This is a set of several posts that i am reading and denoting where appropriate. Again an eye witness story. It is particularly valuable because it is front line on disappearances.
What i get from this is that we do have two different types of events that look natural. One is the kidnapping of a child by a Bigfoot and the attempt to nurture the child. This is usually unsuccessful but it is not from the normal motive of hunger. The second is a Giant Sloth kill done skillfully with no sign of a struggle as expected. This is the ultimate ambush hunter. The victim is dead without any mess before he has much opportunity to react.
Other events are not natural at all and appear to be contact with a possible alien intelligence. These events are typically messy and the victim is not necessarily attacked.
This answers one question for myself. The Giant Sloth is an awesome predator and hunting humanity should be on the agenda. All indications were that we just never found the traces. Now we have clear confirmation from real boots on the ground that this is true.
Then there are the stairs. We lack a mirror image report of stairs missing. Then there is the actual danger involved with them. All this is like someone taking a page in time and then dumping it out in the wilderness as part of an ongoing experiment. I think this is possible. I did not expect to see evidence of this. Losing the time page would have no effect in the now and these objects appear to be unstable and disappear as i would expect from such an experiment. The experiments could well be taking place in the future and this area is the dumping ground.
This smells like human experiments similar to the crop circles for microwave lasers.
We also have a child tossed into a stone debris field which informs us that the action was repeated on stones many times. All very curious..
[ this is truly weird and unnatural except by relying on a spirit which is still unusual and unlikely here. arclein ]
[ This really needs confirmation and makes the whole packet very suspect - arclein ]
An older man had been hiking alone on a well-established trail, but his wife called to say that he hadn't come home when he should have. Apparently he had a history of seizures, and she was worried that he hadn't taken his medication and had suffered one out on the trail. Before you ask, I have no idea why he thought it was okay to go out alone, or why she didn't go with him. I don't ask about that kind of thing because past a certain point, it really doesn't matter. Someone is missing, and it's my job to find them. We went out in a standard search formation, and it wasn't long before one of our vets found signs that the guy had gone off the trail.
We grouped up and followed him, spreading out in a fan to make sure we were covering as much ground as possible. Suddenly, a call comes over the radio telling us to all head back to the vets location, and we come right away, because this usually means the missing person is injured, and we need a full team to help get them out safely. We meet back up, and the vet is just standing at the base of a tree with his hands on the sides of his head. I ask my buddy what's going on, and he points up into the branches of this tree. I almost couldn't believe what I was seeing, but there's a walking stick dangling from a branch at least thirty feet off the ground. The little strap thing on the handle has been looped around the branch, and it's just hanging there. There's no way the guy could have tossed it up that far, and we don't see any other signs that he's still in the area. We call up into the tree, but it's obvious no one's in it. We're all just sort of left scratching our heads. We keep searching for the guy, but we never find him. We even bring our canines out, but they lose his scent long before this tree. Eventually, the search is called off, because there are other calls we have to attend to, and past a certain point there's not much we can do. The guy's wife called us every day for months, asking if we'd found her husband, and it was heartbreaking to hear her get more and more hopeless each time. I'm not sure why this call in particular was so upsetting, but I think it was just the sheer improbability of it. That and the questions that were raised. How the hell had this guy's cane ended up there? Did someone kill him and toss that up there as some weird trophy? We did our best to find him, but it was almost like a taunt. We still talk about that one from time to time.
This is most likely a giant sloth kill. The Sloth is arboreal at the least. arclein ]
She packs their stuff up and they start to head back to the parking area. Now, this lake is only about two miles into the woods, and it's on a very clearly established trail. It's almost impossible to get lost getting from the parking area to it, unless you're deliberately going off the path like an imbecile. Her kids are walking in front of her, when she hears what sounds like someone coming up the path behind her. She turns around, and in the four or so seconds she's not looking, her five-year-old son vanishes. She figures he's stepped off the trail to pee or something, and she asks her other two where he went.
They both tell her that 'a big man with a scary face' came out of the woods next to them, took the kid's hand, and led him into the trees. The two remaining kids don't seem upset, in fact she says later that it seems like they've been drugged. They're sort of spacey and fuzzy. So of course, she freaks out, starts looking frantically in the area for her kid. She's screaming his name, and she says at one point she thinks she heard him answer her. Now obviously she can't go blindly running into the woods, she's got the other two kids, so she calls the police and they send us out immediately.
We respond, and we start the search for him.Over the course of this search, which spans miles, we never find a single trace of the kid. Canines can't pick up any scent, we don't find any clothing or broken bushes or literally anything that would signify a child being there. Of course there's suspicion about the mother for a while, but it's pretty clear that she's completely destroyed by the whole thing.
We looked for this kid for weeks, with a lot of volunteer help. But eventually, the search peters out, and we have to move on. The volunteers keep searching, though, and one day we get a call on the radio letting us know that a body has been found and needs to be recovered. They tell us the location, and none of us can believe it. We figure it has to be a different kid. But we go out there, about 15 miles from the site where he vanished, and sure enough, we find the body of the kid we've been looking for. I have been trying to figure out how this kid got where he did ever since we found him, and I've never come up with an answer. A volunteer just happened to be in the area, because he figured he might as well look in places no one else would think to on the off chance the body had been dumped. He comes to the base of a tall, rocky slope, and half-way up, he sees something. He looks through his binoculars and sure enough, it's the body of a little boy, stuffed in a little opening in the rock. He recognizes the color of the kid's shirt, so he knows right away that it's the missing boy.
[ sounds like a Sasquatch abduction and mind influence - arclein ]
That's when he calls it in, and we're dispatched. It took us almost an hour to get his body down, and none of us could believe what we were seeing. Not only was this kid 15 miles from where he'd started, there was no possible way he could have gotten up there on his own. This slope is treacherous, and it's hard even for us with our climbing gear. A five-year-old boy had no way of getting up there, of that I'm certain. Not only that, but the kid doesn't have a scratch on him. His shoes are gone, but his feet aren't damaged or dirty. So it wasn't as if an animal dragged him up there. And from what we can tell, he hasn't been dead that long. He'd been out there over a month by that point, and it looked like he'd only been dead for, at most, a day or two. The whole thing was unbelievably strange, and was one of the most disconcerting calls I've ever been on. We found out later that the coroner determined the kid had died from exposure. He'd frozen to death, probably late at night two days before we found him. There were no suspects, and no answers. To date, it's one of the weirdest things I've ever seen.
[ held in a Sasquatch lair and taken care of as best as was possible by the Sasquatch. - arclein ]
As my trainer and I are headed back, she decides to take me on a detour to show me one of the hot spots where we tend to find missing people. It's a natural dip in the land near a popular trail, and people will usually move downhill because it's easier. We hike out there, it's a few miles away, and we get there in about an hour or so. As we're walking around the area and she's pointing out places she's found people in the past, I see something in the distance. Now, this area we're in is about eight miles from the main parking area, though there's back roads you can take to get closer if you don't want to hike that far. But we're on state-protected land, which means there can't be any kind of commercial or residential development out here. The most you'll ever see is a fire tower or makeshift shelter that homeless people think they can get away with building. But I can see from here that whatever this thing is has straight edges, and if there's one thing you learn quickly, it's that nature rarely makes straight lines. I point it out, but she doesn't say anything. She just hangs back and lets me wander over and check it out.
I get within about twenty feet of it, and all the hair on the back of my neck stands up. It's a staircase. In the middle of the fucking woods. In the proper context, it would literally be the most benign thing ever. It's just a normal staircase, with beige carpet, and about ten steps tall. But instead of being in a house, where it obviously should be, it's out here in the middle of the woods. The sides aren't carpeted, obviously, and I can see the wood it's made of. It's almost like a video game glitch, where the house has failed to load completely and the stairs are the only thing visible. I stand there, and it's like my brain is working overtime to try and make sense of what I'm seeing. My trainer comes and stands next to me, and she just stands there casually, looking at it as if it's the least interesting thing in the world. I ask her what the fuck this thing is doing here, and she just chuckles. 'Get used to it, rookie. You're gonna see a lot of them.' I start to move closer, but she grabs my arm. Hard. 'I wouldn't do that.' She says. Her voice is casual, but her grip is tight, and I just stand there looking at her. 'You're gonna see them all the time, but don't go near them. Don't touch them, don't go up them. Just ignore them.' I start to ask her about it, but something in the way she's looking at me tells me that it's best if I don't.
[ if this is real it needs to be investigated carefully. - arclein ]
We end up moving on, and the subject doesn't come up again for the rest of my training. She was right, though. I'd say about every fifth call I go on, I end up running across a set of stairs. Sometimes they're relatively close to the path, maybe within two or three miles. Sometimes they're twenty, thirty miles out, literally in the middle of nowhere, and I only find them during the broadest searches or training weekends. They're usually in good condition, but sometimes it looks like they've been out there for miles. All different kinds, all different sizes. The biggest I ever saw looked like they came out of a turn-of-the-century mansion, and were at least ten feet wide, with steps leading up at least fifteen or twenty feet. I've tried talking about it with people, but they just give me the same response my trainer did. 'It's normal. Don't worry about it, they're not a big deal, but don't go close to them or up them.' When trainees ask me about it now, I give them the same response. I don't really know what else to tell them. I'm really hoping someday I get a better answer, but it hasn't happened yet.
I can't remember verbatim what she said, but essentially, what happened was this: She'd been waiting for her husband when she started hearing this really strange sound. She said it sounded sort of like a cat, but it was off somehow, and she couldn't quite figure out why. She went a little ahead to try and hear it better, and it sounded like it was coming closer. She said the closer it got, the more uneasy she was, until she finally figured out what was wrong. I do remember this next part, because it was so weird that I don't think I could forget it if I tried. "It wasn't a cat. It was a man, saying the word 'meow' over and over. Just 'meow, meow, meow'. But it wasn't a man, it couldn't have been, because I've never heard a man make his voice buzz like that. I thought my hearing aid was going out, but it wasn't, I adjusted it and it still sounded all buzzy. It was awful. He was coming closer, but I couldn't see him. And the closer he got the more scared I was, and the last thing I remember was a shape coming out of the trees. I guess that's when I fainted."
Now, obviously I'm a little perplexed as to why a guy would be out in the fucking woods chanting 'meow, meow' at people. So once we get down the mountain, I tell my superior that I'm gonna go search the area to see if I can find anything. He gives me the go ahead, and I grab a radio and hike back to where she fainted. I don't see anyone, so I keep going about a mile more, and I when I head back I go off the trail, to see if I can figure out where she saw him coming from. It's almost sunset by this point, and I don't have any desire to be out at night alone, so I just sort of write it off and make a mental note to check it out again tomorrow. But as I'm headed back, I start to hear something in the distance. I stop, and I call out for anyone in the immediate area to identify themselves. The sound didn't come closer or get louder, but it sounded exactly like a man saying 'meow, meow' in this really odd monotone. As comical as it makes it sound, it was almost like that guy on South Park with the electrolarynx, Ned. I go off the trail in the direction I think it's coming from, but I never seem to get closer. It's almost like it's coming from all directions. Eventually, it just sort of fades out, and I ended up going back to the welcome center. I didn't get any further reports like that, and even though I went back to that area, I never heard that exact sound again. I suppose it could have been some stupid kid out there fucking with people, but even I have to admit it was weird.
Every time we try to take him from her, she flips out and tells us we can't have him, that he'll be okay if we just leave her alone and let her help him. But eventually, one of the vets manages to calm her down, and she gives us the body. We took it back to the med area, but when the EMTs showed up, they told us that there was never any hope of saving the kid. He'd died instantly from the trauma to his head. I was good buddies with one of the nurses who met them at the hospital, and she told me later what had happened. Turns out the couple had been walking with the baby in the sling, and they stopped because the kid was fussing. The dad takes the kid and is holding him, looking out over this little gully by the path. The mom comes to stand next to him, but she ends up stepping on a loose patch of soil, and she trips. She falls into the dad, who drops the kid, who ends up falling about twenty feet down this little gully onto the rocks at the bottom. The dad climbed down and recovered the kid, but he'd fallen right on his head, and was dead by the time he got there. The baby was only about fifteen months old. It was a total freak accident, a series of events that coalesced into the worst possible outcome. Probably one of the more awful calls I've been on.
I honestly don't know how I'd forgotten this story, but it is, by far, the scariest thing that's happened to me. I guess maybe I've tried so long to forget about it that it just didn't come to mind right away.
As someone who spends literally all of their time in the woods, you don't ever want to let yourself get scared of being alone, or out in the middle of nowhere. That's why when you have experiences like this, you tend to just forget about them and move on. This is, to date, the only thing that's ever made me really seriously consider if this job is the right one for me. I don't really like talking about it much, but I'll do the best I can to remember it all. As I recall, this took place right at the end of spring. It was a typical lost-child call: a four-year-old girl had wandered away from her family's campsite, and had been missing for about two hours. Her parents were completely despondent, and told us what most parents do; my kid would never wander away, she's so good about staying close, she's never done anything like this before.
We assure the parents that we'll do everything we can to find her, and we spread out in a standard search formation. I was partnered with one of my good buddies, and we were sort of casually holding conversation while we hiked. I know it sounds callous, but you do sort of become desensitized when you've done this long enough. It becomes the norm, and I think to a certain extent you have to learn to desensitize yourself in order to work this job. We search for a good two hours, going well beyond where we think she'd be, and we come out of a small valley when something makes us both stop in unison. We freeze and look at each other, and there's almost a sensation like a plane depressurizing.
My ears pop, and I have this odd sensation of having dropped about ten feet. I start to ask my buddy if he felt that, but before I can, we hear the loudest sound I've ever heard in my life. It's almost like a freight train passing directly by us, but it's coming from every direction at once, including above and below us. He screams something to me, but I can't hear him over this deafening roar. Understandably freaked out, we look all around us, trying to find the source of the sound, but neither of us sees anything. Of course, my first thought is a landslide, but we're not near any cliffs, and even if we were, it would have hit us by now. The sound goes on and on, and we're trying to yell to each other, but even standing close together we can't hear anything but this sound. Then, as suddenly as it starts, it stops, like someone threw a switch and cut it off. We stand there for a second, perfectly still, and slowly the normal sounds of the woods come back. He asks me what the fuck just happened, but I just kind of shrug, and we stand there looking at each other for a minute.
I get on the radio and ask if anyone else just heard the end of the fucking world, but no one else hears it, even though we're all within shouting distance of each other. My buddy and I just sort of shrug it off and keep going. About an hour later, we all check up on the radios, and no one's found the little girl. Most of the time, we won't search when it gets dark, but because we don't have any kind of lead on her, a few of us decide to keep going, including me and my buddy. We keep close together, and we're calling out for her every couple of minutes. At this point, I'm hoping beyond hope that we find her, because while I may not like kids, the idea of them being out all alone in the dark is awful. The woods can be intimidating to kids in the daylight; at night, well, it's a whole different beast. But we're not seeing any signs of her, or getting any responses, and around midnight, we decide to turn around and head back to the rendezvous point.
We're about halfway back when my buddy stops and shines his light to the right of us, into a really thick deadfall, or group of dead trees. I ask him if he's heard a response, but he just tells me to be quiet a second and listen. I do, and in the distance, I can hear what sounds like a kid crying. We both call the girl's name and listen for any kind of response, but it's just this really faint crying. We head in the direction of this deadfall and go around it, calling her name over and over. As we get closer to the crying, I start getting this weird feeling in my gut, and I tell my buddy that something isn't right. He tells me he feels the same way, but we can't figure out what it is. We stop where we are, and call the girl's name again. And at the same time, we both figure it out.
The crying is on a loop. It's the same little hitching sob, then wail, then quiet hiccup, repeated over and over. It's exactly the same every time, and without saying another word, we both take off running. It's the only time I've ever lost my composure like that, but something about it was so incredibly wrong, and neither of us wanted to stay out there anymore. When we got back to the rendezvous, we asked if anyone else had heard anything strange, but no one else knew what we were talking about. I know it sounds sort of anti-climactic, but that call fucked me up for a long time. As for the little girl, we never found a trace of her. We keep an eye out for her, and all the other people who we've never found, but frankly I doubt we'll ever find anything.
The search was concluded about a month later, and my buddy said everyone had pretty much forgotten it by later in the winter. He was out on a training op in the snow, on one of the higher peaks, when he came across something in the snow. He said he saw it from far away at first, and when he got closer, he realized it was a shirt, frozen and sticking part way out of the powder. He recognized it as belonging to the kid, because it had a distinctive pattern. About twenty yards away, he found the kid's body, laying partially buried in the snow.
My buddy said there was no way the kid had been dead for any more than a few days, even though he'd been missing for almost three months. The kid was curled around something, and when my buddy brushed off the snow to see what it was, he said he almost couldn't believe what he was seeing. It was a big chunk of ice, that had been carved crudely to look sort of like a person. The kid was holding it so tight that it had frostbitten his chest and hands, which my buddy could tell even with the decay that had taken place.
He radioed the rest of the crew, and they took the body off the mountain. Now, he recapped all of this for me, and to put it simply, there was no way this kid could have both survived for almost three months on his own, or have gotten to this peak. There was no physical way this child could have walked almost fifty miles and ended up on the top of a god damn mountain. To top it off, there was nothing in the kid's stomach or colon. Nothing, not even water. It was like, my buddy said, the kid had been taken off the face of the earth, put in suspended animation, and dropped on this mountain months later, only to die of exposure. He's never really gotten over that one.
My buddy radioed back and let ops know that he'd heard one, and that he was going to keep going to see if he could figure out where its territory started. He heard the mountain lion scream a couple more times, always from the same spot, and determined the approximate area of the mountain lion's territory. He was about to head back when he heard another scream, this time within only a few yards of him. Of course, he freaks out and starts heading back at a much faster pace, because the last thing he wants is to run into a god damn mountain lion and get mauled to death. As he got back on the path and started heading back, the screaming followed him, and he broke into a jog.
When he was about a mile from ops, the screaming stopped, and he turned around to see if it was following him. It was almost night by this point, but he said in the distance, just before the path rounded a corner, he could see what looked like a male figure. He called out to them, warning them that the paths were closed, and that he needed to come back to the welcome center. The figure just stood there, and my buddy started to walk over. When he was about ten yards away, the figure took, as he described, 'and impossibly long step' toward him and let out the same scream my buddy had been hearing. My buddy didn't even say anything, he just turned and sprinted back to ops, never looking behind him. By the time he got back, the screaming had moved back into the woods. He didn't mention it to anyone else, just said that there was a mountain lion in the area and that they would need to close those paths until the animal could be located and moved.
One of the kids did as well, but the other two survived. One had a broken leg and fractured ribs, the other was almost unharmed save for some bruising and a sprained ankle. The uninjured child left his sibling behind and set out to find help. K.D said the kid didn't make it more than half a mile before a storm overtook him. Kid stopped to try and get warm, or maybe just to rest, and ended up freezing to death. They ended up finding the family with the help of some witnesses who saw them heading out into the wilderness, and she was the one to find the kid who'd frozen to death looking for help. She said it had started to snow, just enough to obscure long-distance vision, but not enough to make searching impossible. She saw a figure sitting in the snow up ahead, and she got to it as quickly as possible. She described, in detail, how as she got closer, she realized first that it was a child, second that they were deceased, and third that they had frozen in one of the most pitiful positions she's ever found a corpse in. The kid was sitting upright, with his knees tucked up against his chest. His arms were curled around them, and his head was tucked up in his coat. When she moved the coat to look at his face, she saw that he'd died crying. His face was twisted, and the tears were frozen on his cheeks. She said it was painfully obvious that the kid was terrified when he succumbed to hypothermia, and as a mother, it broke her heart. She told me, repeatedly, that she hopes the father is burning in hell as we speak.
Now obviously, the parents are beyond devastated. It's awful enough to lose one child, but to lose two is beyond imagining. The search is huge, one of the largest in state history. There are about three hundred volunteers combing every inch of this park, looking for the kid. But again, there's no trace of him. The search goes on for about a week, with people looking miles from the part of the park he vanished from. And then, almost two weeks later, a volunteer almost fifteen miles from the designated search area radios in that he's found the kid. They assumed that the kid was dead, but the volunteer says he's not only alive, he's in good shape. K.D and her team go out to recover the kid, and when they get there, she can't believe that this is the kid that's been missing. His clothes are clean, there's no dirt on him anywhere, and he doesn't appear traumatized. The volunteer says he found the kid sitting on a log, playing with a little twig bundle that's bound together with some old rope.
K.D asks him where he's been, who he was with for those two weeks, and the kid tells her that he's been with 'the fuzzy man'. Now K.D firmly believes in Bigfoot, so she gets all excited and asks what he means by fuzzy. Was he hairy? But the kid says no, he wasn't hairy. He was a 'fuzzy man', and he describes a man that's blurry, 'like when you close your eyes but not all the way closed.' He says the man came out of the trees and took the kid with him deep into the woods. The kid says he slept in a hollow tree, and the fuzzy man gave him berries to eat. K.D asks if the man was mean, if he scared the kid, and the kid says 'no, he wasn't scary. but i didn't like how he didn't have eyes.' K.D says they get the kid back to headquarters, and a cop takes him into town to talk to him more about what happened. She's friends with the cop that talked to him, and she said the kid described being kept in this tree by the fuzzy man, and given berries whenever he was hungry. He was allowed to wander around a very specific clearing, but when he tried to go further, the fuzzy man would 'get mad and yell real loud even though he didn't have a mouth'. When the kid got scared at night, the fuzzy man 'made it go brighter' and gave him the twig bundle. He said the fuzzy man was going to keep him, but he had to let him go because the kid wasn't 'the right kind.' He either can't or won't elaborate more on that. The cops are just sort of left scratching their heads, and the search for his brother is renewed with no results. The kid has no idea where his brother might be, and they never find him.
But I've only gotten about five feet when I realize that I have no idea where I am. And this wasn't a 'oh, I got turned around' lost. I mean I had literally no fucking clue where I was. If you'd asked me, I don't even think I'd have been able to tell you what state we were in. It was sort of how I imagine people with amnesia feel, you know? You're completely lost, and you have no idea what to do. So I stood there for a while, just trying to figure out where the fuck I was and what I was supposed to do. But the longer I stand there, the more confused and turned around I get, so I started walking. As I recall, I just picked a random direction and went for it. And as I'm walking, it's just getting worse and worse to the point where I have no concept of why I'm on the mountain in the first place. I'm just trudging through the snow, and then I start hearing this voice. It's kind of inside my head, almost.
Like if a frog could talk, all low and croaky. And it's telling me over and over 'it's okay, it's okay, you just need to find something to eat. Find something to eat and you'll be okay, just keep walking and find something to eat. Eat. Eat.' So I start looking around for anything that I can eat, and I swear to god I've never felt that hungry in my whole life. It was bottomless, and I think I'd have eaten just about anything you put in front of me right then. I had no concept of time, so I had no idea how long I'd been out when I hear an actual voice coming toward me. I go toward it and see one of the other SARs, and he looks fucking terrified. He's running toward me, asking if I'm okay and what the hell I'm doing out here.
And the scary thing was, as he's running toward me, I kind of see myself reaching into my belt for my hunting knife. I'm not even really thinking about what I'm doing, but what I am thinking is that I have to eat. If I don't eat, I'll never be okay again, so I just have to eat. He sees me doing that and he backs off right away. He yells at me to put my knife away, that he's not gonna hurt me, and that kind of snaps me back.
All of a sudden, I know exactly where I am, and I put the knife away. I run to him and ask him how long I've been gone, thinking he'll tell me I've been gone for half an hour or so. But he tells me I've been gone for two fucking days. I've gone over two peaks and ended up almost on the other side of the mountain, and if I'd kept going, I would have ended up wandering into about three hundred miles of wilderness. They'd never have found me. He can't believe I'm not dead, and of course I don't know what the fuck to think. To me, no time has passed at all. I don't say anything, I just go back with him to a rendezvous point and I'm taken back to HQ to be airlifted to the hospital. When I get there, they do all kinds of tests, and try to figure out what happened. As best they can guess, I had some kind of weird fugue state, which is kind of like amnesia, or a weird seizure that knocked my brain out of whack. But the truth is that we really don't know. It's never happened again, but I'll tell you, ever since then I never go out there alone. People rag on me for making them come with me when I have to leave the group, but I just tell 'em that listening to me piss in the snow is better than losing me for two fucking days on a freezing mountain.'
What E.W's team noticed right away was that a very strange pattern was emerging. Dogs in alternating boxes were picking up Joey's scent, but losing it when they overlapped with another box. If you think of a checkerboard, Joey's scent was being picked up in random black squares, but never in red. This, of course, didn't make any sense, because how could the kid bounce from area to area without leaving a scent in each place he passed?
E.W and his partner pass into a new box of the grid, and E.W notices a set of stairs about fifty yards away. He tells his partner that they need to go check near it, but his partner flat-out refuses. He tells E.W that he's made it a point never to go near any stairs he sees, and that while it may be routine, he's not to pretend that it's normal. He tells E.W that he'll wait in sight while E.W checks. E.W says he was irritated, but he felt for the guy, and didn't push him on the subject. 'I walked over to the stairs. They were small, kind of like stairs into a basement.
I don't really feel strongly one way or the other about them, the stairs I mean, so I wasn't scared or anything. I guess I'm like everyone else, and I just prefer not to think about them too much. 'Anyway, I went over and I could see that there was something lying on the bottom step, sort of curled up. My hear sinks, because of course you always hope for the best. And we were confident that we'd find this kid alive, because he'd only been missing for a few hours.
But I knew right away that it was him, and that he was dead. He was curled up in a little ball on the step, holding his stomach. It looked like he'd been in horrible pain when he died, but I didn't see any blood, except some on his lips and chin. I radioed in that I'd found him, and we got his body back to command. That poor family, they were devastated. The parents couldn't understand how he'd be dead, 'cause he'd only been gone for such a short amount of time. And on top of that we didn't have any obvious cause of death, which just made it worse. I figured he'd probably eaten something poisonous, since he was holding his stomach when I found him, but I didn't want to guess. It's hard enough to hear that your kid is dead, let alone have some stupid SAR guy guessing about what happened. They took him away, and I went home and tried not to think about it. I hate finding dead kids, man. I loved this job but it's one of the reasons I left.
I've got two daughters, and the thought of losing them that way just...' He choked up a little here. I'm not great with emotional stuff like that, and it's always sort of awkward to see a grown man cry, so I didn't really know what to do. He pulled himself together eventually, though, and he kept going. 'We don't always hear back from the coroners about cause of death. It's not really our job to know, I guess, and sometimes if they think it's foul play they won't tell us because of legal bullshit. But I've got a friend who works for the sheriff's department, and he'll usually pass along any interesting info if I ask.
In this case, though, I actually got a call from him about a week later. He asks if I remember the kid, and of course I do, and he says some seriously weird shit is going on. He tells me, 'E.W, man, you're gonna think I'm crazy, but the coroner has no idea what happened to this kid. He's never seen anything like it.' My friend goes on to tell me that when the coroner opened the kid up, he couldn't even believe what he was seeing. The kid's organs were like swiss cheese. Quarter-sized holes were punched clean through just about every single organ this kid had, aside from his heart and lungs. But his colon, his stomach, his kidneys and even one of his testicles, were full of these clean holes. My friend said the coroner described it as if someone had taken a hole-punch and punched holes out of everything, they were so neat. But the kid didn't have a scratch on him, no entry or exit wounds. The closest anyone there had ever seen like it was a guy who'd filled himself full of buckshot a year or so back while cleaning his rifle. No one had a clue what could possibly have caused it. My friend asked me if I'd ever heard of anything like it, or if we'd had similar cases in the past. But I'd never even heard of something like that, and I told him I wasn't going to be of any help to him. As far as I know, the coroner determined the cause of death as something like 'massive internal bleeding', but no one knows what really happened.
I've never been able to forget that kid. I have nightmares about it sometimes. I don't let my kids go into the woods alone, and when we go together I never let them out of my sight. I used to love it out here. But that case, and a couple others, just sort of ruined it for me.' Dinner was over, so we started to clean up and go back to our cabins. Before we went our separate ways, he put his hand on my shoulder and looked at me really close. He tells me that there's bad things out here. Things that don't care if we have families or lives, or that we can think and feel. He tells me to be careful, and he walks away. I didn't a chance to talk with him again, but that story stuck with me.
We crested a little ridge and there was a staircase about ten yards ahead. The rookie stops dead in his tracks and just stands there looking at them. I tell him, 'See? That's something you should be afraid of.' The rookie asks me what the hell these are doing out here, and for some reason, I just open up and tell him the truth. Or what I've been told is the truth. I could have gotten in a lot of trouble for doing what I did, and I could get in a lot of trouble for repeating it to you. But you're a nice kid, and I want you to stop looking into this. Quit while you're ahead. So I'll tell you what I know, under the condition that you never breathe a word of this to the supes.' I told him I wouldn't say a word, and he double-checks that our radios are off.
'When I first started out, we were a little less tight-lipped about them, and other things that happen out here. We warned people before they were even hired that there was weird shit going on. I guess the Forest Service was tired of having such a massive turnover rate, and they wanted people to know what they were getting into. So they started having people sign these agreements that they wouldn't go to the media about what they were going to see. The FS didn't want to scare people away, so the last thing they needed were spooked rookies running off to the media with stories of ghosts and haunted stairs. But eventually, they found that the agreements weren't necessary.
People not only didn't want to talk about what they saw, they wouldn't. A few times, media tried to talk to people when kids or hikers would disappear, and no one would say a word. I can't really explain it. I guess we just... don't really want to admit anything is wrong. This is our job, to be out in the woods every single day. We don't need to be spooked, and the best way to avoid that is to pretend like everything's okay. So I'll tell you everything I can think of, and after that, I'm done talking about it for good. And I expect you not to bring it up around me, ever.
'The stairs have been out here as long as the parks have existed. We have records going back decades describing them. Sometimes people go up them, and nothing happens. Other times... Look, I really don't like talking about this, but sometimes, really bad shit happens. I saw one guy get his hand sliced clean off when he got to the top step. He reached out to touch a tree branch, and it happened so fast. One second his hand was there, and the next it was gone. Completely clean wound. We didn't find his hand, and the guy almost died. Another time, a woman touched one of the stairs, and a blood vessel in her brain exploded. Literally exploded, like a water balloon. She sort of stumbled down and came over to me, and all she got out was 'I think something is wrong with me.' She dropped like a sack of flour, dead before she hit the ground.
I'll never forget the way the blood leaked into the inside of her eye. Before she died, I watched it turn red. I watched it happen and there wasn't a single thing I could do to help. 'We warn people not to go anywhere near them but there's always at least one idiot who does. And even if nothing happens to them, something bad always happens. Kids go missing as we're on their trail. Someone dies the next day, cut in half in a completely safe part of the park. I don't know why, but something bad always happens. I don't know exactly why they're out here, but it doesn't matter. They're here, and if we were smart, we'd tell our new officers exactly what they're capable of.' We were both quiet for a little while. I was afraid to talk because I wasn't sure if he was done.
He looked like he wanted to say something else. Finally he spoke up again. 'Have you ever noticed how you can't find the same ones twice?' I nodded, expecting him to continue. But he just stayed quiet, walking alongside me, and eventually he started a story about the biggest deer he'd ever seen in the park. I didn't bring up the subject again, and I didn't press him for any more stories. He dropped out of the op the next day. Apparently he left before the sun came up; he said he was sick. None of us have heard from him since he left.
He said that as he climbed this tree, he started wondering if they were playing a prank on him. 'There was no way this kid should have been able to climb this fuckin' thing. It was massive at the base, but about halfway up it started tapering, and I almost had to turn back a few times because I really didn't think it was gonna hold me.' But he said he kept going, and when he was just about at the top, he saw a flash of blue in the branches. 'I saw the kid's shirt sort of caught in a branch, and I called out to him and told him to come near me if he could, but he didn't say anything. I kept moving, calling the kid's name and telling him not to be scared, that I was there to help him. By the time I got to him, I knew he wasn't gonna answer me.
I found him, or what was left of him, cradled in the fork of a branch, and the fact that he was up there was sheer luck. If he'd fallen any other way, he'd have come crashing down. It wouldn't have mattered though, because this kid was dead long before he ended up in that tree. I don't know who put him there, or how, or why, but it was fucking sick. Kid's intestines had popped out of his mouth, and were hanging in the branches. It was like some sick fucking Christmas tree, the way they were draped all over everything. I got a better look and saw they'd even popped out of his ass; his guts were hanging out the bottom of his pants. His eyes were gone, I assume shoved out from whatever force caused him to fucking pop like a stress ball. You ever seen a body that's been floating in water for a long time, how their tongues kind of swell up and stick out? His was like that. I remember because there were flies crawling all over it. I think I must have gone into shock, because... man I just pushed that kid down with a stick I broke off a branch.
Just kind of poked him until he fell. I don't know why I did that... I almost lost my job because of that. But man the thought of hauling that kid down over my shoulder the whole way, gathering his guts up and coiling them around me like rope so they wouldn't get snagged... I couldn't do it. I've seen a lot of dead kids. More than I'd ever admit. I've seen a kid who hid in a full bathtub during a house fire; boiled him alive, turned him into literal soup. But this... I don't know what did this, but the thought of touching that kid's body made me feel like I was gonna lose my mind. I heard him hit the ground and I figured everyone would freak out, but they knew he was dead when they sent me up there.
They didn't say anything, but they didn't shout or freak out or anything. I got to the bottom and I started to get up in the captain's face, asking him who he thought he was sending me up there when they knew damn well the kid was dead. But he just told me it was none of my concern, and thanked me for getting the evidence down. I remember he said that, I remember it specifically because it was so weird to hear it phrased that way. 'The evidence'. Like he wasn't even a person. Like he'd never been a little kid who got lost and had something fucking unspeakable happen to him. The captain had a crew lead me back out of the woods, but he and two others stayed behind, and I thought that was weird. Why wouldn't they have me help get the kid out? I tried asking but the guys leading me out just told me they couldn't discuss an open case.' I asked him what he thought had happened to the kid, and he got really pensive and thought about it for a bit. 'I would have said a crush injury, based on how his guts came out like that, but with those injuries you see massive contusions under the skin, obvious trauma. This wasn't like that. It was almost like that kid got caught in a big vacuum and had his guts sucked out. But even then, there was no trauma. None at all. It bothers me, man. It bothers the hell out of me.'
Especially the stairs. I was surprised you didn't mention the flipped ones.' I didn't know what he was talking about, I couldn't remember him ever talking about something like that. He seemed somewhat incredulous. 'Dude, I can't believe you've been on this long without seeing them. No one told you about them?' I shrugged and asked him to elaborate. 'Well there's the normal stairs, the ones that pop up when we're out a ways. I know you know about them. But sometimes I've run across ones that are flipped upside down. I guess it would be like if you had a doll house, and the stairs were a separate piece. Now take that, flip it upside down so the top step is stuck in the dirt, and put it out in the woods. They're like that. I don't see them as often but they're odd, to say the least. Makes me think of footage taken after a tornado, when houses are all blown apart and random things are left standing, like chimneys and garden walls. Those ones freak me out more that the normal ones because I can't really write those off as easily.' I don't scare very easily, like most of us who work out here, but that idea stuck with me, and it bothers me. I'm going to try and find more out about them. He also mentioned how many people were bothered by the guy with no face.
He got really excited and told me he'd seen something similar. 'I was out on a training exercise a few years ago. I was camped out in my tent and I heard someone walking around outside of camp. We're told not to wander far, which you know, so I wondered if maybe it was a rookie who'd gotten up to pee and couldn't find his way back. Remember that guy in our group a few years back who almost fell of the damn mountain? Well I'm paranoid about that happening again, so I got up to see what was going on. I went to the edge of camp and I called to whoever it was and told them that camp was this way. But they kept going back out into the woods, so I went after them. I know it was stupid but I was half-asleep and I just really didn't want to deal with some idiot getting hurt. I followed this thing on a dead-straight course for about a mile, and then it stopped on the edge of a little river. I could see the outline of it because the water was reflecting the moon, and it looked just like an ordinary guy.
He had a pack on, and it looked like he was facing me. I asked if he was okay, if he needed help, and he cocked his head like he didn't understand me. I always have my pocket knife on me, and it's got a little thumblight attached to it, so I turned that on and lit up his chest, so I wouldn't blind him. He was breathing slow and deep, so I wondered if he was sleepwalking. I went closer and asked him again if he was okay. I moved the light up, and something didn't seem right, so I stopped. He kept breathing in this real slow, deep breaths, and I sort of figured out gradually that that's what was bothering me. It was like he was pretending to breathe, but not actually doing it. His breaths were too even and deep, and all his movements were exaggerated, like his shoulders going up and his chest moving. I told him to identify himself, and he made this muffled noise. I moved the light up and I shit you not, this guy had no face. Just smooth skin. I freaked out, and I sort of fumbled my light, but I saw him move toward me but he didn't actually move.
I don't know how to explain it, but one second he was at the edge of the river and the next he was five feet from me. I never looked away or blinked, it was like he moved so fast my brain couldn't keep up. I tripped and fell on my ass and I could see this line open up on his throat. It stretched up to his ears, and his head tilted back and he smiled at me with his throat. There wasn't any blood, just this gaping dark hole, and I swear he smiled at me with this gash in his throat. I got up and I ran as fast as I could back to camp. I couldn't hear him following me, but I felt like he was always right behind me, even though when I looked back I couldn't see him. I calmed down when I got back to camp; the fire was still going and I guess that pack mentality of being with other people made me stop and breathe a little. I waited by the fire to see if he'd follow me there, but I didn't hear anything else for a few hours, so I went back to bed. I know it sounds weird, but the whole thing was just so surreal that it was almost like I immediately wrote it off as my imagination.'
She said one summer, there was a series of awful storms that blew down a lot of trees, and set one part of the forest a few miles behind her house on fire. Fire crews got it under control, but she said some of them came back 'not quite the same.' 'It was like they'd been to war. You could tell who'd really gotten scared because they had the same look on their faces, I think it's called shell-shock. My friend and I said they were like walking dead people. They didn't smile or say anything if you went up to them, and most of them left town as soon as everything was over. I asked my parents about it, but they said they didn't know what I was talking about. Once everyone was told the woods were safe again, my friend and I decided to try and hike out to where the fire had been. We didn't tell out parents where we were going, and it was pretty exciting to think that we were disobeying them like that. We hiked out about two miles or so, and we started seeing burnt trees and stuff. I remember my friend got really upset because we found the skeleton of a deer curled up under a tree, and I practically had to drag her away. She wanted to bury it, but I didn't want her touching it because its antlers were weird. I can't remember why, I just remember thinking that there was something wrong with them and I didn't want either of us going near it. The farther we went, the more burnt everything got. Eventually, there were no standing trees, and it was like being on another planet. Almost nothing green, just brown and black everywhere. We were standing there looking at it all, and we both heard someone shouting in the distance. I panicked because I thought it was my dad, and that he was going to tell me I was grounded. My friend broke off and went to hide behind a big rock, because she said she didn't want to be caught out here. Her parents had forbidden her to come out in the woods at all, and she'd lied and told them we were going to a movie.
I followed her, and we kept listening. I could hear this voice getting closer, and I realized they were calling for help. I thought maybe it was some hiker who'd gotten lost and needed directions back to town. That used to happen all the time, so I was used to helping people out. I heard him following my voice, so I kept calling out until I saw him running in the distance. He got closer and I could see that his face was all red. I told my friend to give me her pack, because she had a first aid kit. She made this noise like she was grossed out, and she asked if I saw his face. I told her to shut up, and I jogged up to meet him. I stopped about halfway and when he stopped in front of me I could see that his nose and lips and part of his forehead were all gone. It was like they'd been sliced clean off. He was bleeding bad, and I saw that the knees of his pants were red too. I took a step back but I was too scared to move much, and he grabbed my shoulders. It felt like I got a shock, and he jerked back. He started babbling, and I couldn't tell what he was saying, except that he kept asking how long he'd been gone. He asked me where 'his unit' was, but I just shook my head. He looked me over and he saw my Walkman and he screamed.
He just kept babbling and touching his face, and I realized he wasn't wearing the right clothing. He had some kind of weird grey cloth jacket and almost formal pants on, and the jacket had these weird buttons and red borders on it. I kept shaking my head and I told him I couldn't understand what he was saying. I went to open the first aid kit but he just screamed again and said the only thing I could really understand: 'Don't touch me! You'll make me go back there!' After that, he ran off, and I could hear him screaming the whole time. When I couldn't hear him anymore, I turned around, and my friend was crying. I just turned around and started walking back toward town. She asked me over and over what had happened and who that was, but I didn't say anything. When we got home, I told her I didn't want to play in the woods with her anymore. We're still friends, but we don't talk about that guy. Not ever.'
Like, take this guy who I found one spring out on a really popular trail. Someone comes into the VC freaking about about some guy who's lying in the middle of the path in this giant pool of blood. So we run out there, and we find this guy dead as a doornail. Which he absolutely should be, because the back of his head is like mashed potatoes. The skull is decimated, brains are leaking out like custard filling, and they guy's old so you figure yeah, he probably fell and hit his head. Old people fall all the time, it's no big deal. Except that this area where he fell doesn't HAVE any big rocks. There's not even any stumps or big branches. And on top of that, there's no blood trail, so he clearly died where he dropped. Now that's when you'd turn to murder, but there were people just out of line of sight with the guy. If someone came up behind him and murdered him, there's no way someone wouldn't have heard. And again, even if someone had, there'd be a blood trail, spatter all over the place. But everyone on the scene said it looked exactly like he'd fallen and smashed his head on a rock. So what the fuck did he hit his head on?
And then there was this lady I found in a different park about five years ago, back when I was upstate. We found her in the middle of a stand of big junipers, curled around the trunk, like she was huggin' it. We pick her up to move her, and a fucking waterfall comes out of her mouth, splashes all over my shoes. Her clothes are dry, and her hair is dry, but the amount of water in her lungs and stomach was phenomenal. Unreal, man. Coroners report? Says the cause of death was drowning. Her lungs were completely full of water. This, even though we're in the middle of the high desert, and there isn't a body of water for miles. No puddles, no nothing. No signs of anyone else being out there. I mean yeah, it's possible they were murdered. But why go out of the way to do it like that? Why not just stab 'em and be done with it? I dunno, it just sits weird with me."
Now of course, that freaked me out a little. But we were wasted, and I guess I sort of wrote it off as a fluke. I also assumed there was exaggeration there, since, you know, we were wasted.
None of us wanted to think of him being alone out there. We assumed he'd just kept wandering, and was staying ahead of us. We brought out helis the next day, and they spotted him in a little canyon. I helped bring him back up, but he was in bad shape, and I think we all knew he wasn't gonna make it.
He'd fallen and broken his spine, and couldn't feel his lower half. He'd also broken both his legs, one at the femur, and he'd lost a lot of blood. He was confused and scared while he was alone, so he'd probably exacerbated the injuries by dragging himself a little ways. I know it sounds awful, but while I was riding in the copter with him, I asked him why he'd wandered off. I just wanted something to tell his mother, to let her know it wasn't her fault, because he was fading fast and I didn't think she'd get to ask him herself.
He was crying, and he said something about how 'the little sad boy' had wanted him to come play. He said the little boy wanted to 'trade' so he could 'go home'. Then he closed his eyes, and when he woke up again, he was in the canyon. I'm not sure that's exactly what he said, but it was what I thought the gist of it was. He kept crying, asking where his mommy was, and I held his hand and tried my best to keep him calm. 'It was cold out there.' He kept saying that. 'It was cold out there. My legs was frozen. It was cold out there. It's cold in me.' He was getting even weaker, so he eventually stopped talking, and he closed his eyes for a while. Then, when we were about five minutes from the hospital, he looked right at me, with these big tears running down his face, and he said 'Mama won't see me no more. Love mama, wish she was here.' And he closed his eyes and he just... never woke up. It was horrible, and I don't like talking about it. That case was one of the first ones that really rattled me badly.
Anyway, they were felling this plot of land, and we get a call that we need to get our supervisors out right away. I don't know why, but they ended up sending me and a few other guys along with the heads, I guess for power in numbers, to see what was up. We got there, and all these guys are crowded around a tree that they've just cut down. They're all pissed off and freaking out and the foreman comes over and says he wants to know what we think we're up to. "What the hell y'all think this is, some kinda sick joke? You've got a lot of fuckin' nerve pulling this shit, we bought this land fair and square!" Well we don't know what the hell he's talking about, so he brings us over to this felled tree and points at it and tells us that when they cut it down, it was just like this, and they'll be damned if they put it there. The inside of the tree was all rotted out and hollow in one spot, and when they'd cut it down it had exposed that chamber, and inside it is a hand. Like a perfectly severed hand. And looks like it's actually fused with the inside of the tree. Well now we think THEY'RE pulling a joke, so we tell them that we don't like being fucked with, and we start to leave, but they tell us they've already called the cops, and that they'll go right to the media if we don't stick around. Well that gets the heads' attention, so they stick around and talk to the police about it.
Everyone is denying that they put the hand in there, and besides, how would anyone have even done it? It's clearly a real hand, but it's not mummified or skeletal. It's brand new, probably not even a day old. And it is definitely fused with the wood, you can see that it's coming right out of it. The loggers, they insist that they didn't put it there. Somehow, this fresh human hand ended up fused to the inside of this living tree. The cops have them cut up that section of tree into a movable chunk. Then they take the hand away, and the area is closed off. There was a pretty big investigation, but I know they didn't find get any answers. Now it's become this legend, and as far as I know we haven't sold any more property for logging."
So we're seeing all these broken branches and what look like dens and we're pretty sure we know where this thing is. I call in and they tell me to confirm if possible, which you know just means they want to you to step in a big pile of shit and use that as proof. I'm not seeing any, though, so I basically just tell 'em to shove it, I'm done. We know that damn thing's out here somewhere, even if I'm not stepping in its shit or inside its mouth or whatever. Guy I'm with wanders off to take a piss or whatever, and I stay behind watching this little burrow under a tree to see if maybe a fox or somethin' is living under it, 'cause I love foxes, man. They're cute as hell. But anyway, I'm watching this tree and I start hearing branches crackling and it's coming from the direction my partner went opposite of. Now I've got my pistol, but you and I both know that's not gonna do shit against a cat. I
cock it and holler for my partner to get his dumb ass back, but he's too far and he can't hear me. I stand up and get my sights on where the thing is approaching, and I shit you not, man, I just about peed myself. This guy is coming toward me, and he's back-flipping through the fucking woods. Like, instead of walking, he's doing these crazy fucking back-flips, and I swear to God he cleared every fucking log and bush in his path, it was like he knew right where he was going. I yell at the guy to stop right where he is, that I'm pointing a gun right at him, but he keeps coming, and I just kinda lost it. I shot at the ground in front of him, and it was a dumb fuckin' thing to do, but man I didn't want this guy anywhere near me. When I fired, he was about fifty yards from me, and as soon as the gun goes off, he whirls around and goes off, back-flipping back into the woods. My partner hears my gun go off and runs back and asks what's up, and I tell him there's some fucking weirdo out here hopped up on God knows what, and we need to get the hell out of Dodge. I let the cops know what happened, and I didn't get in any trouble for firing, but man, I don't know what that motherfucker was on but I've never seen anything like that before. Shit was absolutely butt-fuck crazy."
He's whispering at me to ignore it, and to just keep talking like we were but I couldn't think of anything to say. He was saying something about an episode of some show, but I could hear the deer coming through the water, so I wasn't really paying any attention, and I kept trying to see over his shoulder, but every time I did he'd sort of hit me on the arm and make me look at him. I wasn't really scared, I remember, I was just sort of confused. But then I hear the deer come out of the water, and I could kind of make out what it looked like, and I realized it wasn't a deer because whatever it was was walking on two legs. I started to get up, I was super freaked out, but Nolan just yanked me back down and talked louder about this television show, and I could tell he was just as scared as I was, probably even more.
He leaned in and poked the fire with a stick, and he whispered that whatever I do, I can't speak to it. I could see it come closer, and it stood right behind Nolan's back. I was about ready to pee my pants, and I think I'd probably have run if I'd been alone, but I didn't want to leave Nolan, so I kept sitting really still and sneaking glances at it. It wasn't that tall, but the way it carried itself was just wrong, like its center of balance was screwed up. I can't really describe it, but it was kind of like it kept shifting too far forward. It just stood there behind Nolan for a long time, and eventually Nolan ran out of things to say and we just kind of sat there for a second. The fire was making noise, but I thought I could hear this thing talking in a really low voice. I couldn't hear what it was saying, and I leaned forward a tiny little bit, and I actually DID pee my pants when it leaned forward too. I couldn't see its face, but I saw its eyes.
I knew he was there though, because I hadn't heard him leave, so I did this awkward turn on the ladder to look down and see what he was doing. Now I admit it could have just been my brain fucking up, but I swear to you, Russ, for a split second when I turned around, that fucker didn't have a face. Like he had no face. It was almost concave, and totally smooth, and I just about had a fucking heart attack because I couldn't even wrap my brain around what I was seeing. I think I started to say something but there was this kind of 'pop' inside my head and suddenly he was just a normal looking guy. I must have looked weird because he asked me if I was okay, and I was just like 'yeah, I'm fine.' He asks about the campsite again and I point to where he has to go, and he's like 'I'm not from around here, can you help me get there?' Now this is when I know something is really up because there's no way this guy got out here and didn't know where he was. And for that matter, there's no car around, so how'd he get here in the first place? I said I was sorry but that I couldn't take him anywhere in a company vehicle, and he's like 'please? I really don't know where I am, can you come with me and help me get there?' So now I'm seriously weirded out, and I start wondering if this is some kind of ambush or whatever. I told him I could call him a taxi to come out and take him where he wants to go, and I pull out my phone and he just goes 'no' and walks away really quickly. But he doesn't walk out of the park, he walks back into the fucking trees and I got right in my fucking truck and start to get out of there, fuck the paint or whatever. I looked in my mirror to see where he was as I was leaving and he was standing right at the tree line again, I don't know how he got there so fast, but this time I know that fucker didn't have a face. He was just watching me leave, and right before I turned the corner he took a big step back into the trees and kind of dissolved, I guess. Maybe it was just dark so he blended in, but it felt more like he just melted away."