Famous Cases | Historical Tales | Vampires | Zombies
Base: Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States
Date/Time: 9/4-9/16/2012, various times
Incident: This is a report of activity in the area of Mount Pleasant, MI regarding an ongoing investigation into a series of possible zombie-related assaults which have occurred in the city proper. Note, this investigation is not to be considered in relation to my previous two reports concerning a witnessed confrontations between vampiric entities and a currently unknown supernatural entity assumed to be the Kumiho from Korean lore.
Entering into my senior year and preparing for grad school, I found I had less and less time to keep up on the city news feeds as I had promised myself I would do after my last encounters. I am ashamed to admit I didn't notice something was amiss until the event had already begun to grow cold. On August 22nd, the body of Daniel Cobb, a well known member of the town's homeless population,was found behind the Stadium strip mall near campus. Reports of the death were drowned out by the rush of the teeming (and already inebriated) student masses. The reports given by the police to the papers detailed that the man had been dead for awhile, as there was ample time for the wild dog population that prowls the area near the broadcasting towers to set in on the corpse. At the time the theory sounded logical enough to me.
On September 2nd, the second body was located. Deborah White, age 19, another member of the homeless population, was found in Riverside Park by two early morning power walkers on their typical route. The Chippewa River runs through the park, as it does through just about every major public park or nature preserve in the area. When the walkers found her they assumed she was halfway submerged in the silt filled waters, but when the cops arrived it was revealed that once again she was simply half gone: most of her left side reduced to bone with her left forearm missing entirely. Now this had my attention. Two may be a coincidence, but I didnít want to wait until it became a pattern to look into it. Whiteís death was written off to page seven of the local paper—just another homeless person perishing due to exposure. The prevalent theory was she fell in the river, and a combination of turtles and other wild animals feasted on her body.
|What secrets does the Chippewa hold?|
The scene of the discovery had been swept clean upon my arrival. A swath of trampled grasses the only indication of where dozens of officers had likely stood and scratched their heads, all trying not to look down. My initial investigation revealed little. There was no signs of struggle, and any bits of cloth or potential clues would have already been either collected by the police or swept down river. It was then that it hit me: her murder could have happened anywhere upriver of my current location. I pulled up a map of the area on my phone and discovered two other public parks upstream from my current location, and a third public sanctuary out on the Ojibwa reservation.
I set off along the side of the river. Beyond the parks the banks are not well maintained, and in short order I found myself fighting a perpetual tangle of briars and gripping shrubs. I moved slowly, careful to keep my eyes peeled for anything that could be considered suspect. I passed through Chipp A Waters park, then through Mill Pond park. At this point the sun was beginning to set so I suspended my efforts and had a friend pick me up.
Due to classes I was forced to hold off continuing my investigation until the 7th. That Friday I awoke at dawn and set out for Mill Pond and the 10-mile hike to the public sanctuary on native lands. The hike was a far more pleasant experience in hiking boots and jeans. I found what I was looking for eight miles into my hike. I had just finished rounding the northern stretch of the river, the embankment curving sharply to the left just ahead of me. A small pool had formed where the river turned, trapping in its swirling waters just about every bit of filth and garbage that anyone upstream had tossed in. I saw the shirt first: a simple blue plaid wrapped tight around a submerged branch toward the center of the pool. Its back was open and flapping in the thin current. Likely it was simply torn on branches, but I decided to take a closer look just in case. I found a stick of the proper size and set to work attempting to snag and fish the shirt out of the pool. Sadly, I reached a bit further than I should have. My feet slipped on the muddy embankment and I slipped, crashing into the pool where the cold burned across my skin in a sudden and heady rush. Adrenaline and misery pumping freely through me, I grabbed the shirt and pulled myself back up onto the slope, shivering in the newly autumn air. I checked my gear. My phone was toast and my camera screen turned a brilliant white before shutting off entirely. My flashlight would need to be dried, but the all-weather seal seemed to have held. Cursing myself, I unfurled the shirt I had gone to all this trouble to retrieve.
The back of the shirt was opened wide, an open flap hanging limply from a basketball-sized tear. I initially assumed it had torn on the branches in the pool, but as I looked closer I noticed some very faint stains. I had tried to wash blood out of my clothes enough from a few years of rugby to recognize that stain. The shirt was a womanís small with a sewn-in tag on the back from the Mount Pleasant Womanís Shelter. The front pocket had a small, mismatched button. The pocket turned out to have a small baggie inside: a small amount of white powder still dry at the bottom of the sealed bag. I pocketed the bag, stowed the shirt in the hollow of a tree and set myself to finishing the next two miles, although now my mind was less on evidence and more on getting somewhere warm. It was just dumb luck that brought me to the marks.
A squirrel crossed my path and scurried up a tree in an effort to escape this waterlogged beast who had invaded his domain. I followed his progress up, stopping when I saw it. I was only half a mile or so from the public sanctuary and wanted very painfully to get to the task of repairing my camera (or explaining to my financial aid office why I needed to withdraw a few hundred dollars). But, setting myself on the lower branches of neighboring pine tree I began to climb. The marks were about 15 feet above the ground, wrapping a good portion of the way around the oak tree. Three parallel cuts into the wood, each roughly two inches deep and over an inch wide at their thickest point. Balancing myself on an outstretched pine tree I took a closer look at the markings. We were long from the days of Boris the bear, the blacks moving farther north and the browns nowhere to be seen outside of the upper peninsula, but as I looked at the marks I felt a chill as stories of wild bear maulings filtered into my mind. Could it have been a bear? They climb trees after all, although it would have to be a massive bear to leave marks like these. I noticed a hair caught within the grain of the wood. Carefully I reached out and plucked it out. It was long, with a coarse feel to it. I slid the hair into the same baggie as the white powder I had found. I climbed down and quickly made my way to the Public Sanctuary and secured another ride from a friend. I donít think I relaxed until I got home and found my way to a hot shower.
I had a friend who was working in the graduate chemistry program. For the purposes of this report he is going to be named Brian. After just a little begging I got him to promise to take a look at the powder to determine what he could. The hair I took back to Karen, the pre-vet major who was with me the night of my first investigation. Naturally, she didnít want a damn thing to do with this. She was still shaken after the events in the graveyard, after which she had for the most part abandoned her paranormal investigation club. It took me two hours to get her to help, "just this once." With both samples being looked at I sat back and focused on a long neglected paper on the political turn of Mexico City in 1540.
I heard back from Brian on the 12th, Karen on the 14th. The drug, Brian explained, initially appeared to be cocaine based on appearance and feel. However he did a few tests on it and found it was in fact ketamine, a common animal sedative. He went on to say the dose was highly concentrated. If one were to take the traditional "line of coke" from this they would likely be near comatose for at least a day. He went on to say that someone went through a lot of effort to make this drug look like traditional cocaine, mixing it with baking powder and doing a reduction procedure on it to get it into powdered crystalline form. Not sure where to even begin figuring this one out
The other shoe dropped Friday when Karen contacted me with her results. Initially she thought the sample was from a bear, as it was the only thing around here that could cause both the claw marks and would sport hair of a proper coarseness to what I was looking at. However, when she ran it under a microscope she noticed that it was too thick to be from a bear, and the shape of the point was wrong. She snuck a rudimentary test on the DNA behind her advisors back and found that while not exact, the hair had more similarities to that of the gray wolf.
Just another mystery to throw onto the pile. I found myself not knowing where to begin. Wolves in the lower peninsula are just about unheard of; besides, what wolf could cause those claw marks let alone make the mark that high on the tree. I fought the urge to begin entertaining more fanciful ideas. After all, the best investigations eliminate all logical possibilities before moving to the illogical. It was when I got home that night that my investigation went from a low burn to a screeching stop.
I was at home working that night, letting the issues of these incidents burn away at the back of my skull while I did my readings for the week. A knock came to my door and I yelled to my roommates to get it but as it turned out they were already eight tequilas to the wind in the kitchen and yelled right back that this was the job for a sober man. Groaning and bitching, I went to the door. Part of me is glad I was the one to answer. No one was outside. We live in a rented house on the edge of town, a situation which provided us quieter neighbors and the ability to escape the student slums in the college apartments. No other house on our street was lit up as I stepped outside. I called out, yelling at whatever kids must have been out playing pranks when I saw movement across the road. I donít know what possessed me, or what strange instinct I followed, but something told me it was time to get inside the house and fast. I let myself fall backwards across the door as a small pop sounded from across the street. I shut the door in a rush of blind adrenaline. No more pops, but a small bullet hole smoking in the drywall near my head.
We called the cops, who to their credit arrived in due time. They grilled me, asking the same question eight times each. I donít know if they were trying to catch me in a lie or simply drag out their time with me so they could put off the aggravating prospect of questioning my hammered roommates. In the ditch across the street they located a single .308 shell casing, which matched the bullet lodged into a stud in our wall. I didnít tell them about my illegal investigation, or about what I had found out by the pools. I had a hunch someone was already gunning for me because I looked into this.
I am not a brave man, and I am not ashamed to admit that I had to change my pants before the cops arrived. I have no intentions of ending up a corpse, nor do I ever intend to martyr myself for some great cause. But, I do believe that sometimes people have to act. I am still unsure of what is going on in any point in this case. But I know I have to see this through to the end, even if the end is just calling the cops and crying until they save the day.
I will report again when I have more.
Comment from Dr. Pecos: The presence of half-eaten bodies, blood-stained clothing from a homeless shelter and a strand of wolf-like hair in a tree scratching suggest a werewolf. If I were investigating, you can bet there would be a thorough examination of those human remains.
Werewolves were spotted in Michigan long before the first white settlers arrived. Ojibwa folklore told of a towering, flesh-eating monster called the wiindigo. Descriptions of it match those of a werewolf, and many Indians believe it still stalks the forests of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Your description of the scratches, though, threw me. While werewolves do scratch trees to sharpen their claws, their scratchings usually have four or five slashes associated with them. On softer-bark trees like a cedar, it might look like an entire section of bark has been peeled away. If you see any more scratchings in your travels, please take a photo and send it to me (once you get a new camera).
I don't know what to say about the gunshot. Apparently, someone doesn't want you to looking into this any further. Stay safe, and keep me updated.