A shadowy and controversial secret club meets in the California woods every year - and at least 5 US presidents were members
• Bohemian Grove is the Sonoma County, California campground where the Bohemian Club meets annually.
• The Bohemian Club, a San Francisco-based private club that has counted a number of US presidents among its members, is a controversial group.• The club's reported rituals and secretive status have spawned sinister internet rumors.
• But experts and insiders conclude Bohemian Grove goings-on are no more or less troubling than a group of extremely wealthy men letting loose in the forest.
Bohemian Grove is a place where strange things happen.
In June and July, some of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the country flock to the redwood grove in Sonoma County, California. They're all members of the Bohemian Club, a private, all-male club that's counted US presidents, military officials, artists, and business leaders as members.
The Bohemian Grove grounds are dotted with camps bearing strange names - "Mandalay," "Lost Angels," "Isle of Aves," and "Silverado Squatters." Guests are welcome, but women and minors must vacate the premises at night. A hollow concrete owl towers over the Grove's artificial lake, where prominent individuals often visit to give lakeside talks on pressing public policy matters.And, during the first weekend of the summer encampment, robed figures sacrifice an effigy as part of a ritual meant to banish all worries from the gathered members.
Over the years, a number of those gathered club members have happened to be US presidents.
Here's a look at the club's background - and at the presidents who Business Insider could confirm were in fact Bohemian Club members: