LOGAN – The story of the Bear Lake Monster started in the 19th century and the most updated “sighting” was reported in 2002. Now, a local video producer wants to combine and capture the stories and tales of The Bear Lake Monster into a film everyone can enjoy.
Matthew Havertz is creating a narrative documentary-style YouTube video. He said he hopes to teach people about the local mystery many are familiar with.
“I’ve always been interested in folklore, and I actually think these stories help us learn more about our culture and our natural world than we give them credit for,” Havertz said.
For those unfamiliar with the story, the Bear Lake Chamber of Commerce keeps a story about the monster on their website:
“The description of the monster was the following: A creature with a brown-colored body, somewhat bigger in circumference than a man, anywhere from 40 to 200 feet long. Its head was shaped like a walrus without tusks or like an alligator’s, and the eyes were very large and about a foot apart. It had ears like bunches, about the size of a pint cup. It had an unknown number of legs, approximately eighteen inches long, and it was awkward on land, but swam with a serpent-like motion at a speed of at least sixty miles an hour. No one ever described the back part of the animal since the head and forepart was all that was ever seen. The rest was always underwater. Make believe? No one knows for sure. Come on up to Bear Lake and find out for yourself.”
The Bear Lake Monster won’t be the first video Havertz has created that focuses on folklore. He grew up in Davis County and was always fascinated with Kay’s Cross, a roughly 20-foot tall stone cross that was located in northeast Kaysville. The cross was blown up in 1992 by “unknown persons.” Havertz created a YouTube series about the story.
Havertz has gathered a team of talented filmmakers to create the video. Lucas McGraw, a full-time producer, and director of Before Your Time, will be directing the piece, Neal Stucki, a music composition student, will be writing music. Ron Jensen, a professional animator, will help the Bear Lake Monster come to life, and Jameson Smith, a local voice actor, will narrate the piece. The team has turned to crowdfunding to make their vision come to life.
“Even if only several hundred people donated at the basic levels, we would have enough money to make a really spectacular video,” Havertz said. “Also, we expect this video will easily rise to the top of the YouTube search when people look up information about the Bear Lake Monster.”
Money isn’t the only thing the team is searching for; they want stories as well.
“We want to talk to people who have seen the Bear Lake Monster, or who have family stories about it. We want those stories in the film,” Havertz explained.
The documentary-style film will have a mix of interviews and reenactments of the stories they tell. Havertz said it’s going to be entertaining, and not just a “bunch of talking heads.”
The love of folklore doesn’t just come because he loves a good story. Havertz believes these stories are an important part of a community’s history.
“Some make fun of folklore, but folklore encompasses so much more than urban legends like Big Foot or haunted houses. In it’s most basic form, it’s traditions, ideas, and stories passed down by word of mouth. It actually does a lot to further our understanding of our world,” he said.
To learn more about the project, you can visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/in-search-of-the-bear-lake-monster#/