Friday, December 20, 2013


     I recently had the pleasure to encounter members of a film crew working on the hill on a project called "the Cabin." You may have seen the signs, the trucks, the high-power lights and the troop of stylish young people at work on Tahquitz Drive this last week. The premise of the film (I may have gotten it a little mixed up) is that a cryptozoologist inherits her grandmother's Idyllwild cabin and comes here to reconnect with childhood memories while investigating inexplicable happenings that have created a stir among the locals. When the peace and quiet (and strange noises) become unnerving she seeks a roommate, eventually settling on a particularly hirsute "Heidi."  We hope the film will be ready in time for the 2015 Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema.   

     One member of the crew, Andrea, asked that I publish the lyrics of a song that has become something of a local anthem. It is traditionally sung each year at the Idyll-Beast Festival:

Idyll-Beast, Idyll-Beast,
Every season you greet me.
Tall and furry, not to worry
You look happy to meet me!

Blossom of fur may you bloom and endure,
Bloom and endure forever.
Idyll-Beast, Idyll-Beast,
Bless out hometown forever.

      Speaking of the Film Festival, cinephiles are invited to check out these posts which document Idyll-Beast activity in and around the 2012 festival. The following posts dealt with what appears to be a "treatment" actually written by an Idyll-Beast, and the Beast's reaction to one film's "stereotypical depiction of fur-covered Americans."

Remember to report you sightings to:

Happy Holidays

Monday, September 9, 2013

In Flagrente Delicto


     This tasty bit of evidence has cropped up through an “Insta-gram” account linked to one of the curators at the Laguna Art Museum.  Last week, the museum’s “Discussion With…” series of artist encounters featured local photographer Gina Genis. Her recently published book, “Everbody and their Mother: Idyllwild CA, vol 1,” was the subject of her presentation to the gathered art lovers. To make the evening more lively, Genis brought along several “specimens” to participate in a panel discussion, among them the Idyll-Beast.

     The Idyll-Beast is known to be keenly interested in the arts, especially when they involve giant pastries. A quick thinking curator, upon meeting the Beast, decided to introduce him to one the “objets” of the museum’s collection, the lovely cupcake here, part of an exhibit titled “Faux-Real.”

     The Beast found the confection delicious and their conversation “in-faux-mative.” In the ensuing photo-ops and general melee, the sprinkles that adorned the delightful frosting-covered masterpiece joined the furry conniseur’s collection “on loan” before the chagrined curator could politely usher Idy away from the gallery.

       The Cupcake in question has since been identified by OC Weekly as “Amy Caterina's delicious mixed-media social commentary Doomsday Bunker …”  What appear to be chocolate shavings on top are actually security cameras, and “[i]nside, the shelter's rations are wrapped in pink tea cozies amid shag carpeting, making the claustrophobic space resemble a little girl's playhouse refuge.” It goes to show: things are not always what they seem.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lake Fullmor Phenomenon

     This image came to our attention recently.  The sign in the background marks the pedestrian crossing near Lake Fullmor. The animal in the foreground is too blurry for definite identification, but the consensus among researchers is that it is not me. The hair is too long for starters, and given the height of the sign, the creature would appear to be at least 7 feet tall. 

     In a recent column, sometime friend of the Idyll-Beast and Press Enterprise contributor Bob Pratt  (see the column) mentioned the Lake Fullmor phenomenon. Hasty readers came away with the imression that he was speculating as to the possibility of my involvement, mentioning the supposed participation of the Idyll-Beast Research Center in the placement of several (beautiful, anatomically correct, fur covered) signs along the highway several years ago. Careful reading will reveal that although he links the new sign with the earlier ones, he notes that they are "different," and admits that he "[doesn't] know who put up the latest sign." 

     For the record: this sign is not my work. The likeness is quite good, the pose natural, but the feet are too small.  Furtermore, I do not tamper with signs other people have put up. Never have. In my opinion, the altered sign is a benefit to the community, as motorists, jaded by the ever-increasing clutter of signage, are much more likely to drive carefully when they see the "improved" version. But that is only the opinion of one researcher.

Friday, May 31, 2013

More Reports from the Archives

Over the years Idyllwilders from all walks of life have contributed a wealth of eye witness accounts to our archives. As I often say, "you can't make this stuff up." At least I can't. Below for your consideration and edification the report of one long-time Idyllwild resident.

Witness: Pat Ladd

Interview date: 1/5/2010

This happened 5 or 6 years ago. The first sighting was off of Fobes Ranch Road. Down the dirt road off the right-hand side 2-3 miles in. There was a creek back there where we went to look for rocks, me and John Schroke. You can polish and sell them. We saw multiple tracks, different sizes, big and little ones. They weren’t bear and they weren’t human, they were too big. Little ones all the way up to ones too big to be human. They were fresh. We went and brought the ranger back to show him. He didn’t know what they were, no idea. John made plaster casts of them with dry-wall plaster he had in his truck. Those cast are now lost, lost in a marriage break-up thing.

            A month later we came back to the same area. There are some really beautiful rocks for carving and selling there. Crystals too. I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. That’s when I tapped john on the shoulder, I said:

“look over there!”

“No that’s just red shank [a kind of tree]” he says.

“No, look right there”

“Oh my God.”

We backed out of there slowly. It was not growling but sneering, showing its teeth like a dog threatening or warning. So we backed out and split, a half mile to the truck.

The next sighting happened probably 4 years ago, maybe 3 and 1/2. I was going down to Clifford Dorn’s by the Boy Scout camp. Back side of Garner Valley, over the Hill off Morris ranch Road, We were driving along and I said “Stop the truck right here.” I pointed to it and he saw it.

“That’s just a tree trunk.”

I said “Watch this!”

I got out of the truck and shook my hands and butt, and it did the same thing right back, raised its hands and shook its butt, like it was mocking me. It didn’t look angry. It just turned and walked off. It was just sunning itself watching the road, across the canyon about 200 yards away, close to the Scout camp.

Another one that happened 3 or 4 years ago, we were living on South Circle. Jeff (Harron, Harrison?) was camping out over on Strawberry Creek, by the Church Camp. One morning, sun barely up, he came pounding on the door, saying “Pat, Pat, you’re not going to believe this!”


“A Bigfoot stole my sleeping bag!”

It shook him by the feet and he back-pedaled out of it thinking it was a bear. Then he saw it was not a bear, it was upright. Not a bear, not human, it was Bigfoot. He was pretty adamant about it.

            He told other stories; one of them stole a chicken from his open fire, that same year.  He heard something in the bushes. He went to his tent to get his gun… and turned to see this thing take the chicken off his fire.  He also recalled the time one of the creatures spooked a horse he was riding.

            Another person that’s seen them is Old Bruce, of Val and Bruce’s market down by Mountain Center. He sells roasted nuts and beef jerky down by the highway. They broke into his store. He thought it was people and went upstairs to get his gun. It was this big hairy thing. Lots of incidents, cabins broken into.

            Clifford too has seen a lot of them. He was a trailblazer, knows every inch of the back country up here. So did I, back in the day. He’s seen whole families, groups of them.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Idyllwild's "Daisy Scouts" had a special visitor to their Monday May20th meeting in the cafeteria of the Idyllwild School. Troop Leader Marcy Lipare submitted this evidence, and reported that the troop greeted the Beast with a chorus of "Kum-bay-yah." The visibly moved creature reached for a handkerchief to dab a tear from his eye, and the scouts then performed "Make New Friends" as an encore. "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold." After posing for a single photo the Beast slipped out.

We had hoped to provide video of the encounter but our staff videographer explained that it would be impossible to get "model releases" for all the animals involved. The issue has plagued the cryptozoological community from the beginning and would seem an insurmountable problem for ethically minded beastwatchers.

Corroboration of the sighting came when researchers visited the school office and found that "Idy" had signed in, crudely but legibly,  before visiting the scouts. Office staff report the sign in at 3:30 and  add that the Beast waved on the way out, about 15 minutes later.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A River Runs Through It

River Anderson, 5 years old, submits this stunning piece of evidence. River and her mother Libra came to Idyllwild for an afternoon of communing with nature. First stop: the Sunday Brunch buffet at Arriba! Here River discusses buffet technique with her new friend, the Idyll-Beast.

River shares her home in Twin Pines with three dogs, three cats, four chickens and her mother and father. Here she is sharing a plate of pastries with Idy. Next year she plans to enroll in a Cryptozoology Magnet School. Young lady, the world is your Buffet! We at the research center feel sure you will always have interesting friends to share it with.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Saturday March 2nd Idyll-Beast sighting

 Members of Girl Scout troop 561 reported an unusual encounter at their cookie sale table in front of the Idyllwild Inn. Talk about meeting new customers…. The creature emerged from the forest and asked how many cookies he could take with the crumpled bills he produced from his shag. The young entrepreneurs calculated the Beasts “wad” to be equal in value to 6 boxes of cookies (exercising their sense of fair play) and assisted the animal in selecting an assortment of favorites (solving problems and thinking creatively.) The animal seemed to take a special interest in the peanut butter Do-si-dos and the Thin Mints, but expressed skepticism about one daring youngster’s attempt to foist “mango crèmes” off on him. “Mango crème? What kind of animal eats Mango Crèmes? Give me another box of Caramel DeLites!” The budding sales person explained that mango crèmes are filled with “NutriFusion” enhanced with nutrients from fruits, and the animal agreed to experiment. These beastettes are without a doubt learning skills and showing the confidence and team work that will serve them well in the future.

When asked what he would do with all those cookies the Idyll-Beast explained that he was going to feed people. “People feed the squirrels and blue jays for fun. I find feeding people relaxes me. If you stand completely still they come right up and take them out of your paw!”

The scouts did not allow the Beast to return into the forest without first “signing” autographs. These youngsters have definitely earned their “patches” in Cryptozoology; the Idyllwild troop is the first known to have sold cookies to a crypto-hominid.

They even invited him to join the troop. At a loss to explain to the girls why he couldn’t be a girl scout also, he suggested that maybe a Heidi Beast back at the Research Center might adopt the troop. Indeed, the Girls Scouts and the Idyll-Beast Research Center would both benefit from collaboration. We respect any group the sends small animals scurrying through the woods distributing boxes of snacks to winter-distressed villagers. They are like little saint Bernards.

Sources at the Chamber of Commerce confirm that no Chamber of Commerce funds were “embezzled” to buy the treats.

In an unrelated story, local musician David Jerome reported “probably about $30” missing from his tip jar at the end of his Saturday morning 9-12 gig at Café Aroma. “One of the servers reported a huge, shaggy, lumbering creature lurking around the jar. I’ll have to have a word with Vince Day. Enough is enough.”

Monday, February 25, 2013

I Like What I See

As many Beast watchers know, the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival in Indio has long been a hot spot for sitings. As this year's fair came to an end, many researchers and their parents have submitted fascinating evidence. We don't know what it all means, but I believe that there is a time for analysis and a time to just step back and say "I know what I like." Whether it is composition, color balance, dynamic tension, or implied narrative, each of these images has something to offer.

 Maria, age 9, from Thermal California, meets the beast.
 Priscilla Gamboa sends us this portrait of her offspring making a new friend.
And Chrissy and Jasmine plan Jasmine's first vacation! (Photo courtesy grandma Edna)
Ephraim and Kat Armendariz get a little motivation to "work off" those funnel cakes. The Idyll-Beast inspires many to take up sprinting for health.
 An unidentified fair-goer makes a new friend. See you in Idyllwild, amigo!
Marta Padilla submitted this touching portrait, a quiet moment shared.

See you all at the Fair next year!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lawsuit Update

It has been hard to get specifics regarding the purported lawsuit “Idyll-Beast vs. Delicious Strangers, John and Jane Does, Idyllwilders 1-3,000.” A search of county court records returned inconclusive results, but as they say “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

Stories have been overheard at the bar at Café Aroma; one defendant tried to have the case moved from “Limited Civil” (under $25,000) to Superior Court. The defendant’s reasoning was that as a Jazz musician he is of cultural value to the community, at least in the “high six figures.” According to our source the judge denied the motion, ruling that the suit was not about his value as an artist but as taco filler, and that even allowing that his “well marbled flesh” might fetch the same price as Kobe beef, this would still fall below the $25,000 thresh hold.

Other defendants are said to be taking an opposite tack, starving themselves to deprive the Beast of any nutritional value, or cause him to loose interest and drop the suit. This strategy has resulted, so we hear, in a “motion to compel” the defendants to continue eating, and, should they refuse nourishment, to be force-fed like foie gras geese.

I can state categorically that the suit was not filed by the Idyll-Beast Research Center, and the Beast himself has denied initiating any legal action. When asked, the Idyll-Beast suggested that suit was the work of  “…another animal, most likely an Attorney Vulture.” To those of you unfamiliar with this unusual scavenger allow me to quote from the Audubon guide:

“The Attorney Vulture is unique among the buzzard family in its method of hunting. Having chosen its prey from among the law-abiding denizens of the forest, the creature files a frivolous lawsuit or sham pleading in the name of a puppet plaintiff, choosing an easily confused and ostensibly indigent creature for this role. The intended victim is then forced to respond to the suit and an ensuing barrage of motions and interrogatories, dashing back and forth across the highway until, if the Attorney-Vulture is lucky, they are struck by a speeding vehicle. The Attorney Vulture can then dine at his leisure, but not before lamenting hypocritically about the dangers of the legal system and the often-calamitous effects of litigation.
Like most members of the Buzzard Family the Attorney Vulture has a bald, featherless head to facilitate gorging itself on the rotting carcasses of its prey. In keeping with the tradition of the old English barristers, however, the birds are sometimes known to sport a wig with a ponytail.

Monday, January 21, 2013


In an effort to better meet the needs of our community, the Idyll-Beast Research Center has prepared an "Official Beast-Sighting Request Form.' It is self explanatory and can be filled out by any animal with reasonable diligence. These won't guarantee a sighting, but they will greatly increase the odds.