There’s a certain template people have for how they envision aliens. The hypothetical beings will be featureless, grey, small and slender-bodied. Additionally there is a perceived formula for how the alien encounter/abduction goes. Someone in an isolated environment sees a glowing ship and is taken on board for medical experiments, then returned with their memories partially suppressed or erased.
But many close encounters of the third and fourth kind are hugely different from that. Some are much more bizarre and elaborate, others are counterintuitively uneventful (down to earth, as it were). These stories are sometimes so bizarre that you at least wonder how someone could have come up with them.
Are we saying that any of these encounters with non-Earthlings are real? Let’s just remember Carl Sagan’s comment that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Almost every instance here features rather ordinary evidence. Nevertheless, the stories are are not to be missed.
10Malaysia’s Tiny Aliens
In Douglas Adams’s book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, there is a passage where two powerful alien races send huge fleets to Earth. They cross galaxies and in their quest and fly for thousands of years on the way to their target . . . but don’t realize how small they are compared to Earthlings and all get swallowed by a small dog. A similar sort of alien encounter has been reported many times in Malaysia.
Probably the most notable story of this type occurred on August 19, 1970 to six kids playing in a heavily forested area. They later claimed they saw a UFO less than a meter across, from which five very humanoid aliens filed out. The main visible difference between them and a human being was that they were about eight centimeters (three inches) tall. Four wore blue outfits while one was in yellow with a spiked helmet, who the children interpreted as being the leader. They went to a tree and were attempting to install some sort of “aerial device” in it when one of the kids, identified only as K. Wignerswaran, attempted one of the few alleged civilian abductions of aliens. Unfortunately for him, it turned out that the aliens all possessed ray guns and began shooting at him and his schoolmates, driving them away and inflicting an insignificant wound to Wignerswaran’s thigh.
9Cardiff’s Fleet Of Space Thieves
Earlier this year, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense released a case file of hundreds of report they’ve received of UFOs and alleged extraterrestrial activity. By far the most high-profile story released was found on page 167 of the document. In 1992, a man in Cardiff, Wales reported that he and friends were out camping when they saw a group of 12-15 UFOs over their campsite. The fleet then “abducted” their car, a dog that was at the site, and their tent (you wouldn’t assume that would require 12 ships). The man was quoted as saying that the theft left him “gobsmacked.” How exactly a tent and car can be abducted as opposed to stolen was not explained. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely an investigation will ever uncover the desired answers—the reason these stories were released to the public was because the department for UFO analysis was being shut down.
8Voronezh’s Trigger-Happy Invader
The Western Hemisphere naturally has no monopoly on stories of alien encounters. In fact, probably the most frightening one comes from Russia right around the time the Berlin Wall fell. In the Voronezh City Park on September 27, 1989, some kids were playing soccer when a red disc landed. Out came a three-eyed creature, standing 2.7 meters (nine feet) tall and holding a ray gun-like device, which it used disintegrate a boy identified by at least one source as Dmitri. After the alien took off again, the boy reappeared. While all the witnesses of the event were children, there were adults that saw the UFO itself, including police officers, as reported by the New York Times. It is also worth noting that that Voronezh was going through a period of UFO hysteria at the time.
7Brawl With An Alien
In 1954, Gustavo Gonzalez and Jose Ponce were driving their truck along a lonely road outside Caracas, Venezuela when they rounded a corner and found a large luminescent sphere blocking their way. More annoyed that someone was disrupting traffic than the fact there was a sphere hovering over the road in front of them, Gonzalez got out to investigate.
At that point, a hatch opened on the ship, and out came three short, hairy humanoids. One of them jumped on Gonzalez, who was barely able to shake him off at first because the alien was both light and extremely strong. In the scuffle, the alien threw him 4.5 meters (15 ft) through the air. Gonzalez then drew his knife and tried to stab the alien with it, but found it’s body was like steel, and his blade glanced off. Still, the aliens were intimidated enough to get back in the ship and fly away, leaving the pair to report their odd encounter to the police. They got a surprise corroboration from a police officer who claimed he had seen the whole thing.
6An Alien Cookout
Some people seemingly don’t get too worked up about encountering aliens. Among them is Joe Simonton. On April 18, 1961, in Eagle River, WI, a spaceship landed near his home and “Italian-looking” aliens disembarked. Of all things, the aliens evidentally set up a grill and started making pancake-like foodstuffs. Rather than abducting or threatening Simonton in any other way, they asked him through mime to fill a jug with water, which he did. When he came back, he saw the aliens had finished making some food and asked for some. He got four cakes, one of which he ate. Later he sent a few to local universities, which reported that the ingredient were all of earthly origin. If Simonton could encounter beings from beyond our world or understanding and mostly think to just fill their jug with water, it must be said that perhaps he was even stranger than the creatures he claimed to have seen. Reportedly much more bothersome to him were all the journalists that kept coming to the farm and interfering with his work.
5Aliens Out For Fertilizer
Similar to Joe Simonton’s story in terms of amazingly casual encounters of the third kind was Newark farmer Gary Wilcox’s meeting with aliens on April 24, 1964. Seeing a cigar-shaped object he mistook for a crashed plane, he rode up to it on a tractor. It turned out to contain two beings in clothing that hid their faces. They told Wilcox that they were Martians and then began asking him questions. This lasted for over two hours until they eventually got down to business and explained that they were attempting to terraform Mars by way of studying samples of Earth soil. To that end they asked for a bag of fertilizer, as they had no cows on Mars. Wilcox obligingly went to retrieve a 75-pound bag only to find the Martians had left before he got back. So he left the bag. When he checked on the spot the next day, it was gone.
4Pier Zanfretta And The Lizard People
We now head over to Italy, where a private security guard was driven to unusually dangerous extremes by an alleged encounter which left behind atypically strong (though still hardly conclusive) evidence. On December 6, 1978, he was out doing his rounds when he saw four lights coming toward the house he was guarding. Approaching the lights with pistol drawn, he saw that they were three meters (10 ft) tall, green-skinned, mouthpiece-wearing reptilian things with spikes extending from their heads. He claimed the aliens then seemed to hit him with some sort of heat beam. He sprinted away, radioed in, and then broke off contact, having to be found by a later security patrol. When he saw the other guards, he aimed his gun at them, but fortunately didn’t fire. When the scene was later investigated, very large unusual footprints (about 50 cm or 20 inches long) were found along with evidence of scorching among the trees, which indicated at least something out of the ordinary had happened.
But that wasn’t the end of it for Zanfretta. On December 26, the aliens returned, and this time they got him. As he later recalled under hypnotic suggestion, the aliens took him inside their craft and attached a sort of communication helmet to him. One of the aliens shot Zanfretta’s gun into a piece of metal, apparently to see what would happen. Zanfretta told the lizard men that he was afraid and wanted to be released. They obliged.
That was until they abducted him again on July 29, 1979, yet again on December 2, 1979, and a fifth time in 1980. On the fifth occasion, the aliens took him to a crystal mothership and showed him a frog-like being suspended in a tube that they claimed was an enemy of their species. Through it all, they provided very little actual motive for why they repeatedly abducted a security guard for short periods. As with others we’ve described, Zanfretta seemed to benefit very little from his claims, and in fact spent decades languishing in obscurity after an initial media flurry over his claims.
3Lee Parish Is Abducted By . . . Structures?
On January 27, 1977, 19-year-old Lee Parish was driving home when he claimed his car was lifted into the air by a beam of light. Under hypnosis, Parish later described being taken before three strange objects that looked so unlike any known life that he could only guess that they were sentient. One was a large, black, 20-foot-tall rectangle, with a jointless robotic arm extending from it. There was also a red rectangular prism with a similar arm, and a motionless white prism about two meters (six feet) in height. Somehow, the white one gave the impression that it was the leader. The red prism approached him and extended the robot arm, with Parish getting the sense that it was afraid of him. Nevertheless, when it touched him, it gave him a sensation of coldness and pain. Parish thought that was done to run a scan on him. After that, the three objects merged together, dispelling a later impression among some UFO enthusiasts that the things were robots. The next thing Parish was aware of, he was back in his car. Analysis of his missing time indicated the reported experience lasted 38 minutes.
2Brains On The Road
On August 17, 1971, John Hudges and Paul Rodriguez were driving home in Palos Verdes, California when they saw aliens on the road. They looked like cerebrums, with the smaller of the two slightly bigger than a softball. The larger of them had a large red eye, and began to float toward them. The pair immediately hightailed it away, and Hodges dropped Rodriguez off at his home.
But when Hodges got home, the aliens returned, and this time he was taken to their leaders. According to Hodges, these were aliens of a type more commonly described, with the brains essentially pets that they used for telepathic communication. Why they would let the brains wander free or reveal their existence to their first human contact was not explained.
1Aliens Elaborately Stalk Ed Walters
In 1988, Gulf Breeze, Florida became the epicenter of a string of UFO sightings and photographs mostly centering around one Ed Walters. With their unusually non-aerodynamic structure, color scheme, and general shape, the UFOs Walters (and allegedly other people) photographed looked less like interstellar craft of galactic villains and more like they should be on tilt-a-whirls—which is very fitting for the odd experience he described.
Starting on November 11, 1987 and ending May 1, 1988, the Walters family claimed to have 20 encounters with aliens that were flying around in an estimated 20 ships, with him seeing at most six crew members to a ship. This was exhaustively described in his book The Gulf Breeze Sightings. Walters’s book also has the odd photo of himself and his family members. One photo has him standing in a towel on the deck allegedly yelling, “Land, or get the hell away!” at a UFO. Another has a blue beam that the aliens purportedly used as a tractor beam of sorts being dodged by his terrified wife. From first photographing a UFO to the end, he experienced such weird telepathic signals as a woman speaking Spanish to a baby, a series of images of dogs, and (some days later) a bunch of images of naked women (“if this was to try to persuade me to board the ship, it wasn’t working”). At one point, they dumped liquid onto his home, some of which landed in a pool. It turned out to be salt water.
Additionally, aliens showed themselves to him repeatedly, both while he was driving at night and outside the sliding glass back door. The road encounter was where he came up with the assumption there were six to a ship: Five disembarked the ship, and he assumed one stayed aboard while it hovered. They were 1.2 meters (four feet) tall and though their faces looked like those of stereotypical aliens with black eyes and almost no features, they were only visible through slits in helmets because the aliens were supposedly dressed in blocky, bulky armor, of a type almost never reported since.
Dustin Koski also has some choice words to say about the legacy of weird fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft.