The Bear Lake Monster
The Shoshone had known about the "Devil Fish,"
the spurting serpent that captured swimmers
and sometimes even came ashore on short legs.
Mormon Apostle Charles C. Rich reported that
Marion Thomas and three sons of Phineas Cook
saw the monster while fishing from a boat.
When the distinguished William Budge
and three other respected citizens saw the beast,
Budge wrote to tell Brigham Young about
the long-necked creature with a fox-like face.
Ever the practical businessman,
Brigham Young contacted Phineas Cook,
who was Harvey's grandfather, and struck a deal
"to catch the serpent in the lake at halves."
Brigham would provide supplies, Phineas the labor.
Grandfather Cook attached a huge barbed hook
baited with a leg of mutton to a 20-foot cable,
which he connected to 300 feet of rope
tied to a buoy marked with an American flag.
Another 300 feet of rope extended from the buoy
and was secured to a tree on the shore.
Likely the Bear Lake monster
did not have a taste for mutton.
The rope was eventually used to ferry Brigham
and a visiting entourage across the lake.