As someone who writes on conspiracies, I get a lot of feedback. It ranges from intriguing to thought-provoking and from mind-blowing to outright madness. One of the issues that pops up at least several times a year is what I call "The Wrong Room" phenomenon. I'll give you an example of what I mean by this. I very well remember being told an extremely weird story – in the mid-1990s - of someone who supposedly took a wrong turn in a British hospital decades earlier. The man entered a room filled with dozens of people – from babies to adults – all exhibiting hideous and impossible deformities. No proof, or a name for the original witness, was ever forthcoming. Tales of people going down the wrong corridor and entering the wrong room abound in Forteana. And they don't just revolve around hospitals. They can be found all across the field of conspiracy-theorizing, which suggests they are little more than urban legends.
In 1977, the late UFO researcher Leonard Stringfield revealed just such a story in his then-newly-published book, Situation Red: The UFO Siege. The story was give to Stringfield by another UFO researcher, Sherman Larsen. According to Larsen, he had a contact - a minister -who had a "wrong room"-type tale to tell. Supposedly, the incident occurred in the late 1940s or early 1950s, when the source was a boy. Father and son, we are told, got lost in Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. Unable to find a way out, they headed down one particular corridor, entered a room, and were confronted by the shocking sight of a number of small, humanoid bodies contained in a large container with a glass top. MIB types suddenly descended on the pair - warning them never to talk about what they had just seen.
Stringfield had several other such tales, too. In his 1982 booklet UFO Crash/Retrievals: Amassing the Evidence, he related the story of "Mrs. C.K." whose husband was stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in Dayton, Ohio. On one particular day in July 1964, Mrs. C.K. was on-base with her son, who had been admitted to the base hospital. While waiting to see a doctor, the fidgeting child got away from his mother, raced down a corridor and somehow found his way into a room that had on its door a sign with the following words: "Isolation. Keep Out!" Mrs. C.K. chased after her son and followed him into the room. She was terrified by the sight of a torso-like mass of flesh on a bed and with tubes inserted into it. Mother and son were quickly ushered out of the room by a nurse who "harshly" warned them to get the hell out of Dodge.
Stringfield also told of a 1965 case - at Wright-Patterson, too - in which witness "R.M." "went down a corridor" and "got disoriented." You know what's coming next: R.M. entered the wrong room and was confronted by a dwarfish, large-eyed humanoid wearing some kind of helmet. Alarm bells went off and R.M. decided to hotfoot it. Those three weren't the only ones of the "wrong room"-type that Stringfield uncovered - or was told of. But, you get the picture.
Moving onto the issue of Cryptozoology, there's the matter of the legend of the Bigfoot of Mt. St Helens. In my 2013 book, Monster Files, I told the story of the highly controversial claims that following the devastating eruption of Mt. St. Helens, Washington State in May 1980, a number of Bigfoot bodies were found in the area and secretly flown out to destinations unknown by the military. Certainly, there were major casualty figures: fifty-seven people lost their lives, as did thousands of animals. A number of people - claiming military backgrounds but never willing to reveal their true identities - have come forward to reveal what they supposedly know about the recovery of the bodies.
One person who had something to say on all this was a man named Ron Petersen, who I met a couple of years ago, after he read Monster Files. He told me a third-hand story of how a U.S. Army man stationed at the Dugway Proving Ground - in 1983 - went into a certain room "by mistake" and saw before him the bodies of three, massive, hair-covered creatures: Bigfoot. They were all upright and in large, see-through containers. One of them was badly burned. The man stared - amazed and shocked - and then quickly exited the room, concerned that he had just violated security.
All of the cases above are fascinating. Not because of the revelations, but as a result of their deep similarities. Whether it's aliens, Bigfoot, deformed children and adults, or a weird torso on a bed, all of the stories have one thing in common. It's the issue of someone going into the ubiquitous "wrong room" and seeing something extraordinary. If there were only a few such cases on record I would be far more open-minded on the matter than I am. But, the cases I have cited above are just a few of dozens - most of them linked to tales of dead aliens and crashed UFOs held in "secret hangars."
If you find yourself on the receiving end of a "wrong room"-based story, by all means take it. But, unless the source delivers something substantial, don't take it seriously.