The Grinning Man is reported to be human-like in appearance, though is commonly associated with UFO activity and is sometimes believed to be an alien. It is also believed possible that he is connected with the Men In Black. In his first sighting, he was described as being over six feet tall and wearing a reflective, green suit with a black belt. He had a dark complexion and small, beady eyes set far apart. He was described as not having any nose, ears, or hair. In his second known encounter, his suit was said to be blue instead of green, but still retained its reflective property.
Other eyewitnesses claim that the Grinning Man is a looming figure who stands well over 6-feet tall. His head is said to be devoid of any hair and his dark, beady eyes are nestled unnaturally far apart in his domed skull. Some observers are so unsettled that they are unable to recall whether he even had a nose or ears, but far and away his most disconcerting characteristic is the wide, hideous, shark-like grin that is perpetually plastered across his face.
Indrid Cold was first seen on October 11th, 1966. The encounter occurred in Elizabeth, New Jersey, at approximately 9:45 pm. Two boys — Martin “Mouse” Munov and James “Jimmy” Yanchitis — were walking home along New Jersey and 4th Street when they turned onto a road that ran adjacent to the elevated New Jersey Turnpike.
There was a treacherously steep 30-foot slant running from the busy turnpike above them all the way down to the tall wire fence that ran parallel to the route that Munov and Yanchitis were walking. The decline on the other side of the fence was so steep that the boys had never even seen anyone attempt to scale it, nor had they ever seen anyone on the opposite side of the rusted fence.
Both Munov and Yanchitis were nervous as they had heard that a woman had been chased by a “tall, green man” earlier that evening in the same area. It was Yanchitis who first noticed the ominous figure standing in the thick scrub brush behind Munov on the opposite side of the fence. He appeared to be ignoring the boys and staring at a house across the road. Yanchitis would later describe the smirking brute for both the police and Keel:
“He was strangest guy we’ve ever seen… He was standing behind that fence. I don’t know how he got there. He was the biggest man I ever saw.”
“Jimmy nudged me 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.”
The peculiar man chased them until they got away from him. UFO sightings were also reported around the area. The boys were interviewed individually — in the home of one George Smythe — and, according to renowned paranormal investigator, John Keel, gave identical accounts of the event. Keel described what Yanchitis and Munov had told him, Moseley and McCann:
“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 waist… He had a very dark complexion, and little round eyes… real beady… set far apart. They could not remember seeing any hair, ears, or nose on this figure.”
The officers in question were Patrolman Edward Wester and Sergeant Benjamin Thompson of the Wanaque Reservoir Police. The pair watched as the luminous UFO soared over the reservoir at a low altitude. Sergeant Thompson was later quoted as stating:
“The light was brilliantly white. 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.”
“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 and screeched to a halt. 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 the entity simply stated that:
“My name is Cold… I will be visiting you again.”
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 from Lanulos” with Harold W. Hubbard.
“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 who stated 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.”
In December of 1978, a 26 year-old night watchman, Pier Zanfretta, was on a routine patrol in the village of Torriglia, Italy, when he claims he was abducted by a trio of gigantic, yellow-eyed, semi-reptilian aliens. Following this incident would be a series of terrifying abductions that would continue for years, but one of his creepiest encounters was not alien but with a 'Grinning Man'. On December 3rd, 1979, at approximately 9:30 pm, Zanfretta got out of his patrol car at a self-service gas station near downtown Genoa. He claimed that he heard someone calling out to him from the shadows outside the station. Zanfretta described entity that was speaking to him as a tall, humanoid figure with a bald, “egg-shaped” head, who was dressed in a checkered suit that included a chest plate made of “steel” He was also grinning from ear to ear.
Like Cold before him, this lanky creature spoke to the security guard without moving his lips and ordered him to drive his vehicle into a small cloud that was hovering just above the ground nearby. Zanfretta swore that the sound of the Grinning Man’s voice physically compelled him to obey the request. The young guard did as he was instructed and claimed that he and his patrol car were levitated within the cloud and deposited onto a colossal spacecraft. This ship, according to the watchman, was filled not only with the reptilian aliens that had been abducting him, but large, transparent cylinders filled with a weird blue liquid. One of the cylinders was said to have contained a “frog-shaped” body, which the aliens explained was: “An enemy of ours from another planet.”
In the years since 1978, there have only been a few sporadic — and unconfirmed — reports of the 'Grinning Man'. The first is from April 23rd, 2009, when a blogger known only as H. R. Zapruder posted a very brief encounter with he believed to be a Grinning Man while driving near Roswell, New Mexico:
“Soon afterwards, I drove past a man standing in the brush, I thought he was hitchhiking so I sped past, you know, hitchhikers = bad news. Anyway, I didn’t think much of it at first but as I sped by, I noticed a green glistening so I inspected the rear view mirror. I saw the man from behind, he was bald and over 6-feet tall, wearing a sparkling green jacket, the rest was obscured by the brush. When I arrived in town I was told by some locals I’d just missed a UFO.”
Whether you believe this story or not I do love this story, it's so creepy and I'm surprised it hasn't been used more in film or television.