For years the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado, also known as "the Mysterious Valley," has been a UFO hot spot, but things have really been heating up since Columbus Day weekend.
Just after noontime on Thursday, October 10, 1996, rancher Brian Norton of Del Norte, Colorado (population 1,709) looked up and "saw an object that looked like the space shuttle coming in." Norton said the UFO "looked like a white cigar." The object had no tail, no wings, left no contrail and was utterly silent. He ran in the house to get his hunter's spotting scope, but when he returned, it was gone. Mrs. Norton also saw the UFO but declined to offer a description.
Del Norte is in the southern part of the state, on the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range, at the junction of Highway 112 and the combined Highways 160 and 285. The town is 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of the New Mexico state line.
The night of October 10, at 10:30 p.m., a class of students from the Crestone Healing Arts Center gathered outdoors in Baca Grande. They observed "a rapidly zigzagging light high in the sky, moving from west to east." The group also saw "many lights," about 10 or 12, hovering at the western horizon. The class watched these lights for ten minutes.
On Sunday, October 20, 1996, at 7:15 p.m., Fabian Suavo and two friends were driving in a pickup truck on Colorado Highway 112 from La Garita to Center. Just then, Suavo saw a light "like a red ball" flying west out of the Great Sand Dunes National Monument. This federal wilderness area is at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo range, 18 miles (29 kilometers) east of Center, Colorado. According to Suavo, the UFO was at an estimated altitude of 1,000 feet (333 meters). The light flew a parallel course with Suavo's pickup truck until they reached the junction of Highways 112 and 285. The UFO was still in view when Suavo reached his home in Center. He said the object "turned (west) toward Del Norte, then it appeared to turn northwest toward La Garita, where we lost sight of it."
About an hour later, at 8:42 p.m., the Rio Grande County Sheriff's Department in Monte Vista (population 3,902) received several calls from town residents, who reported "suspicious lights" north of town near the Rio Grande River. Monte Vista is on Highway 160/285 approximately 14 miles (22 kilometers) east of Del Norte. (See the Valley Courier for October 22, 1996.)
Two days later, on Tuesday, October 22, 1996, a woman at the nearby Baca Grande Chalets resort looked up at 8 p.m. and "saw an 'egg-shaped' sphere that instantly shot over the (Sangre de Cristo) mountains." She felt that the UFO was reacting to her "seeing it."
The same night, at 7:45 p.m., another woman and her brother spotted a UFO just north of Center (population 1,630). Witness Patricia Richmond described the UFO as "a bright orange light... it had a cigar shape and did not appear to be moving." She added that she has seen this same orange light in the area "off and on all summer." Center is on Highway 112 about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of Monte Vista.
Later that night, at the Baca Ranch, three workers at a construction site saw "six jet fighters cookin' down the (San Luis) valley," i.e. travelling from north to south. Three jets broke formation and banked toward Greenie Mountain. The others flew on to Blanca Peak (14,345 feet or 4,377 meters).
Twenty minutes later, the trio saw a USAF C-17 cargo jet flying low over the Sangre de Cristos. The big plane passed between Blanca Peak and Mount Lindsey (14,042 feet or 4,200 meters), heading north toward Mount Zwischen (12,006 feet or 3,636 meters). A little later, the construction workers saw an unmarked plane land northwest of Blanca Peak in an alpine valley between Deadman Creek and Sand Creek.
On Saturday night, October 26, 1996, at 6:30 p.m., two people in Crestone, Colorado (population 50) "saw a bright object, larger than a satellite, flying over the mountains from the east. The object appeared to 'shoot' across to the west at a high rate of speed." The witnesses felt that it was not a "shooting star" because "it went from a slow to an extremely fast speed." Crestone lies at the end of a Saguache County road leading into the Sangre de Cristo range and is about 70 miles (202 kilometers) northeast of Center.
At 7:30 that evening, Christopher O'Brien, veteran UFO investigator and author of THE MYSTERIOUS VALLEY (Bantam Books, 1996), accompanied by reporter Alan Derns and photographer Steve Nickerson of the Rocky Mountain News, did some on-site investigating at the Baca Ranch. While they were staked out on County Road 66T, they saw "a solid, unblinking orange light appear fairly low in the southeast, headed northwest. The object was traveling at approximately 200 miles per hour. The craft did a loop and headed back toward the east, displaying standard FAA (red and green blinking) lights."
"Several minutes later, two crafts came over the Great Sand Dunes," O'Brien said, adding that they then "saw a formation of 7 to 9 lights flying over the La Jara Reservoir area. Then a bright orange light appeared out of the west, headed east. This craft was unblinking. It headed east, then turned and headed south. Then it turned again and started heading north. Then it turned--again--and headed back east. It did these zigzag, box-like maneuvers several times." The UFO finally speeded up and zipped away to the south, heading for Rio Grande County. (Many thanks to Christopher O'Brien for this detailed UFO report.) Editor's Comment: Most of us simply watch "The X-Files." Chris O'Brien and his brother are living it!)
Original file name: .CNI - New San Luis Valley
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