the unexplained

I guess a post or two are about due by now. I’m home again now — have been for about a week — but have been too busy and preoccupied to write much of anything. However, here’s a post that I’ve actually been sitting on for a year. Hallowe’en night seems like the perfect time to share it with others.

Last year, some of you may recall that a friend and I did a trip through central Oregon with stops in some of the major wildlife refuges. One evening, after hiking around at Page Springs in the Steens Mountains region, while driving back to the Frenchglen Hotel, a strange object shot out across the road in front of our car. Both of us got a good but fleeting look at the object as my friend slammed on the car brakes and we simultaneously shouted, “What the hell was that?!” The closest thing we could come up with at the time was some kind of car guillotine, and we both described it as such for days after. The next morning, we both made sketches and wrote about it in a notebook. Here’s the page — click on it for a larger view.

So, have you ever encountered something “unexplained”. Tonight would be a good time to write about it, don’t you think?

UPDATE: On November 1st, I received the following correspondence from Capthraw (see comments below). He writes:

OK, I had my “top people” run that image through a battery of image enhancement applications as well as several additional steps, to clean it up somewhat. The result confirms what a commentor posted on the blog: It is indeed swamp gas.

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17 Responses to “the unexplained”

  1. Dave Says:

    Whenever there’s something you can’t account for, it almost always turns out to have been top secret U.S. experimental weapons or aircraft. Ah, the banality of the unexplained.

  2. Capthraw Says:

    After examining the image as well as the accompanied notes and sketch, I can conclude, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that what you saw was simply swamp gas. The tiny legs are the give-away.

    Swamp gas often manifests itself in this manner. Usually the legs are enclosed in black tights, not unlike those worn by marsh gas, a similar phenomenon. The shoes are almost always pointed toed…

    The inverted guillotine is a common ruse utilized by swamp gas, in its relentless efforts to confuse.


  3. JT Says:

    Looks suspiciously like a cheesehead to me. Did this sighting occur during football season?

  4. bev Says:

    Dave – Up here in the frozen north, such objects usually turn out to be remnants of the Avro Arrow.

    Capthraw – Hey, I do believe you’re right! How about posting a pic of some swamp gas!

    JT – Cheesehead. Never thought of that. Might have been a little early for footbal season.

  5. Cathy Wilson Says:

    Shades of Barney and Betty Hill, only this object didn’t abduct you. Were you in a forested area? treeless area? Sure sounds UFO’ish. Cool.

    Back in 1973 (or there about), my son and I watched something in broad daylight go across the sky. We were in a Denver park and other people were seeing it too. A round glowing object with two small companion objects on either side – zipping across the sky.

    Glad you’re back safely. Hope it’s just busy work that’s got you preoccupied and nothing too troublesome.

  6. Clare Says:

    Was it windy Bev?

  7. bev Says:

    Cathy & Clare – No, It was actually quite a still evening. We’d been out hiking just a short while before and there was no breeze. Cathy asked if it was forested there. No, it was more like sagebrush country.

  8. robin andrea Says:

    I don’t recall ever seeing anything run in front of the car that I couldn’t identify. I can’t even begin to guess what kind of thing, shaped like your drawings, could possibly be. Could an animal have gotten caught in something and been running to try and shake it off? How close were you to town and humans?

  9. bev Says:

    robin – We don’t think it was an animal. The motion was too strange — like something whooshing — gliding — very fast across the road above normal jumping height for anything. We both thought it seemed almost the way something on a cable would seem if it zoomed across in front of one… but we were out in a very remote area — sagebrush type vegetation, and definitely no one around for miles. Frenchglen is one of the more remote (and tiniest) villages that I’ve traveled through while in the west. All in all, it’s quite a mystery and we still discuss what it could have been.

  10. Mark P Says:

    Loose kite?

  11. Mark P Says:

    I meant to add that I know you said it was calm, but sometimes it’s hard to estimate wind when you’re driving.

  12. Capthraw Says:

    OK, I had my “top people” run that image through a battery of image enhancement applications as well as several additional steps, to clean it up somewhat. The result confirms what a commentor posted on the blog: It is indeed swamp gas.

  13. bev Says:

    Mark – Yes, I was thinking that too, except that it was one of those evenings when everything is absolutely still to a sort of surreal degree. We were driving quite slow at the time as we knew that there could be livestock on the road in this region — there’s a lot of BLM range land around there and cattle frequently wander onto the road and, in fact, we found a black cow on the shoulder of the road just a half mile or so before. Not sure about the “kite” possibility. The colour of the object was more like battleship gray and it seemed to be turned so that it was slicing straight across the road. Again, the motion of it was very strange — like something cutting from one side of the road to the other at about hood height of the car. Pretty bizarre and even a little scary.
    Capthraw – Thanks for the image! As you’ll see, I’ve moved your comment up into the main body of the post!

  14. Wayne Says:

    Well. A fast-moving discrete well-defined block of swamp gas. I’d love to see swamp gas. But we have no swamps anymore!

    I’ve been racking my brains to come up with something I’ve seen that’s unexplained AND that’s interesting to someone besides me, and while there’s plenty that’s unexplained, there’s nothing that’s interesting.

    I will say that I’ve now personaly heard three anecdotes from level-headed people whom I trust who have observed things that are interesting and are unexplained.

  15. Cathy Wilson Says:

    OK. Swamp gas, it is ;0) (Bev – what do YOU think you saw? I mean, if you HAD to hazard a guess)

  16. bev Says:

    Cathy — Probably a car guillotine. That’s about the best explanation I have for it.

  17. Phantom Midge Says:

    Hmmm, looks like a runaway trapezoid to me. But, I would have thought all those cattle guards would have stopped it from escaping…Euclid in tennis shoes?

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