Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ripley's Believe It or Not

Mist-shrouded El Yunque (above) has always been a source of mystery involving paranormal phenomena and more recently, UFOs. Dozens of individuals, largely weekenders and campers, have disappeared inexplicably from this mountain rainforest. A child disappeared while walking down a trail with its parents, and even rescue teams sent to investigate have been swallowed by this deceptive wilderness area. Forestry officials are quick to blame quicksand and unexplored sinkholes as the reasons for these evaporations, even when they occurred in areas far from where any of the aforementioned conditions would be encountered.
The following appeared in a privately circulated paper entitled Abductions in El Yunque. “About ten years ago, some 15 children disappeared in El Yunque while on a school trip. The teacher responsible for the kids committed suicide because the students were never found. A search team from the U.S., sent to the mountain to try and find the missing youths, ran into a short humanoid creature wandering around the bushes. As soon as the creature realized it had been seen, it ran and disappeared. The search was fruitless: no trace of the creature or of the missing children was ever found. Two Italian kids, about 9 years of age, were also reported missing between 1976 and 1978. Their case was put on hold because of their father’s involvement with the Mafia. The Col√≥n brothers, who used to live on the road that leads to the top of El Yunque where the first UFO landed, were also reported missing without a trace about 25 years ago.”
Not even well-trained and armed soldiers are immune to whatever force is behind the disappearances. In March 1976, two Marines stationed at the Roosevelt Roads naval facility vanished in El Yunque. Ten years later, a man named Angel Bernard and his son had vanished from the same spot, and also in the month of July. The Bernards, father and son, were lost for 4 days after wandering off one of the area’s many trails, coming across strange features such as bottomless pits, not normally a feature of the rainforest, pools of quicksand, and the most distressing feature – the skeleton of a hapless, unknown person who never made it out of El Yunque’s shroud of mystery. Angel Bernard added another interesting note – while the moment they became lost in the rainforest was four o’clock in the afternoon, “there was a sudden, abnormal nightfall” at that time.
The elder Bernard claims he encountered a red-eyed, human-looking being surrounded by what he first thought were children, only to see them vanish at lightning speed. Their peals of laughter made him realize that some paranormal force was a work; it prompted him to tell his son that amid their precarious situation, they were also facing forces against which only the deity could ward them. Four days later, they found themselves on another trail on the far side of El Yunque rainforest, having no idea of how their wandering could have led them to that location.


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