The Magician’s Apprentice – Season 1 Episode 6

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You’re listening to The Storage Papers.  Episode 6: The Magician’s Apprentice

What is it about magic tricks that mystifies us?  We all know that they’re primarily optical illusions or some kind of deception, and yet we watch, amazed, most likely because someone has been able to fool us without us knowing exactly how.  I would argue that the majority of people don’t believe actual magic is real – that someone can possess unique knowledge or that physical objects can be moved with the mind.  But then again, if you look at stories within most religions, wouldn’t you classify many of those things as “scientifically impossible”?  

This summarizes an age-old argument between science and religion, between skeptics and believers.  The belief that something thought to be impossible may be achievable is not so far fetched.  Governments across the world, including our own, have invested millions of dollars in research into psychic phenomena, ESP, and other abilities.  You have to wonder what their research has found.  Unless you believe your government is forthcoming and shares this kind of information with the public.

Today’s episode comes in the form of interrogation notes of someone who claims to be able to perform the impossible, yet he claims it’s not magic.


Interrogation of Preston Nicholson, recorded by Special Agent Victoria Almeida, FBI, 19 May 1997:

Background – Mr. Nicholson had been detained by the local jurisdiction, and I was briefed by Detective Mark Anderson upon my arrival.  I recently issued a warrant for his arrest for grand theft, or more specifically, potential links to multiple accounts of theft across the country.  He has had a few prior accusations by several various local law enforcement agencies across the country, but has never been charged or convicted according to my records.

Mr. Nicholson is a Mentalist.  That is, he travels across the country with his act, visiting dozens of county fairs between the months of April and September each year.  He appears to make a decent income with what the fair pays him, but he also accepts tips, which appear to exceed his annual income.  If anything, we may be able to get him on tax evasion.  But that’s not why I brought him in.

Last year I became aware of a pattern of petty theft occurring, which is not normally within the jurisdiction of the FBI, but when you combine the total of cash being stolen, by who I believe is Preston Nicholson, this could be a significant amount for a grand theft charge if I can link him to it.  It is my belief that he is getting greedy, and that’s typically what ends up getting a thief caught.

The FBI has allowed me to be a part of a field test group for new software, which the agents all refer to as “the brain,” which I find a little cliche’.  It’s apparently connected to a wide network of law enforcement agency databases, and continues to connect to new ones each day.  It’s programmed with an algorithm to do one thing: find patterns and report data.  The data then goes to an FBI analyst, and then whether or not it’s perceived as something significant, they then assign an agent to pursue further investigation.  I’m told this is a joint FBI-CIA project, but I have yet to see how the CIA is involved.

During my actual interrogation of Nicholson, his story aligned with what I knew about his current work, traveling with the county fair.  In fact, he nearly admitted to stealing money, and he was really kind of cocky about the whole thing.  What he told me was… interesting, to say the least.  He was smug, but I didn’t believe he was lying.

I decided to ask him about how one becomes a Mentalist.  He explained that he had a fascination with magic ever since he was a child.  He practiced card tricks in his spare time, and his parents always encouraged him.  When he was about to graduate high school, he attended the Yavapai County Fair in Prescott, Arizona in the late 1980s.  He said he witnessed the best magic act he had ever seen.  The venue was at the outskirts of the fairgrounds, bordering the pine trees.  To his surprise, there were only a few people in attendance, but he thought it was likely due to the lack of flashy lights or music that would normally draw peoples’ attention.

He said there were multiple performers, all doing tricks that he thought were fairly novice.  But the last performer in the show performed “real magic”.  He didn’t name the performer, and I am checking records to see what I can dig up.  There’s got to at least by tax records from the fair to look into.  

The magician invited 5 people on stage with him, then he proceeded to sit in a chair in the middle of the stage.  His assistant set up 5 bar stools in a circular pattern around him, and placed a bowling pin sitting upright on each stool.  Then he instructed the 5 volunteers to pick a bar stool to stand next to.  When they did, he invited them to pick up the bowling pin and make sure nothing was attached to them before returning them to the chair.  Then he invited them to examine the bar stools.  Once they all agreed there was nothing attached, he closed his eyes, and began to levitate each bowling pin.  I thought he was using magnets at first. 

His assistant walked around the circle instructing the volunteers to try to grab the pins.  When they did, the pins moved out of their grasp.  One of the volunteers appeared flustered, and continued grabbing for his pin, but the pin moved in multiple directions.  This alone excluded magnets as a possibility for me.  The magician sensed his frustration, and invited him to try once more, stating he would not pull it away again.  He was able to grab it, and he examined the pin again before shaking his head and releasing it back into the air.  He was obviously upset, and tension grew as he began shouting obscenities at the magician.  The man called him a phony and challenged the magician to move something else.

With all five bowling pins still in the air, the magician held out both hands, extending his index and middle fingers, then placed them on his temples and closed his eyes.  It was great showmanship.  Then he instructed the man to reach for his pin again, which was suspended above his head.  As he reached for it, the pin rose higher.  The crowd gasped, which confused the man, but also drew his attention to the fact that he was suspended in mid-air as well, about two feet off the ground.  The magician asked in a theatrical voice, “do you still doubt my powers?”  I couldn’t tell if he was just being dramatic or if he was becoming angry.  The man, obviously frightened at this point, said “no” as he panicked, flailing his arms in an attempt to lower himself.

He was gently lowered to the ground and the volunteers were dismissed.  Though the small crowd had risen to their feet in a standing ovation, I watched as the magician lowered the bowling pins back onto the stools, and the man walked quickly to the exit, eyes welling up with tears.  I stuck around after the show hoping to chat with this magician.  I wanted to learn from him, and I was eager to see if he would take on an apprentice.  He refused, of course.  But I followed him to three different fairs before I warranted any kind of consideration.  

He agreed to meet me in a public place on a day that he wasn’t performing.  We ended up going to a local diner where he asked me one question.  “Do you believe magic is nothing more than deception?”  When I said yes, he smiled.  We had a long talk about my life goals, my family, and a bunch of personal things before he agreed to take me on as his apprentice.  Then he showed me real magic.

Through spending time with him, and as a result of his training, I began to develop abilities beyond anything I could imagine.  You see, he claimed to be part of a secret government project earlier in his life.  He had been identified through his medical records as an ideal candidate for experimental espionage, having a specific family history and some unique genetic attributes that he wouldn’t discuss with me.  He explained some details about the program, saying that a lot of the information had gone public, so he wasn’t violating any nondisclosure agreements by telling me.

He claimed to be a part of something called “Project Hydra”, which carried out the training through some government shadow agency, most likely the CIA, and various supporting teaching institutions.  They used specific curricula to teach three levels of psychical abilities.  The first level was telekinesis, in other words, moving objects just by thinking about it.  Level 2 was remote viewing.  Once telekinesis was mastered, a person is more susceptible to activate other parts of your brain, unlocking additional abilities.  They trained him to observe sights and sounds outside of his immediate location.  The more practice he had, the farther away he could view.  Level three was interactive projection.  This was considered the most advanced by the CIA at the time, with only a small number of people successfully being able to do this.  It includes all the skills of telekinesis and remote viewing, but in addition, projection allowed other people to see him and communicate with him in remote locations.  

He quickly became their star student, and spent much more time than anyone else undergoing medical examinations of his brain, getting blood drawn, and experimenting with his abilities.  He was eventually given a security clearance and was utilized as a remote spy to assess nuclear threats and enemy military technology.  What they didn’t know was he continued developing capabilities beyond their knowledge and understanding.  

He described a fourth level of development, which he referred to as translocation, which added the ability to physically interact with objects in remote locations as if he were present.  This further developed into being able to interact with multiple objects simultaneously, as I had witnessed at the magic show when I watched him perform.  He began getting severe headaches when he practiced this for prolonged periods, so he reserved his performances and only practiced from time to time.  

And finally, he achieved a fifth level of mastery.  He was eventually diagnosed with a brain tumor and was given brief life expectancy, which he never divulged specifics about.  He called this fifth level “ethereal”, and said he could do everything in levels 1-4, and in addition, he could cause physical objects to translocate as well.  There was a distinction to be made though.  He could cause an untrained person to experience what it’s like to project, and they couldn’t interact with the physical environment.  Or he could actually translocate inanimate objects,permanently if he desired.  In other words, he could steal cash money from the pockets of everyone who attended his shows by simply thinking about it.  He’d remove it from their wallets and place it all in an undisclosed location with his mind while they watched him perform his “magic” tricks on stage.  That’s how he got away with it.  

He said he found the whole scenario ironic.  People show up expecting to see magic, which most often includes some kind of misdirection.  Within his magic trick being performed on stage, which was its own form of misdirection, there was the inception of the trick itself actually being the misdirection.  It was beautiful.  A “trick within a trick”, so to speak.  He paused to tell me to consider an additional level of inception.  He told me to consider how the FBI was trying to figure out how he could have possibly pulled off theft.  Then he, not so casually, suggested that may have been its own form of misdirection to keep them busy while he pulled off something else… something unthinkable.  And nobody would ever know.  

Mr. Nicholson must have noticed a facial expression I was making at this point.  I thought it was a great story, but there was no way I was buying it.  He said he knew I didn’t believe him and grinned, but I urged him to continue.

He went on to explain that he currently had abilities up to level three… interactive projection, where he could communicate with others in remote locations.  His mentor believed he could learn level four within the next few months.  He never admitted to stealing money himself, but he explained that his mentor would relieve his audience of a small amount of cash at each show, never going above $400.  It was the perfect scenario.  People attend the county fair with cash on-hand, and they were relatively close in proximity, so taking the money was easier.  He knew that he could get away with it because depending on the state you’re in, any theft above $400 or $500 was considered grand theft instead of petty theft.  Local law enforcement agencies would never start looking outside their jurisdiction for small potatoes, and he didn’t believe anyone would notice.  

I asked him why his mentor didn’t just steal credit cards.  He said it was because there was an electronic record anywhere credit cards were scanned, and the authorities could easily track you down with security camera footage and other new technology.  He was confident that small amounts of cash taken from various locations would be the ticket to remaining undetected.  Then he said his mentor actually attempted taking credit cards a couple of times in the past, and found that whenever he tried using them, the cards were demagnetized.  This led him to believe that perhaps the act of translocating a physical object may create some sort of electromagnetic field that caused demagnetization of the card.  

He spoke of the brilliance of the plan, and practically begged me to charge him, knowing that I have zero proof of any of this.   I asked him why he was providing me so much detail, and he said he just wanted to be able to share all of this information with someone, and that keeping it a secret was eating him alive.  He was so confident that he couldn’t be charged for this, that the only way he could possibly be convicted was if he demonstrated his abilities before a judge and jury.  And he wasn’t about to do that.  He was right, and he laughed in my face as I released him from custody.  He even thanked me for letting him get all of this off his chest.

Agent’s Notes:  We believe he is going by a new alias now, and we have lost track of him after placing him under surveillance in hopes to lead us to his mentor or get caught with some kind of evidence such as a large sum of cash.  I am reluctant to report this, but the team that had been monitoring his hotel room where he was last sighted consisted of three seasoned men.  They said they watched him enter the room, but never saw him leave.  They had been monitoring from three rooms over, and had ordered takeout from a local delivery service.  When the delivery arrived, they were unable to pay the fee because all three of their wallets were missing.  When they checked the room, he wasn’t there.

This leads me to two possible conclusions about Preston Nicholson, the magician’s apprentice, assuming what he told me was true.  Either his mentor aided him in efforts to evade us, or he truly did have mastery of all five levels of psychical abilities that he described.  Of course, there’s a possibility that this is all an attempt at deception, and I have been duped.  I am concerned about the future of my career at this point, as his entire statement is on record.  I have no other potential explanation for these events.  If none of this is true, and all of this was an elaborate deception, I’d still be impressed.

Additional Note:  Our search for any records of a “Project Hydra” has been unsuccessful according to our CIA counterparts.  Tax records received from the Yavapai County Fair produced no records of payment to any magician.  They produced all records between the years 1985 and 1990, which we later cross-referenced with IRS records, and they matched.  We were also able to reach the head of operations for the fairgrounds during those years, now retired.  He couldn’t recall there ever being a magic act at the fair during his years of employment.


Thank you for listening to The Storage Papers.  I would love to hear your thoughts on the cases I’ve brought forward so far.  You can reach me by social media or email.  I’m on Twitter and Instagram @StoragePapers.  Make sure to reference the episode.  Today’s is Episode 6, The Magician’s Apprentice.  

Have you become aware of any high strangeness near you?  If so, I would love to hear about it.  Please consider sharing this week’s episode via social media so these papers can get more exposure.

Ice Cream Man – Season 1 Episode 5

Episode Transcript

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Child abduction, general horror

You’re listening to The Storage Papers.  Episode 5: Ice Cream Man

I remember growing up in the 80’s and playing outside all day during the summers.  The neighborhood kids might be doing different things in a number of different groups down the street, but one thing was certain when we heard that familiar tune projecting from around the corner or down the road.  We would all experience that Pavlovian watering of the mouth, and we dropped what we were doing to run and ask our parents for spare change as if life or death depended on it.  

If we hustled, we might just get lucky enough to wave down the ice cream man to stop, and a line would form full of children we were both familiar with, and some we hadn’t even seen before.  Looking back, there was a kind of magic to those moments.  It didn’t matter what our differences might have been, whether we had been getting along okay or not, or if you were meeting a new kid on our street for the first time.  We all put it aside for just a few minutes to wait in line and enjoy some ice cream together.

Today’s witness statement comes from Marianne Ward, a single mother who worked two jobs to provide for her and her daughter, Chelsea, who probably had similar experiences chasing down the ice cream man during her summers off of school.  But for Chelsea, they would not be formed into fond memories following the summer of ‘84…


Statement by Marianne Ward, Monday, October 14, 1984, 6:45 p.m.  Detective Glenn Speck taking statement from the Emergency Room at Long Beach Naval Hospital:

I need to find out what happened to my daughter.  Chelsea has always been an outgoing and fun-loving 7 year old, but she’s been out of it since they found her this morning.  She won’t eat.  She refuses to speak to me.  I can’t even tell if she understands what I’m saying.  All she does is look off into the distance with a thousand-yard stare.  I mean, she’ll look at me when I try to get her attention, but I can’t tell if she’s processing anything I’m saying.  I think something traumatic happened to her, and I just want my little girl back.

No one knows anything about the few hours when she was gone, but I can tell you what led up to her being missing.  Last Friday night, we had a sleepover.  One of her friends from school was invited, Grace is her name, and she’s slept over several times before.  Her mother, Debbie and I are both divorced, and we’ve developed a great friendship over the last several years.  The night was fairly uneventful for the most part.  We ordered pizza, and after dinner the kids rolled out sleeping bags in the living room and watched some movies while I read a book on the couch.  

When it was bedtime, they begged me to let them sleep in my bedroom instead of going to Chelsea’s room.  There had been a news story about the rising rate of child abductions in the middle of the night right before the TV was turned off.  I didn’t have any problem with that, but they did keep me awake for a while with their chatting and giggling.  I didn’t object since it was the weekend and I didn’t have plans the next day.

That night I was awoken by a noise coming from the living room around 2:00 a.m.  It sounded like footsteps, but I wasn’t certain.  I laid in bed listening to make sure I hadn’t dreamed the noise, but I figured one of them might have gotten up to go to the bathroom.  I rolled over to see which one of them was up, but their sleeping bags were empty next to my bed.  As I got up to see what was going on, I became aware of music playing.  It sounded like the same music that you hear being played when the ice cream truck drove down the street during the summer, but I couldn’t be certain.  It was very faint, and somehow… different.

Before I could get out of my bedroom, I heard our front door being unlocked.  I had a deadbolt and a sliding chain lock, which I could hear being unlocked from the inside.  I rushed down the hall and into the living room to see what was happening, and as I arrived, I saw that both girls had also opened the front door, as well as our screen door and were walking outside.  

I told them to stop, and they acted like they hadn’t heard me.  I had to go to them and grab their arms to lead them back in the house.  Both of them had that catatonic look on their faces as if they had been sleepwalking at the same time.  Then simultaneously as if they had rehearsed it, they both said “The ice cream man is here, We have to go.”  Then the music began to fade, and it was like they returned back to normal as soon as it got quiet again.  They were confused, and somewhat alarmed.  Grace seemed bothered that I was holding onto her arm and shook loose.  I apologized and asked them why they were going outside, but they didn’t seem to recall doing that.  

The next morning, when Debbie picked up Grace, she was greeted at the door by a big hug from her daughter.  Apparently, she was anxious to leave, and blamed me for “acting scary”.  I’ve tried to call Debbie a couple of times this week, but she hasn’t returned my call yet.  I’m a little concerned about what Grace could have told her, and want her to at least hear from me about what happened.  But I’m far more concerned about Chelsea now.  

The following night, on Saturday, it happened again right at 2:00 a.m.  Chelsea had been in her room this time, and her door creaks when it opens.  That’s what initially woke me up, and as soon as I heard it, I got up.  Fortunately, she was still in our hallway headed toward the living room, but when I called her, she did not reply.  I could hear the ice cream truck’s music again, and again, it seemed off-tune.

I decided to follow her to see if she went for the door again, and she did.  Once again, I had to grab her arm and pull her to keep her from going outdoors.  Again, she said, “The ice cream man is here.  I need to go.”  As soon as the music stopped, she snapped out of it and asked to sleep in my bed the rest of the night.  She was extremely frightened and crying.  

For the entire week, I was afraid to go to sleep.  On Sunday night, I ended up staying up the whole night, and then I called in sick to work and stayed home after I took Chelsea to school.  The rest of the week, I set an alarm to go off at 1:55 a.m.  I wasn’t able to go to sleep after my alarm went off any of these nights, and on Friday night, it happened again.  My alarm went off at [1:55] and the music started up at 2:00 a.m. on the dot.  Chelsea had been sleeping in my bed, and she stood up to walk out of the bedroom.  

This time, I tried to catch her before she even got out into the hallway.  I tried to wake her, calling her name softly at first while I grabbed her arm above her elbow.  She wasn’t responding, so I pulled harder and called her name louder with each attempt.  She made it out to the hallway, and I still couldn’t get her attention.  It felt like no matter how hard I pulled, she moved forward with the same slow walking pace as if I wasn’t even there.  It was like she had superhuman strength.  The only reason she didn’t reach leave the house successfully is because I blocked the front door so she couldn’t reach the locks.  

This whole time, I had been behind her, trying to pull her away from the front door.  I hadn’t noticed her face until she turned around.  Her eyes were pitch black like hollowed out holes, and she had tears rolling down her cheeks.  Then a voice came out of her that wasn’t hers saying the same thing as before, but angrily, and what sounded like a distorted adult male voice.  “The ice cream man is here.  I must go.”  

This scared me so bad that I let go of her arm and backed up toward the hallway.  She started walking toward the door again, but the music faded, and she started crying.  She wiped tears from her eyes as I watched her eyes return to normal.  I thought she was just scared, but then she asked me why her arm hurt.  I could see swelling beginning above her elbow where I had grabbed onto her, which quickly turned into bruising.  This all frightened her significantly more when I told her how hard I had tried to pull on her to keep her from leaving the house.  Both of us were scared.  I didn’t know what to do or who to call.  Nobody was going to believe this.

And then last night, she managed to get out the front door without me knowing.  I woke up freezing cold to find my sheets and comforter on the floor between my bed and the door going into the hallway.  I could feel the cold air coming in through the door.  I looked over at my alarm clock confused, wondering what time it was.  I made sure it was set for [1:55] before falling asleep, but it was flashing [12:00].  We had experienced a power outage, and the alarm didn’t go off.  I looked at my watch, which was laying on my nightstand next to me, and it said 3:30 a.m.

Chelsea wasn’t lying next to me, though she had gone to bed with me at 9:30 p.m. the night before.  I called for her and nobody answered.   When I ran into the living room, the front door was wide open, and only the screen door was closed.  I walked outside and into the street, looking all directions for signs indicating she had walked any particular direction, but found nothing.  All I could hear was a faint breeze.  She was gone.

I went back inside to search the rest of the house just in case she was in another room before I ended up calling the police.  I remembered hearing somewhere that they couldn’t file a missing persons report for 48 hours, so I told them we experienced a break-in and my daughter was missing.  They arrived within 10 minutes, and I let them know limited details about what had happened because I didn’t want them to think I was crazy.  Just that I had woken up and she was gone, with the front door left open.

They had stayed for a couple of hours until the sun started coming up, and I received a phone call from my friend, Debbie.  It was the first time she had attempted to call me since the sleepover, and she was in a panic, crying, asking if I had seen Grace.  Debbie said she just woke up and Grace was gone.  Her front door was wide open too, and I told her I was experiencing the same thing.  I offered to go pick her up so we could drive around and look for the kids, but she wanted to call the police first.  

So I left my house around 6 in the morning today.  I drove around for hours with my window down, yelling her name.  I had to stop for gas once, and I just kept driving.  At one point, I stopped over at Debbie’s house.  Grace had been found shortly after our phone call this morning.  Apparently she had only made it a couple hundred yards from the house when an early-rising neighbor found her and brought her home.  Debbie was surprised to hear that I hadn’t found Chelsea yet, so she and Grace began driving around in their own car to help.  I told her where I had already gone, and we split up the rest of the town to cover more ground faster.

By 3 this afternoon, I was feeling defeated and I had some time to think about other things I could try.  She had a few friends within walking distance, so I got out my black book, thinking I’d make a few phone calls.  As I picked up the phone to dial, one of the policemen was knocking on my door.  He said they found her, and had been trying to call me, but couldn’t reach anyone at my home number.  Apparently, she wouldn’t talk to them, and Social Services has been called for what he described would be a routine check-in, nothing to be worried about.

When I arrived at the police station, they indicated they had just taken her to the emergency room for a medical examination.  You want to know how to make a mother worried sick?  Tell her that her kid is in the emergency room and fail to provide any additional information.  I hurried over here to the ER, and have been waiting here since.  Thankfully, there’s been nothing identified as medically wrong, though the Social Worker asked me about the bruising on her arm before allowing me to see her.  I’m glad they found her, but right now they have no idea what’s wrong with her.

The Police Officer who found her came to check on her and speak with me… said he found her in a junkyard.  She didn’t respond to him at all when he tried to get her attention at first.  He said she was just standing there next to an old, rusted out van, one of the few vehicles that hadn’t been crushed.  She appeared to be having a conversation with someone in the van, but as he approached, she stopped speaking.  I’m not sure why he told me this, but he swore he saw a dark figure in the van, and was certain it had been rocking just a little bit as if someone were inside it.  Though Chelsea was close to the van, she was never witnessed touching it.  When he approached the van to look inside, there wasn’t anyone in it.

What he did find was horrible.  The officer told me that they had found remains inside the van.  What looked like 5 or 6 people, children most likely, all clothed in what looked like pajamas.  He said he wasn’t sure because they were all so old and dirty.  The Medical Examiner had been called out to the lot to determine exactly how many individuals were there, and to ID them all.  He asked me again if I knew of any other missing children just to make sure, but I assured him I don’t.  Just what I had seen some of the news coverage.

Then I asked the officer if he happened to notice if it was an ice cream truck she had been standing next to.  He said yes, and asked how I had known.  I just told them what she had been saying about needing to go because the ice cream man was there.  He looked as confused and horrified as I felt. 

I just want to know what happened to my daughter.  I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to sleep at night now.    

Detective’s notes:

Ms. Ward was able to take her daughter Chelsea home that evening under the conditions that they receive professional counseling, that the Social Worker was given permission to drop in on them unannounced for up to 6 months, and that they communicate any intention to leave town to the Department of Social Services.  I will most likely check in with them after we can ID the remains from within the van.  

Additional notes following 6-month check-in:  Everything appears to have gone back to normal for the Wards.  Chelsea is undergoing some counseling, and the Social Worker indicates no further check-ins are necessary.  Chelsea is speaking, attending school, and performing well, but she still has little memory of the events leading to her disappearance.


Thank you for listening to The Storage Papers.  I would love to hear your thoughts on the cases I’ve brought forward so far.  You can reach me by social media or email.  I’m on Twitter and Instagram @StoragePapers.  Make sure to reference the episode.  Today’s is Episode 5, The Ice Cream Man.  

Have you become aware of any high strangeness near you?  If so, I would love to hear about it.  Please consider sharing this week’s episode via social media so these papers can get more exposure.

The Cat Lady – Season 1 Episode 4

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See Content Warning
Animal death, animal injury, general horror

Episode Transcript

There’s always that one house in everyone’s neighborhood that, for some unknown reason, creeps everyone out.  You may not ever really know why, but in some cases, those who pay attention, may learn a few things about why.

Today’s witness statement comes from a woman who lived next door to one of these homes.  She apparently didn’t feel comfortable going to police according to these notes, and she actually lives very close to me.  After reading this, I thought to myself “I really do need to be more aware of my surroundings”.  Unlike living on the East Coast, you never really know much about your neighbors here in Southern California.


Witness statement from Marjorie DeLonge, Monday, January 5, 2018:

I’ll just start from the beginning.  My partner, Giselle, and I had fulfilled our dream of opening our own animal rescue just over a year ago.  We always felt like dogs had plenty of support in the area, so we decided to focus on cats.  For about 3 years, we saved our money and purchased a vacant lot next to my house.  The house on the opposite side of that lot had been empty for years, so we felt comfortable turning that lot into an enclosed area with some smaller structures for indoor shelter.  We even had a few cats that would stay in our home.  At one point we had over 100 cats living in our half-acre shelter, but that’s when I had help.  

Giselle started to get sick a lot as soon as we opened our doors, and it wasn’t long after that she learned she had breast cancer.  Everything progressed so fast.  I lost her in May of last year, and I’ve been tending to the shelter on my own ever since.  I’ve considered hiring some help, but it’s not exactly a profit-making venture, owning an animal shelter.  I rely a lot on donations and even use my own earnings to help these cats.  In a lot of ways, caring for them has been somewhat therapeutic, and it has helped to keep Giselle’s memory alive.

Everything was going fine running things on my own until last July, when I noticed some of the cats going missing.  Sadly, it took me a while to notice because they were so difficult to count.  I didn’t have assigned areas for them at all inside the enclosure, and they pretty much just had free reign of the grounds.  The only way in or out was through a double-entry gate on the side of the enclosure closest to my house.  If you wanted to leave the enclosure, you would need to open the inner gate, and you could close it before entering a second outer gate, which prevented any of the cats from darting out past you.  I suspected maybe there was a hole in the enclosure somewhere that either the cats were just leaving through, or there might be coyotes figuring out a way to get inside by digging.   

I started to take inventory seriously, and I fenced off sections that I corralled the cats into each night, and took a head count, recording my numbers on a paper roster.  I would place 10 cats in each small section, each with its own enclosure, toys, and things to climb on.  On July 5, I had 53 cats when I did my head count that evening.  The next day when I took a head count, I only had 52 cats.  I checked it three times to make sure.  I walked the perimeter looking for holes in the enclosure or any sign of scat, but I didn’t see so much as a paw print.  I did notice when I was walking around the far side of the enclosure that the neighbor’s house I thought was vacant, may not have been.  I heard what sounded like movement of furniture or rumbling.  

Up until that point, I hadn’t locked the gate, so I figured I would go purchase a padlock to place on the outer gate.  The lock I bought had two keys.  One of them was placed on my keychain that my house and car keys were on, and the other, I placed under a small rock on my property line.  I thought I would take the time, since I was outside, to walk over to the neighbor’s to introduce myself.  I was really curious to see who would move into such a fixer-upper without making some renovations first.  I tried ringing the doorbell, but it didn’t seem to work.  Then I tried knocking a few times, but nobody came to the door, so I gave up.  

About a week later, on July 13, another cat had gone missing.  I have records showing which ones exactly, and I was taking into account the ones that had been adopted and the ones coming in.  I walked the perimeter again, and saw no signs of other animals or a breach in the enclosure.  

This continued on about very 7-10 days for about 4 months when I started noticing a pattern.  Every cat that went missing didn’t have anything wrong with them.  In fact, they were all healthy, and at healthy weights.  Most cats in there had some kind of physical deformity that was present at birth or as a result of neglect or abuse.  A lot of them were malnourished.  But none of the cats that went missing had any of those issues.

At that point in time, I was going broke, and barely had enough money to pay my electric bill.  A friend suggested I purchase a security camera with night vision to keep an eye on the shelter, but I couldn’t even afford a cheap one.  So I continued to do nightly perimeter walks looking for animal tracks, scat, breaches, or any evidence of a predator or tampering.  I also continued to notice sounds coming from the neighbors house, and I’m certain I saw the curtains being pulled shut on the second story in October.  I tried knocking again after I saw the curtains move, but still couldn’t get anyone to answer.  

This went on through December.  One healthy cat would go missing every week or so, and then at Christmas, one of my frequent adopters who I’d discussed this with, gifted me a small security camera.  It had pretty low resolution, and couldn’t see more than 30 feet in the dark, but on Christmas night, I was able to attach an extension cord leading from my front patio into a bush about 10 feet away from the gate around my property line.  I used zip ties to fasten it to a branch within the bush and pointed the camera at the gate, making every effort to conceal it.

There was an app for my phone that I downloaded, and it had a motion detector setting that I could turn on and set a timer for.  The app allowed me to connect the camera to my WiFi network since it was still in range so close to the house.  It would only record when it detected motion, and would continue recording until the motion stopped.  I even received a text alert with video clips when it recorded something, and I figured I would only set it for the hours of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.  That way, the cats would be in their individual enclosures away from the gate, and it wouldn’t set off the motion detector all the time.  

A few nights went by without any video clips recorded.  I was wondering if the thing even worked.  It looked like a pretty cheap model.  So I decided to test it out by doing my perimeter walk after 7 p.m. one night.  Sure enough, I walked toward the gate entrance, and before I even reached it, I got a text notification with a video attached showing me walking toward the gate.  It only appeared to have a 10 or 12 second delay too.  I thought that was pretty cool.

Then this last Saturday, on January 3, at about 11:30 p.m. I got my first text notification.  When I looked at my phone, I saw an elderly woman approaching the gate on the video.  I watched as she grabbed the lock on the gate and jiggled it, then I decided I was going to run outside to confront her.  I immediately got out of bed, grabbed my robe and slippers as quick as I could, and ran out my front door.  I rounded the corner of my house and to my surprise, there was nobody by the gate.  At that moment, I heard what sounded like bare feet slapping the pavement, and then a door opened and slammed shut.  The noise had come from my neighbor’s house.  

I walked over there furious and pounded on her door, but I still couldn’t get a response.  I yelled, “I know you’re in there” and knocked for a good 5 minutes until my knuckles started to get tender.  Finally, I gave up and decided I’d try to go back to bed.  At least the lock had kept her out.  I reviewed my video before going to bed just to see if I could get a better idea of what she looked like.  As I said, the resolution was fairly poor, but she was in some kind of a night gown or robe that buttoned in the front and went down to her knees.  She had bare feet, and I thought she may have been bald at first, but she really just had extremely thin stringy hair.  The only other thing that stood out were these scars on the portion of her neck that I could see.  I wasn’t able to make out much detail, but it looked as though she had some fresh linear wounds there.

I counted my cats again yesterday morning, and I hadn’t lost a cat that night.  Because of this, I was fairly certain that she had been solely responsible for all of the ones that went missing.  I tried going to her house one last time to knock, but I didn’t hear any movement or noises inside from her porch.  I thought about calling the police, but the video footage only showed her touching the lock.  I really wanted to catch her in the act so I could press charges, but I wasn’t sure I had enough to go on.  So I waited.

I wasn’t sure if she would attempt stealing another cat in a week, or if she would even attempt it at all since she knew she was caught.  To my surprise, last night I got another text alert, and sure enough, she was at the gate again.  This time when I watched the initial video clip, she had found the key that I hid under the rock, and I saw her unlock and open the outer gate before I decided to run out and confront her.  When I rounded the corner of the house, I didn’t see her, so I waited and listened to see if I could hear her feet running away or her door slamming closed again.  I didn’t hear anything for a few moments.  

When I looked at the gate, it was still open.  Both gates were open.  And then I heard some labored breathing, along with some grunting.  I went to my phone to find my flashlight app, and decided I would go into the enclosure to try to find the source of the noises.  Moving as quietly as I could, I passed the inner gate, and then went further into the middle of the enclosure by one of the smaller sections I had built.  The noise was coming from the other side of it.

When I got just beyond the corner, the old woman was there.  She was down on her knees in the dirt next to the doorway of the enclosure.  As I moved my flashlight toward her, the scene was like something out of a horror movie.  I noticed her legs first.  They were bare below her nightgown and dirty, as if she had been crawling on her knees outside for a while.  Her arms were extended down by her sides with her palms facing forward.  And protruding from her mouth was the rear half of one of my healthy black and white cats.  

I stood there, frozen and in shock, taking in more details and trying to process what I was witnessing.  Her head tilted back, looking straight up at the night sky.  Her eyes were rolled up into the back of her head so I could see nothing but white.  She seemed unaware of my presence.  It looked as though her jaw had unhinged and her mouth opened wide enough to swallow the entire cat.  There was black and white hair scraping off of the cat and sticking to her brown-stained teeth.  I could see an outline of the cat’s front legs within her neck, swiping back and forth  With each passing second, the cat moved less and less until it didn’t move any more.  Then, the muscles in the old woman’s neck began a pulsating swallowing motion, pulling the cat deeper into her throat by the millimeter with each contraction.  The cat’s hind legs, which were white at the feet, were stained crimson with blood and the woman had open wounds near her collar bones and on the sides of her neck.  The cat’s claws had torn open her flesh as it had attempted to avoid being prey, and blood was oozing out down her chest and all over her nightgown.  

I watched in horror until all but the hind legs and tail were dangling from her mouth.  Her neck bulged, and she closed her mouth a little tighter slowly placing her jaw back in place as the last of the cat’s body passed her mouth.  Then her eyes slowly rolled forward.  As soon as they did, she was aware of my presence, and quickly turned her head to look at me and let out a ghastly hissing sound.  

I turned right around and started running as fast as I could toward the double-entry gate, thinking if I could just lock her in there, I could call the police and they might believe me.  But before I reached the gate, she blew past me like an athlete, nearly knocking me over, and reached the gate first.  She was so fast!  All I could do was watch her exit the gate and turn to run down the sidewalk to her house, her bare feet slapping the concrete.  When she reached her front door, she stopped for a moment and looked at me.  Her brow furrowed and she had piercing eyes that looked angry, yet she still had the cat’s feet and some of its tail hanging out of her mouth.  Then she quickly opened the door and slammed it shut after going inside.

I checked my video footage, hoping to get a shot of her running through the gate with the cat parts hanging out of her mouth.  While the video clearly shows someone leaving the enclosure before I did, it unfortunately came out too blurry to make out any details because of how fast she was moving.  I went to stay at my mother’s house last night, and I’m not sure I will ever be able to go back there without someone with me.  In fact, I don’t know if I will ever return.  I can’t live there knowing that woman is next door, and I don’t think I’m not going to be able to sleep.  Every time I close my eyes, I can see her, consuming that poor cat.  

Investigators note:  

I accompanied Ms. DeLonge to her home after hearing her story.  Once there, I phoned the local sheriff’s department and gave them her neighbor’s address with an anonymous report that I heard gunfire inside the home.  We watched from her living room window until three squad cars showed up, guns drawn, and attempted to communicate to someone inside.  Eventually, they kicked the door in.  After a few minutes, they left the house, and we walked over to the deputies who were speaking to one another in the front yard.  

I asked them what was going on, playing the part of a concerned neighbor.  He said they had received a prank call, and there was nothing to worry about.  Then I asked what they found inside the house.  He told me that the house appeared abandoned.  There was some old furniture, rotting, still in there, but it didn’t look like anyone had lived there for a long time.  

Ms. DeLonge broke down in tears, then turned around to walk toward her own home again, shaking her head.  She was inconsolable.  She left her home and the shelter that afternoon, and to my knowledge, she has never returned.  I did receive a call from her on Wednesday, January 7, just a couple of days after all of this happened She informed me that she called a nonprofit in the area to pick up the cats after she had gone.  The roster she provided them had 48 cats when she had done her walk-through just three nights prior.  The non-profit reported there were only 32 accounted for with no signs of any holes in the fence or evidence of a predator getting inside.


Thank you for listening to The Storage Papers.  Please consider reaching out to me if you have any pertinent information regarding this case either by social media or email.  You can direct-message me on Twitter and Instagram @StoragePapers.  Make sure to reference Episode 4, The Cat Lady.   You just never know whether or not your testimony could be the vital piece of missing information needed to break a case.

My goals in producing this show are not only to help further these investigations, but to make you aware of the high strangeness all around you that often goes unaddressed, so please share this via social media so these reports can get more exposure.  Please also consider writing a review on your podcast listening app of choice, which should help spread the word.

Old Timer – Season 1 Episode 3

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General horror, public shooting, medical trauma

Episode Transcript

Some believe time is a construct we created in an attempt to compartmentalize our understanding of the universe.  If this is true, and the concept of time doesn’t really exist, then it would theoretically be possible to manipulate it, given the right tools.  Those people would say we just don’t have the knowledge or understanding today.  But if we acquired those tools, it begs the question what we would do… if we could get rid of the linear concept of time we have been so accustomed to perceiving?  Skeptics would say you’re talking science-fiction, and would likely call you crazy to suggest anything of the sort.    

Today’s witness statement appears to be part of an internal investigation into one of the local law enforcement offices.


Monday, December 27, 1982.  Submitted by Internal Affairs Detective Harold Jenkins:

Preliminary note by Detective Jenkins – Officer Platt’s state of mind appeared impaired during his witness statement, though the toxicology screen came back negative on blood and urine tests performed.  The strange nature of his testimony causes me to question his state of mind, however, I did not perceive any attempt at deception.  

Statement by Officer Don Platt:

My new partner, (Officer Clement Walker) and I had finished one of the busiest shifts I’d ever worked, so we decided to head out for some bonding time and unwind a bit as new partners often do.  He was relatively new on the force, but he held his own.  That was a trial-by-fire type of day.  Normally, the day after Christmas was slow, but it was unusually busy for us – especially for a Sunday.  He insisted that I allow him to buy me a drink, and I almost declined since I was so tired, but he was so damn persistent saying he owed me for having his back that day.  

You see, we had responded to this domestic abuse call, and while he was talking to the husband, the wife started coming at him with one of those cast-iron skillets from behind.  I was able to disarm her before she made contact with him, but she was swinging for Clem’s head.  Apparently the complaint was called in by the husband, which would have been great to know before we responded.  It’s almost always the guy for those types of calls.

So Clem wouldn’t let me say no to his offer to buy me a beer.  Said it was the least he could do, and I didn’t want to insult him, so I agreed.  I had only worked with him a few shifts until that point.  Clem had a lot of initiative, even for a rookie.  He kept going on and on about all the good he wanted to do in the city.  You know how idealistic we can tend to be right out of the academy.  Who was I to crap all over his goals, you know?  I just let him ramble on for the most part, but I didn’t detect an ounce of bullshit.  He really wanted to change the world.

Clem wasn’t aware that I had quit drinking a couple of years ago.  I let him know, and told him I would let him buy me a soda if he still wanted to have a beer.  We compromised and agreed to go down to the pool hall, and he made sure I didn’t mind if he had a beer.  I agreed, and appreciated the fact that he asked.  We each took our own cars.  

When we arrived, the pool hall was empty.  The guy that owned the place wasn’t there.  Instead, there was an early 20’s fella at the counter that I hadn’t seen there before, though I admit I had only been there a handful of times over the years.  He looked scrawny, with peach fuzz on his chin and upper lip, like he was trying to grow some facial hair.  He had been on the phone during our whole interaction, and it sounded like he was talking to his girlfriend.  I remember him trying to convince her to swing by the pool hall, saying there was nobody there.  He was a decent multitasker because he rented the pool balls to us, and got Clem’s Michelob Lite he ordered and my soda all without speaking a word to us.  Clem just motioned to him and the guy understood.  I think he might have spent more time at that pool hall than I had.

I decided to turn one of the big 36” TV’s to see if the game was still on.  I’m a San Diego Chargers fan, and they had been scheduled to play the Baltimore Colts that afternoon.  It was already after 6 p.m. and I wasn’t sure if the game was still going or not, but I for some reason as I was flipping through the channels, there must have been a power surge or something.  The lights flickered for a moment, and then the TV lost all reception.  I couldn’t get any channels at all.

I figured I’d just catch the highlights when I got home, and we racked the balls and start playing our game.  I finished my soda fairly quickly since Clem was wiping the floor with me.  He obviously played a lot.  It only took about 10 minutes to get through our first game, and we had paid for an hour table rental.  Clem noticed my empty cup and offered to grab me another soda.  “Free refills” is what he said.  I think I called him a cheap bastard or something, but he walked away as I lined up my shot.  I sunk it and lined up my next one when he returned quicker than usual and said the guy at the counter wasn’t there.  When I looked out the front window, I saw a car there which hadn’t been there before.  I figured it was the kid’s girlfriend and maybe he went out to do what young lovers do.  Looked like one of those Toyota Celicas, red.  

It was at that moment that I noticed an elderly man passed in front of the red car, and then he came in through the front door.  He was by himself, and he was dressed casually.  He was wearing jeans, a white polo shirt, and a jacket.  I noticed the Colt’s logo on his hat from across the hall.  I remembered it specifically because I was wondering if the guy had any information on the game.  He looked like he was in his late 60’s or early 70’s, and walked with a limp.  He also had both hands buried in his pockets.  I admit, as a police officer, this should have caught my attention more, but he looked old and harmless enough and it was pretty cold outside.

We continued playing our game, going over some of the crazy highlights about the day’s shift.  After a couple more quick games that I was losing, I was getting thirsty again.  I looked over at the counter but the attendant wasn’t back yet.  The old timer was sitting in a stool next to the counter though.  He glanced away as I looked, and I just figured they guy was trying to keep to himself, but it looked like he had helped himself to a drink.  My curiosity about the game score overwhelmed me though, so when Clem was on another run kicking my butt, I decided to go to introduce myself to the old man and ask if he caught the game.  

As I approached him, he looked down at the floor so the brim of his hat was blocking his face, which seemed suspicious to me.  I said “Colts fan, huh?” which got his attention.  When he looked up at me, he had a familiarity to him.  I asked him if I had met him before and introduced myself, and he said he didn’t recognize me.  “Did you catch the game?” I asked.  He just looked back down at the floor and shook his head no.  I figured the guy didn’t want to be bothered since he didn’t even respond verbally, and maybe he was there to drown his troubles in beer.  So I walked back over to see if Clem was still on his turn.

He was waiting for me.  Clem asked who that old guy was, and I explained that I saw his Colts hat and figured I’d ask him about the game.  Clem said “oh man, that’s my team”, referring to the Colts.  Then he started talking a lot of trash about how the Chargers sucked, and he didn’t even bother getting updates on the game because he know Baltimore was going to win.

As I leaned over to take my next shot, I heard the crack of a gunshot behind me.  Clem went down, and I immediately hit the floor and reached for my ankle holster.  Three more shots rang out as I crawled under the table toward Clem for some cover.  He’d been hit.  At first, I saw the blood on his chest, and some was coming out of his mouth.  He was gasping for air.  I told him to hold on, and I peered over the pool table to see the elderly man hobbling towards the front door.  He blind-fired one more round and I ducked for cover.  The lights seemed to go dim again, and I got up with every intention of chasing him down, but I didn’t see where he went.  I thought I would at least see the door swinging, or catch a glimpse of the man walking outside the large glass windows in front of the pool hall, but it was almost like he just vanished.  We were by ourselves in the building.  

I didn’t know how severe Clem’s injuries were, so I raced over to the counter to get to the phone.  By that time, the attendant had come running into the building.  His girlfriend stayed sitting in the driver’s seat of the red car out front.  I called 911 and told them there was an officer down, and provided the address.  I handed the phone to Mr. scrawny with the peach fuzz and attended to Clem.  By the time I got to him, he was unconscious and his breathing was really shallow.  It looked like he took one in the chest, but his jeans were bloody too.  I later learned at the hospital that the bullet that went into his leg shattered his femur, but missed the major artery.  I knew it would be a career-ender for him.

First responders on the scene were the paramedics.  I saw their lights from inside, and went out the front door to wave them in and let them know the shooter had fled the scene.  Less than 30 seconds after that, our boys showed up and I gave them a quick description of the old timer.  By the time I had done that, Clem was being wheeled off on a stretcher.  That’s when I started replaying the incident in my head and taking a look around.

The first thing I found was the Colts hat, which was on the ground outside the front door.  I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed it previously, but the logo didn’t say “Baltimore Colts”.  It said “Indianapolis Colts”.  I figured it must have been some kind of other league or Pop Warner or something.  

Then I started to look around where the guy had been sitting next to the counter.  A half-empty bottle of Michelob Lite was there with condensation sweating onto a folded piece of paper underneath.  I didn’t want to risk ruining any possible fingerprints on the bottle, so I didn’t touch it.  

After I gave my initial statement on scene, I went to the hospital to check on Clem.  I stayed all night, but he was still unconscious several hours after he came out of surgery.  A bullet had punctured a lung and he had to have some reconstruction done on his leg.  I spoke with his wife, Marie, and she was pretty torn up.  She said he had been on four tours in the Middle East and hadn’t received a scratch, and I learned that she actually disapproved of his decision to go into law enforcement.  Statement Ends.

It should be noted that Officer Plat requested to be looped into any further findings in the investigation, although I may be prohibited from doing so until the investigation is closed.  The only reason internal affairs was looped into this was because an officer was shot and there were no witnesses.  His badge and gun were confiscated temporarily for testing, and ballistics confirmed no shots were fired from Officer Plat’s revolver.  

The attendant’s statement indicated he never saw anyone enter or exit the building, and he confirmed that he was in the red car outside the front door the entire time.  He also claimed he heard four or five gunshots.  

The folded paper under the beer bottle appeared to be a hand-written note, intended for Officer Clement Walker and/or… someone else.  It indicates premeditation of the attack, and the contents of the note are short, but somewhat confusing, switching tenses.  It reads:

“You began with the best intentions in your career, but you will inevitably become corrupt.  Your hunger for power will cost you your family and you will ruin the lives of innocent people.  I know you won’t listen to anyone around you, so you’ve left me no choice.

M. I’m so sorry.”

Amendment to the report by Detective Harold Jenkins, Internal Affairs: Positive Identification was attained of the fingerprints left on the beer bottle at the counter.  With 98% accuracy, they appear to be the fingerprints of Officer Clement Walker.  One major difference noted was the appearance of scar tissue on a couple of digits that are not present on the prints taken just a few weeks ago as part of his background check for his current job.  I personally visited the hospital where Officer Clement remains unconscious, and no evidence of scar tissue could be found.

In addition, the projectiles found at the scene matched the caliber of Officer Clement’s sidearm, so an additional ballistics report was requested.  It has been confirmed that Officer Clement’s weapon had not been discharged, which makes the findings somewhat alarming.  The striations on one of the bullets fired on scene, which was collected from the wood of the pool table, were compared to test rounds fired from Officer Clement’s sidearm.  They matched nearly identically according to the examiner, who felt confident he could testify to that if needed.  I have reached out to an external examiner for a second opinion, but for now I have no choice but to leave this case open for further investigation in hopes that additional information will come forward.


This case file points out an ethical quandary.  What if you had prior knowledge that Hitler was going to do all of the horrendous crimes he committed before he actually did them?  Given the opportunity, would you try to stop him, even though he hadn’t done anything yet?  This is not a question we would be forced to deal with today, but potentially something to consider in the near future if there is any element of truth in this story.

Thank you for listening to The Storage Papers.  Please consider reaching out to me if you have any pertinent information regarding this case either by social media or email.  You can direct-message me on Twitter and Instagram @StoragePapers.  Or if you’d like to leave me a voice message, you can do so on anchor.fm/thestoragepapers.  Make sure to reference Episode 3, The Old Timer in your subject line.   

My goals in producing this show are not only to help further these investigations, but to make you aware of the high strangeness all around you that often goes unaddressed, so please share this via social media so these reports can get more exposure.  Please also consider writing a review on your podcast listening app of choice, which should help spread the word.

A Conspicuous Suspect – Season 1 Episode 2

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General horror, mention of a decapitated cadaver

Episode Transcript

You’re listening to The Storage Papers.  Episode 2: A Conspicuous Suspect

Law enforcement has to be one of the toughest jobs imaginable, especially in today’s world where there have been so many issues related to racial tension, and the growing concerns of fair treatment by the police.  A police officer must find that delicate balance between maintaining an element of personal safety, and protecting the public.  

As I’ve begun digging into these files, I realize now more than ever what kinds of things are intentionally placed into police reports, and what information remains hidden, regardless of their pertinence in any ongoing investigation.


This document appears to be a letter to someone named Ron, assuming he is a civilian, from a Detective Mark Anderson.  It doesn’t mention which agency he is from, but it reads:

Ron,

It’s been a long time.  Hope you are doing well.  I was told you’re still looking into these things.  This is another one I will unfortunately be unable to include in our active investigation, but I do think it’s pertinent.  If you could do me a favor and let me know if you have any helpful info or if you can recall anything resembling what I describe in my notes below, I’ll definitely owe you one.  I’ll keep you posted if I make any headway on my end.

Notes: Benjamin Scanlon interview pertaining to submitted USB drive, Saturday, March 13, 2015.  

Mr. Scanlon reported in-person to our division believing he had some sensitive information regarding an open homicide investigation.  He claims he was anonymously shipped a flash drive with video footage of a local hotel parking lot showing a “conspicuous individual with odd behavior”.  He believes there is a possible connection to the man found dead at the hotel just two days prior.  It should be noted that we are still attempting to positively ID the victim.  Mr. Scanlon indicated he recognized the hotel in the video because he saw the local news story covering the homicide the night before he received the flash drive in the mail.  Apparently, the news reporter had been broadcasting from across the street with a similar wide-angle shot of the entire hotel and its parking lot.

Mr. Scanlon profusely stated he didn’t want anything to do with the video or the case, and felt that coming forward and handing over the flash drive voluntarily may not only help with the investigation, but he also wanted to know why he was being sent the drive, and by whom.  He was, of course, still concerned that the man he referred to as “the Grinner” was following him, and there may be a connection to this flash drive somehow (refer to my previous notes from March 5).

He could not recall ever staying in that hotel, and he did not recognize the man in the video.  Mr. Scanlon did have concerns for his own safety given the gruesome finding of the deceased who had been found decapitated due to a close-range gunshot wound.  A 12 gauge shotgun was recovered from the scene that had been discharged.  At this point in the investigation it has yet to be determined if the gunshot wound was self-inflicted.

Prior to my own viewing of the video, I asked Mr. Scanlon what I should expect to see on the video and in the files also included on the flash drive.  He replied “I don’t know how to explain it.  You will just have to watch.  But it’s definitely weird.”  Regarding the files, he said he didn’t feel comfortable looking at them because he thought they looked like medical records.  He didn’t want to remain at the station while I viewed the video, but he provided me with his contact information with a request to update him on any findings, and in case I needed to ask him any further questions.

I plugged in the USB drive on my desk computer.  There were two items present at first glance.  A folder with some text files in it, and an MP4 video file.  I opened the video file first.  It appeared as it was described; security video footage of a hotel parking lot.  There’s a time and date stamp in the lower corner.  It’s dated March 11, 2015 and the video starts around 8:02 p.m. and 40 seconds.  The video was just over 4 minutes in total duration.  It was recorded in infrared and did not contain any sound.  I watched for the first couple of minutes without really seeing anything… it was mostly dark, and there were three cars within the field of view.  The camera must have been mounted above the parking lot and pointed down… I estimated the camera could have been at least 15 feet above the ground.  

At 2 minutes and 56 seconds into the video, I noticed an anomaly.  I rewind the video a few seconds and press play again.  There’s a pole in the frame – probably an overhead street light – around the left 1/3 of the screen.  You can’t see the top or bottom of the pole from this angle, but you can see an unobstructed view of empty parking spaces on either side of it.  Almost as if appearing from thin air, a person just appears near the right side of the pole and can be seen walking left to right.  I have to admit, this footage looks strange.  What is so alarming about this is the person doesn’t enter the frame from the left side, or even the bottom.  One second, you don’t see anyone, and the next, you see the person from head to toe near the middle of the screen walking to the right.  It’s almost as if they come right out from behind the light pole.  At first glance, I cannot see any evidence that the video was clipped or altered in any way.  There’s no pause in motion from the time the person appears. 

I reviewed the video again and slowed the frames down, looking for any evidence of the person on the left side of the frame.  I saw nothing.  It’s almost as if someone Photoshopped the person into frame, starting on the right side of the pole.  The width of the person’s body once they’re out from behind the pole is far wider than the pole itself on the screen, so you would think you would be able to see them even if they had been standing behind the pole the whole time.  It’s as if they appeared out of the darkness behind the pole and got caught on camera walking to the right. 

I rewound once more to see if the time stamp skipped a few seconds, which may have accounted for this appearance.  I was thinking maybe someone split the video in editing.  I watched each second on the timestamp from 8:02 pm and 35 seconds, 36, 37, 38, 39, and boom, there he was… 40, 41.  The timestamp, upon review, indicated continuous recording.  I invited my partner, Detective Collins to view the video, and he immediately dismissed it as being tampered with.  It was his belief that someone has pulled off an elaborate hoax given the circumstances of the mysterious appearance of the video, and the widespread media coverage.  I’m not sure I agree with his assessment, but I will send the video out for further analysis.

I reviewed the video multiple times, and I couldn’t put my finger on what was so peculiar about it.  I paused the video on a frame that appeared clearest and printed a still shot to place in the case file.  Staring at the paused screen, I examined the person’s clothing.  It looked like he was dressed in all black.  It was a Caucasian man with a buzz cut, or he may have even be totally bald.  The resolution on the video was somewhat fuzzy, and it was pretty dark except for what little street light you could see.  I decided to continue watching at ¼ speed… the video clip was almost over.

The last portion of the video is what truly unnerved me.  Either this was a hoaxed video, or it was some pretty solid evidence of the paranormal.  Either way, for fear of ridicule and to avoid persecution at work, I decided not to share the video to its full extent in the homicide investigation.  

The man in the video walked right up to one of the windows and peered in.  I confirmed from the room number on the door that it matched the room number where the victim was found.  Something about the way he moved was… unnatural.  He had a kind of fast-paced timing to his stride and the way his arms didn’t swing when he walked seemed off somehow.  They just dangled fairly motionless by his side.  Even the size proportion of man’s head seemed strange.  

The video showed about 5 or 6 seconds of the man looking in the window, then he started a combination of maneuvers with his head that to view inside the room.  I’ve never seen someone with that range of motion of their head and neck before.  His head darted up and down, side to side, and it even appeared as if his neck grew in length, but I couldn’t be certain due to the low resolution of the footage.  Then I noticed him doing something seemingly impossible.  His head turned nearly 180 degrees to face the camera so that his chin was almost behind his spine.  It was almost as if he suddenly became aware of the camera, and his movement became more stealth-like.

With his head still turned completely around, he walked backwards slowly, keeping his head in the same position as he moved closer to the camera.  He appeared to look upward to gaze directly at the lens, then cocked his backward-turned head to the side the same way a dog would when it gets confused.  It was fairly dark where he was standing, and it was difficult to make out any facial features. Perhaps it was a result of the lighting or the infrared, but his eyes appeared large… and solid black.  He just stood there in that position, still as a statue for about ten seconds.  I initially thought the video was paused, but the time stamp was still counting.  And then static distorted the visible image, and the video ends.  

I must admit that as I viewed this portion of the video for the first time, I experienced a “fight or flight” moment.  I’ve seen some strange things on this job, but I’m convinced that if I come forward with my initial impression of this video, the Captain would have my badge.  

I viewed the other files included on the flash drive, and there’s over 200 individual text files and PDFs.  Unfortunately, I’m going to have to refrain from sharing those with you at this time because they mainly consist of medical records and other confidential information that I’m not at liberty to disclose.  

I can comment on some apparent themes of these records, and I’ll continue searching for patterns.  All of these records seem to be from hospitals or doctors offices within a 50 mile radius of the hotel’s address.  There are a wide range of various records from entire patient files, radiology and surgical reports, summaries of patient visits, and there’s even a few autopsy reports.  All of these files have abnormal findings of some kind including symptoms like headaches, seizures, unexplained bleeding, periods of missing time, psychological evaluations, detection and removal – or attempted removal of foreign bodies of unknown origin, and some instances where pathology may appear and/or disappear from medical tests for unknown reasons.

I’m going to have a tough time validating any of these records unless I can somehow link them to an active investigation.  I think it’s a little early to say that might be possible, but I will dig into these and see if I can cross-reference any of these records with the homicide investigation from the hotel.  I will keep you posted if I learn anything new.

Thanks,

Mark


This is obviously a detective that had developed a rapport with “Ron” and has consulted with him in the past.  I will be mindful to keep my eyes open for any updates to this case.  I wonder if it is currently ongoing or if it was ever solved.  Unfortunately, all of these papers don’t have any sort of recognizable organization.  They certainly aren’t in chronological order, and individual files don’t seem to be related to others in the same box.  Hopefully a pattern will emerge in the future that may shed some more light on this case.

I conducted a brief internet search of the incident at the hotel, and it appears it was, in fact, later deemed a homicide, but I was not able to find any indication that a suspect had been apprehended, and no reference has been made public about whether the case is still open or not.  I also need to determine whether or not Detective Mark Anderson may still be employed by one of the local law enforcement agencies, but I’m guessing there will be additional information contained within my storage shed about this conspicuous suspect.

As a general announcement, please consider reaching out to me if you have any pertinent information regarding this case either by social media or email.  You can direct-message me on Twitter and Instagram @storagepapers. I will be filing any additional information received in a much-more organized manner and will provide updates to cases as often as possible on the show.  

If you believe you have witnessed something truly unexplainable yourself, and would like to share your story, I would be glad to add it to these archives.  You just never know whether or not your testimony could be the vital piece of missing information for any of these cases.

As always, my mission here is to spread this information, so please share this via social media so these stories can be told.  I’ve also been informed that writing a review on iTunes or any platform for listening to podcasts will also increase visibility for other podcast listeners to find.  For the sake of increasing visibility and further distribution of the truth, both positive and negative reviews are always appreciated.

Baby Cries – Season 1 Episode 1

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Warnings

This is a horror podcast. Listener discretion is advised.

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General horror, human remains
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A statement is provided to the police by Jim Thorpe. He went for an evening jog and heard cries from what sound like a baby. He followed the cries to a cave where he found human remains. A creature charges at him but doesn’t leave the cave. After the report is made, deputies search the area but find only footprints that appear to be from a clawed humanoid and the aforementioned remains.

Episode Transcript

You’re listening to The Storage Papers.  Episode 1: Baby Cries

There’s something inside us that compels us to respond when we hear a baby crying.  A wide range of feelings may affect us when we hear it, from sympathy to anxiety, and even frustration and helplessness- especially if you’re a parent who can’t seem to figure out how to get the crying to stop.  Crying is the universal queue for infants to communicate they have a need, a need which they themselves are unable to fulfill.  The only thing we all know initially is that some kind of action must be taken.  As I read the following account, try to imagine how you would respond given the same circumstances.


Witness statement from Jim Thorpe Saturday, February 7, 2009 9:18 p.m. 

Earlier this evening, I went out for my routine jog.  I’ve been training for a marathon, and Saturdays are always my long mileage days.  I had planned on getting 11 miles in, and I like to run on this stretch of bicycle trail by the lake for my long runs.  There’s plenty of tree cover for shade, and around evening time, there doesn’t seem to be too many other people around.  It’s… peaceful.  They had also just paved the trail, so I could make decent time as opposed to running on gravel and dirt and adding a bit of my favorite music really helps the old stress management.

Anyways, I was about 5 miles in on the trail.  I know this because I could see the mile marker just ahead.  I was planning on passing it and running for another 4 minutes before turning around.  I’ve been trying to keep an 8-minute mile pace during my training.  But just before I reached the 5-mile marker, I thought I heard something like a moan or a scream coming from the woods opposite the lake.  So I decided to stop and pull my ear buds out.  It was oddly quiet.  I don’t always run with my headphones in, but I’d been listening to some music for motivation on that particular day.  Normally I hear birds chirping, crickets, or frogs nearby, but not this time.  The only thing I heard was a slight breeze through the trees.  

I waited about 10 or 15 seconds, looking in the direction I thought I heard the noise from, and didn’t see or hear anything until I was about to put my earbuds back in.  That’s when I heard it.  Two distinct cries from a baby.  It was the kind of cry you hear when the baby needs a diaper change.  I remember when my kids were babies, my wife and I could distinguish what they needed by the types of cries.  The cry you hear when a baby is hungry is different than when the baby needs a diaper change.  This sounded like the cry our kids made when they were hungry.  

If I had to estimate how far away I thought the cry was, I’d say no more than a hundred feet from the trail I was on.  So of course, I head in the direction of the crying.  Once I got to the point where I thought the baby could have been, or maybe slightly past that point, I noticed a thick fog rolling in that came up to my knees.  Cloud cover also made it feel darker under the trees.  Listening intently, it was still really quiet.  I could hear my own footsteps when I walked and rustled the leaves or had broken twigs, but I still didn’t hear any animal or insect sounds.  I looked in every direction and couldn’t seem to find any evidence of a baby, and it had only cried briefly.  

I shouted, “hello” and waited.  Then about another 10 seconds went by and I heard the baby cry again.  Two cries, and then it stopped.  I don’t know if you’ve been around many crying babies, but when mine used to cry, they would only stop crying when they got what they wanted.  They don’t care if it’s daytime or nighttime, whether you’re sleeping or awake.  I just thought the two cries seemed odd.  Two cries, then absolute silence.

To add to that, the cries seemed like they were about the same volume as the first time I heard them.  I thought for sure they’d be louder since I was closer in the direction I heard them from.  In fact, I’m not sure I had gotten any closer to them.  It was almost like someone was carrying a baby while traveling away from me.  I continued deeper into the trees, and tried to make vocal contact.  I called out again, and hoping perhaps an adult was with the baby, I yelled things like “are you hurt” and “do you need help?”

Eventually I got far enough into the trees that I lost sight of the bike trail I had been jogging on.  The fog had completely rolled in by now, and it was so thick that I couldn’t even see my feet.  I was fairly sure that I was walking in mud too.  I started walking slower because I didn’t want to turn my ankle on something I couldn’t see.  I stopped again and yelled “can anybody hear me”?  

Then there went the cries again, just two of them, only this time they were a little closer and in a slightly different direction.  There was one thicket of trees that were tightly bunched together about 30 feet away from me.  I hadn’t noticed it until I heard the cries and looked in that direction.  I thought to myself, “if a baby is lying on the ground in this fog, I’m never going to see it” so I headed toward the thicket slowly, making sure to drag my feet.  

As I approached the thicket, I noticed what appeared to be the entrance to a small cave.  I could see the rounded ceiling of the cave entrance just above the fog.  It was only about 4 feet wide, and it would probably fit a full-grown person who was willing to get on all fours to go in.  I moved toward the cave, thinking that was going to be the most likely place that someone would have found shelter for whatever reason they would have needed it.

I was still cautious about my footing as I slowly approached the thicket of trees outside of the cave entrance.  I tried talking to see if I could prompt another cry or maybe a response from another person.  Once I started going under the thick canopy, I noticed a foul odor.  It was like a dense smell of urine, wet dog, and skunk all combined, and it overwhelmed my senses to the point where I thought I was going to be sick.  I had to stop right there for a moment to pinch my nose because of the stench, and I decided to call out again again, a little quieter this time.

Almost immediately, the baby cried again, and it couldn’t have been more than 10 or 15 feet away.  I un-pinched my nose and began shuffling toward the cave entrance.  As I moved forward I was trying to peer into the cave, but there was just darkness.  I felt a cold breeze coming from the cave, and even thought I heard some scuffling beyond the mouth.  I couldn’t see anything, and I figured I was probably close to the baby, so I continued on until my foot bumped something soft.  I looked down toward my feet and still couldn’t see them through the fog, plus it was actually getting darker the closer I got to the mouth of the cave.  I reached down to try to feel what my foot had bumped into.  It felt like skin, but it was cold and clammy.

I was able to grip my hand around it and decided to lift whatever it was above the fog so I could take a look at it.  I quickly recognized it as an adult female’s arm.  I had it gripped around the forearm, and saw the hand rise out of the fog first.  The arm was ice cold, wet, and dirty with a few scrapes on it around the elbow.  It had a womens’ GPS watch on similar to the one I wear, but smaller with a pink band, and it didn’t appear to be on.  I also noticed there was pink fingernail polish and a small tattoo of a ladybug on the inner wrist.

That’s when I began to panic.  I’m not used to being around dead bodies, and I began to get light-headed.  Then I started thinking about some poor mother had died out here with her baby nearby, and I wondered how many days they had been out here alone.  The baby had to be starving.  

I was about to call out again when some motion drew my attention from deep in the cave.  It sounded like an animal charging me, and there was a low grunting noise that accompanied each stride.  As I looked toward the cave to focus my eyes, I saw two dim yellow eyes reflecting light back at me, bouncing up and down with each grunt I heard.  I froze for a moment until the creature neared the entrance of the cave where some of the daylight outlined its shape.

It looked…human almost.  What I witnessed was what looked like an adult female, hunched over on all fours.  I say female because it looked like there were pendulous breasts on its chest.  The head was bald, and the skin was a pale white – nearly as pale as the arm I had just dropped back down into the fog.  It moved with such speed, I don’t think I could have moved that quickly on all fours.  The appendages were out of proportion to the rest of the body, and the knees looked like they bent the opposite direction, but aside from that it looked human.  

It was probably only 10 feet from me when I finally built the nerve to turn around and sprint back toward the trail.  I looked over my shoulder once to see it emerge from the mouth of the small cave.  It was now in the faint light, and I could make out some additional details.  It looked… old.  I could make out two stained teeth about the size of my cell phone, and the ears appeared to be pointy.  I have no idea what this thing was.  I ran with all the speed I could muster up until I found the bike trail, and turned to head back toward the trailhead where my car was parked, and it was easier to run faster knowing I wasn’t going to turn my ankle.  

About a hundred yards later, the fog cleared up, and I couldn’t hear anything behind me, so I decided one more time to turn my head around.  There by the edge of the trail, it seemed to have stopped.  It never stood up fully, but it did raise itself up to what looked like a squatting position.  Now that I knew I could outrun this thing, I stopped for a moment.  Though its head was facing me, its eyes appeared to be closed.  I was under the impression that it was being guided by sounds I was making.  And then I watched as the sound of a baby crying came from the creature’s direction.

As if trying to pick up my trail, it started slowly making its way toward me with a slow, awkward gate.  I tried to slow my breathing to go quiet, and that’s when it slowed down again and turned its head.  The pointed ears were sticking straight up until I took a step away from it and a twig broke.  That’s when it tucked its ears back and started lunging toward me again.  I just ran as fast as I could back to the trailhead, this time without looking back.  I can honestly say that if I weren’t in better shape, that thing would have been able to catch me.  I didn’t even think about pulling my phone out until I was safely in my car.  That’s when I called you.  Our first conversation occurred as I was leaving the parking lot by the trailhead.  

I’m certain there’s no baby out there, but I did find that woman’s body.  Looking back on the whole experience now, I’m convinced I was being lured out there.  That thing has learned how to mimic the sound of baby cries, and I just wonder if the body I found had been lured there just as I was.  I’ll tell you one thing for certain, I will never be jogging that trail again.

 Additionally, there was an attached hand-written note paper-clipped to the initial report.

I took a small crew of 4 deputies around 11:00 p.m., calling in a couple of people who had that night off.  We considered this high-priority due to the potential of an abandoned baby being involved.  Mr. Thorpe’s description of the location was accurate.  We were able to see muddy footprints, assuming they were Mr. Thorpe’s, entering the paved portion of the trail close to the 5-mile marker.  We followed his shoe prints until we found an additional set of prints.  What looked like human hand prints with claw-like impressions at the fingertips were facing the trail.  In addition, footprints from bare feet accompanied each set of the handprints.  

The footprints had 5 toes, splayed out wider at the toe end, but the foot was a lot longer and narrower than the average human foot.  All four deputies observed these prints, but none could think of what kind of animal or person they could potentially belong to.

We found the thicket of trees and the cave entrance by following these prints.  It was dark, and there was no fog when we arrived.  We did not find any evidence of a body and no prints were found inside the cave, however, we did find a women’s watch with a pink wristband about 12 feet inside the mouth of the cave.  There was no battery power, but we sent it down to the guys in tech, who will attempt to charge it, and let us know what they find.

On a personal note, I’ve only been with this department for about two years.  One of the more seasoned deputies that had been out with the search party cautioned us about the amount of detail to include in our official reports, so we made the appropriate amendments.  These details, we believed, would make people question the validity of the story, and might hinder any search efforts if brought forward as-is.  I believe Mr. Thorpe was telling the truth, and the evidence we found substantiates his claims, so I am documenting this unofficially in case I ever need to refer back to this.  Mr. Thorpe has no arrest record, and not so much as a parking ticket we know about.  He pays his taxes, appears to be a good husband and father, and has a prominent job at a local business.  I can’t provide a motive for deception, and he genuinely seemed frightened. 


Please consider reaching out to me if you have any pertinent information regarding this case either by social media or email.  You can direct-message me on Twitter and Instagram @storagepapers. I will be filing any additional information received in a much-more organized manner and will provide updates to cases as often as possible on the show.  

If you believe you have witnessed something truly unexplainable yourself, and would like to share your story, I would be glad to add it to these archives.  You just never know whether or not your testimony can help.

As always, my mission here is to spread this information, so please share this via social media so that these stories can be spread.  I’ve also been informed that writing a review on iTunes or any platform for listening to podcasts will also increase visibility for other podcast listeners to find.  For the sake of increasing visibility and further distribution of these accounts, both positive and negative reviews are always appreciated.  I’m always looking for ways to improve the podcast.  Thank you for listening.