Wetzel's Riverside Monster
S Riverside Avenue,
(Santa Ana River)
Stories of strange and weird phenomenon are by their nature filled with weird occurrences and odd coincidences. So it may come as no surprise, when certain names of people and places seem to re-appear over and over again when discussing these stories. For example, "Devil" or its derivatives appear in countless locations where ghosts, goblins, and boogey men have lurked. California has several "devil" locations including: Devil's Knoll, Devil's Gate Reservoir, Mount Diablo, and Devil's Hole. One such name is Wetzel.
In 1958, two completely different Charles Wetzels saw two completely different creatures in two completely different locations. The two had never met, were not related to each other, and ironically both also had sons named Charles. On Saturday, November 8, 1958, one Charles Wetzel was near Riverside, California when he encountered a strange bipedal, reptilian like creature. He was driving on North Main Street and had arrived at the Santa Ana River which had over flowed its banks when his radio station suddenly went out. Changing stations didn't help. Then a six foot tall creature with scaly skin, no nose, no ears, florescent eyes, and a beak like mouth emerged and attacked Wetzel's car. Wetzel later described it as having a "round, scarecrowish head like something out of Halloween". It was further described as having scaley, leaf like skin, two long spindly arms, and its legs grew out of its side instead of from underneath its torso.
As it clawed at his windshield, he stomped on the gas, causing the creature to fall off the hood and under his car. Not caring about the monster, he blatantly ran over it. The creature scrapped against the bottom of the car. Police tests would reveal that something had indeed rubbed against the underside of his car, but police dogs later brought to the area found nothing. Although the next night, another motorist was frightened by something not far from the site of the attack, and reported to the police that something dark had attacked him near the area. But the only real evidence of the creature's existence was the clawed windshield of Charles Wetzel's car. Since then, except for the 1970s discovery of Bigfoot tracks in the area, the location has been relatively quiet. 18 years after the incident, 21 inch footprints believed to possibly belong to Bigfoot appeared in the Santa Ana River Basin.
The case is even more bizarre when one considers that on July 28th of the same year, another Charles Wetzel encountered what appeared to be a six foot tall brown kangaroo in Nebraska. This Wetzel wasn't the only one who saw such a creature in the area. Other kangaroo sightings appeared around the same time as far as 100 miles away. The sighting so profoundly effected Charles Wetzel that he named a beer for it at the brewery he operated: Wetzel Kangaroo Beer.
So was Charles Wetzel's reptilian attacker a relative of the Lizard People presumably living under Los Angeles? Or was it a real life Creature from the Black Lagoon? And what are we to make of the phenomenal coincidence of the Charles Wetzel seeing a kangaroo in the same year?
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- Anonymous, too... of Riverside, California on 2021-05-04 said:
- As I understand it, the "creature" which Charles Wetzel saw in the Santa Ana river bottom in Riverside, California, that night back in 1958 might have been a hoax. He saw a "creature" alright but the Riverside City College biology professor, Cecil Johnson, who was known for his many pranks, has supposedly stated that he was the one who was in a "creature" costume in the river bottom that night and several other nights, as well.
- Anonymous on 2017-08-15 said:
- I know some people that live at the Wetzel River, currently known and called The Riverbottom, that has seen that creature and saw two more of those creature. A total amount of three creatures which they seen those creatures hovering over the River water and watching the people and as soon as the people go closer to it they run off into the bushes. In addition to the story,those creatures still exist and still is unknown what it could be. They come out at night. Many people who live there has seen it and tried to stab it with a long spear but it got away. Also there are demon entities who also come out at night. They have powerful forces that they imprint their face onto the side of the tent. Some people who believe in Jesus Christ will tell those entities to leave them alone.They only come to the weak minded people who don't have faith and believe in Jesus Christ. His name protects us people who have belief and faith in him. He is the one who can and will save us. Be aware if you go take a trip to the River Bottom. Be safe.
- ronald a kucera of Grand Island, nebraska on 2016-11-08 said:
- I live in Grand Island ne. the same city Charles Wetzel lived in, and he swore this is fact, about the Kangaroo he saw along the platte river near his cabin.
In 1958 I had a close encounter with a UFO about 6-7 miles from the area Charles spotted this roo.
- Mysterious America: The Revised Edition (2001) by Coleman, Loren, p: 166 - 167, 280 - 282
- Weird California (2006) by Greg Bishop, Joe Oesterle, Mike Marinacci, p: 92 - 93
- Atlas of the Mysterious in North America (1995) by Guiley, Rosemary, p: 143
- Mysterious California (1988) by Marinacci, Mike, p: 120 - 121
- Montezuma's Serpent (1982) by Steiger, Brad and Sherry Hansen-Steiger, p: 82 - 83
- LA Exposed (2002) by Young, Paul, p: 143
First Created: 2006-07-31
Last Edited: 2006-07-31