Nov 19, 2016 I Nick Redfern

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.

Nick Redfern

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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