Encounters with the Unknown
The 1994 Abiquiu, New Mexico Case
by: Aileen Garoutte
In August of 1996 I received a letter from a man in Aliquiu, New Mexico, concerning his experience. His hopes were that someone else had seen or heard of something similar. None of the literature he had read seemed to fit with what he saw that day. The following are his own words about that day:
I am a thirty-five year old single father of two. I am presently employed as a security officer.
On the evening of July 8, 1994, I had an observational encounter of two strange creatures and one seemingly captive human in the Santa Fe National Forest near Abiquiu, New Mexico.
I should say at the outset that I was terribly reluctant to write or tell anyone about this. First; because I have a normal healthy fear of ridicule and second; because it was not the typical “alien encounter” that I have since read so much about. Two years of bad dreams, frustration and doubting my own sanity won out.
I’ve never seen a UFO or anything in the sky that I could not readily identify. I’ve never had “missing time” or any memories that I could not place as to time or content. When I observed the “creatures” at no time did I feel “controlled” or under any kind of mental or physical duress.
On that date, at around 7:30 p.m., I was about twenty minutes into what had become for me a regular afternoon hike through the hills and arroyos to the south of Abiquiu Village. I had stopped to take some water and get my bearings. I estimate that I was about three-quarters of a mile south of US 84.
I suddenly became aware of an unnatural silence. All the sounds that one would normally hear at that time and place (traffic on the highway, dogs barking from the village, birds, insects, even the breeze through the nearby bushes and trees) seemed to have completely ceased. It was as if a large fishbowl had been swiftly placed over me, shutting out noise. All I could hear was my own breathing and the faint crunch of my boots on the sand. I had never experienced anything like it and was very puzzled. I stood still for a moment, looking around, trying to understand what was happening. Then, so abruptly that it startled me, I heard the sound of harsh coughing and retching coming from the far side of a small hill off to my left. It sounded to me as if someone was very sick. I hurried to the base of the hill and began climbing. As I neared the top I began to hear words interspersed with the retching sounds; “Dios” (God) and “no-no-no.” The words sounded slurred and muttered, as if the person were talking while asleep or drugged.
When I reached the crest I found myself looking through the branches of a large Chamisa bush down into a sandy arroyo bordered by three small hills, one of which I stood on. The sun had yet to set and I could see everything very clearly. In the middle of the arroyo a naked Hispanic man lay reclined on what appeared to be a slanted, solid black platform about two feet tall at the highest end. The man was thin with gray hair and looked to be past middle age. He seemed semi-conscious and moved his head slowly from side to side. He was moaning and making thick choking sounds. Vomit covered his chin, neck and chest. Directly behind the man, about five feet away, was a very tall (estimate seven feet) very thin brown creature. It had a small hairless oblong head seated on a long skinny forward-curving neck. I could see no mouth or nose. Two long black slits, which I took to be eyes, reached from the sides of the head to almost meet in the center of the “face.” These slits would squeeze closed every few seconds. The body itself was about a foot long and somewhat barrel-shaped. All the rest was limbs. The arms and legs were incredibly long and looked stick-like in construction. It was swaying in a circular motion and waving its arms above the naked man. I remember that it had long fingers but can’t recall how many. I remember wondering how it could even move; the limbs seemed far too slender to contain sufficient muscle mass to gesture or stand. I don’t recall seeing its feet (if any) or knees. The skin (?) was shiny, dark brown and looked pebbled like a football. Whatever it was, it was definitely alive and made a belching, hissing sound when it would look down at the old man.
To the left and about ten feet away from the brown creature was a short (three feet) being that seemed to be completely draped in a white cloth. I was reminded of a child playing “ghost” with a bedsheet. This being moved about very quickly, much faster than a human could, jerking several feet one way and then another. I didn’t see any limbs or features, just the “sheet.” This white-thing, at least twice, disappeared. It would momentarily stop moving and then blink out of existence, only to reappear a few seconds later in the same place.
I also have a strong feeling that I saw the tall brown being doing something simply dreadful, perhaps to the old man, but I can’t remember what it was. I don’t know how long I stood and observed this. Certainly it was less than a full minute. I became terrified. I turned and ran.
I feel that it must be made clear, I was alone. I have absolutely no way of proving that I saw or experienced any of these things. I don’t take drugs or drink to excess. I am not a liar. It happened. If people think me a fool, so be it.
In a second letter in response to mine he continued with more thoughts. He wrote: Since I wrote you I’ve made a very deliberate effort to recall in more detail what I saw on that day. After some searching I even managed to find the place where it happened. I found that returning to the area was a somewhat difficult thing for me to do. I was alone (I felt if anything were to happen I could not, in good conscience, drag anyone else into it) and alternately terrified and embarrassed at my fear. The location seemed pretty much as it did the first time, the large Chamisa bush was still there and the view from behind it was as I remembered. The arroyo itself was a bit wider than when I first saw it. Although it was perhaps a bit foolish to think that after two years any sign or artifact would remain, I conducted a careful but fruitless scan of the ground. It did, however, help me to recall a few things and to give me perspective on a few others.
1. I estimated in my first letter that the thin “brown being” was around seven feet tall. Standing where I saw it and using my own height (6') as a guide, I now realize that it was even taller than that. Maybe as much as nine feet tall. I’ve also been able to remember that it was holding something in its left hand. It looked like a very shiny (glittering) black dish or saucer that it would pass over the old man in a brushing motion, almost as if it was shooing bugs away from his face (I saw no bugs). When it made this “brushing” movement it would make a quick nodding with its head three or four times.
2. The old Hispanic man had something in his mouth. It looked like a thin gray tube or straw that reached from the right (the side facing me) corner of his mouth and trailed down his cheek. It was connected or fed into the black platform next to his head. It may have been this tube that was making him gag and vomit. The old man had a large crude tattoo on his right shoulder. It was of a sword or dagger with “drips” falling from the point. Perhaps a jailhouse tattoo? I also remember that both of his knees (they were slightly bent) looked as if they were badly skinned. In my first letter I reported hearing him say “Dios” (God) and “no” several times. I now remember him very clearly also saying the word “pecados” (sins) over and over again, as if it were a litany of some kind.
3. On the sand at the foot of the platform was a small gray box or panel two or three inches thick and maybe a foot tall and wide. I seem to remember a similar box in the sand between the brown being and the small white thing, although I can’t be sure of this.
4. Upon reflection, I am no longer certain that the “white thing” was a living creature at all. It was shifting from side to side and in circles so quickly that it would blur. Every time it stopped (the only time I could see it clearly) it would vanish from sight for a brief second and then appear again, moving almost constantly. It may have been a device or machine or something similar. I don’t sense that anything happened to me personally. My statement that I can’t remember some things clearly may simply be due to the fact that what I saw was so outside my sphere of prior experience that it confused me. Remember, I ran like a rabbit. Maybe what I can’t remember is hidden in terror or I saw it as I turned to flee the scene.
The sound I heard the brown thing making, every time it would look down at the old man, was a gurgling, hissing noise that I’ve tried to reproduce (much to the delight of my three year old daughter) but can’t seem to get right. I somehow got the feeling that it was a form of laughter. Why laughter, I don’t know. In any case, they were clearly organized sounds and were coming from that being. This creature didn’t remind me of an insect at all. I do remember thinking that it might be some sort of marionette and that this impression was so clear that I briefly and instinctively glanced skyward to see who was manipulating the strings. (I know how stupid that sounds, but nevertheless I did do it) The arms were far too slender to move on their own, or so it seemed to me.
As for the old man: I don’t know who he was and I haven’t seen him again. This, more than anything else about that day, disturbs me greatly. I am six feet tall and weight two hundred and forty pounds! I’ve done security and personal bodyguard work for many years and I have an extensive background in the martial arts. Dangerous situations have been a part of my professional life for a long time. And I just left him there.
A friend of mine, one of the people I’ve told about this, point out (quite rightly, I guess) that nobody is really trained to deal with what I saw, and that I shouldn’t blame myself for my fear and my response to it. Perhaps not, but he was a helpless old man in a situation clearly not of his choosing. And it preys on my mind.
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After this letter I never heard from him again. I often wonder if he has remembered more about that day or if he is even still there.