It's been seen by hikers, rock climbers, military personnel and around residences. It's been called The Cement Monster, Yucca man, Sandman, but the most common is Bigfoot or Sasquatch. The part that I find most interesting is that it has been reported by all of these folks....in the deserts of Southern California. Temperatures in this area regularly reach over 110 degrees in the height of summer, and water is scare at best. So why are we seeing reports of a large hairy creature in this area? Can a Bigfoot type creature exist in a desert environment? Is there sufficient shelter, water and food to sustain such a creature?
Let's take a look at the reports. The one that caught my attention was from the late 90's, but let's take them in chronological order, and we'll get to the one from the 90's a bit later.
There have been oral reports and tales of Yucca Man stretching back to the early 1900's but very little documented reports from that era. The earliest documented report that I could find was from 1971.
In early 1971, at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in 29 Palms California, a guard was standing guard at the armory when he saw a figure approaching his post. He ordered the figure to halt, but it did not heed the order. The figure then rushed the guard, knocking him unconscious. The guard was found the next morning, still unconscious and with his rifle bent nearly in half.
That same evening a few residents of a nearby neighborhood, being alerted to something being wrong by the dogs in the neighborhood incessantly barking, reported seeing two creatures roaming around. One was reported to be about 12 ft. tall, and the other was shorter, about 8 ft. was reported. One reported creatures crossing their yard, while a bit later a couple had reported that they saw two tall creatures around their horse corrals. This was in the neighborhood around Valley Vista Street and Utah Trail.
In 1979, in the Desert Hot Springs area, a couple driving through the desert at night, reported a sighting of a creature that stepped out from behind a Yucca tree about 150 ft in front of their vehicle. The driver turned on his high beams to get a better view and the creature sprinted away into the dark of the desert. The returned the next day to see if they could find any sign of the creature, but found nothing.
In March of 1988, after spending the day at Big Bear Lake, two Marines were traveling back to base. While passing the a cement factory caught sight of a creature crossing the road about 150 to 200 yards in front of their car. They hurriedly pulled over and gave chase, but lost the creature in the dark. The location of this sighting is one of the reasons for it's name “The Cement Monster”. It has been sighted by locals in the area of the local cement plants. There are two in the immediate area of the sightings, the Lehigh Cement Company and the Cal-Portland Cement Company.
The most recent report that I could find, but sadly detailed documentation is lacking, is from the late 1990's. I could find no had date for this sighting, and only anecdotal reporting at best, but here goes.
Reportedly, a rock climber returned from a recent rock climbing outing was going over some pictures he had taken during his climb, and upon examination of one of the pictures noticed a face looking back at him from between some rocks. The face was what he called “a primate face”. I could find no pictures from the climber to verify his sighting and scant reports. This sighting is the one that made me look further into this subject.
So, can a Bigfoot creature inhabit an area like this? This is a dry and barren area with little in the way of resources, and hotter than blazes. Granted, the time of these sightings, when reported, where not the hottest of times for that particular area, but still, little in the way of resources if we disregard the temperatures. Most will say that given the reasons I've stated and add to that the increased body heat from being covered with hair, it is impossible.
I say, not so fast.
The areas of the reports are in the valley areas of the region, but not that far away is the fingertip of a mountainous range that is so high in elevation as to have a ski resort which experiences snowfall as late in the year as April and May, and is of a high enough elevation to also have an observatory run by CalTech.
Plentiful shelter, water and food sources are in the area, and it is not that far from the valley that a creature could not venture down from the mountains to wander around the lowlands at night when the temperatures are cooler. The area goes from desert scrub to forested mountains with in a 10 to 15 mile span.
The sightings have dropped off to basically nothing since the late 90's. It would appear that if there were a creature, or creatures, roaming the 29 Palms / Desert Hot Springs area, they may well have moved on. I'm not absolutely sure of what these folks saw, if anything, but after looking a bit closer at the areas involved, I'm leaning towards this being a distinct possibility.
So what do you think? Do you think a desert Bigfoot is possible? Did a creature, or group of creatures, journey down to the valley area for a while? Why did they come, and why did they leave?