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DATE: 2nd and 3rd
STATE: New Mexico
COUNTY: Taos County
LOCATION DETAILS: about 5 miles up forest rd 442 at the Gallegos peak area.
NEAREST TOWN: Taos N.M.
NEAREST ROAD: state hwy 518 and forest rd 442
OBSERVED: From sept 30th-oct 4th,2006 I was hunting with a friend [name withheld by request] in northern New Mexico Mtns. at about 9,500ft.
On the evening of the 2nd I was heading back to camp when I heard a strang sound, like a scream/howl. Now I have hunted the mtns for many years for elk, bear, deer, mtn lions, and turkey, and never heard anything like this before.When I got back to camp my friend, who had started supper made the comment that something strange had happened to him. He said that he heard two sticks being hit together just before he started to camp. I did not tell him about the sounds I heard that night.
The next morning I left about an hour before sun-up and headed back toward the same area that I hunted last evening. After sitting for about an hour and a half I got up and moved down an old road to check an elk crossing when I heard the same scream/howl again. I tried to pinpoint the area but never heard it again.
When I met my friend at lunch he said he had heard the sticks being hit together again. I asked him to point to the area and he pointed to an area about 200 yards from the area I had heard the scream/howl.
I asked him if he heard any screams and he said no.
ALSO NOTICED: found no tracks, but did not look for any.The scream/howl sounds like the one recorded in Ohio, and the Jemez Mtns. of New Mexico.
OTHER WITNESSES: one other but he ask not to be named.
OTHER STORIES: no
TIME AND CONDITIONS: on the 2nd it was about 6:00 pm
on the 3rd it was between 6:30 and 7:30 am
ENVIRONMENT: very thick pine forest,meadows,valley,and mountain ridges.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator D.K. Warner:
I contacted the witness and spoke at length with him about his experiences in the mountains of Northern New Mexico. The following details can be added to his report:
It was approximately 1:30 PM when the witness and his hunting partner first arrived at their camp. They had camp set up by approximately 3:30 PM. After setting up camp the witness began to collect firewood and broke the longer pieces by breaking them against a larger tree. After the firewood was collected the witness and his hunting partner hiked up a logging road from their camp. They traveled approximately ˝ mile and noticed that the forest seemed very still in this location. No wildlife sounds were heard. This struck them as odd. On their return at a distance of approximately 30 yards from camp the witness detected an odor. His impression was that it was not the smell of elk but rather much stronger and that it had characteristics of dead animal smell. The witness stated that his partner thought it was a bear and they dismissed it and continued into camp.
After dark the witness fried bacon for dinner and they went to sleep at approximately 7:00 PM. During the night movement was detected on several occasions (3 or 4 times) and the witness got up to check it out. His recollection was that at times when he went to investigate, the odor was present and at other times it was not. He later attributed this to the fact that the wind had been changing directions. Over the next two days they hunted this area and did not see any game which struck the witness as odd.
Because of the lack of game in their current location they decided to relocate further up the road. After resetting camp the witness went out to hunt which was in the afternoon. Unsuccessful, he returned to camp just before dark. Upon his trip back to camp the witness heard a vocalization. He estimated that the source was greater than 200 yards from his location. The vocalization started low in pitch than grew higher and lasted on the order of 10 seconds. The sound seemed to be like an animal in pain but not like any animal the witness had ever heard.
Upon arriving back at camp the witness did not mention the vocalizations to his hunting partner. The partner mentioned that the elk in this area were getting pretty smart. When the witness asked why, the response was that they had been signaling each other with what sounded like two sticks being hit together as in a “pop, pop-pop” fashion which went on for about 30 seconds. The hunting partner stated that this happened at about 30 minutes before dark. This was about the same time that the witness had heard the vocalizations. When the witness asked where these sounds came from his partner pointed in the direction from which he had heard the vocalization. The witness dismissed his partner’s theory about “smart elk” due to the fact that he had not spent much time out in the woods or hunting. When asked about the possibility of other humans in the area the witness stated that where they were camped would require anyone else coming into the area to drive right past them. They had not heard any sounds indicating a human presence.
The next morning, about an hour before sunrise, the witness returned to the same vicinity that he had been to the night before when he heard the vocalizations. After not seeing any elk for some time he decided to head down a logging road. The witness stated that on this logging road he noted trees seemed to have fallen up hill across it which struck him as odd. I asked the witness if any of these fallen trees were crossed with others coming from the other side of the road to which he replied yes. He stated that it seemed that these trees had been crossed purposely as if to block the road. While traveling on this logging road the witness heard the vocalization again twice. This time they seemed to be within 200 yards of him. He left and returned to camp at which point his partner told him that he had heard the knocks again coming from the same area.
In speaking with this witness I felt that he was credible and that what he related to me was accurate. He is an avid outdoorsman who hunts with a traditional longbow, flint-lock muzzleloader, and fishes and camps regularly.
About BFRO Investigator D.K. Warner:
D.K. Warner is a software engineer and has a great deal of outdoor experience. He attended the 2005 New Mexico, the 2006 Arizona, and the 2007 New Mexico expeditions and has conducted independent field research.