This past weekend I saw a plane disappear right out of the sky. I’m being totally serious—but I’ll get to that later.

I went camping with friends. I set up our tent. Cooked a hamburger over the crackling fire, played barefoot in a cold mountain stream, and watched shooting stars in the big night sky from under the warm covers of our sleeping bags.

It was classic.

But there’s something about the outside world that has been bothering me for a long time.

I remember so many insects from my childhood in Northern California, a million different kinds—crawling over the ground, buzzing around my face, or springing off the high grass to escape my boots. Where are they now?

And what about the green frogs? The silver and blue fish? The sticky spider webs that I’d get caught in and always made me think a huge spider had crawled down my back and was going to fang my spine? Try kicking over a rock. Is anything even living in the dirt anymore? Nature used to be so alive, and now it seems to have so softly, so quietly—become eerily silent here.

At least in the area of Oregon that I live.

The small section of ZigZag Creek that I waded in—I mean, this epically beautiful mountain water—seemed almost devoid of life. Just ice cold water falling over rocks.

Clear, empty water. And alarm bells are ringing in my head. They’ve been ringing for awhile.

There used to be more birds. Too many neighborhood trees look sick now. The hot summer air this year sometimes felt almost viscous, poisonous. In fact, everything looks sick. Every damn thing. Including myself: lyme.

I am sitting at my kitchen table. I just stood up and walked to every window of my house upstairs and downstairs, and I count six trees in obvious distress. One is fully dead.

Remember the book Rachel Carson wrote? Titled Silent Spring? Yeah, that. I think it’s full on happening. And our cell phones are ringing, the TV is blaring, and we’re all just telling ourselves over and over: The bad thing outside is not happening. It’s not happening. It’s just not happening.

Clinically, they call it denial, folks.

Oh yeah, so getting back to the plane that disappeared right out of the sky.

I was standing in the center of our tent camp, looking up through a wide circle of trees into the deep blue sky—I had even said aloud to others, hey, look at that plane. (It seemed so much bigger than usual because we were 2,200 feet up in elevation.) I was looking right at the plane when it vanished before my eyes.

Full visual contact: I saw big metal wings, fuselage, tail. The normal shape of what I’d describe as a 747-ish plane shape. I saw a thick line of chemtrails (likely) coming out from behind the plane in a white plume. Then, the white plume cut out for a moment. Then came back on with a spurt of white. And then the plane vanished.

The white trail stopped abruptly.

And what the hell?

Not obscured by trees. Not flared out by the sun. The large plane disappeared in the middle of clear, blue sky. I didn’t even blink: it was just GONE.

And then cut-off white plume just slowly floated away in the wind, toward the east, like nothing weird had just happened.

Not only am I tired of being poisoned from land, water, and sky, I’m also tired of being lied to by our government, mega-nasty corporations, and the private interests of unconscionable people.

Strange things are going on. And nature is trying to tell us it’s being poisoned to death. I know I’m listening. Trying not to die of lyme myself—and still listening to everything around me with my heart and soul.

So if you ever see a plane vanish right out of the sky as you’re looking at it: you can tell me, I’ll believe you.

Strange Things © Valerie Brook 2016 / Photo by Valerie Brook