Investigation Report

Location: Wasatch Mountains, Utah
Date: 09 April 1986
Weather Conditions: Clear
Humidity: 32%
Geomagnetic Storm Activity: Unsettled
Temperature: 68
Number of Photos taken: 48
Number with possible targets: 0
Average EM Readings: 3 mg
Average M fields Readings: 2 nt
Average E Field Readings: 2 vpm
Cold Spots detected: None
Hot Spots Detected: None
Olfactory Phenomena: None
Visual Phenomena: None
Type of Investigation: Ghost Hunt

All information and photos Copyright 1986 to 2005 by Cody Polston, Bob Carter and SGHA. All Rights Reserved.

Location Description and History

The product of 20 million years of geologic faulting, volcanic activity, and glaciation, the Wasatch Mountains, the western range of the Rocky Mountains, stretch across Utah from the Bear River in the north to Mount Nebo near Nephi in central part of the state. Most elevations along the range are generally between 9,000 and 10,000 feet; Mount Nebo is the highest peak at 11,877 feet.

Since the earliest days of Mormon settlement, the majority of Utah's population has chosen to settle along the range's western front, where numerous river drainages exit the mountains. The mountains were a vital source of water, timber, and granite for early settlers.

The mountains were first viewed by white men in 1776 when Fathers Francisco Atanasio Dominguez and Silvestre Velez de Escalante traversed the range, exiting near present-day Spanish Fork.

The next entry into the mountains was during the 1820s by fur trappers and traders from Santa Fe and Taos; among them Etienne Provost, from whom the city of Provo takes its name. Following Provost into the Wasatch came British and American trappers, including Peter Skene Ogden, William Ashley, Jedediah Smith, James Bridger, James Clyman, among others. The competition between British and American fur interests throughout the west became moot when, by 1840, silk replaced beaver fur as the height of fashion.

When Mormon loyalty to the United States was questioned during the Civil War, Colonel Patrick Connor and his Third California Infantry were ordered to Utah to establish Fort Douglas at Salt Lake City. With Connor's encouragement, the Californians spent much of their time prospecting for minerals in the Wasatch and other areas near the city.

In 186, prospectors discovered silver, lead, and zinc deposits in the canyons and mountains southeast of Salt Lake City, particularly in Big Cottonwood, Little Cottonwood, and Parley's Canyons. By 1870 towns like Alta and Park City had sprung up and taken on the aspect of other mining towns found throughout the West. Alta at one time supported twenty-six saloons and six breweries, while the major portion of Park City's municipal revenues were received from saloon licenses and fines for prostitution.

Reported Phenomena

This was an impromptu investigation that was performed after hearing of a local legend in a small town bar. According to the legend, there are several mines in the back hills that are haunted by the ghost of a miner that was killed by Indians back in the mid 1800's.

One of the stories told to us about the ghostly miner is recorded below.

"We were hiking up by the mines last summer. It was here that I saw a old time gold miner standing next to one of the mine entrances with lantern in hand watching us as we walked past. I really couldn't believe what I was seeing as I rubbed my eyes to make sure I was really seeing him. It was kindda odd as I have never seen anyone else back there near the old mines. i was also worried that he might try to shoot us or something. Strange, but its just the feeling that I had.

This miner watched us as we went past and he had this look on his face as if he was saying "get off my claim". We kept walking straight and after several seconds I looked back. As i was watching him, the man just vanished. I mean he just vanished into thin air. I haven't been back there ever since."

We also heard several other stories that contained similar events. All of them ended with the miner just vanishing into thin air.


The Investigation

Several of the locals that we talked to have had experiences of their own and were more than willing to show us where the "haunted" mines were located.

The mines are reached after a vigorous back road ride , followed by a strenuous 2 mile hike into the back hills of the mountain range. In this area there are multiple mines, most of which are no more than 100 feet deep. According to the locals, the ghost is guarding his hidden hoard of gold and will chase anyone that enters his mine. Eerie feelings and obnoxious smells are also reported to be associated with this ghost.

By the time we arrived it was 7:00, giving us no more than a few hours to really investigate. We searched through several of the mines, looking for any unusual. The second mine that we investigated was probably the most interesting. Everyone had a strange feeling of being watched while we were in there.


Click on the thumbnails to view the larger image


Conclusions / Confounding Variables

Although we were not able to find anything interesting it is important to note some of the discrepancies in the claims of the witnesses. We asked for more detailed descriptions of the miner and the description wildly vary.

Color of shirt
Color of Beard
Color of pants
Holding Object
Dark Red

When the descriptions of an apparition vary, as in this case, it is often indicative that the witnesses are perceiving an actual person, not a single "ghost".

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