Jun 15, 2022 I Nick Redfern

UFOs, Aliens, Bigfoot and Phantom Black Dogs: They're All Connected

My two previous articles were on the matter of how the Loch Ness Monsters were tied to the UFO phenomenon. But, that's not all. How about UFO-themed ties to Phantom Black Dogs and nothing less than Bigfoot, too? That's the very strange saga of today's article. We'll begin with UFOs and Bigfoot. Things go very weird when it comes to the legendary hairy giants. Not a scrap of evidence has ever been found to suggest that the United States is home to massive groups of unknown apes. Not even to one, in fact. There is nothing at all in the fossil record. Even though that’s what the data collected by cryptozoologists hazily implies. How about Neanderthals who have survived against the odds and in deep stealth? Not a chance in Hell: the Bigfoot creatures are far more animal-like than they are human-like. The same goes for Cro-Magnons, too. Could it get stranger? It could. It does. As I mentioned above, the Bigfoot creatures are huge in size, and have been seen just about all across the U.S. They have even been seen in heavily populated areas. This suggests there must be significantly-sized numbers of the animals roaming around. Makes sense, right? Right. Yet, here’s the Bigfoot-sized big problem: not a single, solitary creature has ever been found (alive or dead) or captured. Bullets, incredibly, seem to have absolutely no effect on them. Yes, there are those who claim to have killed one or more Bigfoot. Not a single one of those people as presented any convincing evidence that bullets can bring down a Bigfoot.

The monsters have never been successfully hit and killed by the drivers of trucks or cars – whether during the day or in the early morning on a winding, heavily forested road. Alleged Bigfoot DNA, hair, and fecal droppings in the hands of monster-hunters have always proved to be – at the very best – ambiguous. The many tracks that have been found in the woods - and that practically dictated the famous name, Bigfoot - only confuse things even more. By that, I mean sometimes the tracks of these mysterious things suddenly vanish in the woods. It’s almost as if the creatures have dematerialized in a flash. We’ll soon see why, and how, that may be exactly what is happening. The only thing we can say with absolute certainty is that the Bigfoot have the stunning ability to successfully elude every single one of us one hundred percent of the time. That is – or should be - impossible. Granted, most people never see a mountain lion in the wild. Likewise, to see a wild alligator is a rarity. As is encountering a bear in the woods. But, the fact is, people do see all of those animals in the wilds. And guess what? They do get shot and killed. And, they do race across roads and get fatally slammed by drivers in the early hours. Why, then, are the Bigfoot so incredibly different? The answer is simple: because they are different. The Bigfoot are not what so many people in the field of Cryptozoology suspect they are – or want them to be. Namely, a North American unknown ape.  

(Nick Redfern) The Bigfoot creatures: not what they seem to be

So, if not thousands of unclassified apes with never-ending luck that allows them to evade anyone and everything, then what are these infernal things? The incredible answers to that question come next. As does the connection between Bigfoot, UFOs and the Men in Black. “Pauline,” who I interviewed in 2013, had a very strange encounter with a Man in Black back in October 1973, when she was living in Pasadena, California. It’s notable, and probably relevant, for me to reveal that a major UFO wave was going on at that time, and all across the United States. While hiking in the California hills one Sunday morning, Pauline encountered a classic, silver-colored flying saucer-style UFO which, at first, at least, was high in the sky. Suddenly, it dropped to around fifty or sixty above her, hanging there in an odd, wobbling fashion. Amazed, Pauline could only stare as the silent craft bobbed around – like a boat on churning waters – and then shot away at high speed. Pauline raced home and excitedly told her family of what had just taken place. They, apparently, weren’t the only ones who knew what had occurred on the fateful morning in 1973. Three days later, and after sunset, Pauline had a visitor. Not a welcome one, I should stress. It was a Man in Black, a skinny – almost emaciated – old man, dressed in a shabby black suit, looking pale and ill, and wearing an old, 1950s-style fedora hat.

Pauline said that she felt her mind was briefly enslaved, as the M.I.B. near-hypnotically asked her to invite him into her home. In a slight daze, and to her eternal cost, she did exactly that. She retreated to the couch, stumbling slightly and feeling ice-cold. The old man followed her, and stood in the living-room, looming over her, as he warned her – in no uncertain terms – never to discuss her close encounter again. Ever. The M.I.B. then turned around and headed to the door. At that exact same moment, Pauline felt her mental faculties return to normal and she raced after him, just as he exited the door and closed it behind him. Pauline threw the door open wide, only to find the old Man in Black gone. In his place, however, was something else: it was a large, black dog with bright red eyes. It snapped and snarled in Pauline’s direction and in what was clearly a deeply malevolent, dangerous fashion. She stared in horror as the glowing-eyed monster prowled around the yard, clearly intent on adding to the malevolent atmosphere that was already firmly in place. Suddenly, and as if out of nowhere, a large, black Cadillac – that looked decades-old in design – appeared and screeched to a halt outside of Pauline’s home. It should be noted, here, that the M.I.B. almost always drive such cars of that particular type, age and color. 

 Pauline watched, shocked and scared, as the back door on the driver’s-side opened and the fiendish black hound bounded across the front yard and leapt into the back of the Cadillac, which shot away at high speed! Today, Pauline – now a grandmother and someone who is fairly comfortable about sharing her bizarre experience – is of a firm opinion that the aged M.I.B. and the red-eyed beast were one and the same. As Pauline sees it, something unexplainable, but also something that could take on “different disguises” as she said it.

Now, let's take a look at a very strange saga of UFO-Bigfoot events that occurred in the 1970s. It largely all began in 1973 and came to a sudden halt in 1974: that was when one of the strangest waves of Bigfoot activity ever occurred - in the Keystone State, Pennsylvania. No, scrap that: it was the strangest such wave. Period. In many respects, the whole thing was extremely reminiscent of the menacing and sinister 1966-1967 affair of the blazing-eyed Mothman: the M.I.B. were prowling around, UFOs were soaring across the skies by night, and the townsfolk were on an absolute edge. Really, the only difference between the 1960s and 1973 was the nature of the monster: Mothman was replaced by Bigfoot. Things really took off with a very weird phone call – the absolute “calling-card” of the M.I.B. – to one of the most dedicated researchers of the Bigfoot phenomenon, Stan Gordon. Unlike so many people in the domain of Bigfoot research, Stan astutely, and quickly, realized – just like John Keel back in the 1960s – there was something seriously strange about the Bigfoot enigma; something that strongly suggested the Bigfoot were not just unknown animals. They were way beyond that.

(Nick Redfern) Stan Gordon: he concludes there is a paranormal aspect to the Bigfoot enigma

As for that late-night phone call, it came from a mysterious man who wanted to speak with Gordon about Bigfoot. He – the man, not Bigfoot - had connections to the Bureau of Sports, Fisheries and Wildlife, which was put together as a body of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - an arm of the Department of the Interior. Okay, it wasn’t exactly a cloak-and-dagger-type call from the likes of the CIA, the NSA or the FBI. Nevertheless, it certainly caught the attention of Stan Gordon. Indeed, he listened very carefully. He had good reason to. Stan Gordon’s caller wanted to let him know that if anything – anything at all - relative to evidence of the existence of Bigfoot surfaced, then he, Gordon, should let him know as soon as possible. Since the agency handled matters relative to wildlife legislation and law, Gordon realized it wasn’t out of the realms of possibility he should have gotten such a call – and particularly because this call corresponded with the sudden beginning of the Bigfoot wave catching the attention of just about everyone in the area. As for the matter of the strange phone-calls, all went quiet for a while. Things really changed, however – and in somewhat of a disturbing fashion - in October 1973. Gordon didn’t get a spooky phone call. No. Instead, he got something even more amazing and wholly unanticipated: nothing less than a knock on the door from two staff-members of none other than one John Herman Dent. He just happened to be none other than Pennsylvania’s Congressman at the time. And what, exactly, did those two characters who knocked on the door want? I’ll tell you: they wanted to talk about Bigfoot. While the two were not of the pale, grim and menacing M.I.B. category, they certainly made it clear to Gordon they were extremely intrigued by the rising Bigfoot wave – and the overall subject, too. And they wanted Gordon to stay in touch, should there be any particularly significant cases. As it happens, such a thing did happen. A well-timed coincidence? Or, did Congressman Dent’s people know more than they let on to a baffled Gordon? For Stan Gordon it was a case of: welcome to the world of paranoia. Stan, to his credit and strength of mind, embraced it. And it wasn’t long before the defining episode exploded in spectacular, terrifying fashion.

(Nick Redfern) Things aren't quite right in the monster-hunting world

It was during this same period that Stan Gordon was working with a man who chose to use the alias of “Steve Palmer.” He was a man who had the rare opportunity to have encountered both a UFO and a pair of Bigfoot. And at the very same time, no less. It occurred on the dark night of October 25, 1973. The location: a rancher’s field in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Things began when a pair of strange, giant-sized humanoids appeared seemingly out of nowhere. In Stan Gordon’s very own words: “At 9:00 P.M., the witness and fifteen other people in the vicinity of his father’s farm had seen a large red ball descend toward the pasture. He ran into the house and got a .30-06 rifle; then in the company of two neighbors proceeded by truck up a dirt road toward the area where the object had descended. As the object approached closer, the truck’s headlights dimmed. The trio went by foot to the top of the hill and they could see the object resting on the ground. The object was bright white and appeared to be about 100 feet in diameter and made a loud sound like that of a lawn mower.” Gordon continues: “From the illumination of the craft they could make out two tall, ape-like creatures with glowing eyes. The creatures were making crying sounds and the smell of ‘burning rubber’ filled the air. One of the boys became terrified and fled. The man fired several shots over the heads of the creatures, which didn’t stop them. Then he shot three more rounds, this time directly into one of the creatures. There was a whining sound, then the one that was hit raised its arm and both moved off into the woods. The UFO disappeared.” 

And finally: Back in November 1980, a then-serving English policeman named Alan Godfrey had a profound UFO encounter in Todmorden, Yorkshire – a pleasant locale that has its origins in the 17th century. Godfrey’s encounter came just five months after he was involved in the investigation of a curious death in town. The victim was a man named Zigmund Adamski. As most people will know, the not exactly common name of Adamski is a very famous one in Ufology. It was just one of those strange synchronicities that proliferate when the UFO phenomenon looms large. As for Godfrey’s UFO encounter, it occurred under cover of darkness, in the pre-dawn morning of November 29, 1980, while he was out on patrol in his police-car. As he drove along one particular stretch of road, Godfrey was amazed by the sight of what he first thought was a bus positioned oddly in the road. As Godfrey got closer, however, he could see it was something else entirely. It was actually nothing less than a somewhat egg-shaped UFO.

There then followed an experience that contained certain, key elements of the UFO phenomenon, such as missing-time, and recollections of being taken on-board a craft. However, the entity Godfrey was confronted by on the craft was not the typical black-eyed, dwarfish “Gray.” Rather, it was a human-looking figure dressed in a long gown and sporting a beard. In that sense, there was more of a “Contactee”-style component to the incident. But, there was even more to the affair, too. And this is where things become intertwined with matters of the paranormal kind. While undergoing hypnotic regression, Godfrey said that also aboard the UFO was a large black dog. This was not the first encounter Godfrey had with an anomalous hound. Years earlier, he had seen a ghostly Labrador. There was also an odd occasion – in the 1960s, and near Todmorden – when what seemed to be a woman with a large black dog stepped out in front of Godfrey’s vehicle, causing him to slam the brakes on. Both the woman and the dog vanished. It just so happens that Todmorden has in its midst centuries-old legends of what are known as the “Gabriel Hounds.” They are akin to the UK’s wider, ancient, phenomenon of so-called “Phantom Black Dogs” of the kind that inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to pen the Sherlock Holmes novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles. One of the strangest of all UFO encounters ever reported? No doubt! Having read all of these cases, there's no doubt in my mind that that there is a UFO-Cryptozoology connection - even though we may not have all the answers.

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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