's 2015 Horror Write-off:

" Mesa Blanco "

Submitted by Rahkshasarani

 Mesa Blanco is not a protected park. There are no fences preventing entrance and no laws prohibiting public exploration. Yet in a heavily trafficked area, Mesa Blanco has received less than 20 visitors since 1972.

17 of those visitors disappeared on the mesa, never to resurface.

Because of heavy Pueblo presence in the area, it is speculated that Mesa Blanco is the home to a defensive structure, but a definite description has never been secured. The mesa does not show in satellite photos of the area One of the few existing accounts comes from a silver prospector who got separated from his mule in 1842. The prospector stated that the hill went on forever, and that there was a village that stayed the same distance away no matter how he climbed, surrounded by a stone wall with a gap crowned by two great ivory tusks. Seeing as he also said he stumbled over a snake with the head of a vulture, this testimony is somewhat suspect.

Visitors to the park that contains Mesa Blanco often stumble upon kachina dolls by the dozen, often embedded in clay deposits or seemingly growing out of the stone. The number of dolls is unprecedented, far more than a single pueblo could produce, possibly indicating a settlement deeply in fear for its survival against some great catastrophe.

Public attention only turned to Mesa Blanco in 1972, after an incident with the Pilo family. George and Martha Pilo had decided to take their young son on a nature walk when they spotted a trail leading up to the mesa.

No official trails lead to the summit of Mesa Blanco. What the couple described was an axe-notch path of the variety commonly found in the area, created by pueblo-dwelling natives. They had been climbing for an undetermined amount of time when the cries of their son alerted them.

Andy Pilo had somehow fallen far behind his parents and was thirty feet below their position. His father described something large and black attacking his son's face. George raced to the boy, shouting and waving his arms, and startled it away. Andy had sustained several scratches and bruises to his face, sobbing about how “the bad kite” had hurt him. The Pilos gathered their son and attempted to leave the mesa. The return journey was increasingly difficult because the path they had been following had disappeared. Andy was treated at the local hospital and, save for frequent nightmares, enjoyed good health.

The local paper made a three-day cover story of the incidents on and off Mesa Blanco, kicked off by an interview with the Pilos and then delving into “indian lore” mostly scrounged up in the newsroom. Referring to the Pueblo Indians by the misnomer Anasazi(Apache for enemy ancestor) the paper claimed the mesa was home to a tribe that sought to escape war and conflict by raising themselves above the sky. While archaeological record does show a sudden, inexplicable surge in violence and cannibalism in the Pueblo indians around the 1300’s, there are no local Hopi or Zuni tribes who will confirm kinship with the mythological tribe.

In 2002, Andy Pilo took a backpack of supplies and disappeared along the trail. His body has not been recovered.