Thursday, April 01, 2010

"Santiago Sam"

You may have heard about that oarfish that washed up on Aliso Beach in 1922, giving rise to talk of sea serpents. But have you heard of "Santiago Sam," the bigfoot/sasquatch that shows up occasionally in the Santa Ana Mountains? Rumor has it that he's only about 5' 2", which makes him the shortest bigfoot ever recorded, but he still leaves enormous 20" footprints behind. (The photo below is an example of a similarly sized footprint.) Sam's short stature has probably allowed him to remain mostly hidden in the scrub brush of the Santa Anas.
There have been four sightings (reported to me by Rangers who preferred not to be idenitified) in or adjacent to Black Star Canyon, with other sightings scattered across both the Riverside and Orange County portions of the Cleveland National Forest.
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In his Boys Book of Bear Stories, historian Jim Sleeper points out that although bears have long been considered exterminated from our mountains, there are still occasional verifiable sightings. If animals as large as bears can remain well hidden in that terrain, it's certainly reasonable that a critter the size of Santiago Sam could keep a pretty low profile.
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If you know of any additional local cryptozoological lore, please let us know in the comments section below.

11 comments:

brentjthomas said...

I grew up in Orange County, and have never heard of Santiago Sam. I was a boyscout, and camped in some of the places you identified as possible locations for this short-bigfoot. Nobody ever mentioned Sam. Mountain lions were sometimes on our minds. Interesting article. Thank you.

DregerClock.org said...

Ha! I've never heard of Santiago Sam either. intriguing blog post.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I remember going with my dad to some motorcycle event at Cooks Corner when I was a kid. Some guy who lived near there was telling us he'd seen something that looked like a big ape near his cabin and that it really freaked him out. My dad and I talked on the way home about how that might have been a bigfoot. I'd totally forgotten about that until I saw your post.

Anonymous said...

I have seen 2 different ones in Modjeska Canyon both in 1985. A black one drinking from a stream at about 40 ft away, thick forearms, black hair about 2 -4 inches long all over. Not a bear. Brown tall one accross on a ridge standing up looking at me. Hot summer day, at first I thought who the hell would be wearing a fur coat and hat.

Anonymous said...

How recent were these sightings? The footprint photo looks like it was taken very recently.

DregerClock.org said...

I believe the footprint was discovered fresh on April 1, 2010!

Anonymous said...

I have not seen or heard of this interesting creature before, but I would be willing to say that I have seen it, if given the right incentive.
John Earl

Anonymous said...

I am a paranormal researcher who investigates Black Star Canyon almost weekly. I have had several possible encounters with possible Bigfoot like creatures up at Black Star Canyon over the last 6 years. One decided to throw a rock at us about 3 years ago. We shined our light on it and couldn't believe what we were seeing. I didn't really know if they existed until that day. The entity was 12 to 13 feet tall, grey hair, long arms past where it's knees would have been and a watermelon like head. We shined our light on it for about 30 seconds before I decided to try and get my camera to take a picture. It was to far away at that point. The picture didn't come out. I then walked behind a small tree before disappearing behind some larger trees.

In the years before we had heard and seen strange things. Three tree knocks that I though were gun fire until we heard what sounded like an elephant walking away. Since seeing that creature we have had small and large rocks thrown in our direction. Some thrown on a line from several hundred feet away. One hit a lady's backpack. We also had a fence post shake on us. It scared the girl so bad we had to leave.

I have been doing research looking mainly for ghost since 2000 up at Black Star Canyon. I have now been looking into possible Bigfoot activity for the last 7 years. I would be happy to hear other people feedback. My website is www.orangecountyghostsandlegendsparanormal.com.

Chris Jepsen said...

Anonymous Paranormal Researcher: You saw Sam's older brother, Black Star Bernard. He's taller than Sam, so he can't hide well in the scrub brush. Instead, he puts on a trucker cap and blends in with the hirsute hipsters in college-adjacent coffee joints and gastropubs. Bernie will stop throwing rocks at you if you leave him some crossword puzzles and a few #2 pencils. He *loves* crossword puzzles and prefers the New York Times.

John: Would a shiny nickel get Sam into the Voice? Certainly Sam's story has more legs than the stuff Poseidon tries to tell you.

Anonymous said...

It's crazy that I came across this article. Years ago between 70-72, I went with a friend of mine, both about 16, to park in Irvine Park one night to drink some Strawberry Hill Wine. This is something we did quite often with friends. On this one night in particular (I'm thinking it was around 9:00 PM) something just seemed off, yet we couldn't put our finger on it. We were parked by the horse stables and could hear them making that sound that they do when they huff out their nose. Anyway, as we sat there talking about things that guys our age talk about, the horse began becoming irritated about something. One of them even sounding like it was desperately trying to get out of its corral. We started becoming concerned but thought it might just be a mountain lion or something. We thought it best to roll up the car windows just to be on the safe side. It sounds crazy but just as we started rolling up the windows, some kind of animal or something let out a crazy screech. Mixing an elephant, owl, and pig together is the only way I can describe it. We used to hang out there quite often at night and had heard the calls of much of the animals indigenous to the area and even others like the peacocks but this cry was nothing like them. It was screeching but in a baritone voice. I didn't even have a chance to say let's go before my friend had his car started and in gear. We told a few friends the next day but they looked at us like we probably just had too much to drink so we ended up just letting the story die. Honestly, we had only been parked for 10 to 15 minutes before it happened and we were lucky if we drank 1/4 of the bottle of wine. The next day I joked with my friend about how fast he had his car started the night before (including immitating a chicken) and he told me that he lived the first part of his life in a rural part of Washington State and had heard a similar screech when he was younger living there. Wow, and now after all of these years to hear about a Santiago Sam, it kind of gives me the goosebumps.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting your story. This helps as I am trying to track where their movements are. I recorded two howls about two weeks ago while the coyote's were howling by Limestone Canyon. These were not coyotes. I have heard a scream late at night as we were leaving Black Star Canyon around 2 AM one night and this sounded similar. We were the only ones around.