While marking trees to be harvested for the first time in 30 years, a forest ranger stumbled across quite the odd sight. Although he didn’t see it until he was just 12 feet away, he found an eerie cabin hidden in the woods – and that’s when he discovered the creepy mystery inside.
Mark Andre, now an Environmental Services director in Arcata, California, was marking trees in the forest when he looked up and saw something out of place. “I didn’t see it until I was 12 feet from it,” he said. “It’s in the perfect out-of-the-way spot where it wouldn’t be detected.”
Someone had crafted an entire cabin in the woods measuring about 8’ by 12’ and about 15 feet tall. The most intriguing part came as Mark noticed the location was immaculate. Without the normal environmental abuse associated with forest campsites, there weren’t even any trails showing how anyone brought in the materials to craft the structure.
The make-shift cabin was set up on concrete blocks. It had a small porch, windows, and walls of plywood that were covered with brown tarps, black plastic sheeting, and lots of concealing forest materials. If you take just a few steps away, it was nearly invisible.
Since it is illegal to camp or build on public property, Mark called in a little help and decided to enter the premises. When they were inside, what they found would only add to the mystery.
Containing minimal items, the resident had managed to construct a living area complete with a kitchen and a living room. With a stove for cooking and warmth, the cabin also had thick coverings over the windows, allowing for little light to escape during the night. A few leisure items were found in the building such as books – one being Catch Me If You Can (which is rather ironic) – and an old typewriter.
Other things inside consisted of canned foods and even a “things to get” list that dated the first thing crossed off the list back in 2011, indicating the cabin had probably been there since at least then. Although those searching the premises still couldn’t figure out who the cabin belonged to, Mark posted an eviction notice on the front door along with his contact information, but this is where things get even weirder.
A month later, they returned to the cabin to check on things, but they found the cabin a bit disheveled. As it turns out, the owner had found the eviction notice and had started moving out. Just as before, there were no trails left behind to show which way they headed.
Less than two weeks later, they came back to find that the cabin was gone. Although there were a few of the larger things, such as the wood stove and some other furnishings, it was mostly gone. Once again, even the access routes to the site showed virtually no wear and no one reported seeing anyone hauling heavy items down the trails.
The next day, there wasn’t anything left – everything was gone. “That’s the cleanest camp cleanup I’ve ever seen,” said Michael McDowall, natural resources technician for the city’s Environmental Services department. “There wasn’t a nail, not even a gum wrapper left behind.”
The resident did add a bit more mystery to the entire ordeal as he did leave behind an odd symbol made of charcoal. According to reports, it was the international squatter symbol. “The circle represents the building, and the arrow represents the squatter. The squatter goes in (line in), stays for a while (line in the middle), and then leaves (arrow!).”
To this day, Mark and his crew still haven’t been able to identify the person responsible. They did venture to guess that it was an older individual with life experience and minimal material needs. “The thoughtfully composed, uncluttered tiny house appears to be the work of someone who knows who they are and what they need,” Mad River Union reports.
It’s incredible that someone was able to erect a structure without anyone knowing and completely disassemble it in the same fashion. Whoever this person was clearly had the knowledge to build a shelter and live in it undetected for years with minimal supplies. This is honestly remarkable, and it’s only made better by the fact that no one will ever know who they are.