The Bear Lake Monster is a snake-like creature said to inhabit Bear Lake in Utah. The legend of this particular lake monster appears to have originated in newspaper articles written by Joseph C. Rich for the Deseret News in 1868. His stories referred to Indian (Native American) mythology and, based on “eyewitness” reports, described a huge, brown aquatic animal that moved at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour:

Mr. Sleight ways he distinctly saw the sides of a very large animal that he would suppose to be not less than 90 feet in length. Mr. Davis doesn’t think he was any part of the body, but is positive it must not have been less than forty feet in length, judging by the waves it rolled up on both sides of it as it swam, and the wave it left in the rear. It was going south, and all agreed it swam with a speed almost incredible to their senses. Mr. Davis says he never saw a locomotive travel faster, and thinks it made a mile a minute.

Joseph Rich later revealed the stories he had written were a hoax, but that doesn’t stop the occasional modern sighting, or the small tourist industry that has grown up around the Bear Lake Monster.


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