; Phantoms and Monsters - Real Cryptid Encounter Reports - Fortean Researcher Lon Strickler

Friday, January 28, 2022

Mysterious Claw Marks & Odor Encountered by Zimbabwean Witness

A Zimbabwean woman encounters a terrible odor while walking her dogs in a forestry plantation. She observed deep claw marks in a tree, unlike what is seen from the local wildlife.

I recently came across the following account:

“I was born in the country of Zimbabwe, in Africa. I left to live in the UK when I was 28. I'm now 49 and I’m still in the UK, where I feel much safer, as Africa is not a very kind place to live. The country I lived in is land-locked and has a big forestry industry which is used for export and trade. I lived most of my life on various forestry plantations way out in isolated and remote places where very few other people live.

The forestry industry plants their pine trees in large blocks with each tree being on a grid pattern, since its pine nothing grows beneath them due to the soil becoming acidic, so there is no ground cover or any brush or shrub. Like most remote places, the roads are really just dust without any covering which means mud, rain, and hard baked earth from the sun.

I would take my three small terrier dogs walking each day, leaving the house after lunch and I would usually be out for just over an hour. I walked the same route each time, up along a dirt road between two blocks of almost mature pine trees. At this point on the route the road then curved around one block of trees and came back to meet the road from the house, forming a loop. It's a breathtaking walk with trees on both sides of you. However, the trees fall away on the right of the road half way up and it gives a stunning view of the hills covered in shrubs and bush grass.

I went walking one afternoon as normal and I heard a growl in the bush grass just up from the house. My three dogs fled in terror and whatever was in the bush chased them. I later found out it was a leopard with a cub, so I waited a week then went walking again. Thankfully there was no sign of momma cat and I was careful to avoid her cub zone as I had the dogs and they are a delicacy for leopards.

About half way into the walk, just as the trees on the right cleared away and the view opened up, I started to smell something I have never had before. It had a strong ammonia scent, like cat urine, but it was shocking how powerful the stench seemed to be out in the open like that. The dogs reacted in a strange way, they ran to me and cowered between my ankles whimpering. I know a leopard would have spooked them into running home so I was confused about it being urine.

I stood my ground with the dogs between my legs, you learn early on never to run with wild animals, and I was also armed with a handgun being female and out alone. The smell got stronger and stronger, then it seemed to mix with the smell of wet dog fur. By this time I was terrified, but I did not know why. All I knew was I felt surrounded by something that was making the hair stand up on my body, yet I couldn't see anything. I wanted to run back the way I had come just to get away from whatever was happening there, but I knew if I ran and it turned out to be a big cat I was going to be attacked. So I did something that almost made me mess myself in fright.

I went forward and kept moving very slowly, one step at a time along the road into the smell. Have you ever been so frightened that you can hear blood roaring in your ears? I remember my teeth were literally chattering and the dogs were milling about between my legs with their tails against their bellies. That is not a good sign. The further along the track I got the more I looked around me and saw nothing. It's impossible, but there was nothing to see at all. How could I not see anything in a block of trees planted in straight rows with nothing growing beneath them when I could see straight to the other side of the block along the tree row?

I noticed an old gnarled tree standing alone on the right side of the road where the beautiful view was and although the tree had been there as long as I could remember, I stopped to look it over. About 8 feet up the trunk were fresh rips into the bark, but they were so deep they went into the wood below the bark. Each one looked around 15cm long and were fresh enough to have liquid sap leaking from them. I thought at that point it was probably a big cat and it had stretched up along the trunk to sharpen its nails. But it occurred to me that cats pull downwards and these cuts were at an odd angle.

There were two marks on the left and three on the right of the trunk, at about 30 degree angles. It looked like a person with long nails had reached up and started near the middle of the tree trunk then gouged outwards and down at the same time.

The smell was the strongest by that tree. I kept turning and looking in all directions as I moved forward then finally the smell just stopped. I was a long distance from the tree by then. The dogs were back to running between myself and whatever they were currently examining, everything was just normal again. I got home safe with all three dogs, but I was too frightened to go walking again.

I was 24 at the time. I have not had the courage to tell even my own family about this and only one other person knows the story. He is a skeptic and said it's probably just a wild cat.

A lot of strange things have happened in my life, both in Africa and the UK. Most of them are to do with me seeing lights in the sky at night, especially here in the UK. One other thing that happened on the same African tree plantation was that a UFO was seen the same week as the one that landed in Ruwa where the children at the school spoke to the occupants of an unidentified craft. I am still very confused over that one as we lost track of time when we were travelling to the fire lookout tower to see if we could see it. When we arrived, the lookout at the tower said it was gone and we chatted to the other fire towers along the mountain ridge who were still watching it as it moved south along the country. At least we got an eyewitness account from the man who saw it which was really interesting.

I just don't know what to think about that smell. It was so strong it burned my nose enough to make me want a tissue.

Do you have any thoughts on what it could have been? Have you heard of something like the smell before?” P

NOTE: Since the witness grew up in Zimbabwe, and that they were unfamiliar with the evidence, It's hard for me to offer an identification. I was also thinking big cat, but not sure what to think. Lon

If you wish to comment on this Phantoms & Monsters post, please go to Phantoms & Monsters Post Comments



Because of recent revelations involving the winged humanoids (The Unseen Ones), we are asking the worldwide public to come forward with your sightings & encounters. Contact us at
410-241-5974

Listen to our podcasts at the 'Beyond Explanation' YouTube channel

Have you had a sighting of a winged humanoid or huge bat-like creature in the Chicago, Illinois metro area / Lake Michigan region? The entity has also been referred to as the 'Chicago Mothman', 'Chicago Owlman' & 'O'Hare Mothman.' - Chicago / Lake Michigan Winged Humanoid Regional Interactive Map - Please feel free to contact me at lonstrickler@phantomsandmonsters.com - your anonymity is guaranteed. Our investigative group is conducting a serious examination of his phenomenon. We are merely seeking the truth and wish to determine what eyewitnesses have been encountering. Your cooperation is truly appreciated.

You can call me directly at

410-241-5974

Thanks. Lon Strickler

*****

Please Consider a Donation to 'Phantoms & Monsters'

Your financial support of Phantoms & Monsters and our other pursuits is much appreciated. This all depends on you, the readers & followers.

Please use the PayPal donation buttons on the blog site. You can also go directly to Phantoms & Monsters donation. Thanks again for your loyalty and continued support. Lon

----------