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Classic Mysteries—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, May 2019


by: Rick Hilberg

When anyone with an interest in the UFO phenomenon today considers the reports of alien visitors in connection with these elusive objects seen in our skies, the image that almost universally surfaces is that of the small grey alien beings. These almost iconic images can be found everywhere, from the pages of UFO books and publications, popular advertising and the plethora of "reality" television shows featuring alien visitors. 

This wasn't always the case, however. To this long time student and historian, the image of the grey alien creature first seemed to enter the popular culture in a big way with the publication of Whitley Strieber's Communion back in 1987, and quickly became the accepted depiction of our visitors. Throughout the historical record virtually no witness to possible UFO pilots being sighted have referred to the alien and almost haunting image of the " Greys." With that in mind, I'm going to cite several cases from before that time that describe what we used to call "ufonauts" back in the day. I've decided to limit this little overview to a particularly active year for UFO reports that I covered extensively in my past writings and publications, which was 1964, a year that saw massive amounts of UFO reports being reported to a number of sources. As the reader will see, for whatever reasons, the grey beings are strikingly absent from these accounts. This brings up all sorts of possible reasons for this absence, something that I will leave for future historians of the UFO subject.


On the same day as the iconic Lonnie Zamora case in Socorro, New Mexico, a Newark Valley, New York dairy farmer claimed that "space men" visited his farm and talked with him for two hours. Gary Wilcox said he was spreading manure in an open field on his 300-acre farm just northeast of Newark Valley. Shortly before 10:00 a.m. he decided to check another part of the farm which was almost surrounded by woods to see whether that piece of ground was ready for plowing. As he made his way toward this spot - which was located about a mile from his home - he saw a shiny object which he thought at first was a discarded refrigerator. As he approached closer he saw that it was indeed not a refrigerator, and possibly could have been a wing fuel tank dropped from an airplane. Wilcox said it was 20 feet long, 16 feet wide and shaped like an egg - strikingly similar to the object Zamora would spot later that afternoon in New Mexico. It looked like it was made of aluminum but more durable and seemed to have different metallic characteristics. He touched it and felt no heat. There was no visible door or hatch.

Suddenly two beings appeared. They seemed to be about four feet tall and had clothing with no seams and a headdress with a full-faced hood. The beings appeared to have arms and legs, but he couldn't tell whether or not they had fingers and toes because their extremities were covered. The one being stopped by the strange craft and the other came to within about five feet of Wilcox, saying, "Do not be alarmed. We have spoken to Earth people before. We come from what you folks call Mars." Wilcox was dumbfounded at this point, not knowing what to make of the whole situation. As the conversation continued the beings said they were interested in fertilizer and soils and asked Wilcox why he was spreading manure. Wilcox explained the various types of fertilizer that were used on Earth, and as this was going on both beings scoped up soil samples. The men then told Wilcox a number of things about them, including how they can only visit the Earth every two years, and that they land mostly in daylight as they are less likely to be spotted at that time.

The strange visitors asked Wilcox for some commercial fertilizer to take back with them and he said he would get them a bag from his barn. All the time they were talking the "space craft" sounded like an auto idling, he said. As he turned, to go fetch the fertilizer, he heard a sound and looked around. In a matter of seconds, the craft was out of sight. There was no exhaust or fire, or raising of dust, he said. Since he had promised the fertilizer he went and got the bag and left it in the field. The next day it was gone. (Towanda, PA Daily Review 5/8/64).


Five young boys from the town of Conklin, New York said they saw what appeared to be a spaceman and his UFO. They were exploring a field about two miles from their homes when they saw the "spaceman" and his vehicle. The being was some 50 to 75 yards away when they first spotted it. One of the parents of the youths said that three of the boys came running into her house at about 12:30 p.m. seeking a jar of water. "They said they were taking some water over to the spaceman, " she said. "They couldn't understand what he said but that it sounded like he needed water." Another parent was sent to fetch the other boys, but they were found walking on their way home from the field.  The children were separated and required to tell about just exactly what they had seen. Each gave the same story. They said the creature was about the size of a little boy and had a human-looking face and wore a black suit and black helmet. The helmet bore antenna-like wires on its top and had white lettering across its front, said one of the parents. The creature was wearing a plastic or glass lens over his eyes and was making a peculiar noise that the boys described as sounding as if it came out of a pipe. They also described it as the kind of noise a child's kazoo makes. The spaceman walked toward a vehicle, part of which was obscured by foliage, that  was "shiny like a car bumper," said the children. The creature stepped up on top of the vehicle, the children said, whereupon they asked  if he needed help or water. Then the creature seemed to fall backwards from the top of the vehicle, whereupon they left the field and ran towards home. An observer who visited the scene noticed matted foliage where the boys said the vehicle was. There were also three depressions around the matted area, as though whatever had crushed the foliage was supported on columns or legs. (Binghampton, NY Press 7/17/64 ).


On that September night in Cisco Grove, an isolated area in Placer Counter, California, Donald Shrum with two other men, Vinnie Alvare, and Tim Truebolld, were on a bow hunting trip. 

The men became separated during the day of hunting. As night approached, they were all to meet back at their camp site.

As Shrum was heading back to camp, he heard a sound in the brush that he thought was a bear. He climbed a tree, to let the bear pass. After a while he didn't hear the sound anymore, so he came back down the tree. At this point he noticed an odd light hovering motionless in the night sky and saw two other lights keeping a distance from the main one. In fright he climbed back in the tree. The main light circled the tree, when a dark object seemed to fall from the light onto the ground. The object that seemed to fall from the light was about 300 feet away. It was dome-shaped and saucer-like. Suddenly, two alien figures approached and stood under the tree. The two beings, dressed in silver clad clothing just stood there, when a third figure came up to the other two. Shrum said, "The third figure or humanoid looked like a robot."

Shrum described the alien figures as about five and one half feet tall, wearing silver clothing that looked to be uniforms. They had a sort of helmet over their heads.

According to Shrum, he saved himself from possible capture by these strange beings by using his belt to fasten himself to the tree. All through the night, the robot creature would expel a white vapor from time to time from his mouth that was directed at him.

Shrum said he would throw pieces of his clothing that he had set on fire towards the creatures. The vapor or smoke that came from the robot's mouth would drift upwards towards him and he would become light headed and then pass out. He would repeatedly awaken only to pass out again. 

At one point, Shrum said "I shot three arrows at the robot creature, and when it hit him it was just like a big, bright flash."  When Shrum woke up from this ordeal after passing out numerous times, it was morning and the aliens were gone.

He managed to get back to camp and found that the other two men only saw a strange light the previous night when Shrum was having his nightmare ordeal. (Flying Saucer Digest Winter 1996).

Tuesday, February 20, 2024