Creepin’ Shadows

In my last entry I mentioned having to take the dogs out while visting my mother because her land isn’t fenced.  I had to go out there several times between midnight and 1:00am (the dogs always seem to want to go out during this hour for some reason) and on one occasion I caught some sort of odd black “mass” (for want of a better term) that appeared to move across the field and disappear behind a mound of dirt (which was about four to five feet high).  I quickly pointed my flashlight in that direction, but didn’t see anything.  I then moved in that direction to see if anything had run behind the mound, but still didn’t find anything.

Upon inspection the next morning, I discovered a couple of darker colored weeds in the vicinity, although they should not have been visible at the angle I was at in relation to the dirt mound.  There’s also the possibility that it could have been some kind of animal (this is in the same vicinity of last year’s skunk encounter ).  However, if it was an animal, I should have seen it when I went around the mound to investigate (and I know my light¹ is bright enough to find any such animals, because I managed to track a rabbit from about 50 yards the first night we were there; much to Boots’ chagrin, since she wasn’t allowed to go chase it).

While I know what I saw, a skeptic will just say that I saw those weeds and my imagination filled in the movement, or that it was an animal of some kind.  There was definitely something there.  I just don’t have any way of knowing for sure what it was.  But I’m fairly certain it wasn’t a plant or an animal.  Maybe next time I’m out there I’ll take my night-vision video camera…

¹ The light in question is a SmartFire M-504C, which is a relatively inexpensive Chinese-made Cree XR-E LED-based 4-C light that produces about 85 lumens on high (roughly comparable to my 3D Mag w/drop-in LED upgrade).  It’s not the brightest light I have, but it definitely reaches out and touches things.


  1. turkeydance says:

    Cree is located in Durham NC (RTP).
    you have an older model. the new ones
    do about 120. you can’t keep up.

    anyway….the Black Mass (satanic? lol):
    coyote is my guess. sometimes they are
    very Nasty Looking (like Bobcats=dirty).
    at night, they can look Black, and they
    “skulk” meaning they keep low to the ground
    when spotted.
    when i take my 2 female dogs out during Oh-Dark-Thirty (chillin’ wid my bitches),
    i’ve seen:
    1.skunks (very slow moving thank goodness)
    2.foxes (pretty and fast, but they
      stop and “look” before disappearing)
    4.raccoons (bright eyes that stare)
    5.possums (faster than skunks)
    6.snakes (springtime rains bring them out)
    7.owls (only once on the ground)
    8.nighthawks (just about stepped on one)
    and one bear that tore down our birdfeeder.
    again, my guess is a coyote. i’ve never seen
    one at night, but in the daylight they are
    dark enough.

  2. Yeah, I’ve found it interesting that the Chinese light makers import the LED’s from the U.S. 

    I’ve got another light that uses a Cree Q5.  It’s really, really bright, but it’s almost too tight to be useful when walking the dogs.  Of course this is also a function of the type/size/shape of the reflector.  Still, even though the 504C is dimmer, it has better spill and longer runtime (due to using 4C batteries vs the 123’s in the other one).  Now a Q5 upgrade to the 504C would probably be a killer light.  One of these days I’m going to take it apart to see if I can fit a Q5 star board in it.

    I’ve seen coyotes during the day around here, but the ones I’ve seen are kind of light in color, although definitely dirty looking.  But whatever it was was definitely low to the ground (I’d guess less than two feet tall) and moved pretty fast.

  3. Kevin White says:

    That’s interesting. Reminds me of being a youngster and being amazed by seeing animals in their natural habitats.

    A couple of weeks ago I was at Bear Creek Park in the evening, not very late but already dark, saying hello to the ducks and geese, and was surprised to see a large Nutria ( ) amble up on to the land from the water right in front of me.

  4. I’ve seen that Nutria numerous times.  Boots very much wants to find out how tasty he might be, but alas has been thwarted in her plan by having to drag around a large human on a leash.  grin

  5. Jim says:

    I saw a ghost once. It was on a foggy night out with the wife and I only saw it for a split second. The fog kind of morphed and solidified and moved in the still air – and then it was gone. I stopped the truck and asked the wife if I actually saw something or if my eyes were playing tricks…but she saw it too.

    We are not prone to seeing UFO’s, green aliens or any of that crap. We tell ourselves it was a trick of the light and nothing more. It is easy to let such silliness carry the imagination away.

  6. Well, you definitely have to ask yourself about all of the possible “natural” explanations for what you saw before you pronounce that it’s paranormal (or at least that it’s unexplained). 

    In your case, there could have been a stray air current (perhaps caused by a small area with warmer surface temperature than the rest of the ground), or some other environmental phenomena.  But if you can discount those, then you’re left with something really interesting.

    My take on things is that what people are calling spirits, ghosts, etc are simply some naturally occurring phenomenon that we don’t yet understand.  Perhaps someday our science will catch up with our senses.