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Aliens, Cryptids and Changing Identities

Make mention of the term “Shapeshifters” and it will almost certainly provoke imagery of bloodthirsty werewolves, a full moon, and silver bullets. But, there is far more to this issue than howling monsters of the kind that made Lon Chaney, Jr. famous. Our world is filled with numerous shapeshifters. Particularly interesting is the theory that many of these seemingly unconnected things are not so unconnected, after all. Indeed, when we look closely, we see numerous parallels and similarities between these unique, paranormal shifters – something which suggests they may all be radically different manifestations of one single phenomenon.

At first glance, at least, it appears that all of the various shapeshifters of our world are their own unique entities, with equally unique agendas. After all, we are dealing with bizarre lifeforms that range from balls of light to ape-like things, from Middle Eastern invisible Djinn to long-necked Scottish lake-monsters, from the likes of goblins and fairies to savage werewolves, and from glowing-eyed, menacing hounds to the legendary Mothman of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. What on Earth (or, perhaps, very far removed from it) could connect this seemingly unconnected bunch?


Let us start with those aforementioned balls of light that just might be pure energy-based creatures. Such reports are worldwide in nature, with numerous reports coming from England, Ireland and the United States. This particular shapeshifter appears to have the ability to take on just about any form it chooses: alien, man-beast, large cat, and fairy. In the 1952 California-based case of UFO Contactee Orfeo Angelucci, a pair of glowing balls of floating light transformed into what were perceived by Angelucci as a couple of “Space Brother”-style aliens. This very much echoes a December 1910 case from Ireland. It was cited by W.Y. Evans-Wentz in his book, The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries. It revolved not around extraterrestrials, but fairy-like elementals. But, the balls of light were the key factors in the tale told to Evans-Wentz – just as they were in the Angelucci saga, decades later.

Moving on, there is the matter of those shapeshifters that taken on the guise of babies – specifically, it seems, to try and lure the unwary to their violent deaths. Such things were encountered in the early 1970s at Bridge 39 on England’s Shropshire Union Canal; the home of a spectral Bigfoot-type beast known as the Man-Monkey. A similar baby-mimicking monster surfaced at the appropriately nicknamed Cry-Baby Bridge in Ennis, Texas in 1964. UFO/creature investigator Stan Gordon, investigated a 1973 case from his home state of Pennsylvania of a Bigfoot mimicking the distress-filled cries of a baby. And, Alaska’s deadly Kushtaka can also cry like a baby, as it seeks to coldly reel in its unwary prey. Again, we see multiple phenomena, from all around the world, that mirror each other to an almost one hundred percent degree.

Very much the same can be said of the world’s Phantom Black Dogs. Middle Eastern Djinn will disguise themselves as menacing black dogs. A large black hound was seen in 2007, on England’s Dartmoor. It morphed into something that resembled a bear, a sleek and large cat, a pony, and a boar. From London’s Newgate Prison there is a centuries-old saga of a dead prisoner returned to life as a black dog.

Then, there is the matter of sex and shapeshifters. And lots of it. Seduction was often at the heart of the actions of the manipulative Kelpie of ancient Scottish lochs. The Kelpie could appear as a large horse or as a beautiful woman. Both the Incubus and the Succubus have voracious appetites for sex. Many accounts involving fairies and the supposedly extraterrestrial Reptilians have sexual aspects to the encounters. Is this all mere coincidence? No, it is not: shapeshifting and sex is widespread. And there is also the issue of death.

A convincing argument can be made that Point Pleasant, West Virginia’s Mothman is a shapeshifter. It is a creature inextricably linked – somehow – to the deaths of dozens on the city’s Silver Bridge, back in December 1967. Mothman has been described by Point Pleasant residents as a winged humanoid, as a large and feathery bird resembling the Thunderbird of Native American history, and as something not unlike a large bat or a huge pterodactyl-type entity. In other words, it is a beast whose form does not remain the same.


Now, we come to the definitive shapeshifter, the werewolf. They, too, are tied to the issue of death. The infamous Hexham Heads, unearthed by two young boys in 1972 in the north of England, provoked the manifestation of hideous human-wolf things. The heads were suspected of having links to the issue of ancient sacrifice – of people. The werewolf of Cannock Chase, England spent all of its time in 2007 lurking among the stones of the Cannock Chase German Military Cemetery. Bridges are favorite haunts of many shapeshifters: San Antonio, Texas’ Donkey Woman, England’s Man-Monkey, Point Pleasant’s Mothman, the monster of Cry-Baby Bridge, and Orfeo Angelucci’s inviting extraterrestrials all had a distinct thing for bridges.

Are all of these connections and similarities merely coincidental? Or, do we have in our midst one mysterious phenomenon that can take on multiple forms? They are questions both thought-provoking and controversial.

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  • Ghostdanser

    Tricksters are fascinating to me. I read The Mothman Prophecies for the first time back when it was first published and it had a definite impact on how I perceived the whole UFO, paranormal, supernatural, etc. ball of wax.

    It seems like when you’re chasing the rabbit, it’s easy to get tunnel vision and lose track of the big picture. Thanks for a good topic overview.

  • eddi_the_Bad_Hombre

    I hope you don’t mind a minor quibble. But the actor’s name is Lon Chaney, Jr.
    A good overview of a complex subject. The idea of transformation is so deeply ingrained in human mythology, it’s no surprise it occasionally goes out for a little walk around reality.

  • Justin Marlatt

    I have been attacked by these things, the Gnostics called them “Archons” and yes they firstly appear as orbules of light but through your own mental memes, and I-magi-nation, they tend to take form and shape based on your own believes, fears, etc, very malignant..

  • J.Griffin

    Actually the more famous father was Leonidas Frank “Lon” Chaney.

    He died in 1930.

    His son,Creighton Tull Chaney,
    took up the stage as well
    and was often called “Lon Chaney,Jr.”
    as his stage name.

    He was not “Junior”,
    although he was the only son of
    Lon Chaney.

    The Son was,though,
    the famous “Wolf Man”,
    from 1941 on with 4 Wolf-sequels
    with one including Frankenstein…
    and even one with Dracula!