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

Friday, August 05, 2022

Bizarre 'Murder Tale' on the Appalachian Trail

A group of friends are hiking on the Appalachian Trial near the Wilson Creek Shelter area. They later find an abandoned backpack and strangely decorated knives. Led to a murder investigation.

The following account was forwarded to me:

"Us 5 friends left Daleville, Virginia with the intent to do the 10 miles north on the Appalachian Trail to the Wilson Creek Shelter. Myself and another friend were slowly bringing up the rear of our group, and about halfway there we noticed something laying on the side of the trail. We picked it up, and examined it, sort of looking at each other like WTF is this doing here. It was a cutlery kitchen knife, but it was decorated. It had beads and streamers attached to the handle. It seemed like it was fit to replicate some sort of Native American theme. It obviously hadn't been there long, it was clean of debris and dry (it had rained the night before).

We moved on to Wilson Creek Shelter. When we pulled up to the shelter the rest of the crew were there. They all had an unsettled look on their face. The five of us were the only ones at the shelter and as I unshouldered my pack I clearly noticed a lone backpack laying on the front end of the shelter platform. I immediately asked my fellow hikers "who's pack is that?" The answer from everyone was "we don't know." Me and one other hiker had just arrived, but the rest of our crew had been there a couple hours, and there was zero sign of a hiker that belonged to this mysterious backpack.

So, concerned, I began to slowly investigate the pack contents. The first things I pulled out were gallon zips filled with granola bars. There must have been 150 of them. But as I dug a little deeper I started pulling out almost a dozen colorfully decorated kitchen knives. One after the other I plucked them from the abandoned backpack. Common kitchen cutlery knives covered in beads, feathers, and colorful streamers. Also in the pack was a tent, sleeping bag, stove. All the basics, and all pretty much brand new.

The knives really unnerved us all. We started discussing what we should do. It was starting to get dark. Finally we decided to call the Sheriff's department.

Three hours later, around 10pm, we saw a light coming thru the woods. We all became alert. I had a big stick in my hands. Alas, it was two deputies responding to the call. They had hiked in from a road crossing 4 miles north. They were very friendly, thirsty, and their flashlight was dying. I could tell right away the Sheriff had not exactly sent his most experienced men, but then again no one at that point realized that they were dealing with a murderer.

Much relieved we met with the deputies. They began examining the pack. When they discovered the granola bars they began eating them, as they did their police work. Suddenly they pulled a note out of the pack. Us hikers had not discovered the note. The deputies unfolded the note and read it aloud.

I don't remember everything the note said as the deputies read it aloud, but I'll never forget the first few lines; "I am the one who killed his father. You may not know me now, but soon you will all know who I am. My work here (the AT) is done."

It was the most chilling thing I'd ever heard. Everyone went silent. Then the deputies started up some radio chatter with their two-way. They gathered up the contents of the pack. The deputies explained they were sorry, but they had to go, had to hike back out. So they bid us goodbye, and with their dying flashlight they hiked back out.

No one slept that night. I stealth camped in the woods with eyes on the shelter. The next morning, the Sheriff RS and a deputy showed up at the shelter asking questions.

A week later our hiking crew went into Buena Vista, Virginia for resupply. A hiker, not within our group, came up to us in town. He had the regional newspaper. On the front cover was the story I just told to you. A 16-year-old had murdered his father in cold blood, stole his credit cards, bought a bunch of gear, and hit the AT as a means of escape. Police had picked him up a week after we found his pack. We had found his pack just a couple hours after he'd left it behind." KM

NOTE: The Appalachian Trial has a history of bizarre encounters and murders. 

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JASON HEWLETT - 'THE PARANORMAL NETWORK' - INVESTIGATOR, CREATOR, & AUTHOR - Lon Strickler (Host)

Jason Hewlett is a journalist, broadcaster, and podcaster with a degree in filmmaking and film studies. A lifelong interest in the paranormal led him to join Vancouver Paranormal Society in 2017, where he was a lead investigator and society director until 2020, when he and colleague Peter Renn launched the Canadian Paranormal Foundation. He is the writer, director and co-creator of the award-winning paranormal reality series 'We Want to Believe,' and narrator for 'The UFO Show,' both of which are on 'The Paranormal Network.' In 2020, Jason and Peter Renn co-authored the bestselling book 'I Want to Believe: One Man’s Journey into the Paranormal,' which highlights Peter’s career as a paranormal investigator, and in 2021 the follow-up book 'I Want to Believe: An Investigators' Archive.' A third book, 'Dying Light: An Investigation Into Near Death Experiences,' came out in June of this year.

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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.

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