posted on Apr, 9 2017 @ 03:08 PM
I love threads like this – this is ATS at its best, but this one seems to have stalled for a few weeks…
Maybe we can get it fired-up again!
I have had four distinct “paranormal” experiences in my life and a couple of other episodes (like this one) that -- while definitely weird,
probably don’t cross that threshold. I’ve written about most of them here over the years already, so forgive me in advance if you’ve already
read this account from my youth.
When I was a boy, my family lived in Palm Springs, California in the desert southwest of the United States (for our non-US members). I had a friend
on my street who was my age (10 or 11 at the time) and who shared my sense of boyish adventure and mischief. We became the notorious default suspects
anytime something went wrong in our admittedly upper middle class neighborhood.
My friend’s dad had a beautiful motorhome. From time to time, I would be invited to go along for a “boys’ weekend” at one of the local
national parks. I absolutely loved going on these outings. I loved exploring the outdoors, hiking, and being in the wide-open spaces.
It was about this time of the year -- either Spring Break (back then it was Easter Vacation) or close to it. I was invited to go for a weekend trip
to one of several national parks surrounding the Coachella Valley. I am not 100% sure which one -- in my mind, I see Joshua Tree National Park, but I
could be wrong about that. I’m pretty sure this was 1975...
What I do remember is that my friend’s dad always had these out-of-the way spots picked out where he could park his RV with nary another camper in
sight. The RV was fairly self-contained and a small group like ours could go for several days without services.
We parked on a level spot in the foothills. Below our elevation was a vast flat desert “wash” that went on for miles. We arrived late in the
afternoon as the seasonal thunderstorms that pound the desert that time of the year were forming up against the slopes of San Jacinto.
A couple hours after we arrived, the monsoonal rains came in fast and heavy. The downpours left the desert wash below us flowing like a river. In
between squalls, we boys would run down to the flowing wash (very stupid, BTW), and jump around in the warm sandy water. Then the thunder would
rumble in the distance and we’d run back up the hill to the RV soaking wet and laughing like fools.
As the light was fading we were sitting having our dinner and chatting about the hike we were planning for the morning. At a certain point, my
friend’s dad became quiet as we boys continued to chatter on. He was looking out the window toward the wash.
Moments later he stood up and peered out the window through binoculars. There was a whispered, but very audible, four-letter word uttered and he
abruptly ordered us boys to stay put. Down the hill, he walked toward the wash still flowing in spots. My friend picked up the binoculars, looked
through them, and then handed them to me asking, “What is that?”
It looked like a big monkey had washed down the valley and was laying now feet away from my friend’s dad. Its face was dark, its limbs askew, it
appeared to be quite fat. It was clearly dead.
My friend’s dad sprinted back to the RV. He immediately sat in the driver seat, not saying a word to us boys who were firing questions at him
faster than anyone could have answered. He was clearly freaked out.
Back then mobile communications were all by CB – “citizen’s band radio”. He was able to contact someone using that radio and ultimately the
Riverside County Sheriff’s Office. As he communicated with the Sheriff, we were filled in on the facts. The “monkey” was a decomposed human
Within a short period of time several police and other official vehicles were parked around our campsite, some with spotlights pointing down toward
the body about 500 feet away – right where us boys had been splashing around earlier.
The corpse was sealed in a body bag and taken away while my friend’s dad was talking to the Sheriff. We boys were terrified. I remember my teeth
When my friend’s dad returned to the RV and all the cops were gone, he did his best to calm us down and explain everything he could. It worked. We
calmed down and began to play games. My friend’s dad drank a couple of beers. At a certain point, he decided it was time to go to bed so we’d be
well-rested for our hike in the morning.
I was fast asleep when I heard a series of abrupt noises. I heard my friend’s dad yell some exclamation that sounded like “NO!”, the door to
the RV slam shut, and the motor start. Before I knew what was happening we were in motion and he was yelling at us to come forward and sit in the
He refused to tell us why we were all of a sudden in motion. He didn’t speak. We drove all the way back to Palm Springs that night. He refused to
tell us why. He was white, sweating, shaking…
Years went by before I learned the truth, and in retrospect, I’m glad I was an adult when I heard what had really happened that night.
When I was 20 I visited my friends on a break from college. After a few beers and some reminiscing, it occurred to me to ask my friend’s dad about
the desert “episode” years before. He was very quiet for a few moments, took a deep breath, and told us what had really happened.
After we boys had gone to bed, he had stepped out of the RV to relieve himself. The moon was now bright and the desert floor visible for hundreds of
feet below. He looked out toward where the body had been hours before and froze. There standing in the moonlight was a human figure in the exact
spot where the corpse had come to rest. It was dressed in what appeared to be a black suit and overcoat – something no one would wear even at night
in the 80+ degree humidity.
He said he couldn’t really see the figure’s face, but it was very pale. It raised its head and peered towards him after a few seconds then simply
turned and walked off under the moonlight into the open desert.
After learning the truth, my friend and I looked at each other, then at his dad, and agreed that it was probably for the best he didn’t tell us the
truth when we were kids. We wouldn’t have slept for days…