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The Scariest Moment Of Your Life (Fortean Or Not)

Dick Turpin

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 28, 2018
Messages
1,038
I was chatting to a fellah (Rob) in the local pub yesterday lunchtime, and I can’t remember how the topic came up in conversation, but back in the 1980’s he told me he was walking his dog through woodland in Essex when he was approached by a man who pulled a knife and demanded his wallet.

He gave the wallet over, then the guy tried to punch Rob in the face with the knife but slipped and fell. Then he simply got up and ran off. No real harm done, as there was only a £5 note and a rail ticket in the wallet, but it terrified poor Rob.

That got me thinking what is the scariest moment of your life.

I know mine, but I'm unsure if I want to post it.
 
Had car crashes, domestic battering etc, but the worst scares I've had were to do with my children; illness, accidents and so on. Nothing is worse than losing a child.
 
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I was chatting to a fellah (Rob) in the local pub yesterday lunchtime, and I can’t remember how the topic came up in conversation, but back in the 1980’s he told me he was walking his dog through woodland in Essex when he was approached by a man who pulled a knife and demanded his wallet.

He gave the wallet over, then the guy tried to punch Rob in the face with the knife but slipped and fell. Then he simply got up and ran off. No real harm done, as there was only a £5 note and a rail ticket in the wallet, but it terrified poor Rob.

That got me thinking what is the scariest moment of your life.

I know mine, but I'm unsure if I want to post it.
Off the top of my head, this one Dick (it was edited by a mod for some reason and the original had many more likes, so I'm not sure what happened there);

https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/people-who-feel-wrong.39070/page-46#post-2142555
 
When I was a teen I was walking home with a chap from college after the movies.
He suddenly ran over to where some guys were trying to drag a girl into their car.
She promptly ran off and they got back in their car.
However at the next crossroad we had to stop for the red light and three tall well built chaps got out and grabbed my friend who was quite short. I glared at one and he turned away but I thought they were going to bash him so I ran onto the road and stopped a car.
Inside was a young chap with his mother and there was no way he was getting out so I was afraid of what would happen but luckily it was enough to spook them and they took off.
That was physical. I've written before about the psychic experience with my friend's friend because that really spooked me.
 
I'm having trouble thinking of what might be the moment I was most afraid. When I'm actually in danger I go into a "zone" and concentrate as I navigate through it, and afterwards, it's over so I just keep going. I can be really frightened of a bit of dust that moves unexpectedly though. I remind myself of a horse shying at a strange object.
 
In my past history there have been all kinds of severe weather storms, a strong tremor in Memphis since this city sits on the New Madrid fault, near misses car crashes, loss of blood platelets and bleeding out, but going with what escargot said I was really scared when my younger daughter had complications with her second pregnancy with unstable blood pressure.
 
As @IbisNibs has said, when I have been in accidents I haven't felt fear until sometimes afterwards as at the time of the accident I go into a 'zone' and focus on what is happening.

The one time my blood ran cold with fear was here:

https://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov...d/enjoying/national-park-woodlands/simonsbath

One of my all time favourite walks is from Simonsbath along the Barle valley and sometimes as far as Tarr Steps. You are mostly in the river valley and it is just so peaceful and unspoilt with red deer often to be seen on the hillsides. It must have been in the late 90s and I had been walking this route alone in the Autumn (after the clocks had gone back). After parking in Simonsbath, I had pushed my timings a bit and on my return the late afternoon light was fading as I entered these woods..

As I carefully navigated the footpath I looked up ahead through the beech trees and suddenly there in front of me in the trees was...

...a huge WITCH: pointed hat, black cloak, evil hooked nose, malevolent eyes - the lot...!!! o_O

I stopped dead in my tracks as my brain tried to process what I was seeing and I must have slightly moved my head because the pareidolia effect was broken in that instant and I realised it was a trick of the fading light against the trees. A wave of relief flooded through but in that moment I knew fear.
 
Not sure I can recall a time when I was really scared. Severely worried, yes, scared not so much I suppose.
  • I've had a knife or screwdriver held to my throat with threats to kill me, on more than one occasion.
  • On one occasion, a gang of youths turned up to menace me when I parked my car.
  • Asian youths made threats/swore at me in their language, made threats etc.
  • I became entangled with a woman who turned out to be a bit of a psycho and there were various situations where I felt threatened for my life. On one occasion, she punched me on the jaw, damaging one of my teeth. I did not do anything to deserve this, other than to be right about something. On another occasion, she held a knife to my throat. Life lesson learned: avoid crazy people when looking for friendship.
  • I was very ill (and could have died) in 2021. This may have been the most worrying time of my life.
These days, I avoid people and don't go out at night. Also, I don't live in a city. It's a much safer life now. If I could afford to build a bunker with a huge steel door, I would do so.
 
Not sure I can recall a time when I was really scared. Severely worried, yes, scared not so much I suppose.
  • I've had a knife or screwdriver held to my throat with threats to kill me, on more than one occasion.
  • On one occasion, a gang of youths turned up to menace me when I parked my car.
  • Asian youths made threats/swore at me in their language, made threats etc.
  • I became entangled with a woman who turned out to be a bit of a psycho and there were various situations where I felt threatened for my life. On one occasion, she punched me on the jaw, damaging one of my teeth. I did not do anything to deserve this, other than to be right about something. On another occasion, she held a knife to my throat. Life lesson learned: avoid crazy people when looking for friendship.
  • I was very ill (and could have died) in 2021. This may have been the most worrying time of my life.
These days, I avoid people and don't go out at night. Also, I don't live in a city. It's a much safer life now. If I could afford to build a bunker with a huge steel door, I would do so.
Your real scary life experiences pretty much mirror mine. Urban violence threats.

Other than those, I was once medicated up to the eyeballs on a hospital ward over 5 years ago. I even pm'd Frideswide live while this was happening but I was convinced that the ward had been invaded by a demon. Obviously it hadn't but I was hallucinating heavily, audio and visual. In my mind, a demon was in a bathroom, banging on a bathtub, cackling and singing and security guards were trying to corner it. The mattresses some of the patients were lying on were 'breathing' so the patients were going up and down.

I ended up phoning 999 and telling the police the ward was being attacked. A nurse overheard me and came to my bed to tell me off, noticed I was close to tears at this point .. the security guards just laughed it off, the nurse softened when I said "I've been hallucinating haven't I?" .. she offered me a strong sleeping pill and I said "Do you really think giving me more pills at the moment is a good idea!?" .. she did anyway though so I was obedient and took it.

Just before I fell asleep, I hallucinated that three black demons were stood around my bed. All of this was very vivid. I closed my eyes and said the Lord's Prayer out loud, opened my eyes and they were gone. Then I fell asleep. The staff let me rest past the usual early wake up time. That wasn't fun.

I've stopped two kids suicide jumping off roofs .. not full on Hollywood Mel Gibson Lethal Weapon style but I did climb up there to talk them down gently. Both of those were work related.

Various work related shouts as a duty first aider. I've stopped doing that officially now because company's always want you to sign something. If I had to that again? .. I'll do that but without some insurance clause only built to protect a company that I'd have to sign. The last place didn't even want to pay us anything extra!! ...
 
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Perhaps it's my ADHD but I don't like to write down scary things that have happened to me, in case it makes me relive them or causes them to happen again. I do seem to have an odd habit of 'predicting' things in my writing, so it feels a little to me as though putting things down in words somehow calls them into being.
 
Perhaps it's my ADHD but I don't like to write down scary things that have happened to me, in case it makes me relive them or causes them to happen again. I do seem to have an odd habit of 'predicting' things in my writing, so it feels a little to me as though putting things down in words somehow calls them into being.

ADHD and autism - fellow travellers where folks often don't create a "distance of time" effect, blunting memories. Especially the bad stuff. In many cases we get flashbacks in the clinicals ense, rather than memories in the usual sense. :oldm:

PS also true for some people with some mental health issues.
 
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ADHD and autism - fellow travellers where folks often don't create a "distance of time" effect, blunting memories. Especially the bad stuff. In many cases we get flashbacks in the clinical s ense, rather than memories in the usual sense. :oldm:

PS also true for some people with some mental health issues.
Hello. :)

Not sure if it's the same for other autists, but I've long felt that words have an especial power; and so - perhaps as catseye implies - writing such reminders down would feel rather like I'd be tempting fate.
 
Hello. :)

Not sure if it's the same for other autists, but I've long felt that words have an especial power; and so - perhaps as catseye implies - writing such reminders down would feel rather like I'd be tempting fate.

*nodding* that three of us at least then! :twothumbs:

Edit to add: that's a convoy! or a quorum! or nearly a research sample!
 
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Hello. :)

Not sure if it's the same for other autists, but I've long felt that words have an especial power; and so - perhaps as catseye implies - writing such reminders down would feel rather like I'd be tempting fate.
I have had the weird problem of some of the things I've written (in actual books, so properly recorded) as fiction, actually happening in real life after the event. Not so much in a 'precognition' way, more in a 'forecasting human behaviour' way. It makes me cautious of writing about some things, just in case...
 
I have had the weird problem of some of the things I've written (in actual books, so properly recorded) as fiction, actually happening in real life after the event. Not so much in a 'precognition' way, more in a 'forecasting human behaviour' way. It makes me cautious of writing about some things, just in case...
Please write an anti-apocalyptic tale then, one where the planet's climate turns out okay and the desertification is reversed, drowned islands re-emerge from the seas, and forests and rivers come back. Oh, and people calm down and like each other for awhile instead of waging war.
 
Apparently, the scariest moment of my life happened during my early childhood. I had recurrent traumatic dreams. I would suddenly start yelling something sounding like "Balloon ! Balloon !" in my bed, obviously fearing something that was attacking at my feet. It all started after watching Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" movie, so my parents assumed that I was afraid of the Cheshire cat's mighty teeth !

I cannot figure out any scarier moments in my adult life ... apart perhaps from the day where I found myself standing just next to the girl I admired, in my company's restaurant. At that time I was so young and shy, I almost fainted ! Most ridiculous ... I had to flee immediately after getting my lunch tray. It was a true feeling of panic, brought about by something absolutely trivial.

On the other hand, I once capsized while kayaking near Arisaig, in Scotland. My mother had often told me how one of her distant relative had died from a similar kayaking accident. So when I got underwater, seeing the world the other way round, Isuddenly reminded the horrendous death of my relative. I found it so revolting, so unsufferable, to meet the very same fate, that I immediately thought "I MUST act to avoid this end". Hopefully, modern kayaks are much less dangerous than those of the 1950s, I guess, so I easily got free from my boat and got back to the surface. I wouldn't say it was a "scary" experience but I found it "interesting" nonetheless. This calm but determined refusal to drown was as unexpected as the accident itself. Needless to say, I spent the few next hours freezing to death on the scottish loch, as I my clothes were soaking wet and Scotland is not (yet) the Caribbean ... Lucky me !
 
Not sure I can recall a time when I was really scared. Severely worried, yes, scared not so much I suppose.
  • I've had a knife or screwdriver held to my throat with threats to kill me, on more than one occasion.
  • On one occasion, a gang of youths turned up to menace me when I parked my car.
  • Asian youths made threats/swore at me in their language, made threats etc.
  • I became entangled with a woman who turned out to be a bit of a psycho and there were various situations where I felt threatened for my life. On one occasion, she punched me on the jaw, damaging one of my teeth. I did not do anything to deserve this, other than to be right about something. On another occasion, she held a knife to my throat. Life lesson learned: avoid crazy people when looking for friendship.
  • I was very ill (and could have died) in 2021. This may have been the most worrying time of my life.
Note to self;
Avoid associating with Mytho.
 
My scariest non-Fortean ‘moment’ actually lasted a couple of days.

In 2009 I was living with the family in a very nice rural property north of Melbourne. 2009 had been a very dry year, a full on drought, in fact, and conditions early in February meant that severe bushfires were expected.

Well, the Kilmore East fire started just to the west of our place. You can read about the Black Saturday fires on Wikipedia. They call the Kilmore East fire ‘a bushfire that became the deadliest and most intense firestorm ever recorded in Australia.’

We lived in a property on a ridge with a nice view to the north over a valley. As soon as the fire started, a great plume of roiling black smoke started blowing across the hills opposite.

It was an amazing sight. This great churning black cloud shot through with little orange flames rolling over the landscape. The bit that really hit me was how embers were dropping from the cloud onto the dry forest beneath, and everywhere those embers hit, new fires would explode on the ground. The cloud was carpet bombing the landscape.

We did wonder if the fires might just miss us, but then the wind changed and it was headed our way. Right. Out with the hoses, fill the buckets, spray everything round the house.

The rest of the day was just completely surreal. When the fire front arrived we hid in the house. You do that because, in a nutshell, if you stay outside you die. The radiant heat is unbelievable. A couple of people in our area died because they tried to fight the fires as they arrived. After the fires I discovered a couple of bottles on the ground that had melted into vaguely bottle-shaped flat lumps. You can’t expose yourself to that kind of heat. The conventional wisdom is that it is safer to shelter even in a burning house than to face the fire front.

And after that, the rest of the day was spent running around putting out spot fires near the house. All through the forest we could hear trees crashing down as they burned, there was smoke everywhere, and we were throwing buckets of water at one another to cool down.

I was just emotionally numb. It was pure survival mode. At one point I remember a row of pine trees on the slope behind the house finally caught. They were close enough together that the flames from the first ignited the second, and so on up the line. Voomph, voomph, voomph.

I just watched, feeling nothing. Fifty yards from the house? Too far away to be an immediate threat. Fighting that was not a priority. Spot fires at the base of the walls of the house were a priority.

After nightfall we found an old battery radio – the power was out, of course, because the power poles had all burned down – and we listened to the news. Unbelievable. A whole town wiped off the map. Unknown numbers dead. (the final official count was 173.)

I tried to sleep but I kept waking up in a minor panic with visions of being surrounded by flames. That was almost convenient, in a way, because every time I did wake up I could do a ‘perimeter check’ as I called it, and put out a few more lingering spot fires.

Well, in the end, we survived, the house and dogs survived. We lost the cat, all the fences, and a couple of outhouses. A few days later I wondered why my good work boots were feeling strange to walk on. The soles had basically melted off from walking on hot ash.

That was my scariest day.

It occurs to me that I’ve also had one paradoxically scary Fortean event. I call it paradoxical because it really should not have scared me, but for some reason I reacted with pure panic. Anyway, that’s for another thread, I think.
 
My scariest non-Fortean ‘moment’ actually lasted a couple of days.

In 2009 I was living with the family in a very nice rural property north of Melbourne. 2009 had been a very dry year, a full on drought, in fact, and conditions early in February meant that severe bushfires were expected.

Well, the Kilmore East fire started just to the west of our place. You can read about the Black Saturday fires on Wikipedia. They call the Kilmore East fire ‘a bushfire that became the deadliest and most intense firestorm ever recorded in Australia.’

We lived in a property on a ridge with a nice view to the north over a valley. As soon as the fire started, a great plume of roiling black smoke started blowing across the hills opposite.

It was an amazing sight. This great churning black cloud shot through with little orange flames rolling over the landscape. The bit that really hit me was how embers were dropping from the cloud onto the dry forest beneath, and everywhere those embers hit, new fires would explode on the ground. The cloud was carpet bombing the landscape.

We did wonder if the fires might just miss us, but then the wind changed and it was headed our way. Right. Out with the hoses, fill the buckets, spray everything round the house.

The rest of the day was just completely surreal. When the fire front arrived we hid in the house. You do that because, in a nutshell, if you stay outside you die. The radiant heat is unbelievable. A couple of people in our area died because they tried to fight the fires as they arrived. After the fires I discovered a couple of bottles on the ground that had melted into vaguely bottle-shaped flat lumps. You can’t expose yourself to that kind of heat. The conventional wisdom is that it is safer to shelter even in a burning house than to face the fire front.

And after that, the rest of the day was spent running around putting out spot fires near the house. All through the forest we could hear trees crashing down as they burned, there was smoke everywhere, and we were throwing buckets of water at one another to cool down.

I was just emotionally numb. It was pure survival mode. At one point I remember a row of pine trees on the slope behind the house finally caught. They were close enough together that the flames from the first ignited the second, and so on up the line. Voomph, voomph, voomph.

I just watched, feeling nothing. Fifty yards from the house? Too far away to be an immediate threat. Fighting that was not a priority. Spot fires at the base of the walls of the house were a priority.

After nightfall we found an old battery radio – the power was out, of course, because the power poles had all burned down – and we listened to the news. Unbelievable. A whole town wiped off the map. Unknown numbers dead. (the final official count was 173.)

I tried to sleep but I kept waking up in a minor panic with visions of being surrounded by flames. That was almost convenient, in a way, because every time I did wake up I could do a ‘perimeter check’ as I called it, and put out a few more lingering spot fires.

Well, in the end, we survived, the house and dogs survived. We lost the cat, all the fences, and a couple of outhouses. A few days later I wondered why my good work boots were feeling strange to walk on. The soles had basically melted off from walking on hot ash.

That was my scariest day.

It occurs to me that I’ve also had one paradoxically scary Fortean event. I call it paradoxical because it really should not have scared me, but for some reason I reacted with pure panic. Anyway, that’s for another thread, I think.
Fucking hell .. that's intense :oops:
 
If a picture is worth a thousand words, this will save me from having to write another 3000 words!

- The valley in happier days
- After the fires
- Everything inside the house ended up covered in fine ash. This is how you could run a finger through it.

before.jpg

after.jpg


ash.jpg
 
Two stories...

May 1998 in Corfu. Myself, friend and his girlfriend hired a motor boat in Agios Stefanos in the north east of the island. We had booked for an hour, so decided that if we travel for 20 mins in one direction around the coast, then turn around to make our way back it would give us a few minutes to muck around in the harbour.

15 minutes into our journey the engine cuts out and we can't get it to start again. We had plenty of fuel, so it wasn't that. Life jackets were put on at this point. We noticed that we were floating towards some rocks, so got out the paddles and managed to push ourselves away. We paddled a bit further away and tried to start the engine again. No luck.

When we paddled further out we didn't realise we had entered another current. Next thing we knew we were floating into the shipping lanes. At this point we started to panic. Luckily, the boat had an emergency kit that contained a flare. My friend set off the flare and a passing powerboat stopped to help. They tried to start the engine for us, to no avail. We told them were we had sailed from, to be told that we had travelled a lot further than the 20 mins sailing south we thought. They tied a rope to the front of our boat and towed us back to Agios Stefanos. The relief when we docked was immense. I was plagued with What If's for months afterwards.

On the way back, we were going so fast that a hatch on the front of the boat came loose, got caught in the wind and smashed my friends girlfriend in the face. I'm convinced if she hadn't had sun glasses on she would have been blinded. Her resulting black eye meant she had to wear sunglasses wherever she went; My friend getting dirty looks as people assumed he had hit her.

However, the sound of Sue shouting "Oy Dickhead, why did you give us a shit boat" to the rental guy, still raises a smile. I thought he was a dead man!


Second story involves my eldest going missing. We were in Florida for holiday in 2017. My eldest would have been about 5 1/2 at the time.
We were visiting Disney Springs for the evening and decide to take a trip on the Amphicars around the lake. My youngest needed the loo so my wife said she would take him whilst I went to get the tickets for the Amphicars.

This is where it all fell apart. I thought that my wife had taken both kids with her to the loo, and she thought that I had taken the eldest with me to get the tickets.

I came out of the shop and waited for my wife to come back from the loo. When she returned we both started to ask where the eldest was! He was nowhere in sight. My wife stayed where we were near the Amphicars whilst I went to look for him. I couldn't find him, so decided the best course of action was to go to security and report him missing whilst my wife stayed in the same vicinity just in case he came back.

Security were fantastic and really helped put my mind at rest. They said that in most cases missing kids turn up between 10 and 15 minutes of being reported missing. After about 12 minutes of my heart beating out of my chest, the eldest wandered in holding the hand of a security guard with a big smile on his face. "I've met a police-man, he's my friend" were his words to me. I promptly filled in some paperwork and took him back to a very relieved mum.

I learned quite a bit about how they deal with missing children at Disney on that day. Whilst they have CCTV all around Disney Springs and the parks, they don't rely on it for missing kids. The CCTV is monitored offsite, so it takes too long to get them involved in immediate searches. What they do is put out a bulletin over the radio to all cast members giving a description of the missing child. The cast members are then tasked with looking for the missing child. This is how our eldest was found. He had decided that he had enough of watching the Amphicars and as me and my wife were going to do our tasks, he had just wandered off. Both of us thinking he had gone with the other parent. He had actually not gone that far, but due to how busy it was there is no way I was going to be able to see him. Fortunately, he had wandered into a shop and had a distinctive T-shirt on. When the alert went over the radio, a cast member spotted him immediately and called over security.


Again, the What-ifs plagued me for months.
 
Two stories...

May 1998 in Corfu. Myself, friend and his girlfriend hired a motor boat in Agios Stefanos in the north east of the island. We had booked for an hour, so decided that if we travel for 20 mins in one direction around the coast, then turn around to make our way back it would give us a few minutes to muck around in the harbour.

15 minutes into our journey the engine cuts out and we can't get it to start again. We had plenty of fuel, so it wasn't that. Life jackets were put on at this point. We noticed that we were floating towards some rocks, so got out the paddles and managed to push ourselves away. We paddled a bit further away and tried to start the engine again. No luck.

When we paddled further out we didn't realise we had entered another current. Next thing we knew we were floating into the shipping lanes. At this point we started to panic. Luckily, the boat had an emergency kit that contained a flare. My friend set off the flare and a passing powerboat stopped to help. They tried to start the engine for us, to no avail. We told them were we had sailed from, to be told that we had travelled a lot further than the 20 mins sailing south we thought. They tied a rope to the front of our boat and towed us back to Agios Stefanos. The relief when we docked was immense. I was plagued with What If's for months afterwards.

On the way back, we were going so fast that a hatch on the front of the boat came loose, got caught in the wind and smashed my friends girlfriend in the face. I'm convinced if she hadn't had sun glasses on she would have been blinded. Her resulting black eye meant she had to wear sunglasses wherever she went; My friend getting dirty looks as people assumed he had hit her.

However, the sound of Sue shouting "Oy Dickhead, why did you give us a shit boat" to the rental guy, still raises a smile. I thought he was a dead man!


Second story involves my eldest going missing. We were in Florida for holiday in 2017. My eldest would have been about 5 1/2 at the time.
We were visiting Disney Springs for the evening and decide to take a trip on the Amphicars around the lake. My youngest needed the loo so my wife said she would take him whilst I went to get the tickets for the Amphicars.

This is where it all fell apart. I thought that my wife had taken both kids with her to the loo, and she thought that I had taken the eldest with me to get the tickets.

I came out of the shop and waited for my wife to come back from the loo. When she returned we both started to ask where the eldest was! He was nowhere in sight. My wife stayed where we were near the Amphicars whilst I went to look for him. I couldn't find him, so decided the best course of action was to go to security and report him missing whilst my wife stayed in the same vicinity just in case he came back.

Security were fantastic and really helped put my mind at rest. They said that in most cases missing kids turn up between 10 and 15 minutes of being reported missing. After about 12 minutes of my heart beating out of my chest, the eldest wandered in holding the hand of a security guard with a big smile on his face. "I've met a police-man, he's my friend" were his words to me. I promptly filled in some paperwork and took him back to a very relieved mum.

I learned quite a bit about how they deal with missing children at Disney on that day. Whilst they have CCTV all around Disney Springs and the parks, they don't rely on it for missing kids. The CCTV is monitored offsite, so it takes too long to get them involved in immediate searches. What they do is put out a bulletin over the radio to all cast members giving a description of the missing child. The cast members are then tasked with looking for the missing child. This is how our eldest was found. He had decided that he had enough of watching the Amphicars and as me and my wife were going to do our tasks, he had just wandered off. Both of us thinking he had gone with the other parent. He had actually not gone that far, but due to how busy it was there is no way I was going to be able to see him. Fortunately, he had wandered into a shop and had a distinctive T-shirt on. When the alert went over the radio, a cast member spotted him immediately and called over security.


Again, the What-ifs plagued me for months.
Meeting an American cop at the age of 5 would have been the best thing ever for me!
 
Way past midnight 35 years ago I was facing-down a crowd of unknown intent. I'd picked up a 3 foot scaffold pole to guard the entrance to a Staff and Family campsite when I heard them coming, then dropped it as too provocative. Came down to a scary who-blinks-first situation with 100 of them and one of me. Arms folded, wearing a small laminated badge and the look on my face that said 'I hadn't slept in 2 days, had a dump in 3 days and have no time for you children !! ' was a surprisingly effective deterrent.
 
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