Indrid Cold: The legend of the Grinning Man

The Grinning Man

Indrid Cold is an alleged humanoid entity from West Virginia also known by the pseudonym of The Smiling Man or The Grinning Man, for his tendency to smile at those who meet him.
Despite a human appearance, he is usually associated with the activity of UFOs to the extent that it is believed that he may be an alien and has frequented his connection with the Men In Black.
According to Woodrow Derenberger's witness, Indrid Cold was from a planet called Lanulos, in the Genemedes galaxy, and there were two other "smiling men" named Demo Hassan and Karl Ardo.


Eyewitnesses claim that the Grinning Man is an imposing figure well over 6 feet tall. Its domed skull is said to be hairless and its dark, shiny eyes are unnaturally distant from each other. Some observers are so troubled that they are unable to later recall whether he also had a nose or ears, but - as disturbing as it may be - by far the most disconcerting feature of him is his wide, horrible, everlasting smile. shark.


Renowned paranormal investigator and author of "Mothman Prophecies" John Keel is considered the first researcher to mention this creature and describes what is believed to be the first modern encounter in "The Complete Guide to Mysterious Beings".

Indrid Cold-The Smiling Man

  • First sighting

Indrid Cold was first sighted on October 16, 1966 by Martin "Mouse" Munov and James "Jimmy" Yanchitis. As they walked on Fourth Street in New Jersey, the two boys saw a bizarre figure standing near a fence and as they approached they noticed that it was an unnaturally tall, bald "man" with no ears and nose, wearing a suit "reflective" metallic green that was staring at them with a huge smile. The extravagant man chased them until they turned away from him. It wasn't long before the boys' bizarre story spread across the neighborhood and people started speculating that this so-called Grinning Man could be associated with a UFO sighting that happened at exactly the same time just 40 miles north of Elizabeth, near at a DuPont explosives factory outside Pompton Lakes. The first eyewitnesses of this event were a police officer and his wife who described the apparition as a "bright white light the size of a car".

  • Second sighting

On November 2, 1966, in Parkersburg, West Virginia (same area and time as the Mothman), Woodrow Derenberger was driving home on Interstate 77 until he heard a crash.
He saw an unidentifiable vehicle land in front of his truck and described it as "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 alleged "Smiling Man" came out of the vehicle and came into telepathic contact with Derenberger to whom he revealed that his name was "Indrid Cold", came from the planet Lanulos in the galaxy of Genemedes and his intentions were peaceful: he wanted to know better the human race, to he stated that he would come back to visit Derenberger again.
In this second meeting, his suit would have been blue instead of green and his appearance would have been that of any human being with hair combed back, a coat with the first two buttons unbuttoned and with trousers lighter than the coat but always the same material. The witness would also tell that Cold had taken him to his home planet where he saw people wearing "colorful shorts" and all the words on the signs seemed to be in a "wavy writing, oriental type". Derenberger later co-authored a book on his experiences entitled "Visitors froim Lanulos" with Harold W. Hubbard.

  • Third sighting

During the same time in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, the Lilly family had reported poltergeist activities in their home, such as diamond-shaped lights. Lilly's daughter, Linda, was sleeping one night and woke up to see a man standing above her whom the little girl describes as "big", "very broad" and, naturally, "smiling".

Explanations and theories

  • The alleged alien origin would be supported by its close connection between the places of its sightings and the UFO activity detected in them as well as by the testimony of Derenberger, the humanoid aspect could indicate that it is a shape-shifting alien.

  • Tales from the Lilly family instead suggest that he could be a ghost or spirit of some kind and was connected to the poltergeist activity that took place in the residence.

  • According to another theory, Indrid Cold in particular would be a representative of some sort of paranormal or intergalactic police force that spontaneously appears in the area where anomalous events have occurred in order to keep the peace or simply to observe the proceedings while you carries out.

  • Finally, there are those who hypothesize that Cold may have been one of the Men In Black, many of whom would have been met throughout the region during the sightings of the Mothman.

  • Others believe that he is an ordinary man or a hoax recreated on the popularity of the Mothman, who was first spotted around the same time.

Indrid Cold-Men In Black

Similarities with the Zanfretta case

Woodrow Derenberger's experience recalls another case of a close encounter, that of Pier Fortunato Zanfretta, the Italian night watchman who claimed to have been kidnapped by a trio of giant yellow-eyed semi-reptilian aliens. Following this incident there would have been other contacts with entities from other worlds that would continue for years.

In particular, on December 3, 1979, around 9.30 pm, Zanfretta had just got out of his patrol car at a self-service service station near the center of Genoa when he heard someone calling him from the shadows outside the station. Zanfretta described the entity speaking to him as a tall, humanoid figure with a bald "egg-shaped" head, wearing a checkered suit that included a "steel" chest plate and, last but not least, a big smile on his face.
Once again the creature communicated with the guard by telepathy and ordered him to drive his vehicle in a small cloud hovering just above the nearby ground. Zanfretta swore that the sound of the smiling entity's voice physically obliged him to obey the request: he claimed that he and his patrol car had been levitated inside the cloud and deposited on a colossal spaceship. This ship would be filled not only with the reptilian aliens who had abducted it, but also with large transparent cylinders filled with a strange blue liquid: one of them contained a "frog-shaped" body, which the aliens described as their enemy coming from another planet.

Later sightings

After 1980, reports of sightings of the Smiling man are sporadic:

  • In the late 1980s A.J. Di Chiara recounted the heartbreaking experience of her sister that, while she was driving to her rural home in Connecticut on a dark autumn eve, would see a "bright yellow-eyed entity and a smile to thirty-two teeth" aboard what she described as a "ghost car with a creepy glow" and soon disappeared.

  • On April 23, 2009 blogger H. R. Zapruder posted a very brief encounter with what he believed to be a smiling man driving near Roswell, New Mexico:

Assuming the testimonies are sincere and truthful who is the Smiling Man and where does he come from? Is he perhaps an alien-human hybrid? A ghost? A demon? What are the connections with the Mothman and these huge intergalactic lizard-like visitors that Zanfretta talks about?
And, above all, if it's a hoax, how do you explain that these beings have been so often seed in conjunction with UFO sightings?

"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."

-Linda Lilly

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