No one really comes into work expecting to find the adventure of a lifetime. When something crazy happens, though, it is going to be enough motivation to come to work on time the next few days. Maybe you will even end up falling in love with the job that you have started to hate! At any rate, you will no longer have dull days in the workplace. We can understand if you are having a hard time thinking of anything interesting happening at work, however. This logger did not expect to find the most fascinating thing when he began the workday either. Just what exactly did he find on that fateful day anyway?
This logger, together with his coworkers, often get assigned enough trees to fulfill their quota and keep them busy for days on end. He was on the power saws the entire day to ensure that they meet the builder’s construction requirements. With his team, he was able to get the task going in earnest. While waiting for the equipment to warm up, the whole team agreed that they had to stop. Why? Well, they all saw something that meant the operation had to end for now.
Just Another Day
Things were all going well for the woodcutters of Georgia Kraft Co. However, they were interrupted when the power saw began to grind against a particular tree. This turned out to be the beginning of an incredible but shocking experience for them!
A Remarkable Experience
Even until now, the woodcutters still look back at this experience with a lot of amusement. Truly, the world is full of incredible experiences. Science might have become involved in the explanation of the incident, but it still remains difficult to digest.
It was a rather cloudy morning. That was when they discovered the thing that was going to shock and mystify them until the answers finally got here. What could that odd tree be hiding? Can you guess?
Not Many Fans
Not many people find logging a fascinating profession. A lot of people even look down on the job thanks to its very nature. They would be out of a job if they didn’t get brought in to bring down trees, after all!
It is not the same in Jasper City. Over there, just about every single family has a direct or indirect link to this line of work. The city is located in Pickens County, Georgia and is beside vast mountains like Big Canoe, Bent Tree, and the Sharp Mountain Preserve. It gets called “the first mountain city.”
Not Good Wood
During the early 20th century, a fungal infection nearly wiped out this sort of wood. It was a good thing they survived and then spread across New Hampshire, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Novia Scotia. Even if they are unique, the tree proved to be even stranger than usual.
A Great Source Of Money
There is a big mass of American Chestnut trees that surround the mountains near Jasper City. This is a great source of income because they are valuable in the commercial sense. Generally, they erupt from the ground and grow even more rapidly than oak trees.
In 1980, around 7 or 8 employees of Georgia Kraft Co. left their homes to start working after 10 AM. They then got on an empty truck to go to the location for the day. They had plenty of work to do before it was time for them to go home. The loggers worked on various tasks from the moment that they arrived at the site. It was a regular day until they were done with their lunch break. Upon resuming their duties after eating, they noticed something odd about a particular tree.
They had been following the schedule and falling the chestnut trees that they needed to cut down. There were not many left by that point. The remaining ones included a lightweight one they thought was going to be hollow.
A Secret That Made It Difficult
At once glance, they assumed that this was going to be a simple task. It looked like it was going to be easy in comparison to the rest. However, the tree actually came with a secret that complicated things.
After feeling the tree trunk, the woodcutters decided to cut it into smaller bits to make it easier to transport. They had been going about this as per procedure, but one of the loggers noticed that something was weird about this one tree in particular.
They assumed that the tree was hollow, and this was not entirely wrong. However, it meant that there should have been light going through the trunk. This was not the case for some reason. It meant that the tree was not actually hollow or that there was something down there. Which one was it?
People who saw the tree trunk from afar claimed that there seemed to be a black hole of sorts inside it. Regardless of how they looked at it, the tree was definitely intriguing. The most rational explanation was that there was a stem growing inside of it. However, the reality was far stranger than that!
The loggers were all confused. What could possibly be blocking the light from passing through it? They had another issue as well. Who on the team would be brave enough to check what was really going on?
There were plenty of suspicions in the community. We would not blame the loggers for not volunteering for this job. It was possible that it was going to be dangerous. The hesitation was perfectly excusable.
The woodcutters were at a stalemate. At last, one of the men on the team volunteered for the task. He wanted to go inside the trunk and find out what was going on. The brave guy bent forward and then put half of his body inside the trunk to take a closer look.
All of a sudden, he jumped out and shrieked! He had to take a couple of seconds to catch his breath before he told them what was inside. His colleagues gathered around to hear his explanation.
They were all looking at him curiously. He was standing there, his face pale. They were eager to hear what he had to say. What did he see? After a while, he finally told them that there was a beast inside!
They did not believe him even if he was visibly shocked and scared. Still, his reaction had been so bad that they all chose to stop working. After all, this was not something that happened on a daily basis.
What It Was
The other loggers decided to look for themselves. Those who did so returned with confusion written on their faces. How did such a thing get in there? Perhaps it is more important to ask what the thing was!
For The Pros
It was scary for all of them. For one thing, they had never encountered anything of this sort before that moment. Normally, this was the sort of thing that only scientists and archaeologists ever discovered.
The woodcutters were all aware of one thing. This was one tree that they would not be able to use, so it was going to count as a loss for the job. Even if this was true, they knew that they had just stumbled into something both significant and valuable. They decided to just take the most logical step: call their manager. Sadly, the only thing their superior had to say was to keep their mind on finishing their job.
If you peeked down the hollow trunk, you would think that there was a monster down there! Others believed that it was a fierce dog growling and showing its teeth. But which one of this was true?
A Living Being
Although people described it in different ways, they did agree on one thing. Everyone said that it was a living creature. Even if it was already dead, there was a time when it was breathing. The entire team was now curious. Just exactly how did such a thing find its way inside a hollow tree?
The way the animal got stuck down there showed that it was trying to make its way forward. Sadly, it ended up getting frozen there. We are sure that you also want to know what happened to it.
Getting A Better Look
They had a lot of questions and guesses, but there was just one correct answer. The teeth of the animal said it all, but you would only notice it after taking a closer look. Once they did, it all came together.
The animal had paws, sharp teeth, and a long snout. Its features were visible to them since it was near the top of the trunk. In the end, they only managed to solve the mystery when the woodcutters realized that it was nothing more than a dog. They felt relieved when they realized that this was the case.
A Mummified Dog
People began to come up with different ways to describe it. Many people started to call the animal a mummified dog. But what could it possibly be doing in such a place? They were not in ancient Egypt, so it did not make a lot of sense to find it down there.
Frozen In Time
The truth was that it was not mummified. In fact, it looked like it just obeyed a command to stop and stay there for the rest of eternity. Could this have been what happened to this poor animal?
The mystery was not yet over. The loggers had no idea how the dog managed to get inside the tree. Maybe it was trying to run or hide from a predator. Sadly, they had to put it on the backburner because they still had to finish their tasks for the day. However, they did figure out what they had to do about it.
They all agreed that it would not be good for their profit margins if they left it uncut. But there were things that could not be measured with money. They chose to leave it be and simply absorb its costs.
The Trunk With A Story
It was a great idea in the end. The trunk came with a story and a lesson for all of us. When they finished the tasks for the day, they took the trunk to the one place where it would be taken care of properly.
The loggers knew that this was where the dog should be. By doing this, they would also get the answers that they wanted so badly. But were they able to solve this incredible but weird mystery?
A Long Road
The best people to help them unravel the mystery were scientists. Where else could the loggers get the answers to their questions? However, things did not take as quickly as one might think. No, it took more than a year before they finally arrived at the answers.
A year after finding the poor dog, the scientists had answers for everyone at last. Even though the loggers were relieved, they also felt sad. What was the truth, and why did it make them so emotional?
In Waycross, there is a museum called The Southern Forest World. The institution was founded by the Industry of Forestry of the Southeastern United States. Inside, you will find a collection of artifacts and mementos that have to do with wood products. They date back from the colonial period!
The mummified dog ended up in this place. Yes, it is there serving as an artifact, still attached to the tree trunk. The loggers donated the creature to the authorities at the museum, who helped them solve the mystery. Interestingly, the museum was not yet even open when they made the donation!
They had many reasons to believe that it was going to be a successful display. The museum needed the backstory, but the only thing they knew was that it was found in the tree trunk. What was its real story?
A Biological Anthropologist To The Rescue
This was the reason they had to bring in a biological anthropologist by the name of Kristina Killgrove. As an expert, she managed to give the museum the information and advice necessary for the exhibit.
Bottom Of It All
She was the one who did research if it was viable that the dog was mummified. In the end, she turned down the claims and said it would not have been possible. What was the explanation she came up with?
She even gave a step-by-step breakdown of the process. It began with the tissue decaying process that starts the putrefying process in which the microbes feast on the tissue after death. She explained, “They grow, they reproduce, and they start taking over the body.” It made more sense than other theories!
To explain it further, chestnut trees have desiccant and tannin. These organic substances can absorb moisture. According to hear, this is a characteristic special to the species. It was also the reason why nature did not intervene as usual, which led to the preservation of the body. The lack of moisture stopped microbes from getting to the body tissue. But how come no scavenger came after the dog?
Hiding Its Scent
“Anything that would eat dead flesh would never know he was in the tree,” explained Bertha Sue Dixon. She is the director at Southern Forest World. Since there were no active microbes, the scent would not have been strong enough for scavengers to smell. Any odor would have gotten blown up the trunk too.
Bertha also said that it is likely that the pooch was a hunting dog that had been chasing something down there. Maybe he saw a raccoon or squirrel and followed it! The dog was 4 years old when it died in 1960.
A Relentless Dog
The dog was relentless. After all, it did not give up until it reached 28 feet. Sadly, he was not able to get out and just died there. He probably tried digging to escape but did not see how narrow it was up top.
This was what the museum said about this artifact: “A chimney effect occurred in the hollow tree, resulting in an upward draft of air. This caused the scent of the dead animal to be carried away, which otherwise would have attracted insects and other organisms that feed on dead animals. The hollow tree also provided relatively dry conditions, and the tannic acid of the oak helped harden the animal’s skin.”
The dog did not get a name prior to 2002. Despite this, it went on to be a big exhibit at the museum and became the center display among all the important artifacts. Right now, this pooch is considered to be the Southern Forest World ambassador. The museum uses its images in promo materials and postcards!
In the past, they only ever called it the “Mummified Dog.” At last, he was given an official name: Stuckie. They decided on it after holding a naming contest! Some of the other popular contenders include “Dogwood” and “Chipper.” In the end, Stuckie came out the victor.
One Step Ahead
Someone made the comment that the trunk coffin looked like the “pegan logs” you can buy in Stuckey shops. The museum ended up changing the spelling to prevent any problems with the trademark. It was a great idea since it saved them millions of dollars!
A manager at Forest World called Brandy Stevenson got questions about the dog since it piqued a lot of curiosity. “People always ask me, ‘How did he get in there?’ And I always say, ‘Well, he was a hound dog. Maybe he was after a coon.’ And then they’ll say, ‘Poor old thing. I feel so sorry for him.’”
There are different opinions on what Stuckie’s fate should have been. Some believe that he deserved a real burial instead of being placed on display. These were people who felt concerned that it was not appropriate to put his body on exhibit to visitors. Some thought that he should have been laid to rest.
At any rate, Stuckie has been at the museum for years. The body has stayed intact all this time. It has been a huge hit in the museum ever since it first opened. It is hard to imagine they would give him up!
The museum claims that Stuckie will remain on display in an effort to raise awareness among kids. Regardless of what you might think about his fate, we are sure that you thought it was fascinating!
Stuckie is going to remain in the same place that he has been in the past few decades. If you are ever in the area, you should make sure to drop by the Southern Forest World and say hi to the dog yourself!
A Rare Find
For this young boy, an average day of fishing did not go as planned. After his uncle noticed that his fishing rod was shaped into a deep curve, he assumed that he caught something for sure. The older man came over to help his nephew, but what they saw at the end of the fishing rod shocked both of them. After pulling out the piece of leather, the two of them saw that the catch of the day was no fish at all!
Fishing With The Boys
Brodie Brooks was a regular 11-year-old boy when the story took place. He could not wait to spend the day fishing with his pals. He recently got a brand-new fishing rod as a birthday present. Of course, he could not wait to put the piece of equipment to good use!
Out On The Lake
What we can tell you is that not a single person on the fishing trip expected that anything extraordinary was going to happen on that day. They assumed that they would simply sit and wait by the water in the hopes of catching even one small fish. Not once did it occur to them that they would find a treasure!
The group went fishing on Lake Hartwell in Anderson County, South Carolina. They patiently waited to catch a huge fish. They took out their boat and then cast the rods into the water. As you can imagine, they were all hoping to have a relaxing time out on the water.
After they cast the fishing rods into the water, the boys sat around and told each other stories and jokes. When they got up that morning, they did not expect to catch anything. Can you imagine just how shocked they must have been when they found something that meant having to call the authorities?
Getting A Bite
The group of boys had been accompanied by an adult. Ben Myers was there as their chaperone! He was the one who taught Brodie how to use a fishing rod and cast it into the water. Even though he was a natural at fishing, no one expected Brodie to make such an incredible catch that day.
From Astonishment To Fear
Ben must have been very surprised to hear that little Brodie caught something. On top of that, the young boy needed help to reel it in! Ben was initially thrilled, but his excitement gave way to fear after seeing what Brodie had at the end of the fishing rod.
A Big Catch
“I felt like it was a big fish because it was bobbing my rod up and down,” explained the preteen. He even said that he remembers that day perfectly. He narrated, “I’d just gotten an Ugly Stik, so I was scared I was gonna break my rod.”
But What Was It?
“…I was scared the line was going to snap,” Brodie went on. Once he reeled it out of the water entirely, he opened the bag to see what it contained. After seeing what was inside the purse, a chill ran up his spine and all over his body. He was at a total loss for what to do next, so he asked Ben for help!
After taking a glance at the bag, Ben could tell that the purse was rather old. However, he failed to notice exactly how old it really was. Luckily, he was able to figure it out. After he took a better look at its contents, he saw a puzzle piece that told him just how much time the bag had spent underwater.
In Good Shape
While the leather was worn out and faded, it was still in decent shape. This was even more impressive when you consider its true age. After the two guys opened the purse and peeked inside, they saw some items. Some were unrecognizable, but others appeared to be in mint condition. After Ben saw one particular item, his jaw fell open in surprise.
In the beginning, the young boy felt upset that he did not get a big fish. That was what he had in mind when he pulled it out. He even said that it seemed like a fish since it was bouncing up and down. The entire time, he felt nervous that it was going to be such a huge fish that the rod was going to snap.
What Was Inside
The soaked purse came with many things inside of it, and some of the items rendered the boys into speechlessness! The first things they found were old and almost unrecognizable photos. However, they failed to give them any real clue about the identity of the owner of the bag.
A Bag Full Of Things
They continued to look around the bag, hoping that they will find a clue that will lead them to the bag owner. There were cash keys, bank cards, cosmetics, a planner, and a whole wallet in there. It was clear that this person liked to have their stuff on them all the time.
First Time For Everything
During an interview, Ben narrated, “We might catch a can here or something like that. But as far as a woman’s purse, that’s a first for me.” He continued, “I’ve been fishing on this lake all my life, and that’s the first time I saw something be caught like this.”
A Familiar Face
After they returned to dry land, they continued to look at the contents of this purse. The men then noticed something big. It dawned on Ben that he might know the owner of this purse. Truly, the world is a small place. But was he correct?
He knew that the owner was someone he knew when he was a child but could not put a finger on when or where he met her. He stared at the photos for several minutes and tried to think about it. He realized that she was the aunt of someone he grew up with. However, he had not seen her in over a decade.
Ben even thought that he was only imagining things. He shared, “You fish up a purse for one, then you actually know whose it was. It was crazy.” It is weird enough to catch a purse on a fishing trip, but it is even stranger when it belonged to a person you actually know!
In Remarkable Shape
It was incredible that nearly all the things inside of it were still in good shape. After all, it had been in the water for three decades! Ben went through the bag once more and found old lipsticks, store cards, and a hair comb in there. They were all intact, which is shocking when you consider the circumstances.
They had many questions about the bag. Who was the real owner of the purse? How long had it been in the water? Of course, they were also mystified about how such a thing would get there in the first place.
A number of the photos showed people. Just a quick glance would be enough to tell you that these images were all taken a long time ago. While the photos had been in the water for quite some time already, they were in good condition.
Impossible To Know
At any rate, it was impossible to know the owner of the purse until they opened the most personal and secretive compartment. After they went through this part of the bag, they did not only figure out who owned it but also found out which school she attended!
When they went through this section of the purse, Brodie and Ben saw more photos. The collection was stuck together, and they had to separate the images as carefully as they could. They placed the photos flat to let it dry as they inspected them for hints. There was one photo that caught their eyes right away.
They Rang The Authorities
When they inspected the photo, they noticed a familiar face in it. The two of them immediately sprung out of their seats. They were both shocked by what they saw in the photo. Right away, Ben knew that it was time to get the authorities involved. He whipped out his phone and immediately called 911.
Even Brodie felt that the woman in that photo seemed familiar. As soon as Ben saw her in the photo, he figured out who she was. The older man told ABC News, “She was a friend of the family. I went to school with her nephew, but I haven’t seen her in ten years.”
But how did this purse make its way to the bottom of this lake? How much time had it spent there? Based on the photos, it must have been a long time. When he realized that something criminal might have happened, he felt nervous. After all, it was possible that he would be in hot water for tampering with evidence. This was reasonable since he had no idea what really happened to her or the bag.
Finding The Woman
After they explained the discovery to the cops, Ben went online to look for someone related to the woman. He was able to find her nephew on Facebook and left his old friend a message. The nephew, of course, was shocked that someone discovered her purse at the bottom of that lake!