The Bear Lake Monster

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 22nd, 2009

Something calling itself “Los Angeles Public Relations” has put out the following “release.”

What can I say? This is one of the worst pieces of writing I’ve seen in a long time, regarding “lake monsters” and I cannot accept this is a true public relations firm. Nevertheless, it is being repeated, in various forms, around the web. I wanted to alert you to it.

I share this dispatch (completely unedited) and photos here as a cautionary tale. It certainly must be read with your best critical thinking cap firmly on your head!

On the Utah-Idaho border there is a folk-lore about a lake monster appearing near Bear Lake. The myth grew from articles written around the 19th century by Joseph C. Rich, a Mormon who colonized in the area, telling about second-hand accounts of sightings of the creature. Although later he recalled the stories.

Other reports had the creature looking anything from a walrus to a dinosaur and others as a large carp. The last known report of a sighting was in 2004. The Bear Bear Lake monster also found fame in the Animal Planet’s “Lost Tapes”.

The story actually started with a man known simply as “Uncle Marty.” Supposedly on the afternoon of August 12, 2007 , Uncle Marty first spotted the monster while shotgunning his third Keystone Light. “As I bit down on the bottom of the can, you know . . . for the shotgun, I saw this giant snake just poke up out of the water. Well I threw down my brewskie, right into the sand and ran to the water.”

Although there were no other witnesses to the sighting, the family who had helped consume gallons of booze ,swear they all saw the beast.

All i can say about this whole story, is it sounds like a bad movie, but if it is real let’s hope it comes up next time and eats someone just like Uncle Marty.

Looks like the Bear Lake Monster mystery still lives on.

Other sites are actually using this release, sometimes with different images, like the above.

Sometimes added material is given, such as below:

The Bear Lake Monster is believed to be like a huge brown sanke of around 90 feet long. It has ears that stick out from the side of its skinny head and its big mouth is capable enough to eat a man. Many say that it has small legs and can swim very fast, even faster than a horse can gallop.

In 1860, four people saw a serpent like creature with about twenty feet vsible which appeared to be covered with short hair. ALso two of its flippers were visible.

Before 1883, a group of men had seen a monster laying on the short of the lake. Soon, the creature was seen hurling itself into the water leaving leaving a lot of commotion. In 2002, Captain Hirschi had reported that he saw a sixty five feel long monster from about two hundred yards.

The Bear Lake Monster sightings are very similar to the Loch Ness monster seen decades back but nothing was proved.

Awful. Just plain awful. Speculation, bad writing, incorrect information, and various details joined together in my pick for worst lake monster item of the month.

Indeed, when a clip from the cryptofiction series, “Lost Tapes,” begins to transmit more correct info that an alleged press release, it is time to worry about the future of internet-based media.

Of course, “Lost Tapes” edited out the fact I said I might consider it a mammal, for that opinion would have been in direct conflict with their other interviewee who supported the “prehistoric reptile” notion. 🙂

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

16 Responses to “The Bear Lake Monster”

  1. mystery_man responds:

    Oh dear, this is just a wretched piece of writing. I’m wondering if the person who wrote it even has a comfortable grasp of the conventions of the English language. The speculation and shoddy information is bad enough, but the writing is just dreadful.

    I cannot believe this came from any sort of legitimate, reputable source. It seems to me like some 12 year old got online, wrote some drivel, and it just took off.

    I have my critical thinking cap on, Loren, but I think whoever wrote this needs another type of cap altogether. A dunce cap.


  2. LanceFoster responds:

    Can anyone say “Batboy” and the “Weekly World News?”

    Not only is the writing and spelling imbecilic, the photo inset (top photo) doesn’t even match the large photo (color, water surface, etc.) Crummy photoshop job.

    Just plain “stoopid.”

    I had concerns when I saw promos for “Lost Tapes”…it looks like a “Fear Factor” type show that takes itself too seriously. At least “Fear Factor” tells the viewer it is fake and shows the set-up as a sort of “Candid Camera” sort of show.

  3. LanceFoster responds:

    Not only is the writing and spelling imbecilic, the photo inset (top photo) doesn’t even match the large photo (color, water surface, etc.)

    Just plain “stoopid.”

    I had concerns when I saw promos for “Lost Tapes”…it looks like a “Fear Factor” type show that takes itself too seriously. At least “Fear Factor” tells the viewer it is fake and shows the set-up as a sort of “Candid Camera” sort of show.

  4. jerrywayne responds:

    Are we dealing with a The Onion type of news parody here?

  5. greatanarch responds:

    ‘shotgunning his third Keystone Light’! What language is this please? Translation?

  6. Loren Coleman responds:

    Greatanarch, I believe this refers to drinking a certain kind of beer rapidly.

  7. geekomancer responds:

    Odd… I recognized one of the images from the video as the so-called “Daedelus Sea Monster.” I had a book on sea monsters from the 80s that had the drawing in it.

  8. cryptidsrus responds:

    Shoddy writing, indeed.

    The fact that I’m an English Major just adds to the discomfort.

    Like Jerrywayne, I actually thought for a second this was some sort of “ONION” -type parody here. I guess not. Like Mystery_Man so aptly put it: FAIL. 🙁

  9. Hoytshooter responds:

    The way this so-called “press release” is written almost sounds like a very poor babel fish translation from some other language. I haven’t had anything translated with babel fish for a long time so I don’t know if it has improved any since my last use. I have to agree with every one that this definitely leaves a lot to be desired.

  10. loopstheloop responds:

    We need more lake monsters that feast on the illiterate frauds in this field.

  11. Mnynames responds:

    As soon as I saw Loren talking about relics from the last Ice Age, I knew he was referring to a Giant Beaver rather than the old hack of a Plesiosaur. There probably is no way you can say something intelligible on tape that someone, somewhere can’t take out of context and spin a different way. ::sigh::

  12. zogstar67 responds:

    Keystone Lite is a brand of cheap beer and shotgunning is something rednecks and frat guys would do, that and the character’s name lead me to strongly suspect that this was originally written as a parody. Not well-written, mind you, but I doubt the author intended anyone to take this seriously.

  13. jerrywayne responds:

    To be technical, “shotgunning” beer is the act of turning an unopened can of beer upside down, making a hole in the bottom for venting, then holding the beer can (still upside down) above your mouth (head tilted back)and “popping” the tab. This will cause the beer to rush out almost all at once, and you try to drink the entire can of beer with a few gulps.
    Juvenile, yes? (Kids, don’t ever try this at home, or anywhere else!)

    Although I am unable to view the video, the first “news” article still looks very much like a parody to me. “Uncle Marty”? “Shotgunning” cheap beer? Obviously mismatched photo and inset? (The scenario played is the stereotypical scoffer’s “lake monster sighting” explanation, a red flag indeed, as well as the ancient map likeness of said sea serpent). Come on guys, this is satirical!

    I mention this because it does cryptozoology no good to have adherents unable to discern a “punking” or practical joke.

  14. Rogutaan responds:

    Oh my God… Just wow. I’m somewhat of a grammar Nazi, but this is just beyond words. My head hurts from reading it.

  15. jum1801 responds:

    I think most of you are missing the point: it’s intentionally bad because it’s satire. The problem with it, and this is a shame, is that so many absolutely serious media releases or media conferences announcing some supposed cryptoid event are so embarrassingly written or managed, that they simply cannot be parodied (e.g., the Georgia Sasquatch Fiasco, more commonly known to the public as the “Those Two In-Bred Good Ol’ Boys Who Put An Ape Suit And Some Pig Guts In The Freezer And Pulled A $50,000 Scam”).

    But whether this one was intended by its creators to be a straight bit of satire, or if it was always meant to be a “gotcha” piece about those “loony Bigfooters and Nessie hunters”; it’s going to turn out as another black eye for cryptozoology in general. In a couple of days people like Jon Stewart, David Letterman, etc., are going to run this “press release”…and then show how many “legit” cryptos bought it hook, line and sinker.


  16. mystery_man responds:

    Yeah, I suppose posters such as jum1801 and jerrywayne are right. This has to be a practical joke. It’s sad that cryptozoology is increasingly the butt of some of these things.

    Hoytshooter- Nope, babel fish is still laughable. As someone who has done his fair share of translating myself (Japanese/English), I can honestly tell you that babel fish is pretty awful (at least with Japanese). The only time I have ever used it was to get a laugh out of some of the inane translations it spews out. In my opinion, it is to be used to gain only the vaguest idea of a foreign text and not a tool for those who are serious about translating or understanding the fine points of what has been translated. I suppose some people have no other choice but to use it or a program like it, but I’d say steer clear if you can at all help it.

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