Sunday, May 16, 2010

Unknown smell, shape, and sounds.... in the forest

During the NESRA fall expedition ( October of 2009 ) in the Adirondack Park, myself and the others attending..... experienced more unexplained happenings in the forest. Not a full blown incident, or absolute sighting....but more of the subtle occurences , that can cause you to question yourself, but evidently realize.....that there IS something out of the ordinary happening here, that could be easily missed, if you were not there for the purpose of investigating into this phenomenon.
This location was just a few miles (as the crow flies) away from the summer expedition location, where I (and night opps partner) also experienced some strange nocturnal surrounding movements, sounds, feelings...and a tremendously loud forest floor thud (heard by three of us), and a set of quick knocks and tree crash ( that was captured on audio). Once again, putting out a portable digital audio recorder... payed off, and there were distant (and some closer) sounds recorded, that do not add up to normal nocturnal sounds heard in remote wild forest.
On three different occasions, I heard the sounds of a rapid knocking, like a tree being whacked on randomly, with force. While out on the trail with my night opps partner.... twice .... I picked up this sound with my dish and recorder, to the south. I didn't get this recorded, due to a malfunction in the battery of my minidisc recorder, and me not being as quick to the draw as needed, to start the recorder off of the "pause"mode. The rapid knocks (7-8) and distant howls of a coyote pack on the move...happened at around the same time. I believe the knocks came from the the same general area, each time. The knocks were not heard by our 2 other members back at camp, or by my partner in our night opp position. We did heard the faint sounds of one of the members sounding off (announced) on his didgeridoo, in the hopes it might draw some kind of response from this low frequency blast of sound. We all did sets of woodknocks, and a couple of our own vovalizations, that drew no replies. An overnight recording was in order, setting out the recorder a ways down a path near the shoreline of the pond, a little walk from the camp. The knocks were once again picked up, during a more stranger vocalization...that could have been a Barred Owl...or else a good imitator of one. The sounds recorded were distant, from well across the pond, but still easy to recognize as the same "whacking" I had heard on the night opps. I find it interesting, that these sets of knocks occurred during known (or maybe unknown) nocturnal animal vocalizations. Here is a link to that recorded clip:

In addition to this, there was some strange percussive rhythms, that sounded closer, on the near side of the pond and forest. This sounded like wooden wind chimes, or bongos...that I deemed as coming from "forest hippies". It has even been more interesting sharing these sounds with others.... that have put out audio recorders, and have found some comparisons with some startling similarities to the sounds, in several other locations in the eastern and southern portions of the country. Here are the links to those recorded clips:

When a fellow NESRA member (Chuck) and local resident of the area, scouted out the basecamp location and seasonal road conditions back into this area....he arrived with several friends, and had heard woodknocks. Everyone noticed a strange (dirty wet dog) kind of unpleasant smell...but Chuck had waited to speak of it.... until his two friends mentioned it, first. It had rained, and was beginning to rain again, so they didn't stay any longer. It had also rained the first day of the expedition, when we all (three of us) noticed this smell again, and well into the evening and early morning hours. The smell came and went, and varied in intensity. It seemed to be coming from the path along the pond, where I recorded the odd sounds, the following night. Chuck had noted that the woodknocks and smell had come from another direction, on the scouting trip from the week before. We could not find a physical source for this smell, during our investigations of the area. Chuck.... a nearby resident, having frequented this area many times before...was unfamiliar with the smell, in regards to it being something natural, that might occur in the fall after or during a rain. So....what smells like a dirty wet dog that needs a bath...out in the forest? Could it be a stray wild dog...or maybe something else?
On the first evening - early morning, the three of us sat under a tarp, and around a table, dodging the occasional drizzle, and just quietly chatting under lights out conditions in the basecamp. The rain stopped and the moon came up behind the clouds, to brighten the sky over the pond. We had all noticed the wet dog smell...again, and I was facing the path where the smells seemed to come from. My eyes were very dark adapted at this point, and I could make out the position of the trees, and the horizon line on the opposite side of the pond. Below the horizon, the closer foliage was too dark to reveal any detail. There was a brighter window, just above through the trees, courtesy of the moonlight and brightening sky background. While staring in that direction...I noticed a dark, rounded top of a shape.... pass through quickly, from left to right. The shape was flatter on the right and more curved on the left, and came to a rounded point on the top. I was certain I saw a glowing red eye on the right (flatter side) of the shape as it passed. It happened in an instant...but I clearly recall what I saw. Chuck caught me still staring at the location, and asked me if I had seen something. I was in a bit of shock.... to be honest, and just trying to collect my thoughts..... making sure I had not drifted off (asleep), or was just imagining things. For some reason, I didn't feel the urge to shout out, or spring out of the chair. I told the two, the description of what I had just seen, and we all took a walk down the trail a ways...still smelling the wet dog smell, but seeing nothing (of course).
What did I see? Well, I definitely saw something, but heard nothing. A Barred Owl comes to mind, and does have orange-red eyes, and a rounded shape to the top of the head. After thinking about this a whole lot....I came to these conclusions:
There was no artificial illumination that was used by any of make an owls eye reflect red, back at me. Whatever glowed red...glowed red on it's own accord...weird, huh?
If it was an owl...after getting a better perspective in the daylight on how far, and how large the shape actually was a damn big owl.
There were other campers in the area, but they were long asleep, and could not have pulled off a stunt like that...without at least being heard. They did not know why we were there, or what we were doing there.
I did a rough sketch the next day of what I saw, in perspective to the trees, horizon, and as much detail in the dark I could produce with a pen. Unfortunately, I don't draw well (note the field drawing at the top)...but the shape , position of the eye on the shape, and size of the shape compared to the background surroundings...was as accurate as I remembered. I also noted where the horizon began, across the pond, in perspective to my field of view from where I was sitting. We did some measurements the next day, and determined that the top of whatever it was...was at least 8.5 ft off the ground.
We also found a large area of matted down grass, and an unusual tree twist, that was completely twisted off, with the twisted off part...nowhere to be found.
What does this all mean? Well, just what the title of the blog post says. I wish I knew more, but can't wish my life away. Hoping that more answers, and less questions...are in the stars, for the future of these investigations.