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One of the most infamous and most prolific cryptids is The Mothman. Any Fortean worth their salt will be able to tell you about The West Virginia Flap of 1966/67, but among these reports of the Mothman in Point Pleasant there lies a potentially even more astonishing story in the case of Woodrow Derenburger and his out of this world encounters. Woody Derenburger was driving home one November night in 1966 when he suddenly found the highway blocked by a large gray object. A man emerged from the craft and strode over to Derenburger’s window. He told Woody that he would come again to see him and that he brought with him words of happiness. He then departed in his craft.
Astonished, Woody returned home and excitedly informed his wife before calling both the press and the police. 2 days later, he would receive telepathic communications from the visitor who claimed that he was from the galaxy of Ganymede. He told Derenburger that his people lived up to 175 Earth years, among other astonishing things. An initial investigation into Derenburger concluded that he was not hoaxing these claims or lying about them, but the investigators could not rule out hallucinations as a cause of these visits. Additionally, on the dates that Woody reported these sightings there were several other independent UFO sightings corroborated by third parties.
Over the next few years, Woody’s contact would only increase, and in 1967 he claimed that he had been taken for a ride in the visitor’s spaceship to his home planet of Lanulos in the Ganymede cluster of stars. Woody was bewildered to learn that the Lanulosians were all nude, content and happy people. Woody also learned the visitor’s name. The visitor claimed to go by the name Indrid Cold and is notoriously known as “The Smiling Man” due to his propensity to smile widely almost constantly. Indrid Cold has since then become something of an urban legend, with many people since Derenburger’s initial encounter reporting meeting him and being visited by him.
A Cold welcome
Whether these encounters are all the same entity or whether they are individual Lanulosians emulating Indrid Cold’s first actions is unclear, and links have been made between sufferers of sleep paralysis and those who see Indrid Cold. Typically speaking, those who see Indrid as a result of sleep paralysis report feeling fear and malevolence emanating from him. This potentially could mean that his first encounter with Derenburger was a front, designed to disguise his genuine evil and disregard for humanity.
Perhaps Derenburger himself saw Indrid during a bout of sleep paralysis and constructed the Lanulos lie in order to shield himself from the terror he may have felt at the time. Perhaps the Lanulosian is a hallucination, but if he is why is it that so many disparate people from varying backgrounds see the same figure? Is he some type of shared subconscious fear in the human mind? Or is he really a nude space hippy from Ganymede? The jury is still out on this one.