Unsolved Mysteries (2020-…): Season 3, Episode 5 - Paranormal Rangers - full transcript

Accounts from people who believe to have seen Bigfoot, or what The Navajos would deem a Skinwalker.

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[eerie rasping]

[eerie rasping continues]

[Jonathan Redbird Dover]
We get asked all the time,

"Do you believe
in Bigfoot?"

"Do you believe in UFOs?"

"Or Navajo witchcraft?"

We don't like using
the term "believe"

because to believe
is an act of faith

based on no evidence.

[Stanley Milford, Jr.] Science today
might look at that and say,

"That can't happen."
That it's make-believe.



But these things did happen,
and a lot of times, we can't explain it.

[Jonathan] People have been
skeptical of our work.

Of course we expect that.

All I can say to them is,
"You weren't there."

"You didn't
see what I saw."

[mysterious music playing]

[tranquil music playing]

[Stanley] There's something magical
about the Navajo reservation.

The Navajo reservation
is 27,000 square miles,

that being about
the size of West Virginia.

I probably stood in places

where no other man
has probably ever stood.

It's hard to take
that in and imagine.

Seeing that vastness
of just remote areas



seems like it's infinite.

If you look at the
Navajo reservation,

the Navajo Police
provide the public safety aspect

over our communities.

And the Navajo Rangers
provide enforcement and protection

over all of the natural resources
of the Navajo Nation,

kind of modeling
from the National Park Service Rangers.

The Navajo Rangers
were formed in 1957.

The job of a Navajo Ranger

involves working in forest fire areas,
doing evacuations.

We're doing search and rescue
operations, you know,

hanging on the end of a rope
off a cliff in the middle of the night,

looking for somebody
that's stuck down there.

[Stanley] When I look back
at wanting to become a Navajo Ranger,

it was really an exclusive club.

They had a presence about 'em,

and I remember wanting
to be a part of that.

[Jonathan] I met Stan,
it must have been about 1989,

and we started working together
quite a bit.

We were co-SWAT team commanders
for Backcountry Operations.

We got to know
each other pretty well.

We've adopted
each other as brothers.

In 2000, our chief ranger
called us all in for a meeting

because of a complaint
that was lodged against the department

for failing to investigate
a Bigfoot case.

Right now in the United States,
there's no mechanism

to investigate these type
of paranormal cases.

It's just not built into
any of our systems, so they're ignored.

However, you
have people out there

who are absolutely terrified

of whatever that
happened to them.

And our chief ranger, he said,

"From now on, these
cases are gonna be investigated."

And then he turned
to me and Stan,

"And you two guys
are gonna get the major cases."

[Stanley] I think
there were those Navajo Rangers

that would not go anywhere near
these kinds of cases

simply because, within
the Navajo culture,

it's taboo to deal with it,
approach it, talk about it.

The reason Jon and I were chosen
is that we grew up in both worlds.

He was born in Oklahoma
and raised there.

I was born in Los Angeles
and raised there.

We are part Navajo,

but we didn't hold
to the traditional beliefs

that a lot of the Navajos did
about being around those type of things.

My immediate thought was,
"Oh my goodness."

"We're gonna be
The X-Files."

One of the first cases we worked

was up along the San Juan River,

where we had over 30 people
report seeing a Bigfoot,

which is real unusual.

This is the place
where the investigation started.

[Stanley on video] What
actually happened this morning?

[woman] Coming down that highway
there, I thought a person was hitchhiking.

But as I got a little bit closer,
it wasn't a person.

It was a tall, tall body with…
It seemed like with hair all over

because I didn't see,
like, facial features or anything.

[Jonathan] We would
interview witnesses,

and we talked to
some terrified people

who didn't know
what was happening.

Uh, they saw something
completely out of the ordinary,

and they wanted answers.

[woman on recording]
One of my grandsons seen it right there.

It's this… I don't know.
It's a big, really tall…

I don't wanna come
down here by myself.

[Jonathan] Well, we've had
other investigations that have been similar.

[woman]
Uh-huh.

[Jonathan] We've had reports
of Bigfoot stepping over corrals,

and taking sheep,

and stepping back over,
and walking off with them.

We've had sheep that were killed

by literally having the wool
just ripped off its back.

Just like you grabbed it around the neck,
and just took it, and tore it off.

[man on video] Holy Christ!

No way

to make that mark there.

- [woman] Um, yeah.
- That's a big knuckle, man.

[Jonathan] In interviewing people
up and down the river,

we got a real feel that these occurrences
had been going on for some time.

[Stanley] These Bigfoots
are described many times

as being much taller than a man,

seven-foot, eight-foot.

[Jonathan] Very muscular.

[Stanley] Wide shoulders.

[Jonathan]
Built like a tank.

[Stanley] With canine teeth.

[Jonathan] Smells
like a wet dog.

It's a large, huge, hairy beast.

During that time,
I had heard the name Brenda Harris.

She resided up along
the San Juan River.

[Brenda] This is
where we used to live.

Our mobile home
was parked right here.

And this is where we had some encounters
that had happened.

This was during the summertime.
I had all the bedroom windows open,

living room windows open.

My husband
had just left for work at 10:30.

He was working
the graveyard shift.

About 30 minutes later,

I heard something very heavy
walking onto the porch.

[heavy footsteps creaking]

And next thing I know,
we start seeing the doorknob turning.

I unlatched the lock.

Once that clicked,

I could hear that thing
let go of the doorknob.

I was really scared.

I swung the door open,

and I just seen this thing
standing in front of me.

I was like, "Wow."

That can't be
what I think it is.

That's huge.

It was black, tall,
and it was covered in hair,

and it wasn't very muscular.

It was kind of scraggy-looking.

I couldn't believe
what I was seeing.

And it just darted off the porch,
and it ran to the west.

About maybe 15, 20 minutes later,
this thing came back again.

And it did the same thing.
It started turning the doorknob.

As soon as I turned the bedroom light
on, it took off.

This went on throughout
the whole night.

And then, finally,
when daybreak broke,

I said, "Okay.
Well, let's go walk around the house."

About right in here
was the back of my daughter's bedroom,

and this was where
we found a footprint.

A little over 18 inches long
and four inches wide.

This thing could have just
torn the door open, but it didn't.

[eerie rasping]

[Brenda] Why was it trying
to get in the house?

It's still a mystery
to me to this day.

[mysterious music playing]

[Stanley] Brenda
lives in an area

with somewhere near 30 people
reporting the same kind of activity.

[Jonathan] So we took a team of about
six guys up along the San Juan River.

We came out with
foot track evidence.

You got a 21-inch footprint
with the toes showing,

and the thing's
got a five-foot stride.

If I was gonna do a five-foot stride,
I'd be doing the splits.

The path went along
and hit a barbed wire fence

where it stepped over.

Caught in the fence,
in the barbed wire, was a tuft of hair,

and we collected that
as part of the investigation.

[on video] Several
hairs, put together.

These were real small,
but they did have the tag ends on them,

which is what they need
for DNA examination.

The DNA analysis would have told

what species or major group of species
that it belonged to,

but the report just said
"unknown carnivore."

There's no identification for it
in the DNA database,

and that DNA database
has animals from all over the world.

There is no
explanation for that.

When I started getting,
you know, interested in this,

I said, "Hey,
let's get the camera and set it up."

So we set the camera up one night
behind our home.

We did pick up what, to me,
what looks like a small, juvenile Bigfoot,

which is probably
about this high.

It's a little black figure.

I don't know if it crawled
to where the pool was,

but this thing, to me,
it looks like it boils up from the ground,

it stands and it takes, like,
a runner's stance,

and takes off to the west.

Also, I do have
some vocalizations.

[eerie rasping on recording]

[Brenda] I started hearing
different people within the area

experiencing this Bigfoot
that had been coming around.

[Vernida Bissonette] This is where
the horse corral stood.

We had the, um,
hog fence stacked

probably as high as that there,

and we had a
solid roof up on top.

And over in that corner
was where the panels were being torn off.

This is the corrugated tin
we had covering the horse corral.

We can't rip it, you know.

It's, like, torn, you
know? Like paper.

He even ripped all these ones.
He broke all these.

This is some heavy steel.

[Vernida] Brenda came down.

She put up cameras along…
around the horse corral.

[Brenda] There's a silhouette
that hits the side of the corral,

and you just see this
tall figure standing there.

We didn't know what it was,
and that really scared us.

I want the people to be aware of what's
out there, and to be really careful,

because we don't know
what these things are capable of doing.

[Jonathan]
During one of our investigations,

we started tracking
Bigfoot for miles.

The footprint just stopped,

almost like it was
just jerked into the sky.

[Brenda] A lot of people
believe that Bigfoot

has, like, some kind of
spiritual powers or something

to where they can,
like, just disappear.

They'll tell me, "Yeah, I seen a Bigfoot.
I was… I was watching it."

"I was kind of following it.
All of a sudden, it just disappeared."

[Jonathan] When we started
getting reports of Bigfoot,

and the reports
started increasing,

there was a corresponding increase
in UFO sightings.

[on video] UFO case.

This is an area just
off Highway Route 4.

Apparently, on this location
where I'm standing,

an unidentified object light source
beamed light from this area.

We suspect that
the UFO activity,

that they are coming
on a pretty regular basis.

Most Navajos would tell us
it's just a normal thing.

[woman 1 on video] This is
where we saw the light. This whole field.

[woman 2] A white light. It was
like it was radiating from something.

When you first seen it on over here,
the lights, the straight lights,

straight across,
that was on this side of this hill.

[woman 2] It was really
long. Probably like that.

Everything lasted
maybe like ten seconds?

I have another case,
it's not far from here, on Thursday.

- [woman 2] Oh wow! So it is around here.
- So…

whether or not
they're correlated between the two,

which I would think
they're somehow related.

When you hear the
word "paranormal,"

one of the common phenomena
is what people refer to as "an orb."

And orbs come in
all different shapes,

and sizes, and
colors, and behaviors.

They operate at
speeds and angles

that we couldn't
even hope to duplicate.

We had a case involving a young woman
who is working in Flagstaff.

So she drives home back
to the reservation every night.

[woman voice distorted] I would like
to stay anonymous because a lot of people

tend to think you're crazy

or to not believe
in the experience you had.

I was born and raised
on the Navajo reservation.

There had been instances

where strange lights
had been seen in the sky enough

that it was known
in the community.

As I'm driving home from work,

it's about 1:30
in the morning.

There are no houses, no lights,

no other vehicles on the road.

It's open desert.

I noticed a red light
off to my driver's side,

and it followed me
for maybe a minute or two.

It never emitted a
sound of any kind.

I reached a point in the road
where it made a sharp curve,

so I had to
take my eyes off this red ball.

I looked to my left,

and there was now this big ball,
and it was a bright white light.

It was no longer red.

I was afraid because it was
very, very close to me.

I didn't know what to do.

I realized whatever this was,

it was clearly intelligent enough
to follow me.

It was strange.

It stayed beside me
for maybe a quarter mile

before it shot forward.

Less than 500
feet in front of me,

it stopped instantaneously

and then shot
straight up in the sky.

Once it went up in the sky,
it arced across the sky,

and it looked
like a shooting star.

It was so terrifying.

I didn't wanna see it again.

In the morning, when I woke up,

I had the worst
migraine I've ever had.

Up to that point,

I had never experienced
a migraine in my life.

She reached out to me
because I live in the same community,

and she knew
I handled these type of cases.

I could tell it shook
her up quite a bit.

We went around her vehicle
with the compass,

and we're looking for
magnetic anomalies.

What we found is two areas
that had intense magnetic attraction.

One was just behind the driver's
door on the panel,

and the other one was
just in front of the passenger door.

If you took a string
and tied it between both points,

the string went right
through the driver.

So we think that when this thing
was flying alongside the vehicle,

it must have been scanning
or doing something to that vehicle

that went through her
and may have caused a physical result.

For those people that have those

first-hand experiences
with the supernatural

or these paranormal phenomenon,

it's something they're
never gonna forget.

[eerie music playing]

[Jonathan] We investigated many,
many UFO sightings,

but one of the more
fascinating cases occurred

with a non-Navajo resident
of the reservation living near Greasewood.

[eerie music playing]

I spent probably about ten years
of my life, um, on the Navajo reservation.

Taught English as
a second language.

So I'd been living in lower Greasewood
for about a year.

Satan's Butte was in the distance,
so I saw it every single day.

It's a flat top mesa.

It's pretty barren.
There's no trees.

[ominous music playing faintly]

Every night I would have to go out,
and I would feed the horses, of course.

One night, just as the sun
was going down, just at dusk,

just this odd light in the sky
caught my attention.

I just couldn't
figure out what it was.

A couple nights later,

I see this odd light in the sky
hovering above Satan's Butte,

very, very close to where
it was hovering a couple nights before.

[on video] It came straight across
here, and then it dipped down.

- [man] On this side? On the right?
- On this side, yeah.

It has red lights.

I don't know if they go around the back,
but they… It goes like this.

You can see 'em
kind of diminishing.

What I saw was a large ship.

And then coming out of that

are these tendrils of light.

But they look like teardrops
as they drop to the Earth.

The light was
coming from inside of the ship,

and the tendrils,

I don't know if those are,
you know, little UFO ships,

but they were glowing.

Fast-forward a week.

I see it again.

I thought,

"I've gotta get a picture of this,
'cause that would be so cool."

[camera clicking]

[Stanley] In the photographs
that Jon and I were shown,

there was definitely
something there.

[Jonathan] There's enough evidence
from what he gave us

and the incidents that he had

that are just outstanding
from an investigator's standpoint.

Any Navajo that I talked to about it,
none of 'em were shocked.

Everyone was
like, "Oh yeah."

I didn't think aliens existed.

I didn't think that
there were UFOs.

So I was very, very skeptical,

but the Navajo Nation taught me

that there are things out there
that we don't understand.

[Stanley] When it comes to
the paranormal or supernatural,

that element is already
within the culture of the Navajo.

[Jonathan] The Navajos themselves,
as a people, have a lot of stories

that go from generation to generation
about paranormal activity.

[Stanley] If you look at
pictographs and petroglyphs

on the walls in
Red Rock Canyons,

you see these images
that are thousands of years old.

And you see images of UFOs.

Is this what is referred
to as star people

and extraterrestrial beings?

[Jonathan] There's a lot of
stuff that happens,

but none of it is talked about

because there's such a stigma.

[eerie music playing]

[Stanley] With the
older generations,

they still have
those traditional teachings

of things that are taboo
that you don't talk about.

Because the younger generations
aren't learning those traditions as much,

then they're more open
to experiencing these kinds of things

and sharing the information.

[ominous music playing faintly]

[Jonathan] One of the most
terrifying type of case

that we've investigated

involves the legendary
Navajo skinwalker.

[Stanley] Most Navajos
have heard the term "skinwalker."

An entity that can shape-shift
or change form

from a human form
into that of an animal.

[Jonathan] They can change shape
into a coyote, into a wolf,

into anything that
they have the skin of.

I've had people tell me that
they've seen 'em on the sides of roads

when they were in human form,

and they're painted white,

kind of like if you took a sponge
and dipped it in white paint

and just blotched it
all over your body.

And the paint's cracking,

and even the hair
is long and painted.

They say that they can run
as fast as a car can drive.

These things
are dangerous…

and it's frightening.

I know that these
skinwalkers exist

because I've
experienced it myself.

Prior to my law
enforcement career,

I had come to the
Navajo reservation.

And, at the time,
I was living near Fort Defiance.

I borrowed my older sister's car
and went to the movies one night.

And it was on this route

when I had something
that was running alongside my vehicle

on the inside of
this fence behind us.

It jumps the fence
and it begins getting

within three or four feet
of the passenger side of my car,

and it was keeping up with me
at highway speed.

I'm at least 55 miles an hour.

The more that I accelerated,
the more it was right there with me.

[engine revving]

This thing had the body
of, like, a greyhound,

but from head to
toe, it was solid white.

The back of it was at least coming up
over the side of the door.

It had a mouthful of teeth.
It had a head that was canine-shaped.

And it had a long snout.

I locked eyes with it,

and its eyes were like

it was self-illuminating.

A fiery orange.

It was like it
was looking straight through me.

I just floored it.

I came sliding into the driveway,
jumped out, ran inside.

And my father was still awake,
and I explained what I had seen,

and that's when he said,

"That's… That's
a skinwalker."

To see it with your own eyes

and to know that it
wasn't make-believe,

that it wasn't fantasy,
it wasn't legend,

this was in its actual

running-on-all-fours form.

That was one of those moments

where I realized
that these things are very real.

My aunt sought help
from a medicine man.

The medicine man said

me seeing that thing running by the car
was in some way tied to

somebody out there
trying to do our family harm.

The only reason that
people do the shape-shifting thing

is to harm others.

They wanna do harm.
They definitely wanna do harm.

[Jonathan] In my experience,
in 31 years out there,

I can guarantee
you that this is real,

and I can guarantee you
that these things are deadly.

Throughout my career,
I never felt that I needed protection.

But when we started doing
these paranormal investigations,

that suddenly changed.

This is, uh, an arrowhead.

It's made out of black obsidian.

And obsidian in Navajo culture
is one of the things that can protect you.

[Stanley] If you perceive
that there's a negative energy there

or an energy that
you're just not comfortable with,

there's ways of
dealing with that.

[intriguing music playing]

[Stanley] Negative energy
can attach to us and accumulate.

I smudge by
burning cedar or sage.

What that smoke is doing,

it's removing any negative energy
that might be present.

And over the years,

this served to protect me and guide me
in working with this kind of phenomenon.

One of the most interesting
and eye-opening cases

that I've experienced
in my career as a Navajo Ranger…

was a hunting case

involving a government
office building.

That case had all kinds
of different types of phenomena.

There was employees
that were saying,

"Oh my gosh, there's
crazy activity in the building."

"Things moving,
things flying across the room,

things
exploding, voices."

This particular building
from probably the 1930s

was at one time
even used as a morgue.

[phone ringing]

[Stanley] There was
a female worker there

who was experiencing repeated calls
into her desk phone

over, and over, and over.

And there was nobody there
when she would pick up the phone.

[phone ringing]

[Stanley] And the phone company
wasn't unable to determine

where these calls
were originating from.

[ringing continues]

[Stanley] This building
had three different levels.

So, on that particular
investigation,

I developed a team of four individuals
to be able to witness these things.

My name is Tony Milford, uh,
Anthony Milford Jr.

I'm of Navajo descent,
the Navajo tribe.

Stanley approached me
to help with the investigation.

I'm a little apprehensive
because this is definitely a haunting.

It's definitely a poltergeist
because it's moving things around.

[Stanley] We went in on
a weekend around nine o'clock at night.

I was downstairs.

All of a sudden,
over here on my left side,

there was two
distinct male voices.

[eerie music playing]

I couldn't make out
what they were saying to each other.

[coin clinking]

Immediately following that,
we hear a coin fall on the floor.

And I asked,
"Did you guys drop a coin there?"

"Did you hear that too?"

Sure enough, there's, like, a quarter.
Where'd that quarter come from?

[Stanley] For me,
as an investigator,

you always have
a certain level of skepticism.

I had everybody
pull their pockets out

just to make sure
nobody had coins in their pockets.

And almost immediately,
as we went into that next room,

a coin fell, and
we could see it.

And just when that
happened, another one.

Ting.

"Did you hear that one?
That one's on the other side over there!"

And so now we're like,
"Okay, uh, something's going on here."

"Why are these
things doing this?"

"Where are they coming from?"
Stanley got hit in the back by a coin.

And this thing was thrown,
I mean, with force,

and it came from an
area we're all facing.

And you're like,
"Where'd this thing come from?"

[Stanley] Later on,
there was coins just on the desk.

We came back and the coins
were stacked up on their own.

These are the actual coins

that were involved
in the investigation

in the office space there.

There was a total of 65 coins.

They were all
denominations of US coins.

They all landed heads up.

I had come to the conclusion
that it was simply a spirit

that was letting me know that,

"Heads up. I'm here."

Following the investigation,
the next night,

one of the investigators,
Dusty, was here.

As we were sitting here
working on the computers,

a quarter fell behind me
in the middle of the floor back here.

Dusty got up with
a digital camera.

He began photographing
around my residence.

Just as he came through
the threshold of my bedroom door,

five coins fell over
the top of his head

and fell on the floor.

We knew that the coin activity
that was involved in the investigation

had followed us
here to my residence.

Again and again, here in my home,
they all landed heads up.

Most peoples, most
cultures have this idea

that we all have a life force,

or energy, or soul within us.

And when we're deceased,
that life force leaves us.

When it leaves our body,
it goes somewhere else.

And at times,

we see the result of
these energies making themselves known.

The coins was really a key
in opening my mind

to the fact that there's
an underlying commonality

among all of these
paranormal events.

[Jonathan] One of
the things that we found

was that all of these
different phenomenon

can be connected
through this idea

of a multi-universe
or dimensional gates.

[Stanley] So the coins obviously
came from somewhere else.

They manifested into our physical world,
and I witnessed that.

They are different dimensions.

And within those different dimensions,
you have these beings like the Bigfoot.

You have UFOs.

And from time to time,

they're crossing over
into our physical world.

And if you look at these
Navajo creation stories,

it kind of fits, you know?

[Jonathan] In Navajo culture,

this theory actually extends back
to the very beginning of time,

what they call
"The Emergence."

In The Emergence, the Navajo people
came through several different worlds.

They say that there's
a hole in the sky,

and they climb up
through this hole.

That, to me, is very suspiciously
an accurate account

of some kind of dimensional gate
that they came through into this world.

What if those gates still exist?
We don't see them.

We don't know where they are,

but it's very possible
that they're still here.

[intriguing music playing]

[Jonathan] The paranormal
investigations

only constituted less than 1%

of everything that we did
as Navajo Rangers.

But when they did happen,
they were very significant.

These cases are amazing.

[intriguing music continues]

[Jonathan] It's been
ten years since I retired.

I miss doing the investigations,
doing that kind of work.

[Stanley] I no longer
work for the department,

but I'm not gonna
stop helping people,

especially those people
that are living in fear.

[Jonathan]
We're always looking for answers,

no matter how
crazy they might seem.

[Stanley] There's so much more
to the universe and to our world

than what's right
here in front of us.

We've only begun to
scratch the surface.

[sinister music playing]

[mysterious music playing]

[mysterious music continues]