|Mike Rugg and Cliff Barackman|
When I was visiting Santa Cruz frequently, I would often visit my friends who lived on the “Ranch,” a strange shanty-town style garage converted into a semi-legal living situation on the backside of a cartoony five acre junk yard on Soquel Creek. The Ranch was adjacent to a persimmons orchard on one side, Soquel creek on the other, and steep redwood-laden hills on the backside of the property. Weird things happened at the Ranch, which is to nobody’s surprise, as weird folks lived there. Some of these things fit very nicely into the possibility of having sasquatches around on some occasions over the years.
Jeff, one of the primary residents of the ranch, reported some strange things to me over the years. For instance, one time he heard what he though was a very acrobatic person climbing the junk piles next to his home and walking on the roof before jumping off and running away. Another time while washing dishes, he saw distinct red lights down the long driveway. He said it reminded him of an eye looking at him, and indeed he thought it was a mountain lion or some other creature. Strange animal sounds were fairly common, including goats down in the creek area (where there were no goats), and loud growling and garbled roaring at the backside of the property.
And then there was the “Tall Man.” The Tall Man was seen on several occasions looking into the windows under the eaves of the house, more than eight feet off the ground. He was described as being totally dark with no features visible. He was once seen coming out of the creek, crossing the driveway, and passing over the barbed wire fence into the persimmons orchard. He moved like he was floating, giving the impression to the witnesses that he was more spirit than physical. Another time, just before dark, he was seen walking down the driveway. His head and top of the shoulders could be seen above the Ford Van that was blocking their view. He was always seen at dark or dusk, and always described as uniformly dark from head to toe.