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 Post subject: Dixie has a “Bigfoot”
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:09 pm 
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The printed voice of Utah’s booming Southwest!
Wednesday April 13, 1977
Dixie has a “Bigfoot”
Sasquatch, the legendary Bigfoot of the Northwest lurks through the evil shadows of a Cascade night carefully stalking his prey. Bigfoot’s tracks have been seen by many as they wandered through the forested mountains of Washington state, but very few people have ever seen the creature. Such is the case with Bigfoot of Utah’s Dixie. His name was not Sasquatch, but he instilled just as much fear in the hearts of the people of the City of Washington.
Children of Washington were startled when they saw that some mammoth creature had been lurking through the town’s streets: they saw footprints at least three feet long. The excited children reported their mysterious discovery to their parents who only clicked their tongues thinking the story to be a product of a child’s active imagination. The children insisted they had seen the three-foot prints in the village’s dusty streets; the parents investigated. News of the footprints ravaged the town like a house fire. Older residents attributed it to some prankster while others were convinced that some mammoth creature was lurking the streets of Washington with the intention of wiping out the whole town. Each night new tracks appeared and each day more and more people were succumbing to the idea that a giant ogre was plotting their destruction. The Indians added to the growing hysteria. They told of a legendary giant who plundered the area killing and kidnapping the children. Still others caused the fear to spread like an advanced malignancy. They said the footprints were those of the Three Nephites; still others claimed they were put there by the feet of the Gadianton Robbers.
The Gadianton theory gained popularity. There had been a sawmill in the mountains adjacent to Pine Valley. Although there were several mills operating in the area, this particular one had some unusual bad luck. The millrace kept breaking; tools disappeared; saw blades were found with the teeth broken. Scores of annoyances caused the workers of the mill to take the problem to Brigham Young who was in Dixie on one of his frequent visits to the southland. Brigham told them the mill was on a site where a band of the Gadianton Robbers had been buried. If they would move the mill to another location their problem would be solved. The story was the source of a great deal of gossip in the town; it must be the Gadianton Robbers.
The tracks were found in the cemetery and in the stone quarry north of the cemetery. They were found mingled with the prints of the residents which caused considerable dismay. The creature had been lurking around Bishop Robert D. Covington’s home where a dance was in progress. They followed the tracks from the bishop’s house north of the cemetery into the rock quarry where the prints petered out. In a luxuriant growth of sage brush across the creek south of town a bed made of shrubs was discovered in which a giant sapient creature had slept.
The community was desperate. Everything that went wrong was attributed to the mysterious visitor. The hens would not lay; the milk soured prematurely; the butter would not come’ and one lady had a miscarriage out of fright. In the wake of despair, a posse was organized to go out at night to hunt the mysterious ogre. Tracks were found among those of the posse, which added another factor to the sweeping panic – that of invisibility.
Young Ithamar Sprague was having the time of his life as he watched the peaceful community turn to hysteria. He knew what the creature was; he was the creature. He went about the town at night with a huge pair of shoes making the prints in the dust. Not only was he doing this, but he actually went out with the hunting parties to find the beast. He was exultant at the success of his project. Only one thing was missing, he had no one to share his triumph. It is not certain how the story leaked out, but one version has it that he had confided the trickery to his terrified wife who whispered the secret to a frightened neighbor who told another neighbor. The news of the hoax spread almost as fast as the news of the footprints. Another story has it that Ithamar was not married and was unable to keep his secret any longer, so he let the cat out the bag. At any rate the hoax was finally exposed.


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This forum will sometimes contain copyrighted information, however, it is placed here under Title 17

Not withstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.