[ This is a piece of a cross post from WereList from a topic about 'Shadow People' or some such. I thought I'd post what I posted there. Because I like different takes on things. And the more the better, aye? ]
I'm not sure what I have seen... but I can't shake the notion that it was something.
The first time, when I was a kid... I forget exactly when, maybe a year or two after I moved up here from California... Second or Third grade maybe. I was at a friend's birthday party which he held at his grandmother's house. His older brother suggested we go for a walk because we could reach the mountain from there. (Not true, but hey, we thought we could! It ended up being a road that led to a forest - which was blocked off: Forest service or logging if I recall right.) In any case... we started walking down this road, away from the house. On one side there was an orchard of some sort of trees, I don't remember what, either apples or some nut bearing tree. (I don't know what other kinds of orchards are set up in rows like that; here in Oregon at least!) And on the other side was a field that led to forest. It was nearing dusk and getting dark once we got so far, so we had to turn back. It was a small group of us... maybe five or six. So, on the way back we all sort of paused; or there was a moment of hesitation for whatever reason. And all of a sudden this black shape lurched out from the field on the one side of the road and darted over to the orchard side, and from what I recall 'disappeared' from view. At that point every one freaked out and started running back down the road toward the house. (It could have seemingly poofed from view due to the fact everyone got scared and bolted in the opposite direction!)
I have no idea what it was. A fear manifested from some group psychosis, or something other. But it moved like it was alive. Perhaps only given a shadowy shape due to the mind not being able to register fully what it could have been? But it was definitely upright in posture; and there was definitely something canine about it. That is one of the only memories I can clearly recall from that far back. Always stuck with me because I always wondered about it and if I would see more things like it. It was quite a unique experience.
After that, I wondered if I'd ever see something like that again. Doubt followed for a while, but after a time, I did. This time I was up at my father's, staring out the window over looking the pond behind the house. To the right, where this small stream feeds into the pond, a bit ahead of it, this dark shape crept out through the masses of black berries surrounding the pond and plucked something from the water, or appeared to do so... I was more intent on watching it than anything. And just as quickly as it had, it drew back into the brush. ... Now it could have been anything. Lots of things get fish from the water. But something that looks more like a giant cat? And not something commonly found in the North West, much less the United States unless captive at a zoo? It looked like a panther... (If only because it was black.) ..But it didn't seem to disturb anything as it moved. The brush didn't shake in its appearing or receding. My first gut notion was that it wasn't something totally 'tangible' or solid. It seemed just like the prior encounter with the upright shadow figure when I was younger.
Perhaps this all is biproduct of an over active imagination or something not quite understandable? I like to think there is something more out there that a lot lack the ability to see or notice; but there are things that garner no explanation. So really, at the end of the day, it's just me sitting here by myself thinking back upon things and what I've seen and the feelings that came with those sights. I've only personal speculation.
There's always the possibility that there very well are any number of anomalies out there we've yet to encounter.