Thursday, September 27, 2012
Left Hand Fork - Blacksmith Fork Canyon - #2
Left Hand Fork, Blacksmith Fork Canyon, #2, Utah, 2012
It was in 1992, so I was 21 when this occurred. It was more of a weekend my two other friends that were with me were graduating from USU, so we thought we'd go camping for one last hoo-hah and go camping for a few days before we parted ways.
This was over Memorial Day weekend. We'd just had finals and my buddies would be gone the following Wednesday. It was a busy camping weekend, we didn't want to be around a lot of people so we eliminated Logan Canyon because we didn't want to be in an improved campground. I was familiar with the Left Hand Fork of Blacksmith Fork Canyon, and thought if we can get up to the end of the canyon we probably wouldn’t see many people.
Where we camped was pretty much the end of the line for vehicle access. The only campers we passed on the way up there were ¾ mile to the west of us and they were an older couple. When we were coming up the canyon we had stopped to look at the creek and look for fish, but we saw them there. The road at that time was pretty unpassable for even a well modified 4wd. It was a pretty nasty road from our camping site eastward up to Hardware Ranch.
We left Friday afternoon we left USU and headed to our campsite. We weren't in much of a hurry to get to the camp spot, when we arrived no one was there so we set up camp. At the time there was a beaver pond right next to the campsite. It has since been removed, I think the state has come in and trapped out all the beavers to improve fish habitat. About 4 o’clock I started fishing. There was a flat part around the beaver pond, sand and mud. I fished, my buddies set up camp.
We had some dinner and were just sitting around. It got dark, we lit a fire. Nothing out of the ordinary. About 10:30 we were just sitting around talking and we heard a big splash in the beaver pond. One of the guys that was on the trip he's from Washington and even though he grew up in a small town he'd never been out in to the woods and was very uneasy. He shot up and he freaked out. I said relax it's just a beaver slapping its tail on the water. I was familiar with that behavior spending lots of time in the woods.
Two minutes later another splash, same thing. That second time I was paying attention during a break in the conversation I got a good earful of the splash. This time it sounded a little odd. This time it sounded like a 'ka-whump'. Like a rock being thrown in to the river. I blew it off as just another beaver. This was followed by two more splashes, this time they sounded like large rocks being thrown into the beaver pond, and again I blew it off. We thought the beaver was pretty active and must not like us being there. It was pretty agitated.
After the last rock about 10 minutes later I heard another thumping sound but it was a thump being generated by something hitting the ground. I realized the sounds were coming from where I had been fishing earlier that afternoon. Went with a flashlight to where you had been fishing and that's when I saw 5-6 large rocks about the size of a bowling ball, not round like that, but about the same size. I just started inspecting the rocks and thought I didn't remember the rocks being there that afternoon. I saw that the rocks were lying on top of my footprints I had left in the sand and mud earlier in the day. The rocks had covered up my footprints from my wader bootprints. Gosh, now I know they weren't there that afternoon and I knew I hadn't gone crazy or anything. Walked back up to the campfire about 30 feet away and asked if my friends had placed the rocks. They said no and we knew that was true because we had seen each other all afternoon. I went back and we talked about the rocks and while we were discussing that we started hearing some thing trying to walk softly through the aspen groves across the stream.
We then heard a hushed low growl. We blew it off saying it was a deer or an elk. My buddy freaked out and we got him calmed down again. We heard the soft grunting again, the volume of the growl increased and as the volume increased the growl went to a harsh raspy scream and from that part on the volume increased exponentially to where the sound reverberated across the sides of the canyon.
The scream was 10 seconds in length. We could feel it in our chest. We could hear the scream elevated to a nails being drug across the chalk board noise, like a woman being killed. After the scream we heard something large bust up the mountainside branches breaking and you could tell something was just chugging up the mountainside. I'm estimating distances from what I heard it went maybe 100 ft. After that my friend who was skittish was by now inconsolable. I myself was freaking out and I didn't know what it was. I have heard cats and bears and elk and there are moose up there, and I have heard them too. This was unlike anything I knew lived up there. It was an unexplainable scream. It echoed off the whole canyon, off the walls, off the cliffs to the north of us, back down into the canyon.
We were all on edge after that. After whatever it was that made the scream had charged up the mountain everything settled down. No bug sounds, nothing. Just the stream and our campfire. We were just jumpy. I started going through my mind...hoax, elk, cougar? Just trying to find out what it was. We had no defenses with us outside of a baseball bat. Whatever it was did not sound like it wanted us to be there. It was just kind of the way that the scream gave us a feeling and the way the scream was projected to us. Made us feel that way. I was like what is that and in the mean time...like some crazy person would be yelling at us. But this wasn’t a person this was something bigger. This was an aggressive sound projected and aimed at us. The fact that it seemed this growl/scream was like in a bull horn pointed right at us. I felt like my shirt collar just vibrate...I don't know if it was the wind...I didn't necessarily feel it in the chest but it just kind of the lower harsh section of the vocalization reverberated you kind of got a vibration from that.
Everything went dead silent and after we heard the movement up the hill nothing happened the rest of the night. We stayed awake until about 2 and we didn't hear a thing. We finally went to bed.
Next morning I woke up around a little before 5 to try to catch some trout for breakfast. As I exited my tent still curious about the night before, I was in the pre-dawn light. I could look up the mountain to see if I could tell what occurred and just above us probably 100 yards still back-lit by the sky, there was a thin quaky aspen grove with some junipers by a cliff, I saw an upright large figure I observed it about 8-10 seconds and it disappeared behind a rock pillar. What I saw was mostly the figure, but it was walking upright. It reached out with it's right arm and kind of pushed part of the couple of aspen trees I got a good side profile of the arm and it was rather large. It disappeared around the rock pillar.
My buddies were still in the tent and I was in shock trying to figure out what this was but I knew I saw an arm and it was upright walking on two feet. As massive as it was it was too large to be a human. I was trying to attach the silhouette to a known animal and I couldn't do it. Somehow was that a moose walking? Antler bumped the tree? I couldn't figure it out. That was pretty much the end of it. I was concerned after the vocalization that whatever it was might come across the creek and try to shoo us out of the area, but I wasn't overly concerned enough to tear off back home with the police or sheriff department. I have seen cougar while grouse hunting and that experience with the screaming was more frightening than the cougar. I was not overly afraid, I was just a little concerned.
They got up about 9 o’clock and one of them that was with us was from the Navajo Reservation, full-blood Navajo. I discussed it a little with them once I got up. That talk got into some other discussion about creatures in legend from the Navajo Nation. But there wasn't a big discussion about what it was. If you would have asked me the following week was what I saw a Bigfoot I would have told you 'no'. Back at that time the only idea of Sasquatch I had ever had was from some books in elementary about Sasquatch. I knew About the Patterson-Gimlin film, but in my mind bf only existed in Oregon, Washington and California. I had heard the stories about the Boy Scout sightings in the mid-70's. My parents owned some property near those sightings.
In the intervening years once I moved up to Oregon I would catch a story here or there about Sasquatch and started reading. It took me fifteen years to realize my encounter was probably with a Sasquatch. During that time period I started learning about what we think we know about Sasquatch. Back then we knew nothing about rock throwing, vocalization, etc... I did not know these things about Squatches. It took me 15 years to realize I had a Squatch encounter. The sounds I have heard online on Stan Courtney's website was a high pitched scream maybe from Klamath that the last end of the vocalization the high pitched section kind of sounds like what I heard. High pitched ear-piercing screams. As a whole I have yet to come across one vocalization that sounds like what I heard that night.
Source: Eyewitness interview conducted via telephone and e-mail by myself.
Posted by Slade at 9:47 PM