I must set forth three caveats right away.
One: This is essentially a story about someone who died. He had a family. He had people who loved him…still love him. Regardless of the cause, this event is a tragedy. I want to take this opportunity to offer my condolences to the family of Todd Sees and I hope that they are now getting on with their lives as best as they can under the circumstances.
Two: The story is twisty and convoluted. Many sources appear to conflict and contradict. Therefore, I’ll be sticking mostly with accounts posted by Peter Davenport of the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) as his work on the case seems the most solid thus far. In addition to this, I will be taking information from Phantoms and Monsters, a very fine paranormal blog.
Three: Much of this will likely prompt the skeptical to say, “How do they know that?” Good. You should say that for much of this is based on someone’s…and in a few instances, anonymous “someones”…testimony. A great many of the solid facts in this case are yet to emerge.
This all happened back in August of 2002, near the town of Northumberland, Pennsylvania. A man named Todd Sees went into the countryside on his 4-wheel ATV to hunt deer. This was at five in the morning. As afternoon wore on, Sees still had not come home. Worried family members contacted the authorities. A search commenced consisting of police, paramedics, and “200 volunteers.”
The 4-wheeler was found but there was no sign of Sees. Search and rescue dogs were unable to get any scent. The search went on over a wide area for nearly two days. Midway through the second day, a searcher caught sight of “something white” in the thickets of brush near a pond. Rescue workers spent 20 minutes hacking and cutting through the brush and small trees to reach the object.
As you might sadly guess, the object was the body of Todd Sees. He was pale, emaciated, and dressed only in his underwear. A look of terror was said to be on his face. Todd’s clothes were nowhere to be found. Only in later weeks would someone find one of his boots in the top branches of a tree.
While all of this is sufficiently horrible on its own, reports from other residents of the area bring in a strange dimension. A UFO was sighted in the same vicinity where Sees was last known to be alive. The UFO was described as a large, bright, round object that fired a beam of light down to the ground. Something was then drawn up inside the beam and then into the UFO. The craft then shot up and out of the sky, all while making no noise at all.
Enter Peter Davenport of NUFORC. Davenport had been aware of the sightings due to a report filed with his site. This was before he knew anything about the death of Todd Sees. He only became aware of after friends of Todd Sees contacted NUFORC, bemoaning that the organization was neglecting this important case. Davenport contacted the Northumberland Police and the local newspaper, The Daily Item.
Both agencies confirmed that Todd Sees had indeed died as well as the conditions in which he was found. The police would not discuss anything further with the case as it was still classified as an “ongoing investigation” of an “unexplained death.”
Additional reports asserted that the FBI became involved in the matter, essentially taking control of the investigation. They conducted interviews and even asked questions regarding UFOs. Military helicopters flew over the area on a daily basis. How do we know any of this? Someone’s anonymous testimony to the NUFORC. Unfortunately, that’s it.
While the more fantastical aspects of the case will need more weight behind them to be truly taken seriously, Mr. Davenport does see several red flags. I offer those points now while interspersing my own questions.
-If the case is considered an “unexplained death” and not a “homicide,” why were police unable to comment on it?
-The county coroner would not allow the Sees family to view Todd’s remains as it would have been “very traumatic for them.” Understandable. Yet I know from having spoken with coroners that in a situation like this, they will if possible, ask a more distant family member such as an uncle or somesuch and not a parent, child, or spouse to make the official ID, thus sparing the immediate family of pain and horrid memories. Regardless, someone needs to make an ID, especially if the man’s clothes weren’t found and thus a driver’s license couldn’t be used. But identification must be made. I don’t know if it’s the law in Pennsylvania, but that’s how it works here in Illinois. Furthermore, officials insisted that the funeral for Todd Sees be a closed casket one. Exactly who made the positive ID on the body and how?
-Bodies in the process of decay bloat. They do not shrink or shrivel. What accounts for the “emaciated” form? How could a body become too decayed to be viewed only 39 hours after death? And how does this happen to a man who had otherwise been fit and healthy?
-Why were the dogs unable to get a scent? I know from working with police that these dogs are highly trained and being canines, they have an astounding sense of smell. Yet supposedly they were unable to locate a “badly decayed” corpse.
-If the unsubstantiated reports of an FBI presence are true, then what were they doing? This isn’t The X-Files and the FBI typically doesn’t get involved a case such as this one.
An eventual report from the coroner was printed in The Daily Item. It listed the cause of Todd Sees’ death as “cocaine toxicity.” An “accidental death.” Thus far, I cannot find anything else about this statement, such as if the family has confirmed that Todd ever had a history of drug use. This absence of information and the story’s lack of exposure in the media lead several to make that old standby of allegations, “conspiracy.” True to that form, Pennsylvania officials have called any UFO involvement in this case to be “ridiculous.”
While the alien aspects of this case are shaky, there have been reports of so-called “human mutilations” in other parts of the world. Just like cattle mutilations, naked humans have been found dead with parts of their bodies removed bloodlessly. Often times, UFO sightings coincide with the timeframe of the body’s discovery. A quick scan of a message board for alien abductees shows that at least a few of them maintain that aliens can and do kill occasionally during abductions. While I do not wish to call these people’s honesty into question, I need to still classify such assertions as conjecture.
What happened to Todd Sees? Was it drug use? Was it abduction by aliens? Was it something else we've yet to consider?
His family deserves answer.
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