Check this out. It just keeps getting stranger and stranger! This is about 8 miles due east of Bloomington, Indiana and 12 miles north of Lake Monroe. If this rock was blown into the tree, why isn't there some sign of damage to the bark? It had to be gently rested in the branches, I would think, but by what?
Note boulder resting neatly in top of tree branches. Photo courtesy of Sheri Sloan, February 1998
HoosierTimes: Boulder in branches defies easy explanation
Brad Price, pictured on the left along with Jim Sloan and Ray Stroop, stumbled upon the mystery rock while tracking a turkey in February 1998. Brad Price was on the trail of a turkey gobbler when he tracked down a natural mystery.
Walking along an old mining road in Yellowwood State Forest, Price stumbled upon a sight he still can't explain. With daylight breaking that cold February morning, Price looked up and spied a gobbler. The bird wasn't any record breaker but what it was standing on sure was unusual. About 35 feet up in an old oak, a huge triangular rock was nesting in a cradle of tree limbs. The boulder, about the size of a refrigerator, was shaped like a gigantic arrowhead.
Wanting to share his startling find, Price called his friend, photographer Sheri Sloan. Trekking out to "Gobbler Rock" in Brown County the next day, the Eminence woman captured the site on film. "I couldn't believe my eyes," Sloan said. "The first thing I did was look for a logical explanation for this mystery."
The area was so out of the way and tree-filled that previous use of heavy equipment at the site would have been highly evident, Sloan said. "The area is so remote I don't think they could even get heavy equipment to it," she said.
Hoping to shed some light on the puzzle, Sloan contacted Yellowwood property manager Jim Allen. After working in forestry since 1981, Allen said he has never seen anything like the rock-carrying tree. "I didn't even know it was there,"
Allen said Tuesday. "I've done some checking around, and no one else seems to know anything about it." It's extremely doubtful that anyone would have put the rock in the tree as a hoax, he added. "It looks like it landed there. It was kind of made to fit there," Allen said.
It is also unlikely that blasting at some nearby site would have blown the rock into its perch. "There hasn't been any blasting that close," Allen said. The most logical answer, he added, is that a tornado picked the rock up and dropped it in the branches. "That is really the only explanation I can come up with," he said. "There isn't any other evidence around of tornado damage, but I've seen tornadoes do some really strange things."
What she has discovered about the perplexing sight, Sloan said, is that most people "have more questions than they do answers." "Rocks don't grow in trees," she said. "We've heard about UFOs and I know there are some strange things in this world, but it would be nice to know how this happened." It also is hard to tell how long the rock has been there, Allen said. "In the summertime when the leaves are on the trees, it would be hard to see," he said.
For now, forestry officials have decided to leave the rock in the tree, Allen said. "It's pretty well lodged in there. There's not much danger of it falling out," he said. And it also would be quite a challenge to figure out how to remove the bulky boulder.
Now that word is getting out about the strange forest sight, Allen said he is making a map to the location. "I imagine people are going to want to see it," he concluded. "It's not something you run across very often. It's the first time I've ever seen anything like this in my years."
Lynn Taylor, Association for Aerial Anomaly Research and