ADSactly Mystery: The Gate to Another World
Hello again, dear @adsactly readers!
In one of my previous posts, the one on vampire burials, I mentioned thrill-seeking tourists flocking to Romania to experience Halloween in Dracula’s Castle. As I was saying then, the whole thing is fake, but if you’re into spooky stuff I have a much better destination for you - the Hoia-Baciu forest in central Romania, near the city of Cluj. A trip to this place is an out-of-this-world experience, and I do mean that, as many testimonies suggest this forest is a portal to other dimensions.
What can you expect from a day trip to this forest? (I said day trip, because I don’t think you’d find many locals to be your guide to this place at night.) Everything - people experiencing strange feeling and panic attacks, engines that stop, compasses that won’t work any more, not to mention ghostly apparitions and even UFOs. The trees grow weird, twisted and knotted as if invisible forces are bending them in unnatural shapes.
Legend has it that people in the area have always known that weird things happen in the Baciu forest and avoided going there, unless absolutely necessary. Still, they sometimes had to go in - to cut wood for winter or to gather mushrooms and berries. In the olden days, the anxiety attacks or the nausea they experienced, their animals behaving strangely, they attributed them to the devil.
In modern times, many scientists have tried to find reasonable explanations for the strange events and sightings, but, so far, they came up with nothing.
One of the first to undertake a scientific exploration of the forest was biologist Alexandru Sift, who was intrigued by the fantastic tales of the locals. Back in the 1950s, when he started his work, technology was not as advanced as it is today, so all he had at his disposal was a black-and-white camera. Imagine his shock, when he saw what was in the pictures - unexplainable shadows, ghosts, strange lights and shapes, that were unnoticeable to the naked eye. A phenomenon that scared the locals even more, who, being mostly poor villagers, had never used a camera in the forest.
One of the most famous incidents that happened in the Baciu forest was in 1968. On the 18th of August, Emil Barnea went to the forest with his girlfriend and some other friends, for a picnic - full knowing what people in the area thought about the place. Sometime around noon, as he was gathering wood to start a fire, Barnea was suddenly called back by his alarmed friends, anxious to have him witness the spectacular show in the sky. When he got to the clearing where his friends were, he saw an UFO, slowly circling over the forest, without making any sound. He managed to grab three shots of the mysterious object, that made a sort of mid-air tumble before disappearing.
Now, I know UFO sightings are a very controversial subject and there are many who consider such claims to be hoaxes. Incidentally, at the time, such sightings were quite popular in the West, especially in the US. However, in communist Romania, the poor guy had nothing to gain from making such extraordinary claims. On the contrary, Emil Barnea was employed with the military and his claim to have seen an UFO, cost him his job. Not to mention that, in those days, his belief in paranormal activities was put on his file. Another thing - there were no money to be made by selling his story to the tabloids, for the simple reason we had no tabloids at the time and only one state-run TV channel.
Communist authorities did not destroy the pictures and few years later they decided to go public with the extraordinary sighting. In 1977, the images were presented at the UFO Convention in Acapulco, however, not by the man who took them, but by a Soviet professor. To this day, the pictures are considered the best images of an UFO appearing in my country, but also among the best in the world.
The best authority on the strange phenomena taking place in the Baciu forest is a local professor, Adrian Patrut, who devoted many years to studying his place. He documented the magnetic anomalies and made a map of the most active spots in the forest. The most powerful spot seems to be the round clearing situated in the middle of the forest. People who stumble into one of the active spots are likely to suffer rashes, mild skin burns, anxiety attack, an intense thirst or even fainting. Time is experienced in a different way and sometimes the people who go into the forest have no idea how long they were inside, thinking it was just mere minutes, instead of actual hours. Animals feel it, too and there are stories of horses used to draw wood-carts going into a temporary paralysis that resolve itself on its own. Local veterinarians found nothing wrong with the animals when they were later called to examine them.
Professor Patrut also witnessed the strange apparitions, sometimes whole ghostly beings, but other times only heads. Like many other believers in paranormal phenomena, Patrut considers there are portals to other dimensions in the forest. The strange shapes captured on camera are the spirits of beings in a parallel universe.
There are those who believe people who are especially sensitive can actually see the spirits.
Here is how the experience was reported by the local press:
“When it gets dark and the air is fragrant with the scent of fresh grass, light portals start to open. Everything changes in the forest. The air is one minute hot, and then it becomes cold. The forest draws you to it like a magnet. There are various levels of energy. But you must leave all prejudice behind when you enter the forest, you must come with an open mind and allow yourself to feel things.”
Personally, I’ve never been to this place, but as I worked for many years in mass-media, I’ve met people who did go there. Being such a famous place in our country, obviously there’s a lot of interest for this subject. All I can tell you is that colleagues of mine who went to the Baciu forest on a regular assignment came back convinced they had witnessed something spectacular. Not to mention they described in detail how the car engine died on them and some of their expensive equipment malfunctioned because of the magnetic fields.
As strange as it may be, the Baciu forest is not unique in the world. There are other places where similar phenomena have been observed - the Hessdalen Valley in Norway, the Mojave Desert in the US, La Spezia-Arenzano in Italy, Belo Horizonte in Brazil and Mount Kailasa in Tibet.