Strange title I know. Your probably even wondering why my picture I set as the feature image is…well…not so pretty? This is a story I’ve held to myself for sometime. I’m not exactly the fanciful guy that spouts off strange things. Anyone that spends anytime far away from humans knows that sometimes weird, unexplainable stuff occurs. This is one of those stories.
One late night in Montana in the fall of 2016, I was driving on Interstate 15. The night sky was very clear and the air was extremely crisp but very cold. I was near the Clark Canyon Reservoir Park and an area I know to be called Grasshopper and Grasshopper Valley. I had pulled over on an off ramp to get out and stretch before making my next stretch to Idaho Falls where I’d get gas and continue on to Utah. I’d continued down very dark tinny roadway for about half a mile before stopping.
While I was putting my boots back on and dreading jumping out of my toasty truck I began looking out the window. It was amazingly clear once my eyes adjusted. The moon and stars lit up the sky like it was daytime. I was amazed at how far I could see and how clear it was. I rolled down my window to test the temperature and quickly shot it back up. Alas, I felt brave and jumped out with no jacket. It hadn’t snowed yet or at least none had stuck in this area from what I can remember. I remember looking out over the cascading hills and seeing a few head of black cattle milling about chewing their cud.
I stepped away from my truck a couple of yards and enjoyed the moonlight even as I casted off a shiver. As I unzipped my pants to take care of a full bladder I felt something. I stopped what I was doing but couldn’t tell what I was sensing. I looked side to side, out at the cows, behind me…but I couldn’t get a sense of what I was feeling. I stopped and took a deep breath, almost shutting my eyes, while I let my hearing do the seeing for me. With shallow breaths and mostly closed eye lids I listened. I heard the cows, I heard other common sounds of nature but I still felt like something else was there. Normally, this is where you’d get your neck hairs standing up but I felt completely at peace. There wasn’t a bear, wolves, or mountain lion out there to be on guard with, it was something else.
Just as I began “peeing” I got the great idea to look up. As humans we tend to not look up. We look at our feet, waist level, and occasionally eye level but primarily our gaze goes down unless you train yourself to look up. Well, I looked up. Nothing but amazingly clear skies with picturesque stars dotting a huge canvas. I knew I was missing something. As I finished up my business my gaze continued to the stars but I could find nothing.
I began walking down the roadway, crossed a fence, and walked up to the top of a hill (yes mom, I did not have my jacket on). I could see more cattle and many of them appeared to be looking right at me. I still had this ominous feeling I wasn’t alone.
I listened as the frozen grass underneath my feet crunched with each step I took. I hadn’t caught myself but I was looking down as I walked, mostly to protect myself from falling probably. That is when I knew saw it. Down below me was a huge shadow, cruising the down the hill-side and out of view. My mind was playing tricks on me because I sat there telling myself the shadow had the distinct shape of a manta ray. It even had a shadow of a trailing whip like tail that was clear in the shadow.
I searched the sky but saw nothing but stars. Straining my eyes deeper into the dark spaces of the canvas but saw nothing but twinkling stars and the big bright moon. Disappointed, I peered back at the ground and moved forward a few steps. Two things happened almost simultaneously and to be honest I’d be lying if I could tell you which one occurred first. I just have to choose one to go first.
As I looked at my boots and the ground as I walked I felt engulfed in a dark shadow that was at least large as my truck. It glided right passed me and continued on my path if I hadn’t stopped dead in my tracks. While looking up, I noticed two head of cattle that were in front of me about 100 yards look straight up in the sky as the shadow engulfed them and past right through them. I found myself looking up at that point but seeing nothing in the sky.
The cattle had returned to munching grass or at least having their heads down like they had seen nothing at all and intended to never speak of it again. I was left standing there knowing I had seen another large manta ray shaped shadow. I knew those cows had seen it also. There was no planes that could be seen with the naked eye. I was positive it was something air-borne by the straight line it appeared to be gliding. I was even more convinced of the manta ray shape I had seen. Of course being the “plausible explanation” guy I thought of the Air Forces F117 and the B2 Bomber that are very manta ray shape. The B2 Stealth Bomber could have been high enough for me to have not seen it with my naked eye but maybe it caught the lighting right to cast a shadow? I had to really stifle the feeling that what I saw in that shadow felt much more organic than a multi million dollar war machine.
The story doesn’t stop there. I have returned to that spot numerous times, as it lies directly in my path from Montana to Arizona. I’ve stopped there in almost every type of weather but never been able to see anything like I saw that night (except I’m positive those cattle intentionally don’t look at me now because of the moment we shared). I’ve never been back on top of that hill I had walked out too though, until recently.
In July of this year (2017) I had stopped there in the middle of the day. I had ventured out to what I thought was close to where I had been standing when I saw the shadows. I had never noticed three, eerily similar looking large rocks amongst the shrubbery and grass. Their placement felt very odd and in a very purposeful triangle pattern. As I approached the rocks I found a pair of light blue pants, light faded red tee-shirt, and socks laying flat as a board as if someone had been wearing them and then disappeared. I immediately thought of the rapture in the book of Revelations. These clothes looked like whoever had worn them, disappeared from within them. They also had the look of what frozen laundry looks if left outside on a clothes line but all attached as if they were a single unit of clothing. Mind you it was closer to the mid 90s at this moment so they were not frozen. They felt normal to the touch. There was no conceivable reason that I could think of why these clothes were resting like this and in this location.
Of course, I roamed around the rocks and got on top of them and nothing strange happened to me and I didn’t sense any other strange phenomenon. Alas, the story isn’t over.
As I exited the pasture, back onto the roadway, in the direction of my truck. I came across a transient man walking up the roadway and apparently from the pasture and back country opposite of where I had been. I exchanged some pleasantries with the toothless man but kept my distance mostly because he was about a month over due for a bathing session. The man appeared intoxicated but I couldn’t smell alcohol in that mix surrounding him.
The man was talking, but honestly I was really lucky to understand every third word. From what I gathered, the man was telling me to stay away from the rocks. After some finger-pointing and grunting I feel confident he was talking about my three rocks. The man told me a story about a small girl, around five years old, who had wandered between those rocks. I was expecting some strange story but what he said was quite profound. A girl had gone missing and everyone was out looking for her. She had disappeared. When they gave up the search and everyone was headed to their homes an old woman heard a small girl crying. After making it out to the rocks she found the young girl sitting directly in the center of the rocks. She was seated, cross-legged, rocking back and forth crying for her mother in the direct center of the three rocks. The girl had no recollection of how she got there and several men swore they had checked this area in their search.
Honestly, that was all the man had to say other than to ask some question about the Yankees and I think gummy bears but I’m not sure. I asked him when this occurred and he shrugged as he turned to continue down the road.
I’ve done searches and found no record of any such reporting. That doesn’t mean it didn’t occur by all means but could I take the word of this man as truth? Of course not but it does make for a strange twist in what I had observed close by doesn’t it!
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