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Saturday, December 16, 2023

Decemystery (2023) 16: The Alien Tree Stumps

Yeah, I didn’t know what other image to use; enjoy the picture of baby Groot.

Something I take a bit of pride in is my ability to tell my friends about the wildest and most absurd things imaginable. Though, even I have my moments where I find myself scratching my head, wondering if what I’m reading is real. It always leaves me with a feeling of disbelief, like my life was just flipped on its head. Today’s story is a quintessential example of that feeling.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you will know all too well that extraterrestrials are more than just Greys or Reptilians. They come in all shapes and sizes. We have seen robotic flowers, giant brains, and way too much else for me to listen. Heck, just this month introduced us to even more baffling types!

Today, however, is what I believe to be the most dumbfounding. It’s something that I truly cannot believe I read; the fact I laid eyes upon it renders my brain unable to function. This, dear reader, is the utterly mind-boggling case of The Alien Tree Stumps.

No Bark, No Bite

I initially saw this story on the Paranormal Strange Wiki (which uses an article from Cryptopia for the page) early on when I began work on both Decemysterys. It took me until the middle of September to get around to it; I wasn’t certain if I wanted to cover it this year or next year. As you can tell, I settled on the former. I also found some additional information on Knewcastle, a WordPress site that occasionally covers some myths and other oddball stories from around the world. So, definitely check that out if you like the content you read on this blog!

Now, then, onto the story proper. It took place on the night of April 5, 1996, in Newport, Oregon, though claims it took place in the “afternoon.” That’s the only site to say it occurred then, but I thought I’d make a note of it. Anyway, a 16-year-old girl named Kathy Reeves was walking home with a friend whose name is unknown. So, I’ll be referring to her as Melissa.

This walk home took them down a road called “Pioneer Mountain Road.” According to, this road apparently has a pretty weird reputation. I’m unfamiliar with it, and I hadn’t heard of it until this story, but I may look more into it since I would like to write about some supposedly haunted roads. If you happen to know anything about it, feel free to share your knowledge! Anyways, despite the road’s reputation, the duo had gone down it before. However, this night was going to be different.

You see, during the walk, Kathy and Melissa began to feel like they were being followed. So, they did the one thing I believe most would never dream of doing: turn to see if they were being stalked. In doing so, they confirmed their suspicions. Behind them, the duo saw a small light in the trees; Kathy later described it as being like a flashlight with a cap covering the end.

Figuring that someone was trying to pull a prank, Kathy and Melissa picked up some rocks and threw them at the light. This act of aggression caused it to dim and eventually fade away completely… before being replaced by several other, much brighter lights. And all of them were aimed right at the girls. I have to admit, imagining this situation in my head is quite terrifying.

Anyway, with the world now lit up like Snoop Dogg’s limousine, the duo noticed something on the road behind them. It was an “indistinct dome-shaped object” that was surrounded by a series of lights, had a “ruddy glow” that made it appear like it was on fire, and was billowing smoke. It was also said to be “as high as a room.” For the sake of having some visual idea, I envision this object as being about the same height as my bedroom, so around 9–10 feet (2.7–3 meters) tall. Alternatively, you can say that it was cosplaying as Rome.

To say that the sight of this strange object scared the girls would be an understatement. Without a second thought, the two ran off, hoping to get to Kathy’s home. However, no sooner had they begun their mad dash than they were frozen in fear once more. Making their way across the path (I believe across the road like this was some weird game of Frogger) were three aliens. Or, well, what I can only presume to be aliens. Kathy later described them as resembling “little tree stumps.” They lacked heads, arms, and legs—well, legs in the traditional sense. These little folks walked with their roots, of which they had a few.

As if the sight of walking tree stumps wasn’t weird enough, Kathy also said that these things were multicolored, being “orange, blue, white, yellow, and watermelon-colored.” I, sadly, don’t know if the aliens were multicolored or if they were wearing outfits; I’ve seen it told both ways. So, pick which you like more.

Suffice it to say, Kathy and Melissa screamed at the sight of the little, multicolored arboreal aliens and ran back to Kathy’s house as fast as their legs could carry them. On top of that, if Knewcastle is to be believed, the aliens appeared to be terrified, too, as they were said to be hastily making their way into a nearby field. Of course, they may just be naturally speedy little folks. Given the circumstances, I think it’s more than likely they were shocked at the sudden loud noise. But that’s just me.

After this, details become vague. What is known is that someone somehow heard of Kathy and Melissa’s encounter with the aliens. This led to law enforcement and the media descending upon both the road where the sighting occurred and Kathy’s residence. On top of that, other residents began to visit Pioneer Mountain Road in hopes of seeing the strange creatures for themselves. From what I can tell, no one else saw these beings; only Kathy and Melissa did. However, claims otherwise. Its entry on this case claims that five people had seen the alien tree stumps by mid-October at two locations east of Toledo, Oregon.

I have absolutely no idea where that information was found; it’s the only website to claim that, along with this encounter having occurred in the afternoon. If someone knows, feel free to tell me, but I’m highly skeptical of this. Nonetheless, I thought it was worth mentioning since there are instances where one source has a bit of information that no one else brings up.

Although the other sightings of the tree stumps are, as it stands, dubious in my eyes, there were other reports from the area. This included UFO sightings and other anomalous lights, very typical stuff whenever aliens are sighted in the area. I have to wonder why aliens insist on sticking around, but I guess intergalactic traffic can be worse than rush hour in New York City.

Alternatively, it could be due to the other, much more eye-catching things seen in the area. Supposedly, there were reports of tall beings resembling the mythical Cyclops in the area. Unfortunately, details on these sightings are scarce. The most I managed to find was from the earlier-linked pages from and, both of which say a couple (the former refers to them as “elderly”) saw them in the woods. Sadly, that is all I could find; if anyone knows anything else, feel free to add to these cyclopean encounters in the comments.

The fun wasn’t limited to just the area where the sighting took place, though. Kathy Reeves’ humble abode became the grounds for some weird happenings, too. For starters, she and her family claimed to see strange lights inside and outside of her home. Additionally, there were reports of UFOs over her home.

One of those reports came from Thomas Price, a local deputy sheriff. He claimed to have seen an enormous orange orb that was “bigger than any star” over Kathy’s house. He said that he knew “it wasn’t a meteor or satellite” as it was moving around. He also said it produced a noise “like a giant spinning top.”

On top of all of that, Kathy and her family began to experience “poltergeist-like activity.” However, much to my dismay, there are no written accounts online about what ensued with this activity. So, for all I know, it was completely unrelated to the aliens. Given the lights inside of her home, the lack of any claims of ghostly occurrences prior to these, and the UFOs over it, I would say that is a bit unlikely. Either way, this activity led the Reeves family to move away. Whether the activity followed them or not, I don’t know. For their sake, I hope it didn’t. What I do know is that, apparently, the family who bought their house didn’t experience any weird activity.

And with that, the story of the multicolored tree stumps comes to a close. Indeed, this story is quite short—not unlike the aliens themselves. It’s, without a doubt, one of the more bizarre otherworldly encounters. I do wish I could have found more on the Cyclops sightings, and something tells me that I missed something when looking up information on this case. Alternatively, the reports may be out there, filed as a completely separate encounter.

Whatever the case may be, this was an extremely fun story to cover, definitely one of the most enjoyable in recent memory (as of the time of this writing, anyway). But now it’s time to think about what these weird beings may have been. So, without further delay, let’s get to theorizing!


1. Aliens

This is arguably the most popular theory, and I don’t think you need to be a Harvard graduate to know why. By all accounts, the details of this story scream “aliens!” Of course, there are two major questions that beg to be answered: what exactly were these things, and why were they here?

In the case of the latter, I personally go to my usual answer: aliens wanted to see what Earth was like. Much in the same way that humans visit zoos and go on nature tours, I think that some aliens wanted to see what our humble little planet was like.

As for what these things were, I have absolutely no idea. Some posited that they were the aliens, which I guess is possible given the absolutely bonkers-sounding aliens I’ve discussed in the past. Others, meanwhile, suggested that they were robots. Personally, I can’t imagine hyper-advanced beings that can travel across space would design robots like this. I cannot, for the life of me, believe that they would make these things like multicolored tree stumps. That is, plain and simple, way too goofy. But, hey, maybe in their minds, they figured they would blend in well.

Of course, they could have been some odd kind of drone or something along those lines. However, again, I think their design is way too silly. I also feel it’s inefficient; I can’t imagine aliens that can travel so far would not have a better means of scanning or observing our planet. Still, it is always possible that these aliens wanted a more “subtle” way of investigating our planet, and their approach was not well thought out.

Or, perhaps, it was a baby Groot. With any luck, it’ll help us to be Groot, too. But I digress; let’s move on.

2. A hoax

As is the case with any alien encounter, there are some skeptics who are bound to scoff and try to debunk it. In this case, I have to admit that I didn’t find any article, let alone a comment, that attempted to do that. In fact, I don’t even know how or why this would be a hoax, given the numerous eyewitnesses to the Reeves’ apparent alien visitors.

On top of that, I don’t believe the Reeves family got anything out of this. If anything, it sounds like they got a lot of unwanted attention, with people visiting their house to ask if they could investigate the UFO sightings or get an interview. The only thing missing was a visit from the Men in Black; I never found out if they visited them.

Nevertheless, I felt it was necessary to include this theory. After all, it is always a possibility, as there have been cleverly crafted hoaxes in the past. Though, in this case, I must admit that my doubts are astronomically high. But I will get into why when we get to my take.

3. Interdimensional tree-beings

I’m a simple man: I see a story about something truly unbelievable and unexplainable, and I must include the theory that they were from another dimension.

Admittedly, given the prevalent theory that aliens are from another dimension, this theory could technically be rolled into the first one. However, if I did that, I wouldn’t be able to type “interdimensional tree-beings,” and that would disappoint me greatly. So, I made it its own theory. If that upsets you, I sincerely apologize.

As is the case with this theory, it depends on your belief in the idea of other dimensions. Given the number of weird and unfathomably bizarre stories I’ve covered (and will be covering) on this blog, I’ve begun to believe in the concept more and more. Though, I have to wonder how in the world these things live their lives. It must be… weird, to say the least.

4. Escaped experiments

This was an idea put forward on, which also mentioned secretive military bases that were in the area at the time. Whether or not they are, I sadly don’t know. However, that isn’t all that important; what is important is that this theory posits that our little tree stumps were the product of experiments.

Given that this was the 1960s, and the US was in the midst of the Cold War, you could try to argue that creating sentient trees would be a great way to combat your enemy. Alternatively, you could argue that diplomacy is far more efficient, but I digress. As far as I know, there has never been an effort to create sentient trees—be they like the Ents of Tolkien’s Middle Earth, Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, or the man-eating tree of Madagascar. That third one, for the record, was a hoax, but I will write about it someday because it’s a pretty interesting story.

Anyways, one can argue that all records of this experiment were destroyed, and I’d honestly not be shocked if that was the case. This is the US government we’re talking about; nothing would stun me when it comes to them. However, in the case of this story, I have to argue that everything about this story points toward the sky and not Washington, DC.

5. A walking dad joke

I’m really stumped.

My Take

I just want to say that I love the idea of alien tree stumps as it makes me think of Groot, and I like him. I cannot stand Marvel nowadays, and I think their movies and TV shows have become derivative beyond belief, but I still find Groot really cool. Also, Marvel, please give me a good adaptation of the Fantastic Four. I beg you.

This is one of those stories where I don’t believe there is a logical or rational explanation for what happened. This is way too absurd to have been a prank or case of misidentification; I flat-out removed those theories from the previous section for that very reason.

I also sincerely doubt it was a hallucination brought on by LSD or something else. Once again, I didn’t include this as a theory, but I wanted to make a note of it here. I know that it was the 1960s, but I doubt two minors got a hold of that so easily. Though I could be wrong, I’m not familiar with how easy it was to get a hold of that back then. I also doubt so many people were seeing UFOs and other things because LSD was put into the water supply. I know MK Ultra was a thing, but come on. That would be goofy, to say the least.

The way I see it, this was aliens; I cannot see this having been anything other than visitors from another world. I may seem crazy for saying that, and I may be absurdly gullible for believing the story, but I’m not convinced that it was a hoax. I mean, if you wanted to get attention, and your means of doing that was to fabricate an alien encounter, why concoct such a ludicrous and unbelievable story? That doesn’t make sense to me.

On top of that, given the weird occurrences at Kathy’s home, I think that someone would have spilled the beans on this being a hoax by now. The more people you get in on a hoax—or anything that’s meant to be secretive—the more likely it’ll become public knowledge. That’s one I doubt a lot of large-scale conspiracy theories and supposed hoaxes. When you have so many people in on something—and that something is meant to be a secret, I cannot fathom it remaining a secret for so long (if not forever). Of course, I may just be a sheep for thinking that way; I still try to keep an open mind if it’s any consolation.

Anyway, this has gone on for long enough. I said it before, but I think this was more than likely aliens. Before I conclude this story, I want to say that the strange occurrences at Kathy’s house reminded me a bit of the movie Dark Skies. It’s a pretty good movie, in my opinion; it’s definitely worth a watch if you want a solid alien-centric horror film!


As I said before, I thoroughly enjoyed writing about this story. There’s something about the wild accounts of extraterrestrials that always makes me feel comfortable and, in a weird way, at home. Maybe it’s because one of my earliest passions was astronomy or my unwavering belief in aliens. Either way, I hope you enjoyed today’s foray into the realm of the strange, and as always, stay happy, stay healthy, and thank you for reading!

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