I moved into a small cabin by a creekbed on the outskirts of Austin the July 4th weekend of 1988, a little more than ten years ago. It was just what I was looking for at the time--an inexpensive, tucked-away little chunk of primitive paradise, and just a mile down the road from "civilization" in the form of fast food and convenience stores. It ain't the ritz: just a few rustic cabins on a couple of acres in the woods, but the place does have the aura of a "protected hide-away"--a "Rivendell-ish" feel--it is a "Sacred Grove", if you will.
I was intrigued with the place at first sight, when I came to visit a friend who had just moved into one of the cabins on the property about six months before. At the time, I considered this friend, Peter, a mentor in spiritual/energy matters. I was 29 at the time, and just beginning to understand the nature of my true path in life--the process of self-realization was delivering a swift kick. As a result, I went through a period of having to "find my feet" again, emotionally and spiritually--and what more perfect place to do that than a Thoreau-like cabin in the woods? On less lofty levels, though, what really possessed me to pare-down my possessions and move into a 20' x 20' shack in the woods?
Bankruptcy! Me and money have just never really understood one another. During my mid-to-late 20's I was trying desperately to feel like I was "accomplishing something"; at 26, I thought I was doing the "right thing" when I bought a piece of land and stuck a trailer on it: I was a "home owner". The whole situation was a fiasco from the beginning; after trying to believe it was going to work for about a year and a half, I had to walk away from it. I was bringing in $800/month at the time (fairly good for a starving Austin musician), and it was costing me $1,200.00/month to sit in a used trailer on a two-acre patch of subdivided cow-pasture, 20 miles out of Austin--just far enough for every phone call to be long-distance. Yes, only after sufficient bludgeoning about the head and shoulders with such a stout financial two-by-four did I go looking for a new place to live.
last weekend in June of 1988, I drove over to Peter's place to see another
of the cabins, one that was coming available in early July. It was a tad
smaller than Peter's cabin, but nestled in the same strip of emerald forest
as his, and a creek ran about 40 feet in front of the cabin--Boggy Creek,
I was informed. I had seen "The Legend of Boggy Creek" (about the Fouke,
Arkansas "monster") at a drive-in theater in Victoria way back when I
was in high school: a film truly worthy of inclusion in Leonard Pinth-Garnell's
"Bad Cinema" series...and that music!--a bizarre combination of overly-dramatic
symphonic angst and silly John Denver-ish country tunes: "This is where
the creature goes..." So bad it's, well, bad. My favorite scene, of course,
is when some poor backwoods schmutz is in the bathroom, taking a "constitutional"
and the monster crashes his hand through the window by the toilet...high
drama at one of life's tender moments.
I turned into the steep sloping driveway, down into the level of the creekbed. A typical Texas river-bottom forest, mostly mature hackberries (30-45 ft. tall) and shorter elms, soon enveloped me. As I approached the cabin I was considering renting, I was marveling mostly at the trees; I needed trees in my life, badly--the two acres of cow-pasture I had been stuck on for the last year and a half were totally barren, but for one nasty cedar tree. As I got out of the car and walked up to the cabin, I asked the Universe to please give me some sort of sign or omen to know whether I should take the place. After meeting the then-current occupant of the cabin, my eye suddenly zeroed in on a small, slender tree, about six feet tall, that was growing right in front of the cabin. "Is that a catalpa tree?", I asked. The tenant, a classic Austin hippie woman named Ruth, said she wasn't sure
I was sure that it was a catalpa, however, and I was transfixed, because catalpa trees are not widely planted anymore, and they have a special spiritual connection for me, through my grandmother. She lived on the rented second floor of an old turn-of-the-century (that's last century, ya'll) house in Gonzales, Texas for about ten years, back when I was a lad. That old house had a huge catalpa tree in the front yard. It towered over the two-story house like a god, I thought, some 50 to 60 feet tall--its "beans" (the characteristic seed-pods of the tree) growing to at least two feet long. I loved to sit on the old plantation-style upstairs porch and rock in her rocking-chair, listening to the cicadas (she always called them "locusts") in that tree, shrieking rhythmically into the hot Texas summer nights. Both the house and tree were later destroyed in the almighty name of progress and commerce, to become the new Gonzales H.E.B. Grocery parking lot
Meanwhile, back at Boggy Creek, here I am, fawning over this tiny sliver of a catalpa tree--the only one I knew of for miles around--and remembering my grandma, when up to a feeder mounted on the eve of the cabin flies a brilliant male cardinal. I knew at that moment that this would be where I lived for awhile. Cardinals are another, much more intense spiritual entity for me, and also connected with my grandmother. She would sometimes hold me in her lap on the porch, and together we would watch the "redbirds", as she called them. I had asked the Universe for an omen, here were two "hum-dingers" within five minutes of arriving
After I moved in, I really fell in love with the place. I soon discovered that a flock of cardinals (between 30 and 40) lived on the property year-round. The landlord was an easy-going guy who let me fix the cabin up, and just wanted us all to be happy. I quickly settled in and began to enjoy my much more simplified lifestyle. Oh, yes, the inner battles were still raging, but the external trappings were much easier to deal with
After the evil summer heat was done, and I was able to sleep with the
windows open, I would fall asleep listening to the night sounds in our
little forest. Mostly whippoorwill calls and frogs croaking from the creek;
the occasional car on the road, and the hoot of an owl now and then. There
was the periodic fighting/mating yowls of cats in heat, but never any
One night in October 1988 (I cannot be certain of the specific date, just that it was in October), I was in my bed with the windows open. It's usually still warm in October in Texas, and this night was no exception; I opened the blinds to let the air in. The usual night sounds crept in with the slight breeze. I was depressed during this time, and was having a hard time sleeping, tossing and turning. I had just "readjusted" myself when I heard a strange animal call: it was positively mournful. It was almost like the hooting of our owls, but not quite. The cry had a resonance to it that was mammalian; it had expression. What it sounded like was a sad, lonesome version of the "Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo" sound that a chimpanzee or ape would make. The call was slow, each "hoo" lasting about two to four seconds, and repeating four or five times. It sounded like there was a lonesome ape, crying somewhere out there on the creek, or on the bluff that juts up some sixty feet on the opposite side of the creek.
I felt the feeling that I usually feel when something "anomalous" is going on: I feel as though my spinal column is literally jumping out of my back and hovering there, about four inches out; or like a second "electrical" spine has clamped itself onto mine and is tingling it, with an emphasis on the base of my head and the section of my spine between my shoulders. I guess this is similar to the feeling referred to in the old expression: "It made the hair on the back of my neck stand up", only this feeling travels down my entire spine.
I sat up and peered out into the darkness, listening hard for a repeat call. It came, a few minutes later; just the loneliest sound I had ever heard--this was no owl. This was a very lonesome, mammalian something crying for the companionship of something else like itself: the emotion in the call was undeniable. The strange animal cry didn't repeat after the second round. I sat up listening for about another twenty minutes, and decided it would be best to shut the windows and turn the AC back on for the night. Remembering "The Legend of Boggy Creek", I was suddenly thankful that my little bathroom had no window by the toilet! I was able to rationalize, putting the experience out of my mind after mulling it over for a few days--probably just the mating call of some wild animal that I didn't recognize.
Sitting here typing this tonight, October 26, 1998 (almost ten years later, possibly to the day), recalling the first of these "anomalous" incidents, my spine again twinges with the same, electrical feeling. I wonder if my sudden, spontaneous urge to (finally) document this phenomenon is an (unconscious) attempt on my part to mark the actual anniversary of the first night I heard that call. I wonder if by remembering and documenting all these events (possibly on the anniversary of the catalyst event), I am tapping into the morphic field of the entity(ies) that cause such events, More on this later--my immediate purpose here being merely to actively document the re-experiencing of the feeling.
In late July of 1989, my ten year old German Shepherd, Luke, disappeared after I let him out for his usual early-morning pee. He hadn't been out for more than ten minutes when I called for him: he never came back. I climbed the bluff and searched for him before and after work for several days, and went to the pound for ten days straight. I had raised Luke from a six-week old puppy, and we were inseparable; the emotional impact of his disappearance was as traumatic for me as the loss of a child. I placed a "Lost Dog" ad in the local newspaper for a week, and received one call.
The call came fairly late one night, about 10:30 pm. This young man, who was very polite, gave me his name, and said that he had found my dog, and that I could come pick him up right away. After a short conversation in which we determined that it was my dog that he had, he gave me an address and a phone number. I said a frantic "thanks" and a "God bless you", hung up the phone and raced to grab my car keys. I paused, though, because it just occurred to me I didn't know where this particular street was. I called the number back, and a very elderly lady answered the phone. I asked for the man who's name had been given to me, and the lady became distraught: "Who are you? Why are you calling me? My husband has been dead for over fifteen years, young man! Why are you calling me?" When I quickly explained my plight, and why I had called her number, she became sympathetic. I apologized for disturbing her; we had a short, polite conversation about teenagers making prank phone calls, wished each other goodnight, and hung up.
Of course, my initial reaction was one of anger--some sick little bastard made a prank phone call, preying on the emotion he sensed in the ad I placed (in which I mentioned that I loved my dog). That was what I thought at that point, anyway--material I have recently read has swayed my opinion in a decidedly different direction, and I will discuss that matter in time.
On the tenth day of visiting the pound (after being told on the seventh day by a dependably psychic friend that Luke wasn't coming back), I strolled up and down the corridors of pitifully caged dogs. The place felt like death. They keep stray dogs for a period of three days maximum, and then they are killed, their bodies probably going to biology labs and pet-food factories around the country. I was still looking for Luke (in total denial of what my friend had told me) when I walked past a cage holding a beautiful white German Shepherd, about a year and a half old. I felt a psychic "scream" from this dog, and back-tracked to his cage immediately, He put his paw up on the chain-link fence and we connected, really hard. I instantly said (out of nowhere, I thought): "So... are you gonna be my Merlin?"
I don't know where the name came from, I had not been even remotely thinking of Merlin or any other wizards at that point. I wasn't really even looking for another dog--I wanted the ten year old dog I had raised from a six week-old puppy--my child. In a strange mental fog, I notified the people at the front desk that I wanted the dog in cage #189 if he wasn't claimed. I'd evidently noticed him just in time: he was scheduled to be killed the next morning. I filled out the papers in a daze and went home, quietly amazed at what I was doing--I felt as though someone else was doing this, not me.
The next morning I went to visit my new dog (I couldn't actually get him for a couple of days) only to find they had tagged the wrong dog for adoption: Merlin sat in his unmarked cage, whimpering. I ran to the desk to tell them they'd tagged the wrong dog, and they quickly corrected their mistake. I finally got to bring Merlin home on August 1, 1989. In the midst of the trauma of grieving my old dog and the strange emotional and mental fog which surrounded my getting a new one, I did not connect the weird, mournful calls I had heard the previous October with Luke's disappearance. In fact, I did not connect the two events until another incident, a year and a half later.
Nothing else overtly "strange" happened until some three months later,
in the fall of 1989. At that point I was working a night-shift job, and
got off at about 3 a.m. Since I hate laundromats to begin with, laundromats
filled with screaming children and surly attendants appeal to me even
less. At that time, Austin's laundromats were open all night, and, aside
from the occasional freak like me, they were totally empty. No waiting
in line for a dryer--no having to fight for the big washers. As a result,
I usually did my laundry between 3 and 4 a.m. when I could.
One late night/morning in early October 1989 (again, specific dates are unavailable to my present-day memory--it was ten years ago, after all, and I didn't keep records of such things yet), at about 3:30 a.m., I was carrying my plastic garbage bag full of dirty clothes out the front door when I was stopped dead in my tracks; my "jumping-spine" feeling activated so strongly that it actually felt as though something were grabbing and twisting hard on my spine at the base of my neck. I was kicked into this completely altered state by what sounded like a soundtrack-bite of a screaming chimp from a Tarzan flick, in full "THX--The Audience is Listening" glory.
This was a "textbook" chimp sound, starting with the characteristic low, heaving grunt, working its way up to a shrieking "OOH-OOH-OOH-OOH- AH-AH-AH-AH!". Although it seemed to take forever, the entire call took about 20 seconds, from beginning grunt to final shriek. It was so loud, and so utterly realistic, I half-expected to see Johnny Weismueller swinging through the hackberry trees on a big poison-oak vine--Tarzan, Texas Style!
It sounded like it came from no further than 10 feet away from me, slightly above and behind me. I whirled around and looked up into the trees above my cabin. The wind was blowing the trees fairly briskly that night, and they were rustling chaotically. I turned my porch light around to aim up into the trees; I saw no chimpanzee, but my central nervous system was riled-up enough to convince me there definitely had been one: "Sensors indicate Chimp, Captain." I ran back into the house and threw the bag of clothes down, scared (and rather disproportionately so, I thought). There would be no laundry done that night.
The next day I spoke with some of my neighbors, and they had all been,
of course, dead asleep and had heard nothing. I was the only night-shift
worker living in our little compound at the time. I figured they thought
me a lunatic, but I maintained that I had heard what I heard.
What I was really having a hard time with was how frightened I had been. It was the most surreal experience I'd ever had (and I wasn't even on drugs!): everything logical inside of me was violated with that scream; my reality was violated with that scream. Chimpanzees just do not hang out on creeks in Austin, Texas! I felt as though a portal to another reality had blipped open, seemingly just long enough to let a raging chimp peep through from its side of the hole. It had seen me and screamed; I felt it was angry and wanted to rip me apart, something a real adult chimp is certainly capable of.
At the time I heard the chimp scream, I was involved with a consciousness group who were experimenting with their own version of Stanislov Grof's (now copyrighted and trademarked) Holotropic Breathwork. We were doing sessions on a nearly weekly basis for a period of about eighteen months. These sessions encompassed all sorts of experiences for me, from past life re-viewings to encounters with alien light-entities. It was later suggested by SMiles when we discussed our Boggy Creek Monster for the first time that my breathwork adventures might have had something to do with the anomalous chimp scream.
That seemed to make sense to me. At the time of the scream, I was just beginning to really explore the theories of transpersonal psychology, and was being extremely open-minded (and open-energied) towards anything to do with psychic phenomena. Whether or not it was ever brought to my attention at the time the breathwork was going on, I have to confess I don't really remember at this point. I was eventually able to put the incident in the back of my mind, and not really be overtly concerned about it. Maybe I unconsciously grokked the possibility of the breathwork connection, and convinced myself that a psychic chimp was much less scary than a real one. Until a year later (again in the fall, in fact), I didn't think much else of it.
In November 1990, my neighbor, Darrell (who moved in next door to me in March of 1990), let his dog, Spooner, out to pee at 6:30 in the morning like he usually did, just before he loaded him up in the truck to go to work. (Darrell worked at a cabinetmaker's shop, and took his dog with him to work.) It never took Spooner more than five minutes to do his business and be waiting to go at the truck. This particular morning, Darrell had to go back into the house for something, and when he went back out to collect the dog and get to work, the dog was gone. Darrell is also of a psychic bent, and started trying to find his dog immediately--he felt that something was very wrong.
No more than 20 minutes had elapsed since he let Spooner out. Darrell found Spooner lying in a bloody heap in the creek-water at the bottom of the bluff. He had to drag the dog up onto the shore in order to pick him up and carry him back up the yard to the truck. The dog appeared to have fallen off the bluff, and was unable to move. "He was ripped to shreds", recalls Darrell, "The skin on the top of his head was flipped back like a bad toupee, and his skull was punctured. He was a bloody mess."
Darrell rushed to a nearby vet with the dog, only to have that vet essentially refuse to attempt to save Spooner's life. He took a look at him, and said "This dog's been mauled by a mountain lion--he's as good as dead." He offered to put Spooner to sleep, but refused to do anything to save the dog. With Spooner lying on the truck seat crying, Darrell drove frantically to the next vet's office he remembered seeing. This vet turned out to be an elderly man in his eighties. He spoke not a word to Darrell as he placed the dog on his antique hydraulic table, to get it up to where he could work on it without stooping. "He set to work on the dog immediately, gung-ho," says Darrell. "He didn't even speak to me until after he had been working on Spooner for awhile."
The vet said that whatever had attacked Spooner had been big: much bigger than another dog. The fang-span of the attacking animal was much greater than that of any of the typical smaller mammal predators--"A huge mouth," said the elderly vet, "if it was a mountain lion, then it was a really big one." Darrell related the story of the chimpanzee scream to the vet, and the old gentleman replied: "I've heard of animals disappearing out in your area. I bet it could be an ape of some kind, but it could be something like a mountain lion, too."
Spooner's body was covered with deep puncture-type wounds, as if large, sharp nails (solid, cone-like fingernails or claws) had pierced him, and his ears and head were ripped open from bites, along with the skull-puncture wounds. These were all positioned as if something had jumped on the dog's back, and did the clawing and biting from there. Spooner is a 70-lb Malamute mix, not a dachshund--he's a very substantial dog, in other words. Whatever inflicted these wounds was also have to be substantial. In the end, Spooner survived, but had to go around shaved, with tubes in his wounds for several months. It was a year before he fully recovered.
When Darrell brought the dog back from the vet, I immediately thought of the freakish, angry chimpanzee call of the year previous, and the mournful noises the fall before that. Adult chimps can weigh in at 150 lbs. and are fierce fighters; a pissed-off adult male chimp can kill a man. Was there an actual escaped chimpanzee, lonely and pissed, living in the woody wilds on the outskirts of Austin? Was Darrell's dog the victim of this irate escaped ape? Had it carried my dog off earlier in the summer?
I became convinced that there was a real, physical, escaped ape of some sort, after the near-death experience of Darrell's dog. Let me clarify: I needed to believe that there was a real ape on the loose, to validate my sanity. I set about to prove it by seeing if I could get any sort of reasonable response out of "the system" about this. First off, I called the local Humane Society to find which vet in town dealt with exotic pets. There was only one who dealt in really exotic animals, and so I called him. My purpose? Being a responsible pet owner, I figured that if there was a chimp missing, it would have been reported by its owners to the vet who might be best qualified to handle it in case of the worst.
Unfortunately, this vet was extremely condescending to me on the phone, He would barely listen to me as I tried to relate my story, nay saying it even as I was speaking, and after asking me where I lived, he snorted and said: "Do you KNOW how much a chimpanzee COSTS? I truly doubt there would be one loose in YOUR neighborhood." OK--so much for trying the "professional" approach. I took it to the State.
Texas Parks and Wildlife commission, that is. The man who they finally let me in to see listened kindly to me, (at least he let me finish my whole story). And although he looked at me like "Boy, what you been smokin' down on that creek o' yours?", he was actually very polite in telling me that the most he could do would be to send a team out to hunt for a mountain lion. The "monkey" angle was not really considered--I suppose it was just too far out. He explained that there were really no specific ways to try to trap a monkey that his people knew of. They'd gladly come hunt for a bobcat, though. I thanked him, saying that would be enough, and went home.
He sent a team of two, a man and a woman armed with rifles, Darrell and I did our best to convince them that we thought it was some sort of escaped ape. They politely said they didn't think that was true, citing that there would be all kinds of mischief going on if there were a chimpanzee loose--peoples' garages being trashed, "shiny things" stolen, and such. They surveyed the area, climbing the bluff and combing the property that surrounds ours. When they returned, they reported having found a veritable boneyard in an area up above the bluff, with skeletons ranging from dog-and-cat-size to entire deer. Their official opinion was that our "monster" was a mountain lion. They (very professionally) told us to call them at any time if there was any more trouble. We thanked them and they left.
So we were left with our questions, our mystery... our very own Legend of Boggy Creek, complete with Monster. Neither Darrell nor I accepted the mountain lion theory. It just didn't feel right--there were too many things which pointed in other, weirder directions. Things remained quiet for a few years, until another of our neighbors had an encounter that brought it all back home, so to speak.
Bonnie was out working in her yard one April morning in 1995. Jill and Jenny, the lesbian couple who lived next to Bonnie at the time, were also out enjoying the day by doing yard work. Bonnie looked around for Lady, her dog, and didn't see her. She called to her, but she didn't come. Bonnie walked across her yard towards the creek. She saw Lady standing stock-still, tail and ears perked, by the edge of the creek, looking west, up-creek. The weeds obscured Bonnie's view of the creek, so she couldn't tell what Lady was looking at.
All of a sudden, Lady took off in the direction she'd been looking, running right along the creek. Bonnie ran after her, but not along the creek--she cut across Jill and Jenny's yard, over to another neighbor's, Kara, who lives at the western edge of the property. Kara wasn't home at the time, and Bonnie ran around the back side of her house, to see if she could head Lady off and keep her from running off the property after whatever it was. She looked through the bushes and saw something running on the opposite side of the creek, on the hollowed out part of the rock, right at eye level. She thought it was a small, hunched-over man, dressed in black, running extraordinarily fast.
Bonnie ran back to her house to get a pool cue she kept by her front door for protection purposes. She went running back across Jill and Jenny's yard, pool cue in hand; Jill asked what she was doing with the pool cue. Bonnie explained that she had seen something that looked like a hunched-over man running along the creek. Jill quipped "So what are ya gonna do--play eight-ball with him?" Bonnie admitted in the end it must have looked silly, chasing after an unknown intruder with a pool cue, but all in all, it was a rather understandable instinctual response.
She ran back over to Kara's with the pool cue, and didn't see the running figure, but she did see Lady, down at the creek's edge. Lady evidently still saw what had been running on the creek--she ran a little further, stopped dead in her tracks, cowered and then ran straight back to Bonnie. That is something Lady does not usually do. If she wants to chase something, she just goes--no questions--she's pretty fearless for a dog. This time, however, she was completely spooked. Seeing that, Bonnie was sufficiently spooked herself; she started heading back to her place with Lady at her side.
On the way back, she stopped and talked to Jill and Jenny, who said that they had both heard strange noises at various times, and Jenny had seen something herself before. Jenny later told me she'd once been on the back porch of their place when she saw a big black "something" just drop out of the forest canopy and then disappear:
"It looked like a large black shadow that just dropped right out of the canopy... out between our house and the creek, slightly to the right [toward the western edge of the property--the same direction Lady had gone] ... It just seemed to disappear... I took both the dogs and went looking for it, but couldn't find anything... I'm not sure of the exact date, but I remember the weather was kind of cool--I do remember that I was wearing my boots." Jenny places the incident during a period of time when I was away for about a year, between mid-April '94 and July '95.
During the conversation, they also recalled hearing about some sort of exotic game preserve near us, within a few miles. (That information was news to me, although SMiles confirmed it's just a few miles away; they do not, however, keep primates on the preserve. [ so far as we've observed-ed] ) Bonnie's memory of that day is vivid, photographic in detail. She felt that whatever it was that she saw, it was running much faster than a human could have physically managed to run on the rocky creek terrain, especially if he were hunched-over. It seems a logical possibility that an ape could probably run much faster than a human under those circumstances.
These two encounters are unique in several aspects. First, they occurred in broad daylight, during the morning hours. Second, one happened in April, not the fall of the year as most of the other experiences, and third, they both involved an actual sighting of "something" by a human. Hearing Bonnie tell about how Lady got spooked, I couldn't help but remember the part in "Legend of Boggy Creek" where "the best huntin' dawgs in three states" all proved useless, once they caught a whiff of the creature's scent.
Since Bonnie's and Jenny's day-time encounters, there have been no really "anomalous" animal incidents to report. There have certainly been "anomalous" incidents in the lives of those involved (to be detailed as the need arises), but nothing that I could overtly connect with our Boggy Creek "Monster". Darrell has since moved away, but we keep in touch fairly regularly. I remember we joked over the phone about our "Monster" really being a Chupacabra, back when that craze of sightings was sweeping the mass consciousness a couple of years ago. Chupacabras have evidently fallen from fashion in the anomaly world--you don't hear much about them anymore. I haven't thought of them until I recently read something that made me think about them (at least in the context of our situation) in a big way.
Gaining information is always a double edged sword--a dangerous thing, as they say. To quote the author whose writings have recently thrown me again into this "dangerous" territory: "It is inevitable that the intention to investigate and communicate any experience alters the ultimate reality of that experience."
Eugenia Macer-Story outlines several possible examples and theories which might apply to our situation here on Boggy Creek, in her rather excellent book "Sorcery and the UFO Experience".
Her discussion of the "guruda" or nature-demon phenomenon, together with experiences she had involving certain psychokinetic events (her being pre-occupied with photographs of chairs, when a nearby chair falls over on its own accord, etc.) lead me to consider the possibility that the "anomalous" events here may be the result of an entity(ies) (spiritual, interdimensional or otherwise) communicating with us on a (somewhat disconcerting and not necessarily "helpful") symbolic level.
Ms. Macer-Story's psychokinetic experiences parallel the ones I outline here on some very basic levels--especially one I will discuss presently. To begin with, I received a "prank" phone call about my missing dog. She was walking by a public phone booth and received a very pointed "obscene" phone call, aimed at her. She points out that there are many reports of other instances of "spirits" using the telephone to communicate. During the last week, as I have been writing this, several different phone-call anomalies have occurred, involving not only my phone, but those of several other neighbors here. Another rather psycho-kinetic-flavored incident which resembles Ms. Macer-Story's experience with the chairs happened recently.
On August 13, 1998, I was in the very thick of the turmoil and physical discomfort I have chronicled in the series of articles entitled "A PSI'd-Kick From The Past?" posted elsewhere on the ELFIS site. For those who have not been (or don't want to be) acquainted with the whole tale, a nutshell version: I was experiencing severe psychic, physical and emotional distress due to a "love relationship". (There... how concise... if only it were that simple.) As a result of my physical discomfort (chronic diarrhea for well over a month), I visited a Chinese herbalist who prescribed foul mixtures of herbs I had to boil and drink for a period of four weeks. They stunk the house up so terribly, I decided to boil them outside, on an old propane grille a neighbor had given me.
This grille had a small burner, big enough to do the job, mounted on the left side of the main grille. The directions from the herbal doc were to boil each batch of herbs over a low flame for two different half-hour sessions. I set the flame on the burner as low as it could go after the herbs were bubbling, and walked back inside, happy to have the stinky stuff outside.
At about 26 minutes into it, I suddenly got the urgent message (via feeling) to go outside and check on things. I walked out the front door to see the burner, hoses and the entire left half of the grille in flames. One of the hoses from the main propane tank had melted and was shooting flames, melting all the other plastic and rubber parts within reach. It was, literally, inches away from exploding.
The only problem was that IT stood between me and the water faucet and hose. I was emaciated and very weak at this point, but I took a deep breath, raced down the steps, around the grille, and dashed to the faucet, praying to whatever gods were around to let me get to the hose in time. I had evidently made myself heard, and made it to the hose. I sprayed the flames out and kept the stream of water aimed at the tank as I ran around to finally shut the gas valve off.
In Ms. Macer-Story's "chair" incident, she was preoccupied mentally with thoughts of important photographs of chairs she had made for a project (the photos had not been ready on schedule) while she was in a restaurant. As she was thinking about the photos, a nearby chair fell over with a loud noise. There had been no-one around the chair when it fell. Could the chair have been "tipped" by whatever "guruda" was following her around that day (the one who likes to talk on the phone)? Could the force of her own thoughts have "caused" the chair to fly over?
In my "fire" situation, I was particularly distraught on the day the fire happened, the distress heightened by the arrival home of the parties in question in my "love problem" a few minutes before the fire broke out. Did the extra little "push" of them showing up "push" my psychic buttons enough to provoke the local "guruda" into symbolic action? Or is this fire an instance of my own frustrated psychic energies, expressing themselves when I cannot/will not express them directly? Put another way: If I can't properly express how pissed-off I am, do I start a potentially deadly fire on the grille with the force of my rage in a sort of "Psychic Tourette's Syndrome"?
But what if these occurrences are the result of a spirit / angel / demon / god / UFO critter / guruda / what have you, one that is specifically "tied" to this place, making its presence known, however tricksterishly or symbolically (benignly or maliciously)? Could it have manifested as two good omens to convince me to move into a cabin in the woods? As a sad, mournful call to reflect the loneliness I felt at the time? As a trickster's cruel phone call in the midst of my grieving? As a mental fog in which a new dog was delivered, complete with name? As an angry killer ape to warn me of the power of the energies I was diving headfirst into? Could it have manifested as its own nasty winged-nature-demon-chupacabra-lookin' self to kill my dog, and nearly kill Darrell's dog in order to warn him of the serious trouble that lay ahead for him? [Darrell was subsequently legally hassled (arrested, tried and placed on probation) due to an unlucky interaction with a couple of dark witches who also lived here for a short period? Could it have also manifested as a potentially lethal fire to emphasize the potentially lethal condition that I was in physically and emotionally?
Ms. Macer-Story also reports that one person who had an anomalous animal experience "felt the presence of an entity or 'force' which 'squeezed' his nervous system. Which comes first: the guruda presence or the squeeze on the nervous system?" The parallel with my experience of the intensity of the "jumping spine" feeling the night I heard the chimp scream makes my spine, well, jump. It literally felt as though a large hand had grabbed the back of my neck and was pinching and twisting for all it was worth. In my case, I honestly cannot say which came first--the "guruda grip" or the scream; they seemed simultaneous.
I have an energy-worker friend who has several "specialties", one of them being "entity removal": to "un-peel" parasitic energetic entities which have suckered themselves onto your energy body. One he sees often is a rod-like energy critter that wraps itself around peoples' spines. Could this be the guruda's squeezing mechanism? Are they able to alter your perception with their grip around your spinal column? Could they make you hear a chimpanzee? Could this all be a bunch of bullshit?
All this can be seen as a variation of the basic question of my life: what is REAL and what is NOT? My guts tell me things that feel certain. My head tries to debunk and over-ride these feelings of certainty based on what it has always been TOLD was true (and my own admittedly twisted system of logic), until a confusion exists that's difficult to extract myself from. Is this confusion one of the desired outcomes of the tactics of these "gurudas", if "it/they" are responsible?
I have never "closed the file" on the "Boggy Creek Monster", because I still live on the compound, and am, therefore, constantly collecting more experience of this place (my definition of "data" in this situation). The more information I have about these phenomena, the less I really know what I truly think about what they are, or what they represent.
Everybody has their own models for how they think the Universe is put together. The particular models I tend to use all have a mytholo-magickal bent, due to my immersion in mythology as a child and Tolkien-ana as a teenager (hence my hypothesis that our "Monster" is quite possibly simply the "God/Goddess of the Grove"). Other people with other orientations will see different things.
What I try to do, in garnering new information about these phenomena, is to see if it assimilates into my general interpretive, er...um...idiom (apologies to John Cleese's Sir Lancelot). If not, I try to see the new information from whatever vantage point it is being offered, unless my "bullshit detectors" are flashing. In which case I try to see anything Universally symbolic in the information, from my own perspective, and forgive them their bullshit.
For in the end, it may just come down to the trite new-age malarkey everybody bought into in the eighties... you know... "due to the raising of the frequency of Earth by the Masters of Vibration from the distant planets orbiting the Pleiades, the crystal layers between the interdimensional realities are growing thinner, and the dimensions are "leaking" into each other, and the Masters of Vibration are here to help you grow into the beautiful child of the Forces of Light you are"...
That's the problem with new information: sometimes it makes such tripe (unfortunately) sound as fundamentally plausible (or desirable) an explanation as anything else!
Amidst the composition of this weighty tome, SMiles (that Devil) thrust his copy of "The Mothman Prophecies" by John Keel under my nose. Damn you, SMiles, anyway! ...OK--Keel speaks of a "garuda" which terrorized a small and unassuming West Virginia town in the early seventies... the point, if there is any, remains as taken as possible...