Pico Blanco Boy Scout Camp

When I was 11 or 12 (1970ish) Boy Scout Troop 159 went to camp in Pico Blanco.  Shit got weird.

BSA Troop 159 circa 1974. Different Scoutmaster.

We set up our Army issue pup tents and spent the day hiking, playing capture the flag, tying knots and other Boy Scout shit.  After dinner and a hearty sing along at the campfire we settled in to sleep.  We were briefed that Pico Blanco had not one but two herds of wild pigs in residence.  We were warned not to keep food in our tents lest a pig comes in a roots around.  Trash cans were rigged to be pulled up off the ground to be “pig proof”.


In the middle of the night, I woke up.  I could hear the trash cans being knocked around.  “PIGS!”, I thought.  I could hear grunting and growling.  After a few minutes that seemed like hours, I could hear one shuffling to the tent.  I tried to wake up my tent mate, but he kept sleeping.  I grabbed my sheaf knife and my army issue mess kit knife and waited.  I peeked out of the gap at the bottom of the tent.  My view was then filled with fur.  It stank to High Heaven.  I laid there terrified until I finally fell asleep.  

Our Scoutmaster was an asshole.  Twenty-something he always bragged about his time in the Army.  He’d go on about all the things he’d seen and done.  Like sledding down the Matterhorn on a truck tire.  The ultimate Macho Man, he refused a tent and decided to sleep in a burnt out tree.  

The next morning I was awakened by a clamor.  Everyone was shouting.  There was our fearless Scoutmaster, bare chested.  He was standing with his arms crossed and had a huge black, blue and purple bruise that covered his whole shoulder.  He refused to answer questions, in fact he refused to talk at all.  Apparently, he woke up to investigate the noises.  He was armed with a revolver.  It was cold and he’d crossed his arms for warmth.

Something?  Startled him and he had pulled the trigger.  The pistol did not go off, but the hammer pinched his underarm.  He had stood there all night, afraid to move lest he shoot himself. Afraid to move at all.  We eventually, safely removed the pistol from his hand and underarm.  He quit the Boy Scouts the next day.


Years later and learned about Bigfoot.  Over the years, I’ve never connected Sasquatch to this story.  All I heard were sounds.  All I saw was fur.  We had a pig farm in our town and it kinda smelled like that.  Bad.

This is Pico Blanco today.


What do you think?


A Strange Thing Happened at the Beach

On July 2nd, 1971, the Bat Patrol was going on a camp out to Marina Beach to get ready for a troop camp out that was getting ready for an upcoming Camporee. The Bat patrol was me, Floyd, Richard, Kenneth, Gary, Mike and Tom. The plan was to hike to the beach and knock out a hike requirement. We would set up camp, eat dinner and blow off fireworks because it was the Fourth of July. We then planned to do another hike to the Marina Drive In where they were showing the movie “Vixen!” that featured naked women.

This is Marina Beach, Marina California, 93933
This is Marina Beach, Marina California, 93933

That didn’t exactly happen.
We were kids eleven to thirteen. So we set up camp, made a shitty dinner and blew off all our fireworks before the Sun had set. It was really cold with wind coming off the ocean, so two at a time guys were going over the big giant sand dune to gather driftwood on the beach for the fire. We also gathered kelp because kelp blows up like fire crackers when burned. At 5pm it was Floyd and I that had to trudge to the beach to gather firewood. When we crested the dune, this was our view:
What Floyd and I saw was a gun metal grey metal disk. It wasn’t swamp gas. It wasn’t a helicopter or the planet Venus.  It certainly was not a weather balloon.
About 30 feet in circumference, it was nothing like what shows up lately on TV. About 300 meters off shore. If you have ever seen a helicopter go over a body of water and the rotor wash flattens the water, this thing was doing it to the surf and the surf was crashing around it with the area underneath totally calm. Distance and size are accurate by judging the waves and breakers. I’ve provided a picture for reference. You do the math. No, I’m not posting an artist’s rendition because I’m still looking for what I saw. No last names are used because at least one person has become a recluse and I don’t want to out the others without their permission. If [BIG IF] you were there and feel comfortable, feel free to comment. IF YOU KNOW THESE PEOPLE DO NOT OUT THEM YOURSELF.

So there was Floyd and I staring dumbfounded. We don’t remember who said it, but someone said “Do you see that?” and the other one said “Yeah”.
“Should we tell anyone?”
“Hell yes.”
We then started screaming for everyone to come and see this thing. They all start scrambling up the dune. In typical “UFO Story” fashion, before anyone else can see it, it quavers and quivers a little and BAM….gone to the horizon.
Decades later I got to spend time with Floyd who I hadn’t seen in about 15 year. Sharing a couple of beers we caught up on each others’ lives. Then Floyd got quiet and then said, “Do you remember that camp out at the beach?”



I said, “Like it was yesterday.”