Dudleytown Investigation: Is There Something in the Soil?
When we last left off with our official Ethan and Lou investigation into Dudleytown, I shared a document that was a piece of public, written testimony from a member of the Dark Entry Forest Association, sent to CT legislators in support of a Constitution amendment:
So at that point, we finally had one member of the Dark Entry Forest Association confirmed, but I wanted more. I mentioned in the article that from where I sit, the real ghost story was the story of the association itself. Its members were the ghosts. They create mystery and intrigue through their unwillingness to communicate about Dudleytown and the legends that surround the famous property. The mission after last week was to find more members. With a little help from some friends, we have done that:
I have the names -- I consider that a little victory, and they will remain in my possession should I need them. It's important that you understand that this is public information that I have presented here, I'm not exclaiming any earth-shattering information. With enough searching the internet, you could remove the blur lines on your own.
With that said, it did take some digging, cross referencing and sifting through piles of fluff information. If you Google "Dudleytown," you get a lot of results. Many of them detail the ghost legends of the Dudley family, while others are people's stories about the time they made their way on the property, and then some are just forum discussions.
There's so much information and a huge bulk of it is similar in nature. It's easy to get distracted and give up on finding out about the people in charge of the land. So I'm glad I did not give up, and I'm thankful to the people who helped point me in the right direction.
So now we have three more names in addition to the first from last week. Now what?
Why are they still blurred? For now, I don't want to reveal their names. The truth is, I don't know that this group has a secret or is protecting one at all. If I find something that tells me there is something unsavory going on, I'd release the names. I've reached out to the group once this year and once back in 2015. Surprise, surpise -- no response.
I needed more information about this place so it was back to work, trying different angles with different agencies. I started back with the Town of Cornwall. I figured I would try to request two things I had not asked for the first time around. It was a request for any photos the town may have on file for Dudleytown. I also asked for agendas and minutes for town meetings in which Dudleytown was discussed.
I can tell you in hindsight I made a HUGE mistake here. I asked for agendas and minutes where Dudleytown was discussed. After 40 years of these people running from talking about anything regarding Dudleytown, they obviously would know not to discuss it using that name in a public forum and on record. I should have used the surrounding road names and addresses that neighbor the Dudleytown entry points. The mistake would mean a quick out for the town again. This was the Cornwall's response:
Okay, then they got cute with me. They attached photos from a brochure that the local historical society gives out. Not only are these in the frigging pamphlet the town gives out, but they are all over the internet. This was them shooting me the finger, having a laugh, patting me on the head and telling me to go home. I know this when I see it, 'cause I do it all the time myself.
Hilarious on their part. BOOM. I was roasted. I can revise the very same Freedom of Information Act request and send it back without using "Dudleytown," and I will. They will find a new road block, I am sure of that.
After wasting my time with the Town of Cornwall, I had what I thought was a pretty interesting angle. I've heard and read theories about Dudleytown that, if they were to be true, would make great scientific sense in explaining the legends about the place.
What if there is something natural or artificial in the water or soil that could cause the people who lived there to go mad? People have even questioned that maybe the place is so poisoned with something, that the people who visited saw things that were not there.
How do you ask for lab results from the Dark Entry Forest Association? Why would you? They don't answer e-mails about the simplest thing, they'd never indulge this request. I figured, instead, I'd ask for lab results of soil and water samples from the neighboring property. Property that is actually owned by the State of Connecticut.
I sent a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, asking for those lab results from Wyantenock State Forest. The state is at least obligated to acknowledge my request. Plus, I think it's reasonable to assume that if there is something bad in the water or soil in the park, it's probably in Dudleytown as well. I sent it out on Saturday, April 6.
You don't have to say it, I know. Any time you're researching a conspiracy or ghost stories, you might want to get someone to write the letters who does not have serial killer handwriting. All caps, super sloppy and aggressive. I know, it does not look right or maybe it looks exactly right -- depends on what you believe.
Anyway, I did actually get a response and I think a few things about it are pretty interesting:
What's so interesting about the response? Let's break it down:
- It came from "Office of Legal Counsel." Maybe that's state procedure and no big deal -- what do I know? I have asked some people, who I know, that deal with these requests on the municipal level, and they told me this is a rare approach. Why did they need a lawyer to answer the request?
- 10-12 weeks for the state to find the files seems like a lot. Either the information I am requesting has a lot more to it than I would imagine, or they want plenty of time to edit what I've asked for. I hope they send documents with redacted sentences or bits of information. This will mean that I am sniffing in the right place.
- They said, "Kindly notify me if you no longer have a need for this information as soon as possible." To me, this sounds a lot more like, "Are you sure you want to go there?" It's like an invitation to take an exit ramp away from trouble. Either all of that or I'm simply paranoid, crazy and have seen too many movies.
Then, there was this Freedom on Information response from a different agency within the State of Connecticut:
This one could be huge. For now, I won't say what I requested or who I requested it from. If I get half of what I asked for on this one, then Christmas has come early.
So with that, I'll tell you that this is it for a while. I have to wait on both of the agencies to get the information to me and then figure out what I am looking at. If they are brick walls, I have more shifty maneuvers to make. For now, though, we take a well deserved break for a few weeks, digest what we have and get ready for the next wave.
When it comes, it'll be salty AF. Boo.