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COUNTY: Conejos County
LOCATION DETAILS: [GPS coordinates were supplied, and are shown in the internal database, but have been removed by the Editor from the public version of the report.]
NEAREST TOWN: Capulin Colorado
NEAREST ROAD: Forest Service road no. 252
OBSERVED: The following is a report of unusual noises. First, I would like to qualify myself as a competent woodsman...certainly no 19th century mountain man, but one who knows his way around the outdoors. I was camping in the Rio Grande National Forest in Conejos County Colorado in September of 2005. For those famaliar with this geographical area, I was in a district of the forest known locally and on topo maps as 'Jacob's Hill.' I have hunted and camped in this area for many many years. It was in late September and I was sitting in front of my campfire around 9 pm when I heard the most bone chilling and indescribable wailing roar that I have ever heard. It was a very throaty sound and could best be described as an animal in agony. While I have never heard a mountain lion roar in person I have heard this and other "cat" noises on T.V. and this did not sound at all like those noises. The closest thing I could relate it to would be the noise of a hereford bull bellowing....but it was not that either. The sound continued uninterrupted for about 5-10 seconds and then ceased. Immediately coyotes from several different locales in the vicinity began howling and yelping as tho very disturbed. I did not hear the noise again during that particular outing.
Now, fast forward 2 months into November in camp in the same location for the elk hunting season. Bear in mind that until this moment in November I had not mentioned this incident to anyone. I awoke at 4 AM one cold morning and noticed that someone else was awake and had built our camp fire again. Because I was going to get up in another hour or so anyway, I got up and stepped outside. It was my brother prowling around and I asked why he was up so early. He replied that he had gotten up to go to the bathroom and the weirdest thing had happened. I interrupted him immediately and told that before he told me what had happened I wanted to tell him about my experience. I related to him the very story I told above. When I was finished my brother just looked at me in amazement and said that is exactly what he had just experienced verbatim; right down to the coyotes reacting. He, like me, could not relate the sound to anything we had ever seen or heard.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing out of the ordinary. There were very few if any other people in that immediate area in the September episode. However, the November event, being during elk season, there were no doubt many other hunters in the general area.
OTHER WITNESSES: First occasion....none
Second occasion...none (but matching testimonies)
OTHER STORIES: Never before nor since.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 9 pm....substantial moonlight but not a full moon. Weather, crisp clear and cool with a slight swirling breeze.
ENVIRONMENT: This is a relatively flat area with broad meadows separated by narrow strips(1/4 to 1 mile wide) of timber. It is heavily grazed by cattle in the summer and at an elevation of 9500 to 10000'. It is a mixed forest of aspen, douglas fir, and engleman spruce. The woods are fairly dense with smaller inter forest glens scattered throughout. The area is not well served by water...many seeps and springs and some intermittent streams, but very little year round flow. The Piedrosa Creek usually manintains some year-round flow.
Follow-up investigation report:
This witness is a very experienced lifelong hunter and outdoorsman and particularly familiar with this general area after growing up nearby. He was camping in the area to enjoy the fall colors and to scout conditions for his upcoming hunting trip. He had camped and hunted this area many times before and never heard anything of the sort at any time previously.
His campsite was situated at the edge of a meadow clearing and a heavily wooded area. This location left him exposed and visible to the direction from which the sound originated. He had been camped there for one-and-a-half days at that point.
The source of the sounds was approximately 400 yards away and was from within a stretch of timber between two large meadows. In attempting to demonstrate something like what he heard, he mimicked a long, loud, throaty roar and described it as a "roaring yelling roar."
Although long after the reported incidents, I visited the area the week after this report was filed and found it to be a perfectly reasonable and likely location for possible sasquatch presence.
This general location, near the South San Juan Wilderness Area, has a long and varied history of reported sightings and unusual sound observations with occasional but regular reports continuing, including some of my own from recent years because of repeated field trips and studies in the vicinity. This report was the cause for my visiting a particular location that I had not examined previously.
This is the eastern flank of the San Juan Mountains on the edge of the San Luis Valley and is, as reported, mostly drier, but abundant water sources are readily available nearby. Thriving deer and elk populations, along with free-range cattle, are present.