The San Luis Valley, like many other regions around the world, has always had its share of reported sightings and encounters going back as far as the early 1930s. Many of these alleged events were covered extensively by local and regional newspapers. Over the past 30 or so years there have been intense so-called "flap" periods of increased UFO sightings and of unusual animal deaths ("mutilations"), often with simultaneous periods reporting both phenomena.
Native American myths
Could some of the most intriguing clues we have in regards to aspects of the UFO and unusual animal death phenomena lie in the mythic tradition of this and possibly other unique bio-regions in the southwestern United States? We do know that 12 different Indian tribes used the San Luis Valley as a sacred hunting and vision-quest area. No Native American ventured into the valley during the winter months where it is not uncommon to find night-time temperatures at minus 20 degrees for weeks at a time. Although no Indians lived in the San Luis Valley full-time, the oldest known continuously inhabited dwellings in North America, the Taos Pueblo, are found at the extreme southern edge of the valley.
Several Southwestern Indian tribes consider the San Luis Valley, most specifically the San Luis Lakes area, to be the location of the Sipapu or place of emergence. The Indians believe that they were led underground to safety at this location just before a cleansing period of earth changes. The Navajo version mentions our current time period as being the end of the fifth world. According to their tradition, they were warned of the upcoming cataclysms by sky katchinas (fireballs?) signaling them the time to travel to the Sipapu was at hand. Once underground, it is said, they were cared for by ant people for several generations until it was safe to re-emerge and re-populate the new world.
Just southwest of the Sipapu stand the tallest collection of promontories in the valley, the Blanca Massif which is considered to be "the sacred mountain of the east" to most Southwestern tribes. This area is where Navajos say star people enter into our reality aboard flying seed-pods.
Folks still gather at the Hot Springs, which continues to be celebrated for its therapeutic powers. The Utes called it Pagosah or healing waters and visitors from all over the world come to enjoy the hot baths.