High Strangeness: Forgotten Humanoid Encounters
High Strangeness: Forgotten Humanoid Encounters
By Scott Corrales
In the fall of 1996 I began work on my second book, Flashpoint: High Strangeness in Puerto Rico, not realizing that many cases from the 1960s and 1970s se habían quedado en el tintero, as is said in Spanish, “left behind in the inkwell”. Some of these journalistic accounts appeared in magazines that have been out of print for generations; others were interviews on radio and television broadcasts that came to my attention years after Flashpoint finally appeared in print (1998).
Most of these cases involved a feature that isn’t present in contemporary cases anymore – eyewitness reports of humanoids (and not so humanoid) entities. Other authors have given much thought to the reasons why “occupant” cases have dwindled, or simply vanished altogether. In the second decade of the 21st century, much fuss is made of lights in the sky, the so-called “blurfos” and possibly hoaxed videos employing commercially available software packages. During the Year of the Humanoids (1973) such CE-Is would’ve been relegated to the back burner, or overlooked altogether.
But on to the cases.
The most intriguing of these goes back to the year 1973 – during the “Year of the Humanoids” – and it involves an anonymous truck driver from the city of Arecibo on Puerto Rico’s northern shore. Researcher Sebastián Robiou interviewed this unidentified witness in January 1974, so the details were still fresh in the experiencer’s mind.
The driver was on his way from San Juan to Arecibo, accompanied by an assistant, to make a routine delivery at a warehouse. At one point along Route 2, the old “military road” that links the cities of the northern coastline with Mayaguez on the west and Ponce on the south, the driver noticed a “weird star” larger than any of the planets. This unusual source of light appeared to be following his truck.
At 0400, the truck arrived at the warehouse behind the Arecibo Shopping Center, which was deserted at the time. Both men decided to unload the delivery truck themselves and sleep for a few hours before undertaking the trip back to San Juan. Just as they were drifting off to sleep, they heard the sound of approaching footsteps, and fearful of robbers, they inspected the surroundings before returning to their truck and finally getting much needed rest. Some time went by and the driver heard the footsteps again: he alerted his companion, who did not wake up this time. The driver decided to feign sleep and remained alert.
His watchfulness paid off, and to his amazement, he saw three “whitish figures” – according to the description given to Robiou – visible in the side view mirror on the passenger side. In his mind, he expected a confrontation with common criminals, not a brush with the unknown.
Still feigning sleep, he was able to see three strange beings peering into his truck through the passenger window, past his sleeping companion. This was the verbatim description of the incident: “They were identical to each other. They had close-fitting helmets on their heads, and a sort of crest projected from the front to the back. The beings were white in color, and normal but for a major detail – their noses were hooked like a parrot’s beak!”
One may wonder how the driver managed to remain calm in the face of this strange visitation. But the fact is that he remained still, looking at the unknown visitors through slitted eyes, and describing their behavior. The humanoids spoke to each other with a sound reminiscent of the squeaking of bats, and were clad in outfits covered in what appeared to be scales, as far as he could see. After their cursory look at the interior of the cabin, the parrot-men walked away, chattering among themselves.
After making sure they were gone, the driver stirred his companion and started the truck. He drove back to San Juan at once, reaching the city of Bayamón and dropping off the delivery truck at the company office. The driver returned home, and according to Sebastian Robiou, told his family that something very strange had happened to him. He immediately developed physical symptoms, including a high fever and headaches that afflicted him for two days (this brings to mind John Keel’s observation in The Mothman Prophecies (p.231) that UFO witnesses often come down with physical symptoms after encounters—some of them even similar to those of gonorrhea). The witness described feeling a sensation of cranial pressure as he looked at the parrot-men. “I felt my head was going to explode.”
The sensation of cranial pressure during an encounter with a non-human presence was also mentioned in another case that same year: the December 23, 1973 CE-III involving a humanoid with hollow black eyesockets and a housewife hanging laundry in Puerto Rico’s Barrio Limón in the city of Mayaguez. The case became famous as the first time that a hypnotic regression – carried out by Dr. Manuel Mendez del Toro -- was used on a UFO percipient on the island. The housewife chose to remain anonymous, but a transcript of the regression session was featured prominently in Sebastián Robiou’s works and later works by other major Puerto Rican researchers. It was also featured prominently in Contactos Extraterrestres magazine (1981). The case was also discussed on the airwaves, having been featured on Orlando Rimax's Otros Mundos radio show in 1976.
The witness, as stated earlier, was outside her home hanging the laundry when she became aware of a flash in the sky: an object she would describe as a smooth, silver hoop lacking windows or doors, was suspended in the air, tilting from side to side. Not particularly interested in such matters, and with more chores on her list, the housewife returned indoors. Within the walls of her home, she was assaulted by an intense buzzing sound that rose incrementally to the point that she felt that her head was going to explode – the same description offered by the truck driver who encountered the Arecibo “parrot-men”.
Compelled to walk toward one of the windows facing her back yard, the woman found herself staring at a human figure. Most of the details of her experience were recovered under hypnosis two years lager, including her description of “a tall humanoid figure with crossed arms, wearing a tight silver outfit, whose red face was the only part of the body not covered by the uniform.” Lacking a nose or mouth, the entity’s most prominent facial feature were the large, dark cavities where its eyes would have been.
Under Mendez del Toro’s guidance, the anonymous housewife also remembered “crying and screaming in fear, the entity commanded her to calm down and to come to him. Adding to the high-strangeness quotient, the entity demanded that the terrified woman give him an object: a stone she used to mash vegetables. In terror – and the transcript of the hypnotic session demonstrates this clearly – the woman proferred the stone, with the unexpected result that the bizarre entity recoiled from it, ordering her “not to look at him”.
What makes this bizarre 1973 case even stranger – as if it needed to be – is that the eyeless entity projected words into the witness’s mind, words that she understood as “cerakia ovint” and which were subjected to interpretation in a variety of languages, ancient and modern, without any results. Research conducted in 1975 by William Santana of the defunct CEOVNI organization showed that other neighbors had heard the buzzing sound at the time, but hadn’t seen the outlandish visitor from elsewhere.
In July 1977, Adrián Olmos, 42, became the protagonist of an incident that has been picked up in a number of UFO magazines and encyclopaedias -- an encounter near Quebradillas, P.R. with a strange, jetpack-equipped alien measuring less than four feet in height. However, little or no attention was paid to the highly disturbing follow-up to the Olmos experience.
In the event’s aftermath, Olmos had developed an uncharacteristic interest for the paranormal along with uncanny mediumistic faculties. While others may have been hesitant to relive an encounter with the unknown, Olmos made it publicly known that he would welcome a chance to see the strange creatures once again, since he would no longer feel so nervous the second time around. Perhaps someone should have advised him at that point to keep his wishes in check.
On October 20, 1977, Olmos, who worked as a distributor of veterinary medicine products throughout the towns in the islands interior, had largely forgotten the weirdness and excitement of his summertime encounter. While making a delivery near the town of Camuy on the island’s Atlantic coastline, Olmos began to hear strange squealing sounds that he at first thought came from his car, but then realized to his horror that they came from within his head.
“The sound was reminiscent of the shrieking of monkeys.” Olmos told a reporter. “I could feel the dreadful noise within my head as my heartbeats increased. This lasted for about five minutes, after which I continued making the scheduled deliveries on my route.”
But as soon as he had finished his next appointment, the shrieks returned with renewed intensity, giving him the impression that a record was being played at a furiously high speed (similar sounds have been reported in other UFO cases around the world). Olmos began experiencing a throbbing headache of such intensity that he began to fear for his sanity: the pain was accompanied by an inundating sensation of heat throughout his body. So overwhelming was the sensation that it forced the sick and frightened Olmos to pull over on the roadside and check to see if the car’s roof was on fire. At that point, as the shrieking within his head threatened to render him unconscious, Olmos noticed an enormous ball of light, thirteen feet in diameter, blocking the road ahead of him. He described the phenomenon as being composed of myriad hot, smaller lights.
“The lights gave off a sort of gas which coalesced into two small creatures, becoming more and more clearly defined. I realized that the pair were the source of the shrieks, and they appeared to be talking to one another.” Olmos continued. “The creatures had apple-colored faces and were dressed in platinum-white outfits, with diamond-like structures on the foreheads, held in place by black headbands. They resembled lizards, and long red tongues could be seen inside their mouths when they spoke.”
Despite his fear, Olmos was able to make an unusually detailed verbal portrait of the creatures. He noticed that both lizard-like beings had similar features, had four-fingered hands, and wore small boots made of an unknown cloth. One of them held a box in its hands, which Olmos felt was being used to monitor him. Gathering up courage in the face of an unknown situation, the sales representative challenged the creatures, demanding to know what they wanted of him. The creatures turned to him and shrieked, “as if wanting to explain something,” but they were quickly enveloped in a cloudiness caused by the lights and disappeared. The thirteen-foot wide light rose into the sky and eventually vanished from sight.
“I remained petrified,” Olmos added in his interview. “and started to pray. Once composed, I got back in the car and went home. I felt dazed and my body ached all over.”
Olmos’s life was never the same after the bizarre encounter in Camuy. He sold his house in Quebradillas (where he had witnessed the original incident) and moved to a smaller community. Olmos became prone to constant panic attacks and his wife attributed the changes in their household to satanic presences and barred her home to UFO researchers and journalists. Curiously enough, the percipient redoubled his interest in UFOs and the paranormal.
At this point it should be mentioned that these cases were looked into by a group of inquisitive minds that constituted the “UFO scene” of the time. The late Carlos Busquets, for example, was interested in the parapsychological aspects of humanoid encounters, everything from telepathic communication with putative non-humans to the sudden development of limited extra-sensory powers in experiencers, and poltergeist phenomena being reported in the wake of UFO sightings or encounters. Noel Rigau, an engineer, openly acknowledged as the father of Ufology on the island and a “researcher’s researcher” whose indefatigable work became the mainstay of Sebastián Robiou’s writings. William Santana of CEOVNI, an architect, mentioned earlier, provided the analytical angle to cases, while Salvador Freixedo expounded on the role of religion and belief as a whole in the subject of UFOs, developing the building blocks to what would become his landmark Defendámonos de los dioses (Beware of the Gods).
Cases involving non-humans would dwindle in the 1980s until the appearance of the “Greys” in the island’s case histories after 1987, when a new generation of researchers and writers would bring the bewildering stories of experiences into the public light once more.