friend and I had been talking about the strange atmosphere of the place and our wives were asleep. I was just dozing off when I suddenly felt myself jarred awake by a powerful feeling of a nearby presence watching us. I sat bolt-upright and looked directly at a large, humanoid form standing at the edge of the woods, about a hundred feet way. He/it was totally black. I could see no features, but the form was perfectly clear. At this point, my friend sat and looked in the same direction. "Do you see what I see?" I asked him. "I sure do," he replied. We continued staring at it, and it at us, for several minutes. Then I somehow got the "message" that it wasn't going to bother us, if we didn't bother it. I told my friend we should just lie down and go to sleep. He agreed -- and this may be the strangest part -- we both fell instantly asleep. At the time, I'd never heard of Bigfoot. I don't know what this being was and still don't. It could have been a Bigfoot. There are a lot of limestone caverns in the area and it was still very wild then. We didn't smell anything or hear any unusual sounds.

ALSO NOTICED: Although the has multiple, fully-developed campgrounds and paved road, now, in 1967 it was very wild and little visited. Even in the daylight, there was something primitive and haunted about the place -- quite different in feeling from other camps in the area.

OTHER WITNESSES: My wife and I and a friend and his wife were in sleeping bags, no tents. The women were asleep, but my friend and I had been talking and were just dozing off, when I felt a strong sensation of being watched.

TIME AND CONDITIONS: Early morning hours, perhaps 3am

ENVIRONMENT: At this time St. Charles Canyon was just beginning to be developed by the Forest Service. The campground had been "roughed-out" at the top of several miles of a narrow dirt road leading to the nearby Minnetonka Caverns. Pine and Aspen forest covered the steeply angled sides of the narrow canyon. No one else was in the campground, or the area, for miles. 


------------ third story -----------

A few summers ago (reported in 2010, so the year of the event is probably 2008 - ed. ) while my family and I were camping in St Charles Canyon on the Idaho side of Bear Lake, a little boy got lost for a while, while his family was visiting Minnetonka Cave.

We were coming out of the cave and we heard a group of adults talking and we offered to help look for the boy. Some of the group went off down towards the campgrounds and my group along with the father of the child hiked up and over the backside of the cave. There were a lot of game trails. The kids was missing no more than 10 to 15 minutes.

We would yell his name, and then listen for any sound, well after yelling his name again, we heard a *whistle*, loud and long, sort of like holding a note for at least a 10 count. So we headed in the direction of where it came from, and when we came around a batch of trees, there was the kid, sitting on a rock, smiling and acting like a kid.

His father grabbed him and comforted him and as we were walking back, the father asked him where he got a whistle from, and the kid was like, I didn't have a whistle, the big hairy man, whistled for me.

And that is all he said, and the dad blew it off as his kids imagination. But i knew better. I know for fact that we heard a whistle from a BF. How else could we explain hearing a whistle and then go in the direction of it and find the kid. I went back a few hours later and looked for signs, there were no prints, but it was eerily quiet in that area, no bird sounds or anything.


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