COLORADO HUNTER'S CLOSE ENCOUNTER
If Michael R. Lusignan was hoping for an exciting vacation in the Colorado Mountains this year, he certainly, got his wish. Lusignan was lost for six days near Echo Lake and says he encountered an unidentified flying object (UFO) full of alien beings last week.
After spending most of Monday, June 7, hiking in the Echo Lake area, Lusignan decided to return there on Tuesday to continue his explorations. Unfortunately for him, he found himself lost Tuesday afternoon and unable to find his way back to his car. When he had not returned to Denver as expected by 5 p.m., his wife called the Clear Creek County Sheriff's Department to try to locate her husband.
The Sheriff's Department sent out a search party at 6 a.m., Wednesday morning. They were joined shortly thereafter by 17 men from Alpine Rescue, 20 men from the Arapahoe County Rescue and four dogs from the Colorado Dog Rescue Team. These men and dogs searched the Echo Lake, Mt. Evans and Evans Ranch areas all day Wednesday and Thursday without finding a trace of the missing man.
On Thursday the rescuers were also joined by a helicopter from Fort Carson and an army airplane from Denver. According to Sheriff Kiefer, the rescuers figured they were able to cover an approximately 140 square mile area searching for Lusignan.
By Thursday evening the rescuers, having found no trace of the man, decided to call a halt to the search.
Nothing more was heard until Sunday morning around 9 a.m. when the Sheriff's Department received a telephone call from two cyclists at the Echo Lake Lodge. The cyclists reported that as they were stopped to view the scenery from Juniper Point, about one mile east of Echo Lake Lodge on Highway 103, they heard someone calling. "Help! Help! I'm dying!" Upon looking down the 600 to 750 feet cliff, they said they saw an orange jacket and a man lying there.
The two cyclists shouted down to the man that they would go for help and be back. They returned to the Lodge and called the Sheriff's Department.
Sheriff Kiefer and Lt. Gene Day responded immediately to the call. Lt. Day and Donald Krueger climbed down to the injured man and administered first aid to his blistered feet and gave him as thorough an examination as time and circumstances permitted.
Twelve members of the Alpine Rescue Unit lowered ropes down to the men, but Lusignan was able, with assistance, to walk out on his own power, Kiefer said.
As soon as he was back at the road, the Sheriff drove Lusignan into Idaho Springs, picked up the ambulance and drove him on to St. Anthony's Hospital in Lakewood. It was on this trip to the hospital that Lusignan told Kiefer about his experiences while lost.
He told Kiefer that around 10 p.m. on Wednesday evening he looked up in the sky in the west and saw two rectangular flying objects come down and land on the creek (Vance Creek near where he was found). At first, he related, he thought it was rescuers who were out looking for him, so he went over to the people he saw and tried to talk to them. He said they talked in such low whispers that he was unable to understand what they were saying.
They set up camp, he said, and did not bother or try to harm him in any way. When asked if the objects made any noise as they were landing, Lusignan said, "No, they just floated down from the sky into the area."
Lusignan described the occupants of the UFO as numbering between 15 and 20 men, women and children, and dressed in Indian or Gypsy clothing. He said they made him move to another campsite for the night and that when he awoke the next morning, they were gone. He further recalled hearing horses and dogs during the night.
Lusignan did not see the UFOs or the people in them again during the rest of his time in the area. By Sunday, he told Kiefer, he had just about given up hope of being rescued and was too exhausted to find his way out of the area. When asked if he had heard the rescuers at any time, Lusignan said to Kiefer, "Yes, I probably should have walked toward them, but I walked away from them instead."
Since Lusignan related his experience to Kiefer on Sunday, the Sheriff has received one telephone call from Ohio, two from Washington D.C. newspapers, two from Los Angeles radio stations and one from a Commerce City UFO-logist.
Leonard Stringfield, Director of the National UFO Association in Cincinnati, Ohio, talked to Kiefer for about 25 minutes last Tuesday and verified a lot of the information Lusignan reported.
According to Kiefer, Stringfield said most UFO sighters have reported the rectangular form of the object and have noticed the sound of horses and dogs. The only details Lusignan reported which did not correspond to previous reports, he told Kiefer, were the dress and size of the people. Most sightings have found the people to be between three and five feet tall (rather than average human sizes) with the far apart eyes Lusignan described and dressed in tight fitting suits rather than Indian or Gypsy clothing.
Lusignan was hospitalized overnight Sunday after his ordeal. He left for his home in Burlington, VA, around noon on Monday, June 14. Mrs. Lusignan has promised to contact Sheriff Kiefer with any further details her husband may recall about the incident.
The following is a personal interview by Robert Gribble, Director of the UFO Reporting Center in Seattle, Washington (at that time) with the participant in this very unusual encounter.
Witness: "I just noticed something. I wandered into a camp site in the evening. I noticed some large shelters. They weren't big log shelters. They were just two or three logs laid on one another like some one was just going to build a cabin or something. Two of these structures... what I did was made myself a little bed in there and was just settling down to sleep. The full moon came up and I noticed there was some clouds, I just got up and went out. I knew there were people looking for me that night and were looking for me that day.
I saw these clouds going around the sky. They weren't too far above my head. They weren't too high in the sky. I noticed this strange cloud formation go by. There might have been one or two of them and then I kind of yelled at them for some reason. I saw two things that kind of looked like stars, bigger than stars. A couple of them overhead; then I didn't think any more about them. As I was standing there I noticed, kind of to my right aways, there seemed to be some strange light or something landing over there.
Then I noticed the people coming in. They kind of looked like Gypsies or Indians. They looked like nomadic people and they were of all ages. They didn't talk or anything. They talked but I didn't hear them. I was just kind of sitting there observing them and they seemed to be making camp or something. They seemed to be putting these vehicles in these log cabin places and they seemed to come on like they had been there before and they were just kind of taking over. I kind of watched them.
Then I talked to them about getting me out of here. This one fellow showed me some kind of vehicle or some strange thing. I didn't know if they would get me out of there or not, but I didn't know what to do so I went back to where I was standing.
Then there seemed to be a few helicopters, looking for me, I thought, that night. They seemed to be going side by side looking for me. I had a flashlight and I stopped and went up on this little plateau. There are trees here. These people just drifted out and around me and they seemed to be sweeping around me. They just kinda followed me out there and then I see the helicopters were about to get to me where they could see me. They just kinda followed me out there and then I see the helicopters were about to get to me where they could see me. The full moon went down and they discontinued their search because the full moon had gone down. I was pretty discouraged so I went over by the stream, and they kind of came over to me, and this older lady said to sleep in these pine boughs so I went to sleep on these Balsam boughs, or whatever, and I went to sleep and there was nobody there when I woke up except I saw some horses and they galloped away, and then I went in that camp site. There was just nobody there at all and I didn't check for prints, or anything. I heard some dog barking but I just left there and went up the mountain in hopes I would be seen that day."
Bob: What did the vehicles look like?
Ans: I didn't get a good look at them. They seemed to be rectangular in shape -- you could push them in the log structure. They weren't canoes but they were pushing them in these log structures like you would a canoe. They also seemed to have some other possible vehicles around. I couldn't tell, it was kind of hazy. These people just seemed to look different. They looked like a tribe of people. I wasn't terrified because they looked like people to me. I don't know what to think about it. Was it a hallucination, or was I actually experiencing what I was seeing was true.
Bob: Did those vehicles appear to be metallic?
Ans: I think so, I would say so if I had to guess.
Bob: Now that light that came down out of the sky, what did that look like?
Ans: Well I didn't really... it was kind of a light. I just don't remember that much about the light itself. It looked like a fairly strong light. It was a white light. I just didn't notice it coming down that much until I noticed it down. I wasn't looking in that direction.
Bob: No spoken communication?
Ans: I was talking but they... and they seemed to understand what I was saying, or I thought they did. They seemed to talk to each other, but I didn't hear them. I didn't hear any sounds from them. They were moving around very silently.
Bob: When they were moving around the area could you actually hear them walking on the ground... snapping twigs, etc.?
Ans: No, apparently not. I don't have the feeling for it.
Bob: Did you have anything strange happen to you since that experience?
Ans: Nope, that was the second night I was lost, see that was Wednesday night. Thursday, Friday and Saturday I wasn't in that particular location, but I was out there. I didn't experience anything like that then, and since then I haven't dreamed or addressed anything about it, and nothing has happened since then.
Bob: I noticed by the stories that you did report it to the Sheriff. Did you give him a complete run down?
Ans: I thought I did. The Sheriff didn't say what he thought about it. He was so skeptical.
Bob: Oh sure, I just wondered if they had any UFO occurrences in that area at that time.
Ans: I didn't think to ask him. There were two helicopters looking for me at that time, Wednesday night. They were going by the full moon side by side. I would be interested to know that too.