08/11/13

Reader Submission: Disappearing Family

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“I was shore fishing on the beach in Orange Beach City , AL near the State Park Pier the first week of August 2013. I started early in the morning, and it was about 10 a.m. when I landed a small sting ray. Being from Michigan, I was unfamiliar with the little guy – about 10-12″ diameter – and was concerned about being stung. He was hooked pretty good, and I thought ‘If I can’t easily dislodge it, I’ll rip it out.’

As this was unfolding, out of the corner of my eye I noticed people strolling by on the sand. I was standing in the swash. A family of five stopped: a mother, a father, a daughter about 12-15, another girl about 5-6, and a much younger boy near the sand. I remember the mother and older daughter were smiling. The father, who was very tall and thin, came very close and bent over my right shoulder as I tried to unhook the ray. I thought, ‘I can’t rip this out in front of others. It might freak them out.’ So I put very careful effort into it and succeeded. Just as I released the fish and turned to speak to the man, I found I was totally alone on the beach. There was NO ONE anywhere near me. Not for at least a 1/4 mile.

I wasn’t shocked or frightened, but actually chuckled. Later, I felt it was a message to be mindful that I am an ethical fisherman and respect the animals. As time has passed, I find it harder to believe it really was real and it is beginning to feel disturbing to me.”

See also “Real Anglers Share Fishing Ghost Stories

Have you had a strange encounter on the beach? Share your story!