Thing a Week 50: The Forest’s Eyes, Pt. 1

1-5VWryXq4SEVx8gjG9OsPlA

I’ve been under surveillance for at least two months now. Probably longer, but I made an eyeball for the first time at a diner in town on August 15, 2015. He immediately stood up, dropped a wad of cash on the table, and left the diner— they switched him out, of course, and I haven’t seen him since — but I know they’re still watching.

A few days in September I noticed people on my rural property watching me from just outside of the bush line — but they made no attempt to conceal themselves when I made them also. They remained just on the horizon, staring blankly towards me and my property — completely silent to my yells inquiring, “Who are you? What do you want?”

I could have called the police, but the San Jackson County Sheriff’s office is no use. I’ve had them out five times already: they spend five minutes meandering around and leave. I’m too far out in the country to station an officer, they say. They don’t have the manpower to investigate, in their words, “rural paranoia”.

Sometimes I wonder if they’re on the payroll of whoever’s watching. It’s a small town, that’s not unreasonable to assume possible; bribe two, maybe three, cops and you’re golden.

It didn’t take long before the shadows on the horizon camouflaged into the night and I retreated inside, carrying my hunting rifle back to my bed for the night instead of depositing it in its usual spot next to the front door.

1-ylcJMJ3zrdQW8UWwy58DpA

That night was easily the longest night I’ve experienced in my life. Every little creak of the house, every burst of wind against the shutters, every brush of leaves against the roof — everything was just so loud. So loud I wondered whether they were intentionally making so much noise — somehow — so I couldn’t hear them entering my house.

I got up abruptly several times in the night to sweep the house — rifle always at the ready— dialed in to every shadowy nook someone could be hiding in. I don’t have much to steal — maybe my laptop, at best — so a regular burglar conducting this kind of surveillance would have moved on to a better target by now; this has to be something else.

Sometimes I wonder whether their blatant surveillance isn’t surveillance at all. It could just as well be a psychological campaign against my sanity and I, keeping me from getting a sound night’s sleep — successfully, I might add.

I didn’t see anyone on the edge of my property the next day, or the next day, or for nearly a week after that night. About a week later though — almost exactly: six days later — I saw them again: one eyeball in the brush within thirty yards of my residence, and what I’ll call three secondary eyeballs — or maybe the primary eyeball’s security backup — just a hundred or one-fifty yards from my front porch. It was then that I first thought this might be a psychological attack to wear me down before something bigger; that’s the only conclusion I can come to about these teams.

They’ve been in my residence several times when I’ve been away. They were here last night. Again, the local sheriff won’t buy strands of my hair displaced from strategic points around the house as proof that someone’s watching me intently from the shadows. Another reason I believe they’re probably being paid to look the other way — though I’m still not sure whether the bribe is money or power. Criminals, corporations, individuals, governments… they‘re all capable of either.

Their activities seem to primarily be between the hours of 2330 and 0530. I have adapted in several ways, and they have adapted as well. I stay hot, swiveling where I can, but counter-surveillance is much less effective when eyeballs don’t need to cool off and switch out. Every time I drive into the city I circle and check my truck, looking underneath for trackers and in the engine for anything else they might plant. I haven’t found anything yet, but I’m sure they’re watching — and if they know I’m looking, at least they won’t try planting anything.

Occasionally I take the truck out and just circle around the area, ultimately returning back to the house with no destination in-between. I keep my eyes on the rear view mirror, but they haven’t taken my takeaway bait yet. I assume they have eyeballs stationed in town they can call when I go in; following someone out in the country must be way too obvious for them, even for scare tactics.

1-7-TyO0bWk4-ltNwQg4rNAg

Last weekend, I cleared the forest and underbrush around my property to push the shadows back further. I’ve lost about thirty chickens since then, unfortunately. I know foxes are getting some of them. I go fox hunting late at night and early in the morning, keeping my hunting rifle gripped tight as I clear the property’s perimeter. Unfortunately, the foxes have adapted.

The day after I cleared the brush was the last time I phoned the Sheriff’s department, and the last time they said they’d come out. I knew something was amiss when Ol’ Shep didn’t come yipping when I rustled his food and poured out a bowl into the old cow trough. I whistled, poured a little extra, and gazed out over the fields looking for him when I saw the first shadowy figure.

Clearing the brush worked: he was further back than before. Behind him, two more figures waited — probably as backup in case I tried coming out. But unlike before, there were two more sets of two figures stationed roughly fifty yards on either side of the primary eyeball, and behind each of those pairs stood three more figures, just far enough out to avoid being clearly made.

I kept my back to the house and backed up towards it, quickly switching my gaze between each of the figures on the horizon — not that they could discern who I was looking at, unless they were using binoculars or something. When I reached the porch, I turned around to climb the stairs.

As I turned, I saw two more figures — kneeling — just outside of the brush due West. Their black silhouettes blended so well with the tall grass that I immediately began to wonder whether they were added agents today, or whether they’d been stationed there since August.

I panicked. For some reason, I looked the opposite direction — East, I remember, because it was difficult to make out three more figures against the harsh morning sunrise. Difficult, but not impossible.

I slammed the door behind me, rushing to the bedroom to grab my rifle. All of my windows and doors were already locked, of course, but it still took a minute to close all the blinds before I grabbed the landline and called the Sheriff’s office.

But once again — surprise! — they were no use. When they arrived — with sirens blaring, mind you — the figures were obviously gone, and whatever ounce of sanity I had left fled with them. They derided me for calling wolf — again — and said they wouldn’t be back.

If I didn’t feel safe out here, they said, I should find a place to stay in town.

Obviously, I’m not going to lose my home turf in this campaign. It’s a good two hundred yards from the edge of my brush to my home, and I’ve at least got some safety of my own. A hotel room in town, on the contrary, yields no dead zone — and forces me to forfeit my firearm. Nice try, whoever you are.

I did, however, make a few trips into town to peruse the hotel selection. It took a few trips back and forth before I identified the choke points in various routes I could take to and fro and repurposed a few game cameras at each choke to set up a surveillance detection route. It might not help spot eyeballs stationed in town, but if anyone was following me to or from the house, I’d at least know — regardless of what route they took. The cameras have only been up for a couple days now; I’m going to make another trip into town on Monday and pick them up for analysis on the way back.

The rest of the game cameras were relocated to strategic points on the perimeter of the property, tucked away in trees pointing at the brush line. I haven’t seen the figures on the horizon since setting the cameras up, but when they return… I’ll be ready. I haven’t decided whether it’s a good idea to share photos or evidence of their presence with the Sheriff yet, though.

The cameras will prove I’m not crazy. I know there are people out there, and I’m still unsure whether it’s good or bad that they know I know. All I can hope is that they don’t know about the cameras, and that I get some help soon. I’m posting this log now in case anything happens to me, and I’ll post a follow-up Monday night (or Tuesday) after I’ve taken a look at the videos.

Until then, I’m on “pretend nothing is weird” mode.

Just yesterday I was working on my tractor and I swear somebody fell down in the woods not twenty yards away — outside of any of my game camera coverage. Just fell down in all the brush and cover. I cut the tractor engine and looked, but couldn’t find anyone. I won’t say how I explain these inexplicable events, but the technology for it exists and has been used by the US Military in Iraq for at least 10 years — and there’s at least one camouflage company in Canada that’s perfected this technology and offered it to the Canadian and US militaries. That doesn’t mean my watchers are military, of course, though.

After my fruitless search, I audibly cursed those darn foxes but kept an eye peeled to the brush line as I started the tractor back up and finished my work. No shadows, no figures, no silhouettes since then. Tomorrow I’ll try to get out and get the cameras and find out more. I assume the eyeballs will continue to keep their distance until then.

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *