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Park Ranger caught on tape voyeuring nude sunbathers from bluff above

topic posted Thu, August 28, 2008 - 11:11 PM by  NudeBeach
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I'm posting this story for two reasons. (1) To demonstrate the illegal, perhaps desperate tactics of the state park rangers and (2) To show that the majority of lewd behavior happens on the Marine beach and that it truly needs to be cleaned up to change the reputation of the clothing optional beach on the state park side.

I was on the beach today just about 50 feet south of the fence on the Marine base side of the beach when a guy came up to me and said there was a person voyeuring on the cliff with a camera that had a huge lens snapping photos and or video about 300 feet south of the state park boundary. The man was definitely on the Marine base up on the cliff over looking nude sunbathers.

I looked up and it was definitely a ranger. I discreetly grabbed my video camera and hid it until the right moment and then zoomed in on him. He saw me with the camera quickly, but I was able to get him on tape briefly. He ducked away from my view once he saw me with the camera. Unfortunately, he did not have the camera or binoculars in his hands when I rolled tape. However, I did witness the ranger looking at people through binoculars and he appeared to have a camera as well.

Approximately 7 minutes later, the ranger came hauling ass down to the marine beach in his state park ranger truck to apparently try to bust someone for masturbating on the beach. Turns out, the ranger targeted the guy that told me about him being on the cliff in the first place. I interviewed the accused man after the fact on camera about the incident. He claimed complete innocence and said that the ranger got the wrong guy. That he had seen the guy that was doing it, but that guy got up and took a stroll to the north side of the fence when we were all talking about the ranger on the bluff with the camera/binoculars.

I didn't believe him because I know how much cameras and binoculars can zoom in. How could the ranger get it wrong? Well, seems he might have. There was a couple about 10 feet north of the accused man and they told the ranger and myself that it was another man that was masturbating in public. The one that got up and went to the other side of the beach. Still, the ranger did not believe the couple or the accused man and issued a "warning" to the accused man. Which essentially means he took his information for the record of the state park. At least that is what the ranger told the man. I doubt that is true because of the next point..

The ranger did not cite the man because state park rangers have no legal jurisdiction on federal land, aka Camp Pendleton Marine Base. Although, I have heard that rangers have cited people south of the fence that did not know any better. Of course, I was there with a camera and any thoughts the ranger had of that were quickly put away I'm certain. Again, I'm not sure it's true that the state park rangers have cited people south of the fence on the Marine base property. Can anyone shed any light on that?

The man that the couple said they witnessed doing the naughty deed came back shortly after the ranger left the area. The couple said thay were positive it was that man and that the ranger got it wrong. I snapped a photo of the backs of the couple facing the ocean with the man walking in the background to document the scene (with permission of course). I realize this is not a felony crime scene, but for the propose of trying to paint the picture, well.. I'm an x news cameraman, so it's in me.

Here's the problem with all of this. First and foremost, there is a known ongoing lewd behavior problem south of the marine fence on the Camp Pendleton part of the beach which is reflecting a bad image onto the state park clothing-optional beach. I spoke with a Marine the other day and he said the general consensus of the Marines is that they really don't care what happens on their part of the beach. Used to be the Marines would sweep their side of the beach here and there to get the civilians back onto the state park side. Personally, I have not seen or heard of that happening this past summer.

I spoke with Allen Baylis from friendsofsanonofre.org about this incident shortly after it happened. He spoke with the couple that witnessed the lewd act by phone. Allen informed me during the same call that the California Department of Parks and Recreation has been trying to get the Marines to allow state park rangers to have legal jurisdiction on a portion of the Marine base to help curb the lewd acts that occur on that part of the beach. My understanding is Allen would support such a policy, to help with the image of the traditional clothing optional beach. I thought about it, and maybe it would be a good idea. I mean if the Marines are not going to do anything about it, than why not the rangers.

However, I am not okay with state park rangers up on the cliffs peeping down and people sunbathing in the nude and taking pictures and / or video of them. Something about that is spooky and just seems illegal to me.

My guess is that this particular state park ranger is upset about the Judge's favorable ruling for the naturists yesterday and is trying to gather some kind of evidence for a possible future hearing? Although, I also heard that the state park rangers denied having any footage or photos of lewd acts on the beach, during the recent court case to close the clothing optional beach at trail 6.

In addition to this incident, as I was leaving the beach today, I was throwing something in the trash by the Marine boundary fence and right on top in the trash can was a hardcore sex magazine. So, case and point, the closer you get to the Marine fence, the more shady it can get. And if you go past it, you could encounter more than you were expecting to.

The traditional clothing optional beach is a relaxing and safe place for families and good natured people of all walks of life to come and enjoy. The Marine base again, is the main source of the problem in my opinion. These stories should not keep anyone from coming on down!

Appreciate feedback to any of the questions I posed. If you have 2-3 cents about any of it, go for it.

I will have photos and video soon of this incident. Check my blog at: nudebeach.typepad.com/
posted by:
NudeBeach
San Diego
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  • here is my $4.36 worth of typing... lol

    1 - there is no reasonable expectation of privacy for either the nudists or the rangers when out in public on either state or federal land. thus, cameras and tapes, while detestable by some folks, are a completely known hazard.

    2 - in general, everyone would prefer not to be taped doing whatever it is that they are doing - unless they fall into the breed of exhibitionist or actor-for-hire. there is a generally-accepted standard of privacy used among nudists that you should ASK prior to taking any photos of them. there is also a generally-accepted standard of privacy used among employees (incl park rangers) that you should ASK prior to taking photos of them. IANAL, so i cant speak with any further authority than my own opinions.

    3 - youd have to ask every person involved what their motivations are (or were) and be prepared to be lied to - unless this were a court case with penalties for falsehoods. (regarding the situation that you described)

    [watch out, im stepping up onto my soapbox...]

    4 - i think that there is a general-perception among the nudists that the rangers are doing something illegal or desperate. i imagine that the rangers are fairly sure of the laws - and if they are not, then they are poor employees. whether they are doing something illegal or desperate - i cannot say - but i CAN attest that most nudists would find being videotaped an invasion of privacy (even tho they recognize item-1 above).

    5 - there truly IS a large line-in-the-sand/cliffs between state land and federal land. it is all just a fiction used for legal issues, but having that line is important. just like the marines dont want the state to have jurisdiction on their land - we (the state of california) would not want the feds to have jurisdiction on our land. whether someone walks 100 ft along a beach or floats a couple miles beyond the 10-mile water-boundary - that person is crossing an important imaginary line and the laws they are subject to - will change.

    6 - i have (over the course of the summer) noticed that more-and-more normal nudist heterosexual people are crossing that imaginary line. they seem to be bringing some of the attitudes of the STATE-law-abiding people with them.

    7 - while i agree that the majority of the lewd behaviour (state-defined) has happened on the federal land, i do NOT agree that the state has (or wants) any responsibility in "cleaning it up" over there. the natural response should (and seems to me to actually) BE to let the naturists continue to wander down and self-police.

    8 - while self-policing is occurring on the state-side and has been met with favor by the state (rangers). it is not yet clear whether self-policing will be welcomed or be met with favor by the feds/marines and-or the people who choose to go over there (and I have indeed gone over there on occassion myself).

    9 - my personal opinion is that i specifically DO go over there so that i am not subject to the same restrictions as those enforced on the state land. i recognize the risks of traipsing on federal land, and i accept those risks. of course, i grew up in el paso, tx - which has lots of federal land. i literally could walk up 2 blocks up my street, hop a small fence, and be on federal land that we used to go bike riding and hiking and toad-hunting on... back then (70s) the situation was similar - the army guys didnt care what happened on their land - as long as you did not step on any unexploded ordnance that might happen to be lying around.

    10 - im afraid that it will only be a matter of time before someone literally DIES in the surf - a totally different subject than nudity or lewd conduct - and that THAT death will be the cause-celeb to help clarify the state and feds thoughts about conduct across that imaginary line. and guess what - it will NOT be addressing any of the lewd-conduct issues - because they are truly not that important...

    im afraid that it would take a lot of lawyers a very long time to wade thru the details of a case concerning lewd-conduct or illegal-videotaping or even a simple drowning death when the actions occurred near this imaginary boundary. but i can guarantee that one of the first items they would decide upon is WHERE the case occurred so that the appropriate jurisdiction could be determined...

    like most of the life that has occurred on this planet - the richest varieties are usually found at the borders between two ecosystems, imo. the surf (land/water) boundary is one of the most fascinating areas to study. this imaginary-line between the state and the feds is another fascinating area to study. there are going to be lots of interesting "breeds"of life/issues occurring at the boundaries...

    personally - i would just enjoy the fact that we are lucky enough to live and play on this boundary. lewd behaviour is truly not (imho) very heinous - just like nudity is not very disturbing (again - imho) - and even death, while unfortunate, is an expected element of risk that we take every day. that is why there are LIFEguards (on the state side) to help protect us.

    the rangers are there to keep the peace (which, carries with it a sideline task of policing for lewd behaviour) - but they should not be expected to cross into fed land as part of their duty. if they do, ok, but it might not be enforceable in court. i dont actually know whether we have HAD any lifeguards stationed at tower 6 to watch over us nudists who play in the surf. but that task (lifesaving) seems a bit more important to me than worrying about nudity or even lewd behaviour...

    [ok, im tired of standing up on this soapbox and have completely forgotten why i got up here... so stepping down.]

    my opinion is that "cleaning up" the feds side of the beach is an unwanted and unnecessary distraction. reputations can be earned (both good and bad), so id suggest we (state-citizens) focus on maintaining our state-acceptable usages and only worry about the feds-side if we have extra time/energy. of course, maybe we DO have the extra time/energy to focus on the immediate boundary of the feds land - but we should not expect (or prefer) to have any help from the state-rangers in our conduct on the federal land.

    id kinda like to see an actual pic of these rangers on the cliffs videotaping. im sure they do - it is just that ive never actually seen it in person, nor seen it on tape anywhere...
    • With brevity that is by no means worthy of these two very well written posts, I only have time to say this.

      1. I've seen some shady things going on on the cliffs.

      2. If that sort of "spotting" is not illegal or desperate, they really should stop conspicuously dropping to the ground when my (female) friend calls up the cliff that she sees them.
      • i absolutely do believe that the activities described must occur - since ive heard it from so many disparate sources. in particular, there appears to be at least one ranger who goes over the imaginary line to the feds-area and "peeps" on the nudists and/or any lewdly-behaving naturists.

        that ranger is prolly well-aware of his actions and specifically does them across the imaginary line. thus, he is not under the jurisdictions of the state-policies. yes, that is annoying and desperate and shady - but without some lawyers chiming in and a real court case to be made about it - prolly not illegal. basically, he IS a "competent" employee since he is aware of the laws and where he can "bend" them...

        basically, that is exactly why id like to see some evidence of it. with evidence, a case can be made - IF it is worth the effort. im sure that the overall result would be something relatively benign like "it is an isolated employee - and he is now terminated.". ok - that is fine - and prolly worth pursuing if for no other reason than to send the message.

        otoh, i doubt that this ranger is state-sanctioned (conspiracy theorists feel free to disagree) because otherwise the state would indeed claim to have video evidence to present in their earlier court case - that we just won.

        thus - it is annoying, possibly illegal, and prolly worth "fixing" - but it will take evidence of his actions to be able to bring-a-case against him (or them).

        so - go right on ahead - keep trying to "catch the guy" and i applaud your efforts. if _I_ manage to spot him i will be sure to try and help in your endeavor...

        otoh, im much more concerned that we keep our eyes on our friends who go out in the surf. when i was there last weekend, it seemed that the rip was a little stronger than usual (down the marine-base side) and i often worry that something more-important than some lewd-conduct might occur. of course, i have NEVER heard anyone mention anything about any fatalities in the surf - so maybe im just projecting my own fears here. i readily admit - i have a fairly hefty fear of the ocean in general - much as i love to play in it...

        regardless, i hope you all have a fun/safe labor day weekend hanging out nude at the beach !

        hugs, harold.
  • I'm about to make public a video regarding the "story" of the ranger who spies on and more than likely is videotaping and/or taking photos of people from the bluffs above. As far as what happens on the beach, stays on the beach that someone mentioned in another thread, this is one incident that cannot and should not remain on the beach regardless of what side of the fence it happens on. Who wants to go to a clothing-optional beach and be spied on? Most naturists I know do not like people hovering on the cliffs with binoculars and/or cameras. This particular incident happened on the federal land where the rangers have no jurisdiction and we all know past the fence is not "our beach", though some of us enjoy the ability to stroll down there to enjoy more space on occasion.

    Though I understand the park rangers frustrations about what happens south of the fence, they have no business being there until the feds decide otherwise. And, they certainly have no business on the cliffs spying on people regardless of what side of the fence they are on. I'm not sure what the law says about them spying on people on the state side. But, spying on people on the federal side certainly has to be an illegal action, or at the very least, a no no. At the same time, I would like to see the Marine base beach get cleaned up as that part of the beach (in my opinion) is giving our beach a negative image. As most people, including the media, sees it as one large beach.

    I think it is very important that everyone, including the media, understand the distinction between the two beaches. That Imaginary line is being crossed be everyone. The Marines come down onto the state side with their tanks endangering and annoying civilians beach goers. The rangers go onto the Marine side, though they have jurisdiction there and more than likely are grabbing photos/video and claiming what is happening over there as the state beach and using it against us. I'm willing to bet when the ranger made his report of the man or men masturbating on the federal land, that he said it happened on our beach.

    The ruling comes out in our favor and the very next day there is a ranger south of the fence trying to bag evidence to use against the naturists. Why would the ranger even waste his time on the fed's land if he couldn't do something with the report? I guess he could be a closet perv and hiding behind his badge gives him the illusion that he is safe from being viewed as such too. Who knows.

    At the same time, though I do not fully trust the rangers after the stories I have heard, I also can understand their frustrations regarding trying to uphold the law in an area where they know the law is being broken, but cannot do anything about it. That must really suck.

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