You understand that we are always trying to be aware of our surroundings. We always keep a camera nearby. Yet, there are certain events that stand out above the rest, that are jarring reminders of the reasons we take this so seriously.

Two nights ago was just such an evening.

I was out on a regular trip, a necessity. It is one that takes place every 48 hours. During the summer months, I make this trip by bicycle. It allows me to enjoy the evening air and contribute further to the regimen of exercise that I’ve found is vital to my overall health.

This, and the fact there are a lot of things I’ve never outgrown, one of which is my love of riding. Lori, is at these times safe, visiting with my mother who has a carry and conceal permit ,,and a  large Doberman named Mindy.

I had started, as I finished my chore, going down a little further to the west, to the railroad trestle and the mound I’ve written of on many occasions, just one of the hot spots in town. It is usually dark by this time, roughly 9:00 at night.

In our hundreds patrols around the overall Bates County area, on many occasions we’ve had a follower,

a light or set of lights once close enough to make our contact with our jeep’s roof. On foot, as well, we’ve not only had lights but visible structures flying over us. Not just within the city limits, but in the very heart of town (the 10 block area in which the Courthouse is centered). So, every time I go out with Lori or alone I know the chance is there.

I had gotten in and they had finished with me quickly, and as I left, I already knew there was a good cloud cover overhead hidden in the darkness. I turned and rode with the bike’s light on, west towards the mound. It was only a few blocks to the corner, past the football and track field, and then to the very dark, seldom lit spot, that stretched a city block or more on the other side of the trestle.                                                                                                                                                               

I was at the intersection, only lit by the eastern sources of light overhead and behind me. The trestle was only 40 ft or less away. Through the opening below it, a streetlight illuminated a patch of road at the far corner of the block. This was the backdrop I saw something move against. The area of road illuminated was far enough away that nothing in the foreground of view could be completely revealed in it.

I’m not about to guess at height, but the figure moved across the street with what might have been chest shoulders and head illuminated by the back drop. It was crossing to the north. This placed it in the general vicinity of the mound area.

To explain this better; as you pass beneath the low trestle, you immediately are met by two walls of foliage. The one to the south bearing view of the saw mill, and the other to the North, following the western slope and ridge the Trestle is laid upon.

To the west of this, well within a hundred feet is the Mound, itself and to it’s west is the old, deserted CO-OP building and further to the north sits a dog food plant.

After seeing the form move by, just a dark silhouette, I instantly knew it wasn’t an animal. No known animal is of that height and structure.

So, I figured it had to be a person, for some reason not wanting to be seen, avoiding the open street. Any number of explanations could be the reason for it. None I could think of were good and I decided not to go through, but felt myself heading across the street down into the hollow and through the opening anyway.

On the other side, I stopped as quick as I could, stepping off the bike with it in between me and whoever was to the north, visible nowhere.

The street, to my left, was the best lit area. I was facing the brush with the trees and the slope to my north. There was heavy movements in the brush and among the trees. I looked up the slope to see if the figure was climbing to cross over to the other side. There was nothing and the sounds weren’t receding into the distance. They were as close in their proximity as the first noises heard, very close.

I clicked a few flashes at the area the sounds were coming from, but in the light of each flash there was nothing visible that I could make out during their short bursts. I took 3 there in that initial spot. I pointed the bike’s light into the area sweeping it, and not hearing anything else swung a leg over my bike and onto the pedal and prepared to move a little closer to the mound to take a few more.

Now, what happened next would have to have been funny to an observer. No one or nothing had rushed me or made a menacing statement from the dark. I couldn’t find anything there in my immediate view so I reasoned it/they had gotten far enough back out of sight and were just waiting for me to leave.

It wasn’t by any means the scariest situation during our investigations of the area, so I figured it a curious event like many others and prepared to move on, only I couldn’t leave (I couldn’t move). I had started to stepped up onto the pedals and just couldn’t move a muscle. The bike fell over into the sparse tall dead grass and dirt, the bike half in the road, half out of it with the light still on.

I didn’t make a rush at getting up, knowing my position was not good. A car might come through and not see me till it was too late, or the noise I heard might begin again, this time coming towards me.

I just laid there like I had no place to be. The stuff in my back pack sandwiched between me and the ground. It wasn’t that I wasn’t trying to get up, i couldn’t.

When I was able to, I noticed that I wasn’t scratched up, but i did have an odd aching a tingling in my right hand towards the finger tips  The only thing similar I’ve ever experienced was during the worst portion of a hospital stay in the city. They kept me asleep as much as possible (out of it) but I woke once hearing their voices around me. I wanted to let them know I was awake but couldn’t talk. I couldn’t move. I was wide awake inside, in terror thinking I was paralyzed. I couldn’t move a muscle. I tried to make my eyes bulge or jump to make them move, so one of the nurses might see. Finally I heard one’s voice saying hey he’s coming around, in a minute I was once more asleep. But this was a drug induced situation ordered by a doctor.

The differences are that in the street episode I wasn’t scared, I was aware I couldn’t move but it was okay. I got up, but didn’t take pictures of the mound as I’d planned earlier. Instead, for no good reason, I turned and rode back out through the trestle, stopped on the other side and walked along the east face of it taking pictures. I heard movement through brush, but it was fainter leading me to believe whatever or whoever was there was moving along the western side, possibly monitoring my progress.

I went home with no further incident. Lori and I walked the bike home together the last few blocks, after I stopped for her at my mothers home. The pictures reflect a much different trip home, with presences near us we were completely unaware of.

In closing I need to add that 80 percent of the places we examined during the study were areas I’d never seen before, places we’d never been in before. I got out at each location for some amount of time, many times walking in the dark a block in front of the jeep, taking pictures of both sides of the road. So I’m comfortable with the process.

We’ve been on bridges, struck by invisible objects that sent shudders through the concrete and steel, and shook the Jeep, had aggressive hillbilly types try to trap us on dirt roads, and literally went home with our guts in knots for days after things we saw and heard. So, the regular pursuit of this subject, though it always is approached with caution, is not approached like Don Knots in the Ghost and Mister Chicken type fear.

There is no life without some possible immeasurable degree of fear. There is logical fear.

But, fear given its reins, cripples us and steals all the fruits of discovery. If when I go out,I’m unreasonably afraid, then it will inhibit reason as well making the trip pointless. I was not frozen with fear, otherwise I’d have been near sick with it on the ground. If it was never a factor before, I don’t see it as one in this case.

Also, there is one important detail. I tried to call Lori from the Hospital, just to see how the visit was going. My cell phone, tried both inside the waiting room and outside would not work. I tried it over and over, maybe 7 or 8 times, sure that I’d just charged it. I was kidding with Lori and asked her if she had taken the battery as a prank, she was offended a bit and we checked, everything was in place, and the phone now worked when I tried it.

Examine the photos and the facts. Is there something else that may have occurred ?

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