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Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Life of Oddities

I recently received this interesting email from a reader:

Mr Strickler,

I would like to thank you for all the work you do! Reading your newsletter and blog has helped me realize that I am not alone in the 'strange experience' arena. I don't mind if you print this letter on your blog, but I would like to remain anonymous.

I was born and raised in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Some people say this is a paranormal hot-spot, a place where all manner of the unexplained can be seen or experienced.

Childhood (1960s)

My earliest memory of the strange is of my father sitting at the dinner table telling my mother about an experience he had in the Nat'l Forest one day (he worked for the U.S. Forest Service). He had told my mother about 'feeling' there had been something or someone in the woods with him. He had spoken of hearing a lot of loud noise and the feeling of being watched. He attributed it to poachers. Sasquatch was not a household word at that time.

My mother & I would often go out at night to stargaze. My mother taught me the various constellations and we loved to watch for falling stars. We would often see lights around the small mountain which was located right outside our town (called D mountain because of the large white-washed "D" on the side of the mountain. This "D" stood for the name of our town, Del Norte). These lights would fly erratically and blink on & off.

I experienced "night terrors" frequently from about the age of 7 or 8 up to puberty (as I remember). I remember waking up 'paralyzed' and being scared out of my mind. I couldn't scream or move. I remember a being standing by my bed and there would be another (possibly two) outside of my window (one level house). I would be able to call out to my mother shortly after waking. But I would only be able to call out in a muffled voice, like I was only partially out of the paralyzation. These encounters would occur on a frequent basis for awhile and then nothing. A few months down the road and the encounters would start again. Many, many years later one of my sisters told me that she experienced the same thing but she refused to go into greater detail. This was the same sister who has some mystical/psychic abilities. Months back on your blog/newsletter you had written about a man who was doing research on these types of night terrors (Robert Goerman) and I wrote to him. The research he was doing on this subject resonated with me, though to this day I have no solid answers as to the cause of this.

I remember having many imaginary friends to play with.

Adolescence (1970s)

I remember being able to have Out of Body Experiences. My mother and I would often sit on our closed in back porch and read or do crafts. I distinctly remember being able to 'hover' against the ceiling and see myself and my mother sitting by the table. I couldn't do this on demand but it happened frequently for a period of time. These experiences only happened at my house.

Paranormal occurrences seemed to subside during my teenage years. Or maybe I just don't remember them. This was the time period of cattle mutilations in the San Luis Valley. And Snippy the Horse (occurring in 1967) was still quite fresh in most of the locals' memories. Many friends I had in high school lived out in the country and they would speak of seeing odd lights in the night sky while driving home from a school function or while they were out tending to livestock.

Family History

I thought I would give a bit about myself before I continue. Psychic abilities of various sorts appears to be a family trait. My aunt had premonitions which were always true. I know my mother had some sort of psychic ability though she never spoke of it. I learned herb-craft from her.

As for myself I have prophetic dreams, I can 'feel' spirits, I have an uncanny ability with plants (some people have said that I could grow a broomstick into a tree), animals flock to me. My normal body temperature is at least 1 1/2 deg below what is normal for everyone else. I have read that many of these traits are attributed to Star Children. All three of my kids have some or all of these abilities/traits. I have always had an interest in the paranormal. More so than most kids/adults of the era.

I have never been able to wear a watch without the watch stopping. Street lights will go out or blink on/off when I am around. I blow out light bulbs and other electronic devices don't work when I am in an agitated state.

Owls have been a recurring theme in my life. My husband inherited his grandfather's owl collection - any time we have lived in the country, owls could be heard every night - owls pop up in stories I read & shows I watch.

And then there's the matter of my teeth....My wisdom teeth never 'came in'. When I was in my mid-20s, a trip to the dentist showed that my wisdom teeth sat right on a major nerve which runs to the lower part of my face. The dentist did not want to touch them for fear of damaging that nerve. Fast forward 25 years and another trip to the dentist showed that I had a double set of wisdom teeth (both top & bottom) and they were no where near the nerve.. Another 5 years pass & I was preparing to have extensive dental work done. I told my dentist about my wisdom teeth. Upon viewing the x-rays, the dentist said she didn't see any wisdom teeth but she did see a top tooth and a bottom tooth that hadn't emerged but they didn't appear to be wisdom teeth nor were they located where wisdom teeth normally are.

In the 90s a small lump appeared overnight on my husband's abdomen. It didn't bother him. A PA looked at it and determined it to be a subcutaneous cyst. Since then several more 'cysts' have appeared. He has not had them x-rayed and they do not bother him. Nor have they grown in size. My husband remembers seeing a tall alien type being when he was a child.

Adulthood (1980s & 1990s)

I spent a good part of the 80s traveling the country with my Military husband. He & I later divorced. My current husband and I got together a few years later and settled in a small mining town in Colorado (Central City). Oddities began again when we moved there. We lived in a very old log home which dated back to the late 1800s. The front door of the home was the old jail house door. There was a dark entity in the loft - I hated going up there & when I did I felt stifled. It was at this time that my interest in Wicca began. I read a lot about it. But Wicca felt too formal for me. So I continued to read on the subject of earth-based religions. I read because finding a group was hard - so many people who worshiped an earth based religion hadn't come out of the broom closet yet. The Little People made their appearance here at this house. While we never actually saw them, both my husband and myself would hear them and items would go missing only to turn up later in a spot we had looked in for the missing item.

In the early 90s, we moved to another small mountain town outside of Denver, Bailey. It was at this time that the high strangeness began. The area we lived in was to the northwest of the actual town of Bailey - a small community by the name of Harris Park totally surrounded by Nat'l Forest. The people who had lived there for a while spoke of Sasquatch in the woods. We frequently saw black unmarked helicopters fly from the East to the West overhead. They usually flew in pairs, sometimes three. But we never saw them fly from west to east. Occasionally odd lights could be seen to the southwest. The house we lived in was built in the 1950s. We had a picture in the living room that would fall off the wall periodically. We tried to 'make' it fall off the wall and couldn't get it to happen. No matter where we hung the picture, it would fall - the picture was nothing special. A cheap dollar store frame with a print picture of a Plains Indian in it. The song 'Fur Elise by Beethoven' would appear at random on our answering machine. We NEVER left it on the message but yet there it was. When someone would call in and leave a message they would hear it. We tried brand new tapes & again the song would show up. We decided that the resident spirit must like classical music. It was here that my dreams began to become more prophetic in nature. And the night terrors that plagued me when I was a child also returned. Though this time they were different - I would 'meet' the beings outside of our house and they would talk to me. The only thing that sticks in my memory is when they gave me the information that both my father and father-in-law and my mother would die all within a year's time frame. Which did come true. And my psychic abilities became more pronounced. I continued to read about Earth Spirits, Shamanism, and other 'mystical' topics. The Little People were still with us.

The Turn of the Century (2000 and beyond)

We moved to Louisiana just before the millennium. We moved into an old house which was once part of an estate and had been the maid's quarters. On occasion I would hear small children (our youngest son, a junior in high school, was the only child we had left at home at the time) or see shadows out of the corner of my eye. This was a rather quiet time in my Life - not a lot of paranormal activity. Though the Little People were always around along with the shadows.

In 2004 we needed to move closer to my husband's grandparents. They were getting up in years and needed someone close by to assist them. They lived in Oklahoma - Grandma was Cherokee. So we bought a house in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas - across the border from where the grandparents lived in Oklahoma. We lived there till 2011. This was a very rural area with a lot of mystique. Many old legends of Civil War treasure and various ghosts, odd vortexes and areas where nothing would grow. We lived not far from the Heavener Rune Stone. Our house was a huge cinder block house (3000+ sq ft) built by a WWII vet. The house itself seemed very homey but I noticed that men were especially 'taken' with the house. It was as if the house was a woman who was applying her charm to them. We were in the country and completely surrounded by trees. I liked the setting and sort of liked the house but wasn't particularly attached to it. It was towards the end of the time when we lived there that many of the local residents to the east of us were hearing deep booms which would sometimes rattle glass. I personally never experienced or heard any of these booms. Some people thought it might be from the drilling in other parts of the state but the booms continued even after the drilling stopped. We met many people who believed in the paranormal (but wouldn't necessarily publicly speak of it since this was the Buckle of the Bible Belt). We met numerous individuals who had seen or heard Sasquatch in the local forests. The Little People were still with us and seemed to flourish in the woods. They began to influence my art.

In 2011 we moved back to Colorado. We had taken a huge hit when the economy tanked and we were hoping to get back on our feet by the move back to Denver. Our time in Denver was rough - full of stress and strain. Eventually we moved to the Colorado Springs area and purchased land on the west side of Pikes Peak. It was when we moved into the shadow of Pikes Peak that our luck began to turn around. It seemed that we had been plagued by a black cloud about three years after we had moved to Arkansas. When we began our migration to Colo Sprgs, the rains began and were torrential. Any time we were outside, we were awash in rain. It was almost as if the Universe was cleansing us of the bad mojo that had attached itself to us.

My beliefs have evolved over time. I was never raised in any church. My mother never believed in formal religion even though we would occasionally go to church around a holiday. After much reading - both in print and online - I became more solid in my beliefs. I feel that there are a multitude of spirits, in both Nature and in the Mechanical world - my husband is able to connect with machinery with an uncanny ability. He laughs about being able to 'lay hands on' an item and it will start working. The writings of Phil Kava and Freddy Silva truly resonate with me. I believe that all things are connected and that vibration or frequency plays a huge part in how we interact with the world/dimensions around us. The more I read, the more comfortable I am with all the strangeness than occurs. I now realize that I am not the only one who has had strange things happen and that I am not crazy in some of my beliefs. Life is better when I live near large quantities of quartz (Central City, Bailey, Arkansas, Colo Sprg). At least it's more interesting.

I need to add a side note. I have always had a deep interest in Native Americans, their stories/legends and beliefs. In fact both my husbands were/are Native American. I grew in an area where the Ute tribes were prevalent. And now I find myself back in their 'old stomping grounds'. The Utes had a special affinity with Pikes Peak. They believe it is where they emerged onto the Earth (I believe they are only the second tribe to have an emergence myth of creation). The Utes believe they came to Earth from the Pleiades constellation. In fact, it is said that they used to arrange their tipis in the same pattern as the constellation.

I may have left parts out of this narrative, unintentionally. So much has happened in my lifetime. I will gladly answer any questions.

Thank you for your time. J.

Addendum: I forgot to mention something that happened while we were living in Bailey. Approx. 4 years after living there, both my husband and my youngest son began to develop hair loss on their heads. It was more severe with my husband. Both were seen by various doctors and the only thing determined was that my husband suffered from alopecia. But this wasn't a firm diagnosis. Several months had elapsed by this time & my son's hair had begun to grow back (the main area of loss for him was the top of his head. About two years later, my husband's hair began to grow back. But there were areas where it didn't grow in and the hair that was there was white. To this day he still has patches of baldness so he shaves his head. My son had a 'monk's haircut' by the time he was 24 yrs old. My husband and my youngest son were the only ones affected by this malady - my oldest son and my brother-in-law (who lived with us at the time) were not affected.