Brought to my attention by Scott Mardis. I had heard some of this before including the denunciation, but this is the first time I had heard all of it.
The Bear Lake Monster: You Can Lead a Hoax to Water, but You Can’t Make it Sink“The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made” – Groucho Marx
It’s hard work to stage a hoax. That’s why I haven’t tried it yet. You can’t just invent something out of thin air and expect everyone to believe it (unless apparently, you are a Congressman or software called SCIgen that randomly generates well-formatted nonsense, and managed to get 120 papers published with scientific subscription services before folks started noticing). There may be a sucker born every minute, but for a few hundred years we’ve been cultivating a slightly more suspicious form of rube, equally likely to assume a conspiracy, as to fall for your garden variety, poorly-constructed hoax. University of Nevada rhetorician Lynda Walsh’s Sins Against Science, offers a “Brief Natural History of Hoaxing”, usefully suggesting a number of sociological components necessary to perpetrate a highly successful hoax, including: “treatment of a particular social tension; resistance to closure; parasitism on other genres; display of genius of hoaxer; construction of agonistic relationship between author and reader; argumentation at the stasis of existence; effacement of textuality; destabilization of reality; construction of insider/outsider dynamic; division of audience according to differing world views; dependence on news media” (Walsh, 2006, p17). This is a fancy way of saying (and I admit a fondness for fanciness) that a hoax must be anchored in a historical and cultural context. I mean, some nice Jewish boy (or composite of nice Jewish boys) does actually have to wander around telling everyone to be decent to each other and then get nailed to a cross by the Romans for his troubles in order to rise again and launch a new mythology, right? When the hoaxer’s cunning ruse is revealed, we have a tendency, presumably out of sheer embarrassment, to forget that the rhetorical prestidigitation that breathed life into a tall tale had not just folkloric precursors, but also continued to manifest long after the joke was publically explained. If we were to find a government warehouse filled with Roswell stage props, would it be logical to conclude that aliens have never visited New Mexico, or that a savvy Cold War propagandist was capitalizing on an increasing numbers of UFO sightings that had fixed the possibility of extraterrestrial visitors in public consciousness for his own nefarious purposes? A hoax is typically treated as the exception that disproves the rule, invalidating both what came before and what comes after. Consider Utah’s Bear Lake Monster, which seems to illustrate novelist Angela Carter’s maxim that, “In a secular age, an authentic miracle must purport to be a hoax, in order to gain credit in the world”.
Bear Lake is a 250,000 year old, 18 mile long, 208 foot deep freshwater lake on the Utah/Idaho border sometimes referred to as “The Caribbean of the Rockies” due to its brilliant turquoise color (caused by high limestone content). Biologists have noted a high level of “endemism” (meaning several evolutionarily unique species have been found in the lake, including the Bonneville cisco, Bonneville whitefish, Bear Lake whitefish, and Bear Lake sculpin). And as luck would have it, Bear Lake is reputed to be home to a crazy, chimerical cryptid said to look something like a forty-foot long amphibious bastard child of an enormous snake and gargantuan otter. If ever there was a dream within a dream, it was the Bear Lake Monster, attested to by Native American legend, deliberately hoaxed between 1868-1870, and then appearing with some regularity even after the esteemed hoaxer unmasked himself well into the 20th Century, and even into the early 21st Century (the last recorded sighting by a local business owner in 2002). A monster that is first a myth, then a hoax, then an occasionally sighted strange phenomena (and sometimes tourist attraction) induces a sort of existential vertigo, smacking us in the face with the absurdity of both our belief and disbelief. No doubt, this is why much folklore outlasts its own hoaxing, since if you have a sneaking suspicion that Elvis never died, you’ll treat adequate impersonators with a measure of respect. Just in case. And two Elvis impersonators in the same room might lead to a brain aneurism. This is problematic for the monster hunter as those disinclined to allow for the possibility of the anomalistic, point to an instance of hoaxing as proof positive that the root of all legend is in some sort of primordial con job. A crop circle can be hoaxed, thus all crop circles are hoaxes. The credulous are often all too willing to believe that a hoax was a deliberate attempt by unscrupulous agents of “fill in the blank” to cast aspersions at what they themselves know to be true. As usual, the elusive truth (be it the authenticity of the cultural tradition or the unrecognized reality of something exceedingly odd) resides in the interstitial spaces.
Contrary to popular opinion, the history of Utah does not start with the Mormons. Three thousand years before the white man arrived, the Anasazi and Fremont tribes had settled in Utah, but by the 15th Century both had either migrated away or disappeared. By the 18th Century, the Navajo, Ute, Goshute, Paiute, and Shoshone had taken up residence, with the Shoshone as the primary indigenous population in the Bear Lake region when the first French-Canadian trappers started stumbling through regularly starting around 1818 (some Spanish conquistadors traipsed through in the 1500’s, but they didn’t hang around). The folks of the Church of Latter Day Saints started arriving in 1847, and Utah, formerly a Mexican territory, was officially ceded to the United States in the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican-American War. Eventually, the Utah Territory (1850-1896) became a state (but not quite as large a chunk of land as the “State of Deseret” that they had envisioned when they made their application). Most of the population in the 1800’s lived in the Salt Lake City area, which of course features a nice, big salty lake, so it’s no wonder that folks started eyeing a freshwater source like Bear Lake and settling in the area. The pioneering Mormons noticed that the local Shoshone avoided getting too close to the water’s edge around Bear Lake, and when they inquired were informed that far too many people had been eviscerated by the monsters that dwelt there over the course of two hundred years of Shoshone settlement (although some scholars have speculated that an ancestral people related to the Shoshone, called the Numa, were actually in the area for thousands of years).
Many years ago when the Mormons first came to Bear Lake, and began mingling with the Indians, they noticed the Red men always avoided the lake when possible, and became very much alarmed at the whites when they went boating or bathing, on or in the lake. The white people wondered what could be the reason for their fear, so one day they inquired of one of the Indians, who told them the following legend of the Bear Lake monster: It was the custom of their forefathers to go bathing, and fishing in the lake. It sometimes happened, that some of them would not return. In some mysterious way, which the Indians could not understand, they were taken away. One day a large monster was seen to rise out of the water and catch one of the braves, while bathing in the lake. Often after this it was seen by the Indians at different places in the lake. So the story was handed down from their forefathers. Always the Indians remembered the silence, the waiting, the longing for the Indian braves who never returned to their wigwams. True to their memories and the fear of some command given by the chiefs, the Indians never entered the shimmering waters of the lake. Long they watched for the monster’s return and even now feel that when the buffalo return to their old hunting grounds and feed in their old haunts, that the Bear Lake monster in all his fury and strength will return (Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association, 1917, p271).
The Shoshone explained the presence of the Bear Lake Monster as the result of a forbidden love between a Sioux warrior and lovely Bannock lady (the Bannock are another tribe closely related to the Shoshone) and the subsequent intervention of the Great Spirit.
No Indian was ever known to launch his canoe upon it, to bathe in it, or even to fish from its banks. They believe it to be sacred to the monsters of its depths, and dare not pollute its waters, or take from them a single fish put there for the food of the dreaded proprietors. The legend is that centuries ago, when the Sioux and Bannocks were at war, a chief of the former tribe became enamored of a dusky Bannock maiden. The course of true love, which never did run smooth, led them over mountains and canons in their escape from the pursuit of the hostile tribes, whose members were for the time in league for mutual vengeance. At last, like the Highlander with Lord Ullin’s daughter, they came to the shores of the lake, their angry relatives close behind. There was no gallant old ferryman willing to risk his life for the “winsome lady,” and so they plunged into the waves to become targets for arrows and tomahawks. But suddenly the Great Spirit transformed them into two enormous serpents. Rearing their heads from the water they shot from their mouths a volley of beach stones on their paralyzed foes, but few of whom escaped to hand down to succeeding generations the warning to beware of this enchanted lake. Aside from all such superstition as this, there really is good reason to believe that the lake is inhabited by some abnormal water animals. We conversed with seven persons, among them our friend, the bishop, who at different times had seen them, and they told us that many other individuals could verify their report. The length of these monsters varies from thirty to eighty feet, and their bodies are covered with fur like that of a seal. The head is described like that of an alligator. In one instance the animal came close to the shore, and was entangled in the rushes, where he squirmed and splashed, and made a horrible noise like the roaring of a bull (Codman, 1879, p275-276).
Along comes Joseph Coulson Rich (1841-1908), son of the Apostle Charles C. Rich, Bear Lake County representative to the Idaho Territorial legislature and member of the Mormon religious-political organization called “The Council of Fifty” (official theological name of the group was “The Kingdom of God and His Laws with the Keys and Power thereof, and Judgment in the Hands of His Servants, Ahman Christ”). In short, Joseph Coulson Rich was a big-shot in the world of the Church of Latter Day Saints, and apparently had some aspirations as a journalist (he was a correspondent for the Deseret News). The July 27, 1868 issue of The Deseret News printed Rich’s account of his “research” into the Bear Lake Monster, and a Bear Lake Monster flap ensued.
All lakes, caves and dens have their legendary histories. Tradition loves to throw her magic wand over beautiful dells and lakes and people them with fairies, giants and monsters of various kinds. Bear Lake has also its monster tale to tell, and when I have told it, I will leave you to judge whether or not its merits are merely traditionary. The Indians say there is a monster animal which lives in the Lake that has captured and carried away Indians while in the Lake swimming; but they say it has not been seen by them for many years, not since the buffalo inhabited the valley. They represent it as being of the serpent kind, but having legs about eighteen inches long on which they sometimes crawl out of the water a short distance on the shore. They also say it spurts water upwards out of its mouth. Since the settlement of this valley several persons have reported seeing a huge animal of some kind that they could not describe; but such persons have generally been alone when they saw it, and but little credence have been attached to the matter, and until this summer the “monster question” had about died out. About three weeks ago Mr. S. M. Johnson, who lives on the east side of the lake at a place called South Eden was going to the Round Valley settlement, six miles to the South of this place and when about half way he saw something in the lake which at the time, he thought to be a drowned person. The road being some little distance from the water’s edge he rode to the beach and the waves were running pretty high. He thought it would soon wash into shore. In a few minutes two or three feet of some kind of an animal that he had never seen before were raised out of the water. He did not see the body, only the head and what he supposed to be part of the neck. It had ears or bunches on the side of its head nearly as large as a pint cup. The waves at times would dash over its head, when it would throw water from its mouth or nose. It did not drift landward, but appeared stationary, with the exception of turning its head. Mr. Johnson thought a portion of the body must lie on the bottom of the lake or it would have drifted with the action of the water. This is Mr. Johnson’s version as he told me. The next day an animal of a monster kind was seen near the same place by a man and three women, who said it was swimming when they first saw it. They represented [it] as being very large, and say it swam much faster than a horse could run on land. These recent discoveries again revived the “monster question.” Those who had seen it before brought in their claims anew, and many people began to think the story was not altogether moonshine. On Sunday last as N. C. Davis and Allen Davis, of St. Charles, and Thomas Slight and J. Collings of Paris, with six women, were returning from Fish Haven, when about midway from the latter named place to St. Charles their attention was suddenly attracted to a peculiar motion or wave in the water, about three miles distant. The lake was not rough, only a little disturbed by a light wind. Mr. Slight says he distinctly saw the sides of a very large animal that he would suppose to be not less than ninety feet in length. Mr. Davis don’t think he (Davis) saw any part of the body, but is positive it must have been not less than 40 feet in length, judging by the wave it rolled upon both sides of it as it swam, and the wake it left in the rear. It was going South, and all agreed that 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, easy. In a few minutes after the discovery of the first, a second one followed in its wake; but it seemed to be much smaller, appearing to Mr. Slight about the size of a horse. A large one, in all, and six small ones had [sic: "hied?"] southward out of sight. One of the large ones before disappearing made a sudden turn to the west, a short distance; then back to its former track. At this turn Mr. Slight says he could distinctly see it was of a brownish color. They could judge somewhat of their speed by observing known distances on the other side of the lake, and all agree that the velocity with which they propelled themselves through the water was astonishing. They represent the waves that rolled up in front and on each side of them as being three feet high from where they stood. This is substantially their statement as they told me. Messrs. Davis and Slight are prominent men, well known in this country, and all of them are reliable persons whose veracity is undoubted. I have no doubt they would be willing to make affidavits to their statement. There you have the monster story so far as completed, but I hope it will be concluded by the capture of one sometime. If so large an animal exists in this altitude and in so small a lake, what could it be? It must be something new under the sun, the scriptural text to the contrary, not withstanding. Is it fish, flesh or serpent, amphibious and fabulous or a great big fish, or what is it? Give it up but have hopes of someday seeing it, if it really exists, and I have no reason to doubt the above statements. Here is an excellent opportunity for some company to bust Barnum on a dicker for the monster, if they can only catch one; already some of our settlers talk of forming a joint stock arrangement and what they can do to the business (J.C.R [presumably Joseph C. Rich], Deseret News, July 27, 1868).
Joseph C. Rich was a prominent and well respected figure in the early Mormon settlement of Utah, but he also had an established reputation as a humorist and prankster. He was living on the Idaho side of Bear Lake, which at the time was considered “the Boondocks”, since most of the action was happening in Salt Lake City to the south. Rich was 27 years old in 1868 and in love with a young lady from a prominent Salt Lake City family, who had not consented to marry him as she was a city girl, and didn’t relish the idea of moving to the more rural Bear Lake area. Basically, if he wanted to get the girl, he needed to put Bear Lake on the map, so to speak. And thus began the era of the Bear Lake Monster hoax. The Millennial Star, the longest continuously published periodical of the Church of Latter Day Saints (1840-1970), and oddly published out of Manchester, England in dutifully recording news from Utah for its readers repeatedly mentioned additional sightings of the Bear Lake Monster from 1868 to about 1880.
Charles C. Rich, jun., reported Bear Lake Valley free from grasshoppers, with every prospect of good crops. The “Bear Lake monster” had come up again. Marion Thomas and three sons of Phineas II. Cook were on the lake in a boat, fishing, opposite Swau Creek, and came near his majesty. Brother Thomas describes its head as serpent-shaped. He saw about twenty feet of its body, which was covered with hair or fur, something like an otter, and light brown. It had two flippers, extending from the upper part of the body, which he compared to the blades of his oars. He was so near it that if he had had a rifle he could have shot it (“Utah News”, Latter Day Saints Millennial Star, June 21, 1870).
Interestingly, the Rich family seems to keep reappearing in the reports and it has often been presumed that a number of people who were mentioned were all too happy to lend their names to Joseph Rich’s concocted accounts in the interest of good publicity for Bear Lake. Rich himself suggested that perhaps noted showman P.T. Barnum should try to capture the beast and charge the public for viewing. Rich made several tongue in cheek statements along the way, saying things like the Monster was “absolutely essential to keep the fish from overrunning the country”. Yet, with some regularity various periodicals would mention additional sightings of the fearsome denizen of Bear Lake. Incidentally, Joseph Rich did get the girl in the end, marrying his love Ann Eliza Hunter in 1869 (and she moved to Bear Lake, so it looks like his plan worked).
Brothers Milando Pratt and Thomas, son of Elder C. C. Rich, had a view of the “Bear Lake Monster,” July 19, south of Fish Haven. They report that “their attention was attracted by an unusual commotion in the waters of the lake, and looking in the direction they presently saw the head and a portion of the body of a creature larger round than the body of a man, the head resembling somewhat the pictorial representations of the walrus, minus the tusks. The portion of the body out of the water was about ten feet long. Several shots were fired, but missed the creature. It swam away in the direction of the cast side of the lake, its track being marked by a wavy, serpentine motion. Its entire length was apparently about forty feet. The young men had a view of this denizen of the deep for about fifteen minutes. One enterprising citizen, determined if possible to capture one of these animals, has a large rope, to which is attached a very strong hook well baited, tied round a stout tree” (“Utah News”, Latter Day Saints Millennial Star, September 6, 1870).
By 1870, the game was up, and pretty much everybody knew it. A new literary movement was also afoot in Utah, associated with a periodical called The Keepapitchinin (“A Semi-Occasional Paper, Devoted to Cents, Scents, Sense and Nonsense”), generally thought of as one of the earliest humor periodicals in the West. Sort of a cowboy Mad Magazine. And lo and behold, one of the noted contributors listed was Joseph C. Rich (who went by the nickname “Saxey” – which personally I think he earned given his elaborate, yet successful plan to convince his love to marry him), and by 1870 he was credited as the man who made the Bear Lake Monster.
Distinguished Contributors to Our Columns: Uno Hoo, Tibet Yerlife, By Jingo, Resurgam, Viator, Another Trollop, Saxey–well known as the inventor of the Bear Lake monster (The Keepapitchinin, April 1, 1870, p15)
Of course, with the clear admission that Joseph C. Rich’s original story was a complete fabrication, the Bear Lake Monster became a figure of great fun and local humorists poked fun at the notion by concocting hilarious interviews with the sea monster.
Bro. Simpkins of Ogden sends a startling account of his interview with the Bear Lake Monster. It seems that Bro. Simpkins had determined to take him dead or alive, and for that purpose went to Bear Lake, a short time since. Being exhausted by his journey, he thought it prudent to rest himself upon its banks, when his slumbers were suddenly disturbed by the appearance of the above head over his prostrate form. In this critical situation, our hero fortunately had sufficient presence of mind to rapidly sketch his portrait. The monster, greatly amused, looked over his shoulder while he was thus engaged, nodding approval now and then; but suddenly, being dissatisfied with some pencil stroke, he snapped at the head of our hero, who sprang into the tree as here represented. Simpkins represents him as decidedly playful when calm; but there is a sinister expression in his countenance when aroused. Simpkins is quite certain that he could have captured him had not he (Simpkins) been taken unawares; as it was, it never happened to occur to his mind. The confusion incident upon a sudden awakening somewhat embarrassed him. He would know better How to go to work next time. He is sorry that his business is in such a condition-that he will be obliged to forego the pleasure of a second attempt. (“Bear Lake Monster – Great Excitement in the Waters of Bear Lake – Big Fish Eating the Little Ones”, The Keepapitchinin, April 1, 1870, p12).
Still, not everybody was in on the joke. John Hanson Beadle (1840-1897) was a professional journalist from Indiana who spent eight years travelling the American West, and one of those years as the editor of the Salt Lake Reporter. Beadle wrote a series of books with titles like Brigham’s Destroying Angel, The Undeveloped West, and Life in Utah – The Mysteries and Crimes of Mormonism. In case you didn’t catch it, Beadle did not like Mormons. He mentions the Bear Lake Monster as he snidely derides both the geography and people of the Bear Lake area.
Bear Lake, a mere “tarn” among the mountains, extending from Cache Valley into Idaho, is chiefly notable as the home of the ” Bear Lake Monster,” a nondescript with a body half seal, half serpent, and a head somewhat like a sea lion, which has often been seen and described by Indians and Mormons, but never by white Christians, that I have heard of. It has never been properly classified or named, as it is invisible when scientific observers are at hand, but from the descriptions current among the latter-day Philosophers, I judge it to be a relic of that extinct species generally denominated the “Ginasticutis” (Beadle, 1870, p456).
The Shoshone legends had long been known. Joseph Rich had revealed his scheme by 1870, yet puzzlingly, sightings of the Bear Lake Monster by credible witnesses did not end there.
Bear Lake is perhaps preeminent for its mysterious reputation, inasmuch as there is abundant testimony on record—or the formally registered oath, moreover, of men whom I know from personal acquaintance to be incapable of willful untruth—of the actual existence at the present day of an immense aquatic animal of some species as yet unknown to science. Now credulity is both a failing and a virtue—a failing when it arises from ignorance, a virtue when it arises from an intelligent recognition of possibilities. Any ignoramus, for instance, can believe in the existence of the sea-serpent. And Professor Owen, one of the very wisest of living men, is quite ready to accept testimony as to the existence of a monster of hitherto unrecorded dimensions. But while the former will take his monster in any shape it is offered to him, the professor, as he told me himself, will have nothing unless it is a seal or a cuttlefish. In these two directions recent facts as to size go so far beyond previous data that it is within the scientific possibilities that still larger creatures of both species may be some day encountered, and until the end of time, therefore, the limit of size can never be positively said to have been reached. With this preamble, let me say that I believe in the Bear Lake monster, and I have these reasons for the faith that is in me: that the men whose testimony is on record are trustworthy and agree as to their facts, and that their facts point to a very possible monster —in fact, a fresh-water seal or manatee. Driving along the shore of the lake one day, a party surprised the monster basking on the bank. They saw it go into the water with a great splash, and pursued it, one of the party firing at it with a revolver as it swam swiftly out toward the middle of the lake. The trail on the beach was afterward carefully examined, and the evidence of the party placed on record at once. Other men, equally credible, have also seen “the monster,” but, in my opinion, the experience of the one party referred to above sufficiently substantiates the Indian legends, and establishes the existence of this aquatic nonpareil. Let the Smithsonian see to it (Robinson, “Saunterings in Utah”, 1883).
And by 1907, even more disturbing accounts of encounters with the Bear Lake monster emerged, and this time he was decidedly not posing for portraits, rather gobbling up horses.
We camped on the eastern shore of Bear Lake just after sundown. After getting our horses tied to a large tree near the water’s edge, and fed, we started to prepare our supper. My partner, Mr. Horne, called my attention to something out in the lake about a half mile. As we watched, it would sink into the water for a second then out again. The lake being perfectly calm we couldn’t account for the strange object, but it came nearer to us and still going down and out of the water. Had it not been for this we would have thought it a gasoline launch or some other vessel. It was now close enough for us to see that it was some water monster. We grabbed our 30-30 rifles and each of us fired at it, but could not see that we hit him, although he turned slightly to the south. Before we had time to fire again he turned towards us. Our horses were now very frightened, one of which broke loose. We stepped back into the trees a few feet and both fired, and my God, for the growl that beast let, then started towards us like a mad elephant. We ran up the hillside a few rods to a slift of rocks and then began to shoot as rapidly as possible. With every shot he seemed to get more strength and growl more devilish. The animal was now so close to shore that we couldn’t see it for the trees. We thought of our horse that was tied to the tree and after reloading our guns we ran down to protect him if possible. Just as we reached our campfire, which was blazing up pretty well, we could see that ugly monster raise his front paw and strike the horse to the ground. Then he turned and started for deep water. In our excitement we began to pour lead at him again, and then with a terrific growl made a terrible swish in the water and sprang toward us. Before we could move he grabbed the horse with his two front paws, opened its monstrous mouth and crashed its teeth into it like a bullterrier would a mouse. After tearing the horse badly he made an awful howl and then was gone, plowing through the water. But the sight I’ll never forget. It seemed to be all head, two large staring eyes as large as a front wagon wheel, nose and mouth like a great largo fish. Its arms seemed to come out on either side of its head where the ears naturally would be. The hind legs were long’ and bent like that of the kangaroo. Then the hind end was like the tip end of a monster fish. We walked to a ranch up the shore, a quarter of a mile and staid till morning. When we went back in the morning we found the animal had come back again in the night and carried the dead horse off. He also broke off trees four and five inches through. Also tore largo holes in the beach, and its tracks were like those of a bear, but measuring three feet long and nearly two feet wide. We could not tell if our bullets would go through his hide or not, but noticed some of them would glance off and hum like they had struck one of his teeth, which always seemed to show. As there was so much blood from the mangled horse, we could not tell whether the beast of the lake was bleeding. Yours respectfully, T. R. MOONEY, FRED HORNE (Letter from Mooney and Horne, The Logan Republican, September 18, 1907).
Journalist Curtis MacDougall once said, “When a hoax achieves the longevity to qualify for classification as either myth or legend, hope of stopping it almost may be abandoned”. Of course, in order for a hoax to be plausible, it has to ground itself in cultural traditions that lend it an air of credence, just as Rich’s concocted Bear Lake Monster relied heavily on stories long told by the Shoshone. The Bear Lake Monster has long since become the mascot of the Bear Lake region (with a sea-serpent tourist boat and a “fun run” named after him), but perhaps we should take note of the fact that the Bear Lake Monster was around before and after the 1868-1870 publicity stunt. When it comes to anomalous phenomena, a hoax is a sort of fulcrum under the lever of belief, exerting the force of mythology against the resistance of rationalism, immovable when we reduce the folkloric experience to whimsy, but inching ever so slightly upward as we explore the historical roots and contemporary sightings that surround someone’s merry prank. As Marcus Tullius Cicero warned us, “So near is falsehood to truth that a wise man would do well not to trust himself on the narrow edge”.
Beadle, J. H. 1840-1897. Life in Utah: Or, The Mysteries And Crimes of Mormonism; Being an Exposé of the Secret Rites And Ceremonies of the Latter-Day Saints, With a Full And Authentic History of Polygamy And the Mormon Sect From Its Origin to the Present Time. Philadelphia, Pa.: National Publishing Company, 1870.
Codman, John, 1814-1900. The Round Trip by Way of Panama through California, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, And Colorado. New York: G.P. Putnam’s sons, 1879.
Mooney, T.R. & Horne, Fred. “Bear Lake Monster Appears: Leviathan Comes from Lake and Devours Horse While Men Shoot at It”. The Logan Republican. Logan, Utah. September 18, 1907.
Robinson, Phil. “Saunterings in Utah”. Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York: Harper & Bros. Vol. 67, 1883.
The Keepapitchinin. Salt Lake City, Utah: [G.J. Taylor and J.C. Rich], Vol. 2, Issues 1-23, 1870.
The Latter-Day Saints’ Millennial Star. Manchester, England: Parley P. Pratt, Vol. 32, 1870.
Walsh, Lynda. Sins Against Science. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2006.
Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association, Salt Lake City. The Young Woman’s Journal v28. Salt Lake City, Utah, 1917.