By: Libby | Location: B.T. Collins Park: Folsom, CA
My dad and I had a, quite frankly, disturbing experience in a park in California today. We were driving through Folsom, CA on our way back home from a week long vacation to the Bay Area, when my dad asked me if we could stop at B.T. Collins Park so he could play a round of disc golf. This has been a pretty common occurrence on our trip. We stop so he can play, and it gives both of us a chance to stretch our legs after a few hours in the car. It's a win-win situation.
As we stop a few times a day, I'm not really bothered by it, so I agree to go to the park. Today it was around 102 degrees when we finally got inland. I usually just hang around in the car with a window cracked open or sit somewhere near the parking lot if I'm lucky enough to find shade. However, I was not so lucky today.
We pulled into the parking lot only to see that there weren't any shady spots to park in. My dad apologized and told me he'd try his best to play a fast round. I waved to him as he walked up the hill leading to the course and disappeared into the shrubby valley. He had left me with the keys, and after a good while sitting in the car, roasting in the heat, I finally started the car so I could use the air conditioning. I put in my headphones and started my favorite playlist.
After a while, I paused my music and called my mom. We talked for about twenty minutes before my mind wandered back to my dad. It had been over a half an hour since I'd seen him, and it usually only takes him around 15 minutes to play a course this long. I figured that he might be looking for a disc or that he may have run into someone and was playing the course with them.
I told my mom that I was going to call him and that if I didn't call her back, that he had picked up. So I hung up on her and dialed my dad's number. It rang and went to voicemail.
"Maybe he just wasn't able to get to his phone right away," I thought. I called again.
This time, the phone picked up after about the third ring.
There was no answer. I asked again, "Hey, Dad. Where are you?"
All I heard was a strange sound coming from the other end. I thought it might be static, but it sounded more like someone was walking on a gravel road.
After asking if he could hear me several more times (the call lasted a little over a minute) through the crunching sound, I concluded that he probably just picked up without knowing even though he has a smartphone. It seemed like the most likely scenario. How wrong I was.
I called again. Once more, the call picked up.
"Dad, you there?"
Once again, there was no answer, only crunching gravel. At this point, I was convinced that he was just messing with me, so I hung up. "Maybe I should call one more time, just to be sure." I did. Crunching gravel.
I was getting annoyed. "Dude, are you done? Why won't you answer me? Just say something. Where are you?"
I hung up. Under a minute later, my phone buzzes. Incoming Call: Dad. I quickly picked up.
"Hey. Are you ok? Why weren't you answering?"
"What are you doing? Are you coming back to the car now?"
I was waiting for a response when a faint voice that sounded exactly like my dad's poked its way through the crunching sound. "Nice playing with you," it said. It sounded like whoever said it was a ways away from the phone. "Maybe he did find someone to play with," I thought. "Dad? Dad, where are you?"
Still no answer. Just the same gravel sound.
"Maybe he's hurt or is in danger."
I was starting to get more worried than annoyed. I decided that I would just head up the paved path into the park, just to see if I was able to see him. I didn't want to get too far into the park, as if I did, he might end up back at the car wondering where I was. I walked maybe 50 ft. from the parking lot. No sign of him. I headed back to the car and called my mom to tell her what was happening. As I was on the phone, my dad comes over the hill. He looks confused to see me sitting by the car.
"Where were you? I was getting worried!"
"Sorry I took so long. I was going pretty fast until I got to the last hole." He proceeded to tell me that the 9th hole was right under some huge power lines. He said the air was thick and he could feel the electricity crackling.
"Why didn't you answer me? I know you picked up the phone!"
He had no idea what I was talking about. He had his phone out the entire time, taking pictures of the scenery, and hadn't gotten a single one of my calls. In fact he had had his own strange experience.
When he was teeing off on hole 9, he threw his disc about 15-20 feet from the basket. It landed in very short grass, so he thought it would be easy to find. But after searching everywhere for it, he couldn't find it. It was just gone. As he was looking he heard someone yell, "Dad!" from the North. He says the voice sounded exactly like mine. After 30 seconds, the voice came again,"Dad!" Just that and nothing else. This time it was coming from the Northeast. He yelled, "What?" back at it. Another 30 seconds before, "Dad!"
"What, Libby? Where are you?"
He thought that I had come out there looking for him, as the car was parked South of him, the opposite way from the voice. The voice yelled another 2-3 times, each coming from a different spot in the North, each time only yelling that one word. He decided to head back to the car because that would be a spot we both knew how to get to.
He didn't expect to see me sitting on the phone by the car, far, far away from where he had heard my voice.
I was surprised to hear this. I hadn't gone more than 50 ft. from the parking lot, so how was I supposed to have called out to him? I also found it strange that he said the voice had only said "Dad". I never shouted anything, let alone just Dad. When I did say Dad, it was followed by other words.
I brushed this off and asked, "How'd the game go? Did you find a disc golf buddy to play with?"
"No. I was the only one in the park besides you."
"I thought I heard you say something to someone else."
"Nope. I was alone the entire time."
So long story short, neither of us know what to make of this. If anyone has any idea what may have happened, please, please let me know.
I remember reading something about a being or creature that lives in the hills and tries to lure people away from a group by imitating the person's voice. Does anyone know what this creature is? I can't seem to find anything on what it might be.