Close Encounters of the Weird Kind
Due in no small part to the films of Steven Spielberg , the books of Whitley Strieber and decades of market saturation through television documentaries, magazine articles and internet hoopla, there are few people on Earth who are unfamiliar with the now iconoclastic image of the gray skinned, bulbous headed, black almond eyed aliens known as the Greys. These short, colossal cranium bearing, probe fetishists — which have plagued so many midnight motorists and slumbering suburbanites — have been chronicled ad infinitum in modern ufological lore and represent, to most, the prototypical image of an extraterrestrial entity.
While there is no denying that these odd creatures are far and away the most famous — or infamous, as the case may be — alien entities to have allegedly visited our world, the fact remains that they represent only a small portion of the truly bizarre beings, which people claim to have come into contact with over the decades.
These intergalactic fiends run the gamut from tiny imp-like critters, to colossal three-eyed giants, to one legged robots, to headless bats, to pointy nosed abductors with wrinkly skin, to pulsating space brains. Some ignore their terrestrial bound hosts; others are prophetic, while others seem to be mischievous or even overtly hostile. In fact, the only things these eccentric entities seem to have in common is that they are not of this Earth and that they represent some of the flat out weirdest creatures that eyewitnesses have ever claimed to have encountered.
ZANFRETTA ALIEN ABDUCTIONS: (ITALY – 1978)
On the frigid night of December 6th, 1978, night watchman Pier Zanfretta was on a routine patrol in the village of Torriglia, when he stumbled into a series of terrifying encounters with extraterrestrial beings that would make him question everything he had come to believe about reality.
Zanfretta’s upsetting tale began when his car inexplicably lost power en route to a client’s unoccupied home. The confused security man glanced through his window and spied four lights moving in the garden of the house he was coming to inspect. Assuming that the beams were emanating from the flashlights of prowlers, Zanfretta climbed from his car with his revolver and flashlight in hand.
The watchman silently slipped through the gate and crept along a rock wall in an effort to get the jump on what he still assumed were ordinary burglars. Just as he prepared to leap out to confront these trespassers, he felt something touch his shoulder from behind. Zanfretta spun around, but instead of finding a human criminal he saw an entity that he described as being: “An enormous green, ugly and frightful creature, with undulating skin… as though he were very fat or dressed in a loose, gray tunic… no less than 10-feet tall.” It was flanked by two similar beasts.
Zanfretta would include more explicit descriptions of these beings including hairy, greenish skin, horns on the sides of their faces, yellow triangular eyes and red veins embedded in their the foreheads. He also described a unique, self-illuminated mechanical apparatus that fit over their mouths.
Zanfretta was so stunned by the sight of before him that he sprinted away from these bizarre brutes. As he approached his dead car, he insisted that a brilliant light loomed up behind him. Zanfretta looked over his shoulder to see a massive, triangular shape, which blinded him. He shielded his eyes with his arm and stared in awe as this gigantic UFO ascended with a “hiss” and blasted him with a searing wave of heat.
Struggling, the guard finally made it back to his car where he contacted his security company. The radio operator testified that his friend’s incoherent babbling consisted of descriptions of inhuman beings: “… they aren’t men, they aren’t men… my God, are they ugly!”
An hour later two other guards discovered Zanfretta lying on the frost covered ground. Shockingly his clothes were still warm. The guards also discovered horseshoe shaped markings in the ground behind the house that seemed to have been made by an extremely heavy object.
No less than 52 Torriglia residents reported spying a bright light emanating from the same area. In the months followed, the watchman claimed to have been confronted by these (and other) creatures numerous times and huge footprints and other tangible pieces of evidence were even found at the scenes of these alleged abductions.
VORONEZH ALIENS: (RUSSIA – 1989)
One of the weirdest — and most widely witnessed — alien events ever chronicled is a bizarre tale that involves UFOs, robots, vanishing “guns” and gargantuan alien invaders. The incident began as dozens of observers spied a huge, red object circling above popular Levoberezhniy’s park on the evening of September 27, 1989, in the Russian city of Voronezh.
Perplexed eyewitnesses swore that the “vehicle” hovered less than 40-feet above ground — close enough to disturb the grass below — above a group of school children who were playing soccer. According to the testimony of those at the scene, a hatch on the underside of the craft opened to reveal a long armed, neck-less, 9-foot tall entity with a small, dome-like head.
The creature was clad in a silver jumpsuit with bronze boots and was so large it filled the hatch. Most disturbingly, eyewitnesses claimed that there were three luminous eyes wedged into this being’s curved head. Its two outer eyes were whitish and the center eye was bright red and “swiveling around like a radar.” They also claimed that the alien had a disk-like object attached to its chest.
It was then that the UFO made its descent, bending a tree in the process. The huge alien emerged from the ship trailed by two identical creatures. These extraordinary entities were followed by what witnesses described as a “box-like robot” with buttons on its front. One of the aliens adjusted the controls on the robot’s chest enabling it to walk about in a “mechanical” fashion.
Before this vexing event would be over, the aliens and their robot would emit strange, patterned light beams from their chest, take soil samples, disappear, then reappear and even vaporize a nearby teenager with a tube shaped weapon. Thankfully the youngster rematerialized as the aliens boarded their UFO and ascended, disappearing for the final time.
HOPKINSVILLE GOBLINS: (USA – 1955)
This traumatic series of events began at approximately 7 pm. on the evening of August 21, 1955. The Taylor family was visiting the Suttons at their rustic farmhouse near Hopkinsville, Kentucky, when they had a close encounter that would forever change their lives.
The ordeal began when Billy Ray Taylor went out to fetch water from the Sutton’s well. While at the pump he saw a gleaming, rainbow colored, disc shaped object land in a gorge less than a mile away. Taylor ran back to inform the others, but they laughingly dismissed his tale as nothing more than a shooting star that had played tricks on his eyes.
All that changed soon after when the Sutton’s dog began barking frenziedly in the darkness. Taylor and Elmer Sutton snagged their rifles and charged outside only to see an entity which they described as luminous being about 3-feet in height with an over-sized head, glowing eyes, floppy, pointed ears, a narrow mouth, thin legs and talon tipped fingers. The creature — which was floating just above the ground — was dressed in a silvery metallic outfit and charged at the men with its clawed hands in the air.
The terrified men, fearing the worst, fired at the creature, but it just did a back flip and disappeared into the woods, apparently unharmed. Taylor and Sutton quickly retreated to the isolated house, but before they could recount what had transpired, the alien appeared in front of a window. The men fired again, blasting holes in the screen, but when they went ran back out to inspect the corpse, they found no trace of it.
Suddenly, a similar being lunged down from the awning of the porch and entangled its claw in one of the men’s hair. They fired again, but the creature — seemingly just as bulletproof as its kin — gently floated to the ground and tore off into the shrubbery. The men ran back to the farmhouse just as a cluster of the creatures began to assail it. The pesky critters began scurrying across the roof and appearing in different windows simultaneously, terrifying the eleven men, women and children in the tiny abode.
As with the others, bullets had no apparent effect on the creatures and after a harrowing three hour ordeal, the group decided to make a break for the two vehicles that were parked outside. One of the children would later recall that as they sprinted for the cars he noticed that the creatures “stuck to the side of the house in the way a spider could.”
The families ran for their lives, crammed into the cars and sped down to the local Sheriff’s office to report the strange incident. Sheriff Russell Greenwell and his deputies were on hand to interview the petrified family members and they verified the sobriety, sanity and sincerity of the eyewitnesses. Greenwell would go on to say: “These were not the sort of people who normally ran to the police… something frightened them, something beyond their comprehension.”
When the officers arrived at the scene to investigate, they found no hint of the creatures, but noted the multiple bullet holes in the windows and walls of the farmhouse. The Sutton’s neighbors testified that they heard gunshots, and a state highway trooper independently reported weird “meteor-like objects” flying overhead, “with a sound like artillery fire coming directly from them” earlier that evening.
Assured by the police that there was no indication of anything unusual — and no doubt assuming that the worst was over — the Suttons and the Taylors returned to the farmhouse at approximately 2:15 am. Much to the chagrin of both families, the creatures reappeared and began scuttling around, climbing walls and staring into windows.
The men responded with gunfire, which (of course) had no effect on the beasts. The chaos ensued until almost dawn, when the beings mysteriously disappeared for a final time. The aliens never did return to the farmhouse, but the Sutton family nevertheless felt compelled to abandon their home not long after the incident.
PASCAGOULA ABDUCTORS: (USA – 1973)
On the evening of Thursday October 11, 1973, Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker were fishing off the rusty iron piers of the old Shaupeter Shipyard. The evening proceeded uneventfully, until about 9 pm., when the men spotted a bluish, oblong orb pulsating in the sky a few miles away.
At first the men were intrigued by the unusual light show, but when the glowing, egg shaped object hovered just a few feet above the bayou, approximately a 100-feet away from them, their curiosity was quickly usurped by fear. Abruptly, a hatch opened at the end of the oval craft and three strange beings began to glide just above the water straight toward them. Hickson described what he now believes were quasi-robotic creatures from another world:
“ (They were) about five feet tall, had bullet-shaped heads without necks, slits for mouths and where their noses or ears would be, they had thin, conical objects sticking out, like carrots from a snowman’s head. They had no eyes, gray, wrinkled skin, round feet, and claw-like hands… they didn’t have toes. But they had feet shape. It was more or less just a round like thing on a leg — if you’d call it a leg.”
The three aliens hovered around the fishermen, their limbs moving in a jerky, mechanical fashion. One of the creatures attempted to communicate with Hickson utilizing a series of buzzing noises, which Hickson took to be a fruitless attempt to put him at ease.
The two other beings remained deathly silent as they floated behind Hickson and effortlessly lifted him off the pier with lobster-like pinchers. The third creature raised Parker who passed out cold and the men were levitated back into the hovering craft. Inside the UFO Hickson and Parker were separated and Hickson remembered being scanned by a huge mechanical eye:
“(It was) some kind of instrument I don’t know what it was. I didn’t see anything that I could call an instrument that I’ve ever seen before… it wasn’t like no X-ray machine. There ain’t no way to describe it. It looked like an eye. Like a big eye. It had some kind of an attachment to it… It moved right in front of my face. I saw dials and gadgets moving around. It went behind me, then came back over me… it went all over my body, up and down… then it disappeared back into the wall… I was just about out of my mind. I thought they were gonna kill me. Folks would think we fell off in the river and drowned, and nobody would ever know about this.”
After approximately 20 minutes, these wrinkly abductors carried the men back to the river bank. As Hickson snapped out of shock, he noticed that his young comrade was cowering on the ground, weeping and praying. Just seconds later the terrified pair watched in disbelief as the blue object rose straight up and shot up into the atmosphere. According to Hickson:
“I saw Calvin standing there, staring out at the water. He was in shock. I’ve seen men in shock, and if you don’t do something pretty quick, they’ll die. I started going over to where he was, and I saw the craft leave. The blue lights were on again, I remember that… When I got to Calvin, I had to slap him a time or two. I finally got him to where he could say something. He said, Charlie, what in the world was that? I said Son, I don’t know, but they didn’t kill us.”
GIANT SPACE BRAINS OF PALOS VERDES: (USA – 1971)
On the night of August 17, 1971, a pair of men from Palos Verdes, California — Peter Rodriguez and John Hodges — left the home of a mutual friend at about 2 am. The pair climbed into Hodges’ car and were about to drive off when they simultaneously noticed a pair of huge, blue, mist shrouded, disembodied brains lying about 6-feet in front of them in the middle of the road.
They described one of the creatures as being approximately “the size of an overgrown softball,” while the second one had the dimensions of a human torso and (most startlingly) seemed to have a red, eye-like organ wedged into the center of its frontal lobe. It was at this juncture that the larger brain spoke to Hodges telepathically, stating: “Take the time to understand yourselves, the times draws near when you shall need to. You shall not remember this incident until we meet again.”
Hodges wasted no time in speeding away from these bizarre beings and driving his equally frightened friend home. When Hodges — who was now alone — returned to his own home he was terrified to see the two big blue brains waiting for him outside his house. At this point Hodges apparently lost consciousness because his next memory was of waking up in what he referred to as a “control room.”
This control room was lined with what seemed to him to be computer consoles. Hodges noticed that the brain creatures were nearby… along with a cadre of beings that were even more terrifying. Hodges stated that he was confronted by a group of bald, thin lipped, 7-foot tall, grey skinned humanoids with no less than six webbed fingers and toes.
These strange humanoids made it clear that the blue brains were nothing more than organic translation devices, which enabled them to converse telepathically with human beings. Following this explanation these visitors from another world showed Hodges holographic images depicting a series of nuclear explosions, whereupon the big brain warned him that his species might share the same fate.
Following this dire warning regarding humanity’s potentially apocalyptic destiny, Hodges claimed he felt a “buzzing” sensation ripple through his body and he opened his eyes to find himself back inside his car. This time, thankfully, the mist covered brains were no longer on the scene.
LA RUBIA INCIDENT: (BRAZIL – 1977)
On September 15, 1977, at about 2:30 am., bus driver Antonio La Rubia spied an enormous, lead colored, hat shaped object — which he estimated to be almost 250-feet across — resting in a field near his home. Perturbed by the sight, La Rubia decided to make a hasty retreat, but before he could move he was paralyzed by a brilliant blue beam of light.
Suddenly, La Rubia spotted three entities — which he described as “robots” — surrounding him. These mechanical monstrosities were about 4-feet tall, with long, spinning antennas and heads shaped like vertical footballs with a horizontal band of blue tinted mirrors extending across the middle. La Rubia further described the beings has begin covered in “scales” the color of dull aluminum, with two arms that resembled elephant trunks, which tapered into a single finger-like appendage, belts with syringes attached to it and a single leg that ended in a saucer shaped “platform.”
The frozen La Rubia watched anxiously as the three automatons hovered toward him. One of the robots held a syrince-like object, which enabled it to raise the horrified human and direct him toward the colossal craft. La Rubia entered the object and watched as the robots moved away from him in opposite directions. He claims that he felt the vehicle taking off as he was moved into a large, circular room. This rounded chamber housed two dozen robots, half of which were positioned on each side of the room.
In terror, La Rubia managed to scream: “What do you want? Who are you?” Without warning, the robots all collapsed to the floor at the sound of his voice and used their appendages to hold still the tips of their spinning their antennae. La Rubia noted — as he was once again paralyzed by a blinding light –that the entities now immobile antennae resembled the shape of a teaspoon.
At this point this already bizarre incident travels into the realm of the totally surreal as La Rubia had blood extracted from him by a spinning gadget and was placed in front of a mechanical, piano-like device, whereupon he was shown a series of strange and incongruent images. The images — which included a factory filled with robots where the UFOs were being manufactured, an old train disappearing into a tunnel, busy streets, La Rubia in the nude and a robot melting while an angry dog barked at it — appeared on the wall of the UFO whenever one of the robots would insert an object from their belts into the “piano” and press a key.
Following this odd series of events, La Rubia suddenly crashed into the road in the city of Paciencia. La Rubia noted that all of his belongings were with him and that his watch had apparently stopped. When he looked up he noticed what seemed to be the bottom of a huge, dark balloon, silently soaring skyward. Apparently the only other witness was a local drunk who confirmed La Rubia’s assertion that a UFO has ascended above the city, but this corroborating testimony was deemed unreliable by most.
FANGED HUMANOIDS OF KOFU: (JAPAN – 1975)
Sometime before 7 pm., on the evening of February 23, 1975, two grade-school boys — Masato Kawano and Katsuhiro Yamahata — were roller skating near their housing estate in Kofu City, when they noticed a pair of “glittering” orange UFOs frolicking in the sky above.
The boys stared in awe as the larger of the two objects broke off, while the smaller one slowly descended to the ground, landing amongst the props of a vineyard behind the estate. The curious youngsters wasted no time in removing their skates and charging into the vineyard in order to get a better look at this now earthbound object.
The flying saucer was perched on “three ball-shaped legs” and had what the children described as “strange characters” embossed on the metal surface of its hull. While approaching the craft, both Kawano and Yamahata were astounded to see a hatch open on the side of the craft and a ladder automatically extending to the ground below.
The boys watched in stunned silence as and a 4-foot tall, silver uniform clad humanoid disembarked from the ship. They claimed that the entity had large, pointed ears and skin that was brown and covered in wrinkles so dense they obscured any noticeable features — save three, two-inch long, metal fangs. It was at that moment that the boys noticed a second humanoid that remained inside the craft.
This strange sightseer from another world began to explore the terrain, oblivious to the duo staring at it. That was until it abruptly turned and placed one of its “hands” on Yamahata’s shoulder, patting him twice and uttering a series of noises that sounded to the boys: “like a tape recorder running backwards.” At this point Yamahata collapsed to the ground, paralyzed. As soon a he dropped, the courageous Kawano pulled his friend up onto his shoulder and lugged him away from these vampiric alien assailants as swiftly as possible.
Upon returning home, the now hysterical boys immediately informed their mothers about their bizarre close encounter. These curious, yet incredulous, matrons followed their perturbed sons outside, where, much to their shock, they confirmed seeing an orange light pulsating in the vineyard before it launched skyward with a burst of light so brilliant the observers were compelled to avert their eyes.
While Yamahata and Kawano were the only ones to have actually seen the aliens, others claimed to have seen the UFOs. An investigation at the scene revealed that two solid concrete posts had been “pushed over” at the landing site. It was determined that the boys would have been unable to accomplish this task of allegedly cosmic vandalism on their own. There was also a ring pattern embedded in the ground and even traces of radiation discovered at the locale.
BAT BEAST OF KENT: (ENGLAND – 1963)
On the chilly evening of November 16, 1963, teenagers John Flaxton, Mervyn Hutchinson and two other friends were walking home from a party on Sandling Road in the county of Kent when they saw a silent, glowing, orb descending from the heavens.
The small, self illuminated object, hovered above a field and then settled into the shadow infested foliage of the woods at Sandling Park. While the teens were still reeling from this astonishing sight, something even more inconceivable would soon grab their attention.
Moments after the extraordinary craft landed behind the trees, the teens noticed a shaking in the brush and what emerged was one of the most unique creatures ever to be chronicled in ufology. The four shocked eyewitnesses claimed that they saw a shambling, quasi-humanoid figure emerge from the woods and waddle towards them.
The beast apparently looked like a headless bat with large webbed feet and wings protruding from its back. In Hutchinson’s own words: “It didn’t seem to have any head. There were huge wings on its back… like bat wings.”
The group, understandably overwhelmed with fear, rushed away from the freakish bat-thing and made their way to the nearest police station, where they related their tale to — what one must assume were — highly skeptical officers.
Within weeks other eyewitnesses came forth to claim that they too had seen the UFO on that fateful eve. John McGoldrick even claimed that he and a companion had discovered no less than three, 2-foot long “footprints” in the area where the bat beast was seen. When reporters descended onto the scene they claimed that the thicket was bathed in an eerie — and inexplicable — glow, which continued for some days before subsiding.
This short catalogue of encounters is by no means comprehensive — in fact, it barely scrapes the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to truly strange extraterrestrial encounters — but it serves as an intriguing glimpse into of one of one of the most fascinating, oft ignored and outright ridiculed subjects in ufology: close encounters of the 3rd and 4th kinds with extraterrestrials that do not neatly fit into the classic Grey alien abduction paradigm.
While most of these encounters admittedly seem to border on the patently ludicrous, it should be noted that none of these creatures exist beyond the realm of possibility. When one considers the diversity of fauna on our own relatively small planet it becomes difficult to assume that the galaxy — or universe for that matter — is not teeming with strange and unique life forms, many of which may seem to defy logic as we know it.