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  • The Burdale Historical Association

Lore Entry #3:The Wildwood Man, Hale Forest Park, The Hale Tribe, & The Light Beam Incident

Updated: May 22

The Wildwood Man is a sasquatch or wild man who has been reportedly seen in Hale Forest Park for over 200 years. Are people seeing things? Swamp gas? Who knows. Perhaps some are mistaking members of The Hale Tribe for The Wildwood Man, but not all.

Hale Forest Park is a large park managed by The Town of Burdale. The park spans over 8,000 acres, which is roughly 12.5 square miles, and includes much of Crown Rock, Burdale’s northernmost mountain, as well as The Witch’s Well pond. The park wraps around to Burdale’s east, beneath Specter Ridge.

Hale Forest Park was named after the notable arborist and Burdale resident, Silas A. Hale, who first began independently maintaining the trees and grounds around Burdale in 1907. He created trails, picnic areas, and lobbied to have the first camping ground designated. He inspired The Town of Burdale to commission a parks maintenance department to the town’s municipality, which expanded in 1910 to include a Park Ranger division. This consisted of a dozen rangers, three ranger stations, and one fire-watch lookout tower. He is the only person in the town's history to have built a relationship with elders of The Hale Tribe, as they respected and appreciated his love and nurturing nature for all living things. In 1909, Burdale Mayor Anthony Palmquist began referring to the tribe as The Hale Tribe, which Silas detested. It is believed that Silas planted The Widow's Willow Tree, though there is no documentation to corroborate this notion.

The Light Beam Incident - was a seismic event that took place on October 21, 1914, exactly 50 years after The Conjure Quake Event. This event originated within Hale Forest Park. At roughly 1:15 am, the townspeople emerged from their homes after the earth began to vibrate. Trying to investigate the cause of the disturbance, they witnessed a massive, singular beam of light emerging from the top of the trees within Hale Forest Park. The light faded away in a matter of seconds. An official investigation was conducted, but no explanation was found. Some believe there is a connection between The Light Beam Incident and The Wildwood Man, as they're both mysteries originating from Hale Forest Park.

Park ranger Timothy Brown who was in Ranger Station 2 that night was never seen again after the incident. The station has since been renamed to The Timothy Brown Ranger Station in his remembrance.

Before The Light Beam Incident, the general consensus of Burdale townsfolk was that the official story of what happened during The Conjure Quake Event was true, but after The Light Beam Incident a majority of Burdale residents began to believe the two events were connected, and that something extraterrestrial happened not only in the forest in 1914, but on that day at Witch's Landing in 1864 as well.

Essentially, The Light Beam Incident was the result of a second alien ship arriving to recover the original alien ship and body from Ängsstad in the Swedish timeline, effectively closing off Ängsstad from the interdimensional bridge that connects the three timelines/dimensions. In Ängsstad, the ship was stored in a facility within the forest whereas in the Burdale and the Swansong timelines, the ship and body were housed in a facility on Specter Ridge, and in a secret chamber underneath Wendego Wonderpark respectively. The parallel locations (Hale Forest Park in Burdale and Blackwood Forest in Swansong) have retained otherworldly qualities despite the removal of the Swedish timeline from the bridge.

The Hale Tribe is a tribe of natives who live deep in Hale Forest Park and beyond the park’s municipal boundaries. They avoid interacting with the town’s modern civilization. The Hale Tribe is just as enamored by the illusive Wildwood Man as the townsfolk are - to them, he is seen as a God.

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