This is the first time I’m sharing this story publicly. To give this story a little levity, just know that this story is detailed because of the shocking events that happened that night and plus the other eyewitness accounts. I encouraged the others to share their side of the story. But they felt uncomfortable even under the safety of anonymity. The following account is true, accurate, and frightens me to even speak of it considering the fact I never believed in these creatures…until now.
I come from a reservation in southeast New Mexico. Every year we have a ceremonial celebration that is open to the public. Traditional crown dancers, performances of other tribes, parades, music, a rodeo and a good crowd. Nothing unusual than any year prior. But like any big event, some planning and safety precautions are to be considered beforehand. So little did I know that I was going to be apart of this event.
The tribal Vice President had personally asked me if I could be the head of the security detail in charge of guarding the livestock for the bullriders and performers at the rodeo grounds. I agreed to the job. It was only 4 days long, good pay, and it was the night shift. Which was a relief, because it meant it was going to be nice and quiet. I was wrong. To this day, I rarely attend the events now as I may just run into this creature again.
It was July 5, 2015. The second night of the celebration. It had been raining and I was drenched. But being a U.S. Marine, you could say I was used to being out into the elements. It finally stopped raining. I hired a team of 6 people. They all showed up. No security experience but beggars cant be choosers. They were on their routine patrols as I was by myself checking on them to make sure they were doing what they were supposed to. They were talking, laughing, and telling jokes. But with it being quiet out, I just let them be so they could past the time.
The clouds broke exposing a full white moon. So it allowed us to see much better at night. I noticed in the northwest corner of the parking lot was a yellow Toyota. One of my team mates came to me (I’ll call her Linda), and was a little concerned because they were drinking. I told Linda just to leave them be. Our concern was the bulls, horses, and other animals in the corrals. She agreed and resumed her patrol.
It was 11:47 P.M. All was still quiet in the darkness when a voice in the distance pierced the silence.
“Cassie! Cassie! WHERE ARE YOU!?”
It was the occupants of the parked car in the parking lot. Irritated, I went to see what the problem was. I encountered them near the bleachers and asked if everything was alright. They were obviously drunk and seemed quite concerned. They introduced themselves as father and son. Tom, being the son, and Frank the father. So I gave them my name and asked a second time if they were alright.
“She’s gone, sir! Just GONE! She disappeared. Like a skinwalker!”
I sat them down on the bleachers and told them to wait right there with the rest of my team. I strapped my LED light to my head. I told one of my team members (I’ll call him Barry) to open the gate and make his way back in case law enforcement were to be called. He took his Suburban and did what I told him. I looked at the two individuals who were still feeling scared. I told them to tell me what had happened.
“We were having some beers. Just having a good time. I turned around, and she was GONE! I didn’t here her get out my car, I didn’t hear anything sir!” Tom said.
I’m skeptical because they were intoxicated. But to put them at ease, I said I’d take a look. The car was parked near a tree line about 75 yards from where I was. I turned on my LED head light and made my way up to the car. There were empty beer cans in the front and rear of the car and 3 windows rolled down. Indicating someone was in the back. As I said before it had rained that night, so I looked down and out of the car were these shoe prints in the mud. They went into the tree line. I thought, maybe she went to the bathroom or got sick.
I follow the shoe prints. they went about 25 yards into the tree line. My LED light was very bright so I could make out the prints fairly easy. Then I stopped. The shoe prints…they just stopped. They didn’t turn, but walked straight. No tracks leading back to the car. Strange. I looked into the darkness. Nothing. They are obviously way to drunk I thought. I circled around and made my way down to the car. I looked into the car one more time and again, it was empty. Then right when I turned around, I heard a loud hissing noise. Almost like a cat’s but oddly different. Like a low scream that blended with the hissing. I looked and 10 feet away was a huge black cat. About the size of a full grown golden retriever.
But this…”cat”, had huge paws. Paws that looked like hands covered in fur. It’s eyes. The eyes looked…human. Not feline eyes with vertical pupils. But human eyes. “Its front legs were what looked to be deformed. Almost as if they had been broken. Patches of fur missing on it’s skin as if it had mange. It smelled horrible. Like rotting flesh.
It stared at me with its orange reddish eyes. Seemingly challenging me. I knew this cat was no normal feline. But as I looked into its eyes, it felt like something was trying to take over my thoughts in my head. My thoughts kept getting blacker and blacker. As if I was being hypnotized. I closed my eyes and broke eye contact with it. I looked at another part of its being but the eyes. I had my K-bar knife. I reached for it and unbuttoned the handle. The strangest thing happened.
It looked at my hand on the blade. As if it recognized the knife as a weapon. It arched it’s back and crazy enough, it stood on its hind legs! I withdrew my knife waiting for this thing to attack me. It walked backwards. Like a human. Yet it never took it’s eyes off me and I didn’t take my eyes of it as well. It backed into the tree line. Stood on all fours again, and ran into the trees, disappearing in the blackness.
I’m a combat veteran. Decorated. That was the first time I was truly scared in almost 13 years. I called Barry over on the radio. I told him to pick up Tom and Frank and take them to the police substation. He drove up in his Suburban flashing his spot light into the tree line. He came up to me and was concerned because I seemed confused and I had a hard time finishing my sentences as my
mind was clearly jumbled. Then he asked a question that sent a chill down my spine.
“Did you see the girl? She was standing at the tree line. I shined my spotlight on her, and she kept looking in your direction. Then she took 3 or for steps and seemed to had disappeared under the bushes as if she squatted down. That’s why I was checking the tree line before I got here. Boss? Are you ok?”
“No,” I said. “Take Tom and Frank. Take them to the station. Then get back here quick. Take Linda with you. No one goes alone.
“Sure thing, boss. I’m on it.” He replied.
Barry and Linda returned to find the team all on the bleachers. I waited for them to arrive until I could say anything. “Here’s what’s going down. We split into teams of two. 3 people a team. No one is patrolling by themselves tonight. I want radio checks every 15 minutes from everyone. Stay in the light as much you can, and stay away from the tree line in the northwest corner. Do you all understand?”
All confused as to the sudden change in my demeanor, they all agreed. Thank God, we finished the night without another incident.
Then they pestered me about what I saw. I finally told them. Then they started telling me about their experience. They said they saw a woman. Walking around the grounds. They animals would act weird around her. Horses would kick the fences whenever she got close. The bulls would bangs their heads against the corrals in an attempt to gore her. They attempted to talk to her. But all they could get from her was “My name is Cassie.”
Needless to say, I wasn’t going to sleep. I decided to watch the rodeo as the day shift arrived. I said nothing about my experience and I told the team not to speak of it. Then, the rodeo started. Huge crowd, loud noise and cheering. Then I walk right into them. Tom, Frank, and Cassie. Tom and Frank say hello. I told them I’m glad they are doing ok. Then I see the woman…
“You must be Cassie.”
She looked at me for a few seconds. Those eyes! The same orange reddish human eyes I saw on that creature.
“Yes. This is Cassie.” Tom said. I felt strange that Cassie said nothing. But I noticed that Tom was doing all the talking. Yet every he spoke, Cassie would kind of sway slightly back and forth. I asked Cassie if the was ok.
Once again, “Yes. She’s fine thank you.” Tom spoke.
I said ok. Well enjoy your day. Once again, Tom did all the talking. Like he was being controlled. They turned almost in unison and walked away in the same manner. Yet under my breath and even with the scores of people making such a noise, I quietly said, “I know what you are”.
She stopped and turned. As if she heard every word that came from my mouth. She smiled. And walked away to the Toyota that was parked all night and they drove away. I never believed in Skinwalkers. But I stood…face to face with one of these creatures. The Navajo believe in these beasts. I’m not Navajo. I’m an Apache. But Skinwalkers are very. . .VERY. . .REAL! I now believe.