Friday, October 31, 2008

Strange Events

No, I am not going to be speaking about alien abductions. Yes, there were unexplained disappearances and mysterious lights in the sky but it was most certainly not an alien abduction. Indeed, the San Luis Valley does have a problem with missing persons, secret bases, unworldly creatures and strange flying craft but this is not about alien abductions. That being said...

I arrived at the cabin around 6 pm on Thursday October 2nd. I had planned to spend several days down there working on the sun room and fixing some foundation issues. This was also a bug out simulation...I was worried about the possible declaration of martial law if the bail out did not pass. So I scheduled off a few days to wait it out.

Within a few minutes of arriving my closest neighbor Mary dropped by to inform me that Hank, our neighbor down the road who is also building a cabin, was missing and had not been seen since around 9 that morning. I could see Hank's van sitting in front of his place. Hank is a gentleman in his upper 70's who had suffered a recent stroke and has heart problems. It was our opinion that he probably suffered another stroke, wandered off and passed out in the sage brush or nearby woods.

I got the power going at the house, put the dogs up and headed over to join a small group of neighbors and family friends searching the immediate area for Hank. It was about 6:30 pm at this time. We all wandered through the sage and around the house looking. It got dark and sometime between 7:30 and 8:00 pm two sheriff's deputies came out I think they had their lights on. They joined in the search, looked through the van and ask us when we had last seen him.

The deputies asked about our other neighbor who lived a little further up the road. It dawned on us that Bob was not around. The deputies ran up to Bob's place sometime between 8:30 and 9:00 pm to see if he knew anything. Bob was also missing so everyone assumed that the two had gone off to look at the Aspens turning or something. The deputies said that if Hank had not shown up by Friday morning they would bring in a search and rescue team.

So Friday comes and still no Hank. The deputies showed back up around noon followed by the search and rescue (SAR) team. The SAR team brought ATV's, horses and may people going through the brush on foot. The searched for several hours and finished up around 4:30 pm. I drove over to speak with the deputies about 5 pm assuming that they had found him. When I got over there they were bagging the contents of the van.

They told me that Hank would show up and that this kind of thing was common. It was strange that they were bagging stuff from the van. The deputies stayed by the van until dark when another car showed up to relieve them. I looked through the binoculars and noticed that they had taped off the van and house with yellow tape. Very odd if they were sure Hank was coming back.

Around 1:30 am on Saturday I heard an engine revving jumped up and looked out the window. The deputies were driving up along the ridge behind Hanks house through the sage with all the searchlights on, one deputy driving the other out walking next to their cruiser. They were searching for someone. After 30 minutes or so they left, 10 minutes later I heard someone yelling couldn't make out what they were saying. I guess the deputies were waiting just down the road because they came roaring back in with spot lights on looking again. Unnerving.

Saturday morning brought a different SAR team which did an arm linked search of the surrounding area...they found nothing. Saturday evening Mary and I met with a deputy to find out if we needed to worry about our safety. We wanted to know if there was a killer running lose...he would not answer. I slept with my pistol under the pillow and rifle next to the bed that night.

On Sunday they brought in a dog team and several "specialist" searchers, not sure what their specialty was but they were strange. No hits, nothing. Hanks extended family had started to arrive and were wandering the hills surrounding the area. Through the night there where many cars and people showing up over at Hanks. My guess is that as family members showed up in town the first thing they wanted to do was go searching. So the evening was filled with flashlights and people yelling.

Hank had left the house on that Thursday morning wearing a gray hooded sweat shirt and faded jeans. Unfortunately his wardrobe choice matches the sage brush that covers the ground out here. He could be lying five feet from you in the bushes and you wouldn't notice him.

No one was searching for Bob although there were several stories circulating about his whereabouts. He had posted a comment on his blog from home on Thursday night at 7:30 pm, about the time the deputies drove by, regarding a camera he purchased. The camera was to be delivered Monday and he was excited. By 9 pm when the deputies stopped by he had vanished. The final story given by his mother was that he had decided to leave everything and go live with his ex-wife in Texas. Bob self-built a wonderful off grid cabin, had a horse and other livestock but gave all that up on a whim to go live with an ex-wife.

Hank's family was allowed to take his van back to town on Monday. I visited with one of his nephews Monday afternoon. He told me they suspected foul play. He thought that "someone" forced Hank into a vehicle, took him somewhere and killed him. There was no blood or signs of a struggle at the site and strangers just don't happen down these rural roads.

It has been almost a month now. Hank and Bob are both still missing without a trace. In the week before they went missing a body was found burning in a barrel placed in the middle of the road one county over and another body was found laying across a country road on the south face of Mt Blanca in the northern part of this county. Violence is everywhere, moving out of a city will not remove you from it's presence.

Hank and Bob both went missing on the same day, it could be a coincidence or foul play the question hangs and we may never know.

...of course it is possible that they were both abducted by aliens!

The names of the neighbors have been changed to protect the families privacy.


Anonymous said...

his mother's story sounds real strange...

BigBear said...

Very strange

Staying Alive said...

Whatever it is, I would continue to sleep with that pistol and keep the rifle handy at night. Never give a lunatic an even break.


the texan said...

There are some evil people in this world and they will kill you for the fun of it. I don't go anywhere without my gun. Some people think I'm crazy but its just like car or house insurance.

You never know when it will be needed. Everyone is responsable for their own protection. The cops only show up after.

Stay alert, its only going to get worse as the economy goes downhill.

soilman said...

Very interesting. I hope it works out and they are found, but it reminds me of something i read a while back refering to people moving off the grid as the zebra that seperates themselves from the heard leaving themselves open to the attacts of the lions and the other predators. I dont put to much stock in it though as alot of off the grid folks are well aware of the dangers and take measures to keep themselves safe. Be carefull out there, a false sense of security would be a liability.

Wretha said...

Hey Bear,

I apologize in advance if this really happened, but since this was posted on Halloween, would this be a Halloween tale of fear or am I just missing something...?


Brandon9 said...

Sorry to hear about your neighbors. Be sure to post updates, this sort of thing makes me furious when the authorities start doing their thing without informing the neighbors of whats really going on.

This brings me to another subject on security. I read your post from when the cabin was broken into. I'm sure you are aware of the cheap door sensors. If not I'm talking about the ones that are self contained with a siren/doorbell. I have one on every door of the house. These things are dirt cheap. If a door is opened, a siren goes off and it gives the early warning to wake up, rub your eyes and grab the gun.

Something like these

$17 could be the difference to confronting an intruder with the business end of a shotgun or waking up to him standing over your bed.

Best wishes to your neighbors, and stay safe out there!

BigBear said...


All true, the sheriff's department has taken to spotlighting several properties in the area at night so they must think Bob is still hanging around.

Wretha said...

Wow, I stand corrected, it WOULD make a good Halloween tale though. Sorry this is happening at all, much less in your neighborhood. Hope everything turns out well.


Anonymous said...

Weird stuff, Big Bear. Glad to hear you've had no problems yet.

As a side note, in other countries (Argentina, South Africa, Liberia, Russia) and other times (Rome, Maya) rural areas turned into the most dangerous and/or worst places to be as things went to crap.
Keep on your guard, but at the same time no need to become paranoid. =P

Anonymous said...

I am a distant relative of your neighbor "Hank." We are being told by the authorities that "Bob" is a wanted man with 2 state and 1 federal warrant for previous violent convictions. Aliens? I don't think so.

BigBear said...


what are the charges? I had heard something along those lines but got conflicting answers about the crime. Email me if you would prefer

Anonymous said...

Has there been any further updates? About the whereabouts and if one of the men had a violent background?

Anonymous said...

When leaving controlled society, you will discover all sorts of behaviour on the fringe. Does it come as a surprize to anyone?

ETLTBlogger said...

Regarding people with previous convictions, be aware that the average American Man spends 1 year of his life in prison at current levels (2m in prison today / 150 million American males * 75 average male life expectancy). Our country imprison more than any society in history.