With that in perspective, you can imagine my fear at about age eleven or twelve when I awoke to what I thought was the presence of several shadow-type people in my room well into the post-midnight hours. I remember being approached, something being removed (?) from my right ear, fading back to sleep and awakening with a blood-stained pillow the next morning. Getting my mother (whom I confess never again discussed it with since it was “just a bad dream”, I showed her the 6” diameter pillow stain and the partially dried blood on the side of my head. I distinctly remember her cleaning my ear with Peroxide and telling me that if it persisted to ask the school nurse to take a look. One must remember that back then a doctor's visit was $7 (or literally a chicken or some beef) ! and with five kids…….., plus, the bleeding had stopped right? I never again had a problem with it. I did however later in my life write to Budd Hopkins just prior to his death questioning the procedure, cost and validity of regressive hypnosis later in life to see if their was some relic of a memory of the episode. Budd passed without a reply but a paranormal investigator that I came to know later stated that the cost was seldom worth the outcome and that there were a number of local counterfeit “Svengali's” that preyed on people like me so I abandoned the thought of the hypnosis.
Later in life after age sixteen I had a couple of weird auto trips when by myself I had gone as much as twelve miles without recollecting the trip due to (missing time?) and ending up each time approaching our driveway as if awakening from a nap. I never put a lot of stock in this (missing time) since many people have talked about the same thing happening to them. Truckers, as you know have had similar happenings calling it “white line hypnosis”. I still believe that is all it was but waking up in the same place two or three times makes me wonder a little now.
That being said, it brings me to the primary incident that I am reporting to you. Having been discharged from the Army eight years prior, my wife, first child and I were building our first home pay-to-pay in the woods near a local reservoir in about 1977 or '78. My job in the Army was that of an Army forward Air Traffic Controller which meant that I was to set up forward landing zones using discarded Navy TPN-8 radar. Having been drafted out of school I attained that position due to cognitive testing as well as my excellent and rare eyesight. Twelve of us out of about three thousand trainees were picked and removed from helicopter crew chief school at Fort Rucker to give you an idea of the tremendous eyesight we had. To be considered we had to have what we were told was a flight- plus physical. This and the fact that I never make an impulsive guess at what I see and what I will tell you as far as size and distance is credible by virtue of this God-given attribute. I worked in a control zone where we saw everything from drone missiles to SR 71 spy planes and never did I see a UFO when I worked in a control tower. EVERYTHING unusual that I saw a lot could be explained away.
1977-78 there were a number of plausible Bigfoot sightings and reported cave entrance prints in the area near me, one of which yielded footprints which were cast by, I believe, the University of Pittsburgh. There wasn't an “investigator” on every corner like today and purported sightings never went far. This one however piqued my interest when I visited the one sighting as it was reported supposedly by two State Troopers. I had also talked to one elderly lady at a paranormal symposium at a local mall that had a sighting late at night of a Bigfoot at her farm and from less than fifteen feet away from her home though not noting any smell nor aggression from the tall startled creature. I DID find her believable at age 83. She was just curious and had been questioning the investigator as to her sanity and perceived fear.
One Friday evening my father in law in law asked me to go fishing with him at a reservoir which was a fifteen to twenty minute walk through heavy brush and woods from where I was building my home while living in the foundation. I jumped at the chance to once again out-fish the self proclaimed “fish whisperer” who my father in law thought himself to be. Starting out just before eleven PM we made our way to the closest cove not using any lights to alert anybody of our presence expecting to spend the night as this area is patrolled by the authorities for criminals like us. While standing in my waders in knee deep water and rigging my line I immediately caught a 22” bass which gets larger every time I relate this. My father in law (the fishing legend) having to verify my catch came over from about fifty feet away in his waders to belittle the catch in comparison to one he caught probably some fifty years before.