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Classic Mysteries—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, November 2021

Did ET’s Phone Home from Beech Creek?

by: Brent Raynes

In the course of gathering local folklore back in 1983, for stories I was writing up for my local newspaper [Wayne County News, October 27, 1983, Waynesboro, TN] I came across this ver-ry intriguing tale. The setting was Beech Creek Road, sometime around the mid-1930s. Joe (as we’ll call him here) was dressed in his Sunday best as he was returning home on foot to Leatherwood Branch after a visit with his girl friend down on Green River. That would have been a pretty good walk which could have been about 9 or 10 miles.

It was probably, I was told, early autumn and around 9 o’clock at night as Joe traversed the first stretch of Beech Creek Road from Highway 13. A sound like a bullet passing close to his ear disturbed him to think that someone might be shooting and have come so close. Then Joe reportedly noticed two small lights up ahead of him, just over the ground, on the right side of the road. He rationalized, at the time, that they were likely just fireflies, although marveled at how they remained level, like a pair of eyes. But then the two lights seemed to merge together, becoming a single “wash pan” sized light. It was at about this point that Joe heard a noise resembling the sound of something like the motor of a saw mill shutting down.

Next a brilliant white light appeared at the roadside. Joe was astonished to see a group of dwarfish sized men, perhaps 8 or 10 figures, starring at him from around what appeared to be a round table. They were, he would later explain, the ugliest men he had ever laid eyes upon. Their faces were slightly flushed, or reddish in complexion, with wrinkled skin, long noses, and some had beards.

In terror Joe threw his walking stick at the ‘little men,’ though he would recall that they made no threatening moves or gestures towards him. It was undoubtedly the high-strangeness of what he was seeing that caused his reaction, in addition to the fact that they, from his very brief encounter, just didn’t look too friendly. Thus Joe ended up running like the devil was hot on his heels since, quite obviously, he wasn’t too sure at that point that he wasn’t.

Several hundred yards later Joe’s next conscious recollection was of picking himself up off the ground at the foot of Smith Branch Hill. His clothes were badly torn from his frantic escape from the unknown.

“Since then I’ve thought it could have been people from another planet,” a niece of Joe’s told me as she related this remarkable story. “He died wondering about it.” Later interviewing Joe’s brother and visiting the site of his brother’s strange Beech Creek encounter, he told me how his brother had returned home that night, badly shaken and hurt. Unfortunately, Joe couldn’t tell me the story himself as he had passed a decade earlier.

Joe was described to me as a truthful and Christian person. I was told that for years afterwards he had nightmares about the incident. He worried that it was some kind of “omen.” His brother told me also that he and Joe soon returned together to where this all had happened and how the walking stick never turned up.

I wrote in my newspaper feature, “Perhaps it is on display at a museum on a planet light years away?’

Sunday, June 16, 2024