BWCA Three unusual things on the edge of the BWCA Boundary Waters Listening Point - General Discussion
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member (30)member
06/20/2024 01:21PM  
I will preface this post by saying that I have enjoyed reading through previous threads about strange lights or other weird experiences people have had while in the BWCA or other wilderness areas. I will also add that I was not frightened by any of the things I am about to discuss! I felt very curious at the time, but not frightened. Also, none of these things are all that strange, but still they are interesting to mention in case anyone else has experienced anything similar. It's also just fun to recount stories and hear from others. :)

Two weeks ago, my husband and I were staying at Bearskin Lodge on the western end of East Bearskin Lake on the Gunflint Trail, very close to the entrance to the BWCA. It was generally rainy and chilly that week, though our first full day there was very nice overall and the sun came out and it even reached 74 degrees. Our plan was to enjoy our cabin and the resort, but also do a daytrip into the BWCA.

So here are my three slightly strange experiences.

First, on our first night at the cabin, we went outside to our private dock around sunset (9:30 pm) to enjoy the calm lake and the pink sky. It was still light enough to read our books without any additional lights. Then we went inside for a bit, but returned later (maybe around 10:30 or 11?) because the lodge had alerted us and other guests to the fact that there was a chance of viewing the northern lights that night. We were staying in the second-to-last cabin at Bearskin, which is a bit further down the lake, with a better view down the lake (east) than can be had by other cabins. When we went out to our private dock, we saw that there were others outside on their dock two cabins over toward the main lodge (west), perhaps also wanting to view the northern lights. Unfortunately, the entire resort and thus our dock directly faced the other side of the lake (south), so not the best vantagepoint for viewing the northern lights, but we still gave it a go. We spent awhile staring at the sky, but we did not see the northern lights. Still, we did see something strange! I have never seen anything like it before. My husband also witnessed it and thought it was a plane, but it was definitely not a plane. Way down the lake on our left (east), toward the entrance into the BWCA, we saw an incredibly bright, unmoving light in the sky. It was definitely way up in the sky, but not quite as high as other stars I thought. The thing that was strange about it is that it consistently pulsed red, green, and white light over and over again, always in the same pattern. It never wavered, never moved. It was so bright that it cast a shadow on the surface of the lake, and the shadow also pulsed red, green, and white. We tried to figure out what it was. My mind went to spaceship? Has anyone else seen anything like this in the BWCA? When we got back to the Cities, I googled it and found a few blogs that suggested it could be a star. If so, that is very cool and very odd! I have never ever seen anything like it and find it mind-boggling that a star could pulse colored light like that, like a strobe light.

Two nights later, my parents arrived to join us at the cabin, and after a rainy day, the weather cleared, so my dad and husband and I went down to the beach to have a bonfire. No one else at the resort was out. We stayed out there until 10:30 pm. I also watched the sky and saw the big dipper, etc, but also two other strange bright white lights (this time toward the west). One disappeared and then instantly appeared further away in the east. I was not scared, just curious! If these lights (and the pulsing colored light from two nights prior) were stars, then I am very fascinated and amazed. Perhaps living in civilization we just don't really notice or think about the stars that much. Perhaps in reality the stars are actually very wonder-ful things with unusual properties than we are often not aware of!

The second and third slightly strange things occurred during our daytrip into the BWCA. The day we went was calm and misty in the morning, then sunny and warm later in the afternoon, and then a bit windy with a storm blowing in later that night. We had planned to paddle down East Bearskin to the portage to Crocodile Lake, but when we got there, we saw that the portage was very muddy, slippery, rocky, and uphill. Never having been there before, my husband (who was going to portage the canoe), said "nope" and I don't blame him. So we left our gear and just hiked the portage to take a look at Crocodile Lake, then returned and continued on down to the end of Bearskin Lake to the Alder Lake portage.

At this time, a canoe of two guys passed us, heading to the same portage, so we slowed down and let them go ahead. We are new to portaging and were going to have to make a double portage. So we just floated in our canoe near the mouth of the rocky stream that is maybe 25 yards to the left of the portage (I'm not great at estimating distances). We watched the two guys pull up to the portage landing very efficiently. One of the guys instantly grabbed the canoe and threw it over his head. My husband was impressed and it gave him hope that portaging would not be that hard after all. They were only there for what seemed like a minute and then disappeared into the portage trail.

This is when I saw a figure distinctly take one large stride to the left and disappear behind a tree. My immediate thought was that it was one of the two guys we had just seen. It had looked like an adult man who had taken one large step, but I had admittedly caught it out of the corner of my eye (though definitely saw it happen). So the moment I noticed this movement, I watched the tree, waiting for the guy to continue on the other side, or return in the direction from which he'd come. But I never saw anything else. I then realized that the spot where I saw the figure was not on the portage trail. It was much nearer to the stream, and the figure had taken one large step in the direction of the stream, so roughly perpendicular to the direction that the portage trail runs toward Alder Lake. I continued to watch the trees there, but didn't see anything else. I then wondered, could it be another person out there, exploring? But the canoe with the two guys was the only boat we'd seen yet that morning. And although there is another campsite on the north shore of East Bearskin that we'd passed shortly before (though on the other side of that stream), it had been unoccupied -- we know, because we had canoed up to it to see if it was worth getting out, but it had seemed kind of closed in, whereas we like open, elevated campsites.

I did not feel afraid at all, just curious, but I did not mention anything to my husband because I did not want to freak either of us out (especially when we were about to get out at the same portage). Shortly after that, we proceeded to the portage landing and successfully made our double portage. I looked into the woods parallel to the creek a few times as we walked along the portage trail, but I did not see anyone/anything. We then continued into the little pond-like entrance to Alder Lake before paddling through the narrow channel into the main part of the lake. We ended up enjoying the middle of the day (campfire, lunch, reading, unsuccessful fishing) at an open campsite on the north shore of Alder, fairly close to the portage from which we'd just come. We did not see anyone there, either, except a canoe far across the lake headed further into Alder about an hour or two later. [Much later when we returned back to the cabin, I mentioned the figure I'd seen to my husband, but he had not noticed anything.]

The last strange thing is that my iPhone camera started acting up at about the same time that we crossed from East Bearskin into Alder Lake. I'd been using it to take photos and videos along the way. When we got to the campsite, I noticed that the photos were time-stamped in the future! The iPhone showed the current correct time, but any photos I took were time-stamped one hour in the future. I've never had that happen before! It was as though only the camera thought we had just entered the Eastern time zone? I'm not sure what happened. But starting then, it was like that the rest of the time we stayed at Bearskin Lodge, and did not show the correct time until we were back in the Cities. Again, all that time, the phone itself displayed the correct time, but any photos taken were time-stamped an hour later.

So that's my story of the three slightly strange things we experienced! :) None of them were all that weird, but I would still love to hear your thoughts!
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06/20/2024 02:20PM  

i can maybe offer a conclusion to the time difference. your phone may have picked up a signal from thunder bay ontario, or that direction, which is one hour later than where you were enjoying your crazy outing.

the mystery man thing would have totally freaked me out. i would have wanted to go check out the ground and look for foot prints. then, finding none, would go to my second excuse... a ghost of past travelers. ;)

i know nothing of flashing lights other than satellites.

but so glad you remained calm through it all and enjoyed your stay.
member (30)member
06/20/2024 02:48PM  
Thank you! I did not realize that Thunder Bay was in the Eastern time zone. That must be what was going on with my phone! Though kind of weird that only the photo app was affected.
distinguished member(536)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/20/2024 08:28PM  
You would be surprised how stealthy a moose can be, and just how much the a$s end of a moose can look like a person! Although i wouldn't be surprised if bigfoot made the BWCA a home.
Not sure if you ever heard of the quantum bigfoot theory. Pretty interesting stuff. The basic gyst is that they are an alien race that have harnessed quantum physics to travel through space and time. They raise their vibrational energy to frequencies humans cannot perceive, thus "vanishing "into thin air.
There are cryptozooligysts that focus their research on the correlation between UFO sightings and bigfoot sightings.

I also enjoy the crypto/paranormal threads that sprout up from time to time!
06/20/2024 11:19PM  
Are you sure you wern't part of the mushroom extraction group? Ha. Im kidding.

I can't explain the red but airport towers flash green and white I think.
distinguished member (383)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/21/2024 09:04AM  
Hmmm, .... both fixed wing and helicopters have Red, Green, and 'White' lights, some fixed, and some, usually white, strobe. There has been a lot of S&R activity in the boundary area as of late. I wonder if this could be the case?
distinguished member(536)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/21/2024 12:04PM  
okinaw55: "Are you sure you wern't part of the mushroom extraction group? Ha. Im kidding.

Our Troup partook in the pizza toppings last trip, it was magnificent. Though my one buddy said he had a lengthy dream chat with an Indian chief . Supports the quantum bigfoot theory though! They say shrooms raise your vibrational energy, so maybe there is more to perceive when tripping because we can see in different frequencies? Oh the possibilities!
06/21/2024 12:22PM  
I'm convinced a number of strange things we see is simply our mind making adjustments or attempting to fill in gaps to the actual picture. Ever stare at one of those black dot pictures for 60 seconds and then look at the wall the picture can be pretty clear.
06/21/2024 02:14PM  
The first two were almost certainly satellites. The first could have been a drone if someone was trying to get a better vantage of the northern lights.

The third was likely either a moose, or a trick of the eye that can happen when you see something you aren't focusing on and your brain tries to make sense of it. If you were moving a little in the water or the breeze shifted branches, then the branches, bushes, and tree trunks can sometimes make a shape close enough for your brain to think there is a person there.

People are hardwired to look for other people. The caveman part of your brain is constantly assessing people to see if they are a threat, friend, someone to protect (like a child), and other things. You had already seen 2 things you couldn't explain and in a new area so you were probably a lot more alert and listening to that part of your brain than usual, so false alarms shouldn't be surprising.
member (43)member
06/22/2024 01:20PM  
1) Red, green and white flashing lights are present on all aircraft flying at night and also common on most drones. You wouldn't necessarily hear a drone flying several hundred feet up or a quarter mile a way–but on a dark night it could appear very bright indeed. (I fly drones regularly)

2) Almost certainly a satellite. They don't have colored lights like aircraft, but may move in and out of view as sunlight reflects off different parts of their structure/solar panels. You may even see multiple in-trail from a recent Starlink launch.

3a) Squatch!

3b) Phone set itself to Eastern time by connecting to Canadian cell tower or some other positioning error. Had similar experiences along the border.
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