An Elaborate Hoax by Ken Bailey
AN ELABORATE HOAX. When I was in Middle School in Rangely, the story went around that a ranch had been visited by aliens from Outer Space. Dents in the ground surrounded a scorched area of prairie grass, as if made by landing legs and the exhaust of a ship taking off. Nearby, a dead horse was found, its flesh apparently partially eaten by carnivores.
Kids shared the spooky story like wildfire. Less than a week later, however, it was revealed to have been an elaborate hoax -- someone's carefully set-up practical joke.
I didn't find any aliens lurking around Rangely, saying "Take Me To Your Leader, Earthling!" One day, however, I did find a horse head in the grass.... (play eerie music here).