The Northern Frights

“You really want me to tell this story again? I might as well since I relive it EVERY day.

Well then, it was 1974 and I was living in Alaska as a pilot for a small bush plane operation. There was a legend that there existed Alaska’s own ‘Bermuda Triangle’. It is said to have a large underground pyramid of energy that interferes with all electrical signals within it’s reach. I thought this sounded hokey, I mean, we ALL did.

As a pilot you normally dismiss such suggestions as folktales. There had been a flight near where I flew often that disappeared 2 years prior. This flight carried a Democratic congressman by the name of Hale Boggs. He was widely known for his involvement with the Warren Commission and for his role in the investigation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Many a suggestion of multiple conspiracies circulated immediately after his body and the wreckage were never found. Suggestions ranged from an alien encounter to the before mentioned Alaskan Triangle. How could someone just disappear without a trace? Could someone have wanted him disposed of so badly that they were able to make the entire plane and it’s passengers just vanish? It seemed wild at the time.

To this day there has not been a single scrap of metal found from the presumed wreckage. Maybe they decided to high tail it and get out of the spotlight? Maybe they all spent the final years of their lives sipping on Canadian whiskey in Newfoundland. Or perhaps what really happened was that thing, that THING got them. Yes, I speak of what I assume to be the Kushtaka, the Tlingit legend known for deceiving it’s prey with illusions. It is said that the Kushtaka can take on many forms and possibly even someone or something familiar to you. It then tricks you in to a situation that you likely will not get out of alive. There can be good Kushtaka, I have never heard tale of one specifically though.

I suggest this seemingly bizarre theory based on experience. I had just dropped off some crates to a small village that was in dire need of medical supplies. Before I left an elderly woman I did not recognize approached me from seemingly out of nowhere. This was a village of about 35 people and I had come to know most of them. This woman was new to me and had a rather off-putting demeanor about her. Her eyes were mysteriously darkened and she just stared forward as though she did not see me. She leaned in to me and asked in a very quiet voice if she could fly back with me to Anchorage so that she could go to the hospital there. I am not sure why but I told her I was flying to a few other locations first and didn’t have the fuel load to support the extra weight. I knew this was a lie and I felt awful lying to her.

I turned back to my plane feeling truly uneasy. The feeling I had after looking in to her eyes I just could not shake. I did my pre-flight check on the plane and taxied for take off. Just as I proceeded to pull back on the stick and angle the nose up for lift off I felt a sudden jarring as if a huge gust of wind had sideswiped the plane. I countered with the rudder and throttled the plane more. I made it up and there seemed to be no other turbulence for the time being.

About 25 minutes out from the village I realized that I was flying in roughly the same area that Boggs’ flight was thought to go down. I always paid special attention to this area as this story had intrigued me deeply. I often would catch myself looking down at the earth below trying to find any sign of the doomed flight. This is when I noticed my front windshield start to become drenched in water droplets. I remember this very vividly, the window fogged up with thick precipitation on the inside and then almost as quickly as it fogged up it was gone. This happened over and over. It was as if it were being wiped away immediately and then water were flowing out of it again and again. It was not raining outside and it was relatively calm for this time of year.

At this point my communications headset completely cut out. I was wiping away the moisture from the windshield when a sudden squelch nearly deafened me and then nothing.

Out of nowhere it the visual horizon went from about 5 miles in front of me to maybe 1/2 a mile of visibility and then darkness…darkness set in as if someone had flicked a light switch. My heart starting beating so rapidly that I thought for sure I was going to pass out or have a heart attack. All time slowed down. Panic, this is something we try teach ourselves as pilots to avoid and overcome. I cannot let the panic control me is what I told myself. The plane was shaking immensely and I started to breath deeper and deeper telling myself to calm down. I was likely actually saying this out loud as well.

Just as I finally felt the plane steady and my breathing had slowed, I thought I had seen something out of the corner of my eye in the back cargo area that had not been there before this. I told myself that nothing was there, so I did not look again right then. What felt like 30 minutes went by, though in reality it was likely about 3 minutes. I just couldn’t help myself, the curiosity and fear took over and I turned my eyes just enough to see out of the corner of my eyes that it was still there.

Quickly I pitched the nose down and attempted to find somewhere suitable for an emergency landing. All I could see were trees with no open spaces. I started to panic again. Just then I felt something on my shoulder. It felt like long blades of grass with some weight to them. I quickly looked back and saw a distorted figure. The figure was dark and lanky, it had long tendrils for arms and legs, almost like a giant mantis or spider. But it had the face of that woman from the village. It’s lifeless eyes and expressionless face just looked forward at me. It’s mouth moved but there were no words and no sound. I felt my eyes roll back in my head as my throat closed off. I felt this was the end. I must have passed out either from panic or lack of oxygen.

23 days later, so I am told, I woke up in a white room. It is THIS very room that I speak to you in right now. That was 44 years ago. I have not been allowed to step outside of this room since then.

You…you surely must believe me…you must have others out there that have seen something similar? I am not mad, I am not crazy–this THING is tricking you and making you think so. Ask them! Ask the Others what they have seen!”

January 22nd, 2018 evaluation interview with Barry Higgins, 64, patient at the Spotnitz Sanitarium since 1974.

4 thoughts on “The Northern Frights

  1. Rever, do you spend a lot of time interviewing Sponitz Sanitarium patients? Is that where you were…tested… as a child?

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