Arts and Entertainment

Ride on the weird side

So you say you don't put any credence in ghoulies

and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties?

Elaine Bickle, Ph.D., may make you a believer, even in those things that go bump in the night.

Bickle is a retired science professor who's teamed up with charter bus operator Willie Nelson to offer a Sacred Sites and Paranormal Sightings Tour of Ediz Hook, Salt Creek and Lake Crescent.

"A lot of people say to me, 'Awww, you're just crazy,'" she confided during a press preview jaunt early this month.

But what Bickle offers sounds possible, even probable, based on geology, sociology and quantum mechanics.

A sampling of the odd and the outright outré with their commonsense explanations:

_ Sea serpents, called guskyia (kelp head) in the Quileute tongue, also known as Salt Chuck Oluk and cadborasaurus and sighted in the Straits of Georgia and off Dungeness Spit in 1933, may well have been oarfish that grow to 23 feet or longer, look like huge snakes and sport giraffe-like horns.

_ The mysterious severed feet that have washed ashore in British Columbia and the Strait of Juan de Fuca could have belonged to illegal Asian immigrants who died on their way to Vancouver and whose corpses were thrown overboard.

_ "Spooky feelings" that have been and still are reported by people on the shores of Lake Crescent and the Sol Duc River could spring from ancient quartz deposits that, when compressed by overlying rock, emit piezoelectricity.



'Paranormal window'

"To me, the whole area over there feels very unstable," Bickle said.

"We have (geologic)

faults, huge faults compressing sedimentary rocks. This may be what I call a paranormal window."

Bickle also cited ghost stories stretching from Lake Quinault to Port Townsend and Whidbey Island - she called it "Weird-bey Island" and said others had dubbed it "Witch-key Island" - and Underground Port Angeles.

Such phenomena - and creatures the likes of Sasquatch - could exist in alternate realities whose boundaries wore thin and allowed us to glimpse them, she said.

"I have seen alternate realities many times," the Arkansas native said, "especially since I've been up here."



UFOs abound

Then there are the scores of UFO sightings reported around the Cascade volcanoes Mount Adams and Mount Rainier and off Crescent Beach.

Bickle and Nelson will offer a public tour on March 27 (see inset), and Bickle is available for lectures by calling 457-4322.

Don't, however, expect to hear the "Twilight Zone" theme in the background or a voice-over by Rod Serling.

"I'm not psychic, sorry," she said.

"But if people only stop and listen ...

"Never just roll your eyes and walk off."



At a glance

Who: Elaine Bickle

What: Sacred Sites and Paranormal Sightings Tour

When: 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 27. Tour lasts about three hours. Dress for changeable weather and bring binoculars.

Where: All Points Charters & Tours bus leaves from Port Angeles Visitors Center, 121 E. Railroad Ave., Port Angeles

How much: $35 per person



Jim Casey is the editor of the Sequim Gazette.

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