Editor’s note: This is part two of the two-part series.
There were several other types of sightings during this same time, including UFO sightings and strange creatures. The most significant, however, was the “Grinning Man” – the third creature of this article.
I can think of a lot of terrifying creatures, but this one, which has been closely associated with the Mothman, may be the most terrifying of all. Reported to be over six feet tall and dressed in a green and/or blue metallic uniform with a wide black belt, these creatures are reported to have small beady, black eyes, a dark complexion and, of course, a large shark-like grin. They also have no ears or noses and are almost always seen at the same time as UFOs.
This creature was first reported on the night of Oct. 11, 1966 by two teenagers in Elizabeth, N.J. They described the “Grinning Man” as the most hulking man they had ever seen and wasted no time running for their lives instead of investigating. When separated and interviewed a few days later, their descriptions were identical.
At exactly the same time, 40 miles north of Elizabeth, near a Dupont explosives factory, a police officer and his wife saw what they described as a blurry, white light as big as a car. They said it flew over the hills and vanished.
Two police officers, on the other side of the hill, saw it as well. They said it was so bright it blinded them when they stepped out of their patrol car to investigate.
Keep in mind, the Mothman was also seen near an explosives plant – in the TNT area, near Point Pleasant, W.Va.
Less than a month after this sighting, on Nov. 2, 1966, sewing machine salesman Woodrow Derenberger had his eery encounter. He was driving on Interstate 77 when a bizarre vehicle landed in the road in front of him with a loud crashing sound. He described it as an “old fashioned kerosene lamp chimney,” flaring at both ends, narrowing to a small neck, then enlarging to a bulge in the center.
As he stopped his truck, a hatch slid open and a tall, dark-skinned man climbed out of the strange vehicle.
Derenberger described him as having “slightly elongated eyes with a wide, creepy grin.” He also described him as wearing a blue metalic uniform, which was shiny and glistening.
He said the creature communicated with him telepathically. Derenberger said he was asked a series of questions and then the creature identified itself as Indrid Cold and told Derenberger he would visit him again. It then took off in the spacecraft.
Following this encounter, both Derenberger and several other residents from Point Pleasant claimed to have encounters with Indrid Cold. Although some of Derenberger’s later claims would seem a bit outlandish, with the information he said Indrid Cold gave him, the number of sightings were too numerous to ignore. There were also claims of two more Grinning Men named Demo Hassan and Karl Ardo.
Of all the sightings reported, the Lilly family’s claim is the most terrifying. This also happened during the Mothman uproar in Point Pleasant. Their daughter, Linda, ran screaming from her bedroom one night and told her mother a large, hulking man was in her room, grinning at her. He walked around her bed and stood over her, then disappeared, she said. The family also claimed to have seen blue, green and red lights around the house and color-changing orbs with diamond-shaped windows.
Sounds a lot like the New Jersey encounter, doesn’t it? There were also several reports of a “giant prowler” with a “fixed grin” in Provincetown, Mass., during 1966 and 1967.
There have been a few other reported encounters with the Grinning Man over the last 20 years. At least three of these have been released to the public. One, on Dec. 3, 1979 in Italy, involved a night watchman who claimed he was abducted by a Grinning Man. Another, in the 1980s, involved a Connecticut woman who claimed to have a seen a Grinning Man. The third occurred, in 2009, near Roswell, N.M. A man claimed to have seen a bald, grinning man who stood more than six feet tall and was wearing a sparkling green jacket. He didn’t stop his car, but drove by the Grinning Man on into town where he was told he’d just missed a UFO.
All these sightings, like the Mothman, are just too much to brush off.
It has long been suspected, and suggested, that the Grinning Man sightings in and around Point Pleasant are directly associated with the Mothman.
Were the Grinning Men some sort of galactic enforcers, trying to police the Mothman?
Was the Mothman trying to warn us of the Grinning Man?
Did they try to warn us of the impending doom of the Silver Bridge or could they have even caused it?
All of this takes the Mothman legend way beyond just a mountain monster. Although many believe these are two different entities, one an alien and the other an urban legend, I believe they are entwined through the annals of history and there is at least some connection.
I also believe the Mothman to be alien in nature rather than a monster which lived at the TNT area munitions plant near Point Pleasant.
The question is: What do you believe?
Real or fake, monster or alien – it has to make you think the next time you see strange lights in the sky or your child claims to have seen a monster in his/her room.
Could you be the next person to see one of these creatures?
— Thomas Moseley, of Mabscott, has been conducting paranormal investigations for six years throughout southern West Virginia. He is the founder of West Virginia Paranormal. Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.