What's the Weirdest Thing You Have Ever Seen?

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1st Lieutenant
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
My thread on "Buying the Farm" seemed to be pretty popular so here is another.

I have had a few strange things happen in my life, the most common being somehow knowing things I had no reason to know, but the weirdest thing occurred one spring/summer Saturday evening in 1975.

A friend of mine and I were building a concrete block structure in the middle of a wheatfield about 60 miles north of Oklahoma City. My friend is a serious rocket motor enthusiast, and needed a suitable spot to conduct static test firings. His hobby proved to be very useful for him; he just retired after a long career designing rocket motors for the USN.

We had worked on the test facility until it was too dark to do any more, climbed into his old Ford Econoline Van, had headed home. I can't believe we rode around in that thing. Only the driver had a seatbelt because only the driver had a seat. I guess we were really tough hombres, or at least our butts were.

The salient characteristic of that van, aside from being incredibly uncomfortable by post-Buckboard standards, was its excellent view forward and down. It had no hood in the way to interfere with your vision. We headed down the two miles or so of dirt road that led to the paved highway that ran through a small town about 5 miles to the southwest that had great milkshakes and from there down to connections to I-35 and I-40.

As we drove down the dirt road I noticed something in the glare of the headlights, just over to the right of our track. It looked like a crab, an ordinary crab like you might see at the seashore. It was about the size of your hand.

I thought about that. I've never done an Internet search for "Prairie Crabs of Oklahoma" but I doubt there would be much point. There was no sizeable body of water anywhere around, other than a farmer's pond about a mile or so away to the northwest. I decided that I must have seen something else.

Then my friend, Jim, said, "Did you see that? It looked like a crab!" Okay, so he saw it too. We had a discussion about possible sources of crabs, mostly involving people taking a trip to the seashore (500 plus miles away), bringing back a crab, and then throwing it out the window. This seemed most unlikely and Jim suggested we go back and look for it. I replied that if it really was a crab I'd have trouble sleeping that night.

We got to the paved road and turned Right. We had not gone very far down it when *Something* across the road in from of us, from Right to Left. It looked like a "blob", as in a formless shape that was still nonetheless running briskly across the road.

Once again, I decided that I must have not seen what I had seen. But Jim spoke up again. "Did you see that? It looked like a blob!" He then went on to aptly describe it as looking like a washcloth running. Imagine taking a whiteish washcloth and making it run, using on its edges as legs.

Jim said, "We are going back to find that one!" We turned around and headed back up the highway. We saw nothing in that area but a raccoon standing by the side of the road. Admittedly, that animal looked a bit confused; if I had taken a picture of that raccoon, a good caption might have been, "Hey! Did y'all see that blob that ran across the road just now?"

On the way home to our respective apartments we discussed what we had seen and came to no conclusions. We never saw anything similar in our many subsequent visits to that area. The only other thing that was the least bit strange that occurred was the time we fired a rocket motor and stampeded a herd of cattle. Well, there was also that liquid rocket engine we fired and had go up in ball of fire. Maybe we scared off all the crabs and blobs in the area.

The oddest thing about this experience is the lack of context. If we had seen Bigfoot, a pack of little gray aliens with a flying saucer, or a ghostly Indian war party, there would be a paranomal context that would fit into. Crabs and blobs don't fit anything I can think of.
Helping a friend put concrete into a basement, and mixing a fresh batch in his back yard, I saw the 'quake wave pass under the back lawn. It looked for all the world like someone took the edge of the back lawn, like a carpet-edge, and gave it a shake as if to rustle up crumbs from chips. I literally saw the wave pass through the topsoil, like shaking out a blanket.

Creeeepy. Coalinga, 1983, I was in Paso Robles.
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Helping a friend put concrete into a basement, and mixing a fresh batch in his back yard, I saw the 'quake wave pass under the back lawn. It looked for all the world like someone took the edge of the back lawn, like a carpet-edge, and gave it a shake as if to rustle up crumbs from chips. I literally saw the wave pass through the topsoil, like shaking out a blanket.

Creeeepy. Coalinga, 1983, I was in Paso Robles.
Back in the late 80's, I saw the Newport Quake (SoCal) coming at our office while I was on the phone. It looked like an animated speed bump until it reached the building and the place jumped and then shook.

Not the weirdest thing I've ever seen, but it was actually fascinating.
It looked like an animated speed bump until it reached the building and the place jumped and then shook.
That describes a quake that hit when I was in El Segundo in the early 80's. I heard this rumble, sounding like someone pushing a heavy cart down the hallway, getting closer and closer and then - JUMP! - just like a wave going by in the water. The one that hit while I was at Stanford Research Institute in 1989 was very different. We were on the 5th floor and everyone looked around, said "What's That?" and realized it was an earthquake. Normally at that point it stops. But in that quake then it got Much Worse! And standing in a doorway does not work when you only have two doorways in the room and 15 people. And you needed to grab something to keep on your feet.

The odd thing was when I first got to California, I usually would sleep soundly all night, but the night before an earthquake I would suddenly wake up in the middle of the night for no obvious reason.
I was born and raised in Orange County and weathered quite a few quakes, some really serious ones.

Most of us natives don't pay attention to any that are 5.0 or less, we just stop for a moment and then go about our business (or in my case slept through many).

On the morning of the Whittier quake, I had just woke up from a long night of shenanigans and debauchery and headed to the bathroom.
Just as I lifted the lid to the commode, I heard what sounded like a very large truck approaching and all of a sudden, the place jolted hard and started swaying, so I grabbed hold of the sink and held on for what seemed like forever.

*if* the quake had hit 30 seconds later, it would have created a situation - timing is everything! :lol:
I had thought that being East of the San Andreas Fault would be better, but an old friend of mine lived in Ridgecrest until last year., Turns out that place was the Earthquake Capital of the US, if not the world. Quakes are almost daily occurrence. When that big one hit out there a few years ago he was at his alternate home in the SF Valley and returned to Ridgecrest to find his house relatively unscathed, a few things turned over inside, and a stacked pile of books on the other side of the room, still stacked, but in reverse order; apparently that was common to see.
I was in the 1965 earthquake in Seattle. I had just hired in to Boeing and was working on the bottom floor of a two story building. Suddenly the building started shaking pretty strongly. Being from Kansas, I was familiar with tornadoes, not earthquakes. So I looked around and everyone was getting under their desk, so I did also. Then the shaking stopped, and everybody leapt up and made a beeline to the exit door to the outside. The eerie part was standing on the strip of lawn outside and it being like standing on jello. That's what really sticks in my memory. That, and the fact that we got the rest of the day off while the building was checked for damage.
This perhaps isn't weird, but certainly very strange, and I've been hesitant in posting this account, for reasons which should be apparent after reading the following.

During the last week of January and first week of February, 1995, my then wife (now ex-wife!) and myself were on a skiing holiday in the French alps, staying in Morzine, in the Portes des Soleil, where we'd skied before, and holidayed in summer, and knew the area quite well..
During our second week there, we decided to take some different ski routes in this vast area, and took the telecabine up the mountain towards Avoriaz.
Although the weather was fairly good, and the snow fantastic for skiing, there was a slight haze, and some very light snow falling when we arrived at the first stage in this area.
We had about two hundred meters of relatively flat piste to cross to reach the chair lifts which would take us further up the mountain, and apart from ourselves, and another couple fairly close behind us (who we didn't know), the piste was empty, although we could see people ahead boarding the chair lifts.
We were poling along smoothly, with a sparse tree line off to our left, maybe 25 or 30 meters away at most, and just slightly lower than the piste, with the haze, or maybe thin, low cloud, hovering over the trees.
As we passed this tree line, both my wife and myself saw a line of monks, maybe ten or twelve of them, in single file, walking in the opposite direction, between the trees They were dressed in the "traditional" brown habit, with the hood, or cowl, over their heads, and had their hands together as if in prayer, although we couldn't hear any sound from their direction. They seemed to be at a slightly lower level than us, with their lower legs not visible, and we presumed that either there was a sunken path, or they were on a slight reverse slope, hidden by the snow.
We watched them as we passed by, and they turned to their right, away from us, and seemed to be descending a slope, finally disappearing from view in the haze.
We arrived at the chair lift, with the other couple, who asked us if we'd seen the monks, and wasn't it strange, them being out on the mountain dressed just in their habits? We agreed, but thought nothing more about it, got on the chair lift, and proceeded to have a great day skiing.
Back at our hotel later that evening, we were in the bar before dinner, and Benoit, the hotel owner, asked us if we'd had a good day, to which, of course, we replied "Yes".
It was then I remembered the monks, and asked Benoit if there was a monastery, or some sort of "retreat" in the area where we had been, and told him how we, and the other couple, had seen the line of monks in the tree line.
He went very still and quiet, just for a second or two, and then answered.
I can't remember exactly what he said, after 28 years, but it was along the lines of "Ah, you've seen the phantom monks, not many people do".
Apparently there wasn't a monastery in the area, although it was thought there might have been one, a long, long time ago, long before Morzine became a town, and definitely way before the creation of the skiing village of Avoriaz.

So, had four of us seen real monks, or phantoms in the snow ?
I don't know the answer, but I know we definitely saw them, and I can still remember the scene clearly.
Nothing supernatural here.
I remember one hot summer evening at work. It had been a hot, muggy day, so the doors were open in hopes of catching a breeze. A cold front was moving in, and a thunderstorm was brewing. The building was an old industrial building with large doors, front and back, so trucks could pull in to be loaded. A few flashes of lightning and peels of thunder announced the arrival of the storm. A sudden cold gust blew in through the front door, instantly chilling the air, and producing a rolling fog bank that proceeded through the entire length of the building, exiting through the back door. I have never seen anything like it before or since.
Well, I'd call the Phantom Monks weird. And the fact that you did not know of the legend and had other witnesses there adds a great deal of credibility.

Look around on the Internet and you'll find an account of a British man his wife who in the 50's or 60's were driving through France down to the Med coast and needed a place to stay. Off the beaten track they found a quaint French inn that featured candles and lamps rather electric lights, and antique furniture. The rates for lodging and food were very cheap indeed and they noted the staff dressed in old style clothing and even the local policemen still wore uniforms that were of a style earlier than WWI. On the way back from their vacation they decided to stop at that charming inn again but could find no trace of it.

A friend of mine had a somewhat similar but much less spooky experience. He originally was from Poland and had fought in the Polish Army in WWII before becoming a POW. He emigrated to the US after meeting his wife when he woke up in a US Army hospital after running over a land mine in his Jeep. He was working a a civilian employee of the USAF at a base in France and he and his wife with another couple drove into Spain while on vacation. Tired and unable to find any lodging recommended in guidebooks, they decided to try a hotel that had been converted from a castle. They found the rooms were huge and ornate, with marble furniture. The meal they had there was quite good and at the conclusion of it the owner presented them with a bill. The price for the meal was very reasonable but he noted an extra charge he did not understand. He did not speak Spanish but both he and the owner could get by in French. He asked about the charge and the owner asked if it was too much. My friend replied that he did not know if was too much because he did not know what it was. They finally were able to communicate that it was lodging for four adults and garaging of their motorcar for one night at a cost of the equivalent of about $3.20. He gave the man a large tip, on the order of $20.
On a 4-wheel Jeep tour up in the mountains around Ouray, CO we stopped at a steep overlook to take pictures. We heard a noise ahead and there, at 11,000 feet on a narrow gravel road, came a woman riding a unicycle. We were stunned at the congruous sight but she waved and pedaled on down the road. Weird
Unicycle 2.jpg
The Monk story reminded me of something I heard my great uncle talking about way back in the early '70s. I must of been 7 or 8 at the time.
A guy he knew was an amiture photographer on vacation in Europe and had taken many rolls of film, many of them in old churches. When he came back home and developed them and one shot of the interior of one of the churches had several robed and hooded figures in it although they all looked strangely short like they were 3 of 4 feet tall. He swore there was no one in the church when he took it.
He researched the church and found that it had been renovated back a hundred years or so ago and a new floor had been built a couple of feet above the old one.
That story always gives me goosebumps
For a long time I have wanted to ask this forum to solve a mystery. Since we have aviators, engineers, aviation photographers, model builders and general aviation nuts, we should have some ideas. This new thread seems to be the place.
My limited qualifications: I have been an aviation nut as long as I can remember, having built plastics & balsa models, been a gofer on two fullsize restos (learned to rib stich).
I have photoed airplanes since 1955, been a life member of the CAF since 1970. My friend and I (brothers from another mother) could identify almost
every aircraft seen. This brings us to the mystery. These details were written the next morning.

The time: 10 January 1997 approximately 9:45 to 9:50pm returning from my wife's uncle's house to inlaw's house, about 3/4 mile

The place: Rural southern Mississippi not far from Keesler AFB, Biloxi, and Gulfport regional. I enjoyed weekend plane spotting, military and civil.

The weather: a clear, dead calm, moonless night. I stress at this point, NO alcohol involved as inlaws & Unk run a dry house.

The unknown aircraft: First seen appx 1/2 mile away approaching VERY slowly with extremely bright wing tip search lights. The lights were angled slightly forward and slightly outward.
The aircraft shape against the starlit sky appeared to me to be a flying wing however the other five saw a "triangle". Under the nose was a flashing red light and a
steady white light near the trailing edge. The searchlights reflected enough light back to the underside that there appeared to be four longitudinal thin natural
metal surfaces evenly spaced on the underside. The flight speed estimate is 50 to 70 mph based my interstate experience. Flight path was just above the trees,
certainly much less than 200 feet, more like 125 feet. There was no sound until it was just past overhead, when a very faint turbo moan was heard. I thought twin
engines. At that point, just past overhead, a slight downwash was felt which rustled the tree leaves.

My conclusions: The pilot was using night vision and terrain following radar as he was following the contour of the surface. If he would have had his lights off, he would have been completely undetected. Having watched all the newschannels during the two Gulf wars, I have wondered why the laser targeted the target from a different angle from where the bombs came in. The lasing aircraft always seemed to have a very slow ground speed. Is the plane we saw a limited production laser designator stealth aircraft similar to the YO-3A but a twin turbofan. The local authorities had caught people tending marajuana patches in the middle of corn fields at night, so could this be a GSA surplused aircraft to the DEA. I suspect the pilot flew around with his lights on to spook the locals into thinking UFO. I asked if any one else living on the road had seen it, and one man said a week earlier while taking out garbage, he had seen it. Same conditions, clear, moonless, calm night, no sound, but he didn't mention it to anyone.
So to those of you with more experience, is this a Skunkworks or Northrop product?

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