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The United States’ Mysterious “Little Men”

Ivan T. Sanderson was a highly respected investigator of a number of paranormal mysteries, and particularly those revolving around matters relative to the world of Cryptozoology (the study of unknown animals). Just before the dawning of the 1960s, Sanderson received a very strange communication. It came from a woman who Sanderson – being careful to protect her identity – referred to only as “Mrs. V.K.” Of course, it’s always preferable when people are willing to speak on the record. But, as I know from experience, the weirder the story, the higher the likelihood is that the source will request anonymity. That’s just how it so often goes.

It was in 1959 when Mrs. V.K. wrote to Sanderson. She began: “I am a housewife but I majored in biology, attended our state university and have an M.A. in plain zoology. My husband is an experimental chemist and my eldest son is a technician in the Air Force. I come from Mississippi but we have resided here (in Kentucky) for ten years now.” The witness had a question for Sanderson; a very strange question, indeed. It went as follows: “I wonder if you have ever heard of the Little Red Men of the Delta?”

A Purus Red Howler Monkey

She continued to Sanderson: “Nobody thought anything much of them where I was raised except that one had better be careful of shooting one because it might be murder, or so the sheriff might think if anything came off it, but I was surprised to find that the folks hereabout know it too though they took some years to talk about it to me. My husband is a New Englander and these folks don’t talk much.

So, what exactly, were the Little Red Men of the Delta? Mrs. V.K. told Sanderson a tale of incredible proportions: “They [the Little Red Men of the Delta] are said to be about the size of a ten year old kid and able to climb like monkeys and to live back from the bayous. They talk a lot but keep out of gunshot range and mostly go into the water. They are people and the muskrat trappers say they often wear scraps of discarded linens, old jeans and such.”

She concluded: “If you have heard about them will you talk about them on the air as it puzzles me that nobody has ever talked about them but everybody in some places seems to know about them. There was sure nothing in my biology course about them but there’s a lot folks don’t know or don’t talk about…”

It’s hard to say for sure what the small, reddish “men” were, but that they were quite partial to wearing clothes suggests they may well have been some form of unknown, primitive human. This was somewhat confirmed by Mrs. V.K.’s words when she said: “They are people,” even though they were apparently highly skilled when it came to climbing “like monkeys.” Also, the references to the Little Red Men “mostly” spending their time in the water is not typical of monkeys or apes. And, let’s not forget Mrs. V.K.’s words concerning how killing one of the creatures might be seen as murder. Also, there was the observation that the strange entities “talk a lot,” which is not how most of us would describe the sounds made by animals.

Does he know what happened to the little red men?

In some respects, at least, this story reminds me of one which the late Mac Tonnies told in his 2010 book, The Cryptoterrestrials. He said: “I have a reliable first-hand report of ‘little people’ at large in the American Northwest. My source encountered a small congregation of these beings in a wooded area. Human-like in all essential respects, the beings were nevertheless small, like normal people in miniature.” Tonnies’ source told him that the “little people” – who appeared “Asian” – predated all North American societies and cultures and had their own, unique language. At times, Mac added, they “pass among us as children” and “lead an almost hobo-like existence.”

Strange groups of little humanoids living in stealth in the United States? Who knows?


Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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