Indrid Cold – Alien? Or One Of The Men In Black?

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
September 25, 2016
Last Updated
September 30, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
6 min read
Posted in
Cryptozoology, Bizarre Entities

While we have all probably heard of the Men in Black, most people will think of two comedic characters from a Hollywood blockbuster, or maybe a strange villain in a sci-fi B-movie. The fact is though that many people have reported very real and in most cases very intimidating experiences with such people.

One of the strangest and certainly one of the most chilling of these types of experiences occurred on a lonely road in America in the winter of 1966.

Woodrow Derenberger was a salesman for a typical sewing machine company of his era. On 2nd November, while making his way home to West Virginia from a business trip in Ohio, Derenberger’s life would change forever.

As he approached Parkesburg driving along Interstate 77, the salesman noticed a strange object behind him. He later told of his encounter to W2AP radio.

Indrid Cold - the Grinning Man.

Indrid Cold – the Grinning Man.

“As I came to Interstate 47, there was a car (that) passed me and overtaking me from behind. Following closely behind this car there was this unidentified object. As the car passed me, the object followed behind it and swerved directly in front of my truck, turning crossways.

As it turned crossways, it slowed down. Not abruptly or too fast, but it gave me plenty of time to step on my brakes, and slow down with it. It forced me to come to a complete stop. As soon as I stopped, a door opened in the side of the vehicle.”

In front of him stood a man with slicked back dark hair, donning a black suit that appeared to made from some kind of “shiny” material. His face was pale and he didn’t seem to have any facial hair to speak of. His mouth also appeared frozen in a strange, sinister grin.

Following his exit from the craft, its doors slid shut and it shot into the air coming to a stop about forty feet from the ground. After telling him not to be afraid and that he would come to no harm, the mystery man asked Derenberger to wind down his window and introduced himself as Indrid Cold.

The Grinning Man – Indrid Cold

According to Derenberger, [1] Cold had spoken to him telepathically. He seemed to take particular interest in the lights visible in the distance of the city of Parkersburg. So much so that he asked Derenberger what they were. Derenberger told him it was a city where many people went to work for different businesses. Cold stated in turn that they called his cities Gatherings, and further asked if people lived in the city of Parkesburg. After Derenberger responded that most people lived outside the city in small towns, Cold nodded before saying, “It’s been nice talking to you Mr. Derenberger. We will be seeing you again!”

With that the strange man turned and walked away from the truck, his craft returning to ground level as he did so. He stepped aboard and the mysterious object left with great speed.

Derenberger continued to have visits from Cold [2] following his initial encounter, many of which his wife and children also witnessed. Various stories of their encounter ran in UFO magazines and tabloid newspapers.

According to the Derenbergers, Cold was part of a network of aliens from the planet Lanulos. They were active all over the country, and as well as being aliens, they were also time-travellers from a “fourth dimension!”

Over time however, the constant media glare and interest took its toll on the family. Derenberger and his wife divorced – in part due to alleged affairs on his part – and the claims began to die down.

Check out the video below where Derenberger speaks about the initial encounter with Cold shortly after it happened to the aforementioned W2AP.

Many people often link Indrid Cold to the alleged Mothman sightings in and around Point Pleasant that began in the winter of 1966. Their close proximity to Derenberger’s encounter and the sheer strangeness almost makes sense to do this. However, while Cold may have a connection to the sightings of the winged creature, there might be an argument made that he was there to observe as opposed to actually being the Mothman itself. Some believe that Cold, right down to his menacing appearance and attire, to be part of the Men In Black.

Numerous Similar Sighings

One strange encounter, relayed to a UFO writer by a person using the name “Larry” also speaks of telepathic communication.

According to Larry, one night he awoke to what seemed to be a “presence” in the room with him. This presence communicated with him telepathically, informing him that he was from “another world.” Before the conversation was over, the presence stated Larry would see it again – at a time when he would be with his best friend (who according to “Larry” the presence named).

Months later, the incident now all but forgotten, Larry and his best friend were attending a picnic in a local park. When Larry noticed a large van pull into the park, memories of that night came flooding back. Even more so when four men, all dressed in dark suits with overly pale skin got out of the vehicle. After settling around a park table, all four men turned to look at Larry and his friend, staring at him for several moments. They then simply got back into the dark van, and drove away.

Larry felt sure that these strange men dressed all in black, were connected to the presence that he had spoken with in his mind months earlier. Larry stated that at least two of the men “didn’t look human” – that their arms seemed out of proportion to their bodies somehow.

Another article appeared on UFO Digest in late 2015 that appeared regarding an interview with a lady who claimed that her father met regularly with UFO researcher and writer George Adamski. She also claimed that during these meetings – which took place around 1953/54 – she met Men In Black on several occasions.

She spoke in particular of one of these Men in Black – named Lev – and what’s more it was common knowledge between her father and Adamski, that Lev was an alien. His appearance however is the classic Men in Black look. Pale skin, no facial hair, and always dressed in a strange dark black suit.

Men In Black Caught On Camera At Hotel In Canada

In Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada in May 2009, two strange and menacing individuals entered a Hotel asking questions of one the employees and the hotel manager. The people in question had recently reported a UFO sighting in the area and had made a report.

Several months earlier in late-2008, the pair reported seeing a triangular craft with a red light in the middle of it hovering over the resort for around ten minutes. Suddenly a bright beam like a searchlight appeared from the object eventually settling on the two men. Several days later, the hotel manager witnessed what he thought was the same craft heading in the same direction of their first encounter.

As well as their demanding demeanour these Men in Black also had a strange appearance, with witnesses noticing how particularly pale both men were and how they appeared to be exactly the same height and build. Witnesses again reported that these curious characters had no facial hair whatsoever to speak of. One particular report stated that the men had “hypnotic blue eyes that never blinked” and generally acted very strangely. This last detail about the eyes left many experts in the field to state this encounter was different from a “typical” Men in Back incident.

You can check out the security video below and see what you think.

Photograph Leads To Men In Black Visit In The UK

In 1964 Jim Templeton snapped one of the most famous photographs in recent history. [3] He didn’t realise the picture would be anything other than his daughter, Elizabeth, enjoying the Carlisle countryside until he had it developed. When he did, a strange figure stood in the distance behind Elizabeth. The figure, due to its appearance, became known as the “Solway Spaceman.”

You can see a short video that BBC Look North ran on Templeton and the photograph below.

When confronted with the picture both himself and his wife, Annie, stated that nobody else was present in the area. The picture quickly became famous – particularly when Kodak said that the picture was genuine and that if anyone could prove it was a fake, they would reward them considerably.

The incident took a sinister turn however when two men dressed in dark suits [4] visited the Templetons at home. Stating they worked for the government, they referred to each other as “Number 9” and “Number 11.” They were “interested” in the photograph and Templeton has stated since that they were very insistent and pushy in their attitude.

Famous Solway Firth Spaceman photograph taken by Jim Templeton.

Famous Solway Firth Spaceman photograph taken by Jim Templeton.

Jim Templeton even went as far as to say they were quite intimidating as they drove him to Burgh Marsh – the site where he had photographed the strange figure. They apparently questioned him about seemingly random things such as what the weather had been like that day, or if he had seen any strange animals around the area. Following this, the two men simply got in their car and drove away. Jim had to make his way back from the rural area alone and on foot.

The photograph itself has been closely studied over the years. While no-one has suggested that Templeton is a fraud or a hoaxer, many have put forward “scientific” explanations as to what caused the strange figure to be “stood” behind little Elizabeth Templeton that afternoon. In terms of the Men in Black though, regardless of whether or not the photograph is of a spaceman or is just an anomaly, it is somewhat strange that the two mysterious gentlemen felt the need to visit the Templetons shortly after the picture became public.

Below you can check out a video that looks at five supposed real life Men In Black encounters. The Men In Black to appear to be very real. Who, or what, they are however, remains a mystery.


1 Visitors From Lanulos: My Contact With Indrid Cold, Woodrow Derenberger, ISBN 97871502 326188
2 Indrid Cold: Grinning Man of 1960s American Folklore, Les Hewitt, Historic Mysteries
3 The mystery of the Solway Spaceman, Simon Armstrong, BBC, May 23rd, 2014
4 The Men In Black and the Solway Firth Spaceman, SJH Strange Tales, February 23rd, 2015

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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1 Comment

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  • Julio Abreu says:

    Great article. Must be indeed be read to an open mind. Thanks for the infos!

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