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
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,
When you think of a UFO, you probably think of a shiny, metal spacecraft, in the shape of a disc. That is what is portrayed as the “classic” UFO, but interestingly enough, most UFO sightings are simply moving lights that have an unknown origin. One case of these strange sky lights is known as the Green Fireball Wave of 1948-1951.
Green fireballs are literally what they sound like–giant, green, round objects that appear to be on fire. The fireballs were seen throughout the southwestern United States, although they seemed to cluster in New Mexico. The first known sighting of the fireballs was on December 5, 1948. The objects were seen by two pilots, who were flying over New Mexico during the time, twice, 22 minutes apart. Many just shrugged the encounter as a meteor but the witnesses insisted it was not a meteor, but the military was more concerned.
The next day the Air Force formed a study of the fireballs. Two of the investigators encountered another fireball under similar circumstances as the two pilots. The Air Force the contacted Lincoln La Paz, a well known experts on meteors, to consult on the study. La Paz later encountered one himself and concluded, due to the lack of speed and sound, that the fireballs were not, in fact, meteors.
After study of the atmosphere from the places where encounters happened, La Paz found that there was an unexplainable amount of copper particles in the atmosphere. La Paz said that this was more proof that the fireballs weren’t meteors, because there is no evidence showing copper particles coming from meteors.
Eventually the study decided to try and photograph the objects. Project Sparkle came from this, the official title for the attempt to photograph the fireballs. Due to lack of funding and equipment failure resulting in no pictures, Project Sparkle was shut down. Those who were involved speculated from their observations that the objects weren’t natural but were artificially made, some say by extraterrestrial craft.
Unusual lights are still seen in the sky today, the most famous being the Marfa Lights in Texas and the Naga Fireballs seen above the Mekong River in Thailand.
Strange and Unusual Phenomena by Jerome Clark and Nancy Pear
The UFO Encyclopedia by Jerome Clark