When Jim Olsen set up his trail camera on Sept. 20 he was hoping he might see a mountain lion, or a grizzly bear. But when he flipped through the photos the next day, he saw something he couldn’t explain.
The trail camera, which senses motion, was especially active on this windy night, because it was picking off the motion from the long grass blowing.
“So the camera was picking up on it, and took 1,000 pictures of nothing,” said Olsen. When he saw that the memory card was full, he gave it to his son to look through the pictures on the computer.
“When it came to that photo, he said ‘oh look, there’s a rod.’ I’ve seen them on TV before… So I knew that these things did exist somewhere.”
Rods are an unexplained phenomenon that have garnered several theories around the world. Some say they are an alien life form, some say they are a native species to earth that has not been discovered yet, while others say it can be explained by an optical illusion that is caused by the camera.
Olsen doesn’t know what his camera picked up on that night, but is eager to learn more about these rod-like things moving around the Columbia Valley.
“What I’d like to know is, where do they hang out during the day? Because nobody sees them during the daytime. They travel at something like 300 km an hour, they’ve been clocked at 300 km an hour. They’re intelligent, because they will go around stuff. But what does it eat? What energy source does it have to move about? When you look at it, it looks like it belongs in the water,” he said.
His camera has spent many more nights outside since the occurrence, but hasn’t found anything else. And Olsen cut the grass after that first night, so it isn’t shooting at the same rate as it had.
“It probably got that by mistake, because it was taking pictures of the grass movement.”
Even though he doesn’t have an explanation, Olsen has enjoyed showing friends and family the pictures, and listening to their theories.
“All I know is, within a month or so, when you see one it will be wearing a fur coat.”