SC EP:1053 Never Going Back To That Area

Sasquatch Chronicles

May 5 2024 • 1 hr 43 mins

Kip writes "I guess I’ll get right to it. Back in the late 90’s I had 3 separate terrifying encounters with some type of large black creature over 3 years. The first two encounters were roughly in 1997 & 1998. I was in high school at the time and 16-17 years old. And the 3rd was in late 1999 so I was just about 18. I can honestly say that they were so disturbing that I have thought about them often ever since. Two of the encounters I had multiple buddies with me and the most disturbing encounter I was alone exploring the mountain behind our home on our 4 wheeler.

I grew up in a Southern California city called Corona. Its roughly 1.5 hours north of San Diego and next to Riverside. At this time the upper portion of the city had miles of orchards extending from the edge of the housing developments all the way to the base of the mountains that separated us from the coast and Orange County. As a kid myself and my family spent a significant amount of time on this mountain range hiking, mountain biking, exploring the various canyons, and a few of the abandoned tin mines. Although there were known predators such as mountain lions and coyotes that we would see from time to time, I never felt scared being in this area but always knew to be cautious.

At the time of what I would consider my first encounter our town was changing a lot. Hundreds of acres, if not thousands, of the orchards were being leveled to build more homes. At this time being of high school age this was a total bummer. All of the cool places we would explore or hang out were going away every week and being replaced with massive housing developments.

Because of the size of one of the housing developments, there was a large storm drain project that the army core of engineers was in charge of. This project was situated near the mouth of one of the larger canyons and was intended to divert stormwater underground to who knows where? This area was completely fenced off with barbed wire fences and they even had an on-site security guard at night. This entire area was surrounded by thick orange groves and also avocado groves. Knowing that there was a massive underground tunnel being built and also being obsessed with exploring abandoned mines, there was no choice but to explore this.

I did some recon during the daytime hours and figured out the best way to sneak in at night hopefully without being detected by their on-site security guard.

Late on a Friday evening my buddies and I drove my truck on a dirt road deep into the orange groves and parked it behind a large pile of dead orange trees that they had ripped out of the ground. This was an area that I was very familiar with. In this area, they also had bulldozers, graders, and loaders parked near a water tank. We snuck through the trees, scaled a barbed wire fence, and at this point the Avocado Grove began. We easily made it in and explored these tunnels which were kind of a disappointment because there was really nothing to them other than concrete and scaffolding. Feeling somewhat underwhelmed we decided to head back to the truck which was roughly a half mile from the tunnel. Upon exiting the range groves we saw headlights coming our way so we quickly jumped behind some of the heavy equipment thinking the security was coming to bust us. To our surprise, it was a two-door Honda Civic with two chicks. Being curious teenage boys we were immediately wondering if they were hot. Lol. After spending some time checking out all of the cool heavy equipment we made it back to my truck. Knowing that the road they were driving on was eventually a dead end we were surprised to see that they still had not come back out. We decided to investigate to make sure they were ok. We assumed the girls were probably drinking or smoking weed because this was not a well known place and was quite creepy especially at night due to how secluded it was. The three of us piled back into my single-cab Chevy truck and started heading in their direction. As we rounded a sharp turn on the dirt road we could see their car parked at the dead end off in the distance. As we got within 100 yards of their car we could see something black crouched down behind the car. The first we thought we had was that maybe one of them was behind the car but as we got closer we could see that it was definitely not a girl and appeared to be completely black and hunched over as if it was hiding and watching them. I had one of those Walmart special 12 million candle spotlight that plugged into the cigarette lighter in my truck. My buddy Aaron turned that on and hung out the window shining it down the road. We then thought that it must be a bear of some other creature but it was not looking like anything that we were familiar with which was kind of a weird sensation seeing something that we were not even sure what it was. As we were now within 50 yards or less, to our horror, this creature slightly turned to look towards us and stood up. This was nothing that we recognized. We immediately began freaking out yelling at one another "what the hell is that thing?!!" I hit the gas and we accelerated towards their car while keeping the light on it!

To the south of where the girls were parked was another barbed wire. (To clarify, all of these fences were roughly 7' tall chain link fences topped with like 18" of 3 strands of barbed wire. A sizeable fence). The fence was within 15 feet of the edge of the road only separated by a small ditch that may have been 2' deep. Beyond the fence was a wide open field that had already been scraped of all vegetation. The base of the mountain was probably 400-500 yards away from this location. This creature which I would estimate was between eight and 9 feet tall took two steps towards the edge of the road and literally vanished before our eyes. We saw this happen from maybe 50 feet away. I slammed on the brakes and we slid on the gravel road stopping about 10 feet behind the girl's car. We jumped out paying no attention to them and immediately started shining the spotlight into the field. When the creature vanished we could not understand what we really just saw. Our minds were thinking of rational explanations like maybe it dove into the small ditch just out of sight and squeezed under the fence somehow. Or, maybe it climbed over the fence really fast and somehow we didn't see that which makes no sense. We were grasping for any explanation besides it literally vanishing into thin air. In reality, we should have seen the creature maybe 20 feet away on the other side of this fence running across the wide open field if it had somehow jumped this fence but like I said it had vanished. We had all become very animated at this point yelling and freaking out at what we had just seen. Probably thinking we were absolute psychopaths, the girls in the car immediately started the engine lipped around and just took off. I did hear one of them yell "what's your F-ing problem???" Rightfully so. We calmed down after a few minutes and started to collect ourselves. There was no sign of the creature at all, and because it was a gravel road there were no visible footprints. We stayed shining spotlight for probably a half hour, absolutely shaken by what we had seen. We saw nothing, absolutely nothing. It was now close to 1 am and we rushed back to my house and immediately woke my dad up from a dead sleep and told him what we had witnessed. A little back story on my Dad, he grew up in Starvalley Wyoming. He spent most of his years as a youth as a youth and teens in the mountains hunting. In his late teens and into his 20's he was a hunting guide. He guided hunters from all over the world into the backcountry on horseback. My Dad was tough and fearless, and if anyone would have encountered something like this before it was him. He immediately got out of bed and once we settled down a bit he wanted to entire story, every detail. After listening to our story he became very quiet and serious. He sat down at the table and said "Boys, I have no doubt that what you saw tonight was real. I do not think this was any type of animal but rather a being. Sometimes we are allowed to see things from the other side of the veil or maybe even another dimension. I don't know why we do but I think this is what you experienced tonight. I do not want you going up to that area anymore." after that he told us this was nothing to mess with and not to ever pursue it.

It was so unsettling and still to this day I could call either one of my two buddies and have them recount the exact same story word for word. This creature was not how I pictured the typical sasquatch. it did appear to have a shorter sleek jet black fur. Its fur almost absorbed our light and was almost difficult to distinguish any facial features at all. It was almost like a 3 dimensional shadow if that makes sense somehow? It was very tall and athletic-looking. It did not have a massive hulking build but rather a very sleek, powerful, and fast type of build if that makes any sense. Think fairly jacked sprinter instead of a giant bodybuilder. That experience has bothered me ever since. Monday came around and we thought we had the craziest story that we could ever tell at school. To my dismay, people thought we were so full of crap and honestly did not believe us. That really pissed me off but also disappointed me. We didn't really tell anyone else after that reaction from a few people in fear of being seen as weird or just lying.

Second Incident

This encounter still scares me to this day and I still have so many unanswered questions. This took place maybe 8-9 months later. maybe a year. My parents had sold our boat and bought some 4 wheelers instead. I loved this option! I spent everyday after school enjoying this amazing new found sense of freedom and exploring the mountain behind our neighborhood which was about 1/2 mile away. There were fire roads, old trails, and riverbeds leading up to the canyons. If you would ride to the top of the mountain on a clear day you could see the ocean and Catalina Island off in the distance. A girl that I was friends with who had very wealthy parents just bought a brand new 4 wheeler. She tracked me down at school and asked if I would every want to meet up after school and take her exploring. They literally lived at the base of the mountain but about 3 miles from my house. I was stoked! A few days later I loaded up the 4 wheeler into the back of my truck and met her at her house. I did not know this area very well so this was extra exciting to go explore a new area. We went down the road a ways and decided to cut up through some orange groves on a slightly overgrown road. We climbed a few windmills to get a good view of what was further ahead. After weaving in and out of the labrynth of trees and small dirt roads we ended up at a gate. On the other side of the gate were some avocado trees, bee boxes, and an overgrown trail that turned into switch backs leading up the mountain. This looked awesome and I was so intrigued by it for some reason. A few minutes later an old man pulled up in an old fafrm truck and was PISSED that we were in there. He yelled at us and he said "and don't you ever think about ever going up that road, never go up there!" At the time I though he was just being a grouchy old dick but now looking back I think he knew something and was actually trying to run us off to keep us safe.

My defiant teenage brain now had absolute tunnel vision on returning a few days later, finding a way around the gate and exploring whatever that road led to. I had to know where those steel switchbacks led to. Sure enough, a few days later I went back...alone. I had a pocket knife, camelback full of water, and was getting in no matter what. I found a way to cut down into the river bed and up a very steel embankment which put me on the other side of the gate. I showed that old man! After cruising around atg the bottom of the hill for a few minutes I was disappointed only seeing old abandoned farming equipment in the weeds. Now it was time to follow the narrow trail up the steep mountain. Just as I was starting up the trail there was a really sketchy narrow section where it had washed out around a culvert. I carefully made my way around it trying to keep from sliding down into a washed out ditch. As I made my way up the vegetation began changing. There were tons of massive oak trees growing in a large ravine and and along the edge of the trail.

By this time I was WAAY up the mountain and could easily see across the whole valley looking out at Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga way off in the distance. Then I found the most bizarre things ever. Huge, old, single wide trailers probably from the late 60's or 70's just sitting on the side of the mountain. There were 3-4 of them one above me on the trail and a few out on this point on the other side of the ravine filled with the massive oak trees. Areas had been dug into the mountainside for the trailers to sit on. I still don't even understand how they could have ever placed those up there unless by a massive helicopter or something. A trailer would literally be impossible. I thought "Well this is super weird but I'm totally exploring these. The first one was really beat up and had no windows or doors. I hiked down off of the trail and began cutting through the ravine to get to the others. The oak forest I was cutting through was thick. even though it was still very light outside, it was very dim under the shade of these massive thick trees. The ground was covered in probable 6' of leaves and was very noisy when walking through. I checked out the other trailers for probably another 45 minutes. Nothing amazing but still interesting. At this point the sun would be setting by the time I got down the mountain and I did not want to try to find my way back out in the dark so I started heading back toward the trail that my 4 wheeler was parked on. I was walking through the bottom of the oak filled ravine when all of a sudden something just stopped me in my tracks. Everything had become so quiet. I'm talking impossibly quiet and I immediately noticed it. I have never experienced anything like this. I was if I just walked into a soundproof room but in the middle of a ravine. I immediately had the feeling that I was not alone and that something dangerous was watching me. I slowly started scanning my surroundings and had such a strange claustrophobic feeling. All I could hear was ringing in my ears. No birds, no breeze, not even the sound of the trees moving slightly. I had never experienced anything like this. I began feeling a very distinct dark and creepy feeling. As I looked at the hillside in front of me, maybe 15 feet in front of me I experience the most intense fear I have ever felt to this day. A quick glint caught my eye and as I looked at where the glint came from the weirdest thing happened. The only thing I can compare it to is when you are staring at one of those weird stereogram pictures. You are straining your eyes and then all of a sudden the 3-D image comes into focus. I was staring at the hillside right in front of me which was covered in leaves. There was a large gray rock to the right and slightly above the rock but 3 feet to the left was the trunk of an oak tree. I was staring at the leaves and in the space between the tree and the rock I saw it. It was like all of a sudden my eyes came into focus and I could see it. I hated what I saw. It literally paralyzed me with fear. I was a sprinter on our schools track team so running was always my best option. I literally could not move. I was looking at what I believe was that exact same creature we spotted that night close to a year prior. It truly was probably 8-1/2 to 9' tall. The hillside in that spot was very steep so it was kind of laid back against the hill perfectly camouflaged between the rock and tree but its body was in full view. It did not move but its shiny black eyes just intensely stared at me. I stared right back. I do not remember seeing any whites to its eyes but could tell when its eyes moved because of the glint they created. The eyes looked like tow shiny pieces of obsidian or glass. This is the part that scares me the most. This was not a friendly encounter by any stretch of the imagination. This was not a goofy and happy harry and the hemdersons experience. This thing felt so mean and evil. As it stared into my eyes in that intense quietness I literally could feel that it hated me and did not want me there. I did not hear any type of voice but I could feel the most wicked and intense hate from it. I could literally feeling in my soul that I don't think I was even breathing for an unknown amount of time. I know that sounds weird. I don't know how long I stood there in that trance or whatever this experience was, but I distinctly remember feeling my lips beginning to tingle and feeling dizzy. It was enough to snap me out of it. I stumbled backwards and weakly scampered up the opposite side of the ravine. I was so slow and felt like all of my strength was just absolutely gone.

I was pretty much in tears and felt like I may have just almost been attacked or killed. I got on my 4 wheeler and started backing down the trail as fast as could because it was too narrow and the hillside too steel to actually turn the machine around. I got to a switchback area and did probable the most frantic 20 point turn every performed. I was so certain that at any second this creature was going to come sprinting from the edge other oak trees and kill me. I raced down the trail and could not believe my eyes. The narrow area where the trail had mostly washed out around the culvert had large branches and brush literally piled up with other brush. It was probably 3 feet high and was no doubt there to block me or make me stop. I basically said F it and crashed right through the edge of it and made it right through. Getting back to the truck was a blur. That was probably the hardest that 4 wheeler would ever have been ridden. For quite awhile after that experience I really thought that creature could come back and find me somehow. I don't know what it did to me but it absolutely got in my head and I have never felt that much hate and disdain from anything like that in my life. After finding your podcast I have been thinking about that experience so often and recounting so many of the details. I can remember that experience like it was yesterday. I can tell you exactly what the temperature was like outside, what the air smelled like, the smell of the exhaust from the 4 wheeler, and the smell of the leaves and dirt in that ravine. I think that day is pretty much burned into my soul. That creature was the most terrifying thing I have ever laid eyes on. I honestly don't even know what exactly to classify it as. It shares some similarities to a sasquatch but it was so long and slender while still appearing very strong and fast. This might sound crazy but it really felt like it was from some other place or realm. I have had a few very close encounters with bears while camping and while that was scary, especially being in a tent, it wasn't even in the same universe as how terrifying encountering that thing was. I never ever considered going anywhere near that spot ever again and still would not even today. I felt beyond helpless against that thing and am just grateful nothing actually bad happened. I did feel like that experience was a strong warning from that thing. I have often wondered if it was extremely angry at the massive changes taking place in the area with the destruction of all of the orange, lemon, grapefruit and avocado groves. It could have been the perfect environment to remain unseen and an endless food supply. I honestly just don't know.

Third Incident

So this encounter I still don't understand. My buddies and Had just graduated from high school. It was the typical time in life when everyone start going their separate ways. One of my good friends Derek was getting ready to move to New Zealand for a few years and another immediately off to College in Utah. I was working with my Dad who was a general contractor and was working as a superintendent helping build our commercial construction projects. As a last fun hoorah 4 of us got together and went off-roading and exploring south of our town down the I-15 a little ways. This was an area somewhat new to us but as the housing developments continued to boom we knew in a few years most of those areas would be gone. I remember driving down a paved road and the area was heavily wooded with oak trees. I was driving and we came around a bend in the road. Now today as an adult, this would have been such an awesome place to have a home on a few acres. It was beautiful and secluded. All of the homes had a significant amount of land and were really spaced far apart. I noticed a long gravel driveway leading up to some large pepper trees. The front lawn of the home looked like it was dying and we could just make out the house back in the trees. The garage door was open and so was the front door. Out of curiosity we backed u and drove up the driveway towards the house. Sure enough it was completely vacant. I suspect that one of the large developers had purchased all of the land to later build one of the current golf course communities. We could not believe our eyes. The people must have moved out no longer than the week before. We yell\ed hello a few times before walking into this vacant home. It was immaculate! Literally clean and well kept. It was a decent size single level home with a 3 car garage. All of the furniture was gone but there were a few random odds and ends left behind in a few of the rooms and garage. We were not the kind of guys that would vandalize a place like this. We thought it was so cool and decided to come back later that night and camp out inside. I think we all told our parents the classic type of story that each of us would be at another house but in reality we were staying the night in this abandoned house. We grabbed sleeping bags, pillows, and my friend stole this massive red candle from his mom's Christmas decoration shelf in his garage. That was going to be our source of light since we didn't have a lantern that we could take without it looking too suspicious. We arrived back at the house just as it was almost all the way dark and boy this place looked creepy now. Especially with the way it was tucked back into the trees. And the house was a good size house which I would estimate between 2300-2500 sf. Backed my truck into the garage and glossed the old style wood garage door that had the big springs on the sides. The power had been shut off to the home so we had to open and close the garage door manually by pulling the disconnect on the opener. We set up shop in the center of the living room and had the angle sitting in a paint can lid with all of our sleeping beds spread out around it.

We got settled in and were just talking about future plans, good times we had together throughout the years and just typical conversations. It was a really fun night. Just as we were all getting tired and winding down we thought we heard a weird sounding strange whistle outside. We all shut up and listened but didn't hear again. We blew out the candle. No more than 15 minutes later we heard something hit the large living room window really hard which immediately woke us up and scared the crap out of us! All of the blinds and curtains were gone so I felt like we were in a big fish bowl as soon as we relit the candle. As we were discussing what that loud noise was we heard the strange whistle again. It was a longer whistle and a lower tone than what you would normally whistle. We were so far from the town or really any real road. Nobody even know we were at this house. Then another really loud bang on the kitchen window and another on the dining room sliding glass door. Then another weird long whistle. We were absolutely crapping bricks. There would be a few minutes of complete silence followed by another loud bang on the windows or side of the home. Whatever was out there was seemingly walking in circles just pounding in the windows and would intermittently do a long weird sounding whistle. We were beyond terrified and knew whoever was out there could see us inside perfectly while we could not see it. I ran to the nearest bedroom and pulled off the bi-fold closet doors. My friends did the same and we started putting them up against the windows to block the view into the home. These loud pounds on the windows and sides of the home got more and more intense and began happening all around the home which really made us believe there were multiple people outside tormenting us. We yelled out some obsentities and threats telling them to get the hell out of there. This went on literally all night. We were so scared that we didn't even try to leave. it was pitch black outside. With my truck being parked in the garage that meant that someone would have to manually open the garage door and hold it open long enough for us to drive out and then be exposed for a minute outside of the truck. We were so freaked out that was absolutely not an option. We removed hanger rods as weapons or whatever we could find. We ended up with a shower curtain rod as a weapon too although it was really light weight and cheap. After hours and hours of this nonstop horrifying ordeal the sun began coming up and it stopped. We waited until it was fully light outside and tore out of there as fast as we could.

Later that afternoon I got up from taking a an since I hadn't slept at all that night. It was Saturday. The more I thought about that experience the more it pissed me off. I wanted to go back with my Remington 870 shotgun and sneak in on foot and see who is there during the day. Maybe it was some rogue homeless people that were pissed that we took their spot? I called up my buddies Zach and Derek. They were down to go back and spy on the property to see the bastards that did that to us. Zach snuck out his dads 12 gauge shotgun so now we had two. We had no intentions on using them but wanted some sort of protection in case it was some creepy Charles mansion type people. By the time we made it back out there it was basically dusk which would give us cover with it getting darker. We went back to the house after parking 1/4 mile down the road and sneaking in on foot. We could not believe our eyes. The entire house had been absolutely destroyed. Every window broken out, every door kicked in and laying on the ground. The garage door we had opened to pak inside laid broken on the floor of the garage. we peaked inside the house and the amount of destruction inside looked like it would have taken a group if grown men hours to do. This house was 100% destroyed. Destroyed to the point that nobody would even think about trying to stay there. Broken glass was everywhere. All of the bedroom doors were broken right off the hinges and laying on the ground. The drywall had so many holes smashed through it. The ceiling fan in the dining room was ripped down. It was so insane we could not even believe what we were looking at. how could this be the same immaculate place we had stayed the previous night. At that point we were really pissed off.

The gravel driveway continued up through the trees and towards the hillside which was basically the base of the mountain. We decided to go see what was up there. We walked a little ways further being as stealthy as possible and I immediately hated what I saw. There were two old mobile homes, very similar to what I had seen a few years before on the mountainside where I had that horrifying encounter with the black creature. The moon wasn't full but was providing a decent amount of light. We decided to check out the two trailers to see if it looked like someone had been squatting in them. Feeling brave being armed we checked them out, They were in terrible condition and disgusting inside. Leaking roofs and water damaged everything along with tons of sharp glass from all of the broken windows. They no longer had the wood steps to the front door so he had to hop down about 3' back into the ground. No sooner had we jumped down and walked out away from the trailer I heard that weird whistle again. Just as I looked up towards the hillside in front of us I caught a glimpse for just a split second of something that appeared to be tall and black. Just as I started realizing that someone, or something was like 30' in front of us a large boulder/rock about the size of a medium watermelon sailed right past my head in between my two friends. The strength it must have taken to throw a rock that large and heavy was unimaginable. Had it struck any of us it would have most likely been fatal. I didn't even think twice and started unloading my shotgun at where briefly saw this figure. I unloaded all 5 rounds and immediately started pulling more from my front pocket. My friends were completely shocked and began yelling at me saying just to run. We did, we ran away as fast as we could and didn't stop until we reached my truck a ways down the road. We never told our parents or anyone else. My friends were kind of mad at me for shooting at the figure even though that rock would have probably killed one of us had it hit us in the head. I didn't regret shooting at it, he, whatever it was. I really hoped I got a piece of him in return. We NEVER went back to that property or even the area in general. Nothing about that mountain felt safe anymore.

28 years later, as I have been replaying these experiences over and over since listening to your podcast I have started to research that area. i pulled up google earth and went as far back with the dates as I could which was the late 90's. I did this one night with my two oldest kids after telling them the story. It was actually very shocking to see how close each of these encounters happened from one another. As the crow fly's, the first two encounters happened only within 1/2 mile or even slightly less from one another. The last encounter/incident has only 1.5 miles away but also right at the base of the mountain where there were thick orchards and oak trees. Very interesting to say the least. Anyway, If you made it this far reading all of this I appreciate you hearing this experience. I have honestly been so reserved for so long in sharing these stories with anyone because I don't want to seem crazy or weird. But after listening to your countless episodes I realize that there are so many others that have had strange experiences that cannot be explained.

We ditched California and moved to East Idaho 11 years ago. I spend a significant amount of time riding dirt bikes exploring our local mountains on remote singletrack. I ride with a cool group of buddies. We have seen wolves, black and brown bears, and mountain lions, but nothing even remotely as scary as what I encountered in our little local mountain range in southern California. Go figure."

Link to Sasquatch and the missing man

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