The Fresno Nightcrawler
In late 2008, Jose, a Fresno resident, was woken late at night by his dogs barking in a very unusual way. When he checked the CCTV fitted to his house, he saw two odd creatures walking across his lawn. Jose was terrified but kept the tape and, eventually, approached Univision 21, a local TV channel about the incident. They, in turn, contacted Victor Camacho, a local UFO investigator and member of international body MUFON whose talk on the case brought it out into the open in 2008.
That holy trinity of separation, investigator to confidant to witness is very common, the information still held frustratingly out of arm’s reach and the situation isn’t helped any by some of the editing choices made on the video. For no readily apparent reason, a second of footage of an animatronic grey alien is used as a scene buffer, Camacho even apologising for this. Even worse, the footage itself is never spliced into the report. Instead, at several points we watch the footage from Jose’s CCTV camera being played on a TV which is in turn being filmed by another camera, the image all but lost beneath huge pixels, interference and a frankly surreal editing decision. It’s not even like the rest of the film hasn’t been post-produced, after all someone thought a second of animatronic Grey would be a good idea, but for some reason no one thought to splice in the original footage.
What’s tragic about this is that the Fresno Nightcrawlers might just be something incredible. The camera watches a tall, thin creature with no arms walk slowly across the lawn, stop and then proceed onwards. A few seconds later, a creature which looks for all the world like a billowing pair of trousers follows it, the flaps of it’s clothing, or body, clearly visible blowing in the wind. It’s less than two minutes long, you can barely see what’s there but what’s there looks strange, different, alien. If it’s a fake, it’s a great fake and the more you look, or squint, the more you see exactly how odd these creatures are. There’s a natural gait to their walk’ and they appear almost relaxed, ambling through Jose’s garden in the same way that people browse in a shop. They look confident, assured and crucially you see them moving for a relatively long time, something which is all but unheard of with most ‘alien’ videos. A couple of seconds, if you’re lucky, is usually all you get but here you get a clear view, a locked off camera and a chance to take a good look at whatever is using Jose’s lawn as a shortcut. Or you would do, if anyone had thought to encode the original film and upload it. Instead, you’re left squinting at something which might be incredibly important, on a TV screen, being filmed and shown on another TV screen. The million ring circus strikes again, the truth stays just outside the light.
The Bentwaters-Woodbridge UFO Case
Since 1990 there have been over 4000 sightings of what is known as the “Flying Triangle” or “Silent Vulcan” over Britain. In the early 90’s there were a similar number over Belgium, France, Holland and Germany, with fighters being sent up to intercept this unknown craft. With people seeing aircraft “as big as a football field and hovering silently” to “hovering craft that shoot off silently.” Another claim was the sighting of “a huge black triangle rising out of the water” it is one of Europe’s most enduring waves of sightings. Nick Pope wrote a book about many of these sightings including one over several Army bases in one night. One of the more controversial cases is the Bentwaters -Woodbridge UFO case. The Bentwaters-Woodbridge bases are leased to the United States Air Force under NATO terms. The case is one of the creepiest ones I have ever heard. There were at least 30 witnesses who came forward to tell the story of what happened to USAF personnel and British Military in the Rendlesham forest between the two bases, in December of 1980.
The incident began when two USAF security personnel spotted unusual lights hovering over Rendlesham forest. The security staff was worried that a small plane was crashing in the heavily wooded area. According to Sergeant Larry Warren, who was stationed at Bentwaters, It looked like the plane hit and a fire was smouldering in the forest. A group of men set out to find the strange red glowing area. What the men came a upon was a triangular UFO. Airmen Steve Roberts and James Archer said that the UFO had a red light on top of it and blue and white lights at the middle and bottom. Archer then claimed he saw occupants inside the strange craft. He claimed that they did not appear human. There were also reports of Jeeps and several High-powered “Light all’s” abruptly died. Sgt’s Larry Warren and Adrian Bustinza said that the energy just drained out. Animals were going crazy, and the men mentioned a yellow mist in the air. There was another strange anomaly in the area away from the clearing . It was transparent, elliptical like a see through aspirin tablet. It then filled with a bright pulsating mist and it emitted a rainbow of coloured lights. There was film shot of the incident. And audio tapes made. However it was later confiscated and flown to Ramstein Air Force base in West Germany. Pentagon officials later claimed that some of the photos but not all were fogged.
Then there were stories of strange shadows that were cast on the craft moving out of synch with the soldiers. They knew it was their shadows, and blue lights would flash above their heads like some strange video game. For some of the soldiers it was the last thing they remember before waking up. Larry Warren says that he awoke with mud caked up to his knees. Warren says he was tested for radiation and was forced to sign a secrecy oath. He and others were then shown High-quality gun camera film of UFO events. One included the downing of a soviet MIG fighter by a flying saucer. Thirty men went through what some likened to a drug-induced nightmare. Remembering sequences that were lost or forgotten. One memory was that of Commander Gordon Williams communicating with silver suited greys.
Official reaction to this case was that it wasn’t a threat to National Security. Which prompted British Investigators Jenny Randles and Ralph Noyes to call the reaction utter nonsense. If the collective testimony of thirty men were accurate then it would confirm UFO reality. It would also be nonsense if the testimony were false. It would mean that Nat security would have been entrusted to men who hallucinate. Either alternative would have been a severe threat to security.
A team of scientists based in Las Vegas has been conducting a study that may be different from anything that’s ever been tried. The research is focused on a ranch in rural Utah where, for 50 years or more, paranormal activity has been reported, including UFOs, Bigfoot, mutilated animals and poltergeists. Some call the place Skinwalker Ranch, and George Knapp of the I-Team is the only journalist allowed to visit the property.
Oil executive Gregory Todd is one of the hundreds, if not thousands of north-eastern Utah residents who’ve seen weird objects — call them UFOs — over their homes in the past 50 years. The Utah basin has also been a hotbed of other strange activity including Bigfoot encounters and mutilated animals.
In a basin known for an array of unexplained phenomena, the epicentre of high strangeness seems to be a picturesque spread known to many as Skinwalker Ranch. Native Americans who live near the property advise members to steer clear because, they say, this is the path of the skinwalker, an evil force.
The last family to live on this spread lasted only 20 months. From the first day back in 1994, they were terrorized by an unseen intelligence that played mind games with them, shadowy figures inside their house, objects that moved on their own, disembodied voices and bad things happening to their animals beginning with cattle and bulls that disappeared and others that were carved up with surgical precision in broad daylight. A gigantic wolf that attacked one of their calves was tracked through the mud, but the tracks simply stopped as if the animal had evaporated into thin air. Three dogs were vaporized after while chasing blue orbs of light in a pasture.
In 1995, the ranch came to the attention of NIDS, the National Institute for Discovery Science based in Las Vegas. NIDS bought the property and began an unprecedented scientific study. Observation posts were built. Video cameras were installed and operated. Scientific personnel and former lawmen were on the property 24-7 for 8 straight years. Dr. Colm Kelleher headed up the NIDS study.
Dr. Colm Kelleher said, “We probably have, if you count all the pre-NIDS and post-NIDS incidents, close to 100 different incidents. If you look at all of them, the one thing that jumps out is how unreproducible they are.”
In other words, nothing ever happened the same. The scientists would spend all night out in the darkness and witnessed dozens of UFOs and odd balls of light. They also encountered large unknown animals, including ones that emerged from tunnels of light in the fields. Whatever it was proved elusive. The cameras that were installed atop telephone poles were attacked and dismantled, but whatever did it was invisible.
Dr. Colm Kelleher said, “We checked the time stamps on this pole versus this pole. We looked at when the camera lost power and nothing was on the tape. There should have been something visible because the range of these things is pretty good.”
NIDS still owns the ranch, but it appears the phenomena have gone underground, as if weary of being hunted. As yet, the mystery of Skinwalker Ranch remains unsolved. Kelleher said, “If anything, it has created more questions that I had when I came into this thing.”
The ranch remains off limits to outsiders. Visitors — from this world anyway — are not welcome.
The Flatwoods Monster
Just before dark on September 12, 1952, at Flatwoods, WV, some young school boys saw a fiery UFO streak across the sky and apparently land on a nearby hilltop. Rushing to the site, and gathering a few others along the way, they saw a pulsating red light, encountered a nauseating mist, and turned a flashlight on a pair of shining eyes, revealing a huge creature. As it hissed and glided at them, the group panicked and fled. The next day investigators discovered skid marks and an oil-like substance that presumably came from the UFO.