The official blog of author Jean Marie Bauhaus

Tag: weirdness

Restless Oklahoma: Shaman’s Portal

Shaman's Portal Oklahoma

Something strange is afoot in Beaver Dunes Park. Located in the panhandle of Oklahoma, the dunes are home to a legend involving the Spanish explorer Coronado, mysterious late night military excavations, Men in Black encounters, and enough mysterious disappearances to warrant the nickname “Oklahoma’s Bermuda Triangle.”

The story goes that Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, as he traversed the area on his quest to discover New World gold, ignored the warnings of his Native American guides to keep away from the dunes. The price he paid was to have three members of his expedition suddenly vanish before his eyes amidst strange flashes of green lightning–a description Coronado himself penned in his expedition diary, calling the phenomenon “the work of the Devil.”

Known by the natives as the “Shaman’s Portal,” the area has since been blamed for numerous such alleged disappearances, although none have been verified, especially in the last century or so. However, locals have claimed to witness mysterious military excavations conducted under the cover of darkness. In the Nineties, after receiving reports of unspecified “strange” findings from an Oklahoma State University archaeologist, one Dr. Mark Thatcher is said to have spent three years studying the area until he was shut down by men with military credentials who fit the description of the notorious Men in Black. It’s unclear whether Thatcher was part of another unidentified university geological team who is said to have studied the area in the mid-Nineties. This team supposedly took a number of geological samples and found strange anomalies that included ionized soil and electromagnetic interference. All of this has led some to believe that an ancient alien spacecraft lies buried beneath the dunes.

A flying saucer isn’t the only thing believed to be buried down there. Apparently, the area is also an ancient Native American burial ground. And we all know that building anything on one of those is generally a Bad Idea.

And the alien connection is only one hypothesis surrounding the area. Theories about the disappearances and the weird lights abound. Is the area a portal to another dimension? Were the missing people transported, or incinerated by the green lightning? Was this some kind of Native American magic meant to protect the tribal gold from greedy European explorers like Coronado?

As freaky–and kind of cool–as all of this is, unfortunately the only thing that exists in the way of real evidence is Coronado’s diary. Every other claim over the last five hundred years or so have been, shall we say, sketchy? Still, it seems that something happened to those lost explorers–something unnatural and extremely difficult to explain.

And that’s enough to keep me from exploring those dunes anytime soon.

 

It’s Not The End Of The World… OR IS IT?!!

I’m starting out the second week of NaNoWriMo about 3,000 words short of where I should be. I was doing great for the first three days, even had a bit of a word cushion built up, but then I decided to take Friday off from writing, since it was already filled to the brim with errands and my weekly Bible study. Of course I just knew I’d make it up over the weekend, but on Saturday I was too determined to catch up on TV as well as writing, and thanks to that I only managed about 900 words that day. Sunday was much better–I went to the first write-in for my area and wrote over 2,200 words while I was there, but that wasn’t enough to catch me up to where I should be. Then on Monday, a combination of adjusting to the time change and some *ahem* female troubles knocked me so far off my game that I just sat there in a haze all day, wondering what I should do and trying to decide if it would be better to just go take a nap, until I finally gave up on either notion and went to watch Netflix with Matt. So I did some math, and if I want to be caught up to 20,000 by this weekend I need to write about 3,000 words a day between now and then. I’ve done 1,142 so far today.

And do you know what isn’t helping? That would be the earthquakes. That’s right, we have earthquakes now, apparently. In Oklahoma. We’ve had three pretty significant quakes in as many days, in a state that until last year there hadn’t been a single quake strong enough to be felt in my lifetime, and until three years ago averaged about three too-minor-to-be-felt quakes a YEAR. And we’ve had about ten times that many just in the last WEEKEND, one of which broke the record for the biggest area quake in known history. So it’s a little hard to concentrate on writing when you’re busy wondering if there’s going to be a BIG ONE and if you should be getting ready for it, or if this is the beginning of those birth pangs Jesus talked about and maybe we should be getting ready to be raptured out of here, or if Oklahoma, land of tornadoes, intense heat and drought, wildfires, grapefruit-sized hail, destructive ice storms, blizzards and now EARTHQUAKES, is done coming up with new and inventive ways to kill us all.

You guys, if the apocalypse happens before I finish this book, I’m gonna be SO MIFFED.

Anyway, I was more concerned about just finishing my novel than I was about my word count, but then I found out that CreateSpace is going to be giving free proofs AND five free paperback copies to the winners. That would mean I could actually afford to do a giveaway promotion for Dominion once it’s published. I want those free paperbacks, y’all. I gotta come up with 50,000 words of SOMETHING by the end of the month.

All righty then, I guess I’d better quit blogging and get to hustling on that word count. Here’s hoping the earth refrains from opening up and swallowing us for a while longer.

Spooky Encounters #3: Strange Things Afoot at the Cousins House

Reminder! Speaking of restless spirits, today is the last chance to snag your FREE copy of my novel, Restless Spirits, on Smashwords. Coupon code FU23M expires at midnight!

For the first two years of our marriage, Matt and I rented out the upstairs of my mom’s house. At the time, my mom basically ran a boarding house. After building her big dream house after my dad passed away, at some point she decided that it was too much house for her alone and started taking in boarders, mostly extended family and people from her church who needed a place to stay and couldn’t afford a lot of rent. During the time of this story, the house’s other residents included my mom’s sister and her grandson, and another guest who will remain nameless.

This last boarder was the sort of person who you never knew what sort of stuff she or her associates might be into. It was during the months that she stayed there that all of this went on.

Spooky Encounters: Demons In My Bed

I was 22 years old and living at home after a stint away at college, and my father had recently passed away. Battling insomnia, I had been lying in bed for hours. As I lay on my back and stared at the ceiling, trying to will my mind to settle down and stop thinking long enough to let me fall asleep, I kept imagining weird, creepy faces floating around my room. I told myself that this was the beginning of dreaming and I was FINALLY starting to drift off to sleep, and the dark nature of what I was seeing must be due to stress. But sleep still eluded me, and I was starting to get creeped out, so I decided to get up and read or watch TV or something.

Spooky Encounters: 320 South Boston

320 South Boston

Photo credit: the Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society.

In the run up to Halloween, I thought I’d share some of the spookier experiences I’ve had throughout my life. Apart from assuring you that I am not making this stuff up, these are submitted without comment — you can make up your own mind about what, exactly, it was that I encountered. Watch for more of these stories to appear over the weekend.

Back in the fall and winter of 2004-2005 I spent several months temping in this iconic downtown Tulsa building. It’s one of the oldest buildings downtown, built in 1917, and I believe it was considered Tulsa’s first skyscraper, although the tower section wasn’t added until 1929.

I was working for the building management office at the time, as a shared receptionist and operator for several different businesses in the building. If I recall correctly, the management’s headquarters were on the 9th floor (it might have been the 7th; either way, it was in the oldest part of the building), and they had a big office suite with a private lounge where I would often go to grab a nap on my lunch hour. Back by the lounge was a large private bathroom. The whole area was pretty secluded.

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