Bigfoot! UFOs! Skin-walkers! Hauntings! … Pennies! They are all here in the fifth episode of Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries, “Paranormal Rangers.” I mean, by that sentence alone and with that title, I need an entire spin-off series. In particular, I thought the Navajo Rangers, Stanley Milford, Jr. and especially Jonathan Redbird Dover, were exceptionally interesting, thoughtful and earnest. I could listen to Redbird all day long. I appreciated that! Whatever I thought about the various incidents they covered in the Navajo Nation, I appreciated that they weren’t jerks to the people who experienced or thought they experienced something.
The Navajo Nation, is a Native American Reservation that covers quite a swath of territory across bits of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. In 2000, these two rangers were tasked with investigating the paranormal happenings repeatedly reported to the Navajo Nation Rangers, which are essentially the equivalent of the United States Forest Service members. The first of the reported paranormal activities, or unexplained activities rather, is that of Bigfoot along the San Juan River, with at least 30 sightings reported.
Brenda Harris, a Bigfoot witness, said her husband left for the graveyard shift one night while she was home with the children, and then she heard something approach the porch. The something began to turn the doorknob. For some wild reason, Brenda opened the door! She opened the door to something she wasn’t sure what it was! She opened the door to Bigfoot! In all seriousness, she reports then seeing something black, tall and covered in hair. She said it was scraggy looking. It ran. Then it came back again. Then it ran. She said it repeated this action a few times through the course of the night. She later found a footprint that measured 18 inches long. For context, the Guinness World Record holder in 2011 had a left foot that measured 1 foot 3 inches. So, Bigfoot’s foot would measure 1 foot, 6 inches, or 3 inches bigger.
When our Paranormal Rangers investigated, they found hair in the barbwire where it looked like Bigfoot may have scaled the fence. Redbird said he sent the hair in for DNA testing and it came back as an “unknown carnivore.” I’d be curious to know more about that result! Bigfoot also reportedly ripped up Vernida and Duane Bissonette’s horse corral, prompting Brenda to try to capture Bigfoot on camera. She thinks she did; I’m more skeptical of the shadows.
The episode then pivots to UFOs, where individuals report seeing orbs, particularly while they’re driving and perhaps passing a laser through them. Greasewood resident, Hoss Lors (if those four words don’t represent a Mad Libs, then I don’t know what does), reported seeing a large ship with tendrils of light and he did take a photo of … something. I’m not sure what it is, though!
And then the episode pivots to Skin-walkers, the shapeshifters, who can go from human to wolf and so forth, and Stanley said he experienced one himself while at Fort Defiance in 1986.
If you’re catching on to the theme of the episode, we pivot against to a haunting case at a government building in Window Rock, where coins are felled and stacked up as all heads. At this point, especially when this is followed by talk of multidimensional universe stuff, the episode sort of lost my attention. It was too scattershot! If they had done the first 20 minutes (or even the whole episode, to be honest) on Bigfoot and the next 20 minutes on UFOs, it would have made for more of a focused and mysterious episode. Instead, they seemed to try to cram five episodes of a show called Paranormal Troopers into one episode for Unsolved Mysteries.
Nonetheless, as skeptical as I am, I’m always going to be intrigued by Bigfoot lore and mythology.
What did you think?