Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

The Strangest thing I Ever Saw

with 7 comments

trapdoor_darlene

No, this picture wasn’t it. I suspected it might be an explanation for what I saw, but I don’t think so now. I digress. I’ve had a handful of experiences in my life for which I have found no really satisfying explanation. A lot of people have had similar, I’ve certainly heard a few stories in my time. And since I find mysteries fascinating, I will share the few I’ve experienced. Partly just for fun, partly to show that mysterious things do happen, and partly in hopes that someone says “I know what you saw!” So far no one has even come close with this one, I’m still baffled and it happened over twenty years ago.

So, 1990 or so, Washington State. A friend and I were camping for the weekend and drove around much of Saturday looking for an open campground. We eventually found a place where we could park the car, and hike down into a canyon with a nice secluded camping area by a stream. While people obviously went there occasionally, there was sort of a path down the hill, there was no one there that weekend. There were a lot of old cans and bottles from the 1930s scattered about, someone had spent a summer or two camped there back then. It really was a sweet spot, but you couldn’t drive to it and it was hard to find. We got lucky.

There was a well trodden game trail along the creek, just fine for humans. A few feet wide, packed earth surface. We were car camping, not backpacking, so we had to make several trips up and down the canyon side to get our stuff to the campsite. It was afternoon in the shade, but full summer, and even in the canyon it was still full daylight. Ahead of me on the path as I’m walking I see something. It was maybe an inch tall or so, and it was solid white. I couldn’t make out its shape, this all happened very quickly.  I saw it on the trail, then it opened a little trapdoor, popped into the hole, and pulled the trapdoor shut. I was surprised, but stared at the spot where it had disappeared as I walked up, and poked around with a stick. I didn’t find anything but solid packed earth. I was puzzled, but didn’t know what else to do. I seem to recall thinking that it must have been a big bug of some sort, but it was pure white, I’d never seen a white bug.

And that’s the story. I recently did some research on trapdoor spiders, and the image above made me wonder if I’d seen one of them, and somehow the white of the trapdoor was the white I had seen, the incident did happen very fast. Alas, from what I can tell, trapdoor spiders aren’t found anywhere above central California. That pretty much rules them out. I’ve never heard of a big white bug that has a trapdoor in the ground, but who knows. Ring a bell with any reader? Is there any sort of bug or animal that fits this bill? I’d love to hear about it.

There is always the possibility that this never happened, or at least not the way I am remembering. Science has shown that memory is a very sketchy thing, and easily modified or induced. Maybe I dreamed this for example, I often have vivid dreams when camping. It seems odd to me now that I didn’t investigate further at the time, it was right outside the camp. On the other hand, I can see myself deciding to leave it be,  since I wouldn’t want to hurt it by scraping around looking for it … whatever it was. We all have false memories, and we all misremember things. Memory is a story we tell ourselves.

Lastly, I suspect it’s experiences like this that have seeded, so to speak, a lot of folklore through the ages. It wouldn’t be too hard to convince myself I had seen a humanoid figure, heck, I’d be lying if I said I was sure it wasn’t. In earlier times when the world was more mysterious, the idea that there were other humanoids living around us wouldn’t be all that odd, why not? And the brain, our wonderful human brain, is a pattern recognizer. The best ever in fact, there’s thinking that this is one of the things that makes us uniquely human. And in many cases, it works too well, and sees patterns that aren’t even there. Jesus on a piece of toast nowadays, back then fairies and elves in the woods. And Gods?

(The image above is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. Credit and copyright: Darlene. I met a perfectly sober fellow once who claimed he had met and talked to a leprechaun for lack of a better word, I’ll post on that some day.)

Written by unitedcats

July 10, 2013 at 7:08 am

7 Responses

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  1. Many times the ranges of certain species are not correct… for instance, water moccasins are not common in NE Kansas, but I’ve seen a few… and the species range says the furthest north the get in North Oklahoma… so I think that there are outliers for almost everything.
    Trapdoor spiders are common here, and the spiders themselves are not white, but the insides of their doors are… and very strong. If it was scurrying to get safe you might have only seen the inside of the trap door before it slammed shut… and it might have been an albino….

    nilky666

    July 10, 2013 at 7:49 am

    • A hard packed path is an unusual location for a trapdoor spider, but yes, it still remains the most likely real world explanation for what I remember seeing. It was like a cartoon though, a little white figure, startled on the usually human free path, popped into a hole and slammed a trapdoor shut. I was tired though, and it was a strange weekend in a strange summer.

      unitedcats

      July 10, 2013 at 10:29 pm

  2. It’s probably all the chemtrails making your memory hazy.

    A.

    July 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm

  3. There actually was a time when modern humans lived with other kinds of intelligent humanoids in prehistory. It’s well established that humans and Neanderthal lived side by side and recent finds show a “dwarf” species in se Asia as well as another possible species in Russia called denisovan man if memory serves. I tend to think myths of elves faeries hobbits etc mostly come from ancient oral histories from a time when there were several kinds of humanoids on thé planet.

    elronsteele

    July 16, 2013 at 7:58 pm

  4. Most likely a Nocturnal Surveillance Arachnid – they have become quite common recently and reports of sightings are increasing – more and more in the light of day.

    The government is apparently aware of the NSA and claims we have nothing the fear as they will be replacing this particular species (due to their problems with insomnia) with the USA – Universal Surveillance Arachnid.

    JO

    July 20, 2013 at 6:06 am

  5. Was it windy that day, maybe an optical illusion due to a small dust devil or some kind of odd sunlight reflection playing tricks on you?

    How far away down the path do you think it was? 10 feet, 50 feet? Maybe it was a spider and you just misjudged the distance where you thought the trap door was, hence the solid ground. It is odd that any insect or animal would put a home in the middle of a game trail.

    Josh V.

    July 21, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    • No, wasn’t a trick of the light or wind, it was a still sunny day. About 10-20 feet, I remember being able to stare at the spot where it disappeared so I could poke at it. I’m currently thinking it was a trick of my mind or my memory. Doesn’t even really fit any folklore I know of, perhaps I should look into Indian stories in the region.

      unitedcats

      July 21, 2013 at 4:38 pm


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