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YEAR: Late 70's
COUNTY: Teller County
NEAREST ROAD: possibly Hwy 67
OBSERVED: We camped in the mountains a lot on the weekends as I was growing up. My dad liked to rough it compared to most. Sleep under the stars or in an old military tent and take only a few pots and a couple of fishing poles was pretty much all luxury we had except for two trips.
I don't remember the circumstances of this particular trip but it was one of only two camping trips we took on the East Slope and one of the only two times I didn't sleep in a tent or under the stars. The first trip was over by Red Feathers Lakes where they were draining the ponds and bears were thicker than gnats so my dad had me and my sister sleep in his friend's popup camper. The second trip was the on west side of Pike's Peak where we went camping with some of my dad's friends.
My sister and I were young definitely preteen or younger. My dad's friends had gotten there before us maybe even the night before and had camp all set up by the time we had arrived. I remember marveling at the camp set up because they had a "big" camper trailer that slept 6 or 8 and a table to cook on. I donít know if this was in a structured camping area or some backcountry area. But I donít recall any other campsite in close proximity.
I don't remember much of the details except my sister and I were repeatedly told to stay real close to camp (this was somewhat unusual) and the adults were talking about something but would stop talking about it when they thought us girls could hear them (not unusual at all).
Anyway, the evening ended pretty early for a camping trip (after 11:00 but before midnight) and everyone ended up sleeping in the camper trailer. My sister and I were in the bed in the front and on top of the full size bed where I think my dad's friends slept. My dad and his girlfriend slept in the dinning area where the table converted into a sleeping area. I slept by the front window so my sister could get to the bathroom easier. Beside me was a long window (at least 3' long and 6" tall) that had these little curtains hanging from them.
Sometime during the night I woke up and I could hear very heavy breathing. It took me some time to figure out what I was hearing but to this day I do not believe it was coming from inside the trailer. I could easily distinguish my sister's heavy breathing, my dad's loud snoring, his friendsí snoring, and my dad's girlfriend's deep breathing. While trying to figure out whose snoring was whose I remember hearing a "chatter" but I couldn't understand it. There wasn't much chatter but it was close, right down by my feet. Then the heavy breathing was next to the window. I donít know if there were more than one of these things breathing heavily by the window but I could hear the breathing down by one end of the window by my feet, and then closer by my head. I do remember the tone and volume of the breathing sounding very much same at both ends, as if something was moving from one end of the window to the other. I remember listening very intently to this trying to figure out how many and thinking that whatever it was would have to hop over the trailer hitch to get from one end of the window to the other.
By this time the heavy breathing and ďchatterĒ had been going on for several minutes and I was frozen with fear, the hair on my arms standing on end and unable to utter a word. I remember trying to call my dad but no sound came out. I remember just praying that my dad would hear it too, wake up and the sounds would end. I tried pulling on my sisterís leg so sheíd wake up and it would go away but she always could sleep through a hurricane much less her little sister bothering her sleep.
After sometime of listening to the breathing move right outside the window I worked up enough courage to take a peek out the window. I took a corner of the curtain and pulled it back enough for me to see a few inches out the window. There was a light on somewhere outside, enough for me to see more than just darkness. I was expecting or hoping to see nothing outside, but I saw a pair of brown eyes just inches from my face staring right back at me. I quickly pushed the curtain closed and laid there completely paralyzed with fear. I donít remember much more except the breathing stopped shortly after that and I must have somehow fallen back to sleep before first light. I do remember the next morning my sister complaining that I had wet the bed and the adults saying that ďwhatever it was took all of the apples and potatoesĒ out of the back of the truck.
I do remember some details of what I saw staring at me. It was right next to, almost touching the window like it was peering in to see. I saw something from just above where oneís eyebrows would be to somewhere in the middle of its nose. I donít recall seeing the end of its nose or even the nostrils or the sides of its face. Its skin was dark brown or black and was the same shade around the eyes, nose and lower forehead. I donít recall seeing any hair or fur. Its nasal ridge was not pronounced like a humanís or a bearís, in fact I canít recall seeing much of one. I do remember an eyebrow ridge but I donít recall how pronounced it was. Its eyes were set somewhat back from the eyebrow ridge and where ones check bones would be.
To describe the eyes without being too anthropomorphic - the eyes did not have a cold or lifeless appearance but rather a stunned but processing appearance.
OTHER WITNESSES: I think there were only six people in our camp. Everyone seem to be soundly sleeping when this occurred.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Sometime after midnight but before daylight. Night was clear and temperature was typical for early fall.
ENVIRONMENT: It was late summer or early fall because the aspens had just a bit of color but almost no leaves were on the ground. The campsite was near a hill or mountain that was fairly dense in aspen and pine trees.
Follow-up investigation report:
I spoke with her by phone.
She was unable to be any more precise with the location than somewhere in the Pike National Forest west or northwest of Pikes Peak and will not discuss this with her family any further.
She was open about her occupation, but very adamant that we not disclose it on the web site. Suffice it to say, her education and occupation makes her wildlife observation particularly valuable and credible. She is certain that what she was looking at was not a bear. Due to her occupation, it is safe to safe that she would know the difference.
She was worried that her story, connected with her name or even initials, could affect her career. Sadly, she is probably right about that.
Only a few additional details from the interview can be added. She listened to the loud breathing for what seemed to be a long time, maybe five minutes, but possibly as long as ten to twenty minutes. The "chatter" was not mumbling or muffled, not at all like birds or squirrels, but sounded like indistinct talking and was louder than the breathing. She could not tell if there was more than one source for the breathing and chatter but both were heard at each side of the window, near her feet and near her head.
There was enough light from outside, a combination of moonlight and artificial light, to allow her to easily see the others inside the camper, and to slightly illuminate the eyes and face of the animal peering in the window.
She was not as certain as to the coloring of the eyes, but noted that she could distinguish more than one shade in the mainly brownish eyes.