Sunday, May 10, 2015

Are There Doors in the World?

A novel that I like quite a bit is Charles deLint's The Little Country. In that book he allows the reader to believe that there are places where [my phrase now] "the world grows thin" and one can pass from one reality to another --- for we Earthlings, Terra to Faerie, or whatever one wants to call your favorite "other place". In deLint's book, the transporting place was the Men-an-Tol in Cornwall. 

I used the picture above long ago { 11/21/09 } on this blog to lead off a wildly Out Proctor claim by an old Alaskan copper miner that he had in fact stumbled through such a portal and knew exactly where it was. He had written of all people a UFOlogist about this, and his letter was passed on to Allen Hynek, who I presume did nothing about it --- it would have been a cold rough trip to the Yellowknife Copper Mountains region of upper Canada. 

This was the general region that he described....

.... and this was the specific. There is a Willow Creek running west/east on the left side of the map, and a lake pooling in it. He mentioned Willow Lake as his main camp. {so get your tickets}.

The countryside is not scenic. The ground is mainly rock with a moss and lichen cover. His job was to wander about this area pounding on promising looking surfaces, and if lucky taking samples for lab analysis. It was near the end of a tenure out in this wilderness when he was finished with his job and just decided to wander, when his adventure happened. Before I go into it though, here is why I'm writing about this again: a regular reader of this blog noticed that this story, slightly different [as it came from a relative of the witness whose letter Hynek had] had been been posted on another site. As the story was the same [all the settings were identical plus the beginning and ending], but different [the original witness correspondence had left out some high strangeness], this "news" cried out for a new hearing.

The part of the story that I had had him walking into a nearby but new area and coming upon a narrow gully, almost a cleft, in the low mountain there. This cleft was only four feet wide and about 50 feet long. It took a 50 foot drop to get down there. {some of this fellow's description is a bit unclear to me, but I'm going to assume that it was the initial gouge in the cliff-face which was 4x50 and after that you got out into a small gully which widened out a little.}

Once into this gully he saw some odd rocks which were very puzzling to him plus one old dead tree and no other signs of life. What fixed his attention though was a "stable" highly localized fog bank shaped like a tube. This was too much to resist so he walked into it.

In "my" letter, he walks two steps into the mist and begins to see a vast grassy field which increased in height as he walked until it was three feet high. Startled, he walked back out. He couldn't resist however and again walked back in.

As he penetrated the mist further, he began to see more to his left and right which allowed him to see much greenery and even what he called "an oasis", as the mist left him. In my letters at this moment he says his mind went blank except for a fight or flight instinct, and he forced himself to stagger and crawl out of there, soon returning to camp. But with the new material from his relative, it appears that he left a little something out --- understandable when you read it and consider that he was trying to get people to believe his story so as to go back up there with him to reclaim this location.

So what happened when the mist cleared and he was surrounded by the beautiful green world?

He had company .... apparently interested company. My composition above isn't exactly accurate [ robes only went to the knees and they had sandals ] but the feeling is creepily in synch with the way these entities made our fellow feel. ... which was almost nauseous with fear and shaken. He said that these "persons" just hung there in the air staring at him from their vantage of three feet off the ground. They never addressed him nor one another ... just silently stared.

This, understandably, made him want to get-the-hell out of there, and he scrambled up a nearby slope to put distance between them. One of the entities continued to turn in his direction as he climbed. There was one more Whackland experience before he "got back to reality." He came to a small hillside lake, or something. This "lake" consisted of two triangular bodies of water separated by a regular row of plants, and generally looking geometrically constructed. Well, OK, so what?

The "lake" sloped seriously downhill AND ITS WATER LEVEL SLOPED PARALLEL TO THE HILLSIDE. Uhhhhh .... WAIT A MINUTE!!! He was so shook up at the moment that the impossibility of this [in our reality of physical law] didn't fully register on him until he was well away.

Somehow he got into familiar rocky mossy country and found his way to camp.

Did our fine fellow not only walk trough a portal mist into Faerie but even encounter two of its inhabitants? His, as we know, is not the only such claim even in my files. Diarmuid MacManus has a few such tales of blundering across a threshhold onto "The Stray Sod". And it's intriguing, and annoying, that some UFO cases have these darn mists just before the weirdness happens.

Well, what can I tell you?: I like the idea. I liked going to deLint's portal in Cornwall too, and even going through the Men-an-Tol opening --- no, I wasn't too fat [and it was very unkind of you to think that]. But I WAS obviously unworthy as no Faeryland landscape appeared other than the Cornish landscape itself. [which can be pretty close].

So, once again, an abject failure ... but maybe it was a moment of fun for you.



  1. That was amazing and weird. I have two portal stories from the Southern California's North County area from the Luiseno tribe. Although these don't involve the mysterious fog, they both involve other worlds "in" ours. The first one involved a hunter out in the foothills hunting for game. He spied a rabbit and shot at it. It runs behind a tree which has a boulder, or part of the mountain behind it. The hunter goes back there and finds that the tree had been hiding a hole in the rock, not a cave, but big enough for the rabbit to hide in. He crawls into the opening to find the rabbit cowering in the back. That is when he saw something like a "waterfall" but not water. It was shimmering and he could see through it. Now he has forgotten about the rabbit and goes closer. He sees another world beyond this curtain and goes through slowly. He sees a whole other world, a grassy meadow and advances further. But before he goes very far, he gets scared and returns quickly to tell his people.
    The second one is from Constance DuBois' (1908) The Religion of the Luiseno Indians of So. Cal., pg 155 and is called "The Spring Behind the Cemetery". I'll paraphrase most of it: A man goes to the spring to collect yucca but drops his digging stick into the water. Because he is a witch, he dives
    down to get it. (I believe when they say witch, it is meant he is a medicine man with great power. Also, diving or bathing at the head of a spring, which is considered by many tribes to be portal, is a no-no.) He comes out in another land where a man and woman ask him who his and what is he doing here?
    He stays for 3 day with them. "He was very thirsty, so the woman gave him a little shell full of water. He drank and drank, and still the shell was full of water. He was hungry and they gave him honey to eat." He began to long for home and was told he could go if he promised never to tell what he had seen. If he broke this promise he would die from a rattlesnake bite. So he agrees and they "painted him all over and pushed him out " where he was now In his own home. His family keep demanding to know where he was so he reluctantly tells all. He says I'm going to die so bury me over here at this flat, dry place after you burn my ashes and after a spring will be here. Sure enough, he is bit by a rattlesnake and dies. He is cremated and buried then, "...two or three days after there was a spring of water there. One can see it now behind the cemetery, and fresh coals, pieces of charcoal, are always rising where the water bubbles up."

    I hope you like those. --Mrs. C

    1. I very much liked the tales, thank you. Both stories involve "fluid barriers" through which the percipient experiences the "otherworld", as does the story in the blog; but not all "passing overs" do, so that's not a universal clue. Although the second tale is more detailed, I like the first far better. The second has the feel of a culture-wisdom folktale, while the first has the feel of an encounter [no revelatory "wisdom" to impart to children "around the campfire".] I think that this first tale could be a keeper regarding real possibilities of realities alongside [in some sense of that phrase].

    2. Yes, I personally like the first one very much. It didn't read like the other ones at all, more like a little newspaper account so it seems that's just what it was. It would be cool to find this place but there are a lot of rattlesnakes in the local area. Regarding your post, the Sahtu First Nations literature could be helpful. If I see anything, I'll let you know. ---Mrs. C

  2. i tried to locate the site he mentioned on google map , there's many clues on that place , two 10 foot tall half-egg shaped rocks near the ledge, and the place is nortwest of his camp , but which one is his camp at that time ? the willow creek camp or the burnt creek camp ? i assume it was the burnt creek camp and the place is north west of it. Since it took a day of exploring on foot. the distances he can possibly explored can be estimated , as long as the camp site can be determined.. There's a highly detailed freely available canadian topography map in official geological website.

    In the letter he mentioned he came to the area with a whole group of prospectors to look for ores. this main camp is located 10 miles from his camp. i assume this main camp is further west of the topo map, and not visible (there's an even larger lake west of the topo map' , and their 'satellite' camp might be on the willow creek and on the burnt creek area (marked as 'cabin' on your topo map.

    based on the diagram / drawing by his brother, the place of encounter is north of the line between the main group camp and his satellite camp. so i assume the area he mentioned is located directly northwest of the burnt creek camp, not the willow creek camp. there's satellite image of the area and it fits the description, hilly and dotted with small ponds and gullies.. too bad the resolution is not detailed enough to see small gullies..

  3. a bit of correction , the 2 entities he saw appeared when he already out from the mist and on his hands and knees... when he looked up at the mist, he saw 2 humanoid entities floating 3 feet up at the edge of the mist... then he looked at the ground and looked up again, now one of the entities hang back behind the front entities and seem to be sitting down... thats when he bolted out and scramble out of the gully, with one of the entities still watching him..

    Prof, my personal opinion , this guy looked like a rat that got away from the mousetrap.. once the trap failed to capture him , the entities showed themselves , but only once they knew their trap failed... otherwise they would greet him in the grassy field, instead of staring at him like that.. The faerie comparison is spot on, and just like your previous post about a boy that got invited into a nunehhi's house , and returned safely.. though i doubt that this man would be returned alive if he entered that world..

    1. Yes, your description is that of the second reference from the Canadian blog. My story is first told the way that he wrote it to the UFOlogists, and then I added in the parts he left out. Not sure that it makes a difference which sequence [at that emerging juncture] matters, but one can buy it whichever way one feels best.

      As to the deductions about what "their" intentions were, I don't have enough information to make that sort of deduction. The only approach to that would be to survey a lot of other encounter stories which allegedly went farther than this one.

    2. the "missing 411" by david paulides show cases of very strange disappearance in national forests/parks.. it ruled out cases of foulplay, animal attack and usual cases, only focused on the very unexplainable cases. some of the cases are practically taken out from faerie books , like kids who disappeared and found far away , and he said a big wolf took him and gave him berries (???) , and other kid said he was taken into a cave by a grandma (someone who looked like his granma) and told to poop on a piece of paper.

      i read it and immediately think of the many cases in your blog where some people suddenly walk into alternate reality. what if they dont turn back ? will they be found dead years later ? like someone who entered the faerie ring and dance with the faerie for hours and returned home to find its been days or weeks passed..

  4. Reference : detailed coppermine / burntcreek topography map

    Reference : Burnt Creek and Surrounding area , Satellite imagery / Aerial photos

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  6. There are several time-slip / alternate landscape stories on the Glitch in the Matrix sub-reddit. These usually have reports of eerie silence, feelings of wrongness, sometimes terror, and time distortions -- usually the journey taking far longer than the clock later indicates, but sometimes missing time. A search using "silent or quiet" pulls up many of these sorts of stories. Unlike the story you recount, these are usually in populated areas, sometimes in buildings, the differences are usually not extreme, being more like variants of the location and the portal, if any, is not obvious and not persistent.

    1. Thanks. Wish I had time to read a few hundred of these and make a little study. I read the one called "Post apocalypse/ alternate universe neighborhood(?)" and with the exception of the inevitable immature jerk comments which followed it was fascinating. {fortunately most comments were genuinely curious and respectful, and the reporter was patient}.

    2. Thanks for your mention of The Little Country; I'm about halfway through and enjoying it. I'm not sure how I missed out on reading de Lint since I have read hundreds of fantasy novels, though my taste runs more toward SF.

      Your question "are there doors?" naturally reminded me of that great Gene Wolfe novel There Are Doors, which gets into inter-dimensional portals much more quickly than The Little Country.

      Back cover description: "There Are Doors is the story of a man who falls in love with a goddess from an alternate universe. She flees him, but he pursues her through doorways -- interdimensional gateways -- to the other place, determined to sacrifice his life, if necessary, for her love. For in her world, to be her mate. . .is to die." (Actually all women in the alternate universe are fatal to their mates in that universe, though they continue to give birth for many years after.)

      Wolfe's description of the doors stirs my imagination: "It will be closed all around. (They must be closed on all sides.) It may be a real door, or just something like a guy-wire supporting a phone pole, or an arch in a garden. Whatever it is, it will look significant. Please read carefully. Please remember everything I'm saying. You must not go through. If you go through before you realize it, don't turn around. If you do it will be gone. Walk backward at once."

      When I'm in a certain mood, I like to think that every such door-like thing I pass through is a magic gate to a slightly better world.

    3. I can relate to that "romance".

      If you decide that you like The Little Country, you might like de Lint's two-piece fantasy about parallel reality, Moonheart and Spirit Walk. People much smarter than I about Charles de Lint doubtless know many more of his works, but that's where my knowledge ends.

  7. Hi The Professor,

    Are there cases of portals that happen at big urban areas like places with large population? Like portals at houses, parks or streets? Or does it happen mainly in rural/natural areas? Thanks!


    1. If I knew the answer to things like that I'd buy a ticket and head over there for a little adventure. Portals tend to show up inside structures when you're writing fantasy fiction, but in the anomalies files there isn't much claiming of that. In UFOlogy the things that seem like they might be portals or interfaces of some kind are outdoors things. But the question begs the further question: are all time-shift "glitches" due to crossing some interface?, and are sudden or surprising indoor "visitations" due to portals? If any of that is true [and I am hardly the one to know], then the portal or crossover point seems "indoors" in such cases. The main point of interest for our fellow who told the tale of the wilderness portal/interface was that he thought that the thing would be permanently located. You never get a thing like that claimed in UFOlogy and when you read about such things in the other anomalies it is in reference to something like a haunted spot. In the literature on Black {Faerie} Dogs, you can read of specific places where the Dog has appeared many times, and vanishes many times. A somewhat stable portal? At the "Bigelow {Skinwalker} Ranch", there was a Portal-in-the-Sky witnessed once along with all manner of other high strangeness encounters. A few persons today still probe that area hoping to experience further weirdness emanating from whatever produces that strangeness.

  8. Thank you again, The Professor. You gave me good light telling to consider haunted spots and other high strange phenomena too. Indeed, those anomalies happen in urban areas. So one option is to look for texts about those cases that share similar conditions of portals.


  9. another canadian wilderness story in this link

    not exactly the same experience and location as the prospector described above , but these 3 hikers experienced 'unusual' environment after crossing a dried creek bed (no fog interface here) before experiencing the usual 'the whole world is silent , no animal sound etc' and wierd plant life..

    "In 1988, two friends and I decided to hike into Stave Glacier. On this occasion we had decided to take an alternate and more route into the upper Stave River valley. Our route started at the end of the logging road at Glacier Lake in the north Harrison Lake area and was
    to go directly through the side valley to Stave Glacier.

    We left our camp at Glacier Lake at dawn and started our trek through the heavy bush and over endless windfalls. We had been hiking for roughly half a day when we crossed a small dried creek bed about 20 feet wide. One the other side of this dried bed the whole world changed. It was like we had entered a distorted world void of life. Everything was mystically different. There were no signs of life whatsoever, no birds chirping, no squirrels chattering, no animal tracks of any kind, nothing. Even the plant life was abnormal. The Ferns and Devils Club were huge and unusually brighter in color, almost to the point of being florescent in appearance. The ground moss felt like it was several feet thick and we sank inches into it as we walked. The sensation can be loosely be compared to walking across a trampoline. Walking had a buoyant feeling. "

    There was also a definite feeling of impending doom that we all felt but never voiced. Although no one said a word, each of use suggested that we
    end our venture and return to our vehicles. There were no arguments as we simply turned and retraced out steps. There is no explanation for what the three of us experienced after crossing that dried creek bed. Each one of were skilled outdoors men with years of wilderness and survival experience under our belts. We were all experienced hunters and each of us had our rifles. Two of us were also former Canadian Military members with combat arms experience.

  10. this cherokee myth have certain elements that i felt similar to the prospector's story (only in some cases though) ..

    basically it is about a young warrior falling in love with 2 strange maidens who then invited the warrior to their house ...

    "The women led the way along a trail through the woods, which the young man had never noticed before, until they came to a small creek, where, without hesitating, they stepped into the water. The young man paused in surprise on the bank and thought to himself, "They are walking in the water; I don't want to do that." The women knew his thoughts just as though he had spoken and turned and said to him, "This is not water; this is the road to our house." He still hesitated, but they urged him on until he stepped into the water and found it was only soft grass that made a fine level trail."

    "They went on until the trail came to a large stream which he knew for Tallulah river. The women plunged boldly in, but again the warrior hesitated on the bank, thinking to himself, "That water is very deep and will drown me; I can't go on." They knew his thoughts and turned and said, "This is no water, but the main trail that goes past our house, which is now close by." He stepped in, and instead of water there was tall waving grass that closed above his head as he followed them."

    "They went only a short distance and came to a rock cave close under Ugûñ'yï (Tallulah falls). The women. entered, while the warrior stopped at the mouth; but they said: "This is our house; come in and our brother will soon be home; he is coming now." They heard low thunder in the distance. He went inside and stood tip close to the entrance. Then the women took off their long hair and hung it up on a rock, and both their heads were as smooth as a pumpkin. The man thought, "It is not hair at all," and he was more frightened than ever."

    ok the last part is the crazy part, because the young warrior was in love with the girls because of their beautiful hair, then he realized it is not hair but some kind of wig.. there's also some abduction cases where the man being abducted was accosted by a 'female' alien and he think the 'female alien' wearing a wig (i forgot the link)..



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