There seems to be two different types of Bigfoot researcher. The first, and most common, is the researcher who feels that the creature is a physical animal. The second, widely considered to be among the “fringe”, are those who feel that Bigfoot is something less physical, something potentially spectral or alien. This post is about the second group. Those who feel this way are definitely the minority, often ridiculed or ignored. They are often dismissed along with the data they present.
Probably the best known researcher into this idea is Stan Gordon. I actually interviewed Stan earlier this year, the interview is here, on my blog. Stan has been researching the unusual and paranormal for over 50 years. One of the best pieces of evidence that supports Stan’s case is his documentation of the Bigfoot-UFO Pennsylvania Wave of 1973 and 1974.
The wave, like every mass of sightings, started slowly with some “normal” sightings, and the slowly build up into containing some of the most unusual encounters ever documented. You can find a complete documentation of the story in Stan’s book Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot Casebook. I won’t go over the entire story of the wave but I will briefly describe my favorite encounter.
The encounter took place on October 25, 1973 near Uniontown, PA. Around 9 at night, the witness and his wife saw a very large, red, glowing sphere in the sky, as they were driving home. When they reached their house, they found their family members watching the light. The witness decided to go to a neighbors to try and get a better look. He and two neighbors investigated further by heading to where the object had landed. The object was found in the middle of a field, now green and dome-shaped. As the three men are looking at the dome, two large, hairy ape-like figures are seen walking along the field’s fence. The beings then climb over the fence and start heading toward the dome. The witnesses start to fire with the guns they brought with them, but the creatures appeared unharmed. As soon and the gunfire began the dome disappears before their eyes. The beings began to walk away the other way. Later, the witnesses claimed they were sure that they hit the creatures with the gunfire.
The report above is only one of hundreds of related incidents. What do you guys think? Do you think that there might be a connection? Or is this all just a bunch of baloney? Tell me in the comments.
Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot Casebook by Stan Gordon
Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America by Loren Coleman
The Unidentified by Jerome Clark and Loren Coleman
Creatures of the Outer Edge by Jerome Clark and Loren Coleman
The Mothman, a huge black, birdlike thing that has been sighted around the world often. The Mothman is best known for its constant appearance around a small West Virginian town known as Point Pleasant. This lasted from November 1966 to December 1967.
The first encounter in Point Pleasant happened on November 15, 1966. Two couples, Steve & Mary Mallette and Roger & Linda Scarberry, were driving around a local abandoned munitions dump, dubbed the “TNT Area” by locals and was turned into a lover’s lane of sorts by local young couples. As they drove around, the group spotted two large, red eyes staring at them from a distance. They then noticed that the eyes were attached to a large, grey creature that Roger described as “shaped like a man, but bigger. Maybe six or seven feet tall. And it had big wings on its back.” They said it seemed to be waddling toward the door to the weapons plant, which was 10 feet or so away from the creature. They then drove as fast as they could away, but before they made it far, they saw either the same creature, or a different one but looked similar, was following the car and was keeping up with them. Mary also reported the creature making a sound similar to a “record played at high speed or the squeak of a mouse.”
The most popular idea as to the origin of the Mothman is that it’s extraterrestrial in origin. This idea was based off of the wealth of UFO sightings that accompanied the Mothman on its visit to Point Pleasant. Another popular idea was proposed by cryptozoologist Mark A. Hall. Hall suggested that the Mothman was a giant species of owl, unknown to science. He cleverly dubbed this owl as Bighoot. The creature has also been explained as a misidentification of the sand-hill crane, a six foot bird with a reddish head, a long neck, and scrawny body. Researchers have often shown witnesses pictures of the crane and none of the witnesses said that they could have mistaken the crane as the creature.
Encounters With Flying Humanoids by Ken Gerhard
The Mothman Prophecies by John Keel
Strange Creatures from Space and Time by John Keel
Fairies. The word seems to conjure up images of little winged females, often dressed in leaves. This image was popularized by Shakespeare, the 16th century poet and playwright. Fairies, in their folkloristic image, are much more interesting. The world of fairies is surprisingly complex and difficult to comprehend, but, in general terms, fairies are nature spirits.
The term fairy comes from the Latin word, fata, meaning fate. There are many different names and different spellings for fairies as well; fay, fey, fae, sidhe (pronounced shee), and elf. Fairies are sometimes claimed that they are only a European phenomenon, but actually, they are worldwide. The best known fairies are mostly from Ireland and Scotland, which gave rise to that misconception.
The Celts believed that fairies were nature spirits which were connected to a specific place or element of the world, (such as earth, forests, fire). Like many folkloric beliefs, fairies were Christianized in the Middle Ages. During this time, they went from mischievous nature spirits to being fallen angels cast down from heaven. It is thought that many superstitions were born from stories of pranks fairies had played on unsuspecting humans. Fairies were, and still are, used by various pagan beliefs to perform magic and carry rituals.
There are many types of fairies from all around the world. Leprechauns are probably the best known, they are small shoemakers who are often suspected of having gold hidden. Pixies are tiny female creatures with butterfly wings, the common image of the fairy. Goblins and hobgoblins are known as dark fairies, meaning they operate at night, they are ugly, cruel and stupid creatures.
There are some who theorize that fairies may be connected with modern day encounters with UFOs and “extraterrestrials”. The idea was first born in the book Passage to Magonia by Jacques Vallee, a well known ufologist and computer scientist. There are three common arguments for their connection. First, descriptions of fairies and aliens are very similar in behavior and appearance. Second, lights in the sky in ancient times meant fairies were abound, while lights in the sky now mean UFOs are abound. Third, and finally, both fairies and aliens “abduct” humans in order to study them, and those who are abducted seem to “lose time” (they had a quicker perception of time than what actually transpired).
The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
Unexplained by Jerome Clark
The Unidentified by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark
On September 19th & 20th, I attended the 14th annual Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. In this post, I was planning on going over some of the events and what the festival is.
The Mothman Festival was started 14 years ago by Jeff Wamsley, the curator of the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant. The idea of the festival is to celebrate the creature known as the Mothman, which is a superstar within cryptozoology.
Mothman was giant, dark, birdlike creature, about seven feet tall, and had huge, glowing red eyes. It was sighted in Point Pleasant from November of 1966 to December 1967. It is probably best known through the Richard Gere movie, Mothman Prophecies, based on the John Keel book by the same name.
The 14th Mothman Festival was a very worthwhile trip. The festival appears to be a mix of your average town festival with games, vendors, attractions, etcetera, and a paranormal conference. There were a variety of recognizable faces and names around and about the festival, such as Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Stan Gordon, Joedy Cook, Ken Gerhard, and Lyle Blackburn. There was also a large number of lectures being given by some of the authors and researchers. The topics of the lectures varies wildly, from Mothman comic-books to the afterlife to lizard-men to, of course, the Mothman.
The Festival was not the only attraction of interest in Point Pleasant, there was also an Ohio River Museum, the Mothman Museum, monuments for the Battle of Point Pleasant and the Silver Bridge, and a statue of the Mothman.
The festival has something for everyone–the paranormal, books, food, games, and even the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. I had a good time and am definitely going back next year.
Stan Gordon is a seasoned ufologist and cryptozoologist who has worked in the field since 1965. He has three books, The Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot Casebook, Really Mysterious Pennsylvania, and Astonishing Encounters: Pennsylvania’s Unknown Creatures. He is widely considered to be the foremost authority on paranormal phenomena in Pennsylvania as well as the Kecksburg UFO crash. I met Stan over Labor Day weekend where he agreed to this interview, and again at the recent Mothman Festival, which I will be posting a summary and review of as my next post.
- What originally inspired you to research the paranormal? How long have you been doing this?
>I was a curious youngster who had an interest in science and electronics at an early age. By coincidence my birthday is around Halloween. In 1959, on my 10th birthday, my parents gave me an AM radio as a gift. That evening as I tuned across the radio dial, some radio shows were discussing strange events such as ghosts and flying saucers. I listened to the discussions, and while intrigued I was also skeptical of some of what I was hearing. I wanted to learn more and began many trips to the Greensburg library to read what books they had on these topics. I continued my interest and research making scrap books from news stories that appeared on these subjects. I was 16 years old in December of 1965, when a major UFO incident occurred in a rural community called Kecksburg, about 12 miles away from where I lived.
That night as the news was breaking from around the Pittsburgh area of the UFO incident, I began to take down notes. The next day as the story appeared in local newspapers, I began to call people in the area where the incident occurred to try to obtain more details. This year will mark 50 years of my investigation into the case.
That UFO incident still remains unsolved. I have been out in the field conducting first hand investigations in the UFO phenomena and many other areas of what would be described as paranormal. In the nearly 56 years that I have been conducting this research, I have still never seen a UFO or crossed paths with Bigfoot. The thousands of witnesses I have interviewed and the physical evidence that I have seen has convinced me, however, that there remain many mysteries in this world for which we have no answers.
- Of all the cases you have investigated, what is, in your opinion, the most significant and why?
>This is a tough question to answer as there are multitudes of UFO and Cryptid cases that I have investigated that are significant. The case that stands out was an incident that occurred during the major UFO-Bigfoot wave of 1973. It is very involved and well documented, so I am just giving you a brief summary. On the evening of October 25, 1973, I received a call from a state trooper from the Uniontown barracks in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. He had returned from investigating a strange incident on a farm and felt that I should send a research team to that area immediately.
About 9 PM that evening, a number of local residents observed a barn sized red sphere hovering about 100 feet in sky and dropping towards the ground. Three people went up to the pasture to investigate. They were shocked to see about 250 feet away that the object was on the ground or hovering just above it. The object now looked to be a bright white dome shape about 100 feet or more in diameter. It illuminated the area and made a loud whining sound. About 75 feet away from the observers was a barbed wire fence. Along that fence were two huge hair covered creatures with very long arms walking in their direction.
As one man fired ammunition at the beasts with a 30.06 rifle, the object suddenly just vanished, and the creatures being hit with ammo just kept walking back towards the direction from which they came with no apparent effect. The state trooper who arrived within the hour to investigate, said the area where the object had been was glowing and the farm animals would not go near it. When my team arrived during the early morning hours to investigate, some strange events took place in that area. I explain the entire case in detail in my “Silent Invasion” book. It was the case that clearly indicated that the Bigfoot and UFO phenomena is much more complex than any of us were aware of.
- Are your files and research concentrated simply to Pennsylvania, or have they branched out further?
>While I am interested in similar cases from surrounding states and what takes place elsewhere, my focus has been to document what has been taking place in Pennsylvania. The Keystone state has a long history of mysterious happenings, and these strange encounters continue to take place each year. This year has been very active with UFO, cryptid and other anomalistic incidents.
- Your second book, The Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot Casebook, focuses on a wave of sightings during the seventies where Bigfoot and UFO sightings seemed to be connected, do you have any theories as to what the connection might be based on the various encounters? Do you feel that all Bigfoot sightings are connected to UFOs?
>The “Silent Invasion” book details the many mysterious events that took place from 1973 into 1974 across Pennsylvania. I began investigating Bigfoot encounters in the late 1960s. I had always felt that the initial information we had indicated that these creatures seemed to be some type of unknown animal. During the wave of the early 1970s, residents were calling the police and my research team reporting many very strange events. Some patterns of the phenomena began to emerge from widespread locations.
Observers would report a UFO sighting in a certain area and within a short time, a Bigfoot encounter would take place there as well. Sometimes it would be the reverse, with a Bigfoot sighting taking place, then a UFO encounter would occur. Then there were cases where a UFO and Bigfoot were seen together at the same time and location.
Most UFO sightings historically reported have no association with a Bigfoot encounter. And most Bigfoot incidents aren’t associated with UFO activity. Such cases of Bigfoot with UFOs have been reported not just from Pennsylvania, but from throughout the country and other parts of the world. As I have mentioned many times in my writings, I don’t have the answers if there is a direct connection between the two phenomena. The more you look into the UFO and cryptid fields, the more it is apparent that we are dealing with a very strange, and complex phenomena.
I am not suggesting that Bigfoot is an Alien life form and that it is an occupant of a spacecraft from another world. We don’t know for sure what UFOs really are. While many sightings are explainable, some remain unexplained. There are many theories for these objects including extraterrestrial spacecraft, time and interdimensional travelers, even unknown natural phenomena. I don’t have the answers, but I keep an open mind to all possibilities.
- You seem to, in your books, focus on cryptozoology and ufology, what are your thoughts, if you have any, on some other paranormal subjects, such as ghosts, poltergeists, psychic abilities, fairies, the Bermuda Triangle, werewolves, or witchcraft?
>During many years of research I had an interest in all types of anomalistic events including most of the topics you have mentioned. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, I was involved with cases of alleged haunted houses and ghosts. I interviewed many people who claimed to have ESP experiences. I have looked into many types of strange creature and mysterious being encounters including claims of fairies and werewolves, and discussed in my new book, “Astonishing Encounters: Pennsylvania’s Unknown Creatures.”
- Do you have any advice for anyone who may be starting within the subject of the unusual and unexplained?
>Don’t believe everything that you read and see on the internet. Keep an open mind when researching such cases, but be objective and look for sources that might explain what took place. Associate with trained research professionals such as scientists and engineers, and utilize their expertise when evaluating mysterious claims.
All three of Stan’s books are highly recommended. He can be found at,
Pop culture seems to be endlessly fascinated with the “big three” of horror, werewolves, vampires, and zombies. I am starting a three-post series which will go over the occult roots of each and the modern day encounters with the various creatures of darkness. I’m starting with werewolves.
Werewolves, the man-wolf creatures of the night, said to terrorize townspeople and consume children and sheep. Werewolves are considered to be a strictly European notion, but most cultures around the world have some concept of people transforming into animals, in the Southern United States it’s the skinwalkers, in Japan, the kitsune, and in Mesoamerica, the nagual. Stories of these shapeshifting creatures are abundant, and many continue today.
The official term for shapeshifting into a wolf is lycanthropy. Many attribute legend of werewolves to people who had the mental disorder known as Clinical Lycanthropy, a form of psychosis in which one believes themselves to be a wolf or half-wolf.
Probably the best known tale of a werewolf are the stories of the Beast of Gevaudan. Gevaudan was the name for a mountainous region in the southern part of 18th century France. The Beast showed up in June of 1764 and terrorized the small town for three years. It killed women, children, livestock–anything it could. Eventually, nearly all of France had heard of the beast, and the king sent soldiers down to kill the creature. The soldiers succeeded in killing the beast and tried to bring it back to the king but because of decay and stench they buried it in an unknown location. Many speculate that the creature was just a hyena or an oversized wolf, but there are some who still call it a werewolf.
There is an abundance of modern werewolf sightings, not just in Europe, but in America as well. Researcher Linda S. Godfrey is the recognized expert on modern werewolf sightings and has a nearly complete list of modern American encounters. She has noticed, like many cryptids, there seems to be a correlation between sighting locations and the locations of both sacred sites and military bases. Godfrey speculated that this could be because the man-wolves are protection spirits from Native American mythology. Godfrey prefers to call these creatures Dogmen or Upright-Candids, because some encounters seem to attribute a more dog-like appearance to the creatures than wolf-like. Many researchers also feel that the Dogmen are most supernatural than natural, due to the nature of many encounters. Nearly everyone agrees, though, that werewolves aren’t truly men transforming into wolves.
Real Wolfmen by Linda S. Godfrey
Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology by Michael Newton
Encyclopedia of Occultism by Lewis Spence
American Monsters by Linda S. Godfrey
When discussing cryptids, such as Bigfoot or Mothman, I seem to be faced with the same question, time and time again. This question seems simple but could really be quite complex if you really think about it. The question is, “If these creatures exist, how do they stay hidden against hundreds of people looking for them?”
There are many answers to this question, and which answer you use normally depends on your point of view on the specific cryptid or type of cryptid in question. I will briefly explain the three major answers to the question.
The first answer is nothing more than trying to show that there are still plenty of areas not properly explored by man, or are so vast and inaccessible that it gives large animals a fair amount of living space without needing to stray into more densely populated areas. This is normally used by believers in the specific cryptids existence or at least those who are open to the possibility.
The second is simply that the cryptid doesn’t exist and that sightings are simply nothing more than misidentifications or flat-out fabrications. Thus there is no ‘real’ animal to be found. Most professional debunkers use this for nearly everything.
The third answer seems to divulge into the very strange, it can be summed up in two words, multidimensional beings. This idea has seemed to grow in popularity and has a large number of supporters. Basically those who support this idea think that since most cryptid encounters seem to have many paranormal parallels to it, the creatures most likely come from another dimension or something similar. This idea seems more logical for some cryptids but not for most of them.
Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology by Michael Newton
Cryptozoology A to Z by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark
The Complete Guide to Mysterious Beings by John A. Keel
Throughout the world there are beliefs pertaining to the power of thought, the most abundant idea is the possibility of ‘thought-forms’. Thought-forms are a popular idea between many occult researchers and scholars. The idea behind a thought-form is simple, they are exactly as they sound, a kind of creature, force, or object brought into existence purely through the power of one’s mind. There are numerous accounts of encounters with the paranormal and phenomena that could potentially be explained through the unconscious thought-forms. Some examples of this are poltergeists, some cryptids, ghosts, and UFOs/extraterrestrials.
Thought-forms are generally said to be created through extreme concentration and focus on whatever it is said person or persons want to be brought into existence, often times, according to legend, the creation ends disastrously for all those involved. Unconscious thought-form creation is slightly more complicated, though never mentioned in any belief system or myth, some theorize if enough people believe in the existence of the same thing, eventually it will come into existence, for example, after the first Bigfoot prints were popularized, the idea of a large ape-like creature exploded, even after the prints were admitted to be fakes sightings of Bigfoot persist, because of this, some think that the immense belief in the creature literally brought it into existence.
The best known example of thought-forms in myth, and where most modern ideas within the subject of thought-forms originate from, comes from the ideology of the Tibetan monks. The monks believe that if you meditate and fast in a specific way, you can potentially bring to existence, a tulpa. Tulpas are specialized thought-forms, they seem to require specific rituals to bring forth, but afterwords, they follow their creator’s commands. Tulpas also begin as invisible to all other than their creator, but as they gain strength, they are able to be seen by others. There are also accounts of tulpas becoming strong enough to develop their own will and break free from the commands of their creator.
There are many issues with the existence or possibility of thought-forms, but many occultists claim that somehow, thought-forms are able to break the laws of physics to come into existence.
What do you think? Could thought-forms explain some or all paranormal phenomena? Or is this all superstitious crap? Tell me in the comments
Harper’s Encyclopedia of Mystical; and Paranormal Experience by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
The Directory of Possibilities edited by Colin Wilson
The Encyclopedia of Ghost and Spirits by Rosemary Ellen Guiley.
Everyone knows the terms “UFO” or “sea serpent”, but some of the other terms I use you may not be so familiar with. Because of this, I have decided to post mini glossaries so those who aren’t particularly familiar with the terms I may use can look up what they mean. There will be five or six words each post so they won’t be too lengthy.
Flaps- patterns of time, connected to groups of unusual encounters or happenings. Described by Loren Coleman as “an attempt to understand a grouping of reports which cluster in time, and for monster accounts, usually in a specific local.” It is worth noting that nearly all encounters with cryptids (unknown animals) or UFOs come in clusters.
Windows- specific places that seem to act as magnets for the unusual. Commonly attributed to cryptids, UFOs, or hauntings. Often window areas serve as locations for multiple types of unusual occurrences.
High Strangeness- there are two definitions for this term, first, encounters or reports with unexplained phenomena that seems more unusual than most reports (example, there was once an encounter with a supposed extraterrestrial which apparently gave the witness “space pancakes”). The second definition are areas that seem more unusual than normal window areas, for example, the Bermuda Triangle.
Zooforms- literally monsters. Zooforms are technically apparition creatures that resemble animals, but the phenomena seems to include most paranormal creatures, from werewolves to vampires to the bogey-man. It is an extremely vast and complicated phenomena.
Name Game- patterns within names of witnesses of the paranormal or names of places where paranormal encounters. Some examples of names within the game are Fayette, Dover, Decatur, and Logan.
Waves- similar to flaps, except waves are simply the clusters of sightings while flaps are the patterns within the clusters.
Mothman and Other Encounters by Loren Coleman
Mysterious America by Loren Coleman
PSIence by Marie D. Jones
Monsters! An A-Z of Zooform Phenomena by Neil Arnold