Written by Jonathan Wojcik, original artwork by guest contributor Eric Kowalick!
Digg it!
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 very genuinely believed 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.
Brushbrushbrushbrushbrush. Brush? Brushbrushbrush. BRUSH. Is none of this getting through to you?
Does this dress go with this hood?
Original composite sketch
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
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 hoax
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.
I didn't do it.
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.
Mothman as it appears in the
From Gaia Online
From Gaia Online
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!
We continue our look at some of the most fantastic alien creatures ever described by lucky (or
imaginative) witnesses, building up to some of the most sensational of all time...
Actual witness sketch
composite sketch by investigator