Is Bigfoot in Fremont County, Riverton, Wyoming?
By MINNIE WOODRING - Staff Writer for The Wyoming State Journal (Lander Wyoming)

What is "IT"?
That's the question out on the Reservation now.

Monday evening I received a phone call from a 13-year-old youth, Tom Hernandez, asking me what I knew about"Bigfoot". From the tone of his voice I could tell he was a little frightened and
hesitant fearing ridicule.

After a few questions he told me that about 9 p.m., he and his buddy, Curt Laniger, 13, of Riverton, were on horseback and riding to his grandmother's place, Mrs. George Abeyta, to get their jackets.

Suddenly he saw this "thing" by the haystack to his left. "I saw his head then an arm and leg. The head was awful big, Then it came out and started for us. It was awfully big, and hairy all over. One arm was up like it was crippled or hurt and the other was awful long and hanging down. It was covered with hair. I believe it was at least 12 feet tall."

About that time, Tom said the horse he was riding spooked and he had trouble staying in the saddle. The horse took off towards this grandmother's place and he glanced back to see the
thing cross the lane and enter the field.

Four of us went out to the Abeyta place to meet the boy, and look for footprints. Steve Rogers took his jeep because he had a C.B. radio, and Norma and Don Vircks drove their jeep.

We went to the Dan Abeyta home after we had picked up Tom there in the pasture. Mrs. Gail Abeyta showed footprints she and her husband had observed before. Two were pretty plain, but hard to photograph. They were in the swampy part of the pasture and the party waded in the cold water and mud to see the.

Mrs. Abeyta also showed an area outside the fence where the creature apparently laid down. The grass and weeds were crushed down. This was about midnight and just then a bunch of coyotes began yapping up in the hills, giving one an eerie feeling.

Tuesday morning we visited Chief of Police Bill King and told him the story. He contacted the Lander police station and asked for Chopper. Nate Adam soon arrived with Chopper and met us at the Abeyta pace. Chopper was unsuccessful in his search for a scent as by that time the Wind River police car and others drew too many to the scene. People appeared out of nowhere.

Tom Hernandez told his story gain to Chief King. King said that for the past month he had heard several rumors of the hairy creature being sighted. He was reported seen a month ago near Riverton and as far as up North Fork and in between.

"This is the first time I have had an actual report of it being seen. I would like to see a real good footprint of the creature."

Don Vircks measured the print at the Abeyta place and said it had a larger and deeper heel than usual, and an above normal instep. Vircks said apparently it had only two toes on that foot. He estimated the foot to be a size 16 to 18.

Chief Bill King said that all animals on the Reservation found killed the past month had been accounted for, so the creature wasn't eating lambs, calves, or other livestock from the ranchers. According to reports the creature stays close to water and was seen either early in the morning or late evening.

According to Lew George it was spotted near the Hudson coal mines nearly a month ago and someone said there were tracks around Ray Lake.

Tuesday, Tom Hernandez was still a little frightened and said, "No way can anyone make me believe it was my imagination. I SAW that thing and I believe it was a big hairy manlike creature." When he was talking to Vircks he looked up at him and said, "He was a lot bigger than you." And Don Vircks sure isn't a midget.

The JOURNAL is interested in pursuing this and if this creature is spotted again or someone finds plain footprints please notify us and Chief of Police Bill King.

For years California had such a creature and even was able to obtain a hazy photograph. This one was dubbed Bigfoot. Maybe, just maybe, Bigfoot has come to Wyoming, Fremont County.

Copyright: Wyoming State Journal (Lander Wyoming);
August 24, 1972
Article Credit Source: Ron Schaffner, Creature Chronicles...

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