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Sharing a cool night from last summer
Topic Started: Apr 7 2013, 10:19 PM (521 Views)
Stacy
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'K peeps! We finally downloaded all our pics from last year (and some from the year before!) and decided this would be a cool thing to share, since we have pics to go along with it. What happened basically is this:

This was the long weekend around 4th of July, when we typically have good activity, and usually everyone makes it up together (which doesn't happen often). We rarely leave camp after dark, but Willy (Renthorin here and on the old BFF) made it, and he's not one to sit around camp doing nothing for very long, so he asked if anyone wanted to go out for a stroll, and Jim went with him. Here's what happened:



10:20 pm Willy & Jim take a walk out on the trail to **** Rd. and the bridge that crosses the ***** River.

11:50-ish Paul hears what sounds like distant rapid knocking to the south.
11:52 Jim radios. They had a huge tree knocked down right beside them (past the bridge) and they think its coming our way. D radios that hes walking out to join them.


What happened: When they got to **** Rd., as they walked just past the river there was a loud knock in the woods to the south. Willy and Jim stopped and waited there for about 5 minutes. There were no more knocks or sounds, so they moved on. Another 100 yds further along, just past the cabin with the long curved driveway on the north side (where the tree would later break), they heard a loud knock on the north side of the road. They again stopped and waited. Nothing further happened. So they walked on to the cornfield and sat in the field for 20 minutes. During that 20 minutes Jim showed Willy where certain incidents happened in that location, and I think Willy showed Jim where he had previously camped there.

Then they headed back along **** Rd. toward the camp trail, walking on the south side of the road as they did before. At the same place they last heard the knock on the North side, they stopped & waited. They heard another knock in the trees beside the yard. Willy & Jim walked into the yard down the driveway. They waited a while. Then they separated. Jim went further back into the yard to see, Willy waited where he was. There was another knock in the woods to the west of the yard, but close by, possibly to the left of the tree. They stood there waiting, hearing what sounded like something large and heavy IN the tree but moving down.

Jim coughed loudly. There was another knock. It was heavy, like a baseball bat against a tree, and about 20 to 30 feet away, at roughly their level. Still there were loud sounds of something moving downward IN the tree.

So Jim coughed again. Seconds later, a double knock. (All knocks were at ground level.) And more shuffling up in the tree. It sounded like branches were breaking, really close to them. And thats when the tree came down.

They heard loud cracks and knew that the tree was coming down, side-stepped out of the way as it fell very close to them. Willy felt he heard some small sounds of something moving away on the other side of the tree. Immediately as the tree came down, they put their flashlights on and went in toward the tree. They looked all around at the size of the tree and looked for hairs on the bark, searched for tracks but found nothing.

Eventually, they started walking back and radioed the group at camp. D radioed that he was walking out to **** Rd to join them. Willy decided to start walking back to camp. When D arrived, he and Jim went to look for hairs.

As D and Jim were walking back to camp, on the south side of the first gate they heard rustling in the woods. Jim and D stopped and waited a few minutes, and Jim coughed. There was a knock from West, their Left.



The next night, all three guys went back out, accompanied by our son Sean and Jeff's son Luke. Nothing big happened, but in the same general area, off the road, they did hear sounds of something moving through the woods, and experienced a nasty smell the was just suddenly there, and just as suddenly gone.

So Saturday, the day after the big tree-fall night, we all drove out to see, take pics, and document what we could. (The yard where this took place is nearly surrounded by woods and is just a seasonal cabin... whoever owns it wasn't up that weekend.)


Edited by Paulw, Apr 8 2013, 09:44 PM.
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Stacy
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So, some pics. This first one shows how high up the break was, and how big this tree was. There was no rot, it was alive and healthy. For reference, D, the tall guy, it 6'6".


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Stacy
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Sean next to it...

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Stacy
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Just the group checking it out...


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Stacy
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Pat checking it out...


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Stacy
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A pile of cut grass immediately to the left of the tree, where it looks like the cabin owner dumped his clippings. Inconclusive, but we got the impression that whatever was IN the tree jumped down when it broke, landed on that grass pile, and took off from there. The darker, damper patch it roughly the right size and shape.


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Stacy
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Again nothing conclusive, but a few feet past the grass pile it looks as though something disturbed the leaf cover there.... possibly another foot as it took off?


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Just Curious
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Thanks Stacy! A nice report with pictures that do in fact show what you're saying. I would add that although I'm not sure which night it was, that according to historical weather information, the maximum wind gusts were only 25ish MPH which is not enough to cause this to happen.

And showing the size of the tree rules out a raccoon.

Showing the prints in the clippings gives plausible evidence of something with human shaped footprints as a culprit - as opposed to a large cat for example.

Interesting...thanks for sharing!
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Stacy
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Glad you enjoyed it!

This took place the evening of Friday, June 29th, 2012. I didn't remember there being any wind or breeze even (the vast majority of the time, even if the wind gusts all day, it dies down in the evening), but I went and checked Pat's notes--she's great about recording the details :D--which indicate that it was 61 degrees with no wind.
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Susan
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Very cool!!! That is a big-ass tree!!
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keilder
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You guys know I'm a skepical b*stard these days - years back? NO!

Who had a go at that tree, as it looks like somebody has tried to fell it? or it does to me. Also I find it hard, actuacly really hard that something in a tree could bring down something of that size (regardless of BF purported weight 800-1000 lbs).

Susies 100% correct..that's a big ass tree to bring down just by swinging on it.

I'm sorry for being blunt, but it's what I think and feel.

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Stacy
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Ask away! If you look at the first pic up there, it sort of shows how this was one of those trees that kind of started out as one but split way down low... sort of like it's two trees with a common set of roots, if that makes sense? Anyway, the second one was right behind it, and where the marks you're pointing at are would have been on that side of the tree, the inside part. And if you look at how much higher that was than our 6'6" guy, that doesn't make sense either. Seems if someone was going to try and take it down they've have just done it standing on the ground from the outward-facing side of it.

But you're right, it's hard to figure HOW it could have happened, that big, that high... the tree looked healthy but maybe there was some damage or something that wasn't obvious? I dunno. But, then you go back to the knocks, first evidently as a result of Jim & Willy's being there and then as a response to Jim coughing, and whatever thing was coming down from UP the tree, and the fact that we do know what's out there, and to us there's just no question what it was, and that somehow, whether it was intentional or not, that tree gave way and came down. But we do have the advantage of knowing, and of firsthand experience... this isn't going to convince anybody, we wouldn't expect it to, but we just thought it might be a kind of interesting thing to share.
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Paulw
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keilder
Apr 10 2013, 04:03 PM
You guys know I'm a skepical b*stard these days - years back? NO!

Who had a go at that tree, as it looks like somebody has tried to fell it? or it does to me. Also I find it hard, actuacly really hard that something in a tree could bring down something of that size (regardless of BF purported weight 800-1000 lbs).

Susies 100% correct..that's a big ass tree to bring down just by swinging on it.

I'm sorry for being blunt, but it's what I think and feel.

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Everything you say, is totally logical! I think all of our thoughts when this happened were...HOW, even as big and powerful as these seem to be, could one actually take down a tree that size. Sadly, I have no answer to that. It's one of those things that on the surface seems impossible. But, as far as we can tell, one did manage it, somehow. As far as the marks you point out, the photo is not close enough to show it but those are just random points where the wood gave way, one thing I looked for was any sign of previous cutting, and there were none. Those edges are fairly straight, but closer photos would have shown that they are not cut marks. Again though, like the larger question of HOW on earth some "ape man" could live, and exist in a fairly settled part of the world...no answer. I cannot for the life of me say how one tore down in effect a healthy, ADULT tree, but the flip side is that one did, somehow, do just that(as Stacy said, maybe it was accident, or maybe there was a bad spot on the tree we could not see...but both the standing part of the tree, and the part that came down, looked totally healthy...no heartwood rot, no bad spots!). Wish I had and answer for this and so many other things we experienced, but as more often than not is the case, we just don't.
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keilder
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I did notice that Stacy, I was leaning towards somebody trying to take it down in segments from the top downwards but that, as you say, didn't really make sense to me either.

So like you, Paul et al, I dunno then. as the tree does look healthy. I've never seen anything like it before, that thick and from that height without being in a storm, lightning strikes, aged or sick (dry dieing).

Well you guys know, its normally a root ball situation when they come down or small branches, or smaller trees snapping like that etc.,

nah, I got nuthin....



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keilder
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I was thinking about this earlier, it just popped into my bean so was having a look about for stress-break-weight calculations but couldn't find any, just wind on a tree which you ruled out.

Wind Induced tree damge linky

But theres a few instances of Elephants bringing down full trees...So my conclusion is it was an adult Dumbo messing with you guys, then he flew away after also acquiring the power of invisibility! That's humour, as I've still got nada.

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