Running In Circles
Tuesday, January 6th
Wind blasted rain into my face and tore at my clothes as I set out on an easy four-mile jog along the Green River. Keeping the bill of my hat low to keep the rain from my eyes, I couldn't see much further the tips of my feet. Along the way, though, something caught at my peripheral vision, something white and glistening. I took a more focused glance and saw two large bones. Long and straight, they rested in the grass just a few feet from the asphalt. It looked for all the world like what was left of a person's leg.
I jogged on, hoping that I'd seen the remains of an animal. But the bones seemed too big to be a dog, or even a deer. I decided I would take a closer look when I passed them on my return. If I could determine they were animal bones, I wouldn't worry about it anymore. If I couldn't, I would call the police.
So, on the way back, I stopped and studied them carefully. They laid end to end, perfectly parallel to the road. Their tips touched, but I didn't see any tendons joining them. They were completely bare, no meat at all. One bone looked like a femur, and the knob at the end had a pinkish hue. The other bone was split, like one would expect from a tibia and fibula. At the "ankle" end of the bone was a weird notch that looked too regularly shaped to be natural. I didn't see anything that looked like a foot or a hoof.
The bones looked too thick to be human—but what did I know? My only experience with human bones was the anatomy skeleton tucked into the corner of my high school science lab. And it wouldn't have been the first time that human remains had been found along this stretch of road. (Yes, it was THAT Green River.)
When I got back to my car, I called 911. I decided that even if they weren't human bones, they should probably be removed. I gave the details to the dispatcher and did my best to describe where I'd found the bones. They didn't ask me to stick around, so I drove home.
Just as I pulled into my garage, the police called. The officer was having trouble finding the bones and wanted more details. I described some landmarks and hoped the bones were still there; I didn't want to be seen as some kind of crackpot. He called back again a few minutes later and asked me if I could come down and show him where to look, as he still couldn't find them. Saying I would, I headed back out, still dripping wet from running in the rain. I was about two minutes into my drive when he called for the third time to say he'd finally located the bones.
"Yeah, they're pretty big," he said. "I don't know if they're cattle bones, or what. I'm going to have to call my sergeant. He'll probably send out a medical examiner. You know, someone who can tell what he's looking at in about thirty seconds. I can let you know what they find out, if you want."
"I'd appreciate that," I said. "I'm kind of curious."
He took a few more details from me, including my birth date. He noted that I was "barely" older than him, which I found a little depressing. I don't feel mature enough to be older than a cop.
A few hours later he called back. "They're horse bones," he said.
"Horse bones," I said. "Weird."
"Yeah, it is weird. Well, it's out of my hands from this point. I don't think we need anything else from you, though, so I guess that's it."
I thanked him for letting me know. It's doubtful that I'll ever get any follow-up on this, which is a shame, because I'd really like to know how those bones got there. I think someone was perpetrating a hoax. The bones were big, easy to spot, resembled human leg bones, and seemed purposefully arranged—not mention their conspicuous proximity to an infamous river. But, I guess I'll never know.