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October 21, 2020

10/15/2020 12:50:00 PM
Iowa County area becomes place of strange happenings

This has been a rather strange week in Iowa County with the theft of a pet snake and strange sightings in the sky near the haunts of the Ridgeway Ghost.
The Iowa County Sheriff's Department was called to Edmund this past week to investigate a burglary that included the theft of a pet snake.
More specifically the perpetrator took a Bumblebee Ball Phython that spans a foot and a half to two feet.
Here are some facts about the ball pythons.
Ball pythons are the least likely snake to ever bite you, which is another reason they are so popular to keep as a pet.
If they are ever provoked to the point of lashing out, they actually only strike with a closed mouth. They are nonvenomous, and consequently have no fangs, so honestly, it wouldn't really do them much good to bite.
That being said, ball python snake bites are not unheard of. Just as a general rule, don't antagonize snakes. That's a pretty guaranteed way to avoid getting bitten by one. And if you do get bitten by a ball python, just wash the wound and watch for any abnormalities as it heals.
They hail from Africa, mostly from the countries of Togo, Benin, and Guana.
COOLEST PART: They were originally worn as jewelry by African royalty, which gave them their other name: royal pythons.
Because they were known for being so docile, they began to be exported to other countries to be kept as pets. Now, they are the most popular snake breed and continue to be bred in the United States and other countries. Africa still profits greatly from the ball python trade.
Because ball pythons are in such high demand, there is a huge market for snake breeders.
Ball pythons started getting popular in the 1980's and then hit the top of the charts at the end of the 1990's. In the beginning, many herpetologists who were just starting out would purchase ball pythons to learn about snakes and how to keep them, and then put them aside for "more exotic" breeds. Then, in the next decade, people realized you could breed ball pythons to make them more "exotic."
The Sheriff's Department asks that anyone with information about the theft to notify Deputy Ryan at 608-935-2331 who is investigating.
Now comes the "Ghost" or at least something that is in the sky over CTH BB, a known haunting place of the Ridgeway Ghost.
Editor Emeritus Jeanie Lewis describes the incident that she has been witnessing this way.
"Of late something strange is happening in Wakefield community. Clearly sighted overhead of the Wakefield Cheese Factory and edge of Thomas Quarry is something not explainable to all who have been question" Jeanie says.
"At first one just thinks it's a very bright star, but then upon taking a longer look it begins to move and at times one can see outlaying colors of lights as it goes from a basketball shape to when high in the sky right above the quarry it seems to be coming untangled. Sometimes it spews a line of something pinkish. Mostly it seems to just keep moving upward into the sky, until it no longer can be seen," Jeanie muses. For some reason it awakens Jeanie and Margaret Disrud each morning at 4 a.m.
When Glenn was first told, he said, "You better get new glasses." Her brother Doug Cowley, Arena, hung his head with a sad expression. "It was obvious he agreed with Glenn or worse." Only daughter Marie had a possible solution: "It's the Ridgeway Ghost mom."
Knowing she needed reliable witnesses, Jeanie told Kimberly Cleary (who got a picture of it) and Margaret Disrud just across the way from the Lewis' farm and whose home is on the edge of the quarry above it.
At first, everyone thought it was a comet as one was being talked about at the time.
"It appears about 3:30-4:00 a.m. every morning when there is a clear sky and it isn't raining," Margaret affirms.
Jeanie reminds: "You know the Ridgeway ghost had no problem changing into various forms."
She remembers Roy Farwell, a neighbor who lived where Folklore Village is now, had always said the Ridgeway Ghost had left the area to make flying saucers. Man has walked on the moon and came who knows?
Roy was smart about the ghost.
"Well, it might be a flying saucer," both Jeanie and Margaret agree, having watched it now for well over three months. Margaret hasn't told a soul, except for niece Jeanie, who hasn't mentioned it since.
Both agree it is hard to explain as it disappears high in the sky about daybreak.
County Rd BB has always been known as the "stomping grounds" of the Ridgeway Ghost. Years ago when the road changed from gravel to blacktop a friend of Ridgeway area Lorraine Yapp traveled the torn up road. Trying to avoid rocks and dodging potholes she drove slowly. Suddenly before her, something looking like a covered wagon with six small horses caught her attention.
"It came right out of the ground," she later related to Lorraine. "My hair was standing on end."
She explained: "While keeping an eye on it, I swerved to miss it and landed in a ditch. I was able to drive out and once back on the road I swiftly headed home. The next day I had a 'nobody will believe me feeling.' I went back that night armed with my camera." She shivered and walked away when Lorraine pressed for more details.
Lorraine didn't crack a smile and said, "I have no doubt in my mind Jeanie. It was the Ridgeway Ghost." She believed it was her husband Dew's grandfather who was shot by a person on horseback from outside an open window of his cabin.
"I think he came back to find out who had shot him," Lorraine said.
Now in the fall of 2020 once again there is plenty of commotion going on as County Rd BB which is now torn up to be resurfaced and the Thomas Quarry is the hot spot for gravel and sand.
"There is enough noise and dust to reach the heavens," notes Jeanie. "It might explain what the object in the sky is all about. Maybe the ghost has been alerted to the goings on along his old stomping grounds."
"Our friend" as Margaret calls it, said, "I sit on the edge of my bed and watch this object as it descends higher and higher in the sky at about a 90 degree angle. By daylight just a small sliver is left and then it completely disappears. It is really interesting."

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