A listener writes “It all started on a Friday night in October 1977. This was the Deer Hunting rifle season in the central Sierras of California know as the “D” zone. My friend and I both 17 had gotten a late start and we arrived at the town of Arnold on Hwy 4 about 1030 pm. We took the road north/east past White Pines Lake. Once past the lake the paved road turns into a two lane dirt road. There were just a maze of dirt roads and trails running everywhere for miles through the pine trees. We had been here many times in the past, hunting, exploring, shooting, and drinking beer etc and we knew the area pretty well.
I was driving my dad’s 1962 Ford ¾ ton long bed truck. It was also one heavy beast of a truck made out of real metal. That will mean more later on.
So, we are driving generally north on this dirt road and it was getting on past 11pm now. We were tired and were impatient to find a place to sleep before getting up early to hunt. I spotted a turn out or wide spot where we could park. I abruptly crossed over the center of the road and parked facing the wrong way. Young pine trees lined the edge of the road making tree hedge of sorts. I gave myself just enough room between the truck and the trees so I could open my door. I wanted to make sure we wouldn’t be hit by a random vehicle or logging truck in the middle of the night.
We dropped the tailgate and quickly tossed out all our gear “ice chest, stove, tent, etc onto the ground behind the truck. It was a full moon and nice weather so we opted to just sleep in the bed of the truck. We closed the tailgate and laid out our bags with our heads facing the tailgate. Neither one of us even took the time to take our pants and socks off. My friend was on the drivers side of the bed and me on the passenger side. I was just getting settled in and looking at the night sky when we heard this blood curdling howl/scream come from the front of the truck. It lasted about 7 or 8 seconds then transitioned into another 7 or 8 seconds of jibberish!! We both popped up on our elbows, looked at each other and my friend said “what the hell is that” We both sprang out of our bags and scrambled to the front of the bed and leaned over the top of the cab as far as we could looking down the road for what
ever made that sound.
From the front of the truck, the road curved slightly right and then curved left as it went around the mountain. The moon lit up the road really well except where this large pine tree had cast it’s shadow across the road about 40 yards in front of us. Right in the middle of the shadow in the middle of the road was this dark black mass. It was about 4 ft wide and maybe 5ft tall. I couldn’t tell what it was!! It was swaying side to side rather quickly. I recall my friend saying “what the hell is that !!” and me replying I have no idea. My friend said, is it a bear? I said No. Is it a turkey, I said No. This went on for maybe 15 seconds. Just then it stood up doubling in height and at the same time took off quickly to our left leaving the road and going down the hillside. It didn’t stand up and stop and turn like a human would do. It just sprang into action in one fluid motion.
As it passed behind the pine tree and headed down the hillside we could see it moving really fast through the moon light for about 6 or 7 seconds. Just as I thought I was seeing a head my friend said “is it flying” It looked to me as if it were sliding on a track. Not the normal up and down a human would do. The ground is really uneven and the way it moved seemed unnatural to me.
As it disappeared out of view, I grabbed my rifle and we jumped out of the truck and ran down the road in our socks to where it had left the road. Now looking down the hillside the forest had opened up to a clearing that appeared to be clear cut maybe 50 yards across and 75 yards deep. It was surrounded by large pine trees on three sides. At the very far end of the clearing I could see this dark shadow darting back and forth as much as 30 yards. I could see it’s movement in the moon light. After several moments of watching this thing it occurred to me that it didn’t want to go that direction and was panicked as to where it found it’s self. “like if you were being chased down an alley and found it was blocked”. I was straining to see and was pretty sure I was seeing a head and shoulders. I was wondering if my eyes were playing tricks on me when I hear my friend say “shoot it !!!” I raised my rifle tried to track it with open sights as it moved back and forth. My Dad had always told me not to shoot something if you don’t know what it was or have a good site picture. I cranked a round off way over it’s head and it disappeared.
After a few minutes of silence my friend and I walked back to the truck and got back in our sleeping bags. We were discussing what hell we had just witnessed and the sounds it was making. What I called “jibberish” earlier was actually more like consonant’s and vowels. The first sound of the howl started with a “B” followed by what was very similar to the Ohio howl, When it transitioned “La” was one of the sounds it made. Being 17, my friend said “I know what it is” I said “what”. He said, “it’s a Boo La, Boo La !! The name stuck. After talking awhile we fell back asleep.
Suddenly, I awakened by the truck rocking up and down. Let me tell you it takes a lot to rock that old truck. As I laid there trying to figure out what was going on I realized something had the driver front area of the truck and was bouncing on it or trying to pick it up. After about 10 seconds it stopped. Then whatever it was moved ever so slowly down the side of the truck towards the bed. It was like it was trying to be quiet but I could hear the foot steps and the sound of something course dragging against the side of the truck. “Like Hair” Recall I had parked only a few feet off the tree line, just enough to get the door open. I thought bear, and then I though “oh it’s that thing”. I laid there motionless and scared as it slid down the side of the truck and stopped right above my friends head. Without opening my eyes I could tell by foot steps, the dragging sound and breathing this thing was taller than the truck and was peering in on us. It stood over my friend and me for about 10 seconds then slowly moved away. It then kicked our gear around behind the truck for a few moments before walking off south down the road away from us. In the morning my friend said he had been awakened by the shaking truck and knew it was there and he was to scared to move as well.
Looking back, I think we had blocked it’s path when we parked. Maybe there were others behind us and it didn’t want to be separated from them. It was clearly upset at our presence on the road.”