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August 6, 2021 30 mins

Jeremy and Vipin, his TA, investigate the location where Thomas' badge was found but discover something else entirely.

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Bridgewater is a production of iHeart Radio three D Audio
and Grimm and Mild from Aaronmankey Headphones recommended for a
full exposure Listen with headphones. Listener discretion advised. Dad at

(01:02):
why ya h oh m hmm yeah, good morning, Professor,

(01:33):
morning um, Professor Bradshaw. Did you sleep here? M hm no,
uh no, No. I got here a few hours ago
and I couldn't sleep, and I was just I was
just trying to get some work done. And I guess
my own writing was that thing that finally put me
to sleep. Okay, I have to ask, are you okay? Yeah,

(01:56):
I'm fine. It's just um having a dream I got.
I got lost in Freetown forest once. Am I supposed
to know what that means? No, I just I forgot.
But when I was a little boy, my dad and
I went hiking in the woods, and I guess hiking
is probably a strong word. We went, We went for walks,
We went for walks all the time. He just loved

(02:18):
that forest. And there was this one time when I
guess I saw something and wandered off, and then when
I turned around, I had lost him. Except that was
broad daylight. It wasn't night. Right, Well, that's good. Right,
I'm sure it was easier to find you. No, no, no, no,

(02:38):
that's not that's not what I'm talking about. It just
I'm sorry. I just woke up from a dream just
now about that day, except it was pitch black and
there was something, there was something behind me. Just feeling
a little um, feeling unsettled. I guess it's all of
the old memories being dredged up. Well, I can say

(03:00):
this from personal experience that I doubt falling asleep on
your desk helps much with feeling settled. Yeah, you are
probably right. What are you? What are you doing here
so early? Well? I am glad you asked, because I
went down a bit of a rabbit hole last night.
But it was so fun I can see that. Wow.
Is this all about Anne Becker? Yep, the one and

(03:22):
only Anne Becker. Oh hipp And why because I don't
think she's crazy? Okay, okay, just hear me out. She
has closed more disappearance cases, hikers, kids, even a missing
dog once than anyone else in this entire county. I
found local news clippings, public records, some news segments from
the early nineties. I mean, this lady, she is a

(03:45):
hero to a lot of people, and then the freaking
force they just edged her out. I just think when
you meet her, you should go in with an open mind. Oh,
vipp and I already met her. What Yeah, I want
to see her us night. I don't I don't know
what to tell you. She thinks my dad encountered some
kind of a monster wormhole or something. I mean, it's nuts,

(04:07):
it's something of something down by the lake, that's what
she says, right, Okay, yeah, But in her defense, water
has been known to be a conduit for also, Oh
my god, Fippen, it is not real. None of it
is real. And you know that. No, I don't know that.
I just I know that. You know, we should just
have a healthy sense of skepticism, but that is what

(04:28):
I have. You cannot be skeptical about skepticism. No, I
know that. I just I just I know that we
don't know everything, Professor. I am skeptical, skeptical of anyone
who claims to understand everything about our world. But there
is so much that's unexplainable. But it's not unexplainable. There
is a rational explanation for everything. We just have to

(04:48):
find it. Is there because look right here, in a
year after your father went missing. There, thank you. I
can do the math. A motorist ran over an eighteen
foot Boa constrictor. Becker herself is quoted in this article
saying nothing surprises them anymore. It wasn't the first or
the last time that they found an enormous snake in

(05:09):
this area with no explanation of its origins. I mean,
come on, people have weird hobbies. Maybe someone was breeding
them and setting them free. Maybe maybe an escape from
a kid's terrarium. Okay, okay, maybe, but I kept digging,
and sightings of giant sneakes go back all the way
to the twenties. There are some things that you can't explain, professor, No,

(05:32):
there are things that I can't explain. Yet. That doesn't
mean that my dad encountered something supernatural. Okay, he was
investigating a cult. End of story with Ann Becker. She
was the other police officer on the case, and she
doesn't believe the cult theories. I know. Okay, Why why

(05:52):
are you bothering with all this? Because I knew you wouldn't.
In my four years of knowing you, I've heard you
talk about your dad half a dozen times. Maybe you've
buried what happened. But at the same time, you decided
to dedicate your life to studying the supernatural. I don't
study the supernatural, tip and I study reports of the supernatural.

(06:16):
I study stories about the supernatural. It's a very different thing.
And then you decided to spend the next few years
writing a book on the area that took your dad
away from you. Oh my god, right now, I am
so regretting recommending that graduate psychology class to you, professor,
I'm serious, serious about what. So There've been a couple

(06:37):
of giant snakes, and Becker has found a lot of
missing people. So what what does that mean? Do you
think it's weird that your dad's badge was found in
Freetown Forest when he went missing in Hackamox Swamp. What
this article right here? Uh? December twelve police officer Thomas
Bradshaw was last seen in Hawka Mock Swamp. Wait did

(07:00):
you not know that? Ah? No, oh no, my mom
always told me that he went missing in Freetown Forest.
You know it's um, it's possible the paper got it wrong.
It's only one article and fake news and all, Oh god,
damn it. What I think I need to go back

(07:20):
and talk to Anne Becker m Bradshaw, and he came back.
Can I come in? Where did my dad go missing? November?

(07:44):
Possibly late on the sixteenth. That's impossible to know for certain. No,
not when? Where? Oh that's one of the many things
we don't know. What the hell are you talking about?
How can you not know where he went missing? Isn't
that sort of the whole point of missing? You don't
know where a pison is? Please don't be clever with me.
You know what I mean? The two of you were
investigating some cult, the children of Yes, the children of what,

(08:09):
like the Salem witch trials? Like like that tchaba, a
bunch of white hippies, misinterpreting history and playing with things
they couldn't possibly understand. What do you mean by that?
Do you want some coffee? Uh? Sure? And are you

(08:31):
supposed to have these what's that? These old files? Is
all police property, isn't it? M hmm? It's my property.
The police closed the case and Thomas and I were
the only ones working on it. I wrote all these
files myself. I'm not sure that's how it works. Oh
so you're an expert on police protocol, Now, how can

(08:52):
you not know where my dad went missing? Sit down?
What do you know about your dad's case? I know
that he was investigating a satanic cult, the children of Tituba,
I guess, and he went into Freetown Forest to catch
them red handed in a ritualal and has never heard
from again. Well that's one theory. That's the theory. We

(09:17):
were investigating a cult. There have been reports of animal
sacrifice and strange symbols and the woods pretty standard stuff
for this part of the country. But then a kid
went missing. A twelve year old was camping with her
girl Scout troop in the forest and when they woke up,
she was gone. We searched the woods for hours and
hours deep into the night. I mean, have you ever

(09:40):
been in Freetown Forest at night? No? No, I haven't.
I wouldn't recommend it. People don't think of it as wilderness,
but it is. It doesn't matter how many towns surround it,
how much civilization has started to encroach on the forest.
It's still untamed. There are some sections where the growth

(10:00):
is so thick that you need a machete to cut
through it, and that is what we did that day
and night. We were searching for the little girl. We
tore the forest apart, and nothing, not so much as
a child's footprint. Did you ever find her body? She
found us. She walked out of the forest the next

(10:23):
morning like nothing had happened. I didn't remember a damn thing.
Her family moved away a little while after that. I
guess the girl had nightmares of the forest. I thought
some distance might help, did it? No idea moving someone
from missing the found is usually the extent of my
relationship with them. So you thought that the children took

(10:49):
the girl. We did something to her. That's what the
masses wanted to believe. Yeah, children of Chichibo weren't known
to most people. Your father and I discovered them just
before he went missing. But there was a religious group
the gathering, still a bunch of white hippies, but less severe,
mostly robes and chance circles and since crystals, that sort

(11:10):
of thing seem harmless. But they weren't good Christians, so
not beloved in the community. That is putting it mildly.
For two or three years they were active in this area.
Everything got blamed on them, disappearances, theft, even a murderer.
Two giant snakes, mhm, my t A dug up some

(11:31):
old articles. Yeah, the papers love those, even if basilisks
weren't the weirdest thing spotted in those years. Boa constrictors,
excuse me, not basilisks, boa constrictors, basilisks of beasts of
myth that these were so you think they're not even snakes,

(11:51):
They're they're a lizard rooster hybrid. And so what happened
with the gathering? Nothing? They eventually packed up and left,
and you never charged them with anything, mom. They never
committed any crimes as far as we could tell you.
Open flames in the woods, maybe some littering, but nothing
worse than that. This doesn't look like nothing. This is

(12:13):
all the information Thomas and I collected about the area
after you came by last night. I pulled it all out,
and it's all the strange sightings, missing persons, unexplained phenomenon.
The gathering knew more about this stuff than most, and
they led us to the children of Tichibo, who, to
the mob's credit, more Satanists, though not very effective ones.

(12:34):
What is an effective Satanist? Well, one who fails to
summon a demon and opens the gates to the underworld. Right,
look do you mind if I take some of these
homes I've never actually i'd like to look them over.
Oh yeah, be my guest. I have copies plus all
the tapes. Tapes. Yeah, Thomas took notes that way sometimes. Huh.

(12:59):
I think I think I remember that him sitting at
that kitchen table at night speaking into a tape. Require
huh do you can? I can I take those two
I need I kind of need them. But I can
make you copies. Thank you. M hm. But you know

(13:23):
that stack of philes there, those those were all written
by Thomas. He would copy over all of his audio
onto the official reports. We still handwrote most things back then.
You know, you're welcome to him. I got plenty of photocopies. Yeah,
I see that. I write my capital bees in the
same way. I didn't even realize I was copying him. Well,

(13:46):
you know what that is a plenty of sitting around
for one morning. Come on, what what what? We're going
into the forest. We're going to find out who are what?
Dug up Thomas's batch? Have you spent much time in

(14:24):
these woods? Some? Yeah? Actually a fair deal. My dad,
My dad and I would take hikes every Saturday. A
man as an adult. I remember the hikes you and
your dad took. You guys were close. Huh, we got along,
you know. We both thought that there was more to
this forest, more to this whole area than most people

(14:46):
wanted to believe. No, my dad didn't believe in all
that nonsense. Trust me, you were a child. You think
he was going to tell you about the monsters in
the woods. Why are you doing this, Jeremy, Why why
did you come back to see me? My t a
um his name is Vipen. Those articles he dug up.

(15:07):
One mentioned that my dad went missing in Hackamuck Swamp,
and I had always been told the Freetown forest was
the last place that he'd been seeing, And I, I
guess I just want to know the truth. The truth is,
we don't know. Hawkamock and Freetown were the two hotspots
at the time, and they still are. But you know,
we didn't have jurisdiction in Hackamon didn't stop us from looking, though,

(15:29):
and we scoured both areas and found nothing without concrete evidence.
The room of mill spun whatever was most interesting at
the moment. I just I wouldn't believe a thing that
you read in those old papers. I see Why didn't
you wonder about all of this until now? What's the
use of wondering. My dad's gone and he's never coming back.

(15:51):
Nothing's going to change that, Especially crazy theories about monsters
and hotter woods. Such a strange first spective for a
folklore professor. No, on the contrary, I think it's the
only perspective for someone like me. If I actually believed
in this stuff, I would not be able to look
at it academically. Academics, Yeah, because I'd save so many lives.

(16:16):
All right, look at that academically. Okay, Um, well they
were carved recently. They look fresh. Um, do you recognize them?
I have to say stone carvings are pretty standard in
my line of work and in this area in particular.

(16:36):
But no, not immediately. I'll have hip and start to
look them up. Man, would've been really nice to have
that in my day. I'm pretty sure they had cameras
in the nineteen seventies. Al Right, smartass we did, but
we couldn't instantly send them to an assistant, you know,
had to print them, do our own research. I do

(16:58):
my own research. If my book it has a whole
chapter on rock carvings, Dighton Rock being a feature, of course,
But these are quite distinct from the usual North American petroglyphs.
I can tell you that much. Yeah, they look brand new.
I think they must be. I would guess that it's
just teams having a laugh. But there is a pattern here,

(17:19):
and this looks similar to the Wapaog symbol for water.
But what do you think about twenty ft from where
that badge was found? How would you know exactly where
it was found. The way that that rock is pointed,
You know, it might act like is kind of a sundial.
I bet you that it cast a shadow right here
at a certain hour. Okay, that seems like unnecessary speculation. Okay,

(17:44):
well you'll learn nothing counts of speculating out here. I
doubt the carvings have anything to do with the badge.
There's petroglyphs all over this forest and there's nothing else here. Look,
I mean, if this were really where the badge was found,
it could have easily washed up. It's actually much closer
to the shore than I expected, right, because lake water

(18:05):
really polishes metal and leather over forty years. Okay, do
you see anything that suggests foul play? Not yet, But
that doesn't mean there isn't we need to talk to
those hikers. Hey, look, I know you know all these folks,

(18:27):
but just let me do the talking. Mm hmm. You're
worried they won't believe the crazy lady. We actually don't
need them to believe anything. We just we just need
some names. When we brought in that badge the other day,
you spent two hours questioning us, and now you can't
even listen to me. Well, it isn't down, lucky. It
hasn't been twenty four hours. I know, but I'm worried

(18:50):
about him. You said he just moved here, right, He's
probably just out exploring the area and what he left
his phone behind. He hasn't responded to a single text
or call in fourteen hours. I'm his only friend in
this entire state, and I know I'm sorry. Miss. There's
nothing we can do until twenty four hours have passed.
He's an adult. It isn't a crime for him to

(19:11):
go off the grid for half a day. He's been
having nightmares since the other day when we found that
bad What kind of nightmares? Ms? Becca? This is a
police matter, honey. I was a police officer so longer
than you've been alive. My friend is missing. He's not missing.
He's been gone for a few hours. Look, I know

(19:32):
that there's a window. I know there's no window. What
he's telling you have to wait twenty four hours? Yes,
Officer McDermott, correct me if I'm wrong. But Section one,
Chapter thirty eight A of Massachusetts law states that acceptance
of a missing person's report cannot be refused on any grounds,
including the length of time an individual has been missing.

(19:53):
Isn't that right? Yes, ma'am. So why don't you go
back to your desk and get a report started while
I talked to this young woman. I'll send her right
over once I'm done, Miss Becca, I really can't let
you interview with police business. Well, she's not a suspect,
is she were just two civilians having a chat. Or

(20:13):
I could go tell Captain Haddock that you were trying
to get out of doing a little bit of paperwork.
I'll need your friends information to file a report, and
I'll only keep her for a second. Sure, Wow, thank you?
That was Yeah, that was impressive. Although so much for

(20:35):
letting me do all the talking. And how's your state
law knowledge? Okay? Fair enough? Um, if you don't need
to talk to me. I should probably. Oh, actually, we
we did come here looking for you, you and your
friend Daniel, Right, Daniel. What's your name, Katie? I'm Jeremy.

(20:57):
You found the police badge? Yeah, he was my father's. Oh, oh,
I'm sorry. Yeah, he's he's been gone a long time.
What's happened with your friend? I don't know. I've hiked
in Freetown Forest hundreds of times and everything seemed to fine. Yeah,
it was a bit weird to find an old police badge,

(21:18):
but it's not like they ever cleaned up the place,
so he didn't go missing when you were hiking. No,
he seemed totally fine. But then he calls me late
last night, at at like two am, and he's either
drunk or sleep crazy or I don't know what, because
he was ranting about how something followed him back from
the woods. But I mean something followed him. Yeah, he's

(21:41):
been having nightmares all night, every night since the hike,
and then last night he said he was dreaming about
something following him, behind him, following in his footsteps. He
said something about lights and quills. I don't know, it
doesn't make sense. When he woke up, he was convinced
that something was outside his window, something with quills. That's

(22:03):
what he said. He just moved here from New York,
and I know that things are a big quieter than
he's used to. But I was telling him about ghosts
in the forest. I know I shouldn't have been. He's
not like me. He doesn't believe in all this stuff,
so I thought it would be fine. It's not your
fault if a creature followed him out of the forest.

(22:25):
There is no such thing as monsters. No, I know
that I do. But there are spirits in that forest.
I know there are, and I think I think maybe
I made them angry. I really didn't mean to. Daniel
doesn't believe, so there must have been something. Does Daniel

(22:45):
have any history of mental illness? Um? No, no, not
that I know of. Listen, I'm I'm really freaked out.
So no offense. But I think I'm going to go
talk to the actual cops about this. Of course, I
hope you find your friend. Thanks Katie. Just one more thing.

(23:05):
There was a rock near the lake. It had a
bunch of simples carved into it. Jeremy, here, did you
happen to notice these? I? No, I don't think so.
There's lots of carvings in that part of the forest,
the ledges covered in them. Right here. This is my number.

(23:28):
If you think of anything, anything at all, you give
me a call. I have a lot of experience with
what can happen in the forest. You mean the spirits? Yeah,
the police, they might not be able to help with
whatever happened to your friend. Yeah. If it really is spirits,
and I have someone who thank you. You should not

(23:52):
have done that. What encouraging that girl's belief in ghosts
in the woods, making her believe that her friend might
be in danger? Friend might be in danger. He is
a young man who just moved to a new place
and got spooked by some wilderness, and police questioning the
children of titch About didn't take him. Okay, okay, all right,
it's not the Satanist that I'm worried about. Okay, it

(24:14):
looks like I got to get back to my office.
Fiffin was able to identify a couple of the symbols
carved into the rock. Good good, that's good, and I'll
come with you. Compared to our old notes. See if
there's an overlap. I think it's happening again. Bradshaw, and
it's not going to take more people this time. I
won't let it. I don't mean to be rude, miss Becker,
but I really don't think that we're on the same

(24:36):
page here. It is clear that neither of those hikers
know anything about how the badge got there. It really
was just random coincidence, just like one of them being
missing now is a coincidence. There's not some big conspiracy
at work. Nothing is happening again because nothing happened the
first time, just like your mother. Excuse me, why come

(24:57):
with me to the forest, then? Why bother with any
of this? I really need to go. No, Jeremy, you
have to listen to me. Your father, he was worried
that night, the last time that I saw him. He
wasn't himself. I think I think he knew. I think
he knew that something more was going on. Something had
followed him too, And he's not the only one. I'm sorry.

(25:18):
I don't think I can help you if you are
not careful, If you don't listen to me, it will
get you too. What will get me to huh? You
don't even know what it is that you're afraid of
and fear for. Fear sake is just not something that
I'm interested in entertaining by ann whoa, it sounds intense. Yeah,

(25:44):
it was the look in her eyes. It's so odd.
It was like one moment she's taking down a negligent
cop several notches, and then the next she's gone completely
tinfoil hat kan the rice. I have to say your
text was perfectly timed. I just wanted out. Yeah, I've

(26:04):
helped a lot of friends on bad dates. Hey, I'm
sorry I couldn't figure out more. I think you're right.
I think the Wapanog symbol for waters in there, and
then there's the Norse symbol for fire, but it seems
to be an abstraction of the traditional norsem where that
they're paired together. And there's a few in here that
look Japanese. They're definitely not Japanese characters. But it's all

(26:28):
too deliberate just to be random carving. So yeah, exactly. Yeah,
well thanks for trying all the same. I think we
should do another survey of the petroglyphs in the area
and just see if we can find any other fresh ones,
and I don't know, maybe look through some old files. Yeah,
I guess I'm not sure why it took them, honestly, sentimentality.
Maybe I doubt there's going to be anything new here. Yeah,

(26:51):
maybe not. But retrow photos is that? Is that assen
at ledge? Sure is? Oh my god, doesn't it look
exactly the same. There's less graffiti. Yeah, you can see
the carvings on the rock face pretty clearly. This is
really great, um, professor. Yeah, look the pyramid rock by

(27:18):
the lake, there's symbols on it. What oh huh. Maybe
the old ones got weather away and somebody went back
and recarved them all. But why and why now? I mean,
and if your dad was investigating this area and there
were these symbols then and now his badge shows up
a careful bit and you were starting to sound an

(27:39):
awful lot like Anne. I think that's enough for tonight.
We should probably both get some sleep, Professor. If we
get into this habit, we're both going to be dead
before the book comes out. Yeah, unless a giant snake
gets us first. Yeah, that could happen. You heading out, Um,
I'm gonna stick around and get some thesis work done

(28:03):
if you don't mind, No, of course not. My office
is your office to night Biben Night, Professor. Professor Bradshaw.

(28:30):
I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. It's okay,
I'm it's a little jumpie. Fine, Sorry, I just I
was hoping to talk to you. Ah, Okay, it's a
officer Batista, right, yeah, but I'm not hearing in official
capacity and off duty. Okay, h can you tell me

(28:57):
what this is about? Did you find the missing hiker?
Uh no, not yet. We're organizing a search now. But
I overheard your conversation with Katie and the symbols, those
rock carvings that you brought in. I I know what
they are. Bridgewater was created by Aaron Manky and written

(29:24):
and directed by Lauren Shippin, with executive producers Aaron Manky,
Misha Collins, Matt Frederick and Alex Williams, supervising producer Trevor Young,
editing and sound designed by Trevor Young and Matt Stillo,
and music by Chad Lawson. Starring Misha Collins as Jeremy Bradshaw,
Melissa Ponzio as Anne Becker, Karen Sony as Vip and Corona,

(29:47):
Laurie Allen as Nancy Collins, Cheryl Umania as Officer Bautista,
Victoria Grace as Katie Frank's Will Wheaton as Captain Haddock,
Hillary Burton Morgan as Shelley Hoskins, Jonathan Joss as Joseph Hoskins,
Sabra May as Olivia Hoskins, Samuel Marty as Ethan Hoskins,
Kristin Bauer as Celeste, and Nathan Fillion as Thomas Bradshaw,

(30:12):
with additional voice acting by Brigand Snow, Andrew Nowak, Julia
Maury Sawa, Jarvis Johnson and Brielle Bresnan, Kristen de Mecurio,
James Oliva and Leron Amil. Learn more about the show
over at Grimm and Mild dot com, Slash Bridgewater and
find more podcasts from I heart Radio on the i

(30:33):
heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to
your favorite shows, and as always, thanks for listening
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