Written by Jonathan Wojcik with art by Eric Kowalick!

When most people think of allegedly "true" alien encounters, they think of little grey men with big black eyeballs, beaming people out of their beds for strange medical experiments. In reality, before the popularity of the "greys," people around the world reported a fantastic variety of otherworldly visitors exhibiting inexplicable and often disturbing behavior. It's likely that many of these incidents are either powerful delusions or flagrant lies, but we're not here to pass judgment or debate the paranormal; no matter the truth, accounts like these form a fascinating modern mythology all their own, and even the most jaded skeptic should appreciate the rich imagination it would take to cook up eerie manifestations like these...



   A husband, wife and daughter were driving through the woods when they spotted three mysterious shapes gliding over the ground. They were completely covered in white hair with no other visible appendages or facial features, and oddly paralleled the family with two large beings and one smaller being. They were vaguely reminiscent of the Shmoo, a then-popular creature from the Lil'Abner comics.



   Retired teacher Mrs. Mary M. Starr reported that a bright light awoke her around two to three in the morning. Peering out her bedroom window, she thought at first that she was looking at a downed airplane until she realized that the object was hovering above her clothesline. Through the craft's large, square windows she witnessed two strange entities pass by one another with their right arms in the air. Their featureless appendages had no hands, their "heads" were transparent cubes with bright red cores and their rubbery bodies flared out like skirts. She could not see if they had any legs, but guessed that they were less than four feet tall. As she watched, the windows vanished without a trace, a sparkling antenna arose from one end of the craft and the entire hull began to glow for several minutes. Finally the glow faded, the antenna retracted and the object took a complicated path through the air before shooting straight up without a sound.



   John Hodges and Pete Rodriguez were walking to their car on a remote road at two in the morning when they saw a mysterious white light shine through the trees. When they entered their vehicle and turned on the headlights, they saw what resembled a pair of brains lying in the road. Frightened, they drove off and arrived home two hours later than the trip should have taken. Years later, Hodges underwent hypnosis to learn more about his missing time and recalled hearing a voice in his mind as the larger brain hovered towards the car, telling him that mankind would be "instruments of their own fate." He later recalled being transported to a room where more conventional gray humanoids informed him that Earth had too much power, and highlighted a map of places "where man could destroy themselves." He was also told that the brain-beings were "merely translators."



   Stig Rydberg and Hans Gustafsson were driving through a thick fog at three in the morning (2-3 is close encounter hour, if many of these cases are to be believed) when they stopped to investigate a weird glow and discovered a twelve foot flying saucer surrounded by four blueish "jelly bags" somehow jumping wildly around the object. The men stood in shock until the beings suddenly attacked them, latching on with powerful suction and dragging them towards the craft. The men struggled against their captors, but their arms only sunk into their slimy bodies. Rydberg eventually squirmed free from their grip, ran back to his car and began honking the horn, which caused the blobs to drop his friend and "shoot" back into their saucer, which immediately took off. Both men felt ill for days later, and could vividly recall the horrible stench of the aliens, like "ether and burnt sausage."



   The exact details of the dramatic Voronezh case are hopelessly muddled and may have been heavily distorted by the press, but in the popular version, a group of young children and several adults witnessed three enormous humanoids emerge from a round, red aircraft at a public park. The creatures appeared to be nearly ten feet tall, with metallic jumpsuits and small, dome-like heads, featureless except for their three menacing, luminous eyes. When a boy cried out in terror, the beings paralyzed him simply by glaring at him, then vanished into thin air for around five minutes. When they returned, they fired a beam at another boy who appeared to disintegrate. After a stroll around the park, the giants flew away in their craft and their zapped victim instantly rematerialized.

This sensational tale prompted a decidely more terrestrial invasion by self-proclaimed "UFOlogists," whose dubious interrogations of the locals extracted many conflicting reports of activity in the same park between September 21 and October 28. These reports saw the addition of a squat robot sidekick to the towering spacemen, resembling a headless box with many knobs and twitching fingers. One witness even claimed to have seen the child-hating giants activate a prone robot with what appeared to be "mouth to mouth." It's good to know that even advanced spacefaring civilizations still need to blow into the cartridge every now and then.



   33 year old bus driver Antonia La Rubia was walking to work at 2:15 in the morning when he came upon an object like "an enormous wide hat" lying in a field. Frightened, he tried to flee but felt paralyzed by a beam of blue light and shortly found himself in a pure white chamber, surrounded by curious robot-like beings. Covered in metallic scales, the beings had tapering tentacular arms, egg shaped bodies, antenna-topped heads, belts lined with syringe-like instruments and a single rigid pedestal in place of legs.

La Rubia says that he shouted at the beings, demanding to know what they wanted from him, but that they all promptly fell over as though injured by his voice. Shot with another blue light, he awoke to the entities projecting a series of images on the wall. This clip show included scenes of La Rubia (some of them nude), a dilapidated train entering a tunnel, a flying saucer assembly line and footage of the entities gruesomely "melting" a dog (wicked!). During this sequence, one of his captors drew blood from his middle finger and squirted the contents at the wall, forming a strange pattern of three circles and an "L." La Rubia suddenly awoke back outside, and experienced vomiting, pains and dizziness for a few days.



   Pilot Fred Reagan was flying his Piper Club over Georgia when he felt a mysterious force pull his plane upward, crashing it into an unidentified flying object. Finding himself suddenly inside the strange craft, he encountered three entities, roughly three feet in height, which he likened to giant, metallic stalks of asparagus. The hovering creatures, or perhaps robots, apologized to him for the accident, gave him a quick medical exam and informed him that they had he was now cured of cancer, which he never knew he had (but we're totally even on the collision thing now, right?). Fred was eventually found unconscious in a field without so much as a scratch, the wreckage of his plane nearby. Its engine was buried almost six feet into the ground, having fallen thousands of feet. Eleven months later, Reagan died mysteriously of degenerating brain tissue, a symptom of overexposure to atomic radiation.


1978 - TORRIGLIA, ITALY presents: Aaahh!!! MORE REAL ALIENS! Written by Jonathan Wojcik, original artwork by guest contributor Eric Kowalick! Is Bogleech DELICIOUS? IS IT?Digg it!Reddit!Stumble! THE REPTILOIDS OF TORRIGLIA DECEMBER 6, 1978 - TORRIGLIA, ITALY In Italy's most publicized and fantastic case of the paranormal, Security guard Pier Fortunato Zanfretta would mysteriously disappear on multiple occasions between 1978 and 1980, only to be found hours later in states of extreme shock, sometimes improbably far from where he had only recently been seen. Under hypnosis, Pier vividly and consistently detailed abductions by scaly, towering entities with spike-lined heads, triangular eyes, baggy skin and no apparent mouth opening, only a strange breathing apparatus. Introducing themselves as beings from the planet "Teetonia" in the "third galaxy," the entities spoke with Pier of their interest in contacting humanity, experimented on him with painful translation devices and even showed him other aliens they had captured and preserved in fluid-filled tanks. These specimens included a bird-like creature, a caveman-like humanoid and "frog shaped" bodies the aliens referred to as "an enemy of ours from another planet."

Outrageous though they seem, Pier seemed to genuinely believe that his claims were the truth, and they terrified him. More disturbingly, over fifty witnesses would report strange lights in the sky coinciding with Pier's disappearances, which drove one of his own coworkers to mental trauma and eventual suicide.

If Pier's hypnotically induced memories are to be believed, the aliens wished to befriend mankind, but were discouraged by Pier who believed they were simply too ugly. Thanks dude, I'm sure they didn't have any valuable medical knowledge or anything.



   Driving home one night at one in the morning, 19 year old Lee Parish spotted a rectangular object hovering in the sky. Suddenly, his radio failed and he felt unable to control his vehicle. He arrived home with sore and bloodshot eyes, unable to account for more than a half hour of time. Under hypnosis, he vividly described being transported from his driver's seat into a huge, round room containing three strange creatures or machines. One towering figure was at least twenty feet tall, resembling a rough black "tombstone" with a single, pointed arm. Another, fatter being was six feet tall and pure white, with two unmoving arms and a wedge-like head. Lee got the impression that the white being was the "leader," and it constantly emitted odd sounds like teeth being brushed. The third, smallest being was red and rectangular, and Lee sensed that this being was afraid of him as it approached and touched his head. He felt a cold, stinging sensation and later believed he had been analyzed in some way.

After their brief contact, the red being seemed to disappear behind the white being, the white being slid behind the black being, and the black being began to back away, which made Parish feel warmer. He found himself abruptly back in his Jeep.



   After witnessing a "meteor" land atop a hill, a mother and six youths - one of them national guardsman Gene Lemon - went to investigate and encountered a huge, pulsing ball of light in a patch of trees. When one boy spotted a pair of eyes in the trees, Lemon shone his flashlight on a machine-like figure over ten feet tall. The being had a green, metallic surface, a skirt-shaped lower body, short three-pronged "arms" and a circular, blood red head with shining eyes and a spade shaped hood or helmet. The group fled in terror as it began to hover towards them, surrounded by a dark fog, hissing and spraying an oily substance. Several were treated for shock, and vomited for hours from a horrendous stench that had permeated the area of the sighting. The local sheriff and an armed posse returned to the hill to find the same sickening odor, but no evidence of a meteor impact.

Interestingly enough, the Flatwoods Monster has become one of the most famous icons of UFO phenomenon in Japan, where it makes various appearances in video games, manga and cartoons. An American television show that shall not be named would more recently spread around that the monster was a lizard-like humanoid in a hovering chair, but this is the embellishment of a single writer completely unconnected to any of the original (alleged) witnesses, and should be disregarded as stupid.



   In my personal favorite encounter, two men were fishing late one night at an abandoned shipyard when a football-shaped UFO descended nearby with a buzzing sound. A hatch opened on its surface and three rather disturbing humanoids floated out of it. The beings had an almost mummy-like appearance, with grey, heavily wrinkled skin and stiff, straight legs that may have been fused together. They had no visible eyes, but possessed expressionless, slot-like mouths and thin, sharpened points where a nose and ears would be. Their arms were very long, and ended in hands like fleshy mittens or clamps. They seized the two men, who felt paralyzed and went limp as they were taken inside the craft. Each could recall being suspended in mid air, examined by an eye-like device and surrounded by the strange creatures who worked in stiff, robotic movements. One man recalled buzzing sounds from one of the beings, the other said that they emitted a strange mumbling. After their abduction, one man heard a message in his mind that the creatures were peaceful. Could have told them that before the whole paralysis and kidnapping part, guys.



   In one of the most heavily scrutinized and surely the most dramatic alien encounters, two Kentucky families claimed that they had spent an entire night defending a homestead from several small "goblins." Eerily silent, the metallic skinned creatures had huge, shining eyes, wide slit-like mouths, pointed fan-shaped ears, powerful looking clawed arms and stunted bodies with thin legs. Rather than walk, they appeared to "float" with their feet dragging along the ground, swaying their hips with their arms raised as though wading through water. The creatures were repeatedly shot at with a shotgun and .22 rifle, but were only momentarily knocked back by the blasts, with a sound "like bullets rattling around in a metal drum." A few were reportedly shot down from trees or even the roof, but would float to the ground rather than fall.

The witnesses were unsure of their numbers, but the "goblins" would reportedly lay siege to the house for hours. They crawled spider-like on the outer walls, clawed loudly at the roof, peered in through windows and even grabbed one witness by the hair as he stepped onto the porch. Seven people saw the creatures themselves, while two others hid in the house. At about eleven PM, the families fled the house and drove to the police station, where they appeared sincerely terrified. Twenty officers accompanied them back home, finding no evidence of drugs or alcohol but obvious signs of the gun battle and other damaged property. Police left by 2:15 AM, but the creatures returned and the war continued until dawn.

Eerily, members of neighbouring farmhouses had not only heard the shots but were distressed by other strange sounds, colorful lights in the sky and a mysterious green glow in the woods. Interviewed individually, all witnesses have provided strikingly cohesive details, sought no benefit from their story and resented the publicity, finding nothing exciting or amusing about what they maintained was a terrifying ordeal. To this day, the legend stands with no obvious signs of hoaxing.

Interestingly enough, Steven Spielberg's famous "E.T: The Extraterrestrial" began development as a very different, much darker film based on the Hopkinsville incident. The goblins also appear to have inspired the Pokémon character Sableye, seen here.



   The most famous entity here, Mothman is considered by some to be more "cryptid" (mysterious animal) than "alien," but it shares many of the strange qualities reported in alien encounters, including intense, luminous eyes and a sickening, seemingly radioactive aura. The first publicized sighting came from two couples, Roger and Linda Scarberry and Steve and Mary Mallette, who were passing an old TNT factory on November 15 when they spied a pair of red lights near a generator plant. Curious to see what could be lit up at the long abandoned site, they stopped the car and discovered that the lights were actually huge, reflector-like eyes set in the chest of a seemingly headless figure, six to seven feet tall with huge wings folded against its back and a covering of black fur or feathers. When they returned to their car and fled, they spotted the creature on a hillside moments later, which shot into the air and followed their car closely until they reached Point Pleasant city limits, sometimes exceeding 100 miles an hour. As they entered the city, Scarberry noticed the body of a large dog lying by the road, and returned later to see if it belonged to anyone, finding it had vanished. This is around where the story gets creepier.

Earlier that same evening, Salem building contractor Newell Partridge had supposedly been at home watching television when the screen distorted into a strange pattern and he heard a loud whine from outside "like a generator winding up." He heard his hunting dog, Bandit, howling in the front yard and went outside to see his beloved companion staring at a pair of luminous red circles by the hay barn. The dog bolted in pursuit of the inhuman eyes, and would never be seen again. Two days later, he read about the TNT plant sighting in the local paper, including the statement about the dead dog, and was certain Bandit had been killed by the strange monster.

The following night, again before the Scarberry and Mallette story had been published, Mrs. Marcella Bennet spied a "funny red light" hovering above the TNT plant, and drove with her baby to the home of Ralph Thomas and his family. When she got out of her car, a "big gray figure" with "terrible glowing eyes" rose up from the ground near her, frightening her into dropping her daughter. She scooped up the infant and ran to the house, where the whole family reported the creature shuffling around their porch and peering into windows. Mrs. Bennet was so terrified by the incident that she sought counseling for months, and claimed to hear mysterious shrieks near her home.

With the publication of these accounts, Mothman madness gripped Point Pleasant with over 100 alleged witnesses to the creature itself and other curious phenomenon, including UFO activity and even mysterious "Men In Black" harrassing locals. The hysteria (if that's all we can really chalk it up to) began to fade by the following year, but came to an abrupt end on December 15, 1967, when 46 people were killed in the collapse of the Ohio river bridge. Mysterious lights were reported over the TNT plant that same dark night, and more "Men In Black" were reported through Christmas weekend, but never again would a Mothman encounter make local news.

From "Gaia Online" and the "Castlevania" series

Even if every "alien" encounter is a mere fabrication or hallucination, creatures like the ominous mothman, the invincible goblins and those smelly amoeboids deserve to be remembered just as fondly as the manticore, the cockatrice and the gorgon. They're the demons, fairies and youkai of a society more jaded by science, and it's almost depressing that close encounters gradually homogenized into the same silvery humanoids. Please, if you ever feel the need to spread a sensational story about a space monster...give it some bug-eyes and tentacles. Support cryptodiversity.

...And please send Eric Kowalick some appreciation for his stylish and vibrant illustrations, without which I wouldn't have gotten off my ass to write up this long-planned feature!