; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Monday, December 04, 2023

'DEAD ZONE' - True Experience From Appalachia Ohio

A long-time reader forwarded this response to a prior post on Phantoms & Monsters about the Devil's Tramping Ground and another eyewitness' bizarre experience.

The following events took place in Appalachia Ohio. The reader wishes to remain anonymous.

"My Dad and his mother sold their souls to save the lives of their family members during the worst days of The Great Depression. Their neighbor across the road in that coal town was outside watching his younger siblings. He saw Dad's mother in her garden hoeing around seedlings. That bit of information will be important later. The neighbor was then a young man old enough to take an adult job. There was one job opportunity and many men were applying for it. Dad put in a good word for this man, they being about the same age and even gave him the newly ironed shirt off his back to wear to the interview where he got that job. That happened that morning. In the evening everyone was feeling good in that town because this man's pay would keep many of them alive. Everyone shared and Dad's family was known for sharing even though it hurt them.

Then, different people in the town, along with Dad's neighbor, witnessed a huge fireball coming across the sky. It made a maneuvered turn to head towards Dad's house. This man and his siblings looked at each other and started to run to help though it looked like no one could survive what was headed for them over there. They found that their legs would not move and even using all their strength and their upper body strength they could not free their legs to make them move. They woke up the next morning not knowing how they got into the right beds or even in the right bedclothes. Not only were their parents unresponsive to their talking about this incident to get their help to go help dad's family, but their parents froze in place, not breathing or speaking. Seeing as that particular topic always caused them to do that they stopped doing it, making up their minds to go over there themselves. Across the road, they went and onto the property, down a lane a bit, and in full view were all members of the family aside from Dad and his mother, all lined up looking scared to death but nonetheless undamaged.

A short distance from the house was a circular area that was smoking heavily. The law in coal country was that everyone pitched in to put out any fire because all the houses were sitting on top of coal that lay on the surface. If it got into a coal field to any depth it might not stop burning, ever. So, loss of homes, loss of jobs, loss of all they held dear. Dad came walking towards them with a shotgun in his hands. His mother wasn't far behind and was also carrying a shotgun. Dad told them to leave the property and never come back. He didn't seem himself and those two families had been like kin to each other for a very long time. Dad showed them that his gun was loaded as did his mother and they walked them off the property at gunpoint.

From that day on he and his mother were never the same people again. I saw her just days before her death and saw something come out of her eyes. She became a very kind cheerful person which was everything I knew she had never been to me. Her eyes were different. She asked if she was in heaven and I said no so she asked who we were. Dad and I were the only people there. I told her I was her granddaughter and he was her son. She stammered and said that couldn't be. Then, she wanted to know how she got there since she was just in her garden hoeing around seedlings! Remember that before the fireball came down the neighbor had seen her in her garden hoeing around seedings. She looked at her hands and began shrieking really loudly. She asked how her hands could be so old and wrinkled and was sobbing. Dad got a mean look on his face and told her to remember that she'd agreed to a deal and she must stand by it or else. She died when she was 92.

It was after her death that the family along with my aunt, uncle, and cousin went down to the old home place they'd grown up on, to get some of grandma's flowers from her rock garden. The house was long gone and trees and plants were growing all over the place. The forest was reclaiming the property. That's why we found it very odd that a perfectly circular area, that Dad stood sobbing over was quite peculiar. Nothing was growing there at all. No birds flew over it, no bugs were seen there or any other living thing. In fact that entire area was devoid of birds, they were making wide berths around it. The rock garden some distance away was blooming and growing just fine. As well there were woods, plants, and flowers nearby that were also doing quite well. No other area was devoid of life except that circular area.

My brother dragged me over there so I could help him figure out why Dad was sobbing while looking at that spot and why nothing was living there. Standing there on the rim of that circular area I said under my breath in great frustration, "What In God's name is he looking at?" That's when something very strange happened. The ground over that circle eased off of it back to the edge of the circle like the reverse of water pooling on a floor. I saw this saucer-shaped craft and then it opened up like those medical books with the transparent pages showing the nervous system on the top, the circulatory one on the one beneath that, and the organs on the one at the bottom. I was looking into this craft and saw a living being working what looked like controls. It was seated at first moving its hands over these lighted different color lights with the palms of its hands. I thought that person was awfully skinny and bald. Then it got up from the seat and turned around so much that I could see its face. It didn't see me but I could clearly see it! I gasped and at the same time felt like I was falling down into that thing which was a distance down there and fearing that I grabbed my brother's legs on the way down and held on for dear life.

He asked what was going on and if I was okay. I said, "Did you not see that?" He asked, "See what?" Then he whispered loudly that Dad was watching us and to get up. He helped me up and said to play it cool. I looked up to see Dad's face and thought he would kill me if I told him what I'd seen. He'd kill me before I could get it out and I knew it. He came over to us so fast it shocked us both. Then, he demanded to know what I'd seen in a tone of voice that meant that he knew what I'd seen. I asked what he meant to give myself more time to come up with something. He said, "You know what!" I stammered a bit and said I thought I saw a spider or snake move down there. Of course, he knew why nothing was growing there already so it wasn't a good thing for me to say, in hindsight. When he ordered us to get down there and find that thing I told him I'd rather not because it could be poisonous. He said my brother would dig while I showed him what place to look. So, we both got down and my brother whispered close to me to know what we were looking for seeing as there was nothing alive in that area. I got his meaning and said well, I thought I saw something move. He said, "Nooo! What did you really see?" I told him to shut up and just help me look if he wanted to survive. He said I was going to tell him later though I told him the same story I'd told Dad. Better that no one else knew what I knew because they'd probably not believe it.

Not finding what Dad ordered us to find he wanted an explanation and so I said it must've been dead leaves moving that made it look like a snake's skin as they are colored just like dead leaves many times. He asked if I was sure that's what I saw and I said it had to have been because I had nothing else. He glared at me right in the eyes and said that had better be all I saw. He held that glare and finally told us to leave the area completely and go over by the path. We weren't allowed to talk to each other which was fine by me. My brother was digging around something that looked like stainless steel over by that tree and Dad asked him what he was doing. He said it could be something good but Dad covered it back up with an old piece of tin and ordered him to leave it alone or else.

We watched Dad for some time until someone got his attention on them and I went over to see what my brother wanted. He said we had to get that thing he'd been digging at because it looked like one of those new stainless steel bowls that had been on the TV commercial and they were expensive. He said if Dad caught me digging at it I could talk my way out of it. I was good at that. I went over and saw that it looked like one of those things so I dug the woods dirt away from it quickly and pulled. It was stuck fast and solidly. Dad spotted me and asked what I was doing. So, I gave him the story of the expensive bowl just on the market and how this one was just lying around in the woods looking like nothing was wrong with it. Anytime we could appeal to his sense of greed he took it hook, line, and sinker. He told me to pull it out and I said it wouldn't budge. So, he told me to stick my hands underneath it to see what was holding it down. I felt the air being sucked into some tubes at the bottom of this bowl! I asked why it would be doing that and he said it could be a still but I didn't know what that meant. He uncovered a great length of pipe leading from it and it made a turn back towards that circular area where nothing was growing. My brother said so openly and loudly. Dad jumped up and started thinking out loud that we'd know what he was, what was he thinking and if we knew what he was we'd hurt him. We all did an about-face and acted like we hadn't been hearing what he was saying. He was always a violent person who said there were no live witnesses. He yelled at all of us to forget what we just saw. My brother laughed and asked if that meant to forget what we'd just heard him say too. I could've hit him for asking that but still, I couldn't blame him since what he'd said was very telling in some ways. Dad told us all to forget what they'd heard too and if they didn't he could make us forget. So, that was that. It happened in the early 1970s.

So, that's the explanation for an area where life should be no different than anything else near it, but for some reason, nothing was alive in that circle. I remember the old UFO reports of them sitting down in farmer's fields and where they touched the ground nothing would grow even when the soil was dug up and replaced. They usually left triangular marks where the feet of the craft touched the ground. I have seen another place in another wood where there was a non-working craft and there were living things where it was. Nearby that area is a long stretch of ground, also in the same woods where nothing grows. Nothing has ever grown there and it's been decades. Dad used to do some strange things back there too.

I know that farmers in our area planted their fields as usual and they discovered that even though they planted the field the same way they always had that particular area where the craft sat down, did not grow anything. Even weeds didn't grow in those places. I'd read where they dug down a good six feet, took that soil away, and replaced it with good healthy dirt, and still, nothing would grow there."

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Have you had a sighting or encounter?
Contact me by email or call the hotline at 410-241-5974
Thanks. Lon




Welcome to Phantoms & Monsters Radio. In this episode, I welcome my friend & colleague Tobias Wayland to the show. We will be discussing the newly reported Chicago/Lake Michigan Mothman & winged humanoid sightings as well as any updates to previous reports.

Tobias Wayland is a Fortean investigator who has been investigating the unusual for over a decade. The first several years of his investigative career were spent as a MUFON field investigator and following that he investigated independently before becoming the head writer and editor for The Singular Fortean Society. Tobias is a frequent guest on various podcasts and radio shows, has written several books and contributed articles to periodicals on the paranormal, has appeared on television and in documentaries, and is often invited to speak at paranormal conferences and events. Tobias & Emily Wayland are members of Phantoms & Monsters Fortean Research.
He was featured in the series premiere of Expedition X, and the Small Town Monsters documentaries Terror in the Skies and On the Trail of the Lake Michigan Mothman for his work investigating Mothman sightings around Lake Michigan. He and his wife Emily have been involved with the Lake Michigan Mothman investigation since its advent in the spring of 2017, and published a book chronicling the experience, The Lake Michigan Mothman: High Strangeness in the Midwest. His second and third books about unusual phenomena, Strange Tales of the Impossible and The Singular Fortean Society’s Yuletide Guide to High Strangeness, continue their work in investigating a variety of seemingly impossible events.

In the Singular Fortean Society’s Yuletide Guide to High Strangeness. Tobias and Emily Wayland take you on a journey into the darkest part of the year. Winter has always been a time of magic, monsters, and legendary figures; their stories are told and retold across generations. But what if there was something more? Some authentic human experiences that inspired these stories, so often told around fires built as much to drive back the shadows as to provide warmth.
In this book, the Waylands compare Christmas legends to modern anomalous phenomena to see what similarities exist. From Sheepsquatch to Santa Claus, The Singular Fortean Society's Yuletide Guide to High Strangeness covers a wide variety of reported sightings that might represent a startling truth behind our stories.







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Have you had a sighting or encounter?
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Thanks. Lon

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