Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Of Humans and Parahumans

Of Humans and Parahumans
By Scott Corrales (c) 2010

“Is humanity alone in the universe?”

This question has bedeviled us for generations, although it might seem to be a recent query, a result of our interest in space exploration and the furious technological development that came about after World War 2. Others may lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of science-fiction, blaming our obsession the pulps of the 1920s and 30s, the “boys’ papers” of the 1900s, and the romantic descriptions of worldly life on our neighboring worlds in the late 19th century. Readers with a taste for trivia might go back to the “Moon Hoax” of the 1830s, when newspapers claimed that a fanciful civilization of bat-people lived our planet’s satellite. We can jump headfirst into the vast pool of history and find evidence that the question was raised by civilizations of the past.

This issue was hardly disquieting to the average person in the “ancient world” as we call it. Humanity was by no means alone. There were other creatures – the ones we now call mythological – sharing the world with us. Granted, some of these were creations of the ancient storytellers, used to get a copper coin or two out of frightened listeners. Strange lands beyond the reach of ancient galleys were filled with what we would call “humanoids” – infamous regions whose inhabitants used their enormous feet as parasols, or whose heads grew out of unusual parts of the body.

Closer to the marble-pillared cities of the ancient world, there were forests, lakes and rivers with beings that, while having a generally human appearance, belonged to other orders of existence: the nymphs, undines, nixies, pixies and others too numerous to mention. Interaction with these aliens was to be avoided whenever possible, as the outcome of such close encounters was usually detrimental to mortals. On rare occasions friendship of sorts might be struck with them – sometimes by farmers and fishermen, on others by practitioners of theurgy. Of course, rumor had it that a nymph or sylph could bestow sexual favors upon a human, resulting in progeny of uncanny powers. Much of the contactee lore – and even alien encounter reports – of the 20th century mirrors these ancient beliefs almost perfectly.

The Church, however, was less sanguine about this business. Neither scripture nor the lengthy arguments of priests and prelates included non-humans in the divine plan for salvation. These entities were ranked among demons, and were to be avoided at all costs, and the darkness of the Medieval period was compounded by fear. It was rumored, of course, that magicians and alchemists flouted this prohibition and had means of contacting these non-humans, and profited by their dealings with them.

And here we are at the start of 21st century, with thousands of years of ancient lore behind us and stacks of reports from every continent on Earth regarding “visitors from outer space” who act much like the creatures that troubled our forebears, emerging out of lakes and rivers, taking us by surprise in forests, and sometimes appearing out of thin air within our homes. Their aspect is as varied as the colorful devices that transport them, so we are faced with the question raised by the late Otto Binder – is every single society in the universe sending its citizens to our world, or is something very strange going on here?

Non-Humans at Twilight

On February 16, 2001, forestry technician Ingrid Sperberg, 26, a resident of the city of Angol in northern Chile, managed to meet her cyberpal Patricio Vallejos, 25, a systems analyst from neighboring La Serena. The two had agreed to meet in person after a long friendship over the Internet, and Sperberg offered to show the out-of-towner the sights of her home town.

Vallejo arrived at Angol's bus terminal at eight thirty in the evening, as sunset crowned the city. At the station were Sperberg and her friend María Cristina Sepúlveda, 42, who had agreed to provide the transportation for the city tour and act as an unofficial chaperone on their meeting.

Maria Cristina drove the cyberpals around Angol and at one point, the three of them agreed to visit a scenic lookout from where it was possible to see the entire city of Angol brightly lit and standing out against the surrounding darkness.

Arriving at the lookout at 10:15 p.m., they were surprised to find they were the only car at the location, which is variously known as "El Mirador" or "Las Piñas" by the locals. They parked their car some four meters away from an iron gate adorned
with cartwheels, which guards the entrance to a field planted with pine and eucalyptus trees. Sperberg and Vallejo got out of the car to enjoy the view while María Cristina remained beside her vehicle.

When the forestry technician and her friend looked back toward the field, they witnessed a white light ascending vertically from a distance estimated at some four hundred feet away. Rejoining María Cristina by the car, the trio witnessed a beam of light spreading open, fan-like, orange colored its base and soft violet at its top. According to their account, which appeared in a local newspaper, the beam of light "lit up everything some 40 meters around. Dry grass, depressions, the green of the trees and shrubs could be clearly seen."

The phenomenon lasted for some three to four minutes, during which a very frightened Ingrid Sperberg excused herself from her companions to get back into the car. A self-confessed skeptic about the UFO phenomenon, Sperberg stated, "I don't like seeing strange things."

A few more minutes elapsed before a solicitous María Cristina Sepúlveda went to check on her friend, discovering that the car's dome light, which had been hitherto working perfectly, did not activate upon opening the door. Puzzled, Maria Cristina repeated the maneuver a few times to no avail. It was necessary for her turn on the light source manually.

Meanwhile, Patricio Vallejo remained outside the car, taking in the veritable light show. Vallejo, who suffers hearing problems, did not notice the sound of "ringing bells" that the women had been clearly able to distinguish during the event.

The lights and sounds came to an end when the UFO abruptly vanished. Vallejo coaxed his cyberpal out of the car by assuring her that the coast was clear and that all had returned to normal.

He couldn't have been more wrong.

Sperberger became aware of a sound in the now-still night: a noise similar to that piece of metal being dragged over the loose paving stones of the country road they were on. "That's when I looked up, and behind the iron gate I could see two figures standing 1.20 meters, tall, dark, nearing the gate. They weren't walking﷓﷓they were dragging themselves along."

According to the event's protagonists, the beings' faces, hands and legs were invisible, and the entities gave the impression of being shadows. The nature of the sound was also elaborated upon later: Sepúlveda characterized it as sounding as though the beings "wore metal booties".

"When I saw them," Sperberger told journalists, "I looked at Patricio, who was alert to what was happening. At first I thought it could be people, as I struggled to find a rational explanation to what was going on. I heard the sound of metal. I’m sure that the figure on the left carried something strange, like two
metal rods, but I'm not sure what they were."

The entities halted their progress only a few feet away from the decorated iron gate. The one on the left crossed the iron obstacle as though it were non-existent, and following a small walk-around, made an about face and returned to the field, rejoining its companion. The shadowy pair moved away from the stunned onlookers; Maria Cristina shone her car's high-beams on them as they departed, but there was nothing to be seen.

Ingrid Sperberger's plea to her companions about leaving the place as soon as possible was well received: the three boarded the car and left the scenic lookout behind. By their calculations, they returned to Angol at 10:40 p.m., so the entire event lasted 25 minutes. María Cristina would later add that as the car departed, she was able to see one of the dark entities through the rear view mirror, apparently pacing the car, before dissolving into an amorphous black mass.

In retrospect, Sperberger and her companions agreed that the ghostly entities made no attempt to communicate with them, but that the beings made a noise similar to speech, a "mumbling" sound; during the event, all three agreed that the immediate temperature appeared to be much greater than it should have been for that time of night. The heat appeared to be concentrated in the area occupied by the witnesses (microwaves?). The unusual heat was accompanied by an odd smell reminiscent of "burning wiring" or "burning rubber".

Although Ingrid Sperberg was the one most ill at ease with the paranormal events, it would be her friend María Cristina who would experience the unusual aftereffects of the ordeal. Ever since the close encounter on February 16, Sepúlveda claims to have been roused from sleep by the sound of metal being dragged on loose stone--the clangor made by the shadowy figures. Given her religious beliefs (an Adventist) she has refused to consider hypnotic regression and has attached religious significance to her experience, particularly after a healing experience which may be related to the encounter.

Sepúlveda told the press that she had had a dream in which an entity completely different from the shadow beings--an angelic, luminous entity she describes as "a beautiful person"--healed her of a fleshy mass that was growing in the back of her throat, and for which she had sought medical attention. She awoke from the nitric experience to discover that the lump was inexplicably gone: a fact confirmed by her physician.

UFO researcher Ernesto Escobar states that the four friends were not alone in their experience, since his UFO study group was investigating a case which occurred on March 16 involving a group of five friends who had come to Angol to visit with friends and decided to stop at the scenic lookout, where they were startled by three beings standing in excess of six feet tall and with long arms and legs, who emerged from behind some shrubs. After talking among themselves -- at least that was the eyewitnesses' impression -- the entities turned around and vanished.

Escobar's team has focused its attention on collecting soil samples from the ground allegedly trodden by the tall entities, and upon an anomalous spring not far from the metal fence where the sighting took place. The liquid coming from this spring has been described as having a "gelatinous" quality and "an unknown type of chloration was discovered upon analysis", stated the researcher to reporters from the Diario Austral de Temuco, adding that "the importance of these apparitions resides in that they are events which repeat themselves at the same place, the number of people who have witnessed them is significant, the object are highly mobile and close to the ground, and feature the apparition of humanoid figures."

In the Mexican Wilderness

The Mexican town of Tepoztlán, roughly an hour's drive from the urban sprawl of Mexico City, is probably better known than any other place in that country for its UFO visitations, which have been captured on video and still photographs by hundreds of witnesses and conveyed around the world through documentaries and live broadcasts. The town, which has become a "new age" mecca over the course of the last century due to its ancient ruins and reputation as a focal point for benign earth energies, also boasts stories of alien contact which are somewhat less known.

One of these is chronicled in Luis Ramírez Reyes's Contacto: México (Diana, 1995) concerning the experiences of Concepción Navarrete, a poor woman who operated a food stand at the base of the majestic rock formation known as El Tepozteco, a favorite UFO haunt. One day, according to Mrs. Navarrete, she was startled by the presence of a very odd creature standing near a cross-like structure marking the site where the coronations of ancient Chichimec monarchs took place. "I was deeply shocked," said the witness, "because he was facing away from me and he looked like a giant lizard, upright, standing some two meters tall. His skin was green and covered in scales." She added that the lizard being's back had a leaden grey cast to it, and the whole creature seemed to have emerged from the mud.
What occurred next was probably even more incredible. The reptilian entity made a sudden about-face, as if realizing that it was being spied upon. But at that very moment, its reptilian image was replaced by that of a "blond, cordial American tourist" who inquired-- telepathically and in a somewhat mocking tone--if she had been startled by his presence. Feeling her senses overwhelmed by the entity, Navarrete cried out for help as another tourist approached. The lizard man subsequently vanished as if he had never been there. The approaching tourist calmly told Navarrete, to her astonishment, that he was aware of the lizard beings and their penchant for adopting human guise to wander among us...much in the same manner as the “gods” of yore.

Wave Hi To The Michelin Man!

On Sunday, March 14, 1976, the last thing on the minds of Vicente Corell and his wife Carmen was an encounter with beings from another world. Their son had just been drafted in Spain's compulsory military service and tearful goodbyes had been exchanged at the Draftee Induction Center (CIR-7) located in the town of Marines. After spending the day in the local, the Corells began the long trip home to the town of Almenara, driving along small roads of Spain's Castellon region.

At around 10:00 p.m., the couple found itself facing a strange phenomenon in the night skies -- a brilliant white oval that floated lazily to the left of their own car. Believing at first that it might be the headlights of a car on a nearby hill, the Corells steered their Renault 4L toward their ultimate destination. No sooner had the vehicle gone a few hundred feet did they become aware of the fact that all was not well.

The alarmed couple thought that they were driving into a "luminous tornado" of sorts as a very curious object appeared to rise out of the ground. Bathing the object with his car's high beams, Mr. Corell was startled to see that it was a person.

"I suppose that it had two legs," he would tell distinguished Spanish investigator Juan José Benítez, who investigated the case. "because it reminded me of a human profile. However, since they [the legs] were so close together, it looked more like a column than a human being. The thing was tall, good-looking [sic] and wore a close fitting, one-piece outfit..."

The outlandish entity stood on the ground in what Vicente Corell described as a military "ten-hut" position --arms stiffly at its side and ramrod straight, looking at the oncoming vehicle.

The couple's initial fascination changed to fear as the Renault's lights suddenly went out, leaving them in pitch blackness. The smell of burning wires soon filled the passenger compartment and Corell was forced to pull over. While all this happened, the entity vanished into the darkness. Vicente and Carmen Corell, their car's electrical system ruined, were left to wonder what had happened.
According to researcher Benítez, Mrs. Corell proved to have a much better recall of the situation than her husband, adding the interesting detail that the entity's outfit was made of "narrow, slightly inflated bands" from its neck down to its waist. She went as far as to describe the entity as similar to Bibendum, the world-famous Michelin Man, "only less so."

While such a simile may inspire some to smile and others to shake their heads, it was not the first time that such a creature would had been seen on the Spanish peninsula.

In the summer of 1960, Miguel Timermans, a schoolteacher from Prado del Rey (Cadiz) in southern Spain, decided to go on a weekend run on his Lambretta motorcycle to the city of Jerez. It was a clear, beautiful morning and visibility was unlimited. As he drove uphill at some point between Prado del Rey and the town of Arcos, a colossal figure appeared out of nowhere along the roadside. Timermans described it as well over two meters (6.5 ft.) and encased in a "swollen" red one-piece suit. Shocked, the teacher brought his motorcycle to a halt right in the middle of the highway as an overpowering sense of fear washed over him: the giant entity was slowly walking toward him along the edge of the highway.

Recalling the event, Timermans remarked that the creature's pressure suit or outfit was composed of "concentric rings" which also reminded him of the Michelin Man. The improbable figure lurched forward robotically and measuring its steps. With the high-strangeness quotient overflowing at this point, Timermans was doubly startled to see another creature walking behind the giant! The second entity was barely over a meter tall and had what appeared to be a glossy black "boot" covering one of the legs of its red outfit. It, too, walked awkwardly as it brought up the rear.

The enigmatic figures crossed Timerman's path diagonally and vanished from sight after an encounter that lasted no more than 30 seconds. Kick-starting the Lambretta, the teacher headed for the place where the creatures had last been seen and was unable to find a trace of their presence. The astonishing case was reported in Stendek magazine.

The November 1974 issue of the French UFO publication Lumiéres dans la Nuit featured a fascinating Belgian case whose detail closely resemble those of the Spanish and Argentinean events.

On January 7, 1974, a 31 year old Belgian man known only as "Monsieur X" (an anonymous designation used to excess in European cases!) was driving his car between the towns of Comines and Warneton on the border between France and Belgium. The time was shortly before 9 p.m. on a clear, damp winter night when "Monsieur X" 's vehicle, which had been functioning flawlessly, suddenly sputtered to a halt as the headlights went out. As the vehicle coasted to a halt on the otherwise empty roadway, the driver became aware of an object some 300 feet away in a field bordering the road. At first he took it to be a stack of hay, but almost immediately noticed that the "haystack" was propped up on three struts. The witness would later go on to say that the object had the basin-shape of a W.W.I soldier's helmet.

Fascinated by the yellowish-white light issuing from the distant vehicle, "Monsieur X" was unaware of two figures walking toward his vehicle in the moonlit darkness. At first he took them to be a farmer and his son, attracted, perhaps by the singular object in the field. Casting a second look, he realized his mistake.

The two beings could not have been less farmer-like: striding toward the car with stiff, deliberate paces, the shorter of the two resembled Bibendum, the Michelin Man, only with rings not as clearly delineated as those on the famous corporate image. The being's circular helmet concealed a featureless pear-shaped face with dark sockets; its taller companion had a similarly grotesque visage but did not resemble its counterpart.

Given their deliberate movements and the brightness of the moonlight, "Monsieur X" was able to make out a number of interesting details, such as the fact that the short "Michelin Man"-like figure appeared armed with a triangular weapon in its hand and that both figures had heavy, pointed boots.

The two entities came to within thirteen feet of the car before stopping. "Monsieur X" claimed to have felt a "shock" to the base of his skull followed by a low-pitched sound that became increasingly louder. But there would be no thrilling contact scenario here -- for no reason, the tall and short being made a sudden about face in near-military fashion and headed back to the landed vehicle at a much faster pace than before. The similarity to the Spanish Corell case, still two years into the future, is remarkable.

An Alien Jack and Jill

Argentina has been one of the world’s most prominent sources of UFO occupant and “high-strangeness” events since the 1950s. Some of these cases range from encounters with giant humanoids, as in the Eugenio Douglass case, to abductions by “nordic” type entities (the Dionisio Llanca case of the mid-70s). Although the 80s represented a significant lull in UFO activity, Argentina was still able to offer a few astonishing cases, such as the one involving Alberto Meyer, an unsuspecting farmer from the city of Viale. In 1986, when the incident occurred, Mr. Meyer was in his thirties and more concerned about raising a family than dealing with the unknown.

On a given day in the summer of that year, Meyer had gone out to chop firewood for the ovens of a local bakery store. As he engaged in the task, he had the distinct impression that something was watching him. Given the country’s considerable wildlife, Meyer probably suspected that a wild pig was about to charge out of the bushes. We can imagine his surprise when instead, two creatures emerged from the dense vegetation.

He waved at them, thinking they might be hunters. He couldn’t see them clearly, as the pair of new arrivals was still at a distance from him. They stared intently at him, and Meyer suddenly noticed the strange way in which they were dressed – they appeared to be wearing coveralls of some sort. Perhaps they were escapees from a local jail, or worse yet, terrorists (we forget the considerable amount of terrorist activity that engulfed South America in the late 20th century). Undeterred, and with the chainsaw as his only protection, the young man walked toward them. When he was some twenty feet distant, Meyer was suddenly seized by an unexepcted paralysis – not just of the body, but of his very will. He was motionless but curiously unafraid.

The woodcutter was now able to get a better view of the intruders, realizing that their coveralls were not the product of any penitentiary: they seemed to be made of a skin-colored plastic material. Nor were the new arrivals in any way human: they had large, bald heads with pointed ears and generally human features. They appeared to be male and female, almost identical in height.

The trace of a smile appeared on the female being’s lips, and both she and her companion pulled away at terrific speed, “gliding” over the uneven terrain as though on skates. Meyer’s paralysis ended as soon as the entities had withdrawn, and now fully mobile again, he beat a terrified retreat to his vehicle, fleeing the area. We cannot say for sure if the bakery ever received the much-needed wood for its bread ovens.

The quicksilver speed with which the non-human couple moved is reminiscent of other encounters cases, particularly the 1972 incident involving a group of nine people who decided to spend a night on Puerto Rico’s El Yunque, the mountain rainforest. The details of the incident have been described elsewhere, but the point that concerns us here is that the campers were surrounded by “beings” that moved with uncanny agility through the densely forested area, leaving deep impressions on the ground. The figures “glided” through the rainforest, zigzagging as they did so. Witnesses Efrain Arroyo and Heriberto Ramos – the leaders of the overnight visit – described the creatures as standing between five and six feet tall with elongated arms, large eyes and pointed ears. At one point during their encounter, the witnesses came within 20 feet of the entities, feeling themselves engulfed by a sense of tranquility and well-being they had never felt before – the same “sensation” brought to bear by the creatures encountered by Alberto Meyer?

The Argentinean Giant

In January 2002, Argentinean researcher Pablo Omastott brought the following case to the attention of Quique Mario, director of that country's Proyecto Condor UFO research group. The event, a CE-III involving a motorcyclist and a giant entity, had appeared in the January 15 issue of the Córdoba newspaper.

Enrique Moreno, 19, a clerical employee with the Ika-Renault corporation whose nocturnal job involves acting as a courier for business documents from one company office to another. Arriving at one of Ika-Renault's offices in the dark of the night to lay some paperwork in the middle of a table, he realized that the facility's lights flickered on and off inexplicably. Moreno paid no mind to the power fluctuation and hopped on his motorcycle, heading for his next destination.

Upon reaching a site where vehicles were parked before being sent out across the Andes to Chile, Moreno was amazed to see a giant green figure some 150 meters away. Thinking at first that it might be a welder carrying out his duties at that time of the night, the courier got on his motorcycle and drove toward the figure. When he came within thirty meters, his otherwise dependable bike backfired and hesitated, shuddering and becoming almost unmanageable. Moreno had to perform extraordinary efforts to remain in control of his two-wheeler, but he was much more distressed by the glowing figure than by his vehicle's unaccustomed reaction.

"I froze after seeing it," said Moreno. "It was like a robot standing more than two meters tall. Its angled head was hairless, it had shining, luminous eyes, and was dressed like a frogman, wearing a belt with a wide oval buckle around its waist."

The ungovernable motorcycle shot like an arrow out of control crossing an open gate and going straight across the road without its driver being able do a single thing about it.

"My arms still ache; it robbed me of my strength," he told the interviewer from Córdoba. "I felt as though I was in the middle of a magnetic field. It was cold that night, but the area surroinding me was very hot."

After the experience, Moreno stumbled through the factory's gates feeling a terrible buzzing in his head, as though it were about to explode. Factory personnel immediately drove him to a clinic where he was given sedatives. Although the newspaper considers that the young courier may have hallucinated the experience, it adds that there were other witnesses to the "jolly green giant" that very same evening: a nurse at the same medical facility Moreno had been driven to had administered a sedative to a woman who claimed having seen the same colossal figure levitate through the air and enter an unidentified flying object--an event which was confirmed, in turn, by residents of Villa de El Libertador, who had seen the alleged spacecraft that same evening.

As if these corroborating accounts were not enough, there is also the case involving trucker Luftolde Rodríguez, 52, who was slowly turning his tractor-trailer around and was terrified to find the green giant standing in front of his rig. The giant's presence appeared to drain not only the vehicle's power source, but the trucker's wristwatch and portable radio as well.

Given his proximity to the unknown figure, Rodríguez was better able to describe it. The giant, he said, was looking at him inquisitively; it had a flattened head, was completely bald and lacked eyebrows and eyelashes. Its ears were long, and it wore a glowing light blue outfit with a broad black belt and white boots. An interesting detail is that Rodríguez reports that the giant had a ball "similar to a billiard ball" in its left hand.

The article in Córdoba offers the following conclusion: "The giant's attitude was entirely non-threatening, and could be said to be one of observation. The entity was completely made of energy, perhaps belonging to a form of life in which protoplasm no longer plays any part."

Spain: Aliens in Hot Pursuit

Andrés Gómez Serrano, a retired Spanish police officer turned UFO researcher, has been aided by his years of being in uniform in getting to the bottom of a number of UFO and paranormal mysteries that have occurred with a certain degree of frequency on his "beat" -- the Spanish cities of Algeciras and Cádiz. The result of his work has been collected in the book OVNIS: 50 Años de Investigación en el Campo de Gibraltar (Antakara, 2000).

For reasons unknown, this section of the Iberian peninsula is rife with sightings involving giant entities associated with enigmatic craft, but none of them quite matches the hair-raising events of February 1980.

On the 6th of that month, following a spate of nocturnal light sightings in the vicinity of Botafuegos, three children decided to take it upon themselves to investigate the possible landing of one of the lights--described as a giant "ferris wheel" -- along the road leading from Botafuegos to the town of El Cobre. The three youngsters, like characters out of a Spielberg movie, equipped themselves with a little more than flashlights and set off on their adventure. Upon crossing a stream which had to be forded in order to reach their goal, something unusual occurred: their flashlights, powered by fresh batteries, suddenly went out. When they decided to return to their starting point, the portable light sources regained their power. Startled, the children crossed the invisible barrier several times, noticing the same inexplicable power loss on each occasion. Unable to explain the oddity, the children returned home.

The nocturnal light show continued unabated. On the night of February 11th, as the three children witnessed "their light" make what appeared to be a zigzag landing on the slopes of the nearby hills, a car driven by Rafael Tobaja and his wife pulled up to them. Tobaja asked: "Did you just see the same thing my wife and I saw back in San Jose Artesano?" When the youngsters assented, Tobaja told them to hop in the back seat, and drove them to find the strange object.

At 9:45 p.m., Tobaja and his passengers reached the gates of a farm known as "La Rejanosa". Getting out of the car to check the surroundings, the group was startled by an enormous white light that slowly rose from behind a low hill, splitting in two. From each luminous half there emerged a gigantic, man-shaped entity, with elongated legs and arms, standing in excess of nine feet tall. The radiance of their bodies made it impossible to make out their faces. The humans stared bemusedly at the luminous giants until they realized the entities were heading straight toward them.

Fear gripped Mrs. Tobaja, whose panicked screams added to the hair-scene. Clearly aware of the danger, and of his liability in having brought three unknown children into the perilous situation, Rafael Tobaja overcame his fear-induced paralysis and shouted: "Back in the car! Everybody get in the car!"

Had the unreal event been a scene from a movie screenplay, the engine in Tobaja's car would not have turned over, exacerbating panic to unspeakable heights. But the coupe started normally and the driver pulled away from the luminous giants at full speed, not stopping to look back until he had reached the neighborhood where his young passengers --badly shaken companions in adventure -- resided.

The following day, researcher Gómez visited "La Rejanosa" in the company of Manuel Aguilar, a local surveyor and engineer, to reconnoiter the premises. Both men found a profusion of triangular "boot marks" on the ground and an impression left by an object of considerable weight. Inquiries made of the military suggested that the triangular marks may have been left by mortars during live-fire exercises; however, no maneuvers had been conducted during that week in February or even earlier.


Writing in the mid-1970s, Otto Binder – mentioned earlier in this article – presented an interesting bit of statistical information. From over six hundred reports involving landings of unidentified flying objects, four hundred included sightings of occupants – “ufonauts” – emerging from them. Two hundred eighty of these occupant reports, Binder wrote, “involve sightings of men or creatures who are below average human height, anywhere from one to four and half feet tall. Not only do their heights vary, but so do every other facet of their bodies, faces, limbs and mannerisms.” These variations were so extensive as to preclude a possible origin from any single planet, or even some fanciful federation of planets. Binder’s catalogued variations included: “Green skin and hair; shining yellow eyes, black face and glowing green torso; fish-scale skin, legs with golden glow; three-fingered hands, eight-fingered hands; heads like potatoes....” and so forth. Even the creatures portrayed in the legendary Mos Eisley cantina scene in Star Wars had more points in common. As time progressed, reports of outlandish creatures were substituted in frequency by sightings of “nordics”, “reptilians” and the ubiquitous “greys” with their corresponding motivations and designs upon humanity.

It is difficult to bring a subject of such vast a scope to a neat conclusion. We speak patronizingly of the ancients, but perhaps they were on to something. The other beings that came into contact with humans were not from stars pegged in the firmament but from our own world, in ways that we still cannot explain with all the verbiage of science and technology. An uncomfortable kinship existed between human and parahuman – created by the same deity(ies) but each assigned to a different niche in creation. Ancient humans saw in these fellow denizens more perfected versions of themselves to be revered, or less perfected ones to be avoided. They gave them unusual names and assigned them to various regions of our world; we include them in “classifications” and imagine them to be from exotic planets.

Perhaps for all of our technical prowess, we have fallen short of our forebears in matters of intuition – the old storyteller still spins his yarns, and walks away with a pocketful of coins.