stumps_cryptopia_rob_morphyout-of-this-worldWhile walking down a dark stretch of rural road, a pair of teenage girls had a terrifying encounter with a peculiar pack of creatures, which, quite simply, should not be found on the face of the Earth.

Much to the skeptic’s delight it seems that extraterrestrials are all too often described by eyewitnesses as humanoid beings which obviously display the bilateral symmetry that is almost ubiquitously found on advanced earthbound life forms. This is not surprising as symmetry seems to be the universal norm from physics to biology, but the fact that so many alien visitors seem to resemble “us” is, too say the least, a perplexing trend.

Considering the vast biodiversity on the one inhabited planet that we know of — good ol’ Mother Earth — alien entities should not only not necessarily resemble human beings in any way, shape or form, but statistically speaking shouldn’t look anything like us. It is therefore significant that this case seems to represent a trio of truly “alien entities.”

1966_Washtenaw_County_Michigan_UFOIn 1966 a wave of UFO sightings was rocking the state of Michigan. During the midst of this extraordinary flap — which drew a substantial amount of media, scientific and political attention and culminated in a debate which pit the relative merits of swamp gas eruptions toe-to-toe with advanced, gravity defying technology as seen by dozens of students and Police Officers — there occurred a close encounter half a nation away so utterly unique that it is astonishing it managed to all but fall through the ufological cracks.

According to Jim Brandon’s 1978 book about odd encounters, “Weird America: A Guide to Places of Mystery in the United States,” on the night of April 5, 1966, just outside the small coastal city of Newport, Oregon, a 16 year-old girl by the name of Kathy Reeves, along with an unnamed friend, had a run-in with a drove of creatures so strange they almost defy description.

flashlightOn the night in question the duo were walking toward Reeves’ home when they suddenly sensed that someone — or something — was following them under the cover of darkness. The girls whirled around to see what they described as something akin to a “flashlight with a cover over the end.”

Reeves and her friend, believing that they were being tailed by a prankster attempting to frighten them — and showing a hell of a lot more courage then I would have in a similar plight — began to pick up rocks from the roadside and hurl them at their unseen stalker. It was then that the relatively dim light was extinguished and an array of much more intense beams were switched on, enveloping the now petrified girls.

Tivissa_UFOIn the flash of illumination the teens claimed they saw “an indistinct dome-shaped object” set on the road behind them, which looked as if it were “as high as a room.” This strange dome — which is not unlike the one described by Spanish farmer John Mateu on August 16, 1968 — was surrounded by lights and billows of smoke, which gave off a “ruddy glow” as if the object were on fire.

The once daring girls, now understandably overwhelmed by the irrationality of the object confronting them, hastily dashed away from the thing, desperate to make it back to Reeve’s parent’s home without further event… they would not be so lucky.

As the terrified girls sprinted around the corner in a desperate bid to distance themselves from the smoke shrouded dome, they were stopped dead in their tracks by an even more disturbing vision. Cutting across their path, and heading over a paddock that led toward the domed object, were three alien entities that that nearly shattered the teens’ already precarious notion of reality.

When later interviewed by Deputy Sheriff Thomas W. Price and local media outlets, Reeves would describe the creatures as resembling three, headless, armless, “little tree stumps” that scuttled across the road on spider-like appendages that resembled “tap roots.”

alien_octopoid_rob_morphy_2015It’s worth mentioning here that these creatures bear at least a superficial resemblance — especially when considering the dark conditions under which they were observed — to the ALIEN OCTOPOIDS that were reported by the aforementioned John Mateu in 1968.

As if that weren’t quite bizarre enough, Reeves would go on to say that the creatures were clad in multicolored outfits that were “orange, blue, white, yellow, and watermelon-colored.”

The girls stared in stunned disbelief as the speedy, though silent, entities scampered over the crest of the field and out of sight. The teens’ terrified shrieks cut through the blackness as they dashed for safety in what must have seemed to be the longest run of their young lives.

Needless to say, once rumors of the teenage girls’ back road run-in with the ostensibly extraterrestrial Stumps — not to mention what appeared to be a landed UFO — began to spread, the city of Newport (and the Reeves’ estate in particular) quickly became overrun with curiosity seekers and the press, all hoping to catch a glimpse of something unusual.

According to Jerome Clark in his 2000 edition of “Extraordinary Encounters: An Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrials and Otherworldly Beings,” one of the few to find luck in that manner was Deputy Price, who “reported seeing strange moving lights” in the skies above the Reeves’ home, but the strange creatures were never to be seen again.

This brief and unique flap ended as swiftly as it started, but one has to wonder if perhaps a few of these odd entities lingered behind; after all what better disguise could a creature hiding in a wooded area have than to resemble a tree stump? Perhaps, whatever world they hail from, these beings are similar to the extraordinarily well camouflaged tree-like LAKE MONSTERS said to inhabit the murky waters of Michigan’s LEEANAU LAKE.

beetlejuice_sculpturesIn the end, while I don’t envy the terror experienced by those teens on that dark and lonely road back in 1966, when I imagine these unusual critters roaming around the countryside I can’t help but to do so with a charming, herky-jerky, stop-motion quality akin to Lydia Deitz’s bizarre sculptures lurching around at the end of “Beetle Juice.”

Cute and quirky as that image may be, I can assure you that the next time I go to set my weary bones on a tree trunk for a mid-hike breather, I’m going to check very… very carefully before I inadvertently plop down on an ambassador from another world.

rob_morphy© Copyright Rob Morphy 2002 — 2016

Rob Morphy is an artist / journalist / filmmaker / designer / crypto historian / podcaster / co-founder of American Monsters and Cryptopia