Weird People in the Wilderness

Michael D. Winkle

Adi-Kent Thomas Jeffrey (d. 1990) was a Pennsylvania writer of note, nicknamed "Mistress of the Macabre" by the media, and author of several books of folklore and forteana, including Ghosts in the Valley and More Ghosts in the Valley. Unfortunately, her 1977 work Parallel Universe is a simple rehashing of Bermuda Triangle, UFO, and pyramid power tales.

The book does hold one account of interest, a story obtained directly from friends of the author. "About ten years ago" [ca. 1967], Jack Fox and his son Craig were passing over Mount Guyot in New Hampshire along the Appalachian Trail. It was a poor hiking day, very cold, with drenching rain mixed with sleet. The two backpackers, soaked to the skin, slogged along the icy trail, certain no one could be on the mountain in such weather, when suddenly someone called to them.

"Over on a boulder stood a man attired in a dark coat with a derby hat on and shining patent leather shoes! He was jauntily leaning on a silver-tipped cane with one outstretched hand." [p. 123]

"Please do be careful! It's icing!" warned the stranger.

Father and son acknowledged the man and plodded on. The stranger hopped down, crossed the trail in front of them, and picked his way amongst the rocks on the other side, vanishing quickly from view. A moment later, however, the strangeness of the encounter hit them.

Aside from the fact that the man was very inappopriately dressed for the place and the weather, his apparel seemed completely dry in the brief time remained in view. Furthermore, beyond the rock field through which he clambered waited only a high cliff.

Craig Fox believes the stranger was an angel. "In all that mist we could have gone awry and off those cliffs if he hadn't stood there in that protecting sort of way," the younger Fox told Ms. Jeffrey."

Jeffrey, Adi-Kent Thomas. Parallel Universe (NY, NY: Warner Books, 1977), pp. 122-124.

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