This entry is the last of four weeks of stories for the Halloween season, this week repeating entries first posted in 2008 and 2009 at a different site. This page repeats the entry for 2008. A link for the post from 2009 follows.
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CURIOUS PHENOMENON IN VENEZUELA:
To the Editor of the Scientific American:
The following brief account of a recent strange meteorological occurrence may be of interest to your readers as an addition to the list of electrical eccentricities:
During the night of the 24th of October last, which was rainy and tempestuous, a family of nine persons, sleeping in a hut a few leagues from Maracaibo, were awakened by a loud humming noise and a vivid, dazzling light, which brilliantly illuminated the interior of the house.
The occupants completely terror stricken, and believing, as they relate, that the end of the world had come, threw themselves on their knees and commenced to pray, but their devotions were almost immediately interrupted by violent vomitings, and extensive swellings commenced to appear in the upper part of their bodies, this being particularly noticeable about the face and lips.
It is to be noted that the brilliant lights was not accompanied by a sensation of heat, although there was a smoky appearance and a peculiar smell.
The next morning, the swellings had subsided, leaving upon the face and body large black blotches. No special pain was felt until the ninth day, when the skin peeled off, and these blotches were transformed into virulent raw sores.
The hair of the head fell off upon the side which happened to be underneath when the phenomenon occurred, the same side of the body being, in all nine cases, the more seriously injured.
The remarkable part of the occurrence is that the house was uninjured, all doors and windows being closed at the time.
No trace of lightning could afterward by observed in any part of the building, and all the sufferers unite in saying that there was no detonation, but only the loud humming already mentioned.
Another curious attendant circumstance is that the trees around the house showed no signs of injury until the ninth day, when they suddenly withered, almost simultaneously with the development of the sores upon the bodies of the occupants of the house.
This is perhaps a mere coincidence, but it is remarkable that the same susceptibility to electrical effects, with the same lapse of time, should be observed in both animal and vegetable organisms.
I have visited the sufferers, who are now in one of the hospitals of this city; and although their appearance is truly horrible, yet it is hoped that in no case will the injuries prove fatal.
U. S. Consulate,
November 17, 1886
Dallas, Texas Morning News
April 19, 1897
Aurora, Wise County, Texas, April 17, 1897
About 6 o'clock this morning the early risers of Aurora were astonished at the sudden appearance of the airship which has been sailing throughout the country. It sailed directly over the public square, and when it reached the north part of town collided with the tower of Judge Proctor's windmill and went to pieces with a terrific explosion, scattering debris over several acres of ground, wrecking the windmill and water tank and destroying the judge's flower garden. The pilot of the ship is supposed to have been the only one aboard, and while his remains are badly disfigured, enough of the original has been picked up to show that he was not an inhabitant of this world.
T.J. Weems, the U.S. Signal Service Officer at this place and an authority on astronomy, gave it as his opinion that (the pilot) was a native from the planet of Mars.
Papers found on his person (evidently the records of his travels) are written in some unknown hieroglyphics and cannot be deciphered. The ship was too badly wrecked to form conclusions as to its construction or motive power. The town is full of people today who are viewing the wreck and gathering specimens of strange metal from the debris. The pilot's funeral will take place tomorrow.
Washington, D.C. Daily News
September 15, 1952
Around a Bend They Saw a Pair of Bulging Eyes
SUTTON, W.Va., Sept. 15. -- A short time after a meteorite - or something - blazed across this town last Friday and seemed to land nearby, an evil-smelling, green bodied monster 12 feet tall with bulging eyes and clawy hands sent seven young citizens running for their lives.
A. Lee Stewart, who with his father publishes the Braxton County Democrat, saw mysterious traces of whatever it was, and here's his story:
"It was about 7:15 p.m. when this meteorite, or something, was supposed to have been seen that I wandered down the street and the people told me about having seen it. Then, a little while later, this call comes in from Flatwood, a town about five miles away.
A PAIR OF EYES
"Mrs Kathleen May and six boys had gone up the hill to where this thing was supposed to have landed, and they could see flashes of light - flash, flash, flash, three or four times - coming from the top of the hill.
"As they kind of eased around a little bend on the road, there in the shadows, they saw a pair of eyes. There was a peculiar odor - a very sickening, hot, stuffy smelling odor.
"The oldest boy - he's 17 - threw a flashlight on it. All the rest of them saw it too. The boy fell over backwards and all the people took for their heels and came running back to town.
"They said it was about 11 or 12 feet high, and had a shiny, metallic kind of face and protruding eyes. Its body was green. It had outstretched hands - sort of clawy looking hands.
"When they all got back to town, they gave the boy a dose or two of smelling salts, and called police.
"Of course", said Mr. Stewart, "the state police weren't in, but next morning the sheriff and some other people went up, and naturally I went along to investigate. I took my camera with me."
Atop the rugged, tangled hill, there was no trace of a meteorite, but there was an area "all trampled down", Mr. Stewart said. He said that he could still smell traces of the peculiar odor.
There were two tracks. They looked like skid marks, about a foot wide, a car length apart, and about ten yards long, Mr. Stewart said. He said you couldn't get an auto up that hill.
Mr. Stewart and the deputies took Gene Lemon, the 17-year-old, along with them.
"We had to coax him to go back," Mr. Stewart said. "I had to keep my hand on his shoulder. He just shook and shook like he was scared to death.
"I know all these people," Mr. Stewart said. "And I tried every way to tear this story down. But they all told the same story and they all stuck to it.
"I've never seen people in more fright.
"I don't know what they saw, but they sure saw something on that hill.
Hopkinsville, Kentucky New Era
August 22, 1955
Kelly Farmhouse Scene Of Alleged Raid
By Strange Crew Last Night; Reports Say
Bullets Failed To Affect Visitors
All kinds of investigations were going on today in connection with the bizarre story of how a space-ship carrying 12 to 15 little men landed in the Kelly community early last night and battled occupants of a farmhouse.
Most official of the probes was reportedly being staged by the air force.
More than a dozen state, county, and city officers from Christian and Hopkins counties went to the scene between 11 p.m. and midnight and remained until after 2 a.m. without seeing anything either to prove or disprove the story about the ship and its occupants.
The farmhouse is located on the Old Madisonville Road about eight miles north of Hopkinsville. The property is occupied by Cecil (Lucky) Sutton, one of those who reported experiencing last night's phenomena.
There were some 10 or 12 persons at the house, including several children, but investigating officers were not able to determine exactly how many of those present actually claimed to have seen any of the little men from the space ship. Only other person who officers quoted directly was identified as Billy Ray Taylor. One account said Taylor is a visitor from Pennsylvania, which recently had a similar report of a space ship. Neither Sutton nor Taylor was at home when officers returned to the scene this morning.
The story broke around 11 o'clock last night when two cars, one bearing a Pennsylvania license drove up to Hopkinsville's police headquarters. Officers then at the station said the two autos contained at least five adults and several children. All appeared highly excited.
Spokesmen for the crowd told of how something resembling a space ship or flying saucer had landed at the back of their house near Kelly and 12 or 15 men, who appeared to be about 4 feet tall, had got out of ship and come up to the house and done battle with the occupants.
"We need help," one of the men said, "we've been fighting them for nearly four hours."
Four city police, Chief Russell Greenwell, T.C. Gross, Dorris Francis, and Gray Salter, drove to the scene to see about the "little men". By radio, contact was made with State Troopers R.N. Ferguson Jr. and G.W. Riley and Deputy Sheriff George Batts, all of whom joined the motorcade to Kelly in their own vehicles. Four MP's also went.
The radio discussions also brought two Hopkins County deputy sheriffs and at least three state troopers from the station at Madisonville.
First arrivers found the scene deserted. The two cars which had brought the report to Hopkinsville did not return to the Kelly farm until after officers had arrived and looked the situation over.
Officers reported they found no tracks of "little men," nor was there any mark indicating anything had landed at the described sport behind the house. There was a hole in the screen at the window through which occupants said a shot had been fired at one of the strange little men.
Both Chief Greenwell and Deputy Sheriff Batts said they got approximately this story from the still-terrified and excited Sutton and Taylor families:
About 7 p.m. one of the men went out of the house to get a bucket of water. He saw what looked like a flying saucer come over the trees and land in a field at a point about a city block behind the house. There was no explosion, only a semi-hissing sound, and the watcher returned to the house with the bucket of water.
A short time later somebody reported some little men with big heads and long arms were approaching the house. The men were described as having huge eyes and hands out of proportion to their small bodies. The visitors were wearing what looked to be metal plate.
The men got their guns, a shotgun for Sutton and a .22 caliber target pistol for Taylor. By and by, one of the little men pressed his face against the window and the shotgun was fired through the window. The face disappeared.
The men decided to go outside and see if the visitor had been hit. Taylor was in front and when he emerged from the front door, a huge hand reached down from the low roof above the door and grabbed him by the hair. He pulled away and the two men went on out of the house.
One of the strange little men was in a nearby tree, another on top of the house. A blast from Sutton's shotgun knocked another one of the men down but he did not appear hurt. He disappeared in the darkness.
Taylor reportedly opened fire on other member of the invading party, also with little effect. The battle went on for some time. When the occupants of the house saw their chance, they jumped into their cars and drove to Hopkinsville for help.
Deputy Sheriff Batts said the men told him that in all they fired up about four boxes of .22 pistol shells. The officer quoted a neighbor saying he heard shooting at the Suttons but distinguished only about four shots and mistook them for fire-crackers. Most of the officers remained at the site for more than two hours. During that period, there were approximately 25 person at the scene.
Only excitement during the period the officers were there came when an MP happened to step on a cat's tail while walking in the darkness near the house. The cat let out a squawl and for a few seconds there was much activity and scurrying around on the part of those present.
Two officers who returned to the Kelly area early this morning reported hearing that the "little men" had reappeared around the Sutton home about 3:30 a.m.
Other investigators who went to Kelly later during the morning said they were told Sutton and Taylor had gone to Evansville today.
Officers who visited the scene during last night's excitement were reluctant to express any opinion today in regard to the reported invasion of Kelly. All officials appeared to agree that there was no drinking involved.
Only outspoken comment came from Frank Dudas, city police desk sergeant, who was not on duty last night and has not visited the scene so far. He said, "I think the whole story is entirely possible."
Sergeant Dudas was one of two city policemen who reported seeing three flying saucers early one morning last summer. He said, "I know I saw them. If I saw them, the Kelly story certainly could be true."
[A folktale widely floating around the internet and purportedly taken from Passport to Magonia, by Jacques Vallee, and the files of APRO, and re-cobbled together for this entry...]
The Disappearance of Private Irwin, 1959
No one knows what Private Gerry Irwin was thinking as he made his way back to his military base that long-ago Saturday, February 28, 1959.
He had been on leave from his duty as a Nike missile technician at Fort Bliss, Texas. Having traveled home to Nampa, Idaho, he was 600 miles into a 1400 mile return road trip that took him through some of the most spectacular scenery the western U.S. has to offer.
But it was a lonely drive. In 1959 the interstate highway system was at its bare beginnings, and the old highway route he was traveling on was mostly used by people on business between St. George and Salt Lake City, or truckers on their way to or from Idaho or Canada.
And so in the wilds of Utah, six miles southeast of Cedar City, he was especially startled -- and perhaps a little frightened -- when he saw a glowing object come down in a field a short distance away.
He thought it might be an aircraft in trouble and so he pulled over, determined to see if he could be of aid. He quickly wrote a note explaining, and left it on his steering wheel:
Have gone to investigate possible plane crash. Please call police.
Then he wrote 'STOP' in large letters on the side of his car, and began hiking towards the scene.
And time went by.
Sometime after -- no one knows exactly how long -- a Fish and Game inspector saw the car and stopped. He looked, but could see no sign of a crash or of the person who left the note. So the inspector headed back to Cedar City and got the Sheriff.
And more time went by.
Sheriff Otto Pfief, knowing that such a search might have to cover a wide area, called around town and soon had a party of volunteers.
And more time went by.
Arriving at the site, they began their search. A half hour went by. No one could see any sign of a plane crash -- neither debris or telltale smoke. Another half-hour went by, and they wondered whether Private Irwin might have become lost. Then finally, lying unconscious, they found Private Irwin.
Unable to awaken him, they rushed him to the hospital in Cedar City. Still unconscious, he was examined by Dr. Broadbent. But the good doctor could find no apparent injuries which would explain his condition. And then, after a time, Private Irwin suddenly awoke.
He was confused at first by waking up in a hospital. The last thing he remembered was seeing the object come down. And he was upset that his jacket seemed to be missing -- the sheriff told him he was not wearing it when found.
Someone then notified Fort Bliss of his situation, and he was flown back and placed under observation at William Beaumont Army Hospital for several days. Then Private Irwin returned to duty.
But all was not well.
While on duty, Private Irwin had a fainting spell. Then, a few days later, he fainted again while in El Paso. Rushed to Southwest General Hospital, he was once again unconscious and unwakeable. He would stay that way for 24 hours.
Suddenly, he awoke again, asking "Were there any survivors?" It was now March 16th, 17 days since the incident, and he could remember nothing that had happened to him since that day -- not the time in St. George, not the time under observation an Beaumont, not his trip to El Paso.
Once again, he was placed under observation at William Beaumont Army Hospital, and this time put under the care of psychiatrists. But except for his amnesia, Private Irwin was in perfect health, and one month later was placed back on duty.
But all was still not well.
Acting on a sudden and powerful impulse the next day, Private Irwin hopped on a bus and traveled back to Cedar City, then somehow made his way six miles southeast to the spot he had originally stopped at, and then hiked in once again.
He found his jacket on a bush.
Later he would say that in one of the buttonholes there was a pencil with a piece of paper wound tightly around it. For no apparent reason he burned the paper, and then felt as if he had come out of some sort of trance. But he didn't know why he was there in the wilds of Utah, the last few days having been forgotten as well.
He somehow made his way back to Cedar City and found himself back at the office of Sheriff Otto Pfief. But once again, he could remember nothing since the incident -- not even that he had met the Sheriff before.
And so Irwin was returned to Fort Bliss once more, and again entered William Beaumont Army Hospital. After another period of psychiatric observation, he was returned to duty for a third time.
A few days later, he once again failed to report for duty.
One month later he was listed as a deserter.
No word has been heard from Private Irwin since.
Newsday, September 1, 1960
EXPERTS CLOUDY ON IDENTITY OF SKY THING
It's not a satellite and it's not a meteor. Any astronomer can tell you that. And he can tell you its color and, to some extent, its speed.
There's just one thing he can't tell you - what it is. He can't even guess.
That's the status at the moment of the "week-long nationwide attempt to identify the mysterious reddish object that has been circling the earth since last Thursday.
Astronomers all over the country admit that they're puzzled. One, Frank Judson of Chicago's famed Adler Planetarium says "I've been watching it for days and I don't have the faintest idea what it is."
Expert observers and just plain citizens have been catching glimpses of the mysterious object in Long Island, Chicago, Washington, Boston, New Haven, Chicago and points west. But the few conclusions that they are able to draw about its behavior only heightens the mystery of what it is. Judson, who has been studying the object in conjunction with Robert L. Johnson, director of the Adler Planetarium sums up the conclusions about the thing this way:
"It's not a meteor because it's much too slow. And it's not an artificial man-made satellite, of that we're certain. The object travels from east to west...every artificial satellite ever put up has traveled from west to east. That's the only way in which they can take advantage of the earth's rotation."
"The object doesn't even have the decency to maintain a regular schedule, like any other heavenly or man made object. We don't know when to watch for it. It appears some nights, and some nights it doesn't."
Usually it appears at about the time Echo I does going in the opposite direction and about twice as fast.
What could it possibly be: "Between you and me, I just don't know," Judson said. Then he was asked an inevitable question: "No," he replied, "Definitely not, I do not believe in flying saucers."
United Press, October 12, 1973
'Scared' Men Convince Sheriff Of Tangle With UFO People
Pascagoula, Miss. (UPI) - Two shipyard workers who claimed they were hauled aboard a UFO and examined by silvery-skinned creatures with big eyes and pointed ears were taken to a military hospital Friday to be checked for radiation. Officials said Charles Hickson, 42, and Calvin Parker, 19, would make no further public statements concerning their weird tale until they had talked further with federal authorities. Both work at Walker Shipyards, where Hickson is a foreman. Neither man suffered any apparent injuries but as a precautionary measure where taken to nearby Keesler Air Force Base Hospital to checked for radiation exposure, officers said.
Jackson County Chief Deputy Barney Mathis said the men told him they were fishing from an old pier on the west bank of Pascagoula River about 7 p.m. Thursday when they noticed a strange craft about two miles away emitting a bluish haze. They said it moved closer and then appeared to hover about three or four feet above the water then:
"Three whatever-they-were came out, either floating or walking, and carried us into the ship," officers quoted Hickson as saying. "The things had big eyes. They kept us about 20 minutes, and then took us back to the pier. "The only sound they made was a buzzing-humming sound. They left in a flash."
The sheriff's office received several other calls during the night from residents of the area about sighting a strange "blue light" in the sky. Numerous UFO sightings also have been reported in many parts of the state during the past couple of weeks.
Captain Glen Ryder of the sheriff's department, who questioned both men Thursday night, said he thought at first "They were pulling my leg." "We did everything we knew to break their stories," Ryder said, "but both stories fit. If they were lying to me, they should be in Hollywood." Mathis said Hickson appeared to be a "reasonable man" and was not a heavy drinker, according to his wife and employers. Authorities said both men said they were not drinking when the incident occurred but admitted "they went to a have a drink or two after it was over."
"They had to have something to settle their nerves," said Mathis. He quoted Hickson as saying: "I was so damn scared I didn't know what it was." Officers said Parker reported he passed out when the three creatures- purportedly with pointed ears and noses and pale skin-type covering- emerged from the craft. He said he didn't regain consciousness until he'd been released back on the pier. Deputies took statements from both men and then left them together in a room with a hidden tape recorder in an effort to check out the story. Mathis said there was nothing on the tape to indicate a hoax. Hickson estimated he and Parker were inside the unidentified craft for 15 for 20 minutes. He told officers he was placed on same kind of table and examined from head to foot by what described as something like an electronic eye.
Big Spring, Texas Herald
February 16, 1975
Cattle Mutilations Move Closer To Area
Some people call it ritualistic killings by Satan worshipers. Some call it investigations by some kind of life off UFOs. Some still try to claim it is mutilation by scavenger birds and animals.
But call it whatever you want to, the number of cattle mutilations in Texas now number 23 and has moved closer to this area when a mutilated eight-month old bull calf was discovered on Heston Redwine's place near the Spade Community in Mitchell County last weekend.
Redwine reported the incident to Sheriff Bill McGuire Monday after he made the discovery on the weekend. The jaw of the 400- pound animal was cut away and the tongue removed according to Deputy Jim Reynaud.
The animal had been dead three or four days when it was found in the pasture. The carcass had not been disturbed by vultures or varments, which is in itself strange.
Earlier, 14 head of cattle had been reported mutilated in five West and north Central Texas Counties.
NINE MORE CASES
During the past week, nine more cattle mutilation killings were found near Palestine, Coleman, Tyler Lufkin and Nacogdoches.
In most cases, the sex organs, whether male or female, have been removed cleanly, as if taken by knife. In many other cases, the tongues, ears, eyes and other organs have been apparently cut away.
In one case on Feb. 7, Etoile rancher Hoyt Cook found his 350-pound calf dead and its tongue removed. Cook quoted veterinarian Dr. C. C. Young as saying the calf apparently died of an overdose of tranquilizing drugs.
During the past week, new mutilation killing cases included a 750 pound bull in Palestine found last Sunday with its sex organs, ears and tongue missing. Its blood had been drained out, though none was on the ground around it.
Another occurred in Tyler where a large cow was found Monday on the Ashby ranch with sex organs missing and blood drained. A bull was found similarly mutilated Tuesday. At Trinity, a pregnant cow was found Thursday with the tongue removed and the carcass drained of blood.
At Motalba, a cow and calf were found dead Thursday although Sheriff Herrington attributed their deaths to malnutrition and at Coleman, two calves were found Friday with eyes, nose and sex organs missing and the blood gone.
Ranchers are angry and lawmen confused at the continued killings. They are not limited to Texas but include findings in Winsconsin, Kansas, Nebraska Minnesota, Colorado, North Dakota and South Dakota with mutilations of cats and dogs reported in West Virginia and Missouri.
A radio newsman in Brownwood said he believes some of the killings may, in fact, be ritual killings by members of an occult group.
CHURCH OF SATAN
He said that sources have told him of three or four occult groups near Brownwood, possible congregations of the Church of Satan. There was reported to be such a group in Andrews last year, but they left after creating a stir there and denials by news media that it was a Church of Satan. Early reports there claimed they were killing goats.
The Brownwood radio announcer has apparently been proven wrong on one count. He said his sources told him the killings would continue during the Equinox of Panda from Christmas until Feb. 2 at which time there would be a sacrifice of a higher order of life.
Apparently a new siege of killings has followed Feb. 2, so perhaps they have reached another equinox.
Another spokesman, Terrance Mitchell, under contract with the University of Minnesota to lecture on UFOs, believes the taking of ears, udders and other parts of the carcasses are part of a scientific investigation being done by unidentified flying objects.
Associated Press, Melbourne, October 25, 1978
AUSTRALIAN PILOT DISAPPEARS AFTER REPORTING CHASE BY UFO'S
Boats and aircraft have found no trace of the 20-year old Australian pilot who disappeared with his plane on Saturday night after radioing that he was being chased by a UFO. Frederick Valentich was on a 125 mile training flight in his single engine Cessna 182 along the coast of Bass Strait when he told air traffic controllers in Melbourne that he was being buzzed by a UFO with 4 bright lights about 1000 feet above him.
Controllers said his last message was taped and was: "It's approaching from due east towards me. It seems to be playing some sort of game... flying at a speed I can't estimate. It's not an aircraft. It's...It is flying past. It is a long shape. I cannot identify more than that. It's coming for me right now." A minute later: "It seems to be stationary. I'm also orbiting and the thing is orbiting on top of me also. It has a green light and a sort of metallic light on the outside." Valentich then radioed that his engine was running roughly. His last words were: "It is not an aircraft."
The Australian Air Force said it had received 11 reports from people along the coast who said they saw UFOs on Saturday night, but the Transport Department was skeptical. Ken Williams, a spokesman for the department, said, "It's funny all these people ringing up with UFO reports well after Valentich's disappearance. It seems people often decide after the event, they too had seen strange lights. But although we can't take them too seriously, we can never discourage such reports when investigating a plane's disappearance."
Some Transport Dept officials have speculated that Valentich became disoriented and saw his own lights reflected in the water, or lights from a nearby island, while flying upside down.
Valentich's father, Guido, said his son used to study UFOs "as a hobby using information he had received from the Air Force. He was not the kind of person who would make up stories. Everything had to be very correct and positive for him. The fact that they have found no trace of him really verifies the fact that UFOs could have been there." Guido Valentich said he hoped his son had not crashed but has been taken by a UFO.
FROM THE OFFICIAL ACCIDENT REPORT
[For larger version click here].
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, boys and girls, we appreciate your attendance at our first annual Halloween A Palooza.
We trust you have found us respectful of your time and sensitivities, and have found nothing herein to shock or offend.
Management would like us to remind you that tips will be gratefully accepted, and any recommendations you care to make to your friends and neighbors are always appreciated.
Just carefully follow the signs to safely make your exit, and you will surely make it to the polls as planned on Tuesday, even accounting for any missing time which may or may not occur along the way....
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