(We received this email from a man who described himself as an “oilworker”. We were unable to verify the details. Presented below, just like we got it.)
I work on pumpjacks in Texas, in Zapata country. There arent many people around here. It’s a lot of desert and a lot of worthless waste land. I do reconditioning and maintanance on these pumps all over Texas, some of them are 50 years old and still pumping oil.
Since almost no one is in Zapata, especially out by the pumps, the ground around the platform looks like the floor of a busy garage that hasn’t ever been cleaned. There’s lots of old crap around and lots of grey and black spots on the ground where oil has spilled for decades. It looks pretty messy. Ida sent a picture but I can’t take photographs as per my contract wtih the co.
It was early morning and I came up to the pumpjack on my list around sunrise. Something moved around the other side of the wired-in base and I just thought it was a coyote. They are all over.
I got my tools out, found the grease fittings and all the stuff on the rig that I had to work on, and started my job. In a couple hours i took a break and went to my truck to get my coffee thermos.
Something had broken into my truck. Now it wasn’t locked up or anything, I don’t bother with that when i’m in the middel of fu**ing nowhwere, so it didn’t anything but lifting the door handle and getting inside.
The glove compartment was open and my lunch, a ham sandwich, was eaten up. Mayonase and lettuce were on the seat and the floor, and it looked like they took off the tomato and threw it on the ground.
what the fu** ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????
There wasn’t nothing around for miles except for that pumpjack. No rocks nothin, not trees, not even a bush big enough to squat behind. The only place anything could hide had to be right the fu** under that fu**ing pumpjack, under the wooden base.
(editors note: you can see the parts of a pumpjack here.)
That base was made of old grey wooden 12-inch wide wooden planks. most of that wood was all cracked and some of it was shattered and busted through so you could see a dark black space underneath. I was working on tht deck all morning, on a ladder set up so i could reach the bearings.
There wasn’t nothing in the truck. Whatever ate my sandwich had to be in under that pumpjack platform or under my truck.
Now there aint no coyote that opens car doors. I figured it was a wetback, and he had to be one poor mother fu**er to be lost all the way out here. If you could see that land you’d wonder too about any poor person who was trapped out there. so I started calling out HEY! COME OUT!! I won’t hurt you. And stuff like that.
Nothing came out. No one said a word.
Ever see that movie HILLS HAVE EYES? I kept thinking about it a lot now.
I stepped out and stepped way far out from my truck and looked under it first to make sure it wasn’t under there. Then I got my gun out of the back of the seat and thought if it was a person who ate my sandwich then why didn’t they take the gun? Maybe they didn’t have time to find it i thought.
I sat in my truck staring at that pumpjack and sweating. I couldn’t leave because i still had a lot of work to do. I was too far out for my radio to work and there still isn’t any cell phone in that part of the county. My toolbox,and my ladder, were on top of the old, wood deck where i left them. Then it downed on me. I must have left the truck door cracked open and a coyote came along and sniffed his way inside. I know their smart. I never heard one doing something like that but it made sense, and I heard somewhere that coyotes don’t like tomatos so it kind of all made sense. I started feeling a lot better.
I coldn’t see under the platform, it was too dark, but I coldnt seea any track anywhere near it either. I just thought hte coyote took off, ran away so fast he was out of sight by the time I saw anything wrong.
I went to the little section of stairs that go up the side of the pumps platform. The hair on my arms was standing up but I told mystelfi was being stupid and went up on the platform. I kept looking down at the cracks bewtteen the boards. It was just black down there.. Then I remembered a funny smell I had been smeling all morning. I thought it was just my imagination but it seemed stronger.
I am not a pussy … I spent time in the marines … but there was something about that smell, and the tomatos laying in the dirt, that had me thinking wierd thoughts again and my arm hairs were telling me something srange.
I had this short little ladder set up on the base so i could reach the crank pin bearing. It was only about 3’ high but I found I felt a lot better on top of it. I could see through cracks in the base under me. It was too dark to see anything but around the edges light was coming in and i could see the inner sides of the base and the support pieces a little. The rig was shut down so I could work on it.
The sun was shining straight down into the cracks in the boards and between them and I kept one eye on the closest crak while I greased the bearing, then moved the ladder to the other side and did the other one. I stayed away from those cracks while I was moving stuff. They weren’t big, you might be able to reach through one of them if you tried. You bet I kept an eye on those ones.
There’s another reason I felt safer on the base. There’s a wire screen fence going around it, that was meant to keep animals out or they’d get caught in the turning mechanism and killed. I really came to like that fence.
I finished the job and packed my tools. I knew I’d have to do at least two trips to my truck in order to load it all. Man i tried to figure out a way to do it in one but there was just too much stuff. I’d get fired if I left it out there overnight. It was almost worth it just to get out of there.
I unlatched the little door on the protective fence and went down the three steps that led up to the wooden platform, and jumped off the last step I think, because there was this space under the stairs that didn’t have anything behind it. It was dark under those stairs and i knew tha unless htis was a wierd design that I could crawl through those space s and reach the parts under teh base. Thats how they design that thing, so you could get in there.
Part of the regular maintenance is to go under the base and report what you see. It’s always the same. Buncha spiderse, maybe some dead animals, and a bunch of leaking oil soaking into the ground. Sometimes in Texas you’d get a coyote or a wildcat, so were where supposed to be watching out for that.
I walked back to the little stairs and up I went, unlatched the metal fence, went inside and grabbed my stuff. As I picked up my last toolbox I heard this sound. I dropped my box and jumped, slamming my elbow into the counterwieght. It hurt like the devil, right on the funny bone. This all made a hell of a racket. Then I noticed I dropped my cigarette pack. It was sitting on the boards.
I felt like an idiot. So there was a coyote under the platfoorm Woop de do i thought. I reached down to grab my cigarettes and a little hairy hand with crinkly, blackish fingers came out of the closest crack and felt around for a second then darted back. There was some kind of hairy skin flap attached to it along the back, like a glove or something hanging off, folded back. I’m not sure how to describe it. Like a sleeve or something, with the fingers coming out of part of it, the rest folded back, still under the base. I didn’t stay to see any more.
I climbed up the fence on the opposite side as where the stairs were and jumped off, trying to get as much distance as I could from the rig, and scrambled to my truck. I said fuck the tools and drove off as fast as I could. I never sweat so much in my life and it wasn’t because it was hot. Down the road I stopped to throw up in the ditch. Never said a word, bought new tools.
That’s my story. You can believe it or not. I’m not gonna leave my name and if anyone ever asks I don’t know anything about this..