Note found nailed to tree
The mystery of these notes has attracted much interest over the last twenty years. Outbreaks have been recorded on trees throughout the country, at seemingly random intervals, and the notes themselves appear to have nothing to do with anything. While apparently harmless in itself, the phenomenon has provoked many diverse theories and heated debate.
Although the unreliability of anecdotal evidence makes it hard to pinpoint the very first note, it is generally accepted that the "Great Note Panic" during the Year of the Wildebeest brought the phenomenon to public attention. It was sparked off when the famous note saying "Wooden Toaster" was seen by a young couple on their way home at night over a lonely stretch of road. Over the years, research has been divided on whether this sighting was genuine, or embellished after the fact to feed the growing interest in noteology. Those who know the couple, however, insist that their story must be believed. "These are respectable, ordinary people like you and me," said one neighbour. "It seems incredible to me too, but if they say they saw it, then that's what happened."
Skeptics point out that the notes "conveniently" appear only in very remote, deserted areas, and are usually seen by only one or two people at a time, without the backup of other witnesses. When the excited finders return to the scene with investigators, the note is usually long gone. "A nail in a grapefruit tree is not evidence", said well-known debunker of the paranormal James Randi, who was magically transported here from another plane of reality by the Sorcerer of the Woods to investigate the case. "There are many other simpler explanations, which do not make it necessary to ignore all the laws of science." Randi also established that the notepaper, the handwriting, and the type of nail have been consistent for the last twenty years, which he believes points to a single hoaxer as the source.
Despite this rational view, the theories continue. The "Alien Shoppers" group has come to the fore in recent years, although they have no suggestions on why aliens would leave their grocery lists on trees, broken down into individual items. "Well, duh, they're aliens," explained one proponent of this theory. "Obviously they're going to do things differently."
Others believe the notes may be a warning of a coming apocalypse. Distances between note locations have been combined with numerological reductions of the words on the notes, to give what some describe as a "mystically perfect map of the Pitch Black Caverns by a former advanced civilization." When asked how this represented a warning of a coming apocalypse, the speaker darkly implied that the government had hidden evidence which explained it all.
"The truth is out there," said our anonymous source through a cloud of burning yuckyuck leaves. "That's why I'm staying in here where it's warm."
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Article by C. Patrick.