In the forests that surround the Massif of Céllecs where I often walk, either with the family or simply walking the dog, I felt sometimes unexplained silences, I saw some strange marks and even some screaming of great strength which I could not relate to any known species. Just trying to research this I found a reference to a photographer in the region, Bonaventura Miralpeix, who would have disappeared in strange circumstances in the area, years ago, while doing one of his regular walks through the woods. I had heard by some people that he was connected with "strange things" that had happened down the deepest valleys. I felt that this was simply a legend, but people in our small but efficient La Roca del Vallès City Archive were able to give me some clarification and most importantly: the names of the successors of the photographer. Throughout the following weeks and, after several nice meetings, I managed to convince the family in order that they were leaving me to scan the images taken in the forest which they were having and a Bonaventura Miralpeix's portrait as well. I can assure you that those who have an open mind to the irrational will be pleasantly surprised.
It's time to meet the photographer. Bonaventura Miralpeix i Fuster (1905-1956). He was born in Granollers (Catalonia, Spain) son of Joseph Miralpeix i Marieta Fuster, owners of a cottage (masia, in Cat.) in La Roca del Vallès dedicated to milk production, known as 'Cal Peix'. He studied until the age of 14 in a catholic school in Granollers and after he focused into helping the family business although the cows were not his passion. Among his hobbies were known hiking and of course photography to which he dedicated a lot of time. Because of this, the neighborhood had put the wrong name of the 'Three Eyes Ventura'. He fulfilled his military service in the Spanish Protectorate in Morocco in the city of Larache, where he served between 1926 and 1929. The image shown is of that moment. He married Lolita Escaldalbec, from La Roca del Vallès as well, with whom he had a son, Sadurní, born in 1933. During the Republican era, though not militant in any political party he was sympathetic to anarcho-syndicalist ideals. He was severely wounded at the start of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), in the Aragon front, where he went as a volunteer in a militia. Due to injuries he returned home. It was then when his personality made a turn and became shy and lonely. Increasing walking through the woods and everybody said that he was going crazy by saying strange things he saw and portrayed. He lived until the last days of his life full of rumors and ridiculed of many people, including parishioners of the local church which saw him as a kind of demon. His disappearance in 1956 -his body was never found- continues being a mystery. The oldest local say that the demons brought him with them. His descendants, on the other hand, suspect that the most traditional and religious people of the village decided to kil him or that in someone of his long walks it should see something related to disappearances of political character. Anyway the images speak for their own. You have to judge it now.
This one is one the of clearest images of an entity that Miralpeix captured. In the back of the photography the following annotation appears in pencil: " Individual alpha. Plain of the Crosses.1951. Late. Possible ritual place " (trans. from Catalan). Miralpeix was naming these individuals without face and hooded 'individual alpha ', giving to understand probably that he was considering this the most relevant typology. What we can affirm is that those are who more appear in his images. The entity that is seen in the image, seems of low stature and we don't know what it was doing in the moment in which the image was captured. We might establish hypothesis but I prefer leaving it, at the moment, to the imagination of each one. For me, the most relevant thing was that this space still exists and that I had captured it a very a little time ago! The difference is that there are more trees today. Probably the place has lost his original function because today it is nearest inhabited zones than 60 years ago.
In this image Miralpeix managed to catch an entity in an open space. It seems, as the previous one, of low stature though the point of view is high and this can distort our impression. The individual is running, probably crossing the way. In the back of the original is written: " Individual alpha. Can Planes Path. Late. July, 1952. He is the second individual of the same characteristics that I have caught. Surprising speed for his size. I believe that he was fleeing of me" (Trans. from Catalan). For some small details that we estimate, Miralpeix seems that it was hidden while he did the photography. It emphasizes that it had the sensation that the being was fleeing of him. Probably we might deduce of it that they were (are) not dangerous. It is a hypothesis that I throw from now: it might be that Buenaventura Miralpeix was not disappearing murdered by the entities of the forest.
In this capture Buenaventura Miralpeix shows us a close up of a cranium. We see it caught from a low point of view and stands out a fang of great size in the first term. The photographer had the habit of annotating some key data in the back. In this case he is very concise: " Unknown Cranium. It does not adjust seemingly to any being those that I have seen. Enormous fang " (Trans. from Catalan). The image is not dated. I don't know if this cranium belongs to some known species. In some moment I have thought that it was a kind of a wild boar but it might not affirm it. Nevertheless, I believe that this one is an impressive image, of great force, and I believe that it should impress Miralpeix as well, obsessed since it was in documenting everything strange that he was finding for the forests of the Massif of Céllecs.
It seems that Miralpeix little by little was coming closer to the entities of the dark forest. His perseverance in the walks might have favored that these mysterious beings were not considering him to be dangerous. In the habitual annotations we read: " Individual beta. For the first time tall individuals . I believe that it was showing off not to see me. Dusk. 1952 ". We are - it seems - facing a new typology of individuals. We cannot estimate it very well due to the framing, but Miralpeix highlights his height, superior to previous one and we believe that due to this fact it names them "beta". His profile is impressive. It might be smelling out the air or simply looking towards far, anyhow it seems to be totally static.
A totally different image from others that Miralpeix captured. This is a giant bat flying for the interior of the forest. In the annotations of the photographer we can read: " Giant bat. Never seen before. Great fright. Threatening flight to evenness of the head. Very sharp and penetrating shrieks. Possible causer of the death of two cows". (Trans. from Catalan). The image is not dated. I can affirm that in my walks along the forest I have never seen a bat of that size. I did hear sharp shouts but I have to say that there aren't recent indications of vampirism neither in human beings nor in animals in the zone. Can it be possible that an animal of these dimensions feeds only of insects? I doubt it. In fact, Miralpeix points that two cows, of the familiar flock I suppose, died. Probably they died drained. His descendants ignore it.
Teaming up with the bat I want to show you yet another stunning image. Although at first glance does not seem, as it appears to be a plant, the comments that Bonaventure Miralpeix made, leave us astonished: "The Princess. Seductive. It moves smoothly even without wind. Seems that she talk to you." (Trans. from Catalan). From these observations it appears that the photographer was enthralled with this plant. I find it hard to define some interpretative hypothesis but it is clear that the plant exerted on Miralpeix some mysterious power. I come to think that the plant does not carry any toxic substance! Seeing pictures and comments like these one everyone realizes that Miralpeix lived in another world, in an orbit that very few of us could gravitate. Or perhaps the daily life in the forest opened to him many doors that are closed to us.
In this new picture we see another entity which Bonaventura Miralpeix called 'beta individuals'. This is stated on the back of this picture written in pencil. No more entries. We know by the previous image that the 'beta' were higher than the 'alpha'. What may surprise of this capture is the proximity to the being photographed. Seem to be posing for the photographer. His frontal pose, don't leaves however, see his face. Is it that probably they did not have face? Can you imagine find a thing like that in the woods? Only someone as our man could portray an individual of this kind without that shake the pulse. However, his attitude does not seem aggressive.
An image that I decided to put because its poetry. Although the full moon is often associated with vampires, werewolves and probably dark forest entities, in this case the image itself conveys no apparent threat. In the back of the picture there is nothing written that the date "1955". We conclude therefore that Miralpeix used to walk at night through the woods at least a year before his death. This, together with the probable hallucinations around the plant which he called "Princess" are the ones that make me think and suggest some terrible end to the unfortunate Miralpeix. How should he disappear?
We only have one image of this new type of individuals. Its main feature, it seems, is to have hands with three fingers, at least that's what we appreciate in the terrifying shadow. Bonaventura Miralpeix gave a brief overview on the back of this photograph: "Individuals with three fingers! First time I've seen more than one being together. I've been approached a lot. When focusing they threatened me with the three fingers. I can only portray the shade. February, 1956. "So did Miralpeix seems too close to the beings of the dark forest. The years in the forest on a daily basis earned him the trust of these strange beings, at least apparently. Three-fingered beings, however, did not allow photographs. We can imagine that the camera should be perceived as a threat to them. Few images would take Miralpeix afterwards. I only have two more pictures to show. What role should the three-toed creatures in this mysterious ecosystem? We can not know. All we can say is that in the photo they came in pairs. Why?
This image is dated in May 1956 and I think that should be one of the latest shots to the dark entities. What attracted much attention to me was the fact that they were warriors, at least one of them, who carry a kind of spear, but especially impressed me the look, with the head turned to the photographer of the individual in our right hand. If I should to record a soundtrack, you will hear a guttural voice saying: "Human, you have crossed the border. We have let you to come closer to us but you have become a nuisance."
This is the last of the available images captured by Bonaventura Miralpeix and I think it anticipates his demise. This is a dynamic image, taken from a very low point of view of an individual wich typology was called 'alpha' by the photographer. We can assume that Miralpeix stretched into the soil to capture it. We do not know what was happening: perhaps earned the trust wanted to capture some entity running but also may have fallen while alpha chasing him. No notes behind, except the year: 1956. I'm not sure why but from the moment I saw this picture it gave me a strange feeling, as a latent threat. Maybe it's because we know that his end was near. Perhaps it is simply the composition of the image but it seems that the entity will take us over. I have the feeling that Miralpeix fell into a trap. Maybe I'm wrong and Miralpeix disappeared because less mysterious reasons, but if not, I think that here ended the days of Bonaventura Miralpeix, the great chronicler of the Dark Forest of the Massif of Céllecs. Rest in peace.