Weird California
Weird California
Weird California - By Joe Parzanese

Borrego Sandman

Map Borrego Springs, California

Anza-Borrego Desert is a massive state park encompassing over 585 thousand acres, including 1/5 of all of San Diego County. This makes it the largest state park in California. Parts of the state park are called the Borrego Badlands and the Borrego Sink. Within these areas, quite possibly resides a horrid beast, eight feet tall, weighing possibly 400 pounds with white furry hair, and red eyes. It resembles an upright walking white furred ape, and it is known as the Borrego Sandman!

It's been speculated that the Borrego Sandman, also called the Abominable Sandman of Borrego, could possibly be some sort of white furred desert dwelling Bigfoot, a cousin to northern California's more classic forest dwelling Bigfoot.

Native Americans had stories in which they referred to Hairy Devils, foul smelling man like beasts, which the Native Americans avoided. As people moved more into California in the 1800s, more reports of hairy beasts and upright walking apes began to surface, such as a rider on a stagecoach reporting seeing one hiding in some brush on his stagecoach ride.

In April of 1876 a prospector named Turner Helm encountered one of the Borrego Sandmen near Deadman's Hole. He tried unsuccessfully to communicate with it in multiple languages, but when it became aggressive he brandished his rifle and scared it off. More than a decade later in March 1888, Charles Cox and Edward Dean went searching for the creature, believing it was responsible for some unsolved murders that had recently been occurring, the victims having been torn apart like an animal had killed them. The two gentlemen shot and killed one of the Sandmen, but somehow, despite their claims that they had shipped the body back to San Diego for display, the corpse went missing in transit and was never seen again. Murders were attributed to the creature in the 1870s as well.

Moving forward to 1939, an anonymous store owner and prospector was attacked by a group of upright walking apes when he camped near Borrego Sink. They apparently surrounded his campsite, but refused to come closer due to the fire. He described them as covered in white fur with glowing red eyes.

In 1964, Major Victor Stoyanov ran across tracks in the area some 14 inches in length and nine inches wide. Supposedly, the Major took plaster casts and photographs ... although none of these can been seen today. Also in 1964 a father and son reported running across one of the creatures and having it heave rocks at them. The two described it as a "shabby ape like beast". A few years later, Harold Lancaster in July 1968 was prospecting east of Borrego Springs when he ran across one. He fired his .22 pistol into the air, scaring the Borrego Sandman off. Also in the sixties, a man named Frank Cox supposedly shot a beast that was a cross between a man and a bear near Warner, California at Deadman's Hole. The creature reportedly had feet that were 24 inches in length.

Lastly, the Travel Channel TV series, Mysteries at the Museum spoke briefly about the Borrego Sandmen in their 284th episode for their 22nd season entitled, "Borrego Sandman, Axeman of New Orleans and Arctic Ghost Ship". In it they mention a retired police officer in 1962 doing investigation into the creature after running across its tracks in the desert.

Desert Bigfoot tales aren't just limited to the Borrego Sandmen in San Diego County. In the late 60s and 70s several Bigfoot sightings were reported in towns such as Lancaster and Palmdale. Rumors go on to state that Edwards Air Force Base often deals with desert Bigfoot, and that the hairy humanoids even venture into the base's underground tunnels. Many tales in Southern California of a desert Bigfoot have used the term Yucca Man to describe the possible cryptid. These tales seem to be more like the Bigfoot tales in Northern California with the creature having dark hair.

Very little physical evidence has been collected on the Borrego Sandman. A cast of the creature's footprint, supposedly taken by the retired police officer in 1962, can be found at the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine. They have in their possession a cast that is fourteen inches long, nine inches wide, and has four toes but no claws. Judging by the tracks, it appears to walk on two legs.

Nearby Ranchita has the Ranchita Yeti statue standing outside Montezuma Valley Market, which was originally modeled after legends of the Borrego Sandman. Some legends state the Borrego Sandman is the same monster that haunts Proctor Valley Road!

So San Diego County may have a white furred ape like Bigfoot lurking in its deserts. Sightings have been less since the seventies leading some to speculate that the Borrego Sandman has migrated north an hour to the mountains up there. Regardless, if you are out in the deserts of San Diego County, you might want to be careful, you might run across an aggressive relative of Bigfoot, one that has had several murders attributed to it.

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First Created: 2021-10-11
Last Edited: 2021-10-11

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