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Mysterious, eerie events remembered.

Byline: Bob Welch The Register-Guard

A sample of responses to Sunday's column on personal unsolved mysteries:

"It was my first birthday since my husband passed. I left on my morning run while listening to my iPod. The first song I heard? 'Happy Birthday Darlin.' "

"Years ago I was in Hawaii, specifically Hapuna Beach, which was infested with feral cats. I was moved and thought of writing a short story called 'The Cats of Hapuna,' though never mentioned it to anybody. One morning I woke up and, out of the blue, started writing. Half a page into the story my phone rang; I let the machine answer. All I heard was the sound of a single cat, wailing plaintively."

"At the end of a trip to Oahu, my son and I were walking to our gate at the airport, my other children lagging behind. En route, I was looking at photos we had taken the day before on a 'Lost' tour, which included one of us with a fake 'Hurley,' a character on the TV show. When I turned to look for the other kids, Jorge Garcia, the man who plays Hurley, walked right past us."

"My mother, who grew up in Fairfield, Mont., would sometimes mention that as a child she had a book by Gene Stratton Porter called 'A Girl of the Limberlost.' I found a copy on eBay and gave it to her for Christmas. When she called to thank me, she asked where I had found it. After I told her, she said that inside the front cover was written 'Fairfield, Montana.' She had compared the handwriting to other handwriting of her mother's. They matched."

"For deeply personal reasons, I needed to find a young man who had attended kindergarten here with my daughter. He had moved away with his family long ago, and would now be about 21. I had no idea where to look. The next week his photo appeared on the front page of the Register- Guard's City/Region section. He had been arrested for a parole violation."

"I was riding my bicycle home from my middle school teaching job. As I neared the top of the hill, the image of a former student popped into my head. I hadn't seen the student in four years and was puzzled by why that particular student had come to mind at that particular moment. As I started down the other side of the hill, the former student was standing in the middle of the road."

"In 1980, while living in Las Vegas, I was reading a horror novel one night, specifically a sentence about the protagonist and his archeological assistant being in a narrow shaft of a tomb, lighted by torches: 'Suddenly they heard a rumble and were plunged into utter, inky darkness.' At that very second, I heard a loud thump and my lights went off. Terrified, I stumbled outside. Neighbors were running toward a two-lane highway. A light plane had made an emergency landing on the highway, taking down an entire string of electrical wires and poles in the process."

"Ten years ago, I was invited to a home sales party at my friend Tammy's house. Before going to her house, I swung by Fred Meyer to buy a birthday gift for my son: a Leatherman Multi-Tool. Once I arrived at Tammy's, she was introducing me to some of her friends when one of the other women said, 'You were at Fred Meyer earlier. I have your Multi-Tool at home.' She had been behind me in line and the clerk had accidentally put my purchase in her bag.

I hadn't even known it was missing."

"As my daughter and I drove from Salem to Lincoln City last summer, we put my iPod on 'random' in the car. As we approached the coast, Cat Stevens' 'The Wind' was playing. Just as he confessed he'd 'swam across the devil's lake,' we passed a sign for Devil's Lake."

"A couple of years ago I was reading in 'Scientific American' about how our sense of peripheral vision is a great aid to detecting danger off to our sides. As I finished the article and was setting the magazine down, I noticed a slight movement to my left. Three feet away, on the floor, was a hobo spider, a venomous arachnid I had never seen before."

"As scorekeeper for the Lowell High volley ball team, I was at Harris burg High in 2003 for a game. On a wall, I saw a photograph of my mother, who had graduated from Harrisburg in 1943. Moments later, my cell phone went off. I said hello. Nobody answered.

I said hello two or three times. Still nobody answered.

Finally, a woman said, 'This is your mother.' I hung up, white as a ghost. My mother had died three years before."

To see more responses, go to Welch's "Close to Home" blog at
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Title Annotation:City/Region Columnist
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Feb 11, 2010
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