Saturday, January 30, 2010

Something in the Storm

This year we in the United States have had a more aggressive winter than usual.

Depending on your geographical location you may have experienced a few feet to a few inches when you otherwise would have not experienced little or no snowfall whatsoever.

Here in Erie PA, we usually get our fair share of white out conditions and blizzards. In fact snowfall is so commonplace that many of the local residents do not even shovel their driveways until at least 6 inches fall. You get used to living and driving in many feet of accumulated snow.

But you never get used to the blizzards.

For we have Lake Effect Snow here in Erie, it is common place to have a foot or more of accumulated snow overnight multiple times during the season. But every decade or so this area gets blasted with a massive storm that shuts down the entire community. Even though equipped with fleets of government snow removal vehicles and scores of private snow plow businesses, these operators cannot keep up with the overwhelming snowfall.

This year the storms were bad, but in the mix there was no storm of a lifetime. Though snowdrifts of 7 feet or more were scattered throughout the region, there have been times that a rough wintry blast has left drifts up to 12 feet or more in many places. However what this season's storms lacked in volume, they made up with sheer force. The violent winds and driving snow brought down trees, damaged buildings and prevented anyone but the foolhardy or daring and resolved emergency workers to venture forth into the tempest's grasp. I was one of those, delivering medicine to hospice patients during the heart of the storm, and I have to say that it was one of the worst conditions I have ever experienced. The driving wind blew the light snow that had already fallen and mixed it with the flakes that were still coming down to limit visibility to only a foot in front of my vehicle. I was surreal to suddenly see a jack knifed tractor trailer emerge from the blinding snow. It had tried to take a shortcut from the closed highway and landed in a 45 degree angle across three fourths of the road. The wind had blown it across the road and the ice prevented it's brakes from stopping it from ending in the ditch. My car shuddered throughout the whole trip, being hit by barrage after barrage of gusts from the mighty storm.

In the midst of it, knowing you were experiencing an unusual storm there were times you could feel like there was some willful force behind the gail. A destructive force of chaos that mercilessly cut a path across the country. Of course one would think this is a natural response, being faced with the raw poawer of nature is an awesome experience.

However within the last month I have received two e-mails that makes one suppose that perhaps there was something in the storm that was not wholly natural, at least as to what norms of nature that we are accustomed to. From "Jacob"

"...It was on this past December 19th, just less than a month ago. It was early morning and I always check on the chicken coop first thing. The wind was whipping hard and there was a huge pile of snow on the side of the shed. The wind had pushed almost all the snow from the field up to it. The wind was making a loud wild sound, and as I came up to the barn, I was sure that I was hearin something strange in the wind. I stopped there since I thought it could be a neighbor or some other stuck outside since it sounded like a human scream. It was not right though. It seemed really wrong, like wounded animal crying at the top of it's lungs but with a man's voice. All I could think of was someone stuck out in the storm, so I walked out to the field to see where the screaming was coming from. "

Jacob then recalls how he wandered into the field, and the location of the screaming voice seemed to always be out of reach. It seemed to always dwell just outside the edge of sight in the storm, and every time he turned away to give up in his search, the voice became more frantic. So he kept on his quest only to find himself caught up and lost in a blinding blizzard. It was then as his panic set in he believes he saw the source of the screams:
"It was like a big shadow in the blowing snow, I knew it was the person i was lookin for so I ran to it. then I saw how big it was. It was like a giant, almost twice the size of a man, but with a man's shape. It was either covered in fur or wore an animal fur coat because I could see the hair moving in the wind. As I got to it, the screamin became louder and louder, and from the sight of it and the sound of it I knew that this thing was just wrong. I had to get away from it as fast as possible. I ran as fast as I could and made sure the screaming thing was behind me. After a few minutes the snow was not coming down as hard and I found myself back in the field behind the shed. It was then that the screaming voice had stopped... I don't know what it was out there, but I knew I was in danger of my life, and that thing was not of this world. I think it was pure evil..."

Jacob was not sure what he had encountered last December during thst storm, but he is resolute ass to the reality of what he saw. He was sure he was not hallucinating or observing amirage due to the blinding snow.

Something evil was in the storm.

Something that tried to lure him to his doom.

So what was it? There are a lot of possibilities.

Immediately to me it brings to mind the mythological Sirens as portrayed in the greek classics of Homer and Ovid. However what Jacob saw was not a beautiful seductress, but a hideous monster like unto Typhon. Since this encounter happened in old Seneca Indian territory perhaps we should look into Native American mythology and the destructive wind spirit Dagwanoenyent of the Iroquois.

It's appearance is similar to a Sasquatch as well. Pennsylvania certainly has its fair share of Sasquatch sightings according to the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Societies reports.

Perhaps an exact nomenclatural designation for the creature is moot; as spirits do assume a different persona depending upon the circumstances. Be it Typhon, Dagwanoenyent, Set or Thor; the names may change but their mythological archetype speaks to us in the same basic way.

There is something in the storm.

Something powerful, dangerous and malevolent.

Until Next Time,

Pastor Swope

Defeat of the Cyber Pirates!

Although it feels like forever since I have published anything here, I am finally back after an attack by cyber pirates. I have had a suspicion for months that my computer had been assaulted and turned into a zombie for someones nefarious plans, then the old hard drive was boarded and pillaged!

Speaking of zombies, Brad Steiger is about to release a follow up to his wildly successful "Real Vampires" called "Real Zombies". It is packed full of true tales of encounters with the undead by various authors. Like "Real Vampires" I am humbly privileged to be one of the contributors. You can pre-order it here by clicking on the book cover!

I am putting the finishing touches on a new story that should be up today or tomorrow. Hopefully I will be back in full swing after this long lull and new updates will be coming regularly!

Until Next Time,
Pastor Swope