The Desert's Bigfoot
Yucca Man terrifies
I received the winter edition of Desert Oracle in the mail several days ago and was looking forward to a brief perusal of its contents under lots of blankets in my poorly insulated, frozen cloister of a bedroom. Alas, the periodical's editors had other plans for me as I became engrossed in the "The Known Unknown: Tales of the Yucca Man."
Yucca Man is six plus feet in height, covered in hair, bearing a gnarly scent and eyes that peer and glow blue in the darkness of desert expanses. Stories of Yucca Man haunt visitors to Joshua Tree, where campers are reported to be shocked awake as a blurry creature unknown unzips tents in the darkest hours of the night. The Tongva people of the San Bernadino Mountains tell tales of takwis- the sometimes angry, often hairy spectres that claimed victims from the cursed Tahquitz Canyon region.
In the 1970s tales and sightings of Yucca Man in Southern California became common enough to attract cryptozoologists and adventurers to various regional locales, from abandoned mines to air force bases. Shadowy images emerged. Footprints in sand were measured. Nerves were frayed.
Yucca Man earned other names, like the eerily endearing "Blue Eyes" or the jokey "Marvin of the Mojave." His victims have showed up in places like Deadman's Hole in California, in Laguna del Diablo in Arizona.
Another victim: me, laying awake, listening to footsteps down down the alley through paper-thin walls, dreaming of wild desert, punctuated by nightmare-interludes of the Southwest's very own marauding Bigfoot legend.