|The Grinning Man is the name given to one
or more mysterious figures that has become associated with various
reports of paranormal activity.
The Grinning Man is sometimes described
as being an extraterrestrial, one of the Men in Black or a hominid
cryptid and was investigated by notable paranormal author John A. Keel
and ufologist James Moseley.
Arguably the best known Grinning Man was Indrid Cold, who appeared during the 1960s Mothman sightings.
the most famous sighting of a Grinning Man is reported to have taken
place on October 11th, 1966 in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
The entity was
sighted by two boys, James Yanchitis and Marvin Munoz, as they were
walking home along Fourth Street and New Jersey Street when they reached
a corner parallel to the New Jersey Turnpike.
The turnpike is
elevated and there is an extremely steep incline going down from the
busy street above which leads to Fourth Street.
A very large, high wire
fence runs along the edge of the other street below where the boys were
walking, impeding climbers trying to scale the incline to the turnpike
There are bright street lights in that area, which gave
the boys a good glimpse of what they called "the strangest guy we've
ever seen." Yanchitis noticed the strange entity first. "He was standing
behind that fence," he stated later to investigators. "I don't know how
he got there. He was the biggest man I ever saw."
me," Marvin Munoz reported to police, "and said, 'Who's that guy
standing behind you?' I looked around and there he was... behind that
fence. Just standing there. He pivoted around and looked right at us...
then he grinned a big old grin."
There had been recent reported
incidents of violence in the nearby neighborhood, such as a
middle-resident being chased by a "tall green man" down that same street
and on the same night, so the boys fled quickly.
Well-known author, paranormal investigator, and
journalist John A. Keel visited the two boys in Elizabeth, New Jersey,
three days after the incident.
Along with Keel came UFO lecturer James
Moseley and actor Chuck McCann. Munoz and Yanchitis were interviewed by
Keel separately in the home of Mr. George Smythe and both boys told the
exact same story.
"The man was over six feet tall, they agreed, and was
dressed in a sparkling green coverall costume that shimmered and seemed
to reflect the street lights. There was a wide black belt around his
The boys also said "He had a very dark complexion, and little
round eyes...real beady...set far apart."
The Grinning Man is the name given to one or more mysterious figures
that has become associated with various reports of paranormal activity.
The Grinning Man is sometimes described as being an extraterrestrial,
Men in Black or a hominid cryptid and was investigated by notable
paranormal author John A. Keel and ufologist James Moseley.
best known Grinning Man was Indrid Cold, who appeared during the 1960s’
Mothman sightings. Reports of Grinning Men often occur during periods
of increased UFO sightings.
The most unusual aspect of the encounter is the fact that "They could
not remember seeing any hair, ears, or nose on this figure." The figure
reported by witnesses became associated with extraterrestrials because
it was sighted shortly after a UFO report near the same area.
The report states that a "blazing white light as big as a car" almost
hit the 550-foot-tall (170 m) television tower outside of Pompton Lakes,
A policeman and his wife witnessed the object move in a slow manner
north, and it then disappeared beyond the nearby hills.
On the other
side of the hills, Sergeant Benjamin Thompson and Patrolman Edward
Wester, of the Wanaque Reservoir Police, also witnessed the same light
at around 9:45 p.m. as it flew low over the reservoir.
"The light was brilliantly white," officer Thompson said. "It lit up the
whole area for about three hundred yards. In fact, it blinded me when I
got out of the patrol car to look at it, and I couldn't see for about
twenty minutes afterwards."
Several Grinning Man reports were made in 1966, during
the same period as the Point Pleasant, West Virginia Mothman sightings.
These reports were recorded by John A. Keel in chapters 5 and 10 of his
book The Mothman Prophecies. The first encounter happened on November
A man named Woodrow Derenberger was driving home in his panel truck
after a hard day of work. As he drove up a hill outside of Parkersburg
on Interstate 77, he heard a sudden crash.
A vehicle was speeding behind
him, and it suddenly cut in front of him and slowed down. Derenberger
looked in amazement as the vehicle that passed him looked like "an old
fashioned kerosene lamp chimney, flaring at both ends, narrowing down to
a small neck and then enlarging in a great bulge in the center."
The "thing" blocked the road, and a door slid open on the side of it.
Then a man stepped out, described as around 6 feet tall, with long dark
hair combed straight back. His skin was heavily tanned. He wore an
outfit that was made out of some sort of "glistening green material,"
similar to the outfit worn by the other Grinning Man that was
encountered in Elizabeth, New Jersey by the two boys.
He was grinning broadly. Derenberger said that the figure spoke to him
telepathically and said his name was "Cold", and went off asking him
strange questions. Then the strange entity said that he would visit
Derenberger again, and he got back in the craft, and left.
case described in chapter 10 in the Mothman Prophecies happened in the
home of the Lillys, a family living in a rural section of Point
Pleasant. The Lillys were witnessing strange lights in the sky right
above their home at least every night, as well as unexplained
manifestations inside of their home.
Mrs. Lilly said, "We've seen all kinds of strange things...blue lights,
green ones, red ones, things that change color. Some have been so low
that we thought we could see diamond-shaped windows in them. And none of
them make any noise at all."
Automobiles near the Lilly home stalled
unexplainably; doors and kitchen cabinets inside the home slammed in the
middle of the night while everyone was asleep.
The living room door, which was chained and snap-locked at night, was
standing wide open the next morning, as if someone had somehow opened it
from the outside. They heard loud metallic sounds "like a pan falling,"
and Mrs. Lilly said she heard a sound like "a baby crying" throughout
It seemed to originate only a few feet away from her in the house, but
no infants were present and she never saw anything. John A. Keel, who
personally investigated and questioned the Lilly family, asked them "Did
you ever dream that there was a stranger in the house in the middle of
the night?" Linda Lilly, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lilly then
confessed her story.
She described how she woke up one night and saw a very large figure
towering over her bed. "It was a man, a big man. Very broad. I couldn't
see his face very well, but I could see that he was grinning at me."
Mrs. Lilly said that she heard a terrible scream that night, and Linda
ran into her room screaming "There is a man in my room! There is!" She
refused to sleep alone ever since the encounter.