; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Unexplained Noisy 'Humanoid' Encountered in Utah's Uinta Mountains

A teen girl and her grandfather encounter a noisy unexplained humanoid while hunting in the remote Uinta Mountains of Utah

"Here are details and specifics on an experience. Let me first clarify that this was 4 years ago, when I was 15 on a muzzleloaders mule deer hunt in the far north eastern part of Utah, which contains some of the most remote (and beautiful) places in the state. I’ve been frequently out in this area spreading in Summit County that cuts in and out of lower Wyoming since before I can remember. This includes lots of hiking, backpacking, camping, hunting and being involved in some of my now retired grandfather’s work as a biologist/conservation officer and wildlife/land manager. I am skeptical of things not proven by methods of science, but I don’t deny all of those things. I find that it’s impossible for science to know of all that is out there in our vast world.

My grandfather has seen mountain lions, bears, birds of all kinds, small mammals, ruminants, plants and natural phenomena for a majority of his life, and he understands so much that many people, including myself, will never be able to even imagine. He’s scientific, honest straight forward, level headed. He’s agnostic and is not superstitious and often used to (lovingly and respectfully) tease a certain CO who thinks certain bigfoot, skinwalkers and other beings exist. Other than this experience, he has never encountered an animal that he could not at least partially (if not completely) identify, Other than the natural, innate fear of being in close quarters with a bear, a drunken and belligerent hunter, or incredibly potent tranquilizer medication, he’s told me over and over he’s never been terrified of an animal or experience like this, only curious or surprised.

It was late September and we were in a small camp by a lake in the high Uinta Mountains, hunting both grouse and mule deer with muzzleloaders. The camp was a small collection of men and women my grandfather had worked with over the years as a supervisor/biologist/CO and these were people I grew up with. One of the women (a new wife to one of the guys) had shot a buck deer, injuring but not killing it immediately and they had lost track of it, Devastated by the thought of wasting the animal, she returned to camp in the afternoon upset, and concerned that the deer had run into an even more secluded area of the mountain which was hard to reach from the trail that she had shot from. This was a place my grandfather was familiar with because it was such a pain in the ass to get to, with lots of deadfall and steep terrain. We volunteered to go in the late afternoon to search for the deer, following a scant blood trail that she had tracked for a while before getting fatigued and intimidated by the terrain. Because both my grandfather and I were in good shape and he was so familiar, it didn’t seem like a big deal. Before we left she mentioned hearing what she assumed was coyotes, which made her even more so concerned that if the deer died, they would ruin the meat and hide before she could harvest it.

We took off in the early evening, expecting to be back within an hour or two after searching and having our guns with us, in case we found the animal still alive or came across another buck worth trying to harvest. It was steep in places, with lots of deadfall of varying heights making the hike slower and more tedious than we had hoped, making us understand the other hunter’s fatigue. She had marked the blood trail with bright orange pieces on the trees which we followed for maybe 20 minutes and then it got hard to track. The sun was getting close to setting at this point and we knew getting out would be just as long as getting in. We had just about decided to stop when we found a spot near a fallen tree that looked like it had been recently bedded down in, followed with spatters of fairly fresh blood and we continued for longer.

When the sun had just about set and the light had faded from the trees, we removed the firing caps from our guns to make them now completely safe as it was now illegal and irresponsible to hunt in such absence of decent light. My grandfather pulled out his large maglite flashlight from his pack and I put in my head lamp to begin the hike back, using our GPS to find the trailhead.

About 10 minutes on the way back, we started to hear more movement among the trees. It was normal for animals to start moving now that the sun had gone down, as animals would likely be starting to head towards clearings for water or to graze in the safety of lower light. Small and distant sounds of crunching leaves, patterings of hooves animals or small bits of movement in the trees from squirrels or birds were common and expected. We did not expect the deafening, disturbing sound we heard next, which vaguely and initially reminded me of a coyote howl, but by a few seconds in it was unidentifiable, frightening and human-like. It started with what sounded like a person screaming, but then got louder and more intense, with a screech to it. So unlike any coyote, or any animal we had ever heard. Then was the almost chittering that came in between the shrieks, and the movement of the trees becoming almost calculated, almost threatening. We stopped dead in our tracks, frozen as my grandfather started using the light to look around. I was far more freaked out than him at this point. He just seemed perplexed, curious, and a little baffled at what could make that sound. It sounded human, but with no words, with no urge of tone of “help” or “I’m just screaming to mess with you.” We continued on after it mostly stopped, and it seemed like the other, natural and distant sounds had gone almost silent. I listened intently to the sound of my boots crunching with the dry aspen leaves underfoot, trying to tell myself that it was just some weird coyote with a horribly deformed larynx or something.

Maybe 20 minutes from the main trail that would lead us to the truck, we heard the chattering sound again and sounds of thumping against dead trees. Looking around with our lights, in between dead fall maybe 12-15 feet in front of us was a large-human looking thing. It was almost hunched down with long, slender arm around the front of a standing aspen. The aspen of course was pale white with the knots being dark brown, and whatever it was had skin almost as pale. I caught a very brief glimpse of its face. It seemed round and the eyes seemed sunken and I could not tell you eye color other than a flash of reflection on the eye from my light, and that it’s face seemed sunken and emaciated. I didn’t seen any fur or hair. I never felt like it looked right at me, more my grandfather and just in our direction almost confused and curious, like he was before with the sound. For a mere couple of seconds I caught a glimpse of it, but that was it. I looked down at the ground holding my eyes shut tight trying to imagine being safe and secure in the truck, and my grandfather took a few stumbling steps backward toward me.

I heard the thing go off to our side, moving quickly and with purpose through the trees, to the side and then dropped down behind us I would assume according to the sound. But I hope it went in the opposite direction. My grandfather turned to where it had veered off, as to follow it, but he soon stopped and looked at me. I had never before and never since seen him so confused, baffled, horrified, curious and in awe. I was crying at this point, ugly crying trying to muffle my shaking breath and voice, and I asked him “what was that???” Over and over I asked, and he had no answer for me. He pulled his gun off his shoulder (sling) and put a cap back on the nipple of the igniter, making the gun “live” and he then carried it in front of his body in his arm. He pulled out another head light to put on himself.

We started walking again towards the trail, as he listed off as like talking to himself as to what it WASNT, things like “couldn’t of been a deer or elk or moose. It had arms, it was hunched, it stood upright” or “a bear? A very sick bear? It could’ve been a bear. Was it the light?”. We heard the sound, the screeching human howl distantly once more before reaching the trail, which was dirt and gravel but fairly flat and no deadfall. We practically jogged to the truck. I locked the doors immediately and sobbed, and my grandfather turned on music as loud as possible to try to distract me on the way back to camp. I was a mess when we arrived back, and he went to talk with the others by the fire when he got me settled in my sleeping bag in my bunk. He explained some to his friends but I don’t know what all was said.

The next day everyone was extra sweet to me, trying to comfort me and saying it was probably a sick animal that looked scary in the dark. The deer the hunter shot was found the next day in the daylight, scavenged quite harshly by what I assume was coyotes. To this day, he has no clue what it was, nor what that sound was, and before and since I’ve heard both coyote and many other animal sounds that never even compared to that sound. The scientist in me, and in him, the hopeful and blissfully ignorant people in us hope and speculate it was just a deformed, sick animal in scant light but I still have no clue of what that thing was, and I hope I never ever experience it again." SS

NOTE: The Uinta Mountain range is north of the Uinta Basin, the area where the infamous Skinwalker Ranch is located. Lon



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