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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

By TCC Team Member Dorraine Fisher
Professional Writer, a nature and wildlife enthusiast who has written for many magazines.

Mysteries Of Cripple Creek
An Interview With Leon Drew
By TCC Team Member Dorraine Fisher

I’m always interested in picking all kinds of brains, and bigfoot and paranormal investigators top my list of brains to pick. It takes a special breed of person to do this kind of investigation; a special way of viewing the world and everything in it. And all the minds behind it have different ways of processing what they deal with every day.

Leon Drew, a telecom project manager for the U.S. Army at Ft. Carson, Colorado has had paranormal encounters for most of his life. He is a bigfoot researcher and ghost hunter in one of the most haunted towns in the U.S., Cripple Creek, Colorado and has appeared on the Travel Channel’s hit show, Ghost Adventures. Cripple Creek, these days a gambling town, sits on the southwest side of Pike’s Peak in the majestic Colorado Rocky Mountains. A little over a hundred years ago, a great gold rush happened there. Hundreds of wealth-seekers flocked to the area hoping to strike it rich, but many would be disappointed and many would lose their lives in the process. Leaving this little town, according to many locals, full of unsettled spirits of the dead.

And it’s also a town surrounded by some really beautiful mountain wilderness; perfect territory for Bigfoot. Ute Indian legend and modern day local reports would suggest that sasquatches are alive and well around Cripple Creek.

But how does one man live in the midst of this, process it, and still manage to lead a somewhat normal life? As I talked to Leon, I realized that his approach to his self-proclaimed strange life was pretty insightful.

Dorraine: All this stuff you do in Cripple Creek, ghost hunting, bigfoot research. How did it all start?

Leon: Well the ghost hunting started after helping start the Jail museum here, and I started having encounters.

Dorraine: What kind of encounters?

Leon: The first one happened during the day on a Saturday while I was there alone. I got tapped on the shoulder. I spun around and no one was there. I normally dress in 1880's cloths when I’m there, and had gun belt on, when I spun around I had my gun in my hand.

Dorraine: Ready to shoot something? (Laughs)

Leon: Yes (Laughs) Then I locked the door and checked the entire building and I was all alone.

The next one happened two years later during a haunted house fundraiser we were doing. I was doing all the special effects from my laptop. While resetting everything after a tour, I was in a dark hallway in the main cell block. As I looked up, I could feel someone watching me. There was a man standing there and he asked me, "When is it my turn to scare the hell out of someone?"

Dorraine: You could see him clearly?

Leon: He was as solid as me, about 6 feet tall, blue jean shirt and pants, clean shaven and clean cut. I thought he was one of the volunteers. I started to answer him, and he smirked and disappeared. I looked all around trying to figure out how someone did it... then realized it was a ghost.

Dorraine: Yikes! What about bigfoot encounters?

Leon: The Bigfoot started when I had two encounters with what I would say were juvenile Sasquatch crossing the road in front of my jeep.

Dorraine: Did you believe in all this stuff before these events happened?

Leon: Oh yes. My first spirit encounter happened when I was four. I saw my dead grandfather on our family farm. I’ve had lots of different encounters all over the country. Due to my military career I have

lived all over.

Dorraine: So you’ve had encounters of some sort everywhere you’ve lived?

Leon: Almost everywhere. Georgia, Arizona, New Mexico, and in Panama. Most have been on Army bases as they have had lots of action and deaths on them.

Dorraine: Do you think there's some significance to this? It seems to me that some people are like the chosen ones. Some see these kinds of things. Some don't. What do you think about that? Why do you think that is?

Leon: Well, I think a lot of it is being open minded. And observant.

Dorraine: So you're saying they have to be receptive to it?

Leon: I am very details oriented. And yes, also receptive.

Dorraine: Skeptics would say you'd have to be willing to believe crazy things. What would you say to that?

Leon: Well helps to be a little crazy in order to do this. But you need to be willing to push the reality envelope.

Dorraine: You mean being willing to expand your mind a bit to believe in things that aren't proven?

Leon: Yes, very much so.

Dorraine: How do people in Cripple Creek regard you? Do some say you're crazy?

Leon: No. Most everyone that lives here has had an experience of some type.

Dorraine: So this is a whole town of believers?

Leon: A small mountain mining town tends to attract unusual types anyway. They seem to be mostly believers, though some are skeptics. But it doesn't take long after you move here to have some type of happening.

Dorraine: What are their feelings about bigfoot?

Leon: The Bigfoot thing that can draw some interesting reactions.

Dorraine: Well, Cripple Creek’s a small town and in small towns, you get to know people pretty well. How do you think people there feel about the subject overall?

Leon: Most are open to something being possible.

Dorraine: As you've said they've all had strange experiences. It opens their minds a bit maybe?

Leon: Yes, most of them. Bigfoot reports in the area date back to Kit Carson and the Ute Indians.

Dorraine: And you’ve said you’ve seen Sasquatch twice?

Leon: Three visuals, two audios, and numerous signs.

Dorraine: I guess it’s safe to say you’ve seen a lot of unusual stuff. But, as far as everything you've seen collectively during your "career," have you ever been scared to death?

Leon: Not really. I’m always careful and respectful to both spirits and Sasquatch. After 18 years as a soldier and being in many hotspots, I don't get scared as easy.

Dorraine: Is that the only reason? Your military training? Or is there more to it?

Leon: I look at most things with a scientific mind and try to explain it that way.

Dorraine: Have you ever had a problem sorting it out logically or scientifically?

Leon: I feel that respect for all things makes it easier... also as spirits can sense it. Sometimes I use my Indian heritage side and think of it as a gift.

Dorraine: So staying calm and rationalizing is key in what you do?

Leon: Yes, and also not being intimidated by others.

Dorraine: But you're saying that you just see all this; all these weird things you’ve seen, as natural parts of the big picture of everything that exists?

Leon: Yes, everything is connected.

Dorraine: Okay, so you have a more spiritual view of it all? Every piece of the puzzle has its place, including ghost and sasquatches.

Leon: Yes, exactly. And we all need to show respect to all things and all beings.

Dorraine: So what it all comes down to is that it’s the energy you project.

Leon: And the energy you receive. I try to see all points of view but there are limits.

Dorraine: Well, it seems to work for you.

Leon: It does for me, but it does have its drawbacks.

Dorraine: Such as?

Leon: Social interactions and integrations. I’m not a sports person or a social drinker. So I’m a bit of a loner. But it allows for lots of reflection and interaction with Mother Earth.

Dorraine: So you think that your unusual life affects you socially? Or your lack of social interaction affects your unusual life?

Leon: Well, I’ve always have had an unusual life. A soldiers life is not normal. Then I’ve worked in the Telecom industry so I travel a lot.

Dorraine: How has your military career affected your outlook about this?

Leon: Well, I always observe everything. I’m always watching what goes on around me.

As we say, "Stay alert, stay alive!"

Dorraine: Interesting. I've read that a connection to the metaphysical starts with being awake or alert.

So because of your military training, by being alert, you’re seeing things that others don't. A lot of people seem to run around hypnotized. I’m guilty of that myself. (Laughs)

Leon: Some think so narrowly of both mental and physical visions. So wrapped up in their gadgets.

Dorraine: And their own personal struggles.

Leon: So many personal struggles are self-fulfilling.

Dorraine: So what do you say to the skeptics?

Leon: I understand the skeptics keeps you sharp. Everything I encounter I try to debunk.

To ensure it is real and not misinterpreted.

Dorraine: How does this affect your day job. Does all this interfere, or are you able to separate them well enough?

Leon: Actually it’s no issue with me at all. My job allows me to stay on top of the latest technology, I get support from my boss, and have gotten stories from coworkers.

I sometimes hesitate to ask the deeper questions about this subject. Bigfoot researchers and paranormal investigators can be understandably sensitive about how their views will be received. But I’ve been friends with Leon for a while now, and I knew he’d tell it the way he sees it. He doesn’t care much what people think. He knows what he knows. And it gives us all a really clear picture of how one man, through his Native American heritage and personal spiritual philosophies, has managed to make peace with it all. ******DF
[Here is another story we did with Leon -Face to Face with Sasquatch]

!!!This Event Has now been CANCELLED!!!
! Upcoming Event !

Conference hosted by Pikes Peak Crypto and SIR at Cripple Creek Heritage Center on May 4, 2013
Our woods and forest have been alive and active this year with our forest friends. It is time to get together and see what has been going on.

Conference: 10:30-4:00 - Cripple Creek Heritage Center. Bring Lunch
Dinner: 5-6:30 - The Creek. Limited space to 50 people.
Ghost Hunt: 7-9/9-11 - Cripple Creek Jail. Very limited space. 10 people per hunt.
Optional Camping: - May 5 & 6 Location announced at Conference, Bring own equipment and food Not an official Pikes Peak Crypto or SIR event.

Cost : Cash only no checks or credit cards.
Conference - $10.00 per person or $25.00 per couple, cash only
Dinner - Responsible for buying own dinner
Ghost Hunt - $15.00 per person or $25.00 conference/hunt, cash only $40.00 per couple conference/hunt, cash only.
Camping: - No cost. Responsible to bring own equipment and food. Optional time for friends and fellow researchers. Not an official activity of Pikes Peak Crypto or SIR

For more information or to reserve your spot email - leon.drew@skybeam.com
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