I’m knee deep in research for Clusters right now. (I’m simultaneously writing Clusters and Masochists) I came across these two cases and needed to share it with you guys.
In 2002, twenty year old Christopher Tompkins, worked with three others on a surveying crew. While walking behind his co-workers on the side of an isolated forested road in Georgia, Christopher disappeared into thin air. Within minutes, his co-workers were searching the area where they last saw Chris. On the ground, they found one of his boots, some change from his pockets, and his tools. A few yards away, a small piece of his pants was found torn on the top of a barbed-wire fence about eight feet above the shoulder of the road. The other side of the barbed wire fence was private property composed of deep forest, swamp, and small rivers. One year later, Christopher’s other boot was located on the other side of the fence by the land owner.
The evidence seems to indicate that something turned Christopher upside down and carried him over the barbed wire fence. What could have done that? It must have had incredible speed, stealth, and the strength to carry a man over an eight foot fence in a matter of a few seconds. Also, consider that the attack took a high level of strategic planning. Christopher was the last in line behind two other men. Something was watching him, tracking him, getting into position, and moving with calculated precision. Christopher was hit so hard his boot came off! Why didn’t Chris yell out? Why didn’t the men walking fifty feet in front of him hear or see anything? What the hell could have done this?
This is the one that really gets to me ;
In 1969, Dennis Martin was almost seven years old. He was hiking and camping with his family on the Appalachian Trail inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They started their day at Russell Field and hiked approximately two miles to Spence Field. While relaxing near a shelter, Dennis’ father watched Dennis duck behind a bush while playing hide and seek with a group of other children. At 4:30 pm, when Dennis did not come out from his hiding place, his father got up to look for him. Dennis was gone.
The search for Dennis began within five minutes of his disappearance. His grandfather ran down the rugged five mile trail to park headquarters to alert authorities. By 8:30 PM, a full scale search was underway for Dennis. During the next few weeks and months, thousands of people would scour the entire area looking for Dennis. Helicopters were brought in, base camps were set up, military personnel and Green Berets were used, and the FBI was monitoring the search.
After months of searching, the only possible sign of Dennis that was ever reported was a shoe print. Years later, after the search ended, there was an unconfirmed sighting of a child’s skeleton. Officially, this is where the story ends.
However, at approximately 5:30 PM on the day of the disappearance, about an hour after Dennis went missing, the Key family was in another area of the park about eight miles away called Cades Cove. They were hiking along the Rowans River when they heard what was described as a loud, unearthly scream coming from the woods. When they turned to look, they saw what was described by the press as an “unkept man”, “wild-man”, “bear”, or “man in a bear suit” darting between the trees trying to hide from the Key family. What the press did not report but was later confirmed by the Key family, was that the “bear-man” was carrying something over its shoulder that looked like a child.
Even more puzzling, the FBI did not believe this had anything to do with Dennis even though the Green Berets then closed down the entire area and started their own search completely separate from the ongoing search for Dennis. The Martin family was informed of the Key family sighting after reading it in the newspaper during the search for Dennis. In an effort to prove it might be connected, Dennis’ father and a park ranger made the trip on foot from Spence Field to the Cades Cove area in time to make it a possibility.
CLUSTERS – SUMMER 2014