WHAT IT IS
All Cricket and Sapphire could do was peer down the undulating road and bath in the freedom that was now theirs. A full day of police interviews, press conferences, glad-handing well wishers and thanking the many volunteers had exhausted the two. As evening started to descend over Beaver County most of the hubbub had died down and Cricket and Sapphire finally had time to reflect.
They were grabbed by Klaus Wagner and Peter Lehman. They knew this because Wagner inadvertently let their identities slip while arguing over who would fix a flat tire shortly after they were kidnapped near their Wanapitei home. Gagged, hooded and tied up, they were driven around for several days until they arrived at what Wagner called the final destination. Deposited in an underground bunker, they were given minimal food and water for what seemed like weeks. Wagner and Lehman never revealed why they kidnapped the pair.
WHAT IT IS NOT
Davey Doucet was a country boy at heart and during his brief moments of relaxation he would often walk the roads of Beaver County, just enjoying the scenery, the nature. It was early, maybe 6:30, when Doucet was out for stroll and he could see Will Offley on his tractor far in the distance. He surmised Will was about to plough his west acreage and as he watched, a black Mercedes roared by him, kicking up so much dust that everything before him was obliterated, everything except the dirty Louisiana license plate hanging by one bolt on the back of the car.
Doucet watched the sedan achieve ever increasing speeds until suddenly the brake lights erupted and the car came to a hard stop. Doucet could see nothing because of the dust but after several moments two men ran from the road into the field where Offley was ploughing, gave him what looked like a shoebox, ran back to the car then sped away. Within minutes, patrolman Ned Doucet, lights flashing and sirens whaling, sped by in pursuit.
WHAT IT IS
Cinder Willoughby may have been the last person to know. But, because he travelled in roughly the same circles as Frank James, he learned of the disappearance of Dizzy and Bella Barnhart and the mysterious events surrounding where they went missing…Plot 82.
So, it came as a surprise to Willoughby that, while watching Black Capped and Carolina chickadees feeding on some cattails, he saw two women matching James’s detailed description of his two cousins.
The women were walking along a secluded trail near the Beaver County Conservation District in a hypnotic state, reciting verse and practising ashtanga yogi. It all seemed quite harmless to Willoughby, but his interest peeked when they started enunciating a message he had seen written on the side of a dusty motorhome.
WHAT IT IS NOT
Jones said it was a Black Capped, Brown insisted it was a Boreal, they both agreed they were too far north for it to be a Carolina, so they agreed to disagree.
Two frogs hopped by again, Jones said one was wearing a fedora, Brown insisted he just had an odd shaped head; again they both agreed to disagree.
When INSECT agents finally caught up with Jones and Brown they were a bit delirious and very dehydrated. They were tied up to a large tree, but they were not actually tied up with anything tangible.
The first agents to come across Jones and Brown was Graham and Smith and what they saw was two guys with their hands and feet tightly bound together, but no physical restraints were evident.
WHAT IT IS
Perhaps it was their age and life experiences that led to their pessimistic view, but both Sofia Zuniga and Bokamoso Jacobs believed only a catastrophic event or events could alter the inevitable collision between humankind’s behavior and the survival of all other species on the planet. They were starting a journey of living among many of nature’s creatures to get a better sense of what they needed to survive and thrive. To facilitate this notion, what better way to bridge this gap than to enlist the services of ‘man’s best friend’, who hopefully could provide insight to both the human world and the ‘others’ world. It was Jasper and Chuckles who were chosen to spend the summer at the Chapleau Game Preserve to help Sofia and Bokamoso with this most interesting task.
WHAT IT IS NOT
Fallen trees, swollen creeks, acres of burdock, piles of granite rocks and every weed species known to Beaver County awaited the canine athletes participating in the Olympic trials for the Pawathon.
The Olympic Pawathon is a grueling fifty mile run through harsh, unforgiving terrain. Of the seventeen entrants only the two pictured dogs finished the event. The small dog in the background led all dogs for the first forty-nine miles, but the dog in the foreground managed to overtake the little fella in the final quarter mile.
WHAT IT IS
After two weeks of observations at a stone trestle in Beaver County, Cinder Willoughby was ready to present his findings to the county authorities. He wouldn’t tell them the trestle appeared to be a portal that allowed insect life to travel vast distances. He wouldn’t tell them the portal was created by an extra-terrestrial life form to aid these and other creatures cope with climate change and other environmental ills. He wouldn’t tell them a form of Psychokinesis was evident around the trestle. He would tell them that disruptions in the earth’s magnetic field in and around the trestle was the cause of the strange events. This seemed to satisfy the authorities and Willoughby was happily discharged from his duties.
Willoughby’s flight from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Weyburn Saskatchewan was still a full day away, so he decided to drive out from his hotel in Ellwood City to see a bit of the Pennsylvania country side. As he drove along Fombell Road, he noticed a deputy patrolman and a couple of dogs leaving a rural property. Willoughby stopped to admire the dogs when the patrolman offered him an explanation of their activities. A house fire occurred many years ago and the two adults and little girl who rented the house vanished moments after reporting the blaze. Neighbours said the family pretty much kept to themselves in the years they lived in the area. The patrolman proudly boasted the dogs were specially trained in determining the origins of old fires, buy sadly were not having luck today.
After they had left, Willoughby decided to take a look around. The charred remains of the house were strewn around as you would expect, but what caught Willoughby’s eye was a garden, now overgrown, containing wild plants native to Northern and Eastern Canada not Beaver County Pennsylvania. Indeed, a group of Mountain Avens was at the center of the garden and Willoughby knew that these plants were only found on the white mountains of New Hampshire and Brier Island, Digby Neck Nova Scotia.
As Willoughby left, he paused at a spot where he had noticed one of the dogs digging aggressively with his front paws. Willoughby kicked some debris to one side, discovering a steel box, half melted from the heat of the fire. He pried open the box, and what looked like a diary, badly scorched, lay inside.
WHAT IT IS NOT
The white plants in this photograph have been harvested from Nevis Island and sent to an anti-doping tribunal created by the International Canine Olympic Committee. Although results are preliminary, the chemical make up of the plants don’t seem to be identifiable at this time. The anti-doping tribunal has been seeking input from Cinder Willoughby and other scientists regarding the mysterious make up of these plants.