Date: October, 1966
Location: Elizabeth, NJ
The Grinning Man is a name given to one, or more mysterious creatures that have been reported since about the mid 1960's. Some say the Grinning Man is an alien from outer space while others believe he might be some kind of unknown creature similar to Bigfoot. What is certain is that those who have seen the Grinning Man have never quite gotten over the experience. One October night, James Yanchitis & Marvin Munoz, were walking home along Fourth Street in Elizabeth. They soon reached a corner that runs parallel to the Jersey Turnpike. A large wire fence ran along the edge of the other street below where the two were walking. It was Jim who first saw what has become known as the Grinning Man. And even though it was dark, he could clearly see the weird figure.
He was standing behind that fence, Yanchitis told investigators. I don't know how he got there. He was the biggest man I ever saw.
Yanchitis then nudged his friend and pointed out the weird entity. Munoz later stated, 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. The boys had heard about a resident of the neighborhood being chased by a tall green man down that same street. The frightened boys got out of there quickly.
Three days later, an author & paranormal investigator, visited the boys. Keel would also write a popular book about the Mothman legend of West Virginia. Keel talked to the boys separately and both gave the exact same story. They both described the humanoid creature as standing more than 6' tall and dressed in a sparkling green coverall costume. The street lights were reflected off the shimmering outfit. A wide black belt was fastened around his waist, He had a very dark complexion, and little round eyes, real beady, set far apart, said one of the boys. But the strangest thing about the Grinning Man was he did not have any hair, ears or a nose, the two boys maintained.
On November 2nd, 1966, less than a month after Munov and Yanchitis had their disturbing encounter, sewing machine salesman, Woodrow Derenberger, was driving home on the hilly Interstate 77 after a long day of work when he suddenly a bizarre vehicle dropped down from the dark sky and landed in the road in front of him with a tremendous crashing sound.
The vehicle was unlike anything that Derenberger had ever seen before. He described it as looking 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 startled Derenberger slammed on the brakes of his old panel truck and screeched to a halt. That’s when things started to get really weird… A hatch slid open on the side of the mystery vehicle before him and a tall, dark skinned man climbed out. The salesman later described him as having slightly elongated eyes, but his most notable attribute was the wide, creepy grin, which Derenberger claimed he could see glinting in his truck’s headlights. In fact, the one of the few disparities between the frightening Grinning Man described by Munov and Yanchitis and the one seen by Derenberger is that the latter described the humanoid’s clothes as blue instead of green, but, much like the New Jersey Grinning Man, his clothes were reflective and made of a material that the appliance salesman noted was: quite shiny and had a glistening effect.
Derenberger then claimed that this Grinning Man telepathically communicate with him, asking him a series of odd questions. Following this abnormal interlude, the entity simply stated that: My name is Cold… I will be visiting you again.
Cold then returned to his unusual vehicle, which, as strangely as it arrived, launched from the interstate and soared up into the sky. Following this wild encounter, both Derenberger and several other Point Pleasant residents would claim to have additional run-ins with the infamous Indrid Cold.
Eventually Derenberger would reveal that Cold informed him that he was an alien from the planet Lanulos, which was nestled in the galaxy of Genemedes. He would further claim that Cold had taken him to his home planet where he saw people wearing colorful shorts and all the words on the signs appeared to be in a squiggly, oriental like writing.
Cold was soon followed by two other Grinning Men named Demo Hassan and Karl Ardo. Derenberger’s wife even met them and believed that their agenda was an evil one. Sadly, it wasn’t long after these events that his wife divorced him. Derenberger would go on to co-author a book about his experiences titled: Visitors froim Lanulos with Harold W. Hubbard.
Another, even more unnerving, encounter with what Keel speculated might be a Grinning Man also occurred in Point Pleasant during that same period. The terrifying event transpired at the rural home of the Lilly family. The Lillys were dealing with frightening poltergeist like activity as well as seeing peculiar lights in the skies above their home on a nightly basis. According to Mrs. Lilly:
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.
The incident involving the Grinning Man, however, did not happen to the entire family, but focused on the Lilly’s daughter, Linda. The young lady confided in Keel, who was at the scene chronicling the entire Mothman uproar, that she had woken up one night to see a hulking figure leering down at her while she was in bed. In Linda’s own words:
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. He walked around the bed and stood right over me. I screamed again and hid under the covers, when I looked again he was gone.
Linda then ran into her mother’s room shrieking hysterically:
There is a man in my room! There is! She refused to sleep alone for months following the encounter.
Whether the figure looming above Linda on that fateful eve was Indrid Cold, another Grinning Man, a ghostly phantasm or just a figment of her imagination is hard to say, but it’s difficult not to speculate that — much like in the Elizabeth New Jersey incident, the strange lights soaring above the Lilly home might have something to do with the appearance of this seemingly sinister, smiling fiend.
Whether the figure looming above Linda on that fateful eve was Indrid Cold, another Grinning Man, a ghostly phantasm or just a figment of her imagination is hard to say, but it’s difficult not to speculate that, much like in the Elizabeth New Jersey incident — the strange lights soaring above the Lilly home might have something to do with the appearance of this seemingly sinister, smiling fiend.
The Grinning Man Legend has been associated with various UFO sightings. Often, he would be seen around the same time that other folks reported seeing weird objects in the sky.