11/30/2015

Scarecrow at Murdoch Cornfield










Today we are pleased to present Gerald Florshan as our guest poster on the topic of the paranormal/supernatural.  Gerald has been happily married to Betty Florshan for the past 41 years.  The couple have four sons, ages 38, 35, 33 and 30.  Gerald is a retired employee from a chemical company in central Iowa.  His hobbies consist of genealogy, wood sculpting, reading and doing work with the church in his area.  Gerald is also a big fan of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes of which, all four sons attended and graduated.

If you have a story to share relating to the paranormal/supernatural, click HERE for details.  Also, to answer many questions, there is no charge for guest posting on the topic of the paranormal/supernatural. 

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I grew up and have lived my entire life in the central part of Iowa.  Some call it God's Country.  I just call it home.  If you love cornfields, Iowa is the place for you.  Don't settle for that cheap corn they have in that forsaken place called Nebraska.  Cornfields are common a sight here as lakes are in Minnesota and wheat fields in Kansas.  Miles and miles of nothing but cornfields in Iowa.  What is also common in those cornfields are scarecrows.  For the most part, scarecrows do serve as a way to deter crows and other scavengers.  But, I can't tell you the number of times I have personally witnessed crows just sitting on the "arms" of scarecrows just whiling away the day.  However, they do usually work.  In fact, some scarecrows work too well.  Hence, the basis of my story...

We moved to a nice home out in the farming country of Iowa.  Hell, all of Iowa is basically farming country.  But, this was really out there.  I was all of 6 years old when my mom and dad moved out to this small, but quaint little home.  My father was an interstate trucker and stayed gone most of the time.   His visits were brief, but always a joyous occasion for both mom and me.  As it turns out, I never had any other siblings.  Mom had a girl that was stillborn when I was only 3 years old.  My parents avoided that subject like the plague.  It was just too painful for them.

As the years rolled by, I grew accustomed to country life and the nice people that you meet there.  One of those people was Mr. Murdoch.  Mr. Murdoch had a farm of cornfield after cornfield, sheep, cows, pigs and so forth.  He was one of the few wealthy farmers I had ever met.  Mr. Murdoch was also an extremely nice man.  He was great to my mom and me when dad was on those long-distance hauls.  He always told dad he'd "look in on us" to make sure everything was okay.  I think he visited us mostly because he was enamored with my mom who was a real beauty back in the day.  A bit more on that later.

At age 12, I no longer had to take the bus to go to an elementary school 10 miles away.  I was now in walking distance of the junior high school (or middle school as it is commonly referred to nowadays) as a lean, mean 7th grader.  I only had to walk about 2 miles down a dirt road to my school.  I was tall for 12 years old and had long legs.  So, that 2 mile walk was nothing to me.  Sometimes, Mr. Murdoch or another neighbor would give me a lift to school.  Most times, I just enjoyed the walk.  The dirt road encompassed one of the many cornfields owned by Mr. Murdoch.  It was at the midway point of this walk when I would see one of Mr. Murdoch's many scarecrows.  THE Scarecrow, as I frequently would refer to it.  This particular scarecrow was just...different.  The other scarecrows didn't bother me in the least.  But, I got the distinct feeling this scarecrow was staring at me as I passed by.  Sometimes, I would look over my should to get another look.  It seemed as if it also had partially turned its head to take another look at me.   I would look again and it was looking straight ahead as it normally would do.  I know it sounds ridiculous.  But, it seemed this scarecrow was alive.  I got to the point, I dreaded my walk due to this one particular scarecrow on Mr. Murdoch's Farm.  I looked for alternative routes to school.  There were none that I could find.  I could walk through other cornfields of other farmers.  But, while most farmers are friendly folks, they would want an explanation of why I was walking through their cornfields instead of taking the dirt road to school.

I need to describe this scarecrow.  For starters, it had the pumpkin cutout, for a head, that you see on Halloween. Over time, that pumpkin head would shrink, making it even scarier looking.  Mr. Murdoch was known for his sense of humor.  He said this worked better than a long, floppy hat on a ball of straw.  There was an old overcoat on the scarecrow, with the coat arms covering up the sticks.  It was spooky looking.  I thought that the way it looked was making me have delusions. I was wrong about that.  I was not delusional at all.  This thing was not shifting in the wind.  It was not "settling in" on support beams.  This thing had movement.

One cold November morning, it was still dark as I walked on the dirt road to my school.  I knew Mr. Scarecrow would be dead ahead.  I was scared, damned scared.  As I approached the midway point, I noticed the scarecrow was not on his usual perch.  Relief just washed over me.  Perhaps Mr. Murdoch had grown tired of it or had no use for it.  I thought, why didn't I just tell Mr. Murdoch he didn't need a scarecrow that close to the road anyway.  As that thought crossed my mind, I saw the scarecrow.  It was sitting about 10 feet from it's perch looking my way.  I stopped dead in my tracks.  I've been scared in my life many times.  But, I was never more scared than I was that moment as a 12 year old.  I could not decide what to do.  Continue on to school past this damn demon from hell or turn around and lie to mom about a sore throat.  Mom already had enough problems to cope with and didn't need the added worry of a "sick" child.  It was dark, even at 7AM, it was like midnight in November.  As I steadily and hurriedly walked past the scarecrow, I breathed a deep sigh of relief.  I did that just a second too soon. "What's wrong, sonny boy?  Cat got your tongue hee hee heeeee?"  I instantly froze.   I slowly turned around and looked at the back of the scarecrow.  "Come on back and let's chat a while.  I'm just here all alone with nothing else to do."  I turned and ran toward the school as fast as I've ever run in my entire life.  I was out of breath.  I doubt I ran that last mile under 4 minutes.  But, I bet I came damn close.

I was in a daze most of that day as a result.  My math teacher asked me if I was okay.  I told her I didn't feel good, but I felt I could make it through the day.  Once I got home, I had to tell mom, at long last, about THE Scarecrow in Mr. Murdoch's cornfield.  After I told her the story, I was waiting for her to either laugh or give me an understanding, but firm talk.  I got neither.  She just looked at me with those big beautiful blue eyes my mom had, with her arms crossed and a wisp of her red hair falling down across her forehead.  "I've noticed something unusual about that scarecrow also, Gerald.  When Henry takes me to the vegetable stand in his little blue truck,  I've noticed that thing kind of twist its head to look at me," my mother said.  I learned two things right away.  I learned what Mr. Murdoch's first name was.  I learned that mom and Mr. Murdoch went to places together.  But, that didn't interest me at the time.  "Mom, he spoke to me this morning.  I know how this sounds.  But, this thing did speak to me.  I'm scared," I told my mother.  My mother looked at me a bit concerned now.  I didn't know if mom was just humoring me or if she was being serious.  "Did it make any threatening words to you, sweetheart?," mom asked.  I told her no.  My mother assured me that she would ask "Hen...aaah, Mr. Murdoch to do something with the scarecrow.  That thing is scaring you and me both."  When my mom said she was going to do something, she did it.  She sealed her promise with a big smile and a kiss.

The next morning, the scarecrow was up at its usual perch on the support beams.  I stopped and looked at it.  I was so scared, I was about to pee in my pants.   Mr. Murdoch was supposed to take the damn scarecrow down!  I walked slowly toward THE Scarecrow.  It appeared especially sinister looking this cold, dark morning.  I could hear my feet cracking the frozen ground as I walked up toward it.  "YOU LITTLE SONOFABITCH!!! HAVE ME TAKEN DOWN, YOU LITTLE SHIT? I'LL TAKE YOU DOWN INTO THE BOWELS OF HELL WITH ME!, the scarecrow screamed at me with such venom and hate!  It jumped down off its perch and started coming toward me.  I threw down my notebooks and ran as hard as I could back home.  I heard something behind me....IT WAS THE SCARECROW AND HE WAS GAINING ON ME.  "MOM!!!! MOM!!!  HELP ME!!!  HELP ME!!!" I screamed at the top of my lungs.  My mother heard me, in the dark, in the cold, she heard me.  Out she came out of our home and she saw in the moonlight what was chasing me.  "GET THE HELL AWAY FROM MY CHILD YOU DEMON FROM HELL!!!  YOU CAN'T HARM ME OR MY BLOOD ANY LONGER!  BE GONE NOW!" my mom roared at the scarecrow.  The Scarecrow saw my mom, roared back at her and then just ran back down the road from whence it came.  But, mom then yelled something unintelligible (at least to me) at the scarecrow.  To this day, I don't know what she said or what language (if, indeed, it was a language) that was used by her.  It appeared to do the trick.  The Scarecrow hauled ass back down the road.

It took the rest of that day for both me and my mom to calm down.  I was almost in a catatonic state.  Mom said some words in a language I, again, did not recognize.  But, it seemed to calm me down and her as well.  My mother seemed to know what it was that was chasing me.  I asked her about that.  She dismissed it as just her recognizing evil.  And that scarecrow was evil.  I didn't buy that at the time.  I still don't.  There was more to this than mom was letting me know.  Was my mom some kind of witch or something?  She always had a "way" about her.  My mother was just different.  Whenever I got very sick, I would hear those strange words again.  In just a few minutes, I was much better.

That night, as I lay in bed, I heard mom talking on the phone.  I had to get up to listen. "...you know damn well what I'm talking about, Henry.  That Voo Doo woman is the cause of all this.  I warned you about her.  But, no, you didn't listen.  Now, burn that damn scarecrow witch doll with the potions you have now....you'll do it or you won't get any more from me....oh, I think you know what I'm talking about, Henry.  You won't be getting any nookie until you do as I tell you to do.  End of story.  Now, do it."   I was only 12 years old.  But, I knew what was going on now between mom and Mr. Murdoch.  I knew what "nookie" meant also.  I suddenly felt sorry for my dad.  But, he probably knew mom got lonely. 

As I got up for school the next morning, mom told me she was going to walk me to school that morning.  I told her she would have to walk back that two miles also.  She said Mr. Duncan, who owned the general store a few miles from us, would be there to drive her back home.  It seems that mom was spreading her wings, as it were.  But, she was a beauty and knew the effect she had on men in order to get what she wanted. As we started our walk toward school and, hopefully, a missing scarecrow, she told me there was no need to tell anyone what we witnessed with the scarecrow, especially dad.  I asked her why she wanted to keep all this a secret.  She told me that a lot of people in the "natural world" don't believe in evil spirits and the occult.   I didn't quite understand that.  But, I did as mom told me....until I got married and told my wife all about that time at Mr. Murdoch's farm.  We made it to the midway point, and as expected, the scarecrow was gone.  Even the support beams were gone.  I guess the threat of "nookie" (or lack of getting it) was enough to get Mr. Murdoch's attention.  We made small talk the rest of the way to school and, sure enough, Mr. Duncan was there waiting on mom. I noticed our kitchen had more groceries than usual that day when I got home from school.

I loved my mom, warts and all.  By no means was she perfect.  But, she loved me with a ferocity that was overwhelming at times. Was she into witchcraft, or possibly Voo Doo?  Maybe.  It didn't matter at the time.  When something from that world reached out to cause harm to her baby, she reacted as any mother would when her "blood" was threatened. Mom's claws came out and she would defend me to the death. She showed she loved me more than anything on earth.  She proved it not only that day "The Scarecrow" gave chase to me, but for the rest of her life until she passed away at age 85. 



11/16/2015

Near Death Experience











Today we are pleased to present William J. Bartean as our guest poster on the topic of the paranormal/supernatural.  Born and raised in Austin, Texas,  William is a 54 year old microbiologist with undergrad and postgraduate degrees in Microbiology from a New England university.  William has been divorced for the past eight years, with four wonderful children, three handsome sons and one beautiful daughter.  In William's spare time he devotes himself to such endeavors as golf, skeet shooting, tennis, jogging, rock hunting and participating in Regenerative Farming with Planetsave, in an effort to combat Global Warming. 

 If you have a story to share relating to the paranormal/supernatural, click HERE for details.  Also, to answer many questions, there is no charge for guest posting on the topic of the paranormal/supernatural. 

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To begin, I must say to one and all, that I have not ever believed in the paranormal or in any type of supernatural phenomena.   I have been an avowed atheist for as far back as I could hold a cognitive thought process.  I was never allowed to believe in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy or any other childhood nonsense.  So, from the very beginning, my perception of life was colored to my parent's way of thinking.  This being said, I did find it remarkable that so many people believed in a supreme being who is creator over all (despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary) in this universe. That's as far as I will go in my proselytizing as I promised the owners of this blog.

What also puzzled me is why are there so many people who believe in an afterlife or a Heaven, as it were.  Again, I considered the very notion of afterlife absurd.   Eight years ago, my entire perception went about a fundamental change (which I will get to in a moment).   Oh, I can't say to you I believe in a supreme being, Heaven....but, the subject of an afterlife has caused me to carefully weigh my teachings, my very work as a researcher.  I know there are those who say that death causes the brain to undergo certain chemical changes to induce people into believing they see a bright light, long dead relatives and so forth.  I am at a crossroads on this issue.  But, let me begin my story.....

In October of 2007, I had just completed the paperwork on my divorce to my wife of 27 years.  We were in the 90 day period of waiting before it went into effect.  I was devastated.  I was unable to concentrate on my work, I was not eating well and was losing weight (that's about the only good thing of a divorce).  I decided I needed some time away from work, family and friends.  So, I decided to take a month off despite the protests of my superiors who warned me I might not have a job when I came back.  I told them I was more than willing to take that risk.  But, I knew that they would never do that.  I'm too valuable to them even if I do say so myself.   So, I packed as many belongings as I could get in my 2004 Jeep Liberty and took off from my quaint New England home.  I had no real destination in mind.  I was just going to go as far west as I could go.  Hell, I might even write a book about my adventures!  Things never quite turn out the way you want them to in life.

I took off on a Sunday morning from my home and decided to make my way to Davenport, Iowa where one of my best friends from college had given me an open invitation to stay with him and his wife.  So, off I went.  I was in no hurry.  I would drive about 4 or 5 hours and then explore wherever I was on I-90.  As it just so happens, I noticed this incredible rock formation on the third day of my journey in northern Indiana.  Those rock formations appeared to be prehistoric and I just had to stop.  I got my handy rock hammer, steel brush and started looking around.  After about an hour, I decided it was nothing there that would warrant any further analysis.  So, after taking a couple of samples, I put my tools away and got back in my Jeep.  I noticed traffic had picked up on the interstate since I had been rock hunting (one of my hobbies).  I was going to have a hard time getting back on the interstate and into the flow of traffic.

I remember getting onto the merge lane and no one was letting me merge back onto the interstate.  I was pissed!  I found myself driving on the emergency lane now still trying to get back on the interstate.  I was concentrating on the driver-side mirror and felt myself going down a slope. I was probably doing about 55MPH.  It was too late to stop in time for the parked semi-tractor trailer.  The last thing I remember was a loud WHOOSH, like a large gust of wind had hit me.  I didn't feel any pain,  Everything around me was totally black and silent.  I had no idea where I was.  I just knew I was not on I-90.  I'm thinking...."This must be death...I'm dead."  But, I knew that was not possible.  Dead men don't think or even dream.  I think, therefore, I am.  I still had my sense of humor.  So, reasoning told me I was still alive.  But, where was I?  The total darkness began to give way to a tiny dot of light above me.  The tiny light began to lighten everything around me.  It still was not like daylight.  But, I could see.  It was like wearing dark sunglasses in the sun.  It was about that much light.  In front of me was a building.  I noticed I was standing up.  Before the light, I did not know if I was sitting, laying or standing.  So, I started walking to the building.  It was a sort of plain, concrete building that you see in industrial complexes all over the country.  As I was walking, I noticed there was an echo from my steps.  This scared me for some reason.

The building had no parking lot.  It was just a very fine grain of sand, not unlike what you would find at any of the white beaches in Florida.  I remember opening the door and walking inside.  There was a spiral staircase and a desk like what a receptionist would have to greet visitors.  But, there was no one around.  "HELLO!" I yelled.  It was an immediate echo right back.  Suddenly, without any warning, I was once again surrounded by total blackness.  This time, I felt my body moving at an incredible rate of speed!  I don't know how long this lasted.  But, I suddenly found myself laying down in an open field.  The sky was an incredible blue, more beautiful than any other blue sky I've seen in my life.  There was a mild temperature.  A light breeze was blowing.  This seemed real to me, unlike the building with the echoes.  I stood up, looked around and saw only a smattering of trees to my right.  I was in a field of maybe knee-high grain that seemed to whistle with the light breeze.  I slowly looked around.  There was nothing to see.  I remember I decided to walk in the direction of the trees.  They appeared to be about a mile away.  But, no matter how much I walked, I didn't seem to be going anywhere.  I was frustrated beyond words.  "Where am I?  What do you want with me," I asked fervently to the blue sky above.  Nothing in reply.  I pinched myself to make sure I was real.  I felt the pinch, but there was no pain.  Just a slight pressure.  "Yes, you are real.  And, you are in a real place, William," said a voice completely out of nowhere.

I know this sounds like all the other proverbial stories of afterlife.  The man in a white robe, floating toward you.  That's exactly what happened. It's almost a cliche.  But, that is what I saw before me.  Now, I was really scared.  He came to a stop approximately 10 feet in front of me.  "Am I dead?  Is this Heaven?" I asked the long robed man (whose feet didn't seem to even touch the ground).  The white robed man looked at me with an amused look on his face.  "Heaven?  How can you be in a place in which you do not believe, William?"  I really hate people answering a question with another question.  But, decided I was in no position to bring that up.  "I don't know where I am.  I'm scared and I'm alone.  Please help me. Please", I pleaded with the white robed man. I started sobbing.  I don't remember the last time I truly cried.  "There, there William.  You have nothing to fear.  You are in no danger. In fact, you are about to go back to your life soon enough.  But, you are in a sort of weigh station of life right now.  I want to remind you that Man doesn't have all the answers as you and others of your persuasion seem to think.  Man has this idea that his answers are absolutes. You are babes lost in the wilderness of ignorance. You know as much as an infant child, maybe less in some respects.  Just remember this....open your mind to other possibilities, William.  Now, I've done as I was told to do. The rest is up to you."  After saying this, the man in the white robe gave me a kindly smile and faded away into nothing.  What I typed above is what he said as best as I can remember.  I think I got the gist of it, regardless.

After the man in the white robe vanished, I thought sure I was going to wake up from this dream or nightmare.  I was wrong.  I stood there for a length of time of which I'm still not sure how long it really lasted.  So, being the impatient man I am, I asked, "Okay, what's next?  Is this all there is?  Is this my eternity now, to spend it here in this cow pasture?"  Those were the wrong questions to ask.  Upon that last question, the wind picked up quickly, very quickly.  I was now in the middle of the pasture with gale force winds.  The blue sky, that was so pristine and beautiful, now was dark, foreboding with rumbling clouds rolling.  I was very afraid, very confused now.  The wind was so powerful now that I was in danger of being blown away completely.  Eventually, that is exactly what happened as I had nothing to hold onto to prevent myself from going airborne.  As I'm flying through the air, I screamed out, "Is this all you got?  You can't do any better?"  I got my answer on that one also.  The wind died down completely, and I started falling.  I was falling so fast until my eyelids would not stay shut.  I tried to scream, and nothing came out.  I felt as if my body was going to be ripped apart by the speed I was approaching.  Then, I came to an abrupt stop.  Looking around, I saw distant fires and heard screams pleading for mercy.  I felt an intense heat of which I have never felt before.  It was unbearable.  I thought to myself, "Is this what religions refer to as hell?"  I was completely ignorant about what the various regions believed due to my parents refusing to let me read the Christian bible or any other religious documents. Yes, I tried reading the bible and other religious literature. I just couldn't get interested

I felt as if my flesh would melt right off me.  I knew I would not be able to stand this for very long.  I too began to ask for mercy, for a reprieve from this godforsaken land of hell-fire.   I received no answer this time.  I tried walking in the slippery rock and gravel that was before me now.  I slipped and remember feeling tremendous pain and heat in my left knee.  I got up and tried walking again, only to fall onto my left knee again.  The pain was more than I could take.  I was now screaming, screaming for all I was worth.  It was a scream of outrage, of horror and despair.  I remember screaming, crying and asking for mercy from someone, from something.  Anything.  Finally, I said something I thought I would never say, "God...please help me. Deliver me from this horror." 

My next conscious thought was looking up at some florescent lights that were above me.  I was in, what appeared to me, a recovery room.  I had a tight plastic wrap around my chest, my right arm was in a splint, I was able to move my left hand and felt another huge wrap around my head.  I tried moving my right leg only to discover my foot was heavily wrapped as well.  My left leg was very painful, but I could move it.  As it turns out, I had suffered head trauma and other injuries so severe, I had been placed in a medically induced coma for 36 hours.  The physicians thought I would most likely have brain damage.  I had a broken right ankle and foot.  I had a crushed sternum, two broken ribs and a dislocated right shoulder.  That doesn't take into account all the contusions and cuts I had.  I was told when I regained consciousness my chances of surviving this were still about 50/50.  Four weeks later, I amazed everyone by sitting up in my bed to eat solid food.  All in all, I was in the hospital for six weeks and in rehab for three months.  I endured five more surgeries to my shattered right ankle, foot and to my sternum over the next three years.  I still go in to see doctors about pain in both legs.  I have dizzy spells and probably will for the rest of my life.  Doctors are amazed I'm alive.  Quite frankly, so am I.

As I was leaving the hospital for my journey to the rehab center near my home, one doctor came up to me to ask a question.  "William, do you remember a fire of any type breaking out in the car upon impact with the tractor-trailer rig?," he asked.  I told him the last thing I remember was seeing the semi and knowing there was no way I was going to avoid hitting it.  He said there was no report of fire breaking out when I hit the semi.  The doctor further stated he was one of the doctors who evaluated me when I was brought unconscious into the ER.  One of the things he noticed was that I had a third-degree burn on my left knee about the size of a baseball.  When he came back to check me out post-op, the burn was virtually gone.  He had never seen any kind of burn fade that quickly.  A third-degree healing time is much longer, at least three weeks, he said.  I told him he must be mistaken.  No one had mentioned anything about me having a burn.  He shrugged and walked off.

Of course, I had an idea why my left knee was burned as I already stated.  But, I did not want to talk about my experience and it was an experience.  I do not now believe it was a dream or nightmare.  Do I believe I was in hell?  I don't know how to answer this.  I know all my education and training teaches me that God, Heaven, an afterlife is for the simpletons of the world.  I also know what I experienced and I will go to my grave believing it was all real.  It was all too real.  So, I am on a journey of discovery, much the way I am as a microbiologist.  I collect samples, weigh evidence and reach conclusions based on what I learn.  I'm doing presently the same thing in my search for evidence of an afterlife.  My Near Death Experience (NDE) was my first bit of tantalizing evidence.  I am continuing my journey into the unknown even now.

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10/26/2015

Screams in the Night










Today we have Charlotte Patrick as guest poster on the topic of the paranormal/supernatural.  Charlotte is a 46-year old civil engineer from Ohio and a proud alum of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!)  She has been married to her husband, Tom, for the past 21 years.  They have one daughter who is 18 years old and a freshman at OSU and 15 year old son who is in his sophomore year of high school.  Charlotte's hobbies consist of writing for technical publications, horseback riding, tennis, camping and family time with her husband and children.

If you have a story to share relating to the paranormal/supernatural, click HERE for details.  Also, to answer many questions, there is no charge for guest posting on the topic of the paranormal/supernatural.

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In my early teens (13-15 years old to be precise), we lived wherever my father found work as a construction worker.  As a result, we never laid down roots in any one place for long. As it turned out, we lived in Pine Bluff, Arkansas for nine months due to a job Dad had there.  We got there in the summer of 1983.  It was in July when we moved into the 2-bedroom apartment about two miles from Dad's work site.  The heat was unbearable.  To make matters worse, this is the delta region of Arkansas.  Swamps, bayous, everything that made summer worse.  Of course, there were mosquitoes the size of sparrows at night.  I hated the place.  I wanted to go live with my grandparents in Ohio.  But, mom and dad said no.  The only thing that brought some joy to my life was a new friend I made shortly after we moved into the apartment.  Shirley was a transplant from the Midwest like me.  She made things more bearable since we shared basically the same background, including fathers who worked in construction.  We went to a strip mall quite frequently to do girl things like shopping for makeup, dresses, jewelry.  In short, we shopped for everything we knew we could not buy.  But, it was fun looking around.

That soon changed as I was intrigued by the thick, dense growth of trees, huge grassy knolls that seemed to just pop up out of the ground, in the swamp behind the apartment complex where we lived.  Shirley's entire demeanor changed when I brought up the subject of venturing into the area.  "No, I won't go there with you, Charlotte.  There are people that have gone into the swamp and have never been found", Shirley quickly replied.  I told her we would not have to go far.  It just got boring going to the playground every day, doing the same thing every day.  "Promise me you will not go into the swamp, Charlotte.  It's not safe!", she said.  I told her I would not go into the swamp.  I said it to placate her.  I was going into that swamp, at least, to stay within sight of the apartment complex. My feelings on that notion changed early the next morning.

It was difficult living in a 2-bedroom apartment.  It was even more difficult to sleep with my brother snoring on the couch.  Zeke (my little brother) was a pain at times.  But, for the most part, he was a good kid.  I got up to go look out the living room window.  I could not sleep.  I casually looked in the direction of the much dreaded swamp.  I saw something moving behind the shadows of the thick brush.  Thinking it was a dog or something, I started to leave and try to get some sleep.  But, this thing suddenly stood up.  I'm not good at judging distance, the height and weight of people.  But, this thing was very tall....maybe 8 feet or even more.  I know that sounds incredible.  But, it is true.  It had broad shoulders.  I doubt it could have walked through our door without going sideways into the apartment, not to mention ducking since it was so tall.  Then, without any warning, I hear the loudest scream (as best as I could tell it was a  scream) coming from this thing.  It made the living room window vibrate!  My brother woke up, along with my parents and virtually everyone in the apartment complex.  Many people stepped outside to see what it was making such a loud scream (imagine the scream of 100 horses all at once).  Apparently, this was all new to the people in the apartment complex (I say complex, but it was probably no more than 24 apartments, top to bottom).  They were all most likely construction workers who were there only for the work.

My father had a shotgun, as did many other men there that night.  Some said they should go look to see what it was.  I noticed no one bothered to make the first step into the swamp to investigate.  There was no point in calling the sheriff.  No crime had been committed and no one seemed to know exactly what it was we were dealing with in the swamp.  It was just a stroke of luck I happened to see it before it let out the terrible scream.  Whatever it was, it definitely was not human.  There was nothing else from the creature that night.  Dad said he would make mention of it to his construction boss when they got to work that morning.  None of us really slept the rest of the night.

The next morning, Shirley came to our apartment looking like me, sleepy and tired.  I told her I still wanted to go into the swamp.  "Are you out of your ever loving mind, Charlotte?" she asked.  I told her we needed to see if there was any evidence of the creature that screamed last night.  Shirley looked at me as if she were looking through me.  I can't say that I blame her now.  Looking back on it, it was a foolish thing to even suggest, much less actually do.

For the next 4 nights in a row, the creature screamed.  It was a scream that indicated it was a very powerful being and one you might not want to bother in any way, shape or form.  By this time, everyone at the apartment complex had had enough.  Some men went into the swamp after work to see if they could find anything.  After two weeks of nightly screaming, half the apartment complex had left.  They could not take it any longer.  Nerves were frayed, people were not able to sleep and the apartment owner said there was nothing he could do.  But, no one really believed this was the first time this being had screamed from the swamp.  After doing some checking around, it was found out this is an occurrence every year from July to sometime in September when the heat starts to dissipate.

Eventually, the sheriff did come out and people voiced their concerns.  The sheriff confirmed there was screaming.  But, he insisted it was from a panther.  No one believed that.  The screams was far, far too loud.  He left and everyone who remained at the apartment complex contemplated what they were going to do.  For us, there was no choice.  We had to stay.  Dad said we could not afford any place else but this old, dilapidated apartment complex.

The unholy screams continued.  I stayed up one night to wait on it.  It usually started the screams about 2AM and continued, off and on, for a good 15 minutes or so.  As I waited, I saw it slowly saunter into view.  The full moon gave me a good look at this thing.  It was actually closer to 7 feet tall and probably weighed about 350lbs. That is my best estimate.  The screams started again.  By this time, people did not go outside any longer.  Well, no one but me, of course.  I carefully opened the door to our apartment and stepped outside.  This thing was screaming for all he was worth...until he saw me step outside.  It may have been my imagination.  But, this creature appeared to have yellow eyes.  And he was looking straight at me.  I froze in my tracks.  He was approximately 150 yards, a football field and a half, from where I stood staring at him.  He (I say "He" in the figurative sense since I did not know if it were male or female) did not move, nor did he scream again.  The creature kept staring at me as if transfixed by me.  I don't know how long I stood there.  Maybe five minutes or a bit longer.  But, he screamed as loud as he ever has and then disappeared into the swampy area.  I got inside before my parents noticed I was not in my bed.

Everyone in the apartment complex eventually left due to the constant screaming.  The apartment owner tried to convince people that the screaming would end soon (which tells me he had heard this previously).  As it turns out, we were the last remaining family in the entire complex of 24 apartments, both levels, by the first week in August.  Even my Dad, who had said we could not afford to leave, was contemplating going to another construction job somewhere else.  But, it would be hard on us.  We would probably have to live in the van if we left now.  The screaming continued each night, mercilessly.

One night,  about the 2AM time when the creature would begin screaming, I decided to do what I swore I would not do to Shirley (who I missed very much).  I decided to walk the 150 yards or so and try to speak to this creature.  I realize that sounds impossibly stupid to you, dear reader.  But, we were in bad financial straits and could not afford to really leave this area just yet.  I walked out to within 50 yards of the area where I last saw this creature.  I was so scared, so very vulnerable.  I spoke to it..."Please...I beg of you, please stop your screaming.  It is disturbing so many and scaring so many people.  Whatever you are, if you have any compassion in your heart...you will move on somewhere else now.  My family is poor, like you are.  You are causing so much harm.  Please stop.  I plead with you."  I will remember those words for the rest of my life.  I spoke from the heart that night.  Probably the only time I spoke more passionately was on the day I married Tom, when I gave my wedding vows.

 I saw or heard nothing at first.  Then...slowly, ever so slowly, something moved from beyond the shadows.  It was the creature.  Even from approximately 50 yards, it had an odor that is simply, to this day, indescribable. I gagged for a few seconds it was so bad. Under the brightly moon-lit night, I could make it out quite well.  It was just simply HUGE.  But, for whatever reason, I did not feel threatened by this thing.  It did have yellowish eyes.  This creature could have easily snatched me up and ran away with me, never to be found again.  But, it made no threatening moves at all.  All it did was look at me.  I did not speak.  I just got the feeling it wanted contact with something, anything.  No, I wasn't going to go up to it and ask it to come to the house for breakfast.  But, I could sense immense loneliness from this creature.  Eventually, it turned to leave.  But, not before it turned back to look at me one last time. Then, with amazing speed and grace, it disappeared into the swamp.

From that night/day onward, we did not hear any further screams from this creature, this swamp monster.  It could have easily killed me with one quick thrust from it's massive hands.  But, it did not do so.  The creature made no threatening gestures toward me at all.  Did it understand me?  Did it make sense of my plea?  Did it take pity upon us?  I have to answer all three questions in the affirmative.   I don't know how else to explain this.  But, this creature, this Arkansas swamp monster did, at least on a basic level, understand my plea.  There were no further screams from it until my Dad's construction job played out in March of 1984.  People started coming back to the apartment complex.  My dear friend Shirley was not one of them, unfortunately.  My dad did hear from people that this creature could have been the Arkansas Fouke Monster.  I don't know.  I don't even like to call it a monster any longer. I never told my parents what I did that night.  They would have grounded me until I was 30 if I had.  I eventually told my brother years later.  He told me I was insane.  He was probably right.

In 2005, I had to go to Little Rock, Arkansas for a seminar.  As you can probably surmise, I just had to go to Pine Bluff.  The apartment complex is no more.  In fact, there is virtually nothing on that site where we once had many sleepless nights due to the screams of the creature.  I looked out where I stood over 20 years ago that night.  I wondered if the creature was there...looking for me to come back, if only for a little while.

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4/16/2015

UFO At Dolphin Lake






Today we are pleased to have Mr. Robert Simmons as guest poster on the paranormal/supernatural topic.  Robert is a father of 5 children and numerous grandchildren.  He is married to Martha Simmons  The couple celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary in August of this year.  Robert is a retired building contractor/business owner.  Both Robert and Martha have lived their entire lives in the Southwestern part of the United States. His hobbies include fishing, hunting, skeet shooting, golf and playing with his grandchildren.  Robert and Martha enjoy helping out at their local Catholic church.  They both are active in the food bank program of their church.

If you have a story to share relating to the paranormal/supernatural, click HERE for details.  Also, to answer many questions, there is no charge for guest posting on the topic of the paranormal/supernatural.

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I begin my story by explaining the title.  When I was a small boy, my family and I lived in a remote part of New Mexico.  Hell, what am I saying?  Just about all of New Mexico is remote!  Anyway, we lived near a place the locals referred to as "Dolphin Lake."  No, the saltwater cetacean mammals could not exist in the freshwater of Dolphin Lake. There is a legend of fishermen finding two dolphins swimming in the lake in the 1890s.  There is absolutely no way they could have lived for long in freshwater.  To begin, how in the hell did the dolphins get there in the first place?  Total nonsense.  But, my story is not about that silly old legend.  This story is what my late father and I witnessed at Dolphin Lake in September of 1962.  

My father and I loved to go fishing at Dolphin Lake more than anything else in the world.  There was not much to do in New Mexico in the year 1962.  We had three network television channels.  We had the annual parades of July 4th and other holidays such as Christmas.   But, not much in between.  So, fishing and hunting were the chosen hobbies of most men and boys.  School was about to start for me as I was about to enter the 5th grade.  Dad asked me if I wanted to go for one more fishing trip.  Of course, I immediately started packing my gear.  I knew what he meant.  We would leave early Saturday on that first day of September in 1962.  We would camp out, eat what fish we caught and just enjoy life in general.  We were both so excited that after we got the old 1954 Ford truck loaded, my dad realized he had left the keys on the dining room table.  We were ready to drive the 10 miles or so that early Saturday morning. Going fishing with my dad gives me goosebumps just thinking about it now as 63-year old man.

We got to the lake about 6:30 that morning.  We immediately started unpacking our gear from the truck.  The tent came first, followed by our long boots since we liked wading out into the water of the lake.  Everything was unpacked within about 15 minutes.  After the tent was up, we got our fishing gear and walked out to the lake. Fishing is the most relaxing, fun sport God ever allowed Man to enjoy.  I still fish 3 or 4 times a week.  But, nothing can ever equal the fun I enjoyed fishing with my dad.  We had been fishing for about 3 hours before we caught our first fish.  I caught a 2lb White Bass!  Before we broke for lunch, we had caught about 3 fish altogether.  Not the kind of last fishing day of summer vacation we were looking to have.  After we secured the fish on a fishing line in the water, we broke out the sandwiches Mom has prepared for us that day.  It was as I took my first bite into my P&J sandwich I heard the first "WOOP" noise that day.  Dad looked over at me and said, "Did you hear that Robert?"  I told him I did and asked what it was.  "I don't know.  Let's take a look over at that small clump of trees where it came from, I believe," Dad said to me.  There was a small cluster of trees about 500 feet from us.  Dad always brought a 30.06 with him just in case of any predators.  He brought that rifle with him as we walked over to the trees.

We got to the trees and saw a yellowish looking substance.  It had the smell of "burning rubber."  It was a very strong smell.  Neither one of us had any idea of what this was or how it got there.  "I don't know what this is.  But, I'll be sure to mention to someone at the Park Ranger Station on the way back home in the morning", Dad said to me.  Not knowing what else to do, we headed back to camp.  We had almost made it to camp when we heard the "WOOP" again, only it was louder this time.  My father whirled around with the rifle.  He was unnerved now and so was I.  We stood there a good 5 minutes just more than a bit scared.  My father was now uncomfortable staying in this area.  These were two unnatural sounds and we had no idea what they could have been.  "Maybe we should just head on home, Rob.  We caught enough fish for a good dinner."  I was beside myself!  I told him it was probably just a large eagle flying low, or maybe a plane broke the sound barrier or something!!!  I did not want to miss out on camping out under the stars!  After a few minutes of pleading, my father gave in to me.  But, we were to leave before the sun even come up in the morning.  Pacified now, I got my rod and reel to fish some more.  

We caught a total of 5 fish that day.  That's not a normal day for fishing at Dolphin Lake.  We had enough to eat.  But, most were about a quarter-pound or less.  We were stuffed to the gills (pardon the pun) when dad cracked open his whiskey flask to take a couple of drinks to smooth out the day.  I could tell he was still on edge with the WOOP noises we heard earlier in the day.  My father was always a practical man.  If he couldn't figure out something, he got more and more nervous about it.  It was the not knowing that made him all the more nervous.  

It was about 9PM as Dad and I were laying back looking at the stars.  I remember seeing a couple of "falling stars" in the sky.  We talked wistfully about how times were changing.  Dad talked about the Telstar satellites that could relay television signals and telephone calls through space.  Times were indeed changing, my father said.  Suddenly, an incredibly, LOUD WOOP erupted just to the west of us near a mountain range.  There was a very large shining light about half a mile up in the sky.  The light was like a small sun that started getting dimmer as the light descended toward the ground.  Dad grabbed the rifle and told me to stay behind him.  We were going to see what this was, once and for all!  I was scared and I could tell Dad was scared also.  But, we were determined to see what this was that was causing the huge WOOP noise.  We walked under the half-moon lit night at a steady pace.  We must have walked at least a mile when we came upon the light that had substantially diminished in brightness.  This was some kind of spaceship that we were looking at now.  It was a huge disc, saucer shaped object that appeared to be hovering about 5 feet from the ground.  It had yet to land.  From the top base to the bottom it appeared to be about 20 feet high and approximately 70-80 feet in diameter.  It was a huge vehicle that made no sound except for a slight hissing noise that was just barely perceptible.   We laid in the grass behind some thick bushes watching this thing.  Dad and I barely spoke to each other.  We were both scared.  But, we simply couldn't find it in ourselves to leave.  

The spaceship finally landed with a very slight thud.  All the lights within the spaceship were then turned off.  My dad was looking at it through the scope on his rifle.  It was difficult to see now with a half-moon and total darkness from the spaceship.  We laid there and waited about 10 minutes before something happened.  A large rectangle opened up and the outside lights of the ship suddenly came on.  We waited for another 10 minutes before the "beings" came forth.  At first, there were two that came out.  They appeared no taller than 3 feet high with what passed for arms and legs for them.  But, in less than a minute that changed.  They slowly expanded to a height of about 7 feet tall, with their arms and legs growing into the approximate range with someone being that tall.  This was nothing short of amazing.  I whispered to my dad, I want to go home!  Dad acted like he didn't even notice me.  My father couldn't take his eyes off this amazing sight.  These beings seemed to communicate with their fingers by touching each other.  Dad said they had these little suction cups (not unlike what an octopus has) that seemed to attach to each other.  Their skin texture was like a grayish wet cement is what my father described later on that night.  Suddenly two more of these beings appeared from the opening.  There was no structure for them to walk down.  Instead they seemed to just "glide" down to the ground.  They too were about 3 feet high then "grew" to approximately 7 feet tall.  

I was concerned about my father now.  He didn't respond or barely responded to my pleas to leave.  I made my last plea a little too loud.  This caught the attention of these "illegal aliens."  They turned their attention to the bushes that we were hiding behind.  I must admit to you now, I peed a little bit on myself.  I bet my dad did too.  I heard my dad swallow hard as one alien pointed in our direction.  They all 4 looked toward us.  We were waiting for them to come to us and possibly abduct us.  But, all they did was stare toward us.  There have been times I have been scared out of my wits.  Many times I faced death in Vietnam.  I lost my youngest daughter in a department store once, for about a half-hour, and almost had a heart attack.  But, nothing has scared me more in my lifetime than these alien beings staring toward us as if they could see through the thick bushes where we lay.  Suddenly, a bright light came on from the rectangular opening.  It was like a strobe light that lasted just a few seconds.  All the alien beings looked toward it now (thankfully).  Then...something remarkable happened.  A young elk buck, the kind that are too small to shoot during hunting season, came forth from the spaceship.  It too just glided down without walking.  All the beings walked over to this young buck.  Then, 2 more young elk buck came down.  Then 3 more elk buck came down for a total of 6 young elk buck.  They were all just motionless, not even blinking an eye.  These alien beings stood over them for about 5 minutes more before they glided back up to the spaceship.

Shortly after getting back aboard the spaceship, this UFO slowly ascended with the light from the ship growing with intensity.  Once it got about a half-mile in the sky, it simply vanished.  It didn't take off fast.  It just vanished without any kind of vapor trail or anything.  There was no noise at all.  Dad told me to wait before we got up.  He thought it might be a trap.  The young elk were still there gathered together.  That was very strange.  After about 5 minutes, we both stood up and walked over to the elk.  They didn't run or even acknowledge our presence.  I even petted one on the head.  What came from his fur was a waxy substance that scared me.  The elk stood there for a few more minutes.  Then, it was like they woke up from a deep slumber to realize where they were.  They all bolted like elk will do when spooked by a potential predator.  They all disappeared into the dark night.  

Dad and I stood there, trying to comprehend what we had just witnessed, before we headed back to camp.  He started immediately taking down our tent to leave once we made it back to camp.  I didn't protest, I didn't plead with him to stay this time.  We gathered up everything into the truck and headed home.  It was just after 10:30PM when we were on the road toward home.  Of course, my mother would want to know why we were home so early, did anything happen.  Dad prepared me for that.  He told me not to repeat anything that we saw or heard that night.  Not ever!  Of course, mother was a bit frantic when we got home.  She thought something was wrong with us.  Dad just told her that the fish weren't biting and we decided to head home.  Mom didn't find out the truth until many years later.  She never believed us.  In fact, only one person ever believed our story; a UFO expert who lived in Santa Fe, NM.  He said our story was similar to two other stories he heard that year.  Ironically, in 1962 there was a mysterious death plague among elk that year.  Game officials could not find any disease, man-made substances or mass starvation of any kind to cause the deaths of so many elk.  They never found out why over 200 elk just started dying off in just two weeks.  Something similar to this happened again in 2013.  I'm pretty sure I know what happened.  I suspect whatever experiments the aliens conducted on these young elk bucks, caused a unidentifiable contagion that led to so many deaths back in 1962.  Perhaps the same thing happened in 2013. As in 1962, no one can determine what caused so many elk to quickly die off two years ago.  

We did report the yellow substance with the smell of burning rubber to the game warden the next day.  They came out, investigated it and found it to be "moderately radioactive."  They marked it down as "Undetermined in origin" and left it at that.  I now believe it was waste from the alien spaceship.  In my non-scientific opinion, we are a waste dumping ground and experimental lab for these aliens from far away.  Whatever these visitations are, from all the reports of UFOs over the years, I do not view these alien beings as being benevolent in nature.  My dad believed that until he died.  I believe it also.  I was the only one dad could discuss this story with until the day he died back in 1974.  How many world diseases are a result of experimentation by alien beings on people and wildlife on this planet?  I guess I will never know.  This is just conjecture on my part, of course.  But, someday, I hope I am around when someone in the scientific community has the courage to state that some unexplained diseases we experience have to be from outside the safe confines of earth.  

My dad and I continued to visit Dolphin Lake and fish without any further incident from a UFO.  The yellow substance that we saw disappeared shortly after game wardens visited that area.  But, grass did not start to grow back there until the late 80s.  I sometimes go back to Dolphin Lake, not to necessarily fish, but to think back to that night.  And to think of my father.  I think of the great times we had and continued to have until his death. But, the events of September 1, 1962 will be with me until I also pass from this life.  I appreciate the staff and writers of this blog for allowing me to share my story. 

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4/07/2015

All Things Come To An End






For all intents and purposes, this is my last post on David's Musings.  It was difficult to even type that one sentence. After 7 years, this is my final post on this blog.  Consider that the average blog lasts just 3 months....and consider this blog celebrated its 7th birthday on April 5th.  That is an incredible achievement even if I do say so myself.  Now, also add in this blog just recently had over 1000 posts and this little blog is something for which I can always be proud.  And I am proud.  I always will be proud of David's Musings.  It's never been about making money here (although a little income is nice off of your work).  I even had two people inquire about buying this blog from me for a price I won't reveal.  As long as I have money to pay bills and buy food, I'm happy.  So, starting this blog wasn't about making money as so many others have tried to do.  Oh, I had Google Adsense, off and on, for the first couple of years.  I made enough to buy a cup of coffee each month at McDonalds.  That's about it. This blog has been a joy to do over the past 7 years.  I've had surprises like you wouldn't believe.  Met so many wonderful people, I feel it an injustice to start naming names.  So, I won't name any names.  I'll just say a heartfelt thank you to each one of you. 

I encourage regular visitors to continue visiting this blog.  There are over a 1000 posts you can choose to read from.  Just type in any topic of interest in the top right search bar to see what pops up.  However, there will be no further regular posts unless it is a staff post concerning the blog itself from time to time.  There WILL be guest posts in the paranormal/supernatural topic.  I encourage all regular subscribers to now subscribe to this topic by clicking HERE.  If you go the email route in subscriptions, you will only get one email whenever an article on the paranormal topic is posted.  These will be guest posts from people who have had some type of experience in the paranormal/supernatural.  So, I highly encourage you to subscribe NOW.  You can still get questions answered by clicking on the "contact" form at the top of this blog.  A staff member will get back to you as soon as possible. Also, even though this blog will mostly be inactive (save for one or two paranormal guest posts a month), we are still accepting advertising proposals.  There are still over 1000 posts here in a 7+ year old blog.  Although I will remain as a blog owner, any advertising profits will go to the staff, writers and guest posters of David's Musings.  That is not only part of the agreement, but it's the right thing to do.

I've written my thoughts on the future of blogging many times before.  But, the art of blogging, as it once was in the early 2000s, will probably never be seen again.  So many blogs on blogger are abandoned, defunct now.  This one is going to continue on albeit with just a couple of paranormal guest posts a month.   This blog is among the few that has endured the test of time, patience and fortitude of being successful.  Many people define a successful blog by the number of comments.  Comments are nice.  But, they are not the end all, be all of defining success.  If your blog lasts over 7 years and has over 1000 posts, it can not be looked upon as a failure by any definition you wish to use for "successful."  So, David's Musings is a successful blog.  If you wish to characterize it as a failure due to lack of comments, that's your prerogative to do so.  But, make sure you mention 7 years and 1000 posts when you try to characterize this blog.  That is an achievement that few can equal or surpass.

As for me, I will continue my retirement blog (The Retired Baby Boomer) for the foreseeable future.  That is a blog with a bunch of comments from retirees and future retirees.  But, you can't say it is a success because it is only about 10 months old.  That is still better than the 3-6 month lifespan of the average blog.  But, it has less than 100 posts.  I doubt that blog will ever have even half as many as this one.  I will continue to post there as long as I feel it is useful to the individuals who regularly ask for help, support and advice.  So, to David's Musings, the staff, writers, past and future guest posters, visitors, and subscribers, I say farewell to you all.  It has been a wonderful, rich fulfilling ride.  I must now do as General Douglas MacArthur did in describing old soldiers and just fade away......

JD Weldy

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