The Mysterious Entity That Scared Investigators
Was it the Lizard Man?
By Brent Raynes
My Reality Checking assignment this issue involved covering the fascinating stories of an Apache medicine woman from New Mexico, who grew up in the San Luis Valley region of Colorado, an area well-known in ufology for having lots of UFO activity and paranormal high-strangeness over the years. Back in March 1970, my friend Tom Adams of Paris, Texas, known today by many as a serious investigator of the cattle mutilation phenomenon and the editor of the publication Stigmata, became deeply involved in investigating the mutilation of a horse in Alamosa, Colorado. He and several college friends visited the region and conducted first-hand interviews of witnesses. The San Luis Valley turned out to be a proverbial hot bed of activity. Tom and I, along with one of his associates named Stan Ferguson, shared a fairly extensive correspondence at the time. Tom and his colleagues continued to make periodic field trips to the region gathering a fascinating collection of eyewitness testimony.
On one of those field trips, researchers Stan Ferguson, Gary M., and Charles C. (full names withheld but on file) underwent an unusual and frightening experience in Alamosa Colorado, on the night of May 23, 1971, in a small cabin owned by Mrs. Berle Lewis (of the famous Snippy incident, involving an apparently mutilated horse) who allowed the young men to use the cabin during their stay in the region.
Though an abbreviated account of this event was originally published in my earlier mimeographed newsletter Sauceritis Review (June-September 1971, No. 9), here is the complete account that Stan Ferguson had written me on June 19, 1971:
“Tom probably has informed you of our most recent trip to the San Luis Valley. In May, Charles C., Gary M. and myself made a trek to the mountain state. Tom was unable to attend because of sickness in his family.
Nothing happened out of the ordinary until the Sunday night of our second week. Present in our party was Charles C., a graduate student in photojournalism, Gary M. a former art student at North Texas State University, and myself. We were ‘encamped’ in the Berle Lewis cabin situated about two miles from the King Ranch, scene of the Snippy incident in 1967. Our interviews with residents of the valley had produced only a smattering of scattered UFO reports. Other than our interviews, nothing of a paranormal nature had been brought to our attention. This was to change this particular Sunday night. That night we were very tired for having stayed up the previous night for a UFO watch and gab session with Don Richmond of APRO. Consequently we were in our sleeping bags and lights out by 10:30 p.m. Not long after the lights were out a series of strange events began to occur. I was laying on a fold away couch in the front room of the cabin. Gary and Charles were laying in sleeping bags on the floor beside me. Facing us was a large picture window which looks out into the valley. The curtains on the window were drawn except for a small space in the middle.
About ten minutes after retiring I saw a black figure moving effortlessly across the front porch. All I could see was a shadow or an object blocking out the existing night light. I immediately called this to the attention of my drowsy comrades. We all jumped with guns in hand, ran to the window, but did not venture outside. Gary was insistent on going outside but Charles and I were just as opposed to the idea as Gary was in favor of it. Two to one, we won. Tired as we were, it was not long before we were settled down again, despite the excitement. Less than an hour later (we were unable to sleep) we all observed flashing lights entering the room through the large picture window. Later Charles was to tell us of an event he alone observed, but failed to mention at the time.
We all jumped out of our comfortable sleeping bags again, looked outside, but could see nothing. Again Gary wanted to investigate outside. Again he was out voted. Somehow we settled down to an attempted slumber but our attempt was short lived. 45 minutes to an hour later all heck broke loose. Something ran from the front of the cabin roof to the rear and back again. Seconds later something grabbed the back door of the cabin and shook it. It sounded like the whole building was falling down. We all grabbed rifles (whatever was out there didn’t appear too friendly) and leveled them at the back door. Gary yelled, ‘Who’s out there?’ The noise stopped immediately after Gary’s utterance. Rather than staying inside we all voted to go outside. [We were up there for the purpose of solving a mystery. Our goal would not be accomplished, we decided, by staying in the cabin]. We cautiously opened the back door of the cabin. Nothing in sight. We looked around for footprints or tracks. Three feet beyond the back door in a pile of dirt we found one of the strangest tracks any of us had observed. It was a three ‘toed’ track with a small heel in the back. The overall track was triangular in shape. Similar tracks were found in an area below the cabin around a fish pond. We felt that the thing that raised the havoc might still be around. Photographs should have been made of the prints, but we didn’t want to take the chance of exposing ourselves to a potential unknown danger. Unfortunately, the tracks were pretty well obliterated the next morning by high wind. Earlier, I stated that Charles failed to report an observation. He had seen a light coming through the chimney in the fireplace. The fire had burned down so we have no explanation. This about ends the chain of spectacular events. Should you desire to print any of this in Sauceritis, do so. It might connect with experiences others have had.”
Both Stan and Tom sent drawings of what the footprint looked like. It was approximately 8 _ inches in length and about 3 _ inches in width.
Sister Wolf (read this issue’s Reality Checking column) informs me that these young men probably “heard the Lizard man or Lizard woman. It has three toes. I heard about it and seen it before.”
Of her own experiences with this mysterious entity, she wrote: “I was about 14 years old. Myself and two other girls had gone to play basketball at Gloria Valdez’s home in Sanford, in the San Luis Valley. It was getting late and Mrs. Valdez warned us to go home early, because for the last few nights she claimed a tall man-like figure was standing after dark on the other side of the fence across the road from their home. The figure was just standing by the ditch which was full of water for irrigation. The dogs barked a lot and it never moved, she said. I mentioned that it was probably the rancher next to her as that was his alfalfa fields. She said no, she knew the old farmer, and had asked him, and he denied going out there at night. Time went by so fast for us, it was getting dark and I remember it was a hot summer day. ‘Let’s get into the water,’ Sara said. So Nancy and I followed her with our shoes in our hands, up in the air, so they wouldn't get wet, as we were about half of a block from the Valdez home going west toward our homes. We spotted the shadow of a man standing besides the ditch, but on the other side of the fence. Just stood there watching us. We passed it half scared, then about one minute later it made a dive into the water, moving at a high speed toward us. We got out of the water and ran home. I crossed the wire fence toward my grandmother’s home, cutting my feet, and made it home. Next day we saw footprints on the edge of the ditch. They had toe marks sunk into the soft dirt. We talked about it later and told Mrs. Valdez, we saw what looked like a lizard man. It only happened once but I didn't care if it ever happened again.”
“Another encounter, again here in the San Luis Valley of Colorado; my grandfather had a small guest cabin room for guests and travelers who would walk by there on their way to Taos, NM. So nobody used it after grandpa died, but one night I slept in there with my husband and late at night we heard someone trying to open the door. We also had our gun with us. It was real weird because we could see a big shadow, of someone outside, but we were too chicken to go outside. Suddenly we heard the heavy footsteps on top of the roof, back and forth, and heavy breathing. It sounded like the small cabin was going to cave in. I screamed and the noise stopped. We didn't sleep at all that night but we never went outside until daylight. We told my dad and he said it was the devil! Dad burned the cabin down. Claimed it had an evil spirit there. But my father's mom had a cabin that was possessed and it was real haunted. My brother burned it down.”