Since the late 1700s there has been documentation of bizarre unexplainable lights in the night sky. Nearly every type of paranormal activity you can think of has been historically reported here. The San Luis Valley is located in south-central Colorado and north-central New Mexico.
Not well known to the outside world, this roughly 150 mile by 45 mile wishbone shaped area, running north to south, is considered to be the world’s largest alpine valley and may be one of America’s most anomalous regions. The semi arid desert valley floor, perched at an elevation of 7,600', averages less than 6" of rainfall annually, and is completely ringed by majestic mountains, many of which are over 13,000' high.
The San Luis Valley, like many other regions around the world, has always had its share of reported sightings and encounters going back as far as the early 1930s. Many of these alleged events were covered extensively by local and regional newspapers. Over the past 30 or so years there have been intense flap periods of increased UFO sightings and of unusual animal deaths, mutilations, often with simultaneous periods reporting both phenomena.
Silver Cliff Cemetery in the San Luis Valley was established in the early 1880's and is known for mysterious lights that float around the cemetery at night.
Could some of the most intriguing clues we have in regards to aspects of the UFO and unusual animal death phenomena lie in the mythic tradition of this and possibly other unique bio regions in the southwestern United States? We do know that 12 different Indian tribes used the San Luis Valley as a sacred hunting and vision quest area. No Native American ventured into the valley during the winter months where it is not uncommon to find night time temperatures at -20°F for weeks at a time. Although no Indians lived in the San Luis Valley fulltime, the oldest known continuously inhabited dwellings in North America, the Taos Pueblo, are found at the extreme southern edge of the valley.
Several Southwestern Indian tribes consider the San Luis Valley, most specifically the San Luis Lakes area, to be the location of the Sipapu, place of emergence. The Indians believe that they were led underground to safety at this location just before a cleansing period of earth changes. The Navajo version mentions our current time period as being the end of the fifth world. According to their tradition, they were warned of the upcoming cataclysms by sky katchinas - fireballs, signaling them the time to travel to the Sipapu was at hand. Once underground, it is said, they were cared for by ant people for several generations until it was safe to re-emerge and re-populate the new world.
Just southwest of the Sipapu stand the tallest collection of promontories in the valley, the Blanca Massif which is considered to be the sacred mountain of the east, to most Southwestern tribes. This area is where Navajos say star people enter into our reality aboard flying seed pods. This impressive group of mountains lies at the western edge of a maximum intensity aeromagnetic zone. The Sipapu lies just to the west of the Blanca Massif and the Great Sand Dunes, at the eastern edge of a minimum intensity aeromagnetic zone. The Great Sand Dunes National Monument is the world’s highest dune field. Rising almost 700' above the valley floor, the age of this 50 square mile pile of sand is still not precisely known. Official dating puts its age at less than 11,000 years, but it could be older. Some of the earliest traces of man in North America can be found within 10 miles of this enigmatic wonder. Man may have visited here before the dunes were formed.
The modern history of unexplained occurrences in the San Luis Valley began in the early 1950s when green fireballs were seen and reported by thousands of people all across northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. In mid 1960s, one San Luis Valley man reported and publicly insisted that he had experienced contact and interaction with aliens. Robert Whitting, an Episcopal minister in Alamosa, CO, claimed he had telepathic contact with beings operating a craft that flew next to his car while traveling on U.S. 160 late one night. He alleged they warned him of a large animal in the road just ahead of him and was able to swerve around a large black dog lying dead in his lane. He claimed he then commenced to have the first of several extensive telepathic encounters with the pilots of the craft.
From the fall of 1966 through the spring of 1970 there were hundreds of UFO sightings and many of the first documented cases of unusual animal deaths - UADs, ever reported. During peak UFO sighting waves in the late 1960s dozens of cars would literally line the roads watching the amazing aerial displays of unknown lights/craft as they cavorted around in the sky above the Great Sand Dunes/Dry Lakes area. Several published photographs of these objects/lights were taken by witnesses in 1967.
It was September, 1967, when the San Luis Valley first gained worldwide recognition with the celebrated case of Snippy, or Lady, the Horse. Snippy was found on the King Ranch, at the base of the Blanca Massif, missing all the tissue from the tip of her nose to its shoulders. The heart and brain were missing, and a strange medicine like odor hung above the horse for several days. There were huge 18" giant horse like tracks found near the carcass and the press claimed Snippy’s tracks ended 100 or so feet from where she was found. The horse’s owner, Nellie Lewis, told reporters: Flying saucers killed my horse, they would come out in force one day. Although Snippy is widely considered to be the first documented unusual animal death case, it is not a classic mutilation by definition. A classic mutilation generally refers to cattle found missing soft tissue organs, genitalia, and/or tongue, exposed mandible(s), eye(s), ear(s), and/or the unfortunate animal is drained of blood and fluids. All excision areas look like surgical cuts and the surrounding crime scene is devoid of blood or any additional clues. The phenomenon may suggest some kind of experimentation.
After a lull of activity in the early 1970s, during a 3 year period starting in August, 1975, local law enforcement officials at times were run ragged by the mysterious cattle surgeons. Dozens of ranchers reported finding livestock, mainly cattle, mutilated, and there is evidence suggesting the actual number of cases was much higher than what was officially reported. These reported cases, with a few exceptions, featured crime scenes with an apparent lack of physical evidence like tracks, blood, footprints, and so forth. The 1975 through 1978 period in the San Luis Valley reflected what was going on throughout most of the United States and in parts of Canada, Unmarked helicopters buzzing mutilation sites, numerous UFO and anomalous light sightings, widespread press coverage, and a general indifference by federal authorities concerning these baffling crimes.
A few other events include:
A Crestone resident being compelled to drive to the end of the Baca Grande development to the border of the Baca Ranch where she claimed she lost almost two hours. She said she arrived at the end of the road at 8:30 p.m., November 24th, 1992, the eve of Thanksgiving, and doesn't recall the next 90 minutes. This was the time period small glimmering lights were spotted by several Crestone/Baca residents over the Baca Ranch. Two Baca residents who lived just over a mile away witnessed lights that at one point were directly over our house.
A rancher 25 miles north and 10 miles west of the Baca Ranch area where large whitish gold laser like ovals were seen December 9th, 1992, claimed seeing a bright white light come over the Sangre De Cristos. He said it hovered momentarily then in no more than 2 or 3 seconds streaked south over his head 60 to 70 miles and hover over the Baca ranch. The witness has only lived in the valley for a year and had not had any prior sightings. It sure got me keeping my eyes open he stated.
Another Saguache County rancher and his wife travelling south on Hwy 285, 35 miles north of the Baca Ranch saw what was described as brilliant white light. Up until now I didn't believe in UFOs, but that was the damndest thing I ever saw, remarked Donna Alexander, one of the witnesses.
On December 21, 1992 at 10:50 a.m., two Crestone residents again observed what they had previously described as a bell shaped metallic object just outside the town of Mosca, CO. The object flew over their car as they travelled south on Hwy 17 and appeared to be headed for Blanca Peak to the east. This object may have been spotted by occupants of another car travelling on the road.
On February 11th and 12th, 1993, a Crestone resident claimed he saw a bright white light come over the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, hover for 10 or 15 second" before zipping north over the tops of the mountains. The next night a bright white light, again was seen. This time the object dropped through cloud cover, lighting up the clouds, before streaking north. Both these sightings occurred between 9:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. and were completely silent.
During the third week of February, a Moffat Colorado resident was parked at the North Crestone Campground entrance gate where he experienced his car being lit up from above by a brilliant white beam of light. He described the beam as having incredible energy. He said the light was trying to get him out of his car. A second smaller beam of light then proceeded to light up 4 or 5 spots sequentially around his car. He said the whole episode only lasted for 4 or 5 seconds and afterwards left him feeling exhausted and limp. He was never able to see the source of the light beams and he claimed that whatever it was, it was completely silent.
On February 23rd and 24th, a psychotherapist who lives 20 miles north of Crestone near Valley View Hotsprings observed an unexplained light over the valley. There were reportedly additional witnesses to one of the sightings.
On March 15th, two Baca Grants residents again observed lights over the Baca Ranch. The couple also saw an unusual light on the western skyline. This sighting took place just after 8:OO p.m. Two other witnesses were driving east on Road T towards Crestone and observed lights in a triangle in the same vicinity. One of the witnesses, a firm non believer in UFOs, has evidently altered his view of these puzzling phenomena. I received a call on my answering machine at 8:16 p.m. telling me of the couple's sighting. I arrived home at 9:30 and immediately climbed up on the roof with binoculars to observe the area where these lights were seen. At 9:40, I happened to catch movement over what I perceived was the town of Saguache Colorado, 30 miles directly west. The light could be described as looking like a brilliant sodium vapor street light. I have an unobstructed 70° view of the western portion of the San Luis Valley from Villa Grove to the northern border of Costilla County, I watched the light travel silently almost 100 miles down the western side of the valley at what appeared to be around 4000' or 5000' above the valley floor. This only took 2 or 3 minutes. After the light reached what appeared to be the Costilla County border, it disappeared instantly to the south. Five minutes later, I observed a second light, exactly the same as the first, travel the same path as the first one. Midway in its flight path I called to my girlfriend who also observed the strange light. The light could not have come from the after burner of an unlit jet, for we observed it coming and going. There were 4 aircraft in the air over the valley at the same time as these two objects, some obviously much further away than the object and all of them exhibited the standard flashing anti collision lights required by the FAA. The objects never flashed. Less than 10 minutes after the second light disappeared, three military jets screamed over the Sangres from the east, two of them made a sweeping turn and headed directly south in the direction the lights disappeared while the third jet continued west towards the town of Saguache. Under sheriff Lynn Bogle of the Saguache Sheriffs Department heard around 10:00 o'clock, a jet roar over his house at an unusually low altitude. He had been working on his computer and ran outside to see it, but was unable to spot the plane. No reports were made to the Alamosa and Rio Grande Sheriffs Departments.
That same night two Crestone Baca residents experienced strange lights illuminating their houses. One of them described the light as being like moonlight but much brighter. The other one described the light as red. Neither of them checked the time, but thought it happened between 2:00 a.m. and 3 a.m.