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Association for Aerial Anomaly Research and Cataloging

UFO and Paranormal Research from south-central Indiana

Always Watching the Skies





The Mystery


Gobbler's Rock



A large boulder can be seen resting neatly in top of the tree branches. (Photo by Sheri Sloan, February 1998)


- by Lynn Taylor

They don't call Indiana "eerie" for nothing!  The location of this curious sight is about 8 miles due east of Bloomington, Indiana and 12 miles north of Lake Monroe. If this rock was blown into the tree, why isn't there some sign of damage to the bark? It seems reasonable to assume that the boulder would have had to be gently lowered onto the branches; but by what?

Brad Price, Jim Sloan, and Ray Stroop discovered this strange anomaly of nature while on a hunt for wild turkey, in February of 1998.

The trio were hiking along an old trail in Yellowwood State Forest, when Price eyed a turkey, 35 feet up in an old oak tree. What made the site so strange was, the bird was perched on top of a huge rock, wedged tightly in the branches.

Price contacted photographer, Sheri Sloan and described his find. The following day, Sheri found her way to the site and photographed the boulder, high up in the tree. Sloan remarked, "I couldn't believe my eyes. The first thing I did was look for a logical explanation for this mystery."

Considering the possibility that someone used large machinery to place the boulder in the tree, she reasoned, "The area is so remote I don't think they could even get heavy equipment to it,"

Sloan decided to contact Jim Allen, property manager for Yellowwood State Forest, to find out what he might know about the giant tree-sitting stone. Allen, unaware of the rock's existence, indicated that he had absolutely know idea how it could have got up there. "I've done some checking around," Allen said, "and no one else seems to know anything about it." He further added, "It's extremely doubtful that anyone would have put the rock in the tree as a hoax. It looks like it landed there. It was kind of made to fit there."

Considering blasting activity as a possible explanation for the boulder's current location, Allen comment, "There hasn't been any blasting that close. The most logical answer is that a tornado picked the rock up and dropped it in the branches. That is really the only explanation I can come up with," he admitted. "There isn't any other evidence around of tornado damage, but I've seen tornadoes do some really strange things."

Opinions have been offered, suggesting that "Gobbler's Rock," as it has come to be known, was the victim of UFOs, or perhaps a hoaxer.

Regarding UFOs; Why would ETs marshal their finite, albeit high-tech resources just to stick a big rock in a tree? Do you have any idea how expensive a double-convex Sport Model with anti-matter drive costs these days? (Maybe they're marking their territory?)

Employing the same logic, one could reasonably wonder why a hoaxer would expend a tremendous amount of his/her/their time and energy in order to hoist a rock thirty-five feet up into a tree, situated in the middle of nowhere, where his/her/their creative effort would most likely go unnoticed?

Concerning the idea that a tornado somehow deposited the boulder high up in its perch: south-central Indiana has had more than its share of twisters, and this writer has seen up close the devastation left by one. A tornado leaves an unmistakable swath of damage in its wake. UFOs and hoaxers sound more plausible to me as an explanation than the raw, unbridled power of a Midwestern tornado.    

According to Allen, the forestry service has decided to leave the rock in the tree. "It's pretty well lodged in there. There's not much danger of it falling out," he added. "And it also would be quite a challenge to figure out how to remove the bulky boulder."


Updated: February 05, 2006
AAARC and The Sentinel Files Copyright 1999