FRUITLAND, N.M. – Strange happenings are being reported on the Navajo Reservation in northern New Mexico:
Reports of large, dark intruders on private property. Livestock turned up missing, or worse, in pieces. Gardens have been raided, produce and fruits found partially consumed in unusual ways. Unidentifiable, inhuman footprints have been left in the sand.
Then the reported sightings – more and more with each year.
But what is it? Some residents think they know.
The Navajo even have names for it: woolí, tsõ or yeí tsõ. In the Himalayas, it’s called yeti.
In the U.S., most people simply know it as bigfoot.
About 300 people gathered Saturday and Sunday at the Walter Collins Center near Fruitland, N.M., for the inaugural Northern New Mexico Bigfoot and Paranormal Conference. Speakers came from as far away as Georgia and Missouri to shed light on the subject.
The event was held to help educate people and provide tips on what to do in case anyone should encounter the highly elusive, legendary animal, organizer Brenda Harris said in a Sunday interview.
A resident of the reservation, Harris had so many personal experiences with the creature, she teamed with other locals to investigate incidents in the area, and try to find evidence. They call themselves the Shadow Seekers.
“That’s why I am here. I don’t want to hear about anybody getting hurt,” Harris said.
Harris said that popular television shows such as Animal Planet’s “Finding Bigfoot” are set up trying to prove that the creatures exist. Convinced they do, she is far more concerned with people’s safety.
She presented chilling stories of her family’s encounters with an animal she described as huge with broad shoulders, covered in thick hair.
She said the Shadow Seekers try to patrol areas where sightings are most common.
While many people associate sasquatch with the dense forest of the Pacific Northwest or the Deep South, Harris said the San Juan River basin that cuts through the high desert is also a corridor of activity.