By John Keel
YOU are driving down a lonely country road late at night, lively music from your car radio helping to keep you alert. You haven’t been drinking. You just wasn’t to get home to bed. Suddenly your headlights seem to go dim and you fiddle with the switch to no avail. Then heavy static drowns out the music on the radio. You fee an eerie, tingling sensation and an indefinable fear tickles the back of your head and dries your throat. Then a tall figure shambles out of the bushes alongside the road and steps in front of your fading headlights. It is at least seven feet tall, maybe more, and it seems to be covered with long hair from head to foot. It opens its mouth and screams – a blood curling cry. The face is demon-like, the eyes a fiery red. You are gripped with terror, jam the accelerator to the floorboards and speed off without looking back.
Later, when you try to tell your friends about it they laugh out loud and kid you. So you don’t dare mention it again.
In the past few years hundreds of people in California, Michigan, Florinda, New York State, India, Brazil, Argentina and dozens of other places have had identical experiences with these monsters and freaks who appear out of nowhere and then seem to disappear again into limbo. Possess using dogs and helicopters have collected plaster of pairs casts of the gigantic footprints they often leave behind. Early in 1969, two world famous scientists finally discovered what might have been the actual body of one of these half human beasts. They examined it and photographed it. And then someone stole the corpse. It hasn’t been seen since.
Strangest of all, these hairy monsters have a disturbing habit of turning up in areas where flying saucers have been seen, and their brief appearances are often accompanied by manifestations which have long been associated with UFOs, such as the dimming of headlights, radio static, and the stalling of motor vehicles. Ufologists have labeled such phenomena “the electro-magnetic (EM) effect,”, assuming that flying saucers are sometimes surrounded by powerful magnetic fields which raise havoc with electrical systems. There are thousands of cases of this. In 1966-68, a team of scientists at Colorado University studied the EM effect carefully as part of an overall UFO investigation financed by the U.S Air Force. They were completely baffled. “Of all physical effects claimed to be due to the presence of UFOs,” the Colorado scientists stated in their final report, “the alleged malfunction of automobile motors is perhaps the most puzzling. The claim is frequently made, sometimes in reports which are impressive because they involve multiple independent witnesses. Witnesses seem certain that the function of their cars was affected by the unidentified object, which sometimes reportedly was not seen until after the malfunction was noted. No satisfactory explanation for such effects, if indeed they occurred, is apparent.”
On Sunday evening, May 18, 1969, the lights went out in a small area outside of Rising Sun, Indiana, (Ohio County). The home of Mr. and Mrs. Lester Kaiser was without power for about two hours. They thought nothing of the incident at the time, although strange lights and weird flying objects had occasionally been sighted along a nearby ridge.
At 7:30 p.m on the following evening, May 19th, young George Kaiser was walking towards a tractor on the farm, when his dog began to growl and bark. He looked up and saw a grotesque figure standing about 25 feet away. Whatever it was, it was the size of a man and was covered with black fur.
“I watched it for about 2 minutes before it saw me,” young Kaiser told investigators later. “It stood in a fairly upright position although it was bent over about in the middle of its back, with arms about the same height as a normal human being, I’d say it was about five-eight or so and it had a very muscular structure. The head sat directly on the shoulders and the face was black, with hair which stuck out on the back of its head; it had eyes set close together and a very short forehead. It was covered with hair except for the back of the hands and the face. The hands looked like normal hands, not claws.
George was transfixed with shock and fright for a moment, then he made a move to get into the family automobile nearby. The creature made “a strange grunting-like sound,” turned, jumped over a ditch and ran down the road at high speed, quickly disappearing out of sight. Footprints were found in the dirt by the ditch. They showed three toes plus a big toe. Plaster casts were later made of these prints.
A neigbour, Mr. Charles Rolfing, reportedly watched an unidentified flying object for about eight minutes, shortly after 10:15 p.m on May 20th, as it moved about the area. He studied it through binoculars and described it as being a glowing greenish-white.
So here we have a sequence of interesting coincidences. A local power failure on May 18th, a creature sighting on May 19th; and a UFO sighting on May 20th. As Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger remarked, “Once is happenstance; twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.”
Most of the modern ABSM (Abominable Snowman) sightings in the U.S have been made by witnesses in automobiles on isolated back roads. It is rare for the creatures to openly approach a house or farm as one apparently did in Indiana. Canada has a long history of ABSM sightings dating back into the middle of the 19th century, California’s “Bigfoot” has been a local legend for decades. The mountains, heavily forested state of West Virginia has produced a fascinating catalog of hairy bogeymen.
A West Viginian named W.C “Doc” Priestly claimed that a hairy humanoid ruined the electrical system of his automobile in 1960. That summer numerous people around Parsons, W. Va. Allegedly saw a gruesome eight-foot-tall thing covered with shaggy hair and graced with two huge eyes which “shone like big balls of fire.” In October 1960, “Doc” Priestly was driving through the Monongahela National Forest about three miles north of Marlinton,W. Va., when his car, which had been “purring like a kitten,” suddenly sputtered and stopped.
“Then I saw it,” Priestly said. “To my left beside the road stood this monster with long hair pointing straight up.”
A group of Priestley’s friends were driving on ahead in a bus. When they noticed that he was no longer directly behind them, they turned around and drove back.
“I don’t know how long I sat there,” Priestley continued, “until the boys missed me and backed up the bus to where I was. It seemed the monster was very much afraid of the bus and dropped his hair (which had been standing on end) and to my surprise, as soon as he did this, my car started running again. I didn’t tell the boys what I had seen. The thing took off when the bus stopped.”
Priestley again started to follow along behind the bus and then his car started to act up a second time. “I could see the sparks flying under the hood of my car as it if had a very bad short,” he noted. “And sure enough, there beside the road stood the monster again. The points were completely burned out of my car.”
The bus backed up again and as soon as it appeared the monster melted into the forest
Two months later, on December 31, 1960, Charles Stover, 25 was driving a bakery truck along a backwoods road near Hickory Flats, W. Va., when he rounded a curve and came face to face with a six foot tall creature “standing erect, with hair all over his body.” It was shaped like a man, he said and he almost collided with it. He stopped a short distance away and took a brief second look at the thing. That was more than enough. He sped to the nearest restaurant filling station and a group of men formed a posse and went back to the spot. They found upturned rocks and strange marks on the ground but the monster was gone.
Armed possess have been chasing these things without success for years. Back in the 1940-41, scores of people saw huge, hair covered humanoid outside of Mt. Vernon, Illinois. It was said to be able to leap 20 foot wide ditches with apparent ease, and was reported to have killed at least one dog. Large posses of armed men searched the entire area repeatedly but all they found were gigantic footprints.
Bears and other known animals simply don’t fit the descriptions of these mystery monsters. Nor do bears make a habit of stacking people in moving vehicles. The monsters do.
The pattern is always the same. Reliable witnesses report seeing the elusive ABSM. Massive searches are launched. Footprints are found, but the creatures themselves have seemingly vanished into the air.
Clanton, Alabama, 1960. Several witnesses observed a giant hairy creature prowling the local woods. It left behind huge tracks.
Madison, Indian, 1962. Several farmers glimpsed another hairy humanoid. Footprints were found. Posses were formed. No results.
Lost Gap, Mississippi, 1962. Many reports of a giant nine foot tall beast with glowing green eyes. Local police were convinced that it existed. Helicopters and bloodhounds were used in a massive search. The creature got away.
In 1964, another enormous “something” was seen by many witnesses near Sister Lakes, Michigan. Mobs of hunters tried in vain to track it down. It came back the next year, appearing in the vicinity of Monroe, Michigan, Mrs. Rose Owen and her daughter, Christine van Archer, said that a very hairy monster that “grunted and growled like a mad dog,” jumped on the side of their car and grabbed Christine by the hair. The girl suffered a black eye from the incident. Another girl, Shirley Morrin, 18, of Temperance, Michigan, said that a similar beast had leaped at her car, broken windshield and scratched her arm. As usual, huge posses covered every square inch of ground in the area and found nothing. All of these incidents took place near the Enrico Fermi Atomic Power Plant. Flying saucer sightings are commonplace in the region and the famous UFO “flap” of March 1966, occurred nearby. UFOs have shown a decided interest in atomic installations all over the world.
The year 1966 was not only a peak period for UFO activity. It also marked a major outbreak of monsters all across the country, On May 21, 1966, a group of young people in an automobile encountered a giant faceless creature in a broad daylight in the Historical Park at Morristown, N.J. They told local police that it was well over six feet tall, had huge shoulders, and was covered with hair. It shuffled up to a parked car and thumped on the back of it. The head was either pulled down into the shoulders or it was headless. The witnesses did not linger to examine it closely. During the past thirty years, a monster dubbed the “New Jersey Devil” has been repeatedly seen all over the state.
In July 1966, a giant hairy monster reportedly prowled the streets of Jessore, East Pakistan, killing four people. Witnesses swore that it was not a tiger ot other known animal. The army was called out to search for it. It was never caught.
That same month, five people in a car in the sand on a beach on Presque Isle in Eerie, Pennyslvania, reportedly saw a brilliantly, illuminated flying saucer land on July 31, 1966. They were terrified when a tall figure shuffled up to their car in the dark. Large footprints were later found at the site. A few days later, a tall hairy being appeared near a small like in Edinboro, Pennyslvania, (18 miles away from Eerie) and a posse of college students went hunting for it. Although, they claim to have glimpsed the creature, it got away as usual.
In the fall of 1966, a new kind of monster popped up in West Virginia. From November 1966 to the summer of 1967, more than 100 people had close encounters with a giant winged entity which became known as “the Bird” or “Mothman.” I/t had blazing red eyes, broad shoulders, a ten foot wingspread, and stood almost seven feet tall. School teachers, ministers, newspaper reporters and other highly reliable persons were identical. Simultaneously, there was a massive UFO “flap” on the same area of the Ohio River Valley, with flying saucers making nightly appearances before thousands of witnesses. Dogs and cattle disappeared throughout the region and some mutilated, bloodless carcasses were found in both West Virginia and Ohio.
It is possible that our hairy humanoids are riding around the flying saucers? There is certainly a considerable amount of evidence to indicate this. The fact that they always manage to elude hundreds of pursuers, including bloodhounds and helicopters, suggests that they must have some means of rapid transportation which enables them to instantly flee an area after staging an enigmatic appearance. A large hairy animal, no matter how cunning, could hardly enter a faily densely populated area such as upstate New York (they have been seen near Ithaca, site of a major UFO flap in 1967), and escape again.
Experts have offered various theories and speculations. It has been suggested that UFOs are planting these creatures amongst us, or that the UFOs are chasing and collecting these creatures every time they appear. One group of UFO cultists believe these monsters spring from hidden caves.
It is also possible that this a dual problem. These is evidence that some of these animals are, indeed, of UFO origin, while others may have always been hiding in our forests and parks and are rarely seen.
In 1966, somebody somewhere actually shot and killed one of these tall, hairy humanoid. We may never know who did it, or where. But the body was immediately frozen in a huge cake of ice and eventually found its way into the sideshow of a travelling circus in the Midwest. For two years thousands of people paid thirty five cents apiece to enter a refrigerated van and stare at this wonder. Finally a herpetologist named Terry Cullen wandered into the sideshow and became first to recognize that this might be the scientific find of the century. He got in touch with one of America’s foremost zoologists and a leading authority on the Abominable Snowman, Ivan T. Sanderson.
Accompanied by Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans, Europe’s leading expert on unusual animals, Sanderson tracked the block of ice down to its winter quarters in Rollingstone, Minnesota. There are two men, together with other specialists, huddled in the van in the below zero temperatures and carefully measured and photographed the body. It was their considered opinion that it was genuine.
The frozen carcass was six feet long and covered with hair two to four inches long. It had apparently been shot in the right eye, and in the chest. The hands were of abnormal size and thickness, measuring seven and one half inches wide and eleven inches long. The feet were massive and gorilla like, except for the big toes which seemed to be man like. The nose was “pugged” and the lips were very thin, almost nonexistent. It conformed to the descriptions of eyewitnesses which had been published over the years.
This creature was neither man nor ape. It was an unknown animal. Perhaps it was the long searched for “missing link”. Dr. Heuvelmans labeled it “Homo pongoides” (apelike man).
The experts carefully considered every possibility, including hoax. Professor George A. Agogino of the Paleo-Indian Institute in New Mexico stated, “While it is impossible to rule out fraud, the structure of the ice and complexity of making a composite animal with scientific continuity makes this unlikely.”
Dr. Heuvelmans was even more specific in his report, which was published in the Bulletin of the Royal Institute if Natural Sciences of Belgium: “It cannot be an artificial, entirely manufactured object…It cannot be a composite, produced by assembling anatomical parts taken from living beings of different species…It cannot be a normal individual belonging to any of the known races of modern man…It cannot be an abnormal individual, or freak….”
It looked as if the long, long trail was ended. The legendary hairy monster had finally been brought to bay. Sanderson contacted the Smithsonian Institutions of Washington and they expressed immediate interest.
But Mr. Frank Hansen, the caretaker of the refrigerated van, took a dim view of these proceedings. He expressed concern over the laws which forbid transporting bullet ridden cadavers to identify the actual owner of the carcass and could not tell the scientists where or how the creature had been killed.
Sanderson, Heuvelmans and their colleagues were convinced that the body they had examined was genuine. They had photographs and carefully compiled scientific data to back up their opinion. But when other scientists hurried to Rollingstone to view the remains they found a crude was effigy!
“the moment official inquiries were initiated,” Sanderson said recently, “the owner came to the place in Minnesota where the specimen was stored for the winter on the caretaker’s land, and removed it in a refrigerator truck substituting for it some form of copy made in wax.”
The “Missing link” is again missing! Its whereabouts is still unknown.
So we’re almost back to where we started. Meanwhile, people continue to see these mysterious animals. In the spring of 1969, don Cox reportedly saw a hairy like figure eight to ten feet tall near Beacon Rock State Park, Washington. “I first saw what I thought to be a tree leaning toward the middle of the road,” Mr. Cox said. “I slowed my car and turned my headlights to high beam and it was then that I saw this fur covered human form with the face of an ape. He ran across the road in front of the car, leaped up a 40 degree slope and disappeared in the woods.”
In the fall of 1968, a group of hunters encountered an ABSM type near Fremont, Wisconsin. It got away from them, leaving behind the usual giant footprints. Other reports have come from Montana, Oregon, Georgia and a hundred other places in between. Perhaps one of these days you will come face to face with one of these tall humanoids near your own hometown. If you can bring it in – alive or dead – don’t sell it to a sideshow. There are several top scientists who will want to talk to you.
But be careful. Wherever these monsters tread, the flying saucers are never very far behind.