; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Sunday, June 02, 2024

ANOMALOUS LIGHTS Experienced & Reported by Pennsylvania DCNR Ranger

When Butch Witkowski and I began searching for and reporting on the cryptid canine & other phenomenon in Pennsylvania, we were privileged to receive information from several Pennsylvania DCNR Rangers & State Game Commission Wardens. One particular DCNR Ranger has been very helpful in our investigations.

"Hi, Lon. I hope you're doing well. I had this experience over 5 years ago and almost wrote to you back then, but I did not want to jeopardize my career. I know you are honorable and excellent about protecting identities and being professional. With providing for my family at stake I was still nervous about that 1 in a million bad luck beat where someone figures it out and I get hassled.

That said, I am retiring very soon and now feel 100% comfortable with letting this story out. You can use all information given (except preferably not my last name), roads, the forest, or anything else. Feel free to reach out to me with any and all questions. It just feels good to now finally pass this on and I am curious about your thoughts and if this matches the other reports you had in the past." S

Original Letter From Winter of 2019:

"As you know I have a strong interest in all things paranormal, and I enjoyed speaking with you. I always hope to see or experience something unusual and fantastic, but my logical side assumes it will never happen. Even as I write this, I am on patrol in the general area where you received reports of Dogman sightings. Although Dogman is in my thoughts, I wonder if I see anything other than the usual. 

That all being said, I did see something very odd while on patrol in the Quehanna Wild Area about a month ago. I saw strange lights and heard a strange sound emanating from the air when it occurred.  I wouldn’t call the experience overly phenomenal in any way, nothing near like I’m sure what it would be like to directly experience a cryptid or major haunting. If you had not mentioned to me about other people experiencing strange lights in the Quehanna Wild Area then I would have probably told the people I told (my partner, some foresters, my wife, my father, and my cousin who works for the power company) and never thought much more of it except that it was very odd. Since I did know about the other sightings it added a sense of potential supernatural and definite strangeness to the occurrence.

Around 0100HRS on February 5, 2019, I was just on a routine patrol in the Quehanna Wild Area. It is very slow this time of year and there was very little going on.  It is always very quiet up there, but especially now. I was backed up to a gate off of Mohawk Trail facing the major roadway, the Quehanna Highway and basically making a general presence to any public that would pass by, that there is law enforcement out and about watching over the forest (with 200,000 acres presence is one of our primary priorities). As you may know (I believe we discussed this) the Quehanna Wilds Area does not allow any camps at all, no off-road vehicles anywhere, and is generally desolate and the best place in this part of the state for star gazing and being deep in nature. 

At this time I was speaking with my wife on the phone as she was getting ready for bed. As we were talking I happened to glance over my right shoulder and saw what appeared to be numerous, very bright (LED with high beams type of bright) lights a few hundred yards from my location. The lights were low and my first thought was that there were off-road jeeps or UTVs with very bright lights off-roading behind the gate. I was fairly surprised based on everything I stated above and how dead it is where I was this time of year and that late at night. I told my wife that it looked like people were behind the gate and I might have to go. I was just shocked and it didn’t seem right. She was worried about me as always (as I frequently speak with her and have to quickly hang up for traffic stops and whatnot) and I told her I wasn’t planning to approach whatever was happening just yet. I was just very confused.  I wondered if there was a camp or utility building I didn’t know about in that spot and perhaps it had low-hanging floodlights that had been turned on. While I sat there wondering the lights seemed to slowly change, almost so slowly I couldn’t perceive the change and before I knew it the lights were no longer close or bright (5 minutes roughly). After another 5 minutes passed, it appeared that the only light in that direction was a faint very high in the sky, very wide and large coverage orange. Similar to a sunset far off or a city very far off in the distance. There was no logical explanation for this larger orangish light either as there is nothing close enough to cause this and that area is usually very dark just like the rest of the area 360 degrees around. 

I called my wife back and told her that the light was different and perhaps I was seeing things wrong and the light never was that close or bright. I couldn’t get it off my mind, it all seemed super unusual. I kept telling my wife there should be NOTHING in this area that would cause ANY kind of lights close or far and it just seemed weird. We talked a little more about my baby daughter and other things and about 10 minutes passed. I kept looking back occasionally throughout this time, and after about 10 minutes the bright lights were back. I was very shocked and confused at this point. Part of me as a law enforcement officer wanted to simply walk the few hundred yards and investigate directly, but I also felt weird about it as well (I’m not sure at this point if I was thinking about what you had told me about strange lights, but I honestly was thinking a little bit about UFOs and the like). I hopped over to my passenger side seat and rolled down the window just to see if I could hear any noise (I believe I did this the first time as well, but I can’t recall for sure and if I did I didn’t hear anything at that point) and I heard a faint noise in the air. It was similar to the sound a power line makes when it hums, but very different as well, it was like a bank alarm type of noise. It sounded like a faint 'ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding.' It just kept going over and over. 

At this point, I told my wife that I would let her go and that I wanted to call my dad. It was too late to call him normally and I rarely wake him up for anything, but I felt this was extremely strange and I wanted any answers I could get. The reason I called my dad is because he worked for our maintenance division, specifically this area's maintenance division for 2 years between 2016 and 2018. My dad is similar to myself. He is fairly no-nonsense, a very hard-working man, religious, and tries to live his life the right way in all ways. I have a lot of respect for him and his opinions. Once I got past the initial few minutes of him being woken up, me explaining how odd the reason I woke him up was, and my EXACT location we discussed possible plausible explanations. My dad wondered if the noise and lights could be caused by a faulty power line issue. I agreed the thought had crossed my mind, but there were no lines other than the ones that run the exact route of the Quehanna Highway and the power line that sits about 4 miles back in somewhat the direction of the lights. No lines ran between the 2 points. I asked my dad if there was any camp, building, cell phone tower, or anything that would be in the direction I was seeing the lights and he said that there was not, which was what I thought. As I was speaking with my dad the lights very slowly faded away again, and then slowly returned close and bright. At this point, I started to leave the area and head back to my office and I ended the conversation with my dad. 

At this point, I thought maybe I had experienced something paranormal, but as strange as it was I assumed it was more than likely some kind of power line issue or something else. I determined to do 3 things. Talk with a few co-workers and my partner about logical explanations, talk with my cousin D who has worked with the local power company (although not this area's power company) about plausible explanations, and drive up again soon and see if it was pitched black like it should be or if it was bright again, in which case I would think the brightness was caused by something more permanent happening regularly. 

My partner and the few co-workers I have mentioned this to have thought it sounded very strange and that there should be no major lights in the area at all. I have worked with my partner for 8 years, we own rentals together and are very close. He knows about my thoughts on the paranormal and about Dogman and you as well. He usually picks on me about all of it but has a little belief in these things, particularly Bigfoot. My partner would be the first one to tell me I was an idiot and there had to be a logical explanation, and he told me that he thought what I saw was very odd and didn’t understand what it could be. To me, that was his admission that it wasn’t overly crazy to think it may have been something abnormal.

I also spoke with my cousin D over the following days after the occurrence. D told me that a power line would never make a ding-ding-ding noise like what I experienced. He also said although it's possible in theory that a line malfunction could continuously travel back and forth on a line, thus describing the bright close light and farther faded light and the continuous nature of the light at somewhat equal times, there would have to actually be a line traveling between the Quehanna Highway and the power line 4 miles away, and there is not. D is similar to my partner (minus the insults) where he will lean heavily toward a rational explanation, and we ended the conversation with him basically saying to his knowledge none of what I experienced was power line related and that it was very abnormal.

Lastly, I made it up to the area again around February 24, 2019.  As it should be the area was equally dark 360 degrees around. I sat there for a few hours and saw no lights of any kind. 

I have tried to handle this in a completely rational and investigatory manner. Any other way to look at the situation, any hope or subjective leaning toward the supernatural cheapens and ruins the evidence of the event and I feel strongly that in this case and anything that may happen to me in the future I will approach from the most objective and skeptical standpoint possible as to provide the most credibility to the situation as I can. I still feel like at some point I will hear that there was this or that as a rational explanation. A gas line that burst or something, anything, but as of right now I am left with the fact that I saw very odd lights that behaved very oddly, as well as hearing a strange sound, and any attempts to rationally explain any of it have led to nothing.

I’m curious if the reports that you have received about strange lights are similar to this. When we talked you had said basically it was just reports of strange lights which was “well strange lights, whatever that may be” and we didn’t get into a lot of detail. To me, it didn’t mean a whole lot at the time and I never thought it would mean anything. I was much more interested in the Dogman portion of our conversation and cryptids have always been one of my favorite aspects of the paranormal for some reason. Perhaps because they may be flesh and blood animals and I being a rural western Pennsylvania person am drawn to wildlife more than I would be in an alien or haunting situation. Be that as it may, strange lights are what I have seen and so that is what I report to you now. 

I’m not sure how interested in this you are, but as I said, I love this kind of stuff, and I felt it wouldn’t be right not to tell someone. I have a rare experience being out in these woods late at night many nights a week and anything I experience I want to pass on to someone that I know cares deeply about the topic and can at least document what happened and keep it recorded to compare with past and future accounts. I’m here if you have any follow-up questions." S

NOTE: As I have stated before, State Forestry and Game Commission employees have seen and reported various anomalous incidents over the years. But they are restrained from reporting any of these sightings & encounters to their superiors because of official policy that they must adhere to.

Nearly 50,000 acres, the Quehanna Wild Area covers parts of Cameron, Clearfield, and Elk counties. This protected wildlife area has been named an Important Bird Area by the Pennsylvania Audubon Society and is home to several species of birds and other animals including elk, deer, and coyotes. Hiking and biking are popular activities on the Quehanna Trail System, a 75-mile hiking trail looping through Moshannon and Elk State Forests along with two connector trails offering an additional 30 miles of trails. Lon




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

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Have you had a sighting or encounter?
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