Here's a great article about the desert Sasquatch, written by Ken Hulsey, and sent to me by Molly Lebherz.
The Borrego Sandman (1939 - Present)
Written By: Ken Hulsey
Many of you are undoubtedly familiar with the legends of Bigfoot and
all of his ape-like kin who are reported to dwell in the numerous remote
wilderness areas and swamps throughout North America. These vast areas
where man seldom treads provides a
perfect refuge for these creatures where food and water are plentiful
and protection from the elements can be easily attained.
It may come to your surprise that the legendary monster is also a desert dweller as well.
As hard as it may be to fathom there are many reports from the vast
deserts of Southern California of Sasquatch-like creatures roaming the
sand, much like they do in the lush forest. These very dry areas with
little vegetation, and almost no water supply would seem like the last
place that a 6-to-10-foot-tall animal that weighs upwards of 400 pounds,
and not to mention is covered with thick fur, would want to call home,
yet the sheer number of Bigfoot sightings in these areas are too
numerous to ignore.
In the late 1960's reports of Bigfoot
sightings in the desert towns of Lancaster and Palmdale reached a
feverish pace that lasted well into the 1970's, then tapered off. Though
these areas border on the Mojave desert, they also border on the
Angeles National forest, so it wouldn't seem to unlikely that the
creature could have been lured out of the wilderness and into the desert
for some unknown reason.
More bizarre are the stories that
have surfaced from nearby Edwards Air Force Base, that is farther inland
and farther from the forested areas near Los Angeles, of frequent
intrusions by creatures that match the description of Bigfoot. As the
story goes, Base Security is in possession of several surveillance video
tapes that plainly show giant, up-right, apes trespassing in the
numerous underground tunnels under the facility. How, or where, the
Bigfoot break into, or gain access to these tunnels has never been
revealed, obviously for security reasons, but reportedly these incidents
happen rather often, and are a nuisance.
The Mojave Desert and
Death Valley are two of Southern California's more famous barren areas,
but there is also a stretch of inhospitable desert that stretches from
the Mexican border northward to the edges of the San Bernardino
mountains. This area to has had it's share of Sasquatch sightings over
the decades, and this is the area I wanted to focus on today.
The desert wilderness of the Anza-Borrego area has been home to many a
tall-tale and several strange events over the past several hundred
years. Many a desert rat has emerged from the region with tales of a
mysterious Spanish ship filled with pearls inexplicably marooned in the
sand, or of a Viking boat embedded in the rock, strange lights in the
night skies, and most commonly, of vast quantities of gold just waiting
for some lucky prospector to cart out.
It was undoubtedly the
lure of these reported gold deposits that first lured the white man into
this desolate area and it is from one of these fortune hunters that the
first report of Bigfoot, or the Borrego Sandman as it is known in these
parts, came. Reportedly in 1939 a prospector, who when interviewed in
the 1970s wished to remain anonymous, was attacked by a large group of
upright-walking-apes as he camped near the Borrego Sink. The frightened
man described the creatures as very large, covered in white fur, with
glowing red eyes. The only thing that saved the man from the attack was
the fact that the monsters were afraid of his camp fire.
Another report of giant footprints from that same general area came from
a man named Victor Stoyanow in 1964. His story was retold in a famous
article in SAGA magazine entitled, "America's Terrifying Woodland
Monster-men" in 1969. The piece also featured the story of Harold
Lancaster, a miner who encounter the Sandman in 1968. Here is an
Gold prospectors and treasure hunters frequently seek
their lost bonanzas in isolated areas. Since 1964, treasure hunters in
the Borrego Valley desert in California have whispered about "the
Abominable Sandmen of Borrego." The arid area is near the Mexican
border, it is virtually uninhabited. There are many fissures, caves and
crevasses in the Superstition Mountain region and prospectors say the
Cocopah Indians have told of a subterranean labyrinth under the
mountain, Maj. Victor Stoyanow was seeking an access into the
Superstition Hills in January 1964, when he noticed large, humanoid
tracks in the sand dunes. "The prints ran in pairs, generally parallel
and averaged about 14 inches in length and nine wide at the instep,"
Major Stoyanow declared. He returned to the desert on several other
occasions, made plaster casts of the prints, and snapped
photographs."Curious as I am, I hope that the person who discovers what
kind of beast it is doesn't happen to be me." Major Stoyanow said after
his thorough investigation into the tracks.
The San Diego Union
ran an unverifiable article some years ago of a "sandman" that was shot
by hunter Frank Cox at Deadman's Hole, near Warner, California in San
Diego County. The beast was described as a cross between "a man and a
bear." The head was rather small, with protruding teeth and powerful
jaws. The muscular creature had feet that measured 24 inches in length
and the body weight was estimated to be 400 pounds.Harold Lancaster,
treasure hunter, was prospecting in the Borrego Sink, east of the
settlement of Borrego Springs. California in July 1968, when he saw a
"sandman." "I was camped up on a mesa one morning when I saw a man
walking in the desert," he reported. "The figure came closer. I thought
it was another prospector. Then, I picked up my binoculars and saw the
strangest sight in my life."It was a real giant apeman," Lancaster said.
"I had heard about the screaming giant apeman up in Tuolumne County
that frightened people for a couple of years. Another person and I even
went up there to look for the thing. I decided it was a hoax and never
expected to actually see one."
As the "sandman" drew closer,
Lancaster became worried. "That thing was big. I was no match for it,"
he reported. "I had a .22 pistol on my hip but it would have been like
shooting at a gorilla with a pea shooter. I was afraid the beast might
get too close. So, I fired a couple of rounds into the air. The sandman
jumped a good three feet off the ground when the sounds of the shots
reached him. He turned his head, looked toward me and then took off
running in the other direction!"Why didn't Lancaster shoot the alleged
sandman? "I was afraid," he admitted. "They should be protected. They're
a form of a human, a primitive species. It would be murder to kill one.
They should be studied."
Reports from the area continue to
this day. In 1998 some hikers discovered a set of strange footprints
near Boundary Peak, close to the Mexican border. Likewise in 1993 a
hiker saw a Bigfoot, um ...... using the restroom on the La Jolla Indian
Reservation. Reports have also surfaced from military personnel at Camp
Pendleton who had encounters with the creature while on maneuvers
during the 1960's and 1980's.