Saturday, September 15, 2018

Ten years later, revisiting the first story on Weird Fresno

Ten years ago today I started something new. At that time Facebook wasn't the juggernaut it is today and Twitter was just taking off. Myspace still reined the interwebs and it seemed everyone and their mother had a blog, and Fresno was no exception. Inspired by the numerous blogs that were popping up I decided to create one about one of my biggest passions. The paranormal.

I didn't really know how to write then (some say I still don't) nor did I know how to research and my main source of any legend was the internet. Still I had something no one else did and little did I know how big it would get. So in honor of ten years of crazy weird things I wanted to revisit my first story. The Watts Valley Wolf Ape.

Before I get into the main sighting, and were the creature got it's name, a brief history of the legend of the creature is in order.

There are legends of the creature coming over the Bearing Straight when the first Native Americans migrated to this land and even coexisted with them and cave drawings that were found depicted a strange creature with long grey hair with an ape like face and human-like hands and feet. It also seemed to be always sick looking, coughing and foaming at the mouth for some reason. Legend calls it the Devil Ape or Devil Fang but with the last recorded sighting it started being called the Watts Valley Wolf Ape, named after where it was seen.

The first known sighting in the twentieth century was by the legendary photographer Ansel Adams. He was visiting Yosemite and while camping a pack of the creatures came upon his tent. Alone and terrified he stayed until they finally went away. 

Another, more terrifying story involves a lone creature entering a single room school house in the southern part of the valley (rumored to be near Hanford) and began harassing the students and teacher. To protect themselves the students piled up their desks and climbed to the safety of the rafters. The teacher was able to lock themselves safely in a nearby closet. Apparently the creature had smelled the children's lunches and tore through the desks to get them. When it finally had it's fill, it left. 

One of my favorite stories tells the tale of a local preacher that shot one of the creatures some time in the 1950's claiming it to be a "pet of Satan". He hung it up on the church walls. For several weeks it hung until the smell became too much. The preacher was able to sell it to a traveling circus. Here's the creepy part. With the money he made he went up to San Francisco dreaming of starting his own church up there. Sadly his dreams were not meant to be and he was murdered soon after arriving. His body was so badly disfigured that it took months to identify him. People whispered he was cursed for killing the creature.

Not much more was seen of the creature. A long haired creature was seen at Bass Lake in the 1990's. This could have been a bigfoot sighting (which is no less incredible) but the creature was said to walk on all fours, which was one of it's main characteristics. 



So I have to say that I heard this story on the radio (RIP KRZR 103.7) and was unable to find out who the witness was. I was able to write down most of the story and reconstruct it. I fixed the structure of the story so it reads better but it still is the same.


The most recent and detailed story was recanted on a local Fresno radio station. There were two witnesses, a man and his uncle, who were hunting for garnets near Watts Valley Cemetery when a strange looking creature came out of the bushes. The creature was described as six foot long, grey mangy hair and dog like with a face like a baboon and with eyes that were flat on its face like a human’s. It opened its mouth but only a moan escaped and then made a strange sound like a cough. Both witnesses began to run from the creature as it began to chase after them. For some reason the man threw his lunch at the creature but this only stopped it momentarily. It continued to chase them over the hills and the two witnesses jumped over fence after fence and ran through pastures trying to escape the creature. Cows fled as it chased the two men. Finally they found themselves in the Watts Valley Cemetery and hid behind several tombstones, hoping to lose the beast. Unfortunately it caught their scent and started to come towards them when, in a moment of genius, the uncle threw some cinnamon flavored chewing gum near the beast hoping the scent would distract it. It worked and the beast was momentarily occupied. Soon after that a caretaker for the small cemetery arrived and offered to give the two men a ride back to their car several miles away. All three watched the strange creature for a few more minutes in the safety of the caretaker’s truck before it went away.



The question remains, even after ten years, is what was this? Crazed dog, bigfoot, werewolf, or some freak genetic experiment run amok have all been theorized. I wish I knew. If the story is true then whatever they saw was terrifying. But I have to ask this: why haven't there been any more sightings since? If the history of the creature has even a kernel of truth to it you think there would have been more sighting since. I've never been to Watts Valley, though I do know the area. Part of me wants to take a trip up there one weekend and visit. I just have to make sure I bring some cinnamon gum to protect myself.


So that was my first story, pretty much how I originally told it. Just fixed up the grammar and structure a bit to let it read better. I can't believe I've been doing this for ten years now. I've wrote about everything from crazy things at Lost Lake, giant catfish at Millerton, UFO sightings all over Fresno, to ghosts haunting some of Fresno's most historic locations. Not sure what the next ten years will be but I can't wait to see what it will be. Thank you to everyone who has read one of my stories over the years. It truly means a lot.



Thursday, May 10, 2018

Winged creature described as a flying dinosaur seen in Fresno skies in 2007



Pterosaur skeletonThe fossilized skeleton of a pterosaur. A living specimen was said to have been seen flying over the Fresno area. Image courtesy of Flickr.

I’ve written about large winged creatures flying over the Fresno area in the past and most were described as large birds with near fifteen foot wingspans but while researching another something else I came across the story of Scott Norman, who in 2007, saw a creature flying in the Fresno area describing it as akin to looking like a flying dinosaur called a pterosaur.

Now Scott’s sighting wasn’t random. He had been informed of strange sightings in the area and during the summer of 2007 he came here to investigate for himself. He was a seasoned investigator by this point, traveling around the world investigating different cryptid claims.


His sighting occurred about 2:00 am in the morning in a local rancher’s field. He saw a large winged creature over one of the rancher’s buildings and out into the nearby field. The description of the creature was it had a wingspan of almost ten feet, was completely featherless with wings like that of a bat, and had a crest shaped object on its head roughly two feet long. The creature glided silently overhead and the entire sighting lasted no longer than 20 seconds the most. Ever the seasoned investigator, Scott was skeptical and wasn’t completely sure what he saw was indeed a pterosaur.


What interests me about this story is that this isn’t the first time a creature like this was seen in the area. Back in 1891 two creatures described as “dragons” were seen flying over the Selma area. The creatures were chased for two days but unfortunately were never captured. Could these same creatures have some relation to what Scott saw over a century later? Unfortunately this was the last time Scott was able to investigate these sightings as he passed away in February 2008. This is another reason why I wanted to share his story. He did a lot in his short time on this earth and I wanted to make sure others knew what he did.


You can find the original article that talks about Scott’s sighting in Fresno here and a brief description of the 1891 sighting here.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Phantom figure said to wander back roads of Madera

There is a story of a wandering phantom that is seen along the country roads outside of Madera. The location isn’t exact but most accounts have seen the spirit somewhere in between Ave 15 and Ave 18 1/2.

The first recorded sighting happened in January of 2010 when a witness and her husband were driving home to Clovis from Madera on Avenue 15. They were driving down the country road when the witness suddenly saw a man walking down the middle of the road and had to quickly swerve to avoid hitting him. The man seemed oblivious to almost being hit despite the fact that the car was going almost 60 miles per hour. The witness described the figure as Caucasian, in his early twenties, wearing a dark sweatshirt with a hood and blue jeans. After they passed him they hit a thick patch of fog and the man was nowhere to be seen. The witness notes that her husband didn’t see the man at all despite looking in the same direction as she and he was surprised by her sudden swerving of the car. Ever since that night the witness has refused to drive down that stretch of road when going home.

An incident occurred late winter of 2013, this time on Avenue 18. This witness was driving home around 3:00 am and it was somewhat foggy. They were driving down the road when out of nowhere a man wearing blue jeans and a hoodie was seen in the middle of the road. The witness swerved to avoid him and noticed that he didn’t even try to get out of the way, which she thought was odd. When this occurred they didn’t think much of it as they never saw anyone on that road before that late at night. It was only upon hearing that other people had seen the same figure in the area that they thought this wasn’t a normal person.

Another account involves two witnesses who were driving down Avenue 18 1/2 around 1:30am. As they were passing a church a young male, Caucasian and wearing blue jeans and a hoodie suddenly appeared about five feet in front of them. He was standing on the dividing line of the road and the driver missed him by inches as they swerved to avoid him. Despite being so close to him they were unable to see his face. As they drove past him, she looked back and he was no longer there.

There are more accounts like this with the same description of the man, late teens to early twenties, Caucasian and wearing blue jeans and a hooded sweatshirt. Some witnesses have also said he was wearing white tennis shoes, but this varies. Another common theme is how the man is oblivious to the oncoming car and is described usually as looking down. Also most of the incidents happened late at night and it seems all the witnesses are females.

So here’s the question. Who is he? Conjecture (which I’m great at) has me wondering if some young man was walking down one of these roads late one night and wasn’t paying attention (like he was looking down) and didn’t see the oncoming car and was hit and killed. Perhaps the person who hit him was a woman and this is why he seems to only appear to them. It’s hard to say without researching more, which I will be doing. But it does seem that some poor soul is doomed to wander the country roads outside of Madera.




Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Is Sanger's Brehler Square Park haunted?


Brehler Square Park in Sanger, California. Image courtesy of Google Street View.



While researching something in the area I came across a story that mentioned that the Brehler Square Park in downtown Sanger is rumored to be haunted by the spirits of local Native Americans. Curious to see if this was more than urban legend I started to dig around.

The park was once the location of the Brehler Building which was built sometime during the turn of the Twentieth Century and housed several business included a bank, a post office, a bakery, the local newspaper, and a general store and pharmacy that was ran by the building's owner Oscar Brehler. Mr. Brehler would often trade with some of the local Yokut tribes, trading them either supplies or outright buying the baskets the tribe was known for. Over the years he developed quite a collection which can now be seen at the Sanger Depot Museum a few miles away. The collection is quite extensive and is considered one of the best in the country.

Oscar Brehler, the original owner of the Brehler Building
Image courtesy of the Sanger Depot Museum.


The building itself was torn down in the late 80's and the area was turned into a park. Witnesses have heard drums and chanting and one even said they saw a figure in the trees one night while walking their dog. Upon getting closer they found the park empty with no one around.




Some of the baskets that Oscar bought over the years.
Image courtesy of the Sanger Depot Museum.


Could these be the spirits of the Native Americans that traded their goods over a century ago and now they want them back? But if that was the case wouldn't the museum exhibit itself be haunted and not the park? If the park is indeed haunted perhaps the land held some significance to the local natives. Another possibility is that it is a residual haunting of those that sold their wares so long ago and for whatever reason something was imprinted on the area. Or perhaps it's just another urban legend with its genesis in facts and has morphed over time and taken on a life of its own. Whatever the case may be it seems Sanger isn't short of its ghost stories.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Small Fresno County town said to have history of cult activity.

About 40 miles east of Fresno lies the small town of Dunlap. Like most towns in eastern Fresno County it got its start as a stage coach stop in the 1800's. For the most part this small town seems to be unremarkable except for rumors of occult activity during the early history of the area.

Legend says that some time in the mid 1800's there was a small shack on the outskirts of the town that served as a meeting place for a local cult. It was rumored that this shack was used for dark rituals designed to conjure up demons and sinister supernatural entities. The goal of these rituals were to give the members supernatural powers to help them further their sinister goals.

This went on for years until for reasons unknown the sect decided to disband and the members went on to carry normal lives. Even though no longer practicing, the group were still loyal to one another and when a member died they requested to be buried in the Dunlap Cemetery in an unmarked grave despite the fact most members no longer even lived in the area. It seems one final ritual was performed and the group conjured three tall, shadowy figures and bound them to the cemetery to protect the members buried there and seemed to be seen the most near a cluster of oak trees.

People have heard whispering voices chanting "Leave us alone!" over and over. One witness decided to disobey the whispers and ventured further into the cemetery only to hear footsteps follow them despite the fact they were alone. The voices grew louder and louder until they were no longer whispers but screams in their ears. This seemed to go on for an hour until they couldn't take it anymore and fled the cemetery. 

Of course the skeptic in me questions this story and wants to chalk it up to nothing more than urban legend. People who live in the are vehemently denying the story and most claim to never even have heard of it. If it is indeed nothing more than fiction, what was the genesis of the story? That part has always interested me, that there was some story that seemed to have lasted the years and took on a life of it's own and became a living, breathing entity. People can dismiss it all they want, but the story still is out there. I'm not the only one to have written about it. And I doubt I'll be the last. 






Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Strange black ring seen floating over Disneyland

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm obsessed with Disneyland (I have copies of the original Haunted Mansion blueprints framed and hanging on my wall). So when I saw this story making the rounds over the past few days about a strange black smoke ring seen floating over the Magic Kingdom back in May of 2015 I knew I had to investigate this.



Watching the above video you can see a large black ring floating in the sky somewhere near the Finding Nemo Submarine ride (you can hear the "Mine. Mine" of the seagulls in the background). As the object floats in the air you can hear several people voice their concern and one even asks if they should ask a cast member (Disneyland employee) what it is. Finally after a minute or so black ring dissipates.


Definitely interesting. It appeared to be some sort of smoke ring, but what caused it? Alien spacecraft going to light speed (maybe it was the Millennium Falcon since Disney owns that now)? Some speculate that it was some sort of wormhole to another dimension while others said it was proof of the government manipulating the weather. Curious, and a bit skeptical, I decided to dig further. And as luck would have it I found another video at Disneyland published on the same day as the  previous one (May 20, 2015). It seems whatever it was, it was obvious enough to get people's attention.




Both of these videos were shot at night, which had me thinking. I started digging some more and came upon another video showing the black ring, but this time in January 2016. And once again shot at night.




As I was watching this other video, craving both a churro and Dolewhip, I heard the person recording the video say it was windy. And it hit me. Nighttime is when they do the firework shows and the World of Color light show (worth waiting an hour to see) in the parks. I was there in December of 2015 (as well as Oct. 2012 and May 2014) and all three times I saw World of Color and during the show they make use of fire and the pyrotechnics are arranged in a circular space. This has to be what was recorded in the above videos. Since World of Colors is in California Adventures, those in the original Disneyland park and not familiar with the show may not know what these smoke rings are from. Even if they did they still are a bit unnerving. Disneyland is known for it's immersion. There are no newspapers, radios or Tv's, or anything else that would bring the outside world in. Walt Disney wanted it that way he was so set on people being drawn into his park. So seeing a giant black smoke ring floating over the park could seem unnerving to some. Me, I'd probably not even see it as I would riding the Haunted Mansion for the 20th time.

So sadly it wasn't a wormhole or Han and Chewie heading to KashyyyK for Life Day. Just the aftermath of some pyrotechnics.


Like I said, I love Disneyland. But not as much as my friend Heather. Check out her website Churro Kingdom for a whole new look on the Magic Kingdom.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Central Valley UFO sightings for the first part of 2016

As I write this it is June 6, 2016 and that means the year is almost halfway through already. Given that it's been a while since I've written anything and I'm currently in the midst of research I thought I'd browse the California UFO sightings on the National UFO Reporting Center and see if I could find anything in the Central Valley. And as usual I wasn't disappointed. I was able to find a few sightings going back all the way to the beginning of the year. The most interesting of them is the one that occurred in February in Fresno. I'd love to be able to interview this person. Their report is interesting to say the least.

I should note that I haven't edited any spelling or grammar of the posts. This is how they were submitted to the NUFORC.

As always if you've seen anything out of the ordinary in the skies report it the National UFO Reporting Center. You can find the link to report a sighting here.

Occurred : 1/11/2016 
Location: Kingsburg, CA
Shape: Triangle
Duration:2 minutes

Triangle objects near Kingsburg, CA.

The objects were flying in unison for the majority of the time they were viewed. They flew side by side from east to west over the 99 freeway just before the Kingsburg, CA city limits. The two objects were in site for approximately 2 – 3 minutes. 

As I stopped to look, the objects flew from the 10–2 o’clock position then disappeared. The night was clear, no fog. The lights were a constant white glow. They did not change colors or flicker.

Original post can be found here.



Occurred : 2/4/2016 
Location: Fresno, CA
Shape: Other
Duration:3-4 minutes

02/04/2016, Fresno, CA, Doughnut, 4-5 min, hovered, then landed super quick in front of vehicle, huge round craft, brown/gold, vanished

Mr. X Documentary File # 00701 THE CRAFT This is to document the factual events that occurred on or about 02Apr16, at or about 1:40am, in Southern California in the city of Fresno. The occurrence was witnessed by, and is conveyed by sworn testimony equivalent to, and with all judicial authority, as stated under oath by the signed witness, Mr. X. There are several items preceding File #00701, including and limited to; one drawing of Object ABC articulated by Mr. X in the presence of a close kin. After explanation to kin about Object ABC, Mr. X was asked by kin if he could draw, or recite details of Object ABC. Mr. X did articulate the main features of Object ABC on an old small paper bag. That image was then destroyed. There is a second document articulated by Mr. X detailing the occurrence encountering Object ABC.

As Mr. X was exiting the freeway into Fresno, California, using GPS from his phone as he navigated to his destination. The GPS on the phone he was using began giving false readings, and performing out of its normal functional character. Mr. X attempted to adjust the GPS as he drove on the off-ramp from Freeway 99 into Modesto, CA. About 50 to 100 feet from completing the exit ramp, Mr. X saw a strange thing seemingly hovering off to the left of the exit over-pass. As he began to focus on the object, the object seemed to flip, or slip, or shape-shift, landing in the middle of the road, on top of the over pass, directly in front of Mr. X’s vehicle. He stopped the vehicle before running into the object.

Mr. X stopped the vehicle, and tried to comprehend the sight of the huge craft, and make sense of what he was seeing. He tried to wake his children, and co-passenger. One 16-year old son sitting in the front passenger seat, one 14-year old son sitting in the rear passenger seat on the left side, and one female 18-year old female passenger sitting behind the driver’s seat. All passengers were asleep at the time of the sighting. Mr. X tried to wake everyone up, and even shook his son sitting next to him. Mr. X began to speak aloud thinking that someone may be awake and listening, “what is it? Look at this you guys. What do I do? I don’t understand. What am I supposed to do?” He asked. When no one responded, he tried once again to wake his son, then decided to do something he thought might be stupid. He thought that he couldn’t leave this moment without being absolutely sure that what he was seeing was real, and with no obstruction between his own eyes and the strange object. (He didn’t want to wonder in the future, because he knew he was seeing something that he never had seen before.) He stepped out the vehicle with one leg, and stared at the huge object, with one hand on the door as he stood straight up. He looked at the object for about what seemed to be 7 to 11 seconds, only looking into the vehicle for a split second at his passengers, and asking if they could wake up, then looking back at the object. Just then a vehicle horn honked and when he looked back, he noticed there were two vehicles stopped behind him, and a third pulled off to the right. The Third car was the vehicle that was honking. At first, Mr. X thought that they were honking at him to get back in his vehicle before the strange craft did something to hurt him. (like he was crazy for standing out in front of the craft like that, so close.) Mr. X looked again at the craft as he got back into his vehicle, and as he clasped his seat belt, the huge craft just vanished in the plume of faint smoke or gasses, which quickly dissipated. The Thing that Mr. X is calling smoke, or gassed, can a! lso be called a mist, and even visible fumes, or a cloud of something. This action of the gasses had a visual effect something akin to a visible fume, without a smell, and was all around the craft.

Mr. X then began to proceed the remaining 15 yards, or less on the off-ramp to the light. He continued to look for the object, and look at his GPS to find his way. The GPS still did not give correct magnetic north, flipping and changing routes sporadically. He drove from memory, until calling his friend that he was going to visit, and having the friend guide him to his friend’s home.

Mr. X pulled into his friend’s driveway in about 8 minutes after that. As soon as Mr. X passengers began to awake, he began talking about the Strange Craft. The first thing he said to his friend after saying a brief “Hi.” Was “I just saw an Alien Space Craft”. The friend just thought he was joking, but he wasn’t joking at all, and as Mr. X began to walk, he lost control of his legs, and became weak. The friend had to hold Mr. X up and assist him in regaining balance. The passengers, Mr. X, and the friend all entered the home, and went out back to sit in a rest area of the home for a moment.

The Craft was huge, Brownish-Gold, with tints of Green, Red, and Lots of Black. The texture was Hexed, or X / cross hatched, with some kind of braces running vertical along either side curving with the surface of the craft from top to bottom. The braces were of the same color, and were about three and a half lanes apart, on either side from the center where I was. The craft was about 50 to 60 feet high, and obscured at the top and sides with the strange black cloud, or fumes. At the bottom of the craft, about a foot and a half off the ground was pitch black, where the outline of the craft could be seen as it hovered close to the road. The craft did block the view of anything behind it, and the street under it. The craft made no sound, and had no smell. Just an eerie silence. Mr. X did get out of the vehicle, and look at the craft with his own eyes, and he did have glasses on so he could see the craft very clearly.

The craft did appear from hovering off to the left of the freeway, and did move very quickly (impossibly quick), and stopped on a dead stop in the center of the roadway. The craft did vanish, with the gas or smoke leaving a few seconds after the craft vanished. The roadway became clear and lit, and the yellow center, and white lane lines became visible all the way across the overpass, where Mr. X was to drive.

This is the sworn testimony, and statement of Mr. X, who is identified yet requests to remain anonymous for as long as possible. The events described within this report are true and accurate to the best of my recollection, and in in no way fabricated, or made-up. I swear to what I saw, and I am MR. X. I have no understanding for what I saw, and I know that the nature, and actions of this strange craft was not of anything that I have seen on Earth.

I hope this report helps, as I was asked to document the events of the evening on which I saw this Strange Unidentified Craft.

Signed: Mr. X

Original post can be found here.



Occurred : 3/1/2016 
Location: Fresno, CA
Shape: Light
Duration:2 minutes

White lights in Fresno sky.

I was looking south, and noticed what I thought was a bright star or planet in my peripheral vision above a large tree. Turning to look south-southwest, I noticed that the light was not one but two lights, and they were traveling parallel to the horizon, in an apparent western direction. The lights were bright white, similar in intensity to an aircraft landing light at a distance, but no sound was noted. I called to my wife, who was standing inside the house, and turned back just in time to see the lights blink out, one by one. 

My wife did not see them.

Original post can be found here.



Occurred : 3/16/2016 
Location: Turlock, CA
Shape: Light
Duration:30 seconds

light flashed in 3 durations moving short distance over head then dramatically accelerated and continue to flash as it traveled.

March 16, 2016. At around 9:40 pm, I had stepped out to smoke on the back patio as is typical, in my peripheral vision I saw a flash of white light at around 20 degrees from overhead in a north – west direction. I continue to watch that area knowing from past experience some satellites flash from the sun, and again it flashed as expected a little ways away from the original flash, then flashed a third time and dramatically had moved much farther away to my surprise… this thing had accelerated much faster then any fast satellite I had ever seen and in fact continue to flash periodical like skipping light on water sort of speak. It moved so fast I had to open the gate and run around to the front of the house to continue watching, as I refocused my eyes this skipping white flashing light was passing an airline on its left side about 40-50 miles away.

The direction of travel was just south of true west (~250-260 azimuth ). There was no fire trail behind as it flashed. I have seen skipping meteors before with fire trails. 

I must say, it’s the seeming acceleration that is puzzling

Original post can be found here.



Occurred : 4/7/2016 
Location: Bass Lake, CA
Shape: Fireball
Duration:3 seconds

Large green fireball flashing across the tree line. Did not look like anything I have seem up here before. Went out of view.

Original post can be found here.



Occurred : 5/4/2016 
Location: Clovis, CA
Shape: Light
Duration:5 seconds

Fast white light moving through the sky.

I saw a light in the sky traveling from the north east to the south west. The light looked to be about the same size as the white light you see on a helicopter. The light was moving across the sky so fast that it managed to get my attention. I said to my wife who was facing me, “look at that behind you” and as she turned around the light suddenly made what looked like a 90 degree turn and dart off to the east so fast that my wife was not able to see it.

Original post can be found here.



Occurred : 5/19/2016
Location: Dos Palos, CA
Shape: Light

I pulled over at 3 am i looked out and seen a bright light there was a bright white one and a bright red one. They were flashing it looked like they were talking I have lived in this town for 40 years and have never seen anything like this.

Original post can be found here.