Here are some of the offbeat events that I know about here in Portland, stories which I call, for the purposes of this blog, The P-Files. Every city has those “KEEP FILL-IN-THE-BLANK WEIRD” stickers, but Portland actually deserves them. I know about the first one in this article because it happened so close to where I was staying at the time. In fact, I think it’s the one that really got me thinking about all this. Let’s take a look.
October 17, 2009. “They came and took him! I saw it happen! He was crossing the street and they just took him up into the sky; if you don’t believe me you can, I mean, just, just get somebody over here now! It’s the second one and I’m -” and with that the phone call stopped. The call came from this phone, which used to be on the corner of Southeast Belmont Street and 60th Avenue but now all that remains is a post in the ground, supposedly because so many people have cell phones now that nobody uses the old style pay phones. Supposedly. I took this photo after I heard the TV reports since it was so close to where I was at the time, but if you try to find out anything about this incident you’ll find there is a total blackout on the subject. See, there was another call a few days later, and on the 911 system system recording it is cut off; simultaneously there was a loud boom in the neighborhood and the next time I passed by this phone the phone and its kiosk were gone. It looked like the mini-booth had been wrenched from the pole.
The scene (missing booth highlighted):
Who made the call? Who went “up into the sky”? Normally, you’d just think the whole thing was a hoax, except for the news blackout later and the weird disappearance of the phone booth. That part really bothered me.
Below, a photo of the corner now; look at that pole sticking up out of the ground:
Another interesting case from the P-Files:
August 21, 2012. Herb Scanlon was working for the city of Portland as a surveyor when he disappeared on Southeast Scott Street. His surveyor’s wheel was all that was left behind and I managed to get a photo of it before they removed it. Once again, there is a near-total news blackout on this and it was only by the wildest chance that I happened to walk my dogs by the spot very soon after the disappearance, which I didn’t know about. I just thought the wheel looked interesting by itself near the sidewalk at such an odd hour, so I photographed it. This time there were no television reports but I did see something on the Oregonian’s (our local paper) website and I always remembered that quote; guess what? That story’s gone now, too. It’s enough to make you think they’re out to get you!
March 16, 2011. The missing children are still missing. Both disappeared on the same day at the same time while outside playing: Chelsea McGonahaugh and Kyeisha Sikes were both reported missing but it wasn’t until later that police realized the disappearances happened simultaneously, even though McGonahaugh was in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood and Sikes was in Northeast Portland’s Cully neighborhood. No photos were ever released so we have to make do with these recreations.
The girls were not related and there were no obvious connections between them other than the time of their disappearances. Neighbors of the Sikes girl reported a smell “like burning metal” but there were no traces of anything where the girl had been other than her doll, and certainly no footprints or other evidence of an intruder. Nothing else at all was reported in the vicinity of Chelsea McGonahaugh.
I have one more photo for you, this one a freeze frame cropped from high resolution video at a children’s party:
June 3, 2013. Kirsten Fredricks disappeared at her friend Robbie Deiter’s eleventh birthday party and the image above was captured at the party. All the guests thought this was someone hired to entertain the children, but Marion McWilliams, who hosted the event, says she has no idea who this person was. For once, there is no talk of “little green men”. “I thought it was so neat,” said McWilliams. “I didn’t know there was anything odd going on at all.” Police think this figure was just someone in a costume acting as a diversion, but they don’t have any more information than anyone else does; what in the world is this thing? All I know is that if it is eight feet tall I’m not going anywhere near it!
More to come.
Stay young and monstrous.