Monday, July 23, 2012

Breaking Sticks - On the Trail of the Giant Sloth

Before you read this, understand that the witnesses have not seen the creature at all and all we have is the collected auditory evidence.  However, considering that a skilled bird song identifier can distinguish several hundred separate species correctly, I will run with that sooner than a distant glimpse.

First though, let us consider breaking sticks. It is unusual to break sticks lying on the ground if you are a slightly experienced woodsman and have any vision whatsoever.  It is still difficult to move soundlessly but actually not that difficult.  You merely roll your feet as you settle in.  When you do this, you also sense larger sticks and adjust accordingly.  Thus the only way larger sticks could get broken by something on the ground would be deliberately by a hoaxer.  That then begs the question of the flood lights.  I think we can throw that option away pretty easily but keep it out there just in case.

Let us get to the real cause of breaking sticks.  A large creature climbing around inside a tree canopy must break branches and yes cause broken branches to fall to the ground as reported here.  We are now looking for a two hundred to three hundred pound creature that also exhibits four point gripping capabilities.   This of course again describes the giant sloth.

Past posts have located unrecognized sightings in the Southern Appalachians and the Western USA.  This locates a sighting in the North East.  In general the sightings have been rare, but this is largely because at even a short distance the creature will be mistaken for a bear and has much better ability to evade dogs than a bear.  It can go up a tree, but then traverse to other trees losing the dogs.

Four point gripping is very important as demonstrated by the South American sloth.  Most important it allows the creature to firmly grip and test a potentially weak branch while secure with a three point grip from the tree it is in.  It then can apply weight and grip an additional support branch before removing itself from the other tree.  This is obviously something we can not do safely ourselves at all so arboreal hoaxing is ruled out.

What we have discovered is a clear trapping strategy available to us for this creature.  When such a creature shows up and the breaking branches are heard,  one goes out and stands directly under each and every tree and shine a flood light up into the tree from beside the trunk.  Sooner or later the creature will be revealed.

The creature is certainly stealthy and is able to move about the trees without unnecessarily shaking boughs.  This merely means the creature is watching us and moving accordingly.  It’s problem is that it is impossible to do all this without breaking out dead wood in particular. Try it is broad daylight in a tree running wild.  Then try getting out on a limb without breaking free encumbering branches.  You will soon get my point.

The good news is that we have identified a couple of troops of nosy giant sloths.
For the record, sloths are mostly herbivores that in this case eat leaves and I suspect young pine needles if they are operating in New Hampshire.  They also eat beetles and grubs as well and likely much more than is noted.  Like bears, their claws would make quick work of a rotted out log.  Thus we have a happy cow that lives well above any carnivores able to make a meal of it.  For that reason there may be a lot more of them than has ever been suspected as they apparently nocturnal also.

Again understand that this creature will look like a bear at any distance.  Even up close and personal you are likely to be badly fooled, particularly if it is in the habit of imitating a bear in a confrontation.

Do look at the skull in the photo here.  This is still a herbivore.  Size can reach up to fifteen feet in length to tail tip which is much like a large cow.

The 'Stick Breakers'


I posted the following account in July 2009. It received several responses and comments from readers in the Hampstead, New Hampshire and surrounding area. I decided to post again to see if others have been experiencing similar phenomena:

In the spring of 2003 I was visiting my sister who lives in Hampstead, New Hampshire. She lives in a somewhat wooded subdivision. It was early spring in New England and the weather had been a fairly rainy. I would frequently go outside by myself to smoke cigarettes late at night, on the porch after midnight. While I was outside I would hear larger sticks crack and break on the forest floor near where I was sitting but no leaves rustling. At first I didn't think much of it. I am a seasoned camper and just didn't think it was a big deal, I figured it was just an animal of some kind. This happened night after night. Then I noticed the sounds of something dropping out of the trees and an animal or being of some kind scraping on the bark a bit as it descended. I tried looking for movement but saw nothing, like an animal or anything. The flood lights were on every time I was out there and were brightly shining, there was a street light at the end of the long paved driveway off in the distance. On subsequent nights to took a flashlight and tried to shine whatever animal it might be with a but that was to no avail. Even though everything was brightly lit I saw nothing at all.

I tried this night after night. The sounds were there every single evening without fail. I could hear them moving closer and closer to me the longer I was out there. During the day I looked for tracks and marks on trees or other evidence but didn't turn up a thing. I picked up sticks and broke a few to see what size stick I was hearing. I ascertained that the stick diameter was about an inch. I had my 11 yr old nephew go out in the woods to jump on sticks and see if he could break some of them, so I could check the way it sounds from where I was sitting. Trying to judge the distance. He jumped on some but because they were kind of moist he could only break the smaller ones. He weighed only about 75 to 80 pounds. This told me that whatever it is, weighs more than that. I could break the bigger ones by jumping on them, but I weigh 150 pounds. There are no animals in that area that are really large and could break that size stick based on the tests I did. Whatever it was would move in close to me, so I used the nephew to run around and make similar noises to gauge the distance in the daylight when they were at their closest. They were about 20-30 feet from me at best. I know there was more than one of them because I could hear one back beside the house and another one was in the front at the end of the driveway. They moved in very close to where I was and I could hear them coming from two different directions. They were not visible with the naked eye at all. I tried to take some digital photos but saw nothing discernible in the pictures.

Another thing that happened, my sister didn't have any window coverings downstairs, she loved the view of the trees, and I would sit at night on her computer surfing the web and chatting online near those windows. I frequently would get the feeling that someone was watching me. I wrote it off as just my imagination. Then there was the issue of the dogs barking and howling every night real late like they were hearing something. They were kept in crates in the basement at night. They would start their howling and wouldn't stop unless someone would go down there and make them stop. They also would look out the windows late in the evening and start barking out behind the house as tough something was there. We all thought it was just another animal or whatever, and wrote it off. My brother in law decided to keep the dogs upstairs with him at night to keep them quiet.

I was outside one night very late after midnight alone. I was up on her porch near the door. I heard them coming again. The flood lights were on and I could see well into the trees because there weren't too many smaller bushes in the way. I saw nothing but still heard them. No rustling only sticks breaking. My sis had a few planters with flowers in them on a lower landing from where I was standing. It was in the really bright light from the flood lights and was only about 8 to 10 feet from me. Some of the flowers in the planter draped over the side and hung out away from the planters. As I stood there I watched the plants move to one side and then flop back as though something had brushed past them, only nothing was there that I could see at all. There were no other sounds, like footsteps or grinding pebbles or grit. No wind at all. When the flowers swung, and they moved a lot not just a little. Whatever it was had to come up the stairs to get to me. I stood there shocked, sort of and running over what I had just seen in my mind briefly, and got freaked out completely, went inside quickly and locked the door. Everyone else was asleep in the house. I looked out the side window and saw nothing.

Another late evening I was on the computer and I got that feeling of being watched again I looked into the living room from where I was sitting and I thought I saw shadows on the ceiling as though someone had walked past the lamps in there. I thought I must be just really tired and told myself it was my imagination. I decided to take a hot shower to relax before bed. The bathroom door is right across from the basement door. The basement door was closed when I went in to shower and everyone was in bed asleep upstairs with the lights off. When I came out of the shower the basement door was open and I just closed it thinking it was a bit strange but no big deal. Then I went to go upstairs and I saw my 11 year old nephew's bedroom light was on and I got scared. I went up the stairs and he was in bed dead asleep but the light was on real bright. I became afraid for the kids and went and woke my brother-in-law up. He blew me off and went back to sleep. Just then my niece woke up to let her dog out to potty so I asked her to sit up with me for a while. Thank God she was there to sit and keep me company for a little while.

What I am saying here is I believe these things were coming in the house somehow and that's why the dogs barked and howled like they did. I am not sure how they got in, maybe through the walls, maybe the basement outside door, I don't know, but I feel they were coming in. What are these things? Aliens? Dimentional entities? Were they just watching us? Were they abducting? Testing? Or even hunting? I have no idea and it's frightening! If you think about it you realize that on the grass there are no sticks to break, so they are quiet or silent, and there they were right up next to the house! How many other houses did they go into too?!

Then the story goes a bit sister later divorced and started dating again. Her new boyfriend and I were talking on the phone one evening recently, and the subject turned to the paranormal. I knew he is an avid New Hampshire hunter. So, I asked him if he had ever heard of anything like this. He said yes!!! He said that once, in November of 2003, he and five of his friends were out hunting on White Mountain one year and all of them were of course armed. They had set up camp for the night and made a fire. As they all were sitting around (after midnight) getting settled for the evening they started hearing "the stick breakers", breakingsticks all around them but not rustling leaves at all. The didn't see anything at all, and couldn't figure out what it was. They did try to shine their flashlights and see what it was but they couldn't see anything at all. All five got spooked and decided to turn in for the night and when morning came they decided to move their camp farther up the mountain closer to where they knew a larger group was set up. They all decided to not talk about the event after that day and they decided to never go back again either!!! I was so glad to hear that someone else had experienced the "stick breakers"! Now at least I know I am not nuts. I know there are others out there who have had similar experiences, so, please step up and let's hear your story!

I feel that this needs to be brought to the public's attention and put on record.

I will be trying to establish whether these things are still out there or not. In case that they are, I would like someone to go there and use thermal photography, or IR to see if these things can be seen somehow, filmed or photographed or recorded. I have no funds to buy the equipment necessary to do it myself, though I'd love to! I need to find some one who might be willing to go there and shoot some film in that area. Bring their equipment and check it out. If you have any input please feel free to contact me.

Sue O'Day


Shower Doors Nassau County said...

How long ago were Sloth's existent/alive? Or rather I should say, how long ago did they disappear off the face of the Earth forever? A good question, one that can't be answered unfortunately. Amazing picture of its cranium

-Irwin Zinkin

Anonymous said...

arclein, I appreciate the re-post of my account of my experience in '03. I can with no hesitation tell you that the stick breaking was not any kind of known animal even a displaced one, because I could see plenty well enough into the woods to rule that out. Secondly, the breaking branches were only on the forest floor and not up in the trees, and nothing fell from above at all. The forest was very quiet other than the breaking branches coming closer and closer on the forest floor. There were no leaves moving at all and I was straining to listen carefully, night after night. Shining all over the place to see the eye shine that I expected but never found.
This is a very real experience and one that I still want to explain or find others who have experienced similar things.
Thanks for the perspective input!

arclein said...

thanks Suzie

I find the evidence of cloaking remarkable and the best camouflage does not survive movement. Wow.

a noisy stalker does not sound natural on the ground and in the trees works as i have shown.

as well you were a fully alert observer. i suspect that a curious giant sloth could pull this off because sound is deceptive and may be reflecting off the forest floor.