The Legendary Hoop Snake
They Do Exist!
The scientific community has not accepted hoop snakes as being real. (See here.)
Tell that to Mrs. Smith, who for reasons of anonymity has been given a fictitious name. She is a real person with whom the writer is acquainted, and I interviewed her at length about her strange experience, which happened in 2003.
"I was walking down the trail to throw away some potato peels," said Mrs. Smith. "I heard an unusual noise and looked up to see what it was."
"What sort of noise?" I asked.
"Not rustling. Not like a bird or a bee. It was a wisping sound. Very soft. When I looked up I saw what appeared to be a circle like a small wagon wheel rolling toward me down the hill. Not on the trail, but beside it. It was dark in color. I stood still to try and find out what it was rolling down the hill. Then I hurried toward the house to get my camera. When I got to the top of the trail, it got to the spot where I'd dropped my potato peels, and the wheel fell apart. It fell into an uneven line on the ground like a lumpy broken stick.
"I stood very still and stared at it. It now became apparent that it was a snake. It raised its head a few inches off the ground and stared back at me. Then it began waving its tail..."
"Like a rattle?" I said.
"No, not like a rattle. It waved its whole tail back and forth in a slow motion, keeping rhythm, and its head waved opposite the way the tail waved, back and forth, back and forth. I stood very still to see if it would chase me. It kept up its motion for a few minutes, then turned into a giant U shape and slithered off into the woods."
"What color was it?" I asked.
"Dark gray, for what I could see in the shadows of the trees around."
"How long was it?" I asked.
Mrs. Smith thought a minute. "I guess it was about 4 feet long," she said thoughtfully. "I never dumped potato peels in that spot again!" she added.
So there you have it. Hoop snakes do exist! They cannot be proven not to exist, because true science is observation, and no human being can observe every place on earth simultaneously. This is taught in junior high science courses--sea monsters and other oddities are unlikely, but cannot be scientifically disproven. Logically speaking, why would so many people report sightings--people who'd never talked to each other, and so could not have planted the thought in one another's minds? Until this incident, Mrs. Smith had never even heard of a hoop snake. I did some research after she told me the story, and discovered that people have been seeing them in North America for hundreds of years, yet no one has ever snapped a photo of one or captured one. Maybe they are just too sly for us. Maybe they are a snake we already know about, with a habit we don't already know about. Whatever they are, they're out there, so keep your camera handy!
For those interested in trying to spot an actual hoop snake, Mrs. Smith's sighting occurred in the Missouri Ozarks.