Paranormal Story Archives
June 2001 Page 35
I, for one, have had numerous "paranormal" experiences, as commonly construed by popular thought. While I remain scientifically skeptical of many reports (by training and innate intuition), I nevertheless recognize the reality of many so-called "paranormal" experiences. As a former co-founder of the Texas Parapsychology Association, I've experienced firsthand the unquestioning credulity of my associates, as well as many other events which were outside of common recognition.
By way of discussion with a friend a few years back, I recalled an encounter at the age of four or five, which I had all but forgotten. At the time, I recall older people in the neighborhood talking about the "bogeyman," which I took as playful teasing by my elders - after all, I was a "big boy" and knew very well that they were just telling me to be careful playing in the woods behind my home in North Carolina, then a semi-rural region. I had been playing in the woods, scouting for wildlife and such (my hillbilly grandfather of part Native background had taught me hunting skills by then), when I was about to step out into a broad clearing. Suffice to say, I mustered all my young woodsman's skill and courage to carefully circumnavigate a creature on two legs, possibly 8 ft. tall and 3-4 ft. across, with 3-4 in. black hair. I came within 50 ft. of the creature on first encounter, which in hindsight seemed rather lost and bewildered, but seemed to catch my scent. I crossed a small dirt road within 50 yards, as carefully as I could when it turned its head, and ran in utter terror the 1/4 mile or so back to my house, telling no one.
My second possible encounter with Big'n'Hairy may illustrate the difficulty of observation. On a late summer day, mid-summit to Elk Mountain in the Cibola National Forest of New Mexico, I stopped in my car on the dirt road to the peak in a broad clearing. After stepping down the slope into the dense, but nevertheless clear forest, I was confronted by the unmistakable sound of something very large but biological "thumping" across the forest. The sound may be likened to a half-ton sledgehammer being pounded on the ground. Elk, in the spring, are known to pound their front hooves on the ground in just this fashion. Believing this was the case, I descended down the slope into the forest to get a better look. It soon became apparent that I was hearing a "tympanous" sound, made by something very large and hollow. Unlike a gorilla, which beats its chest in rapid fashion, this was much slower and more ponderous, approximating the rhythm which elk make, yet vastly deeper, as I knew from prior experience. This was almost unmistakably the sound of "something" that weighed on the order of 1,000 lbs., stood upright, and had a large hollow chest, with two arms serving as "drumsticks."
Over the course of 30 minutes or so, I moved about in a pattern of approximately 100 yards, and found that the sound moved in its source relative to my own movement, yet independent thereof... the source was clearly biological in origin, yet hidden to my view by "clear" forest (devoid of undergrowth). My estimate is that the source was likely no more than 100 ft. distant, and on some some instance was less than 50 ft. distant. Yet, the forest density prevented my getting a clear view.
Once my situation became clear, I slowly progressed toward my car in the clearing. The sound followed sporadically, but from varied direction, till I "retreated" to my vehicle, where I listened to it for 10 minutes longer as it seemed to circle on the periphery of the forest. This is precisely the pattern of a large ape-like creature, probably a male, defending its territorial boundary. I submit that the pattern of behavior, and other characteristics I described, was not that of an elk but something of "other" genetic origin.
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