Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Fontana Monster Sightings of 66'

August 1966. Two teenagers rushed into the sheriff's office in Fontana, California to report their close encounter with a strange creature.

Jerri Lou Mendenhall, 16, told officers that she and her friend had been driving along a dirt road just north of town when a creature suddenly came out of the bushes and attacked the car.
The creature reached through the driver's window and tried to grab Mendenhall. She quickly hit the accelerator and rushed away but not before a hairy hand brushed against her. The girl showed officers a set of scratches on her neck that she claimed to have received from the monster's large human like hand.
The witnesses described the beast as being at least eight feet tall and "like a gorilla on its hind legs."

The youths were in a hysterical state and described their encounter in great detail. The officers however, were not receptive to the report and made fun of the teens. One official laughed and said to Mendenhall:

"I suppose next you will be telling me that the monster was dressed in a pink bikini and you will expect me to believe that too?"

Angered, the girl retorted to the officer "Sure, of course, it was wearing a pink bikini!"

Still in a distraught state, the teenagers left the office, trying to ignore the laughter of the officers. Unfortunately, the pink bikini comment was picked up by a Los Angeles newspaper which further made fund of the entire account.

But there was more to the story. A number of other teens reported having encounters with a large, hairy creature on the local lover's lane. While law enforcement insisted that there was nothing to the story, at least one officer admitted, off the record, that he had found a huge, four toed footprint at the scene but didn't report it.

Several papers ran stories about Fontana's creature.The San Bernardino Sun-Telegram reported on the monster several times and included numerous witness statements. The Ontario Daily Report informed readers that there were numerous reports of the beast near the old Fontana dragstrip between Foothill Boulevard and Base Line Road. According to the paper, the creature was "A horrible monster with a hairy body, long hands, and claws dripping with slime."

By the end of August, the Daily Report ran a news item about an impromptu hunt for the monster. Sheriff's deputies were called out to reports of shots fired around the race track. Arriving on the scene, they found four teenage boys with a pair of rifles who were "combing the brush and shooting at everything that moved."
The boys were reportedly determined to find the local monster and bring it down once and for all. Officers confiscated the firearms and sent the boys on their way.

It was the last reported sighting of the Fontana monster of the period. While many people tried to play off the accounts as wild stories, the admission by a law enforcement that he found an unusual track implies there may be much more to the story of Fontana's monster.


  1. I remember it and grew up in Southern Cal and know this area. I had a creepy encounter of my own north of Highland Ave in the wash at age nine.