“Park ranger here. Another ranger and I were out on a search and rescue call once. The missing person was a man in his 20s. He had gone hiking and had not returned the day that he intended to. When we got the call, it was nighttime, but we hiked in a few miles and set up camp on a ridge that had a pretty good view. He had gone into the woods prepared, so we decided to wait until daylight before beginning the search.
About 2 AM, I get up and am taking a piss when I see a moving light at the base of the cliffs across the valley and a few miles away. Looks like a flashlight beam. I tell the other ranger and we make the decision to keep waiting for daylight.
The next morning, we decide to go check out the area and bring this guy home. He get to approximately where I saw the light the night before and start calling his name. Soon, we find his body at the base of the cliff. He had fallen 60 feet on his head. The body was badly mangled. We radio back that it has now become a “recovery” instead of a “rescue.”
At this point, the other ranger yells to me to come look at this. Lying 20 feet from the man’s body was his maglite. It seemed odd, but I thought nothing of it until the other ranger reminded me of the light the night before. It kind of gave me the creeps, but I still dismissed it.
Before too long, the coroner arrived and inspected the body. After he took the body back to the lab, he said that the man had been dead for at least 48 hours before we found the body. All of the sudden the “oh, shit” alarm went off in my brain. I knew that it couldn’t be possible. I had the coroner review his work. Same result. I tried to find an explanation for the light I had seen–perhaps other hikers. But one Search and Rescue guy had stayed at the only trailhead in the area all night. No one had come or gone.
To this day, I have no clue what I saw that night. It freaked me out though.” – lepus_americanus