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On the evening May 4, 1994, the state of Oregon recorded large amounts of fog settling in Grant County on a cloudless day. More specifically, the small town of Mercer Woods received the most fog. The fog was reported to be extremely, almost unnaturally thick. Over the next three days, a large amount of inexplicable events plagued Mercer Woods residents.
Starting on May 5, the words “in noctis tenebris et caligine” were found roughly scratched or carved into fourteen wood surfaces across town, including rather prominent locations, such as the sheriff’s office and the mayor’s home. The phrase was translated from Latin as “in dark of night.” No evidence of a perpetrator was found, although many dismissed it as a prank played by a crafty teenager in the fog.
This was not the end of it.
On May 6, the fog reduced visibility in the town to about twenty feet. Several high powered spotlights were provided by the Oregon Highway Department, but failed to penetrate more than twenty feet into the oppressive fog. County officials were baffled, but reassured townsfolk that the fog would burn up with the sun. The problem was there wasn’t a sun to be seen. Only a faint bright spot through the fog could be seen. Schools were closed as driving conditions became horrendous, driving out of town became a challenge, and the general air of the town was full of palpable intensity. On the very uneasy night of May 6, residents reported hearing strange noises at the outskirts of town. Many took part in a mass exodus to exit the town.
The unsafe driving conditions resulted in over seventeen car crashes and nine deaths. It was almost as if something was trying to prevent the residents of Mercer Woods from leaving. And then on the night of May 7, a flood of emergency calls were received by the nearby town of Silent Peak sheriff’s department. The callers, all fifty four of them, were hysterical and either cried into the phone or shouted nonsensical statements about how the strange fog that has settled over the town was “burning them” or how their loved ones were being taken by “the people coming out of the fog.” The stunned 911 dispatchers told the callers to remain calm and asked about the status of the local sheriffs, to which the locals replied they were all “taken.” The phone lines eventually crashed, but not before the strangest spectacle yet: a fog horn, not unlike one found on older ships, was heard on all the lines, clear as day and as if the fog horn was going off right outside the Silent Peak sheriff’s station. What was especially strange was that Mercer Woods was not near any major bodies of water that could explain a fog horn. The stunned dispatchers requested five police vehicles to go to Mercer Woods.
By the end of the day, none of the police cars dispatched were able to make it into Mercer Woods. The cars arrived at the outskirts of town, where Sheriff Cyrus Bennett reported that Mercer Woods appeared to be encased in a literal wall of fog. Sheriff Bennett attempted to enter the fog, but retreated in ten seconds, reporting that the fog was poisonous. When questioned further, Sheriff Bennett reported “It felt like the fog was suffocating me... There was this burning sensation in my lungs when I breathed it in and on my skin too. My throat and eyes closed up and I began to tear up. The effects went away as soon as I exited the fog.”
The officers returned to Silent Peak and reported that corrosive gases have somehow settled in over Mercer Woods. This did not explain the fog horn heard over the phones.
Sheriff Bennett returned the next day in the late evening, with a deputy, Travis Callson, along with a full hazmat suit and gas masks for the pair. They equipment protected them from the fog, but what they found in town was straight out of a horror movie.
The town was a bloodbath. Multiple corpses, some dismembered and horribly mutilated were found strewn everywhere. The corpses were found in unexpected places, such as under cars, tangled in power lines, and on the roofs of buildings with no easy roof access. Sheriff Bennett and Deputy Callson identified the mangled remains of the town’s sheriff’s and deputies on the steps of a local Presbyterian church, surrounded by bent and damaged assault rifles, shotguns, and handguns along with hundreds of rounds of spent ammunition. Sheriff Bennett noted that around 7:00, the same fog horn reported heard by the dispatchers was again heard by the pair. Soon after the fog horn stopped, dozens of townsfolk that the Sheriff assumed were dead rose up and attempted to attack the pair. The Sheriff later noted that the people who attacked them appeared to be more intact corpses with all their limbs in place.
The two officers fought out of the town, killing fourteen of the attacking townsfolk, which didn’t seem to faze their remaining attackers. When the pair exited the fog wall, all attackers retreated back into the fog.
The pair returned to Silent Peak, telling the shocking story and relaying pictures as proof. Two days later, at the behest of Grant County, a helicopter from the Portland SWAT team flew over Mercer Woods, but did not see the town through the fog, but did confirm Sheriff Bennett’s report that the town seemed to be encapsulated in the fog.
No other details are known of the faith of Mercer Woods. All surviving townspeople disappeared within four years and Sheriff Bennett and Deputy Callson refuse to speak of Mercer Woods. All records of the town’s existence were scrubbed from the internet and Oregon government sites.
But the story does not end there.
It has come to this author’s attention that a United Sates military installation was installed a year before these recorded events at an abandoned gold mine ten miles from Mercer Woods, under the guise of a special operations close quarters combat training center. A large amount of strange looking scientific equipment was seen being transported to this site for weeks on end. On May 4, hours before the fog settled, five non-descript black sedans with tinted windows were seen driving through Mercer Woods, followed by seven military troop transport trucks, away from the military installation. And only an hour before the fog came, ten military trucks were seen driving through Mercer Woods, with soldiers clad in full NBC dress and wielding assault rifles seen riding in the back.
The installation is rumored to be connected to something called “Project Terra Nova.” When the author pressed for more details, it was reported that all documents related to Project Terra Nova were sealed until the mid 22nd century.