Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Seven Top Fortean Wonders of Utah



I'm copying. While Fortean Times is holding their 7 Fortean wonders election, and the 7 US Fortean Wonders have been announced, I decided to submit my choices for the top 7 Fortean Wonders of Utah. I believe they can hold their own with the best.

Below is a preliminary list, in no particular order:

Summum
Gilgal Gardens
The Koyle Dream Mine
The SLC Downtown Tunnels
The Virgin Mary Tree
The Miracle of the Gulls
Skinwalker Ranch


I'm sure I need to ruminate on it a bit more--I know I left out the Bear Lake Monster, and probably loads of other obvious ones. I'm accepting nominations & arguments for a definitive list.

10 comments:

Stephen Wagner said...

I would vote for the Bear Lake Monster over the Miracle of the Gulls. The miracle, I think, happened just once over 100 years ago, while there are still occasional reported "sightings" of the lake monster.

richelle said...

I want to keep the gulls, since it's only one of 2 that represent mormon weirdness. I'm leaning toward replacing the tunnels with the monster. also, the virgin mary tree is so contemporary, that I don't know if it would stand a test of time.

catmarie2 said...

I lived in Salt Lake for 5 years. I have never heard of underground tunnels there. Neither has my husband who lived there much longer. I never heard of Summum or the Koyle dream Mine. The newspaper mentioned Gilgal gardens once. Hubby heard of the tree. Is it in Rose Park area? The Miracle of the Gulls is special. I heard of the Skinwalker Ranch only by listening to the Coast to Coast a.m. show. No one mentions it in town. I was even a member of an Art Bell group when I lived there. An Ogden Theater is much more popular with the Ghost Investigative Society (GIS) I investigated the downtown Peery Hotel myself. The Bear Lake Monster is certainly more popular than some of your choices. Keep us updated.

richelle said...

Thanks for your ideas catmarie. I specifically chose some of the more esoteric 'wonders.' If I were to do a "7 most popular fortean wonders", the koyle dream mine would probably not be included. The Ogden Theatre is not included simply because there is an element of tabloid, and it's mainly associated with the ghost hunting crowd. Forteana is much more all-encompassing. If you read the story of the koyle dream mine, I'm sure you will find it deserves a place on the list. The tunnels were a very big deal in the early 90s, and all sorts of urban legends have formed around them, including a reptilian/temple connection. They are a personal favorite of mine, because I had a small connection to some of the developed legends. I may strike it from the list however. Thanks again.

theorris said...

I wouldn't change a thing on your top 7. I would add, however, the Lost Liahona, the Little Cottonwood vaults, and the cave that runs from Neff's canyon to Magna. For a lark you could throw in the homeless hotsprings up by the former Children's Museum of Utah.

bigbrownhouse said...

I'd strike the Miracle of the Gulls, 'cause it wasn't anything more than bugs and birds doing what bugs and birds do. Seriously. The interesting part is the aftermath of cultural myth-making, and it is exceptionally interesting, but I don't think it's a good fit for the list.

richelle said...

The reason I think it belongs on the list is because it is so Mormon, so Utah. I felt like a Fortean list would just have to include an authentic bit of pure mormon folklore. You're right about the un-paranormalness of the event, but like you said, it's rather the mythology and legends that make it. What would you replace it with--the bear lake monster, or something else?

theorris said...

I'm all about the Miracle of the Gulls (capitalized.) I have a family story about how those gulls were throwing up crickets so they could go eat some more. Come on! It is positively Mosaic in the Moses sense.

Does anyone remember when Billy Crystal was funny?

bigbrownhouse said...

If you're ok with pure folklore, I'd take Three Nephites over seagulls. Eh maybe not though, since the story isn't linked to a specific Utah place.

I've been going to Bear Lake for almost 20 years, and have been consistently dissapointed at the lack of monsters.

I've got to think about this now...

richelle said...

I used to love Billy Crystal. It's weird how comedy changes. My friend and I were talking about steve martin's early days, and how we would literally make ourselves sick with laughter by just looking at him. I look back on that schtick now, and it just seems dumb and completely unfunny.

---------
another idea is making a separate secular list for utah, and one for mormonism. maybe initially separating them would help to see more clearly what belongs on a final Utah list.
Part of the problem though, is limiting to 7 for the mormon list. it's just so chock full of forteanness. Kolob, the urim and thummim, the 1st vision itself, the men on the moon, the 3 nephites, talking bigfoot, etc.