Roughly 800,000 children go missing every year in the United States. It’s a tragic statistic, but many of them do eventually find their way back home. However, most of them do not return with a story as bizarre and disturbing as a “John Doe” case out of Mount Shasta, California.
Mount Shasta is well-known for its eerie atmosphere. The area has earned a reputation among visitors for its regularity of spooky encounters and experiences. This “John Doe” story is no exception.
It all started in September of 2011 when a 3-year-old boy and his dog had wandered away from his family at the Fowler’s campground in Mount Shasta. As soon as his family realized he was missing, they contacted the local authorities. Soon, everyone from the sheriff’s department to the volunteer firefighters were on a desperate search for the boy.
The toddler’s dog was found early on in the search, but the condition it was found in didn’t exactly leave the search team hopeful. The dog was soaking wet and had been found curled up and shivering on the banks of a river full of dangerous rapids.
As the night grew longer and darker, some worried that the young child had been swept up by the river and pulled under by the water’s undercurrent.
But miraculously, with the help of a canine partner, the boy was found hiding in a bush at 12:45 a.m.
The story was heralded as a major search and rescue success. Local news reports covered it extensively, and the nearby McCloud River Lodge offered free hot meals to everyone who participated in the community effort.
And of course, no one was happier than the boy’s relieved parents.
But three weeks later, the boy shocked his grandmother when he told her “I don’t like my other grandma.”
“What are you talking about, buddy? I’m your only grandma.” she replied.
“Don’t you remember when I was wost in the woods?” He replied. ‘Well, the other grandma grabbed me and took me to a creepy place. She’s really a robot.”
When pressed for details, the boy said “It was a cave with spiders, and there was purses and guns. I was too scared, so I didn’t touch anything. But, when she climbed a ladder, the light made her look like a robot. There were other robots too, but they didn’t move. They looked like people. She made me lay down to look at my tummy. She told me that I am from outer space, and they put me in my mom’s tummy. Then she took me back to the river and said to wait under the bush until someone found me.”
The boy also mentioned some grotesque details about his “other” grandma making some disturbing requests.
The boy’s real grandmother promptly called his parents to report the strange story, but his father seemed to think it was nothing more than the product of a young child’s overactive imagination.
While the grandmother agreed that was most likely the case, she later confided on an online forum that she’s bothered by that fact she had a strange experience in that same area just a year earlier. She was at the campsite and woke up outside of her tent with her face down in the dirt. She claims to have had a puncture wound in the back of her head and to have fallen violently ill shortly after.
At first she thought it was a spider bite, and it took a very long time to feel normal. A friend of hers who was camping nearby also had a wound on the back of his neck and became violently ill.
She further claimed that there were red eyes shining through the trees in their flashlights before they went to bed. At first they thought it was just some deer, but later on they noticed there was little to no wildlife in the area – which is a common report from other visitors to the area. A total lack of wildlife. No squirrels, no birds, not even butterflies or bees. And total silence.
Online commentators have suggest the other grandma might be a clone of hers via DNA retrieved from the wound on the back of her neck, or perhaps a holographic projection. But of course, that’s all conjecture.
At the time of the incident, she was forbidden by the parents to ask her grandson about the experience, out of concern she could inadvertently create a false memory. Still, she claims the boy repeated the story to her at 4 and a half years old. At that age, he repeated the story detail for detail, except then he said the other grandma took him to a dungeon instead of a cave.
Ultimately, this case happened over a decade ago and it’s anyone’s guess what really happened during those five hours the boy was missing. But one things is for certain: never let your children out of your sight when you go camping.