Taos, New Mexico is a place I like a lot, and which I like to visit a lot, too. It has a cool vibe to it, there always seems to be so much going on, and the architecture – some of which dates back centuries – is amazing. And it's a place with more than a few tales of the high-strangeness variety attached to it. In fact, very, very high-strangeness...
Salvador was an intriguing guy who I met almost a decade ago. Having inherited a considerable sum of money in his early thirties, he was retired by the age of forty-three, and lived, as he worded it, “on a permanent vacation” in northern New Mexico. As I sat in the living-room of his spacious, Pueblo-style house in 2002, and ate a fine lunch of chicken and rice, Salvador related to me a remarkable story of truly bizarre proportions. It all began, he explained, on an August evening in 1997.
A keen astronomer, he had taken his truck out to a particularly remote spot north of Taos that was free of light pollution, and where he could set up his telescope and scan the night sky. It was around 1.00 a.m., Salvador recalled, when he heard at an uncomfortably close distance a strange sound that “was like a high-pitched whistle, but that had a human feel to it. But, it was way too high frequency for a man.”
Salvador’s curiosity turned to concern, and then to outright fear, he added, as the whistle was replaced by “an aggressive growl, and heavy footsteps, like something was warning me and marking its territory.” Salvador estimated that the source of the ominous growling was within thirty feet of him. Disturbingly, he got the distinct impression that a hostile entity of some form was actively “circling” him and “getting ready to attack.” That attack never came, however.
Salvador then painted an incredible picture: he sat tight in the back of his truck for about ten minutes as the growling and heavy footsteps continued to torture his terrified mind, when suddenly, in the distance, he could hear the unmistakable sound of helicopter rotor-blades.
The sound got louder and louder; however, he could see nothing in the dark skies – that is, until a large spotlight bathed the entire area, and the dark form of a black helicopter, adorned with a large white star on its right side, could be seen hovering at a perilously low level. Concerned by the unknown life-form apparently circling his truck, he stood up in the back of his truck and waved frantically in the direction of the helicopter.
Salvador told me: “I think that the pilot of the helicopter must have had night-vision, because as soon as I waved he headed in my direction.” The pilot of the helicopter closed in on Salvador, who recalled that “dust was flying everywhere, and the noise was deafening.”
Suddenly, the helicopter rose into the air and its spotlight was focused upon an area no more than fifty feet from Salvador’s truck. He could now see what had been causing all of the commotion: a seven-to-eight-foot-tall, hair covered creature that “looked just like what people say Bigfoot is.”
The beast, Salvador said, suddenly took off “at a real speed,” with the helicopter in hot pursuit. Both disappeared from sight as the helicopter’s light grew fainter and utter darkness returned. A shocked Salvador jumped into his truck and quickly headed for the safety of his home.
As Salvador asked me: what was the helicopter doing flying with its lights off in the skies of Northern New Mexico in the dead of night? What was the nature of the strange beast that had apparently set its sights upon him? And what on earth was the connection between the two?
This was without doubt one of the strangest stories I had ever heard. Salvador and I speculated: Was there a clandestine U.S. military group that was trying to resolve the Bigfoot mystery by attempting to capture one of the elusive beasts? If so, had Salvador inadvertently stumbled upon their covert activities?
I had to admit to Salvador that I had no answers; however, as I drove around the Taos landscape later that night, I kept a careful and watchful eye on both the skies and the landscape for both man-beast and helicopter. If either were out there in force on that night they failed to put in an appearance for me. The mystery remained - and, nearly ten years on, still remains precisely that: A mystery.