After reading one of the entries I noticed a reference to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, I'm thinking some investigation via Urban Exploration is necessary. I've got family in that area and have gotten the all clear to make their flat my HQ while investigating. I'll report back asap with any findings/general update. I'll be bringing an HD camcorder to document entry-points, if the situation warrants. Hopefully the recording(s) will remain consistent. Wish me luck!
Very interesting. I wish you the best of luck, Rangerworld. Please do report back with anything and everything you find. Just post it here, I'm sure there are folks who'd be curious to know what's going on there.
Also, I apologize for replying with such a great delay. I'm working on checking back here more often and advancing with the site updates, but work's been piling up.
I'm back, updates to follow. That was an interesting little trip! I'm still trying to sort it out, and I apologize for taking so long, but I've never experienced anything like this and I'm really, really afraid of the implications of what I'd seen and endured. I thank god it's over though. I'm going to have to take time to center myself but I promise an update in the next couple days. I'll talk with you soon Doc! and I've got questions. Some answers, but more questions.
Sorry it's taken so long, I've been trying to go back over what I've encountered the past visit to the twin cities. First off, it's tiring work,I had to be inquisitive without being too suspicious, and the people I had come in contact with were incredibly tough to read, even with a psychology degree focused on PTSD victims and over 5 years invested in the field. Second, I apologize that this gets a bit long-winded, I have to make sure I put as much detail in this as it pertains to the events.
Here's how my visit went: My brother and his girlfriend, Meg, live on the northeast side of Minneapolis, in a studio style duplex just a few blocks from the industrial area and
a stone's throw from the arts' district. Fortunately, my brother, I'll call him Nate for the
remainder of this telling, is fairly well educated in the arts and local history. I figured, aside from a local history major, the best bet for finding out anything about this city is by asking the art community. More specifically, architecture and design grads.
Nate and I are smart guys, never really dabbled in the occult, but we have certainly researched different areas of it. So one weekend, mid-November, I decide to head over to their place and had talked with Nate about the true intent prior to visiting. It was good timing, because Meg, not liking the idea of two grown men running around looking to battle evil and poke at the occult, had to work that weekend. As an Events Coordinator at an up and coming restaurant, She'd be busy getting the location ready for upcoming functions. Despite this, in an amazing display of faith in her boyfriend, she connected us with some of her clientele, though somewhat grudgingly. We made of field trip of it one day and followed her to work to meet these clients. Giving me time to adjust to the area and, more importantly, study the clients mannerisms.
So the first day went rather slowly, and uneventfully. Mostly we rubbed elbows with artsy types who would meet on weekends at different venues and discuss recent projects and some of the final outdoor exhibits before the weather turned. But it was the second day, after the exhibits had been tucked away and people began turning to the pubs and edgy dining scenes for their evening meal and to discuss the philosophies behind the art. Nate and I had gotten in pretty well with a young woman, maybe 26 and a recent art history graduate from the University of Minnesota who, to me, seemed almost unearthly in personality. Like she had a wisdom not suited to someone so young. Soft spoken, but with fierce green eyes and raven hair - skinny, too. Maybe 100 pounds, at best.
I'll call her Rebecca, we had stopped at a nice little cafe just a block or two from the sky-way and had taken to getting this girl thoroughly intoxicated, she'd need to be, I couldn't risk her catching on to the goal I had set. I recall, at one point I had mentioned my military background and the abundance of freemasonry that exists in different bodies of the armed forces, and she had this light, like a realization that had shown in her eyes. I thought I had slipped up, but she immediately started jabbering on about how free-masons were misunderstood to be a benevolent or sometimes malevolent entity or organization that had roots in the occult, when, in fact (she believes) they were simply a fraternity of masons dedicated to the building blocks (pun intended) that are fundamental in both the art of stone-working, and religion - and even in younger cities you can see their influence if you chart many of the landmark buildings. So, thinking I had dodged a bullet, I ask her about the sky-way and how, if at all, there was any influence of a hidden or historical organization. She fell silent immediately, and looked deep in thought. I noticed as the moments stretched on, she kind of tilted her head and got a far off look in her eyes. As if she were locked on something intangible.
Honestly, she seemed gone for long enough that me and Nate had time to steal a glance at each-other, and I think he could see how nervous I was, because he
immediately turned his gaze back to Rebecca and suggested maybe we take a look and she could elaborate on the architecture for us. She snapped out of it, and gave us a quizzical look, before shaking it off and checking her watch before slowly agreeing. I stole a glance at my watch and noticed it was a little after nine-thirty. Only an hour, she said, then she'd have to get home so she could get her things ready for the next day. So we walked, and she pointed out the city-scape, my brother kept her occupied while I took in the more immediate scenery. Minneapolis is not, in the downtown area,
scarred like I thought it would be - no decaying buildings, vacant lots. There are signs of Earth attempting to reach up through some area's to reclaim what once was hers. Ivy and bits of root breaking through incomplete seams in the concrete and blacktop.
It came as a shock when I started noticing strange writings on the old buildings. But only at certain angles, they would fade almost as quickly as I had seen them, which left me wondering, with the lack of sunlight and only having the few streetlamps and a handful of billboards, if I had been imagining it all. That changed - quickly. Rebecca had been engrossed in a conversation she had been having with Nate, but she took her attention away and kind of hesitated, just long enough to make it look like maybe she had caught
her foot on a raised piece of sidewalk. She said it was nothing, and seeing as she was wearing sharp heeled boots, she didn't want to risk an injury, or damage to her shoes.
I recognized the outline, which also vanished as we passed. A rune. Drawn on the sidewalk, just prior to the steps leading upward. This one looked to be an isosceles triangle lifted to half-mast.I glanced again at my watch, about ten after ten. I made it a point to ask a few questions, and nod and look like I was intent on absorbing her knowledge, while only half listening. I had begun to pay more attention to her body language and the activities of any other people we had come across while there. We had entered from the east, walking briskly, I think more for her to get this over with than anything else.
We had just passed a slightly dilapidated YOU ARE HERE board when I noticed a slightly older gentleman, wearing a zip-up hoodie and track pants. He had been listening to music while staring northward down the corridor, and we had walked into his line of sight, so i figured we were something to watch as he passed the time. But I swear, as we were walking away, Rebecca had turned as if she had also just noticed him, but I think she mouthed a word to him - from my angle all I could see was the side of her face and the corner of her mouth. I still can't sort it.
Eventually, we came to the north entrance and Rebecca decided this was where we part, so we said our goodbyes and waited until she was out of hearing distance and rounding a corner before I did a quick area scan and made certain we were alone. Nate hadn't seen the nod, which hasn't helped much, but I swear she knew what was about to happen to us. Nate knew the city well, having lived there a few years after he graduated from high school, and then a couple more years after his venture to the east coast. So it seemed natural that we could find our way back rather easily. We passed another location kiosk, this one slightly more worn than the first, but I could see clearly that the dot representing the location had another rune etched into it. It was one line vertically, like a lower case L, and at the top a sharp, shorter line going down at a forty-five degree angle. I didn't think too much of it at the time, how could I?
So we walked, and we talked, rather tentatively, about the events leading up to this point, and where to take it from here. And Nate noticed it first, the corridor we were in, it seemed to drag on, no matter how slow, or fast, we walked, it just went on. It was almost surreal, the way we could look out over the roads and highways, and seem as if we had traveled for hundreds of yards and still we had only managed a few feet. This had multiple effects on me, and later, I'd find out, it similarly affected Nate. It was as if a fog had rolled in over my mind, I couldn't focus, even walking seemed too much of a chore. My vision kind of blurred around the edges, a sort of tunnel-vision. I just couldn't shake it, I tried to ask Nate a question and almost gagged.The smell. It was like sulfur and gun powder, and it gripped our nostrils and drowned out any other smell we may have come across.
During this, I found myself reaching for my cell phone. Problem is, damn thing wouldn't turn on. I couldn't recall when I had last charged it, thinking I had to have had it charging on the trip here in the truck. No worries though, because Nate always had his phone, and he screened the hell out of his phone calls. So seeing as my phone was dead, I turned to Nate and saw the expression on his face in between coughing fits as he gazed at the screen on his phone. I looked down and saw it too, the battery was draining, steadily, and the touch-function of the screen wasn't responding. He poked and prodded it in frustration, afraid to shut it off because of the state of my phone. I stole a glance at my watch and saw that it was now 12:33 am. How could that be? it took us less than twenty minutes to part with Rebecca and find ourselves here. Didn't it? I could feel the uncertainty and disbelief starting to border on panic. I took a couple deep breaths and tried to focus on the task at hand. One foot in front of the other. Left, right, left, right. Nate and I had walked about ten steps, gaining what seemed to only be a yard or so. So much of this did not make sense. Nate and I were shaking our heads, and breathing heavily. Both to clear our minds and try to rid ourselves of the smell.
And then the sounds came. The first was a deep, sort of rumbling base, like dubstep being played in a concert hall just on the other side of an arena wall. But it, too, was steadily changing. It shook us, and as it increased in intensity, there was a piercing undertone to it, that seemed to hang off each bass note for a few short moments.
"What the hell is this?!" Nate had screamed. My thoughts exactly. I had heard of strange rumblings in the sky during the early months of 2012, even experienced one at about 2 am in September of 2011, down in Virginia. Loud enough to wake me, but seeing as we lived two blocks from a major motorway, I had assumed it was a tractor-trailer using an engine break. The only difference between these events was that this was changing frequency, intensity, and was flooding our senses.
I swear still that there was something at the edge of my vision, and every time I turned to look it would dart away just before it came in to focus. Then we noticed the immediate surroundings, it was grimy, filthy, like it hadn't been washed in decades. It was heavy, like a sauna, without the heat. And it had this copper tinge to it. I wretched a couple times and Nate gagged as we continued through. Something was horribly wrong. The windows became dirty, crust-ridden. and some were even fractured, spider-webbing out in areas like it had been struck by something massive. The terrain beyond the glass was difficult to make out, but it seemed to be an urban wasteland. It was still in the mid hours of the night, but you could clearly see the ruins. There's no way the city board would let something like this happen.
I told Nate, while I still had my sanity, that no matter who or what we cross paths with, keep going and act like we belong here. No way we were going to get stuck there. I glanced at my watch again, but that didn't help, it seemed to have stopped working, and though the second-hand tried, each tick left it back in the position, right between the 15 and 16 second mark. It was around here that I noticed the pressure inside my head. The sound that had been building around us had finally seemed to peak and now it felt as if an intense migraine had begun inside my head. This was crippling, I didn't know how much longer I could hold on to my sanity. I could feel rage and frustration welling up in my chest, building to a scream that I had to choke back.
Nate had grabbed my arm as we passed another guide post. We stared at it, trying to decipher the picture we saw.
In the middle, drawn almost lovingly, was a man sporting a full, dark, braided beard. He wore a simple, dirty, animal-skin cloth wrapped around his waist, weaving once around each leg then again fully around his midsection. He was hanging by his ankles from a large Oak tree overlooking a small pond or stream that disappeared into the front of the picture. He looked mangled, cuts and small wounds adorned almost every part of his body, his arms hanging limp toward the water. One finger slowly drew ripples in the water as his body would sway.
It seemed that the longer we looked at it, the less we noticed our surroundings, almost as if they were fading, but it didn't feel good, either. It felt like we were invading some place we should never have seen, stumbled onto something sacred and not for just anyone with a curious mind. I took one last look at the image, before grabbing Nate and turning to flee into the chaos. The man hanging there had been conscious. I was certain of it, his hand that had been tracing figures in the water finally completed its task and I saw, etched into the mud just inches below the waterline, another rune. It looked like an uppercase R, but the swooping arch at the top was, instead, angular and direct, like it had been cut into the earth instead of lazily brushed by a hand idly passing time.
Nate and I had had enough, and we snapped ourselves out of the haze. We stumbled as we went and still fighting the noise that filled our heads and shook us into near convulsions, and it had sharply intensified as we headed what I had hoped was east, back to our original entrance. I've never been so terrified. It got to the point that I had to close my eyes and tense every muscle in my upper body. I reached out and grabbed my brother by the shoulder. He'd been having just as tough a time as I, and he reached toward me and grabbed my bicep and together we half staggered, half dragged each other toward our end. I don't know how long it took, but after a while I worked up the will to open my eyes and was immediately met with blinding light.
It almost burned to open my eyes. I think Nate screamed something but my head was vibrating and felt as if it were being pummeled.
That was the last I recall of it. It was like we had been jolted awake. Even nearly a month later I can't seem to even guess what we had come across in that place. All I know of after that, is that we found ourselves leaning against the divider between the sidewalk
and the road below. Right outside the east entrance. Nate bent down and vomited, and I would have too, had I not been so reserved during the meals earlier that day. Still, my head and my stomach felt raw. We gathered ourselves as quickly as possible - the less time we stayed, the better. I had the feeling that, though that event was over, something was trying to keep us away. I understand that loud and clear. When we got back to Nate's loft, his girlfriend was asleep in their bed, so I retired to my spot on the couch and lay there. I didn't sleep for days.
And for some time after, I still had the feeling there was something just at the edge of my vision. Playing in and out of my peripherals. Taunting me. It all seems like a nightmare we couldn't wake from. And I would have believed that, had I not had my brother there to experience it with me.
I've talked with Nate a couple times since, always in hushed tones, no matter what company we had. And never openly in front of anyone.
He's doing well, I think. Things have returned mostly to normal, but he made me promise, for the sake of our family that I would never delve into this kind of thing again. I have no issue with that, after those events I don't know if I have the resolve to delve into
the murky depths of those who have gone before.
All said and done, the only lasting effect I've noticed is a physical one. My bones ache, constantly. I've had check-ups with chiropractors and Orthopediatrists. As well as Otolaryngology check-ups. I've been scanned, pricked, prodded, reviewed and found to be in good condition. But I tell you, this ache is most certainly real. What the hell is happening to me?
Just posting an update. My watch won't function. It's a newer dial-type. I've swapped the battery, had it inspected by a tinkerer. No good. On the plus side, I'm not seeing the visions at my periphery nearly as often, and I don't get the feeling I'm being watched any more. I don't know if these forums allow .jpg or .bmp files, but I've made some discoveries as to the runes I came upon. If possible I'll post them so you can draw your own conclusions.
Well dang. Hey there Ranger, thank you so much for your contribution. Of course without valid evidence of your experiences, I can't say I'm not skeptical; If this indeed transpired as you said it did, excellent work, but also my sincere sympathies to the horror and pain you've suffered as a result.
If this is linked to the Keys (which I'm sure they would be), I'd say that whatever you did definitely got someone's attention, be it Theirs or perhaps resident acolytes'. I can't attest to what you say you experienced, having no deep, personal understanding of the Keys outside of the 200 Collection, but if this is true you've found something incredible and something substantial. If you want to link images, please host them using imgur.com, and link them! It's that simple. :)
Much of what you said transpired does seem to hint at connections between various abstract concepts and architectural archetypes I've noticed throughout my study. Tunnels, passageways, places not valued typically than for their utility as a cut-through; these are places where the boundaries are thinnest. Less thoughtful attention is placed onto these locations and thus reality could be said to unwind very slightly. Of course, I'm sure you know that the skyways themselves may be Keys, and thus they ARE the boundaries, making them exceedingly dangerous to traverse without a guide or knowledge.
I'm eager to see what you've procured in the way of researched runes. Please do tell how your condition is now several weeks after what happened. Also, it may be prudent to practice white magic in your place of residence. Banishment rituals, protection rituals; there's no telling if They have any interest in you or not. They might, considering how much you know and how far you've already gone, or you might be left alone.
Just be careful, and write back as soon as you can. I'm sorry for the late reply.