Jan 22, 2022 I Nick Redfern

The Cryptoterrestrials: Ancient Humans Hiding Among Us?

A couple of days ago I wrote here at Mysterious Universe on why, in my opinion, the 1950s-era "Space Brothers" should not have been trusted. Not only that, I briefly highlighted the work of the late writer Mac Tonnies, who suspected that the Space Brothers may not have been aliens at all, but were possibly from right here on our planet. In other words, Tonnies pondered on the possibility that the Space Brothers were, collectively, an ancient human society that has the power to move among us in stealth. In terms of his theorizing, Tonnies said to me: “After devouring countless books on the UFO controversy and the paranormal, I began to acknowledge that the extraterrestrial hypothesis suffered some tantalizing flaws. In short, the 'aliens' seemed more like surreal caricatures of ourselves than beings possessing the god-like technology one might plausibly expect from interstellar visitors. Like Jacques Vallee, I came to the realization that the extraterrestrial hypothesis isn’t strange enough to encompass the entirety of occupant cases. But if we’re dealing with humanoid beings that evolved here on earth, some of the problems vanish. My hypothesis works too when we apply it to Martians stranded [on Earth] and who, I sometimes wonder, are waiting for the day when our world becomes theirs."

Tonnies Art
(Nick Redfern) Just before he died, Mac Tonnies gave me this piece of artwork as a gift. A Cryptoterrestrial and not an Extraterrestrial?

Tonnies continued: "I envision the Cryptoterrestrials engaged in a process of subterfuge, bending our belief systems to their own ends. And I suggest that this has been occurring, in form or another, for an extraordinarily long time. I think there’s a good deal of folkloric and mythological evidence pointing in this direction, and I find it most interesting that so many descriptions of ostensible 'aliens' seem to reflect staged events designed to misdirect witnesses and muddle their perceptions." Tonnies also acknowledged that at least some of the Cryptoterrestrials looked somewhat different to us. Yes, they could move among us, but if you looked at them too close you would see there was something very strange about them. With that said, let's look at these "slightly different ones," as I put it. It occurs to me that the Men in Black and the Women in Black just might be Cryptoterrestrials. Consider this: they look like us, but take a nearer look and you'll see their skin often has a plastic-like appearance to it. Their eyes bulge. And you'll see them wearing wigs and wraparound sunglasses. All of that suggests that the MIB and the WIB just might be examples of what at least some of the Cryptoterrestrials look like.

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(Nick Redfern) They're just not quite right

Author and UFO researcher Denise Stoner told me of a very strange experience she had some years ago: "My Mom and I had gone to the mall on Christmas Eve for a couple of last minute stocking stuffer type gifts.  We actually knew what we wanted so parked outside J.C. Penney’s on the side where those goods were. We went in and immediately noticed that in late afternoon, there were only a few shoppers. We picked out our gifts and got in line at the cashier in back of two other people. We could easily see the exit door and the sun in the parking lot, we were facing that way. The glass doors opened and two very tall, thin women entered. They had long almost waist length blond hair parted in the middle on top and it was thin in texture. Their skin was also pale and I did not notice any make up but each had huge piercing blue eyes." Over the years, Denise has had run-in with these not-quite-normal characters.

Now, onto a strange saga that went down in early 1967. The location: Melville, New York. It involved a rancher whose farm was located in a rural, isolated part of town. Only days before he received a most unwelcome visit, the man saw a definitive flying saucer hovering over one of his fields, and which – somewhat amazingly – had what was described as a "ladder" hanging from its underside. At least, until the ladder was hastily retracted and the saucer shot away, high into the sky, and vanished from view. That was hardly the end of the matter, however. Just a few days later, the man heard a knock at the door. Given that his home was in the middle of pretty much nowhere, he opened the door both slowly and cautiously. Stood before him was a "Gypsy lady" who was dressed in a gray dress that reached her ankles and who wore sandals. Just like so many of the Men in Black, her skin was noted for its deep, olive complexion, and her eyes were described as "Oriental." The rancher added that she stood around five-feet and four inches tall, and had long hair that was "so black" it "looked dyed." And, finally...

Men In Black cover 570x878
(Nick Redfern) Hats and Darkness: perfect camouflage for a Cryptoterrestrial

It was a wintry, freezing, and dark Saturday afternoon in the latter part of January 1987 and a man named Bruce Lee - who worked as a senior editor at a New York publishing house, William Morrow & Co. - walked into a bookstore on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It was the now- closed-down Womrath’s, on Lexington Avenue. Also with Lee was his wife. It turns out that William Morrow & Co. had then very recently published Whitley Strieber’s New York Times’ bestseller, Communion – a book that told of Strieber’s very own and deeply personal encounters of the so-called “alien abduction” variety. Womrath’s had a large display set up for Communion and they also stocked a couple of Lee’s own books. Quite naturally, Lee, who had also worked for Reader’s Digest and Newsweek, was curious to see how both of the displays looked. At this point, Lee and his wife parted and she headed off to the fiction section.

Lee’s attention was suddenly drawn to a strange couple that entered the store. In his own words, the pair headed "directly for Communion." He explained: "I mean, it was just, you could see them come in – they didn’t know where the book was, you couldn’t see it from the street – and they came in and headed right back for where that rack was. Most unusual, if you see what I mean." Yes, we do.  That was not the only unusual thing about that fateful, Saturday afternoon. Both the man and the woman were barely five feet in height – maybe even slightly smaller. They had scarves that covered their chins, hats pulled tightly down, and huge, black sunglasses. They also appeared to begin speed-reading the book, noting out loud – one might even suggest for Lee’s benefit – where Strieber had “got this wrong” and "got that wrong." They also giggled in a strange, unsettling fashion. We’ve seen that before, too. Quite naturally, given that he worked for the very publisher that had just released Communion, Lee walked over and asked the pair what was wrong with the book. The woman suddenly looked up, at which point Lee was able to see through her sunglasses that her eyes were not just large, but huge, and shaped like almonds. Lee, by his own admission, felt the hackles on the back of his neck rise, and got a "mad dog"” feeling emanating from the woman. He was likely not wrong when he observed: "I got to feeling that I was in eyeball contact with somebody who did not like me at all."

Could all of these slightly strange characters be prime examples of Mac Tonnies' Cryptoterrestrials? Perhaps, that's exactly what they were.

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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