Jul 09, 2022 I Brent Swancer

A Vision Quest, a Time Slip, and a Mysterious Cave

One very weird corner of the paranormal is that of the time slip, wherein people seem to be whisked back throught the ages to witness scenes from long ago. Such cases can pretty strange, but some are more more bizarre than others. In some cases, these encounters can blossom out into the truly outlandish, and one of these must certainly be the time a guy went on a vision quest to a cave and found himself not only assaulted by paranormal forces, but launched thousands of years into the past. 

A very strange and prolonged time slip case was uncovered by paranormal researcher Carl Grove, who found a witness on the forum for the Unexplained Mysteries site who had a very bizarre story to tell. The witness, a Native American who calls himself James Two Hats, engaged with Grove in a long correspondence, during which time he would weave a fantastic tale of a mystical cave, vision quests, spirits, a ghostly phantom storm, and travel through time. The witness’s testimony immediately is as odd as it is engaging, with Jimmy claiming to have had visions and psychic abilities from a very young age. When he later served in the Vietnam War, he claims that these powers were recognized by his higher-ups, and that he was recruited into a “highly secret operation” that was using psychics to try and gain an advantage in the war, including remote viewers, clairvoyants, any gifted person the military could get their hands on. Jimmy was one of these, although he says that his memories of his time with the program seem to have been mostly wiped, but that the vestiges of what he does remember are like nascent flashes from a half-remembered nightmare and are “confused and some of them are horrific.” 

After the war, he spent a long time trying to come to terms with post traumatic disorder, as well as with his psychic abilities and what he had experienced during his time in the program. He had frequent horrific nightmares that involved creatures dragging him away through the walls, and he developed a profound fear of the dark. He was getting very little sleep and it was deeply affecting his life, and it was at this time that he began feeling a powerful pull towards a place that he had known about since his childhood, a cave he calls Cob Cave, near Jasper, Arkansas, located next to a sacred lake in what is now Buffalo National Park. He explained to Grove of this cave:

The place scared me. There was a place on the trail to it where I always felt the air change from warm to cold, it was like crossing a line I couldn't see and it happened in any season. I tried to point out the spot to other people but I was the only one who felt it. The cave is a beautiful place with a creek and a waterfall on the open side, and it frightened me down to my bones. In 1990 I was going through some hard personal times and decided to take up some of the old Indian ways and get back into my meditation as well, to try to put my life on a better course. Part of what happened involved a resurgence of connection with that cave. I felt there was someplace I had to go, and that was how it started. Cob Cave rang up, felt like the place. I said to myself, Is it Cob Cave? and something else in my mind said, Yes.

Over the next several weeks he began having long conversations with these voices in his head, which he claimed were coming from outside of himself and were those of mysterious spirits. These voices told him that he was special, and that he had latent powers he could only dream of, but that in order to unlock them fully he needed to make an overnight vision quest to that cave. Jimmy was told that there he would learn things, that he would be tested, and that his eyes would be opened, but that it would also be dangerous and that he only had about a 50% chance of surviving his coming ordeal. He was also told that if he were to refuse, then he would forget all of it and that his life would go back to normal as if nothing had happened. Curious as to what was at that cave and what would happen, he accepted, and says of what happened next:

They gave me some advice about how to live for the next month, that being the amount of time I had to wait, and then they stopped talking. So for about a month I lived a very clean life, ate only the old foods, and wondered if I was crazy or not. When the time came, I had to go, or I would have lost all self-respect. I took portions of the old foods as offerings, took a bottle of ginger soda, and a book of matches. I drove down to the cave trailhead and sat in my car until after closing hours, and walked up to it as the sun went down, managing to avoid any late hikers or rangers by dodging behind trees and fading into the shadows here and there. When I was sure everyone else had gone I went into the cave, barely able to find my way to the ledge at the back, and then I knew I was there for the night no matter what because it was too dark to find my way out.

He found a spot in that cold, dank darkness and sat down to wait for what was in store for him, wary of what the spirits had told him but the voices in his head silent for the time being. He waited there in the dark, and at first nothing really happened, just silence, to the point that he began to think that he was perhaps losing his mind. After all, he had driven out to this remote cave on the whim of voices in his head telling him to go on a vision quest and wait alone in that cave for some sort of spiritual test, so perhaps his grip on reality was loosening. That was when it seems the test began in spectacular fashion. He would explain of what he experienced:

Ghostly apparitions confronted me and attacked me, and if I disregarded them as just illusion they elbowed me in the ribs or stabbed me with sharp objects. An unexplainable storm came up and focused directly on the valley and the mountain above me, and even blew through the cave itself. I thought at one point I might be in a tornado and lightning hit the mountain nine times. Each time I could hear the rocks behind me crackling and popping as the charge dissipated and it was like the lightning was looking for me, getting closer to me with each strike. I truly thought I was going to die and I was lying back to the wall as low as I could get, up until it all struck me as funny and I sat up and started laughing and cheering on the storm, things swirling around me in the wind, rocks falling from the cave roof, lightning flashing and thunder booming and the creek roaring past in full flood, and I felt completely in harmony with all of it. Within moments it all stopped, and I assumed it was all over, maybe I even passed the test.

When the ordeal suddenly stopped as soon as it had begun, Jimmy was alone once more in that cave, cold, wet, and thirsty, with just an hour left before the approaching sunrise. He thought about trying to feel his way out of the cave, but deemed it too dangerous because it was still too dark, and so he felt around for a dry place to try and lie down for a rest. When he finally found a good spot and was about to take a nap, he then noticed a strange light filling the cave and lighting up the actual rocks, the cave walls glowing brighter and brighter as he wondered what was coming next after that first spiritual assault. He explains of the bizarre events that would transpire:

What happened, happened instantly. Suddenly the rock around me wasn't solid any longer, a circular area around me didn't have rock in it anymore and I had been depending on that rock for support. I scrambled for a grip on something but started falling like I'd jumped out of a plane, straight down, going through hoops of light that now remind me of what Black Elk described as the Hoops of Nations, hoops within hoops within hoops and I was flashing through them with a whoosh. After what felt like a long fall with a sudden right turn, I found myself standing in the cave unharmed, but things were very different. It was the same place, but it was daytime, maybe early afternoon from the angle of the light. Late summer by the smell of things, a crispness already in the air. Across the hollow that borders the cave I saw a red clay slope dotted with huge widely spaced evergreen trees, where I should have seen rocky steps cut into the limestone by the CCC, second growth oak and hickory forest, and a stand of slender pawpaws. 

It was how things should have looked there, ten thousand years before, and I began to worry about how I was supposed to get home because I didn't appear to be waking up. I pinched myself and it hurt a lot but accomplished nothing. Then I heard voices to my left, people talking in a language I did not know, and my first thought was that I'd somehow fallen back in time and now some Indian people were going to torture me to death. They turned out to be friendly, though, and I stayed with them for several weeks before they sent me back. When I came back, I was on that same stone I fell through, lying flat on my back and fully conscious, dry and warm even inside my boots.

What was going on here? Did this man somehow travel through the walls of that cave and through time and space? If so, then how was this possible? Was it the doing of the spirits or some latent quality of his already innate psychic powers, somehow enhanced and focused by the cave? Jimmy himself believes that some places are inherently imbued with mysterious energies, and that anyone can access them and use them to travel through time and space if only they can harness their ability to do so and sharpen their perceptions. He says that shamans have long sought to achieve this through vision quests, although he admits that it would be rare for one such as him to do so without disciplined training. In his case, he claims that it was the fact that the cave was a potent example of one of these power points, plus his psychic abilities and perception and focus cleaned through meditation that had allowed him to do this without proper guidance and training. He says of his ideas on all of this:

I've regularly practiced meditation nearly my entire life and I also practice chi gong and some of the Shaolin methods for generating and controlling energy. It's fair to say that I have perceptions and consciousness at levels most other people do not... I believe that anyone has this potential but few of us use it. The test of the lake had that purpose, to separate out those who have a strong natural talent for this. Other people would not see the lake at all and perceiving a time slip event should be much that way, depending partly on the ability of the individual to release the dominant view of the world.

I've read that in the old times, and possibly even now, certain shamans were able to use these high energy places as physical transportation. It was a high level talent few people acquired, but those who achieved it could teleport from one place of high energy to another. Often these places were marked by circular structures, naturally occurring as trees or stone formations, but in some cases these energy vortexes were only specific places on a flat plain, for example marked by nothing but an odd sensation when you passed over them. People would mark these spots with circles of stones. A shaman could move instantly from one to another even when the two points were separated by hundreds of miles. 

To me this seems to be partly based on energy and partly on perception. the two different vortexes harmonize, overlapping in terms of force, and if you know the place you intend to go to, perceiving that place instead of yourstarting point puts you there... A similar effect might explain the timeslips, as harmonies of energy surges that occur in the same place but apart in time. Human perception might be essential to this, as a catalytic force. Houses might not appear if no one is there to see them. Without a mind present the energy might remain formless, a fog that comes and goes without incident.

It is all a rather bizarre account, and one is left to wonder just what to do with it. Is this just hallucinations, drugs, or fantasy, or is there something more to it? Did this witness go out into the great beyond past what we think we know, or is he simply pulling our chain? Whatever the case may be, it potentially provides a very strange and bizarre account offering a peek into worlds and realities beyond what we know, and true or not it is a damn strange tale all the same. 

Brent Swancer

Brent Swancer is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Brent Swancer’s first intellectual loves. He's written articles for MU and Daily Grail and has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM and Binnal of America.

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