Author’s notes: Pareidolia (/pærɨˈdoʊliə/ parr-i-doh-lee-ə)
A psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant, is a form of apophenia. A common example includes seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records when played in reverse. (From Wikipedia’s definition)
>>>>The following files are classified documents of the "Changeling Case" of 2012. These files are released by the CIA and FBI on the date May 26, 2013, by the Agents John Smith and Marty R. Steward.
>>>>Note: The original names of the subjects are changed to protect the subject's identity.
>>>>The narrator is Adam Measly interviewing US National Park Ranger, Steven Edwards.
Narrator: Can you tell me when the event first started to happen?
Edwards: When? When I started seeing things or when I started the job?
Narrator: Whatever is simpler for you.
(Edwards scratches his head) Edwards: Okay. I was recently transferred to Washington, right in the middle of the forest. My job is to observe and report the conditions of the [National] Park. You know; the wildlife, the ecosystem, and any illegal hunting. This was for one and half month or two month at the most. The reason why I chose to be a Ranger is the fact that I love the simplicity of nature and everything in it.
Edwards: At first all I did was keeping track of the bear population and writing down the beaver population. Plus I tested the water. And the odd thing that struck me was a bear trap.
Narrator: How was that odd?
Edwards: That wasn't supposed to be there at this time of year. It wasn't hunting season until next month. I knew because it was one of the first things you have to learn as a Ranger, the hunting seasons for what game.
Narrator: How do you know it wasn't an old trap from another season?
Edwards: It can't be, the last Ranger reported no traps were found in the same area.
Narrator: I see. Please continue.
Edwards: Right. So I placed a trap camera to see if I could get a glimpse of the poacher, but this poacher was crafty. He placed his own trap camera at the exact tree I was going to place my own. So I placed my camera in another tree higher up, so he couldn’t see it. And after I took the poacher's camera and trap, I kept on a look out for more traps or cameras. But I only found the ones I had, which meant this hunter has covered his tracks a bit too well. (He snorts) It would be simpler if he was newbie, then I could follow his trails of energy bar wrappers right to his camp. Anyway, I went back to the cabin to call it a night. But that night I heard a noise. It was like a trilling or clicking noise, but I just shrugged it off as crickets, because crickets can make noise like that.
Narrator: But it weren’t crickets.
Edwards: I didn't know at the time, nor I cared. I assumed it were crickets because I'm in a forest full of bugs...so yeah...even when I listened to the video later, I still thought it were crickets.
Narrator: You recorded the night?
Edwards: Yeah, it's kind of a habit of mine after my house was robbed. I record the night to see what I'm missing.
Narrator: Doesn't the Rangers just use audio recorders, instead of cameras?
Edwards: They do. But I always prefer cameras, because you can see what is going on and hear it too.
Narrator: I see.
Edwards: (He chuckles) No, I see what you did there. Anyway, I went on with my regular duties, plus keeping an eye out for the poacher. When I went near the river, I found a deer that was killed. It couldn't be long because the vultures came to eat the carrion, with very little signs of maggots. But how it was killed was a different story. I could see the neck bone has gone through the skin, rather than usual case of a bloody mess of bears where everything is torn apart. But the deer had its rib cage spread out, and the internal organs were eaten. So all was left were the bones, skin, and muscle for the scavengers. I took down notes and took photographs, for further studies.
Narrator: How do you know it weren't the black bears in the area? They are scavengers too.
Edwards: If it were bears, either grizzly or black, I could have seen tracks in the mud or somewhere nearby. Plus bears don’t leave the area too clean, like how the deer was gutted out with no organs. Normally you'll see some organs nearby or some still in the body.
Narrator: What about mountain lions? They hunt differently.
Edwards: Like I said before, I would have seen tracks or more organs in the area. The same thing applies to wolves, especially the fact there's more of them, and the prey would be in pieces.
Narrator: Okay then, what did you leave the predator as?
(Edwards gave a frustrated sigh) I don't know, so I just left as vultures because they can eat anything and they don't really leave any trail in the area. So anyway, I went back to poacher's trap only to find it shot. With a note saying, "You mad bro?" (Edwards purses his lips)
Narrator: Then what happened next?
Edwards: I continued with my regular duties and found nothing out of the ordinary for the rest of the day. But in the night, I kept hearing the trilling noise, but it was louder than the other night. So I didn’t really sleep that night. The next day, I looked and I skimmed through the video of the last night, and I found something. It was a black form in the edge of the forest, with its eyes glowing. At first I thought it was a bear or a dear, but the shape looked like something from a corrupted video, and at the same time it looked like it was blending with the background. But it was definitely not a glitch because glitches don’t have eyes, plus the cameras are new.
Narrator: So you couldn’t tell what it was then?
Edwards: It was really hard to tell because it was dark, the shape was all wrong, and the eyes were too big for it to belong to any woodland creature I know. They were brighter and they looked more like orbs rather than eyes.
Narrator: Is there any possibility that it could be Bigfoot? Because usually Bigfoot is spotted in that area.
Edwards: ...Funny, I never really found any evidence of Bigfoot during that time.
Narrator: And what happened after you saw those tapes?
Edwards: I put it down as something worth keeping, and then continued with my search. When I went back to the river with the dead deer, I found the poacher who was looking interested at the dead body. And so I crept quietly up towards the poacher with my gun out, because there was no doubt that this poacher was armed. But suddenly the poacher pulled out his gun and pointed it at a random direction of the woods and fired. We both heard a loud shriek that was so high pitched it sounded like a ringing of metal, and it caused the birds to fly away. That’s when the poacher found me and he started to run away. I went after him but he stopped only to bash me with his rifle, which caused me to black out for several minutes.
Narrator: Do you think the poacher still wanted to go after the thing instead of you?
[Edwards remained quiet for a moment and then resumed]
Edwards: I’m sorry, I’m just remembering how stupid I was back then. Letting that poacher take a hit at me! Anyway, I woke up and found that the poacher hadn’t killed me and that he was gone. So I just went back to the station to fix up my face, because it swelled up after the beating. And on my way there, I noticed it was really quiet and not a single animal was around the area. Then I stepped on something, the thing I crushed was green, transparent, and was very brittle. It kinda reminded me of a husk of a caterpillar's cocoon, but much thicker and bigger, it wasn’t like any other cocoon I have ever seen. When I looked on the ground, there were more pieces of a cocoon on the floor, so I picked some up and took them for research.
Narrator: Have you ever found out what it was?
Edwards: I couldn’t get a chance to look at it... I didn’t have the time, because I still had to look for the poacher. So I gave up my hunt and decided to call it a day and just looked at the security tapes. So while I was looking at the tapes, I heard several gunshots, which was pretty unusual. But being injured and lazy, I decided to just wait it out until the next day. Later that night I heard a loud screech instead of the trilling noise, which got me so surprised that I fell out of bed. I ran outside only to find the poacher’s rifle and other stuff scattered around nearby, so I picked up most of the stuff. (He sighed) And I slept with a gun right next to me. The next day, there was a thick fog lingering throughout the forest. Despite the fact I got this bad feeling on the back of my neck, I went into the forest to perform my job....
Narrator: Do you need a moment?
Edwards: No, no... It’s alright... I- I just need to remember...
[He pauses for several moments]
Edwards: I went back to the river to see if there were any signs of the poacher, but all I found was the deer remains and a shining light in the distance. It looked similar to what I found in the video, only it was brighter and more ominous this time. I wanted to look away or at least bring up the rifle, but something in the back of my head told me to approach the light. So I did without actually knowing, as if I was in some kind of trance. When I went closer to the light, it appeared to get farther away until it disappeared in one particular spot. I wish I didn’t go to that spot though, because I found the poacher’s camping place. At first I thought the poacher was luring me into a trap so he could kill me, or find a way to take me out of the picture. But instead I found the camp trashed, with equipment and necessities all over the place. I even found a revolver smashed into pieces, which is definitely not done from a wild animal. I turned around to head back only to find the poacher hanging from a wire trap, and he was covered in blood from several bite and scratch marks. What was really scary about the situation was the little voice in my head telling me, “You shouldn't have come here.” followed by the trilling noise, which made me run back to the station. While I ran I heard the loud screeching and the sound of something chasing me. The sounds got me distracted that I did not look at my surroundings, and I fell onto the ground. The last thing I remembered was the black mass getting closer before I blacked out.
Narrator: Then what happened?
Edwards: I woke up with my head throbbing, and then I went back to the station, packed all of my things quickly and told myself I would never go back there again. And then I reported to the police and I found myself here later.
Narrator: Interesting... We had our agents investigate the area and only found the body, the campsite, and a rushed exit. And our records indicate that the time was the legal time for hunting season and this “poacher” is a legal hunter, plus there are no pictures, video, or even a “You mad, bro?” note. Which means that you may have been the real criminal.
Edwards: ....It was real, all of it was real. Some people can see it clearly, others think it was an illusion. Like how I’m not a Ranger at all but a-
There is an unexpected malfunction to the recorders which caused static with bursts of screaming from Adam Measly. And after a few seconds of silence there is a faint laughter and the sound of trilling.
Adam Measly and Steven Edwards was never found, nor left the building.
This case is unsolved to this day.