Ghost Stories

Pacific poachers

Hi everyone,

Finally called my big brother and had to admit to him that he may have been right about the existence of ghosts. Boy did he get a big kick out of saying "I told so you!" Anyway, we talked for over 3 hours on the phone about some of his experiences, one of which I'd like to share with you.

My brother has worked as a warden, actually a ranger, for the Dept. of Fish and Game in California for 12 years. His territory includes Mendocino County on the north coast of California. Anyone who knows the area is well acquainted with the majestic dark, redwood forests that grow along the coastline. Anyway, occasionally as a ranger, my brother has to deal with poachers. In that part of the country, they have a big problem with tank divers illegally harvesting abolone. It can only be taken legally by freediving- no tanks. But at $50-$60 / lb, abolone meat is very expensive, and well worth the poacher's risk. In any case, this incident took place about 6 years ago near Fort Bragg. The DF&G had been getting several calls from locals seeing lights between 11:30 and 2 am out near a rocky point located 2 miles south of Fort Bragg. Thinking the locals had sighted some poachers, my brother and his partner decide to set up a blind at the edge of the woods 200 yards from the point. They picked a spot with a clear view of the point so that anyone coming from or going to the cliffs couldn't get by without being seen. The first night, they stayed out until 4 a.m. However, the night was uneventful as they saw and heard nothing.

The second night at 1:05, Paul, my brothers partner, spotted two lights coming out of the redwoods to the north of the blind. They watched as the lights traveled slowly out to the point and then slowly disappear when getting to the cliff. My brother was so sure they were about to catch someone. However when Paul and my brother got to the the edge of the cliff, they were dumbfounded. There was no one in sight, and no way anyone could have gotten past them without being seen. Although dissappointed, they decided to come back again the next night.

Right on cue at 1:05, they saw the lights emerge from the dark forest, and make a bee line for the cliffs. This time my brother was quick, and tried to follow within 300 feet of the lights. Paul had decided to stay back for a wider field of vision. It was very dark out, but my brother could clearly see the lights ahead of him as he approached the cliff. However instead of going down the side of the cliff they continued out over the water. My brother had to stand at the edge of the cliff and watch as the lights disappeared into the foggy mist almost 200 feet above the natural shoreline. It was at this point that he realized that he wasn't dealing with poachers. He walked back, and told Paul that they were wasting their time looking for poachers, and that what they were dealing with really didn't fall under their "jurisdiction".

Still my brother, who was curious about what he had seen, decided to interview some of the locals to see if they knew anything about the mysterious lights. In doing his research, he talked to a farmer by the name of Fred, whose family had owned land adjacent to the point since the early 1900's. Fred told him that as a child he was always getting into trouble for playing to close to the cliffs, and that his mother had often taken a switch to his backside for getting to close to the edge. Even when he wasn't really close to the edge, his mother would often panic and yell at him to stay close to the house. The reasons for her fears were not unfounded.......

Apparently, back in the early 1910's, there was a family that had owned over 140 acres of land which included the point. The husband worked in the local lumbermill, while his wife stayed at home, and took care of their 5 children: 3 boys, and 2 girls. Anyway, Fred's mother had become close friends with the 2 younger girls. After a very wet winter, and a particularly harsh storm, the 2 sisters were playing out on the point, but were quite far from the dangerous cliffs. Unfortunately tragedy struck, and the land underneath them gave way, weakened by the recent rains. Nearly 14 acres of land slid off into the ocean in a giant landslide, taking the girls with it. Neighbors banded together, and helped retrieve the bodies of the two little girls. One had died immediately, and the other shortly afterwards.

My brother said he has often thought about how the 2 little lights he saw that night seemed to travel over land which had slid off into the ocean so long ago.....

Thought I'd just share this with you guys.