I’m launching a new portion of the web site called “Bucket List Locations.” This is a constantly growing list of locations that I consider must-visit locations that every paranormal enthusiast, investigator, explorer, or adventurer needs to see before they die. A (before I kick the) bucket list. Most of the places that will appear on the list are places I haven’t visited yet, some are places I have visited and I’ll share my experiences there in both the form of a travelogue and a report of my take on the site from a paranormal investigator’s point of view. Others still fall into the middle category where I have visited the location, but a return trip to seek out more information and/or deeper investigation is still in order. My first entry falls into that final category.
Of course, Napa Valley is primarily known for being America’s premiere location for turning grapes into wine. The landscape is beautiful and its history and soil rich. I first visited the Napa region with great friend and current co-host of the “Fantastic Story Society,” Max Timm, in 2011. It was in the offseason and rainy, but that’s still a wonderful time to see the area as you don’t have to fight crowds of tourists at every turn.
The trip was not intended to be a paranormal adventure, but every (and I mean EVERY) time I head into a town I’ve never visited before, I look up the location’s local lore. Napa presented me with a story that even a decade later, still blows me away.
Yes, there are plenty of stories of the ghost of pioneers from the covered wagon days and many more stories of winemakers who are so dedicated to the land, they return long after death to keep an eye on the vineyards, but the stories that locals seemed to talk about with the highest level of seriousness, if not dread, in their voice was the reports of Rebobs that inhabit the mountainous woods along Partrick Road.
This is a cryptid I had never heard of and once I researched it, all I could think was, “How have I never heard of this before?”
The creatures that patrol these woods are the result of government attempts to create super soldiers, but the project must’ve gotten out of hand, or perhaps funding was unceremoniously cut and the place left abandoned. Partirck Road (which I accidentally repeatedly call Patrick road in the video below) evolves drastically, in name and setting. Once you are in the heart of Napa, you’ll exit from highway 29, heading west on 1st street, which soon becomes Browns Valley Road before finally turning into Partrick Road. Now, just take that road until it dead ends. Exactly how far that is, is impossible to determine from GPS or satellite maps as the road just sort of gets lost in the woods. Different sites have slightly different answers here. What is “known” is that wherever end end lies, that’s where the military base stands.
The tiny mountain road climbs higher in elevation until it’s abruptly stopped by massive “King Kong” style gates, with guard posts/gun turrets on either side. This is literally the end of the road for us non military, non-security clearance-issued travelers. What a strange place to have a secret military installation – in the middle of wine country!
Beyond the gates is the installation where the military has attempted to create super soldiers by genetically modifying monkeys to grow wings. What the government couldn’t do with genetics, they did by supplementing these monkeys with bionic/robotic parts. Yes, we’re talking FLYING, ROBOTIC MONEY SUPER SOLDIERS! These are the “rebobs.”
According to different legends, when funding was cut, the animals were simply released into the woods where they have flourished and continued to reproduce. Another legend states that the monkey soldiers were too smart and strong to be controlled, so they effectively overran the installation, causing the military personnel to flee.
Also, just for bonus atmosphere, on your way to the end of the road, you’ll pass a hidden, haunted cemetery. This small cemetery is unmarked, not visible from the road and very hard to find.
The sheer absurdity of the Rebob story is enough for most people to dismiss it as a silly story. However, it’s not a joking matter according to the locals. People claim to have had their card damaged by attacking rebobs and countless people have claimed to see, not only the flying monkeys themselves, but also black government helicopters in this area, which seems to confirm the ‘secret government installation’ claim.
What is back there? Where exactly does Partrick Road go?
It might be easy to pull off these tall tales in the early ’90s and prior, but now we’re equipped with tons of satellite imagery and GPS services. As mentioned earlier, not even all the mapping systems see this area the same. Below, we’ll compare four different services, using the attempt to find the cemetery as the focal point:
Top left: GoogleMaps. You can compare it to the satellite image further at the top of this article. AppleMaps appears to depict the road continuing further than Google. Bing (of all places) was the first place I discovered an apparently unpaved branch of Partrick Road that branches off from the paved portion. This is also the only map service that actually labels Partrick Cemetery (however, it misspells it as “Patrick”). Heading over to Historic Aerials, one of my favorite research sources, the dirt road is depicted in much more detail. The exact path of these two roads could not be more different between Historic Aerials & Bing with Bing depicted as a fairly straight-forward north-south path, while Historic Aerials gives the impression that it’s more of a switchbacked road, likely changing dramatically in elevation while being predominantly on an east-west path. A topographical map from 1952 confirms the Historic Aerial map. The first mention of Partrick Cemetery appears on a topographical map in 1958, however, it places the cemetery further north, along the paved portion of Partrick Rd, beyond the dirt road turn-off. Topographical maps in the 1960s-80 show many more dirt roads as well.
In the remoteness of this area, anything can happen.
If even the most high tech mapping systems can’t agree on the paths of the roads or even how many roads exist up there, I can understand the idea that there could be more mysteries lurking amongst the trees.
For Max & I, we wound our way up the road, deeper and deeper, the road getting more and more narrow as the elevation grew. Soon we spotted no trespassing signs and decided to play it safe, finding our way back to ground level before we were slapped with any kind of fines, a backside full of buckshot from someone defending their property or before a black helicopter could get scrambled to intercept us.
The Unfinished Business:
Well, it’s all of it. I want to find my way to the end of every road up there. I want to find the wall or gates, or prove that there’s nothing like that up there. Might there be some ruins visible from the road that could be mistaken for something bigger? If so I wanna find it and tell the real story. I would love to visit the cemetery to document it and do a minor investigation, even if its just a short EVP session. Perhaps most importantly, I’d love to get down to the bottom of the folklore. Where is the truth? These stories came from somewhere. Usually, it’s possible to track down kernels of truth that could get exaggerated over time. where is that truth? Also, where the hell does the word “rebob” come from? It does sound slightly like “robot,” but it’s also an all together unique word.
That YouTube video, embedded above, was the inspiration for the season 3, episode 7 episode of “Monsters & Mysteries in America.” Aired in 2015, unfortunately I was not involved with that production other than suggesting the topic and working remotely with the producer. During the filming, it became the opinion of the film crew that people were misidentifying peacocks as the legendary rebobs. I’m not saying that there are flying robotic monkeys in those woods…. but peacocks? Whatever the case, this is one of my favorite odd stories that I’d love to dive into further and, of course, with the full cooperation of the community and landowners in the area. I would love to tell the true story, whatever it is, behind the rebobs and secret military base looming over the hills of Napa Valley. As with everything, I urge people to not trespass or do anything else illegal. The cemetery in this area really does exist, but is on private land. As you might expect, it houses the remains of people who settled this area including some of the Partricks themselves. This Google review sums up how this site should be approached: