Posted by: John Kirk on July 3rd, 2014
Often sasquatch sighting stories can lie gathering dust in the archives of newspapers all over North America. Occasionally, some curious journalist digs these reports up and the skepticism they once possessed begins to break down.
One such story I came across is about a sasquatch who made a nuisance of itself around Fontana, California. I’m not completely convinced by the witness accounts, but I’ll let you reason things out for yourself:
That’s because I learned that Bigfoot, or at least one of his relatives, actually prowled in our area, in Fontana, almost 50 years ago.
Bigfoot, or “a horrible monster with a hairy body, long hands and claws dripping with slime,” was seen on numerous occasions near the old Fontana dragstrip between Foothill Boulevard and Base Line Road, according to the Ontario Daily Report of Aug. 26, 1966.
I know now that this was really serious stuff because both the Daily Report and the San Bernardino Sun-Telegram reported on it several times. They quoted reports from a bunch of Fontana teenagers — always a reliable source for such things.
The first incident was five weeks earlier when a group of teen boys were hanging around the race track one night long after everyone had left. They saw the hairy monster swinging from a tree so they naturally did what anyone would do in that situation — they hurled an empty orange crate at it.
When the crate came flying back out of the trees, they took off and reported the sighting to sheriff’s deputies. They searched but could find only a lone print of a foot with three toes.
(Traditionally, when media discovers such a mystery like this, they give it some kind of provocative name. The Daily Report called it “The Invincible Brush Man,” a rather dull effort that made the monster sound like a door-to-door salesman.)
On Aug. 28, the sightings were important enough to be spread across the top of the front page of the Sunday Daily Report under the headline, “Fontana Girls Describe Monster.”
Two girls, both 16, reported to deputies they had been attacked by the hairy beast along Base Line Road. “It reached out and grabbed me,” said one teen. “The monster is real and horrible.”
The paper reported one girl, whom they chose to describe for some reason as a “platinum blonde,” said they stopped their car on Base Line with what they thought was a flat tire.
Suddenly the monster jumped out of the brush and approached the girls. The article said they got back in the car and drove off while Bigfoot tried to grab them with his slimey claws.
In all those 1950s space alien and giant monster movies, every local police officer usually shrugged off impending disaster until it was too late to do anything about it. That pretty much described disbelieving sheriff’s Deputy O.W. Manning: “I think this monster business is a lot of hooey.”
Manning said the girls refused to take a lie detector test when asked, but one of them told the paper they weren’t allowed to take such a test.
“Probably scared they’d discover we were telling the truth,” she said indignantly.
One of the founders of the BCSCC, John Kirk has enjoyed a varied and exciting career path. Both a print and broadcast journalist, John Kirk has in recent years been at the forefront of much of the BCSCC’s expeditions, investigations and publishing. John has been particularly interested in the phenomenon of unknown aquatic cryptids around the world and is the author of In the Domain of the Lake Monsters (Key Porter Books, 1998). In addition to his interest in freshwater cryptids, John has been keenly interested in investigating the possible existence of sasquatch and other bipedal hominids of the world, and in particular, the Yeren of China. John is also chairman of the Crypto Safari organization, which specializes in sending teams of investigators to remote parts of the world to search for animals as yet unidentified by science. John travelled with a Crypto Safari team to Cameroon and northern Republic of Congo to interview witnesses among the Baka pygmies and Bantu bushmen who have sighted a large unknown animal that bears more than a superficial resemblance to a dinosaur. Since 1996, John Kirk has been editor and publisher of the BCSCC Quarterly which is the flagship publication of the BCSCC. In demand at conferences, seminars, lectures and on television and radio programs, John has spoken all over North America and has appeared in programs on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, TLC, Discovery, CBC, CTV and the BBC. In his personal life John spends much time studying the histories of Scottish Clans and is himself the president of the Clan Kirk Society. John is also an avid soccer enthusiast and player.