Due to the public nature of the people I am about to discuss I am changing the names in this story:
I used to work in the public sector in Albuquerque, NM. Some of my coworkers (both white males, no Native American ancestery) were adamant hunters. During downtime at work they used to regail me with stories of their hunts and about the adventures they had exploring NM. Before one particular Labor Day Weekend, on of the men, Joe, said he had obtained a permit to trap varmints on a piece of private land near Gallup, NM (Joe would skin the animals and had amassed quite a neat collection of various pelts). His friend, Bob, was going to tag along and record their escapade (they spent countless hours watching footage of them hunting various animals). All seemed to be shaping up as a normal Labor Day weekend for my close friends, that is, unitl the following week.
When I saw Joe the next week I asked him about his trip, and he turned pale. Thinking he was ill I asked if he was ok, and he just stared at me…totally blank. After a little bit of coaxing he said “come take a look at my truck” without any reference to the events that had occured. So, I followed him outside and, to my surprise, saw incredible scracthes down the driver side of his truck. There were three of them, and they were so deep they penetrated the exterior steel, creating rigid grooves down the entire length of his vehicle and even tore off the cap to his bumper. Thinking he hit a fence, I asked if he had filed an insurance claim, and he responded with “insurance won’t cover what happened.” Confused, I pressed him for further information. He let the tailgate down on his truck, took a deep breath and recounted this story (paraphrased from my memory, but indeed accurate); “we had finished trapping for the day when we started hearing strange noises around the truck thirty yards away. So, Bob and I went to check it out and we saw a man staring at us from behind some brush, very close, like ten feet away. He had unusually dark eyes and looked upset. He was giving us the creeps, so much so that I shouldered my rifle in case he attacked. We tried speaking to him and he just stared back. Then, there was a loud screeching noise behind us. We turned around and saw nothing, and then looked back to the man, who had disappeared. We we very frightened, so we jumped in the truck and took off. It was getting dark, so I was driving slowly on the dirt road, when Bob noticed what looked like a huge coyote pacing the truck on my side. So, Bob got out the camera and began recording while I sped up. The coyote kept up with us at 50 mph, but I didnt want to go faster unitl we got to a paved road. Suddenly, the coyote began running upright and out ran the truck, beyond the headlights. As I slowed down to look around we heard a loud, shocking ripping noise and my truck swerved as if we had been hit by another car. Fearing for our lives, I began driving over bushes and cactus flooring my truck towards the paved road. When we finally reached it we drove straight to a casino outside of town, going over 100mph the whole time. When we got to the casion parking lot we felt safe enough to inspect the damage. Thats when we saw this.”
My first thought was that Joe was pulling my leg. This was too crazy. So, I confronted him saying that he obviously hit a rancher’s fence and him and Bob just wanted to mess with me. However, Joe had some of the vidoe footage on his phone that Bob had captured, so he motioned for me to come watch. The footage showed Joe driving and Bob attempting to angle the camera over Joe (to see out of his driver side window) and out the back window of the pickup. However, the cabin light was on and the picture is quite shakey, so I could not distinguish anything out of the window, but Joe and Bob can clearly see it, and seem quite scared (with tons of cussing, moslty ‘holy fu**ing sh*t dude WHAT IS THAT!’). At the point in the story where the creature runs in a bi-pedal aspect in front of the vehicle Bob points the camera towards the floor of the truck and screams; a very frightful scream, especially for the manly hunter he was. But, on the recording, I heard a very violent thud and watched as Joe tried to regain control of the wheel, with both men screaming bloody murder, which correlates with Joe’s story.
Since this event occured (less than 1 year ago), strange things have happend in the lives of both men. Joe IMMEDIATLEY gave up hunting, sold his truck and all of his rifles (I almost bought one). Since the event, Joe and his wife had a very late term miscarriage, he was usurped for a promotion at work and underwent treatment for severe insomnia. Joe never again discussed the story, and has since even changed his phone number and has become a ghost and completeley incommunicado. Bob also had some life changes. He, as well, gave up hunting overnight. When I inquired if I could buy his 30-30, he told me he dumped ALL of his weapons into a NM lake. About six months ago, he began having very strange issues with his lungs, and has since moved to a city with a hospital that specialized in treating patients with his disorder.
So, did my two buddies encounter an evil skinwalker? I think so. Now, I am actually a bit of a skeptic, and an academic by trade and nature. But, I know what I saw, and I witnessed how the encounter affected my friends. Growing up in NM I had heard of skinwalkers, but regarded the stories as a tale used by Navajo parents used to make their kids behave. Now I think different. In fact, anytime I have to work on the reservation (which happens about once a year), I ask to visit with a tribal medicine man for protection (which they are happy to accomodate me with since I am working on their behalf). I am scared of the Norther NM reservation wilds, because I saw what it did to some of the toughtest guys I know. I don’t tell people about my now forlorn friends or about my own superstition because they will think I’m crazy. However, I have a new respect for Navajo tradition and I don’t set foot onto their land without proper blessing, even then I don’t stay past dark.