A teen and his family were deer hunting in the mountains of northcentral Pennsylvania. The witness was in a bog area when he observed a man dressed as a 16th-century conquistador!
I recently came across the following account:
"Back in the early 1990s, during my early teens, my clan had headed into the northcentral mountains of Pennsylvania for the annual buck season. Most of us had never hunted in this area, but my Dad and his brother, my Uncle, had hunted here many years before, just one time. We had decided the night before opening day that we would hunt a remote area that required a hike of about 2.5 miles back an old logging trail. Using topo maps everyone had decided where they would go once we reached the end of the trail.
My Uncle and his son were headed up into a saddle slightly to the right and ahead of the trail end while my other Uncle and his two sons would spread out below the ridge on the right. My Dad was headed to the left of the saddle and my younger brother was headed to the left of the trail into a shallow hollow. I had chosen to head for a bog between my brother and Dad. When I had chosen that area the night before, I had noticed a glance between my Dad and Uncle and I promised them that I would only skirt the edge. I knew better than to wander into a northern bog. Even a small bog like this one (approximately 80 yards by 100 yards) was dangerous.
We headed out after a hearty breakfast and hit the end of the logging road about half an hour or so before dawn. As we wished each other luck and split up, my dad looked at me sternly and said, "Be careful in there boy." I assured him that I would and headed for the bog.
It was a dreary, misty morning with temps hovering just above freezing. The ground was wet so moving through the forest was especially quiet. I figured I would angle in and hit the bog's edge at about midpoint, and then still hunt the edge until I hit the midpoint on the other side. On the way in, as the woods slowly lit up with an overcast dawn, I slipped past a pair of squirrels, heard a woodpecker up on the ridge, and spotted a few chickadees. A blue jay spotted me however and sounded the alarm which really upset me. It was a typical morning in the woods.
As I approached the edge of the bog, nature called, or more accurately, the heavy breakfast called. Reluctantly but hurriedly, I dug a small hole at the base of a huge hemlock, dropped the drawer, and proceeded to fertilize the tree. As I squatted there, I realized that something had changed. Not only had the blue jay disappeared, but it seemed like everything else had too. There wasn't a sound anywhere AND I had the unshakable feeling that I was being watched.
In my rather exposed and vulnerable condition, I tried to make myself smaller while at the same time scanning the woods around me and straining to hear the slightest rustle or twig snap. I fully expected to see one of two things - either a deer standing behind me or my brother or Dad slipping between the trees trying to pull a practical joke on me. There was no one to be seen or heard. Nothing.
All of my focus had been behind me and to either side, not ahead into the bog - no one in their right mind would be in there - but as I shifted my position slightly, I glanced straight into that desolate-looking bog. There, next to a dead-fall approximately 30 to 35 yards out in the bog and staring right at me, was what appeared to be the torso and head of a man. The rest was hidden behind brush and downed trees between him and me. That alone would have been weird enough. What really shook me was his garb. He had a metal breastplate and what looked like a 16th-century conquistador helmet on his head!
My first thought was, "OK. You're hallucinating. Your eyes are playing tricks on you." I shifted position again and quickly finished my business, filled the hole with dirt, and stepped behind the tree. The whole time that 'being watched' feeling never left but I avoided looking back into the bog. As I settled myself down, I began to work my way along the bog's edge but slightly faster than I normally still hunt. The woods remained eerily still and that feeling just wouldn't go away.
After I had gone about 30 yards, I ventured another look into the bog. As I scanned through it, I slowly looked back toward where I had thought I'd seen the, uh, man. I easily picked out the dead-fall and sure enough, there slightly to the left of it was the conquistador again. But he had shifted and was still staring right at me! This time I had the presence of mind to use my rifle scope to get a better look. When the optics rested on where he should have been, there was nothing but a small dead bush back at the end of the dead-fall. When I lowered the scope, there he was and the bush was obscured.
The hair on the back of my neck stood up and my hands went all clammy on me. I freaked. I made a beeline for the far end of the bog. There, just off the edge was a small rise which I crested. It gave me a good view down into the dead-standing and fallen trees that littered the bog. I shifted around until I could pick out the dead-fall again. There beside it was the 'man' and now I could see that he was holding something long in his hand but I couldn't make out the details. He was still staring directly at me having shifted yet again. At that moment a small break in the clouds allowed the sun to shine through for a brief moment and as it hit the area of the dead-fall, it glinted brightly off of the metal breastplate and the helmet. And then it was gone. It just vanished. The clouds closed up again but he was nowhere to be seen.
I left the bog and headed up the mountain to find my Dad. He wasn't really happy with me showing up so early but when I told him what had happened, he stared me in the eyes for a few seconds, then said, "Bogs can be strange places boy." He never mentioned it again but I have no doubt that the reason he and my Uncle had not come back here in so long was because of that bog. I retold the story to the rest of the group later that night at the old hotel in which we were staying. No one laughed. The next day and for the rest of the trip, we hunted a different area. We never went back there." A
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