Paula M. had one such sighting. But it wasn't of a Bigfoot, a sea serpent
or even a Chupacabra. In many ways it was much stranger. And try as she might and after diligent research, she has yet to
come up with an explanation for what she saw.
The encounter took place on a warm, otherwise ordinary day in the summer
of 1999 just outside a small town in Oregon.
One of Paula's hobbies was prowling through old junk yards and dump
sites for vintage old bottles and glass. On this particular day, she headed to an old off-road dump site that she had heard
about but had never been to before. Paula parked her car on the side of the road and hiked a short distance to the dump.
The dump was typical of several she had been to: Piles of discarded household
items and furniture, scattered mounds of rusting old appliances and metal. This recess was quiet and secluded. It was surrounded
by trees and had patches of tall skimpy grass and weeds amid the trash. A small stream rested at very bottom of the recess
with slow moving water one to two inches deep.
Then Paula noticed something peculiar - something she had never seen
at any other dump site.
"As I was staking out the area," she said. "I happened across some tunnel-like
holes in the ground. The holes were of a peculiar size, which made me wonder what kind of animal possibly could have dug them."
Paula noticed six or seven of the holes, each about two inches in diameter
and partially camouflaged by the sparse growth of the recess. The holes could have been made by any number of burrowing creatures,
Paula reasoned. She didn't worry about it.
Experienced in this hunt for junkyard treasures, Paula sifted around here
and there for about 30 minutes until she found a spot that looked inviting on the slant of a hill, about three-fourths of
the way down to the stream. Dropping to her knees, she took her hand trowel and began to dig. Paula especially valued the
old bottles with embossed lettering, but such finds rarely made their appearance quickly or easily. She dug in the dirt for
nearly an hour - so long that in this kneeling position her legs were beginning to go to "fall sleep."
Paula decided to take a break from her excavation and stretch her legs.
She stood and walked around a bit. "While I was moving about at the bottom of the recess, I thought I saw, from the corner
of my eye, a clump of dirt move. It was about the size of my fist."
She turned to look squarely in the direction of
the movement, trying to detect it again. But nothing moved. "Nah," she thought, "it was nothing."
Paula was about
to return to her dig when she saw it again. About 10 feet away from her, the clump of dirt moved, like it was pushed out of
the ground from beneath, and rolled down the hill. Paula began to get a little nervous. Whatever had made those tunnel-like
holes was apparently making another one. And she wasn't particularly keen on watching a rat, a snake or some other potentially
dangerous animal come slithering out.
Then she saw it. Something living began to poke itself out of the ground!
Paula's first reaction to seeing this "thing" was saying, "Oh, my God! What
Paula was familiar with the outdoors and was reasonably sure of what animals
she might encounter in a junkyard. But this thing she could not identify. She stepped cautiously closer to it, thinking that
the vibration of her digging may have driven it from its burrow.
She stopped about four to five feet away from the
creature. What she could see of it was poking out of the ground about five inches. "At this point, I wasn't sure what end
of the animal I was looking at," Paula said. "It was about two inches in diameter, and the end of it was perfectly smooth
and round - like a cue ball. It was light-brown in color, very much like the surrounding earth. It had a worm-like shape,
but didn't taper down at the end as worms do, and was firmer around looking. It had no distinguishing or familiar features
to indicate to me what it was."
Its size made it obvious that this was not a worm - at least not any kind
of worm Paula had ever heard of. And she could not see its entire body, only what was poking out of the ground, so who knows
what this thing really looked like.
Paula looked at the creature closely, trying in vain to find anything familiar
about it. She could not detect any eyes, mouth, nose or ears. It had no fur, scales or worm-like ripples on its skin. What
it did have was patches of peach-like fuzz - very fine and spaced apart like the hair on a young human's arm - covering what
looked like soft, dusty skin about the texture of a person's. It was not wet, slimy or tough looking.
|"All of a sudden, while I was examining it, two big beautiful
crystal blue eyes popped open! Now I knew what end of the animal I was looking at." |
By now, Paula was completely perplexed. This was like nothing she had ever
seen in person, at a zoo or on any nature program on television. And if this creature wasn't strange enough, it then gave
Paula a remarkable surprise.
"All of a sudden, while I was examining it, two big beautiful crystal blue
eyes popped open! Now I knew what end of the animal I was looking at."
All thoughts of this being some kind of giant worm were immediately dismissed.
Worms don't have eyes - not like that! More curious than frightened of this remarkable animal, Paula began to wonder
how big the body was and what its arms, legs and tail looked like - or if it even had any such parts. "The white of the eye
surrounding its blue pupil was the whitest I'd ever seen - a pure virgin white. The size of the eyes were quite big in proportion
to its body size. I wondered if it were a juvenile."
Paula was totally astounded when the eyes opened because while
first looking at it she could not tell that it had eyes at all; there were no visible eyelids, eye lashes, bulges, indentations,
holes or slits of any kind. The curiosity seemed to be mutual. "My presence didn't seem to bother it because it studied
me for only a short period of time. Then it ignored me. It appeared content and relaxed while it exposed itself to the
sun. Its slow motion movement and blinking reminded me of a turtle."
Paula felt that the creature was harmless and
stepped even closer to it for a better look. She looked for its mouth, nose and ears, but couldn't find them. She wondered
if they were camouflaged in the same way that its eyes had been. She also tried to determine where its head ended and neck
began because it had no chin or indentations of any kind to separate the two. The body, neck and head appeared as one - like
a living, flexible tube with eyes.
Paula was startled when the creature began to move, and she instinctively stepped
back. The animal slowly began to sway the top of its body back and forth as it stretched itself upward toward the sky, all
the while slowly blinking.
"I tried to get it to look at me again by clapping my hands and yelling, but it continued
to ignore me." Since it had no discernable ears, Paula wondered if perhaps it couldn't hear sound. So she tried waving her
arms and hands about to draw its attention to her. But all it did was stare at the sky, continuing to sway its head back and
forth, stretching upward while blinking slowly. It was as if it were hypnotized by the light of the sun.
five minutes, the creature decided to retreat into its lair. "I watched it until it finally pulled itself slowly back into
its burrow. I looked into the hole after it, but it was so dark that I couldn't see anything."
Paula isn't quite sure
what to make of this peculiar encounter, but it haunts her. "I haven't been able to erase it from my mind, and it's driving
me crazy! I've asked many people about it and have spent countless hours searching the Internet for answers to any known or
unknown animal fitting the description of the animal."
Paula returned to the dump site this Spring in hopes of getting another
glimpse of the mysterious creature. No such luck. Some of the hole openings were there, however. "I am convinced that this
animal still exists and lives there. It's possible that it hibernates, so I will go back again in early to mid-summer and
try and get another glimpse of it - and possibly capture it on film."
Hopefully, Paula will succeed in capturing the animal on film or video.
It could be something well known to science, if unusual. For now, however, the creature of the dump remains unknown.