This is where they walked, swam
Hunted, danced and sang
Take a picture here...]
This land is the land of ours...~ REM
As one starts reading they may initially think this is basically a history piece of some type. It is not, but I felt it necessary to give a feel to the reader of just that interesting history for this small state park area involved in the adventure you will soon be going on with me. That history will pass soon enough and then we will get into what really matters and what this is really all about, not that simple nature and history don't matter, they surely do.
At times, when I buy or check a book out of the library, I'll often go to the picture section before even reading the first few pages of a non-fiction book. Maybe you do the same on occasion, it is probably a natural tendency. However, here, on this one, I urge the reader not to do that, but to follow the story and pics from the beginning without looking ahead. In this way you can hopefully take this trip from the start to something fantastic at the end and experience this whole thing like I have done twice; three times actually, the third time with an associate, who if they hadn't been with me, this article would not even have been written, maybe not, that is.
So let us begin with a little selected history of Boone's Cave State Park in North Carolina, then go to that first visit of mine around 1990, and then finish up with the most recent return visit of May, 2015, with a startling revelation at the tremendously tall Cottonwood tree at the end. It is the hope of this writer to take you on this journey from beginning to end as if you were there yourself and experienced what was experienced by me and the helpful, photographer/co-owner of the site, Janice Gale.
Note: This trip and the pictures included in it happened and were taken in May 2015. The batteries died so the camera had defaulted to the original date, as the photographer had forgotten to update the date on the camera.
It must have been magnificent. A wild serpentine river teeming with fish of many species - bass, bream, catfish, and many other kinds. Chestnut trees with diameters up to 15 or even 20 feet, with some having canopy spreads of a 150 feet from one side to the other. Large animals such as woodland buffalo, perhaps, coming down on occasion from the Blue Ridge to forage in drought years. There were eastern elk, white-tailed deer; and all these hoofed beasts with their predators - like the timber wolves and panthers - roamed the area, and in the case of these wolves and mountain lions, they certainly made dens in the caves of the Yadkin Valley, including those at Boone's Cave and its close environs.
I've even read reports from the early 1700s, before the settlement period, that seem to suggest, for a short time, off the beaten path jaguars may have hunted and roamed far enough north to reach the central Carolinas. There is even a large river in upper South Carolina named way back then in the 18th century the Tyger River. In addition to these large mammals, including massive black bears, the Forks and Yadkin River were no doubt often covered by dense clouds and uncountable numbers of passenger pigeons and waterfowl.
The Forks and its vast a-joining forest were one of the last places to be settled in the Yadkin Valley because of their rather hilly and rocky soil - not to mention wetlands near the river in certain spots, like one part still is to this day in the park, but that now has a wooden walking trail through it.. Settlement by pioneer families had only started two or three years earlier than the Boone's arrival in the valley, and the rough hewn cabins and small rudimentary farms must have been in most places a great many miles apart. It was in all respects a true and untamed frontier wilderness.
Some things in human nature never change. The younger women smoothed their hair with bear's grease, pulled their shifts tight to display shapely figures, and often exposed their buxom charms shamelessly - no doubt for ease and to catch the eye of any marriageable man. The men themselves often congregated in clearings for shooting competitions, while sipping what must have been fantastically good "stonewall whiskey" or brandies.
Now, on my first visit to the cave I didn't get to go inside which will be made plain why later on in the article. However, on the last trip in May of 2015, I was in it and it was really quite large, perhaps the size of a big bedroom, with a separate tunnel off to the left of the main cave. I've seen it written that the cave goes back some 80 feet. But with this one that certainly didn't appear to be the case, by any means, unless there's another cave the same size or bigger than I'm not aware of. At one time I thought there was one at the river itself but apparently there isn't. Perhaps, any small hole or tunnel has collapsed or been covered up over time?
Many fine biographies have been written over the years on Boone but none have been able to state with absolute certainty that the park was the original place the family settled in when they came to North Carolina. The one unarguable fact being a deed taken out in 1753 for 640 acres at the forks of the Yadkin by Daniel's father, Squire. But anyone visiting the site as I did for the first time one day in 1990, should sense, by ambient and intuitive feel, that this was indeed the place. Now to that first visit, on which I didn't tote a camera along with me on the walk; but as things turned out, it wouldn't have mattered anyway - especially at the cave.
We shall hear from the park ranger later on in the story in the Richard's Experience section.
After looking around a bit, I peered to the left, down the detached, maybe 12 or so foot long tunnel. I was stooping in a position where I could see into both parts of the cave from the same spot. The rounded tunnel started off with a rather cone-shaped entrance, maybe four feet tall that tapered into a low granite ceiling near the end of it. In fact, neither the tunnel or the main cave is where an average adult can stand up straight.
At the instant of perceiving that what the eyes beheld was real, my entire body exploded in a brain stem adrenal rush, causing a full bore flight or fight response, the likes of which I'd never before, nor have ever since, experienced. Something so unexpected as this can hit you like a lightning bolt, except with the lightning, one usually has a warning of stormy weather coming, while with this, there was no warning at all or anything to put it into an understandable perspective. That is until one learns to open up and be responsive to things beyond the usual five sense reality - there are some of us who think that that is all there is. At any rate, flight won by a long mile that memorable day my friends, and it was a heart-pounding, seemingly Olympic winning dash away from the tunnel, back up the stairs and into to the car for a quick getaway.
About ten years later I made up my mind to make peace with this frightening entity that had the appearance of a wolf. Now it should be stressed to the reader that this was no pure fur, flesh and blood animal- it definitely belonged in the paranormal range of entity encounters. Besides, wolves had been exterminated or run off in the central-west Piedmont of North Carolina about 150 to 200 years ago for those who think it could have been a purely physical creature staring at me with those red eyes and electric-like shimmering head, including, what little I saw of its body.
Anyway, on this second hurried visit I noticed bulldozers were knocking down some trees on the other side of the river and as I went down the steps to the cave I had a deep feeling my friend wouldn't be there that day, and it wasn't. Although I would have liked to have tossed a piece of venison into the tunnel, it was out of deer season so some other piece of meat sufficed. Still, at that time, my inclination was to believe it was the spirit of a mother wolf and the meat-tossing was a kind of peace offering. Maybe it just made feel better about the whole thing. After throwing it in I immediately left the park, not to return again for 15 years and, unintentionally, capture the most amazing thing photographed by an accompanying companion in 25 years of being interested and intrigued by the mysteries of this world.
That story received many comments, including a kind one by the new park ranger, who stated that although they felt nothing evil in the place, she did sense its long history and ancient spirits in certain spots. Whether she meant that last thought imaginatively or literally, I don't know, but was mighty grateful for her input and feelings on that 110 acres of magnificence that is entrusted for her to watch over. No doubt she, or whoever may be there now, knows it very well.
Here is his account.
When a young boy Richard and his older brother would often play in the deep woods about and in the state park. One day the lads, by chance, came on a large grassy circle about twelve feet in diameter. Besides the grassy circle being completely out of place, they also observed what at first appeared, and turned out to be, a small pile of animal bones jumbled up in the center of it.
The brothers were presumably amazed and whispering among each other about this weird anomaly they'd stumbled upon, when suddenly, the woods became deathly quiet, even the usual forest noises seemed to stop, as a low growling noise began from no particular direction that sent the boys high-tailing it back home as fast as their little legs could carry them.
Now, at this later date, many years in the future, Richard one time found himself fishing from near or at the picture above on the Yadkin River, as it later turns into the Pee and Great Pee Dee Rivers on its long way to the Atlantic Ocean. In the comment, he mentioned that on this particular day, he abruptly eyed what appeared to be a large black dog staring at him from across the water, perhaps a hundred and fifty feet away. There was a glowing, shimmering mist about the animal and he later recalled thinking it was more wolf-like than dog-like.
Within minutes of spotting this creature or...apparition, he heard a hearty laughter coming from behind him, and when he turned to look, there stood a man in colonial or frontier-type dress, maybe ten or so feet behind him, who then slowly vanished before his eyes. Richard wrote that he wasn't so much frightened as just amazed, and of course, just plain-out curious as to what was going on and what it could all be.
Unfortunately, after pondering on this experience in the days to come, the man become wary of visiting the area again and remains so to this day. Who can blame him; but my advice to Richard was to keep in mind, although these entity's or powers seem to choose the times when they reveal themselves, we ultimately have the power of good on our side, which I and other folks who feel the same, believe can protect us if we learn to be open to it.
The Return Visit to Boone's Cave of May 2015: In May of 2015 I and photographer and co-owner Janice Gale of the Carolinian's Archives, decided to take a two night stay in central North Carolina to visit several historical and mysterious sites for material and pictures for future articles on the website.
Our first excursion was to Boone's Cave. It was easier to find thanks to GPS than it had been with those two previous visits, despite the map. We first noticed the new ranger's house on the right which was very nice and homey-looking with what appeared to be a log cabin like wood in its construct. We then came to the new faculty with the restrooms, and some kind of D. Boone memorial. A path to the new cabin started from there and we decided to go down the trail and visit it first.
Regardless, the new place was very nice, clean and contemplative. It even had a garden set between wood railings and what might have been tall crossbeams for hanging wild and domesticated animals to drain. I could be wrong or only partially right about that however. That frontier fireplace was really the only thing missed at the up-dated place. There is every good chance in the world that this was the Boone's warming construction of handmade bricks or something. I wonder what they did with it? Surely it, or its parts, are somewhere & secure.
Before you know it, a feeling of bravado came over me, too, and I began demanding in a fairly determined voice, a bit loud one in fact, for the entity to reveal itself. In a stern voice I began saying things like "Show Yourself!", or "I'm not afraid of you anymore. Show yourself and let me get some proof, I'm not scared of you at all anymore." Vocalizations of that sort.
I then exited and we started taking digitals of the inside with a helping flashlight that didn't help and didn't do too much good. About all we got was darkness, blurry objects and shadows so the pictures aren't included. Nothing really happened except for crawling around, getting knee-skinned and my called-out challenges, and after sitting out front talking a bit we went down to the river.
| || |
Now folks, I always respect nature and park rules and never intentionally disregard signs not to pick flowers and stuff, and down a ways from the main cave was some very old steps and a much smaller cave. We obeyed the sign that said stay off the steps and don't go inside.. Anyway, I was careful not to disturb anything like rocks and such in both spots.
On approaching the stupendously tall tree to read a small marker next to it, photographer Janice snapped the stunning picture you see below. We had no idea what had been captured on digital in that flash of a second. Not till later when Janice was uploading the memory card to the computer. Standing around in another room, I suddenly heard her in a low-pitched voice say "Oh my God, what is that?" I hurried to the screen and in less than two seconds intuitively felt we had caught something remarkable. You can bet we studied that picture very thoroughly and with great fascination..
So, for your enjoyment, interest, wonderment or just plain pondering; not to mention any skepticism, at least to the image, that will hopefully be laid to rest in just a bit, here it is. Although Janice was moving when the picture was taken, most interesting is the image appears to not only be standing still but in movement itself. Just very unusual when it finally dawned on me. It also seems as if it wanted to get into just the right place for the perfect, best, or most optimal picture to be taken of it; perhaps, with even Yours truly in the photo? If this is so, then it succeeded in that endeavor brilliantly.
And, as Ms. Brenda Barnes (a photography expert) pointed out so insightfully after examining it, since the photo is digital, it is not any malfunction of the camera nor is it a flash issue since we were in the light of mid-day. A double exposure or anything like that can also be ruled out. With thousands of photos taken over time by or with me in the photo nothing even remotely like this has showed up on them, and with the backstory that you've maybe just read, and the particular setting and so on...well, it just super adds to the likelihood that this is something authentically remarkable in our humble opinion.
SO FINALLY, AFTER THE BRIEF HISTORY AND LONG BACKSTORY, HERE IT IS
Another well-regarded friend said they had seen something similar near a relative's grave and believed it a higher spiritual being attached to the venerable tree. I sure hope so and do not know if it was the wolf entity experienced 25 years earlier or is something else. The inclination, gut feeling if you want to call it that, is that it was not the wolf but a separate intelligence with a rounded appendage - even shapeshifting quality to its appearance; and yes, even a bit like Caspar with the rounded part of it on the tree, but only initially. Who knows what it is? I sure don't. What it is, is what it is, period.
In late June a person I know to be a very busy and popular writer, that has a great deal of knowledge with this kind of thing, was able to remark that they knew what it was. Here is their answer: The entity is called a Dryad, or glade diva-sprite or elemental entity, attached to the tree. "She", the spirit, felt curious about, and comfortable with me, and probably allowed her image to be taken. The person also said the veil between our world and theirs is growing thinner. They are attached to old trees and are now learning to trust humans again.
Although I'll keep an open mind on all this, you won't find me disagreeing at the moment with this wise and
intelligent person's interpretation, either. There are photos of the scene without the watermark if they are ever needed. And without meaning to offend anyone's sensibilities, cottonwoods can be either male or female, and the discerning eye might wonder if this as a male tree, with its size and the protruding knob leaking sap; all the more fitting, in a sense, if this towering wood truly is a nymph's home.
Photos and videos of anomalous objects are not uncommon these days. Some are surely real and many are not. But a lot of them, and what makes this one unique in my opinion, is that most of them, are of things like UFO's, aliens, hominids (bigfoot, etc.), human- appearing ghosts and such. The camera and SD are in a secure place with copies being made and unfortunately, a watermark to prove absolutely and unequivocally that the photo is of Carolinian's Archives ownership.
Classical Greece was the home of Aristotle, Plato, Socrates and so many other people of genius. I haven't seen any Parthenon's being built lately either. The point being, maybe photos and videos would have been taken way back then if they'd had them by these no-nonsense folk that were the first to record and classify, in exquisite, scientific-like detail these entities; they certainly didn't seem like they writing about any fantasies or fables. For the most part, the all-inclusive name they've generally been given nowadays is simply dryads.
We all, or most of us, I take for granted, would like to see any other purported photos or videos of these beings to compare this one to them. After a thorough search on the internet, I found but very few and none of them impressed me at all; except for one I feel almost certain is genuine and shows a more female-looking, ethereal image as it appears to glide towards a large tree at night. Its passing by apparently triggered a trail cam.
In conclusion, I hope the reader enjoyed this little adventure through the Boone's Cave area , which at least with the granite cave, maybe the whole park, I believe to be a conduit, or even permanent home, for paranormal forces - some at least, seemingly benevolent- that interact with people occasionally, and, whether the visitor is aware of it or not.. However, this should in no way keep any believer in the mysterious, unknown or paranormal from going there with friends, family, or even alone to this very nice and unique place..
At some point in the early years of settlement, or near it, the cave acquired the name of the Devil's Den. Perhaps, these people, experiencing paranormal activity or entity appearances around the area or in the cave, may have only had a religious perspective to put it all in. But, and in finishing the story, I do hope many of you who haven't been there get to see and explore this wonderful park, and for those who do go there regularly or on occasion,
I'm glad you enjoy the good time you have there in fun, peace, contemplation, history and nature.
For more info here is the Davidson County link:http://www.co.davidson.nc.us/ParksAndRecreation/Boone%60sCaveParkInformation.aspx