By BA Crisp
In the quiet countryside outside Monroeville, Ohio, lies Maple Dale Farm—a seemingly ordinary place. But it has a hidden side. As a foster child, I grappled with trauma here while simultaneously navigating unexplainable sightings and paranormal experiences.
I invite you into this strange world, one of spiritual beings, floating spheres, white Bigfoot, and secret underground passages.
Inexplicable phenomena and trauma intertwined throughout my childhood. Authorities removed me from my mother’s care at an early age. She tried twice to murder me. A St. Bernard saved my life the first time. I was three. The dog plopped down in front of me and stared down the barrel of my mother’s shotgun, refusing to move. My uncle, a Marine, talked her into not shooting me while police looked on. My mother was then transferred to the Tiffin State Hospital.
Later, spiritual beings manifested around me as spheres of whitish-blue light or plasma-like ‘light beings’ devoid of features. Sometimes unseen things made noise or moved objects. A few left behind traces of their ethereal presence in the form of brilliant blue powder dust. These encounters served as glimpses into a realm beyond our own, where unexplained science often merged with the sacred or supernatural.
Finding Solace in Nature
Isolation and solitude became my refuge during these formative years. Unbeknownst at the time, my preference for the outdoors offered an innate connection to a realm beyond. Maple Dale Farm provided the perfect retreat into the woods. I found solace among the fields, trees, and the river. In these serene moments, I discovered companionship with cardinals, an elusive fox ,and occasionally and oversized barn owl. I developed a deep appreciation for the natural world.
A Facade of Normalcy
To outsiders, life on Maple Dale Farm seemed typical of a rural setting. However, beneath its tranquil facade, the farm held secrets and untold stories. Unmarked cemeteries, ghost sightings, and intriguing artifacts hinted at a rich history juxtaposed with the supernatural. The farmstead became a stage for my encounters, where the boundaries between the physical and spiritual realms blurred.
Encounters with the Unknown
One unforgettable encounter shattered my childhood constructs—the appearance of a white Bigfoot.
Under the dim of the moon one summer evening, I watched something bi-pedal down Hettle road, toward some of us kids. It was at least seven or eight feet tall and completely white. Illuminated under a security light, it reached the the edge of our property. It wasn’t human.
I pointed and screamed, “Oh, my God! What is THAT?!”
Things seemed to move in slow motion—a delayed reaction that began with stunned silence but quickly morphed into screams of terror. The beast startled. Covered in shiny white fur, with large wide-set dark eyes, like black coal, it looked right at me! Suddenly, it twisted its torso and galloped on all fours, cutting a diagonal path across a knee-high cornfield. It seemed to disappear through some sort of portal near the edge of the woods.
The next morning, jeeps and military trucks showed up, loaded down with armed soldiers in camouflage. “Training exercises,” my foster dad explained—then he shoved his head back into the local newspaper and his mug of Folger’s Instant Coffee. NASA Plumbrook Station wasn’t far from where we lived. The facility allegedly worked on ‘propulsion systems’ and its said, the military had a presence there.
But it was not a daily occurrence for soldiers to fan out into our typically boring countryside. I seethed with anger because they wouldn’t let me go out that day. The frustration consumed me as I firmly believed that I had cracked the mystery of their pursuit—the elusive “white Bigfoot,” as I had dubbed the creature, not knowing its true nature or gender. Deep down, I was certain the soldiers would come up empty-handed in their hunt. Something told me that whatever this enigmatic beast was, it had vanished into thin air, slipping through an imperceptible veil or a concealed curtain. But what perplexed me was its initial appearance. What drove it to show up in the first place? What were its intentions?
The next day, armed with apples, a slingshot, buckeyes, and rations of Little Debbie cakes and Doritos, I set out to locate this white Bigfoot and simply ask it what it wanted, imagining my bravery to be on par with Wonder Woman. I didn’t find Bigfoot—but I did locate a nasty patch of stinging nettles and a hornet’s nest—and then—enormous footprints by the river. Huge. We had no smart phones back then and Polaroids were for rich people. I’d failed. Without documented evidence, who’d believe a rural foster kid?
Take out the Garbage
“Take out the garbage,” Adele (my foster mom) said.
I hated taking out the garbage. I’d have to walk across the farm to an unused rusting silo near the edge of the woods. It was a reeking testament to our human waste and consumption. It wasn’t enough to simply leave the garbage to fester at the silo door—you had to open it and heave the bag as high as possible onto the pile of other bags. Every few months—usually in the winter, Ned set fire to the pile.
It was just before sunset. Months had passed without another Bigfoot sighting. I set the bag at my feet and opened the creaky silo door. I held my breath against the smell as long as possible. When I inhaled again, the stench of sulfur also invaded my nostrils. It took a moment for my eyes to adjust to large red eyes staring back at me. I couldn’t run. My voice for screaming fled as the blood drained away from my face and dove into my gut. The creature stood on its hind legs like a bear—looking down on me, its white fur dingier than I remember.
What seemed like a full minute was likely less than two seconds as I ran for my life, channeling the road runner more than Wonder Woman. I never told anyone because Ned would sometimes remark I was “crazy”, like my mom, whom he considered a bona fide ‘looney tune’ because she’d made multiple trips to what folks called, “The Lunatic Asylum” or sometimes, if they felt especially nice, the ‘Sanatorium’.
A few nights later I awakened with a visit by a featureless ‘blue light being’ standing at my bedroom door. I think it had been watching me sleep. Fear did not grip me. I felt protected, loved, and exceptionally safe. The fear only returned when it abruptly vanished.
While my pursuit of the white Bigfoot proved fruitless, I stumbled upon an underground discovery—mysterious stairs covered by laser-cut boulders near a lone conifer tree. Unyielding and unmovable, these stairs beckoned with their enigma. Though dismissed as remnants of an old root cellar, their grandeur and allure left lingering questions unanswered.
As I lay in the yard one summer evening under a clear sky loaded with stars, elbows propped, hands cupped around my chin, I stared across the street at the lone conifer in the cornfield. Three vertical beams of plasma-like white light (six total) pulsated into that tree. Again, I ran to the house.
Armed with daylight bravery, I trekked the next morning straight toward that tree. Upon arrival, I found a couple of broken pieces of blue and white porcelain. Adele shrugged nonchalantly as I presented her with this evidence, brushing it off with a simple explanation. According to her, the pieces were likely a remnant from house that had tragically succumbed to fire. I enlisted my brother for a return expedition, this time with machetes, which wasn’t a big deal at the time for farm kids. We hacked away at years of roots and vines strangling the tree. Imagine our surprise when we discovered two pristine laser-cut rectangular boulders covering some sort of opening! A small gap revealed wide stairs leading underground. Try as we might, we couldn’t budge the boulders—not even with a tractor and chain, which broke.
A Lifetime of Reflection
As an adult, doubt seeped into my memories, causing me to question my encounters and experiences. One did, after all, have to function in normal society, especially a predominately Christian environment. It’s perfectly acceptable to believe in Jesus, God, angels, heaven, hell, and a devil—but it is totally unacceptable and suspect to actually see, visit, or talk with any of them!
Revelations of an unmarked cemetery across the street where the conifer once stood, and the stories of buried artifacts, only add to this mystery. Were we subject to some sort of uninformed ‘Psyops’? Was I mentally ill and somehow ‘cured’?
People in our area quietly remarked that they’d seen phantoms and sometimes, while building one home or another, folks dug up large bones and shell necklaces laced with strange metal beading—not gold or silver—but something else, a blackish silvery sort of element.
Many say the bones are part of native American burials. Farmers eventually wore down the mounds around us with their plows. During our childhood, we occasionally stumbled upon the remnants of copper armbands, or on one occasion, what we believed to be a Roman coin in the river. However, none of us could truly imagine what a Roman coin would look like, considering we had never laid eyes on one before.
In my youthful days, I possessed neither the awareness nor the diligence to document or store my findings. Now, it dawns on me that the hardworking locals who continue to reside in this region, once called, ‘Firelanders,’ may not openly receive a group of unfamiliar shovel-toting individuals. One just can’t go around throwing pickaxes and curiosity into the dirt of other people’s plots of land.
Returning to Maple Dale Farm years later, I found myself drawn to its familiar landscape. Though devoid of unnatural phenomena during my visit, I couldn’t help but wonder if the new family, who now called it home, had experienced their own unexplained encounters.
By all appearances, the place was better than I remembered. Its new family are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen—all of them boast natural platinum hair and large baby-blue colored eyes. As they graciously gave me a tour, their humbleness, high-intellect, and health was evident. Two of the boys took my hand as their father patiently permitted them to act as my excited tour guides. In the barn, one of the little boys appeared lost in thought as he stared at a barn wall. I wondered for a moment if he’d seen something we hadn’t but if he did, he wasn’t telling.
Upon departure I felt as if I’d lost my magic—or had it reduced to rare moments of intuition and synchronicities brought on by the tyranny of the left brain. The little boy would likely do the same as he grew, relinquishing any star seeds for more appropriate pursuits in the physical realm—such as the machinations of marriage and paying a mortgage.
Maple Dale Farm is a testament to the convergence of the physical and spiritual realms. It is a place where this former foster child’s journey unfolded amidst paranormal encounters, leading to a lifelong fascination with science and the supernatural. The secrets lying beneath this provincial place, partially concealed beneath buried stairs, still captivate me, awaiting unraveling by those courageous enough to explore.
*NOTE: MK Ultra operated actively from the 1950s through the 1980s. Tiffin State Hospital, a 600-acre campus for the mentally ill, housed not only my mother but other area women as well. Despite its current nonexistence, the facility originated in the 1920s as a “lost boys” home and later offered refuge for the “mentally challenged.”
Unfortunately, the research engines have scarce documentation on the history of Tiffin State Hospital. The hospital’s disappearance resulted in the vanishing of all my mother’s medical records. Furthermore, the grounds house a cemetery. The hospital’s former director, a medical doctor, encountered professional challenges, leading to his removal from the position. He later served as a coroner in Elyria, Ohio. Newspaper archives report his passing in his home due to a heart attack.