May 24, 2023 I Brent Swancer

Strange Wilderness Phenomena and People Who Almost Vanished

There have been many mysterious vanishings in the wilderness over the years, often with bizarre circumstances. There have been many theories as to what has happened to these people, from that they were lost, to that they were attacked by wild animals, to that they were the victims of foul play. In the case when the peron never shows up, it is hard to say. But then there are those instances of people who seem to have been on the verge of vanishing in the wilds, who have brought back some wild stories, indeed. 

In October of 1925, a man named Roland O’Connor went out hunting with his brother at the Avalon Peninsula, in Newfoundland. That evening as the sun began to dip in the sky, they set up camp and Roland decided to go out one more time since they had had no luck bagging any game that day. He took his dog with him and headed out on horseback, but not long after leaving camp his horse began to act strangely and his dog started whining and meandering around in circles. He nevertheless continued on when suddenly he was surrounded by “a babble of unintelligible voices” and he found himself in unfamiliar terrain, with tall trees, cliffs, and large boulders all around him and the trail he had been on completely erased. He wandered about aimlessly and at one point fired his rifle into the air to get the attention of his brother, after which he decided to stay put and wait for the morning. When the morning came he woke to find himself on the trail he had originally been on, with the terrain back to what he knew and just a mile from camp. He easily found his brother, who told him that he had been searching for him all night and had not heard any gunshots. What was going on here?   

A more recent account from the same area comes from 1988, when a man by the name of Jim Lynch, also of the Avalon Peninsula was out in the woods. In January of that year, Jim headed out to get some firewood, taking his usual trail out into the woods. He then came across a fork in the trail he had never seen before, despite the fact that he was very familiar with it and took it nearly every day. Puzzled, he went off along it just a short distance, after which the trail branched off yet again, further confusing him. None of these trails had ever been there before and he was completely perplexed by this. He decided to go back to the main trail but he soon came to a large hill that had also never been there before, and at the top there was a cliff and the main trail below. As he wondered how to get to it, he suddenly found himself down there, and he would later say, “How I got down there, I don’t know. I guess I got lifted up and brought down there. I never walked down there, sure of that…" When he finally found the trail and got home, he would learn that his family had been intensively searching for him all night, even though to him only around an hour had passed. Strange, indeed.   

A fairly bizarre case comes from a man named known only as “Danny,” of County Kerry, Ireland, who shared a curious account with Irish Central about almost vanishing when he was a boy. He says that it happened when he was 6 years old, and on this day he had been having a picnic at a large park with his family. At some point he wandered off, and although he doesn’t remember what happened next, his father would tell him about it many years later. He says of it:   

After a while, my father noticed I had been gone for some time and decided to go look for me. He wandered about the park and didn’t see me with any of the other children. He walked round and round without finding any trace of me. Apparently, he was starting to get a little worried, yet he was sure I was still there somewhere… he told me he was thinking that I was just hiding from him. He walked to the edge of one of the ponds and listened, to hear if he could find me. While he listened, he looked down at the water and noticed an odd bright green plant a short distance under the water. The plant appeared strange to him and something about it piqued his curiosity. For a reason he can’t explain, he got down on his knees, reached into the water and grasped the bright green plant. He pulled the plant out and as it started to emerge, he realized it wasn’t a plant, it was my hair which he had grasped. He lifted me into the air and I just looked at him calmly, then he put me on the grass, and I sat down peacefully. He stared at me in shock and asked me what happened. In my childish language, I told him that I was playing with some other children. They told me to follow them into the water and I was playing with them there, under the water. The weirdest thing about this story is that I was sitting on the bottom of the pond for several minutes. I wasn’t hurt in any way and when I emerged, I was calm and acted as though nothing traumatic had happened.

What in the world was going on here? Another fairly bizarre account comes from Reddit user “distructron,” who claims that he had his experience while out camping somewhere in the wilds of California when he was 15 or 16, along with his best friend, his father, his sister and her friend. They all decided to go out at night with flashlights to play hide n’ go seek in the woods, and this is where things would get very strange, indeed. He says of what happened:   

It was dark out and we all had flashlights and agreed on a perimeter that we couldn’t go past. My friend drew the smallest straw and thus, he was it first. While he counted, the three of us split up and hid. I was hid close enough to where I could hear him counting and see his flashlight. I turned off my flashlight and waited. About ten minutes go by and I can hear my friend calling me by my last name (this wasn’t out of the ordinary since we both had the same first name). I look in the direction his voice is coming from and seen his flashlight. He is somehow managed to get behind me but was still a good distance away. As I watched his flashlight I started to notice he was past the perimeter. I figured he must have caught the other two already and was giving me the “End of the Round” signal I guess you could say. I stood up and started to walk towards his light calling back that I was inside the perimeter, not outside of it. I must have only taken 5 or 6 steps before a heavy hand smacked me on my left shoulder and pulled me behind a bush. It was my best friend, his sister and her friend were with him looking towards the light. After processing everything for a second or two I asked who was calling me. He said he has no idea since his father was still at camp. We watched the lone flashlight wonder around and the it started to get further and further away. Still calling me by my last name in my buddy’s voice. Once it was far enough away from us we ran back to camp. Nothing else happened that night and we never found out who it was. A park ranger showed up the next morning to check on us since we were off the trail. We told him what happened. He didn’t seem shocked, he didn’t even doubt our story. He just kind of looked past us further up the mountain and said we should be okay as long as we don’t wander to far from camp. He also said we need to be paired up when hiking or exploring at night. It’s been over twenty years and I still think about this.  

Pretty eerie stuff, and one wonders what could have been trying to lure him out there and to what end. Many of these cases involve what seems to be some strange force that seems to be intent on making sure these people don’t get found. One case brought forward by Fortean radio personality Art Bell and originally published in the Fortean Times relates the tale of a 19-year-old woman who vanished on her way home from visiting a neighbor. A search was conducted, only to find the young woman suddenly appear in her home sobbing uncontrollably. She would later claim that as she had been walking along, she had felt her body jerk involuntarily, after which she had felt compelled to walk in the opposite direction of where she had intended to go. During the whole frightening ordeal, she claims that an unseen barrier had stubbornly prevented her from returning to where she had wanted to go, instead pushing her farther away. As darkness fell, she says she could see the search party members looking for her, but that they could not see or hear her no matter how much she called out to them or banged against the invisible veil that separated them. Finally, the barrier lifted and she was able to return home, safe but unmistakably shaken out of her wits.

This seems eerily similar to another case from 2012. On September 22, 2012, 53-year-old Linda Arteaga was hiking along with her 56-year-old brother Eddie Huff in the forests of the Arkansas Ozarks, near the town of St. Joe., and although the brother returned and claimed to have seen his sister off at a relative’s house and that she was safe, in reality she was nowhere to be found. A large search was launched and Arteaga was fortunately found that day in the woods, albeit in a profound state of distress, but the circumstances surrounding the whole ordeal would become increasingly more bizarre. When she was questioned on what had happened, Arteaga could not recall how she had been separated from her brother. She did mention that she thought he had been hurt somehow, and that she had tried to find help for him. As she had walked along, she claimed that she had come across other hikers, but that all attempts to communicate with them had been futile, as if they had not seen or heard her at all. She also said she could see other shadowy figures who seemed to be hiding from her in the woods, saying: “These people were hiding in bushes. They were weird people, very weird people.” One of the searchers who found Arteaga, a deputy Dewayne Pierce, said that when they had found her she “she wasn’t quite about her head.” Some who have looked at the case have come to the conclusion that Arteaga may have ingested some hallucinogenic berries, but it remains unclear just what is going on here.

One strange account of this happening comes from a Reddit poster called “malamuteowner77,” who lives at the coastal resort town Bournemouth, on the south coast of England. She says that her godfather has a cabin that sits nestled within a tract of wooded land called “The New Forest,” and she decided to spend a few weeks there along with her malamute, Sky. On the very first day that she arrived, she decided to take some photos of the area to show her mother, and found her way to a field with horses, along with Sky at around 11 AM. It was here where she would have a strange experience, when something began to call her from the surrounding trees. She writes of what happened next:

So I’m taking photos of wild horses and I hear “Hey come here” seemingly to come to the right of me. I look and that part of the forest is deeper and i couldn’t see anything standing or hiding that way. Sky, on the other hand heard it and jerked that way on the lead. “Come closer. This way” I focused myself now, to look through the trees and long grass and there was now a simple stone path that weirdly didn’t have any grass or growth around it. You could clearly see a cobbled path.

So... sky and I started making our way down that path. I didn’t notice at the time but I could clearly hear sky whimpering and nothing else. It was like all other sound was... muted? I know I’m not making any sense typing this out and I’m sorry. It was like everything else around me, the birds, the wind and trees were just fading away and I was in some weird sort of haze. “Just a bit further” a woman’s voice, seemingly to come out of nowhere whispered to us while giggling. Sky shook me out of my trance by stopping, putting her hackles up and growling at something. I shook my head and suddenly the haze, confusion had disappeared. We were still on the path but I had a very weird sense of dread starting to creep over me. That and with sky growling just made me think ‘nope’ and we ran back to the clearing we came from.

“Come back!!!” A woman screamed at us and it seemed to follow and echo around us as we both were running back. We made it to the clearing and back to the cabin. I double locked all the doors and pulled the curtains and blinds over the windows due to the fact that I thought we were being followed and whatever, or whoever wanted us down that path so badly - would come back for us. They never did. I checked my phone straight away as I now had service and was connected to the WiFi. Multiple calls, texts and WhatsApp’s all came through at once. Tons asking where we were, did we arrive safe, my boyfriend asking why hasn’t he heard from me. We were in the woods for what seemed like an hour and mere seconds on that path. It was now 9pm and I have no recollection of the missing time we had encountered.

What was this voice, why did it want her to go down that path and what happened to her during that missing time? We will probably never know. In another case, poster “bellebina143” describes how she was 11 years old when she had her own such brush with the unexplained. She says that she and her family would go out camping in the woods of New Hampshire in their camping trailer every summer, and it was during one of these excursions that something very odd would happen, indeed. She says that one time during one of these camping trips her aunt woke her up and asked if she remembered hat had happened the previous evening, to which she replied that no, she did not. It was then that the aunt, father and mother would tell her of what had transpired, which was creepy to say the least, and of which the witness says:

My aunt was a bit shaky as she asked “do you remember what happened last night”? I shook my head “no” and listened as my aunt told about me the extremely strange night, which I did not recall whatsoever. My aunt explained that at about 2 am she woke up to the door of the camper being wide open. She quickly checked the bunks and noticed that I was nowhere to be found. She woke up my mom and dad and then my mom and dad got flashlights and started frantically searching for me outside around the immediate area. My aunt stayed behind, because there were still 4 kids sleeping in the camper. After a scary 10-minute search, my dad spotted me. I had walked out of the camper and into the trees about 30 feet away. It was far enough that I could not be seen unless he walked into the trees a bit I was just standing out there in the dark, with my eyes completely open, but not responding to him at all. I had no shoes, no flashlight and was wearing just shorts and a tee shirt.

He said that he grabbed my hand and started walking me back to the camp. He remembers asking me “what’s going on? Why in the world would you go out on your own like that”. Then, I finally spoke up saying “I need to wait here dad! Let’s just stay here”. My mom remembers that I then started crying as she and my dad led me back to the camper. Whenever I think back to this story, I get a sick/strange feeling. Thank God my aunt woke up when she did! It’s important to note, that I’ve never been know to sleepwalk before or after that night. It was an isolated incident, which could have had a very different ending had I not been so lucky. My mom was so upset that she decided to get rid of the trailer and we didn’t do much camping after that night.

Was this something calling her into the woods to be spirited away or something else? Who knows? Similarly, we have the tale of a poster called “Superpeytonm022,” who says he lives in a house nestled right up against a large expanse of woods in the U.S. state of Kentucky and describes himself as an avid hiker and outdoorsman. When he had his strange experience, he was around 15 years old, and was out exploring with his two dogs, Max and Bo. He says of his surreal experience:

I was hiking a trail that runs up beyond my aunt’s house—one that I’d hiked day in and day out—just out and about, enjoying the woods. I remember looking up the mountain, which I’d never hiked to the top of before, and feeling this strange call. It wasn’t really a voice, but it was an urge I couldn’t ignore. Keep in mind that I’m a very timid person, and hiking unfamiliar trails on my own freaks me out to this day. But that day, all my fear had dissipated. All thought left my head. I just climbed, higher and higher. My dogs followed me. I don’t even know how to describe the feeling that came over me, but I remember just staring down at my feet and feeling at peace as I climbed. There was a moment when I paused to look out at the houses below—I’d never been that high up, remember—and I felt amazed. I took a picture on my phone, and then I looked around me for my dogs. Bo had already run off, and Max was following. I called out to them frantically to stop, but they didn’t listen. They disappeared. At this point, looking down the mountainside, I was very afraid. Then I looked back uphill and it came over me again.

I kept hiking. I kept telling myself I’d go just a little bit farther, see just a little bit more. I remember looking down at my feet, just like before, and listening to the silence of the woods around me, and feeling at peace. It felt so easy to just keep going deeper, and so difficult to turn around. Bo felt the call, too, because even after I did break out of it and turn around (only after stumbling on a root), and then called back to her, she wouldn’t stop. I had to catch up with her and physically turn her around and pet her before she’d come with me. I couldn’t stop. Eventually, I heard my walkie-talkie crackle. Everything was distorted, and I couldn’t make any of the words out. I assume now that I was just out of range for it to pick up, but back then, it freaked me out. Whatever had come over me lost its hold on my mind. My dogs were still gone. Panicked, I began running downhill. It’s a wonder I didn’t get hurt. As I neared the wide section of the spring, near the bottom, my walkie-talkie picked back up, and I heard my dogs running downhill behind me. I got home, and mostly forgot about it. I just told myself I had almost been lost and to be more careful. I don’t know what’s out there, but I know this: the woods call to us all.

In some cases the lure that draws these people in is something other than a voice or feeling, but some sort of entity, and this can be seen in a bizarre report from poster “supremesymbiote,” whose story revolves around her mother, who grew up in an extremely rural area near Yrybucuá, Paraguay. One day the mother was out playing as a child along with her grandmother when it seems that she was pulled into the nearby forest by powers beyond our understanding. The poster says of what happened:

The area where my mom grew up is especially rural in the countryside where most of the poor people were. Her house was across from very thick woods that stretched for miles. One afternoon, before it got dark, my grandma and mom were outside. My mom was about 7 at the time when she spotted what she described as a beautiful little white baby chick. She’s always loved animals and enjoyed catching them, so she wanted to catch it. It kept running away from her, even though it seemed like she was just about to catch it multiple times.

After what seemed like she was running in a circle for minutes, my grandma came out of nowhere and yanked my moms hair. My mom said at that moment she was broken from a trance, that the sun had already set, and she was actually very deep in the woods. My grandma smacked her really hard on the head and told her that el pombero almost succeeded at taking her. My mom tried to explain to my grandma about the pretty little chick but of course it was nowhere to be found. My grandma said my mom seemed to be playing normally and then all of a sudden just started fast walking towards the woods. My grandma thankfully ran after her and was able to catch up to her. I always think about what would’ve happened had my grandma not been there to stop it. I’m glad she was there.

Spooky to say the least, and gives the feeling that this might have been some sort of forest spirit drawing the girl in for inscrutable purposes. There are other equally strange and difficult to categorize cases as well. In August of 1897, a 6-year-old girl named Lillian Carney went missing in the U.S. state of Maine as she was out with her parents picking blueberries. According to the parents, she had vanished right under their noses. A preliminary search of the area would quickly expand to over 200 hundred searchers scouring the area and calling the girl’s name, all to no avail. After an extensive search, Lillian was found in the woods in a dazed, trance-like state. When asked what had happened to her, the dazed girl replied that she had been in a place in the forest where the sun had shone the entire time she had been there. This was rather odd considering the weather at the time of her disappearance had been partly cloudy, she had been enveloped by a thick canopy of trees far from any town, and she had been missing overnight, for around 46 hours. What was this continuous “sunlight” she saw, and what significance does it have in Lillian’s disappearance? It remains unknown.

From another witness called “OoklaTheMok” comes an experience that allegedly happened on a camping trip with a youth group in the state of New Hampshire. At the end of the 2-day trip, he took a hike by himself down the hill to an area with a makeshift archery range in order to tear it down. He made a pile of garbage and equipment to bring back to camp and was about to head back when he says that all sounds in the forest just suddenly ceased, as if a curtain of silence had just fallen down around him. He then says that he could sense a sort of humming sensation, and that is when things would unfold into a terrifying experience. The witness says:

For some inexplicable reason, I snapped my head to the right to view the tree line, and noticed there was an area with 'thinner' brush like an opening, and I started walking towards it, like I was being drawn. As I cleared the tree line and stepped into the woods proper, I could feel the 'pull' to go deeper into the woods become much stronger. Looking ahead, the woods were in deep shadow, with a strange group of four trees about 75 feet away lit by a shaft of light beaming at an angle from above. The light wasn't the normal afternoon yellow sunlight, but a very strange golden color. The light hit the trees in a way that the bases of the trees were glowing in a beckoning way. With the rest of the woods in shadow, and the trees lit up, it created a weird tunnel vision.

The compulsion to go investigate the four trees was now almost overwhelming. The thought of "Come See! Come Quickly! Come Right now!" was insistent. My head was pounding, like a headache without the pain. As I was about to take another step forward, another -separate- 'feeling' from the depths of my being started screaming at me to STOP IMMEDIATELY. I instantly, viscerally knew that, despite how enticing this call was, if I proceeded forward towards those trees I would be lost to the world. That specific impression..."lost to the world", scared me deeply. The feeling of "This is *Not Right!*" & "Danger!" were palpable to me. This somehow overrode the compulsion. I quickly looked backwards to the opening, and I could see the bows sitting on the ground, and I think seeing a bit of reality helped me break the hold of 'the call'. I suddenly felt a hollow pit in my stomach and I started tracing a path slowly backwards towards the opening. I kept my eyes on those trees like I was facing down a predator. I didn't want to turn my back on them. I couldn't turn my back on them.

Making it back and stepping through the opening to the archery range, my head almost instantly cleared. I could again hear noises from the camp and feel the wind. I looked at where I had just stepped from, and it now felt 'normal'. I immediately grabbed the first load of equipment and headed back to camp. For some reason, I didn't tell anyone at camp what I experienced. On my subsequent trip to get the last load of equipment, absolutely everything was normal, but I stayed the hell away from that that opening. What stands out to me is the "lost to the world" impression. It was so clear and ominous and final. I can't express how truly drawn I was to go deeper into those woods; the feeling to give myself over to it (whatever 'it' was)...I do know that something not good would have happened if I hadn't heeded that warning. I know that my experience was very real and very scary. I am also convinced that I wouldn't have come out if I had kept going that day.

Another Redditor called “BigMetalHoobajoob,” describes a similarly creepy case that happened to a friend of his while out camping at Yosemite National Park, in the United States. His friend had gone out with some other friends and while the first night passed without incident, the second night proved to rather harrowing, indeed. The poster says of what happened:   

They had built a small fire, and were getting ready to go to bed. It was my buddy's turn to hide the bear canister, so he said he walked what felt like a few hundred feet and heaved it as far as he could. It rolled down a small hill, however, and he chased after it. But once he reached it and looked around, he couldn't see the fire from camp any longer. He raced back up the hill but still, no sign of camp. He tried not to panic as he began calling the names of our friends, but got no response. And so began a few hours of walking around, in multiple directions in the dark, completely off the trails looking for the camp.   

He said he could have been crossing over the trails, but just couldn't see them because he left the flashlight in his tent. The moon only broke through the trees in certain spots, so it was pretty dark. But the most unsettling thing was what he thought he heard. As he told it, he had the sense of someone or something walking "in" his footsteps maybe 50 yards off from him, sort of keeping pace with him, and stopping each time he stopped to listen. Eventually the feeling became too much, and the panic and exhaustion too great, that he decided to start, in his words, "a forest fire." I guess he just heaped a large pile of sticks together and used his lighter, and it rapidly grew into a huge blaze, nearly out of control. Sufficiently secure at the top of some sort of small, 10ft or so drop off, and with the fire in front of him, he lied down to sleep until daylight.   

An unknown amount of time later, he began to wake up with what he described as the sensation that a hand had grabbed him by his lower pants leg from over the side of the little drop, and was slowly pulling him towards the edge. He yelled, jumped up with a start, and grabbed a piece of smoldering wood. But didn't see or hear anything. At that point, he starting quickly walking away, still constantly feeling like he was being watched or followed. When daybreak arrived, he resumed his shouting, and eventually stumbled across a trail. A woman happened to be a short distance up it and he called out to her, saying he had been lost. She gave him some water, and they went to get the rangers. They had already been informed that he had gone missing during the night, and were preparing to search for him when he showed back up.

The sense of being watched or followed, as well as an inexplicable dread that comes from nowhere are common in these kinds of cases. A good example of this can be found with an account given by Reddit user “u/cacophonica,” who one day went out hiking along a trail in Missouri and things went well until he reached a creek bed and decided to cross it. He says of what happened next:   

The minute I stared trekking through the creek bed, my pit bull Fatty started whining. I ducked under the trees, shushed Fatty and stopped to listen to the woods surrounding us. I heard nothing. I heard literally nothing. No wind, no snapping twigs, not even any birds. Then, I began to feel really weird. I can’t really describe it as a gut feeling, but suddenly my body felt very queasy and over sensitive, and worse, I had the distinct feeling that I was being watched. Fatty was scared and trembling. Call it being an edgy teenager or anything else, but I felt this strange pull into the woods. There was no sound but I felt like something was calling me, luring me deeper into the woods. I walked forward, aware that my dog had firmly planted himself at the fallen trees. He was shaking all over and yelped at me as I walked away, but he didn’t come with me. He also didn’t leave, which I believe potentially saved my ass that day.   

I left Fatty behind and eventually got to the part of the creek that I had never been to. It was a clearing with a ring of trees surrounding it, with the creek stretching far ahead and going around an unseen corner. The sun hadn’t moved and it was still silent. I stood in place for a minute and considered turning around. The clearing was creepy and felt devoid of everything. I felt like if I walked around that corner, which was just about 100 feet away, that something terrible would happen. It felt like something was just waiting for me to walk into it, unsuspecting. I took a couple more steps, and suddenly I heard my dog yelping frantically behind me. He kept lunging forward, but wouldn’t move any distance forward. I finally realized that something was very wrong. I turned around again to look back at the clearing. It was pitch black outside. I shit you not. Seconds ago the sun wasn’t even close to going down below the horizon, and now the stars were out. No sun. No light. I stared hard at the trees around the corner, seeing nothing but elongated shadows. I heard a twig snap. All of a sudden my ears started to ring, and panic flooded my entire body. I whipped around and shot back towards the fallen trees, sprinting towards my dog. He was snarling and barking like mad, and when I ducked under the trees, both of us sprinted back towards the house.   

The entire time I felt like I had death on my heels, and Fatty never once ran ahead of me, staying right at my side the entire way back.When I made it home I checked the clock. During a walk that usually took ten minutes, I had been gone three hours. To this day I have never felt so prowled upon in the woods. I don’t know what wanted me in the woods that day. I didn’t see what it was and it said nothing to me, but I ignored every natural instinct I had to run until it was almost too late. My dog being there may have been the reason I didn’t wander deep into the woods and succumb to someone or something in the dark.  

A Marcy Stehling gives a similar report on the site Quora, saying:   

I have had several experiences when I was in the wilderness alone, and got a terrible feeling of doom. It was undescribable, and the first time it happened to me, I was only 11 years old. I was playing in the piney woods behind our home, when suddenly I realized that all sounds of birds and insects had stopped. All I could hear was the wind in the trees. I sat quietly, confused, for a few moments, telling myself everything was ok. But the feeling of fear and doom persisted and I literally ran out of those woods like I was being chased by a banshee. My brothers teased me, but I never went back into those woods again. As the years passed, my memory of the incident faded, until one day, many years later, and in another state, I got that same creepy sensation while I was out in the pasture, cutting holly berries to use for Christmas decorations.   

I was busily clipping away and then for some reason, I noticed how quiet it had gotten. I could only hear a loud buzzing in my ears. That was different than the first time it had happened, but the memory of that long ago afternoon in the piney woods of Georgia came to my mind. I was standing there, scared out of my wits, and over what? There was no visible threat against me, yet the fear was as real as if there were a pasture full of devils dancing around me. But something told me to remain calm, and to walk, not run, out of there. With my heart pounding in my chest, I fast walked to the edge of the pasture, pulling a wagon full of holly berry cuttings. Once I reached the edge of that pasture, I still had to go through another one to get home, and in that second pasture, I took off running, dragging the wagon along behind me. I didn’t stop until I had passed up my brother’s home, and was near my parents’ home. The buzzing noise in my ears went away, and things were normal at the house. No paralyzing fear, plenty of birds singing and the chirp of crickets was plain as day. I don’t know what scared the tar out of me those times. I had been in the wilderness alone many times, and only twice did that fear and doom overtake me.

Another common theme in such cases of the almost vanished is the feeling of being inexplicably drawn deeper into the woods. There is another Reddit case from user “uclathemach,” who went on a camping trip with his youth group in the state of New Hampshire and had quite an odd experience. On the last day of their trip he went out for a short walk and things got very weird, indeed. He says in started with a strange humming sensation, and the forest around him going completely silent, and he says of what happened next:   

For some inexplicable reason I had snapped my head to the right, and noticed there was an area with thinner brush, like an opening, and I started walking toward it, like I was being drawn. I could feel the pull to go deeper into the woods grow much stronger.  Looking ahead, the woods were in deep shadow, with a strange group of four trees about 75 feet away, lit by a shaft of light, beaming at an angle from above. The light was a very strange golden color. The bases of the trees were glowing, in a beckoning way, with the rest of the woods in shadow, and the trees lit up.  The compulsion to investigate the four trees was almost overwhelming. The thought of “come see; come quickly; come right now!” was insistent.  My head was pounding, like a headache without the pain. As I was about to take another step forward, another separate feeling from the depths of my being started screaming at me to stop immediately. In an instant, viscerally, I knew that despite how enticing this call was, if I proceeded forward towards those trees, I would be lost to the world.  

Are there forces out there in the wilderness drawing these people in? Could this go towards explaining the various people who have ventured out through the trees and into the ether to never be seen again? Just what is going on out there? Whatever the case may be, such cases certainly make one wonder. 

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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