Alien encounters of the past have a tendency to become lost in the shuffle of time. What may have been a thrilling encounter with an otherworldly being in 1964 may be discarded decades later as too similar, even if these similarities add to the varacity of the claims. This is not the case with the Donald Shrum attack. This is a story so fantastic, that it’s difficult for some to imagine it really happening. But this is the story the 28 year old hunter came back with after being lost in the wilderness. It’s a tale of an attempted alien abduction and an extraterrestrial attack.
When Donald Shrum went out bow hunting with friends in Placer County, California, in 1964 he was expecting to have a short but ultimately worthwhile experience. When he started tracking a game trail, however, he soon found himself separated from the rest of his hunting party. Realizing he would be spending a long night in the wilderness alone, Shrum climbed a young tree – the kind that still sways in the wind the further up you go. And it was just as he was getting settled in for the night when he spotted something in the distance. He made a choice that would change the course of his night – and his life.
Thinking it was a search and rescue helicopter, Shrum gathered some of the flares in his backpack and set one off, raising it above his head to signal that he was there. The light in the distance stopped dead in mid flight and turned toward him. At this point Shrum started to notice that it wasn’t making the sorts of sounds a helicopter should. With the flare still in his hand, he slowly backed away toward the tree, attempting to discern the details of the shadows moving toward him. Recognizing that something was wrong, Shrum turned and dropped the flare, moving quickly up the tree to safety. When the creatures below entered the flare light he saw that there were two of them – and a third that appeared to be metallic.
The figured pushed heavily on the tree, shaking it and nearly causing him to fall to the ground. When they saw this wasn’t working, Shrum later told rescuers that the metal being opened its “mouth,” letting a thick stream of white fog out of it. This gas distorted his senses and he was knocked unconscious. When he came to, the beings were boldly climbing the tree with their long fingered hands, attempting to reach him. Somehow, Shrum got the idea to start dropping matches down on them. Repelled by the fire, they left and egressed into the darkness. Time passed and Shrum found himself drifting into sleep once again.
When he awoke again, he noticed the beings had returned. He fired arrows at them repeatedly, each time sending them scattering into the darkness. As he ran low on arrows, a second metallic being reportedly appeared and knocked him unconscious once again with the strange gas. Rescuers found him at the tree surrounded by arrows, but there was no sign of the strange beings.
While the story certainly carries a lot of weight, there was little additional evidence that anything unusual had happened. Some have said perhaps Shrum was simply overwhelmed by fear in the wilderness. Others aren’t so sure. The story wasn’t shared widely at first, but over the years it eventually entered UFO folklore.