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Catalina Island, California
Catalina's Hermit Gulch Campground

What I am about to share with you is the truth. Recently I feel compelled to come forward with this information. I am not nuts or have I ever suffered from any mental illness. I am not looking for attention. I submitted a report to the BFRO about an encounter I had on Catalina Island. I didn't report the whole encounter because I was worried no one would believe me. I told of the vocalizations I experienced outside my tent, not the visual encounter I had on the dirt road. I also want you to know that I believe these animals are flesh and blood. I don't believe in aliens, and this is NOTa paranormal encounter. I hope all will receive it with an open mind and heart.

First let me start by saying, I have always had a belief in God and that belief was strongest when I was a child. I am not a phony baloney, raise your hands, alleluia type of person, but just a person who tries to follow their heart and practice their faith. I am still very human and have a little bit of the Old Testament in me.

When I was 23 years old, I went out to CA to visit my brother. It was a hard time in my life. I was questioning whether there was a loving God or even if he existed. Within about 3 weeks into my visit, in Oct of 1987 my brother, his wife, his baby girl and I went camping on Catalina Island. (Originally I thought it was the Avalon campground, but now after looking up some information, I believe it was the Hermit Gulch campground). Anyway I knew there were two things to watch out for during our stay, rattlesnakes and wild hogs. After the ferry ride, we hiked to our campground and arrived there late afternoon. There were 3 groups of campers that night. Most of the sites were empty. On our site we each had our own tent. I had mine and my brother and his family had theirs. We were located near the bathhouse at the edge of the woods, a short hike to the botanical garden.

When night came, I decided to take a walk into town, pick up a 6 pack of beer and bring it back to share with my brother. I really didn't need the beer, it was just an excuse to get out and walk, it was also a little treat for my brother and me. It was a beautiful night. I was surprised how the air cooled down from the daytime temp. The stars were shining brightly, and it was as if you could reach out and touch them. You could faintly see the mountains against the now darkened sky.

I began to walk passed the bathhouse and onto the dirt road.. As I walked down the dirt road I noticed that the road was getting harder and harder to see. I was moving away from the utility light of the bathhouse. I turned my head sideways so that my eyes could see the little light that was reflected off the road. I continued to walk when all of a sudden I started to hear this repetitive almost inaudible moan/breathing sound, auhh, auhhh. I thought my mind was playing tricks on me. So I said a little pray in my head. Then the sound grew louder and I thought, "Man, this is real!" I said another pray to the Lord, but this time out loud in an attempt to scare whatever it was away. The noise stopped. I didn't want anything to do with this noise. I continued walking and eventually started to come out of the darkness and back into the light of another utility light. There were now horses on my right, greeting me with their snorts. I thought maybe this was what I heard, reverberating off of the ground while I was walking toward the horses. I thought, "Pete, you're losing it!" I continued to walk, and now the golf course was on my left.

As I looked around, I remember thinking, "There's not a soul around. This place just really shuts down at night." I walked along and passed the parked golf carts and continued until I was across from an outbuilding, when all of a sudden, the horses that I had passed moments earlier, freaked —: and I mean freaked! I thought either a fight had broken out or they weren't aware of my presence. The funny thing was, that most of them were running straight towards me. I got off the road and approached the barbed wire fence. Some of them came to a stop not far from me. I could see one with its ears pinned back, nostrils flaring, eyes wide with the whites showing, and the head high bouncing in an agitated motion. I started to talk out loud to them, trying to calm them with my voice, all the while looking down the area I just came from on the dirt road. There was nothing. I came away from the barbed wire fence and got back on the dirt road. I took 15 to 20 steps on the dirt road heading to town and decided I was going to look one more time down the dirt road. This time I spun around to my left quickly and looked down the road at this same area, trying to catch whatever it was off guard, and to my amazement, way down the road near the golf course side, away from the horses, I saw a human silhouette roughly 6 ft. tall. He was in mid stride with his head slightly lowered. As I looked at him he stopped his stride and stood erect. He stood still for a brief moment and then leaned to the left, as if realizing that I could see him. He had come into the light and I could clearly see the shadowed outline of what I thought was a person (head, arms, and legs). He next took off like a professional baseball player stealing second, but instead of sliding feet first behind a small group of bushes, he came into them at full speed, in a crouched position stopping dead behind the bushes. My first thought was "this guy is pretty fast and he is trying to scare me, what an immature nut. What if I take my 6' 1" 220 lb. bodybuilding self over there and put a little scare into him?" However, just before I could do this I saw his head pop up and recede twice behind the bushes. This time I got a good look at its head, and the shape didn't look human. Immediately a fear grew within me that I couldn't stop because I realized what it was, and I had just come from a completely dark area where this thing was right next to me. I was in disbelief, how can it be way out here on this Island, but I certainly knew what it was, from past experiences. I thought that I was in lethal danger. I thought it was stalking me, measuring me up for a quick strike. I thought I was going to witness my own death. My breathing went up as well as my thought process. I thought quickly, I can't out run it, I could go to the out-building and break in, but then what? Or I could join the horses b/c they didn't like its presence. I started to pray out loud, and believe me my voice was full of emotion. Panic would be an understatement, I was asking Jesus for help. I kept pleading and pleading, and was just ready to give up and run through the barbed wire fence, if I had to, to join the horses, when my prayers were answered. (Let's just say I was no longer afraid).

The next thing I observed was the BF running parallel to me on the golf course. I was trying to look at it out of the corner of my eye, but then I just had to look right at it. This is what I observed while it was running by. The color of its body was either a brown or a reddish brown all over. Its strides were smooth and efficient. The palms were open and facing down in a slight curled position with the thumbs folded beneath, I think (the thumbs) were folded? I do know the hands were not closed in a fist. As the arms pumped rhythmically with each stride, the open hands snapped back and forth in their curled position. The upper body was erect and leaning forward slightly. There was no heavy breathing when it ran and I estimate its speed about 20 - 25 mph. After it disappeared into the darkness, I praised God and was thankful that I was still alive. I really wasn't concerned or scared the rest of the walk.

Upon returning to camp that night I told my brother what happened. He had that "thousand mile" stare. I decided to focus on how beautiful the night was and how majestic the mountains were earlier in the night. Any way, who cares, I know what happened. My brother's wife was busy trying to calm down the baby in the tent. We shared a couple of beers and around 11:30 pm retired to our respective tents. I was tired. I had a good workout the day before and a long walk to town with much, much to be happy about. When I got in my sleeping bag that night I was feeling really good, the beer had also relaxed me and I drifted off to sleep rather quickly. The next thing I heard was this voice calling my name over and over again. "Pete, Peter, is that you?" I finally answered my brother saying it was not me. I could eventually also hear these snorting sounds, like a pig, just out side my tent. I yelled back to my brother that it was a pig and to go back to sleep. (Now understand this, I never in all my encounters heard this creature vocalize, so bear with my thought process. Besides God had taken care of BF earlier). The next thing we heard were sounds made from that of a childlike voice, animal calls is the only way I can describe them. I thought it may be the drunk campers my brother and I spoke to earlier. I was starting to get angry and scared. My brother and I started yelling, "Who's out there? Knock it off!" Shamefully, there may have been a few obscenities thrown in there. We were both yelling at them to stop it, and then, the sound changed. This time the sound I heard was like a cat in a fight, but only much louder. I was thinking, "Human? No that is definitely animal", I kept going back and forth with this thought. It drowned out 2 screaming adult males. All three sounds it made never overlapped and didn't sound like they were coming from the ground level. My sister in-law was hysterical. My brother and his wife were yelling at me to come out of the tent because "I had the knife". I was almost paralyzed with fear. And yes I was praying. I yelled back to my sister-in-law to ignore it. I don't know if what I did next was the most rational thing to do, but I was tired of them/it yelling at me, and what if it were some of the campers pulling a prank. As soon as I unzipped the tent the noise stopped. When I came out shaking with the knife in my hand, (don't worry the knife was just for show at the time, I really don't think I would ever use it, even if I had to). I could hear something shuffling in the leaves of the woods. My brother then came out of his tent. "It" stopped momentarily. Marty proceeded to tell me that it was a hog and a cat fighting over the snacks we left out. I asked him, "What if it was a BF"? He persisted with his theory and then he went back to his tent to console his wife. As soon as my brother left, the leaves captured the movement of whatever it was, but this time you could distinctly hear it move as if it were on 2 legs. I heard 4 steps progressively getting fainter as it moved away from us through the woods, Crunch, Crunch, Crunch, Crunch. No human can move like that through the complete darkness without special equipment. I knew without a doubt that our friend had returned. I remember thinking, who cares, no one is ever going to believe me.

We all slept in the same tent that night. I was on the side of the tent by the woods and didn't get a wink of sleep. My mind was racing the whole night on all the events that had happened. The next day I looked for tracks but found none around the picnic table. There were snacks on the table, beer, and a possible soiled diaper? In my original report, I don't think I told the BFRO this, but 2 of the bottles that still had beer in them were gone, this may sound ridiculous but this is the truth. I wanted to stay the next day but my sister in-law didn't want anything to do with it. Oh by the way, neither I nor my brother, were drunk during this encounter.

Honest to God this is a true story, I swear. In my original report, I told the BFRO the second part of the encounter but not the first for obvious reasons. I always considered this as being one encounter because it happened on the same night. I thought they would do their homework and investigate. They never called me for months and then when they did they gave me the wrong number. I was also guilty of losing their number from their second call. I was moving at the time. I also placed this "second part" of the encounter on a message board of another BF site (Bobbie Short's California Sightings) however not with the same details. It was a very generic description, and I asked had anyone else heard or saw any BF on Catalina Island. I was hoping someone would make this discovery without me telling the first part of the encounter. I always felt that if I were going to tell the first part of the story "Walking on the road, the visual part", I couldn't just leave Jesus out of the picture. And if you add that into the story, who is going to believe the story? So I left that part out for obvious reasons and told only the second part. I may have told a white lie by not reporting or saying I never saw anything, but I was embarrassed to do so because of the consequences. I assure you, I am not looking for attention, on the contrary, I am shy about this experience, but like I said, I feel compelled to come forward with this information.. Who would make up, and then try to pass off such a wild and ridiculous story, unless it really was the truth. That is why I held onto this for all these years. It was over a year ago that I went on-line to see how many others shared my fate of seeing this BF creature. I know it was no coincidence that I experienced that encounter on Catalina, if the horses hadn't of tip me off that night I would have never of seen the BF. But how would I ever tell this story? Who is going to believe it? About two weeks ago it came to me during my prayer time that I need to be more confident. So here I am. I truly believe there will be a discovery made on this Island if someone takes the time to seriously investigate it.

Here's a description of the Island. I learned all this several months ago. Catalina Island is one of the Channel Islands about 20 miles off the coast of LA. The Island is about 76 sq. miles of which most of it (88%) is uninhabited by people. 42,000 acres of land set aside for a unique ecosystem. The diverse habitat is home to thousands of species of native plants and animals. It also supports feral animals including cats, hogs, goats, and buffalo.( Although the goats are being eliminated). Two of these unique animals can't be found anywhere else in the world. They are the Beechey Ground Squirrel and the Catalina Fox.

If someone would like to contact me to do a serious investigation I am open to any relevant questions. I respectfully ask that you not waste your time or mine if you do not believe this story and if you are not a serious investigator. I know this is not as scientific as some would want but I am telling you the truth. I have reported this story to several people recently and fear that it has not been taken seriously. This is another reason I feel it is important to come forward to a larger audience. I am shy about this experience however I feel strongly that a discovery will be made on this Island some day. I would never, ever hoax.

Peter Hameline

Report logged Tuesday, May 15, 2001 6:44 AM