Wednesday, June 03, 2020

'Cryptid Chase' Incident at Beaver Lake in Memphis, Tennessee

The witness describes encountering, and then chased, by an unknown entity or cryptid while hiking along Beaver Lake in Memphis, Tennessee.

The following account was recently forwarded to me:

"It was just before Halloween 2019. Now, let me start by saying I'm not an avid outdoorsman. I love hiking, and I've spent countless hours in Memphis' 16 sq. mile state park/nature reserve/whatever you want to call it, but I'm not a mountain man by any means. The park is home to several indigenous mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles, and is full of small ponds, thick brush, and even swampy marshes in spots. There are designated hiking and biking trails that sprawl the area, but there are also several "wild" areas that aren't really maintained or used. Being that I have an adventurous streak, and that I also hate being around groups of people, I often find myself in these less ventured or "wild" areas. Now, it's worth noting that I've never really felt uncomfortable in this park. It's kind of like my safe place. I go there to get away, decompress after work, or just to be alone sometimes. It feels like a second home, in ways. Anyway, enough background information, I'm rambling.

I'd just pulled up to one of the less commonly fished ponds, Beaver Lake (Shelby Farms), and I intended to circle to the far side (3/4 mile from my truck) on one of the hiking trails that goes right next to the treeline and then into the treeline, and then push further back onto one of the old horse trails. Now, this horse trail in particular doesn't get used much anymore. I can't say why, for sure, but I've heard a myriad of different reasons from different people. Most logical explanation is that it's just not as convenient to get to anymore, and it gets pretty marshy when it rains. I'd be able to follow the normal hiking trail for the first 3/4 mile, but I'd have to fork left off of the trail once it went into the treeline. The gate to the old horse trail was about 500 yards to my 9:00 from there, just through an overgrown thicket and up a slight hill. I made my way over the 4 ft. gate, and started exploring. I had about an hour and a half before sunset, and I have a strict "f*ck the woods at night" policy, so I was watching the time. My main goal for this adventure was to snap some pictures of the area for a project I've been working on, and I'll admit, I was more distracted than I typically am.

Anyway, close to an hour passed, I'd gotten some good shots, and I figured now was a good time for my egress. It'd take me close to thirty minutes to get back to my truck, and I wasn't keen on getting stuck in an unfamiliar area at night. I sat my backpack down on a stump, dropped to one knee, and started packing/organizing my stuff. I'm not sure what the catalyst was, but I suddenly felt this terrible sense of dread. I slowly turned and scanned my surroundings. Nothing seemed out of place. I stood up, and grabbed my bag. When I took a step forward, a leaf crunched under my boot, and I realized that everything was dead silent. Now, as I said above, I'm not an avid outdoorsman by any means, but I know well enough that silence like that is indication that a predator is nearby, and you need to quickly but calmly make your way out of the area and stay vigilant. It's worth noting that, while mountain lions and black bear are not technically indigenous to my area, there have been more than enough caught and relocated for it to be a valid concern. I've been stalked by a mountain lion on one other occasion, and this felt eerily similar, so that was at the forefront of my mind.

I'd been moving for probably five minutes, and everything honestly seemed fine. I'd lulled myself into believing that I was overreacting, and that everything was fine. I didn't see anything. I didn't hear anything. Good, right? Wrong. By this point, the trail was completely overgrown on both sides. I could see fairly clearly behind me, and a decent way ahead, but my left and right may as well have been fall colored walls. I must've gotten lost in thought for a moment, because I tripped on a root and fell. As I was picking myself up, I started hearing a soft, I don't know, cooing or chittering off to my right? It sounded like a mix between a dove and the 'Predator' alien sound. It would start with a coo or yelp, and end with this weird chittering sound. I'm actually sitting here trying to replicate it, and I sound ridiculous. I'm not sure my throat is even capable of recreating it. Anyway, I'm out of shape, and there's no way I'm outrunning anything. So I scrambled up, planted my feet, and tried to make myself look as menacing as a fat 22 year old with a backpack and glasses can look. About 100 yards ahead of me, which would've originally been behind me had I not fallen, so toward where I had taken the pics and was moving away from, I saw the underbrush start to shake and it sounded like something was tearing through it. I only had maybe twenty minutes of daylight, at this point, and it would take me at least that long to make my way back to my truck.

So, I did exactly what you're not supposed to do. Naturally. I turned around, and I booked it, knowing good and damned well that I can run for maybe a half mile. 3/4 of a mile if something's trying to kill me, MAYBE. I could barely hear anything over my own footfalls and the sound of my heart pounding, but whatever it was was chasing me through the underbrush and it was gaining on me. It may have been fifteen yards behind me at this point, and I still had a ways to go. I don't know if fear kept me going, or what, but I reached deeper and just kept running. My breathing got shallow, my vision started blurring, and I was honestly about to collapse when I saw the gate to the horse trail about 300 yards ahead of me. This thing is right on top of me by now, and as soon as I came within arms reach of the gate, I planted my foot on the bottom rung and launched myself over it. My landing was not graceful. I landed on my right shoulder, and tumbled several yards down the hill and into a puddle of muck.

I wasn't thinking straight now, and I stood up, shakily, and started making my way toward the treeline and pond. I knew what direction to go, and I didn't even bother finding the hiking trail. I just crashed through the brush and overgrowth like some kind of barbarian. I didn't care about the cuts and scrapes, or the massive amounts of noise I was making. My only thought was to get out. The chittering noises had stopped, but I still heard something moving in the brush at the top of the hill. It wasn't trying to be quiet anymore either. I finally broke through the treeline, and could see my truck parked across the pond at the top of the hill. I finally took a deep breath, and started slowly walking away from the treeline. The ominous feeling lifted, and I started making my way up the trail alongside the treeline. I was able to catch my breath for about fifteen seconds. I heard that God awful cooing and chittering behind me again, and I turned to look back at the treeline behind me. So, at the point there's trail leading into treeline in front of me, treeline to my right, water to my left, and trail leading alongside the treeline and around the pond to the cars behind me (the direction I needed to go/was going before I heard the sounds again.) The underbrush at the treeline ahead of me started to shake, and fear took over. I'm thankful that my bag is waterproof, and that my phone is water resistant because I jumped in the pond, and I swam across.

I've never really told this story to anyone in my personal life. They'd probably think I'm crazy, and I doubt they'd consider me credible. Especially given my interest in Bigfoot and other cryptids. I don't know what was stalking me that day. I know I wound up cold, wet, and a bit shaken up. I also know I've not been back to that part of the park, and I can't come up with a good explanation. Beaver Lake is off limits to me for awhile. I think I'll just continue exploring and hanging out on the slightly more populated side of the park." CS

NOTE: I don't know what this witness encountered, but I do know that Memphis, Tennessee has to a lot of bizarre phenomena. The infamous 'Trail of Tears' ran along the city, and there has been speculation that this may account for much of the strange activity. I do remember a Bigfoot encounter in the Shelby Park area many years ago, but there has been other unexplained activity in the general area. Much of this extends south into northern parts of Mississippi as well. I'd be interested of others can offer more personal accounts from the Memphis area. Lon

'Winged Cryptids: Humanoids, Monsters & Anomalous Creatures Casebook' is now available in paperback & on Kindle

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