R.I.P. “BB”


I received the call from Officer Ken Clay from the Arizona Game & Fish Department at about 3:00 pm on Labor Day. Something strange had happened and he was requesting that I immediately travel up to a remote location just east of Chevlon Butte for a meeting. Ken was a little vague about the particulars but he did say it was regarding my old friend “BB”. Since it was a holiday weekend and since traffic was coming back into town rather than headed to the mountains, I was able to make record time. I was a little concerned that “BB” himself had not called and when Ken had mentioned “BB”, I immediately began to worry. I knew that hunting season was still 2 weeks away and therefore he was not in any danger that way. I thought about those pesky Mexican gray wolves but knew they were not supposed to be in Unit 4A, but hey, those wolves have been known to wander a lot further than that. So with the hamsters being driven to maximum overdrive (amazing what those bottles of 5 hour energy drinks can do to hamsters), the Prius and I arrived at the meeting spot in less than 3 hours.

Ken had a somber look on his face when I arrived at the designated meeting location. “Hi John, glad you could make it up here so quickly. I want to show you something and you and I can try and figure out what happened here.” I immediately asked, “Is it “BB”?” Ken gave me a quick glance and nodded, “Yep, all indications are that it was “BB”. “ I was a little surprised that Ken would know it was “BB”, but I kept hoping he was wrong. We jumped in his truck and headed straight for Chevlon Butte. As we were riding out, Ken began his explanation. “Ya know John, we see a lot of strange things out here on some moonless nights. Weird lights that flash in the sky, strange sightings, lots of odd talk from some folks about seeing things that make no sense at all. I just want you to know this before we get there.” By now my mind was spinning. What the hell was going on here. Why was he talking about strange sightings and how did that involve “BB”? I held my questions figuring that the answers would be evident soon enough. Ken was pretty calm about all of this but he did look pensive. As we got closer to Chevlon Butte, I noticed that what few trees were out in that neck of the woods had burnt tops. They seemed to have been scorched, almost as if someone had taken a flame thrower to just the tops and it had stopped right there. Finally, Ken pulled his truck around a curve and we pulled up to small meadow area. He pulled into the center of the meadow and parked. “Here is where it starts” he said. He walked over to some flags that had been pinned in a line. “We found blood spots beginning here and they went straight up towards the water tank at the bottom of the Butte. We could tell that the blood trail was not real strong, just enough to be able to trail effectively. We also found human prints, what looked like a bunch of wolf tracks and a bull elk track, all going in the same direction.” I was surprised that he could tell it was a bull elk track, so I asked him how he knew. “Well John, lets hold that question until we get to the spot I want you to see.” We kept following the flagged spots and it was evident that all three sets of tracks had been heading in the same direction.

We finally broke through all the Juniper trees and there was a huge field of alfalfa that had been planted. “I’ve been working this unit for a long time John, and this is the first time I have ever seen an alfalfa field anywhere even close to here. I have no idea who planted it and I have no idea how the stuff grew with so little water here during the early summer, but it’s pretty obvious this is a healthy field of alfalfa.” I looked over the field and it was truly amazing. There was probably 40 acres of pure alfalfa, right in the middle of nowhere. The alfalfa was lush and growing really well. It was a bit strange that there appeared to be no elk, deer or cattle that made inroads into the field for nightly dinners. As I was staring at the field, Ken motioned for me to follow him part way up the hill towards the top of the Butte. About halfway up he stopped on a small ridge and turned me around. A small tremor went up my spine when I looked back at the alfalfa field. There were weird designs cut through the field in geometric patterns. “Do you see what I see?” he asked. I nodded dumbly. There through the field were concentric circles and then a message. The message read “BB left the erth here”. I knew it had to be “BB”s message, only he could spell that badly. I tried to absorb what I was seeing. Who had done this? How was it possible? Where the hell was “BB”?

Ken watched my expression and said, “No one has been able to figure this out. There are no footprints out in that field. We’ve walked all around the edges and found not a single human print. Do you want to make any comments?” I quickly glanced at Ken and said, “You don’t think I had anything to do with this do you?” Ken shook his head and said, “Nah, I know that you and “BB” were friends and he always talked to you, we just were hoping that maybe you had some ideas.” I stared back at the field and wondered again how it could have occurred. What had happened to “BB”? Ken then told me what he knew. “I got a call yesterday that there were some strange lights around the Butte. A few folks claimed that they saw streaking lights going back and forth really quick like for about 30 minutes. Then all the lights took straight off up into the sky. I came out here at first light and saw all of this. There is something else I want you to see.” With that he headed back down the hill towards the back end of the alfalfa field.

When we got to the back of the alfalfa field he pointed to a small depression in the ground. It looked like a shallow pit, perfectly rectangular but only about 2 feet deep and around 8 feet long and 10 feet wide. There in the pit were several items. There were 4 wolf pelts, all perfectly formed, including paws and teeth, but nothing else.

Then next to that was a full camo outfit, hat, boots, pants and shirt and a crossbow, all neatly laid out as well. There wasn’t a single drop of blood, nor were there any signs of a struggle. It appeared as if all had come into this pit and disrobed, but nothing else. The short hairs went up on my neck. “Ken, I’m not one who necessarily believes in UFO’s or stuff like that, but this is flat out weird. Where are their bodies?” Ken hunched down and stared hard at the pit. “What I’m about to tell you goes no further than you or I. Here is what I believe happened. I think a poacher was out here in the early evening and took a shot at “BB”. It appears that he hit him, just not really doing any severe damage to him. I think the poacher trailed “BB” and while he was trailing “BB” some wolves who are not supposed to be here took up his blood trail. I think all parties involved got here at about the same time and then something happened.” Ken looked at me and gave a sad smile. “Let me show you the last item.” We walked over to the beginning of the field and where the blood trail had been heading. “Here are the last set of the tracks that we have from “BB”. The tracks had certainly been very visible, leading straight to the alfalfa field. “BB” had stopped just at the edge of the field and then there simply were no more tracks. “It almost seems that “BB” just disappeared, vanished…or was elevated from this spot.” I nodded in agreement. “BB” was no longer here. One minute he was here, the next just gone. I looked at Ken and said “I think that “BB” was abducted by aliens, maybe the poacher too. I can’t figure out what became of the wolves, they seem to have left their bodies here.” Then I cracked a smile. “I’ll bet “BB” talked the aliens into letting him leave me that message. ” Ken just nodded and said, “Well, it does appear that he left you a message and I sure as hell can’t write this stuff up like I believe. I’m not sure what to do.” I looked at Ken and said, “Don’t worry, I have the perfect solution!” Ken had a surprised look and said, “Tell me, ‘cause this is driving me crazy.” I grinned and started walking back towards the truck. Ken stood there and started asking louder. “What do we do?”

I waved Ken up and gave him the only plausible explanation. “We turn this over to the only person who can spin this the right way. Jim Devos, he’ll spin this so long and so elaborately that eventually no one will be able to make heads or tails out of it and it will simply become a memory for you and I.”

I spent the night out there at the Butte, but there were no flashing lights and there was no further sign from “BB”. I tried Tine dialing and Tine mail but there were no responses. “BB” was simply not answering. He had truly left the earth.

I’m left with many fond memories of all of our encounters and I hope that if even for a few minutes, the quarterly tales of “BB” lightened someone’s day and or made someone smile. It has been my absolute pleasure to explore the world of “BB” and convey his thoughts to the world of those who have read the “Tracker”. Time keeps marching on and there is always an end point for all of us. “BB” will live with me forever in my heart and soul. He just happened to decide now was his time.


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