Weird Los Angeles: Riverside's Reptile Man
Mystery Casebook January 31, 2008-Reports of Bigfoot were sweeping across America by the late '50s, but what Charles Wetzel encountered on Saturday, November 1st, 1958 was unlike anything reported in the press. He was cruising in his 1952 Buick Super near Riverside, lending an ear to KFI Radio of Los Angeles, when he had to slow his car further to avoid water that had spilled across the road from the Santa Ana River. Suddenly, the radio began to crackle and then, from the shadows a creature of unthinkable nature emerged, and stood in the middle of the wet road.

The abomination was flailing its arms, and making an awful guttral, gurgling sound. As Wetzel approached, the monster lunged at the hood, scraping and clawing at the windshield. The hideous form was over six-foot in height but seemingly covered in scales. Wetzel, in his blind panic could make no sign of discernable features except for its beak-like mouth and bright eyes.

Charles reached for his gun but remained hesitant at shooting the spectre, knowing full well that to shatter the glass of the windscreen would enable the creature in. So, Wetzel put his foot down, and the creature bundled off the hood into the road, Charles driving over the horrifying humanoid and exiting the scene.

Although police searched the area with dogs, no trace of the creature was ever found, although another witness did come forward to report a similar incident from the following night, although this time the 'thing' was simply described as black, and which leapt from the foliage. Wetzel's vehicle on closer examination showed that something had scraped the underside, but exactly what remains firmly stored in the memory of the witness, and also the murky woods of southern California.

Source & References:

Loren Coleman - Mysterious America (2001 Paraview Press)

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