Of Aliens, Grins, and Wings: Who was Indrid Cold?

Indrid Cold myth
Indrid Cold was a mysterious man reportedly spotted in West Virginia, even before the Mothman was sighted. Were the two related? Buzzle tries to find the identity of Indrid Cold, and if he had anything to do with the Mothman sightings.
Did You Know?
John Keel, the most popular investigator of the Mothman case, once received a phone call from someone claiming to be Indrid Cold.
Indrid Cold is a cryptid, possibly an extra-terrestrial, that was sighted in the town of Point Pleasant in West Virginia, by several witnesses. This happened in the years 1966 and '67, a time notorious for all kinds of strange paranormal sightings that were reported from all over the state of West Virginia. The most popular and notoriously common sightings were of another scary creature with red eyes and large wings, called the Mothman. These incidents occurred in a build-up to the tragic collapse of the Silver Bridge of Point Pleasant in 1967, taking a heavy toll of life. The most intriguing observation was that there have been no further sightings of either Indrid Cold or the Mothman after the collapse, leading to many calling their sightings an ill omen.

While Cold was seen by only a couple of people in Point Pleasant, another similar but much scarier creature was spotted by more witnesses all around the country. This cryptid, called the Grinning Man, owing to his menacing grin, had terrified people in some towns to such an extent that they feared leaving their homes after dark. Several parallels have been drawn between the man called Indrid Cold, Grinning Man, and the Mothman, with investigations drawing in cryptozoologists and ufologists from all over the country. Many books related to this subject have been published over the years, with one, 'The Mothman Prophecies', being so popular that it was even adapted into a successful movie. By all reports, Indrid Cold definitely seemed to have come from nowhere. But was he an ordinary looking person or a scary beast? Let us investigate.
Reported Sightings
The most popular sighting of Indrid Cold occurred on November 2, 1966. A 50-year-old sewing machine salesman by the name of Woodrow Derenberger was passing through interstate I-77 near Point Pleasant, when around 7:30 pm, he heard a loud crash behind him. A large object shaped like a paraffin lamp's chimney swung around his car and blocked his path, forcing him to stop. A door in it opened and a 6-foot man emerged from it. He had long brown hair which was combed backward, and wore a shirt buttoned up to the collar, with a pant underneath. His clothes had a shimmering effect, and approaching Derenberger, he told him to roll down the windows of his truck.

The man, communicating through telepathy, introduced himself as Indrid Cold, and told him not to be afraid, as he only wanted to bring happiness to humans and know more about them. He further added that he was from a planet called Lanulos, in the Ganymede Galaxy, and that his country was not as powerful as the United States. Cold gave Derenberger permission to approach the authorities with this information, and said that in future when the time is right, he will return. Derenberger then approached the local police and news channels with his experience, and was soon contacted by NASA, and even the US army and air force, who all took this information seriously. Derenberger said that Cold had a constant grin on his face as they communicated. However, a few years later, Derenberger's claims were challenged, when he even said that Cold had returned and taken him to his planet Lanulos in his own spaceship.

On October 11, 1966, Martin Munov and James Yanchitis, two boys, were walking down 4th Street in Elizabeth, New Jersey, when they saw a strange man standing behind a fence in the dark. He was very tall and broad, and wore shining green overalls, with a thick black belt in the middle. Suddenly, he turned back to face them, and had a menacing grin that stretched from ear to ear. In the boys' own words, he had no ears, nose, or hair. He had beady eyes located wide on a domed head, and green skin. The boys wasted no time in fleeing. The difference in this case is that, the boys found the man's appearance to be terrifying. This event occurred about three weeks before the Derenberger incident, and the 'Grinning Man' is rumored to have been Indrid Cold. Also, before this incident, there had been reports that a woman had been chased by a greenish man in the same area.

On the night of November 2, 1966, the same night that Woodrow Derenberger was contacted by Indrid Cold, two men, who were also driving along Interstate I-77, had their path suddenly blocked by a 'large, cylindrical object'. A door on it opened, and a tall man dressed in dark clothes which somewhat shimmered, approached them. He was grinning broadly, and had his arms folded across his chest with the hands hidden under the armpits. He asked them a few strange, pointless questions, before climbing into his craft, which shot into the sky. This case did not receive much attention, which probably went to Derenberger's experiences. What is important is, this incident occurred the same night as Derenberger's incident, and the description of the mysterious man is similar to that of Indrid Cold.
Relation to the Mothman Sightings
There is reportedly some link between the sightings of Indrid Cold and that of the creature called Mothman. Only about ten days after Derenberger's experience, on November 12, 1966, five men digging a grave at a cemetery saw a creature fly off the trees in the darkness ahead. When it flew over them, they observed that it looked like a brown man with wings, and terrifying, red eyes. Just three days later, two married couples driving at night at Point Pleasant saw a large human-like creature with black wings folded behind its back and red eyes near the TNT area. Sometime later, they were hotly pursued by this creature, though they were driving at a speed of 100 mph. The same night, a man called Newell Partridge, a resident of Salem near Point Pleasant, was watching TV, when he heard his dog barking at something outside. In the flashlight, he saw a large flying creature with red eyes that looked like bicycle reflectors. His dog Bandit pursued it, and was never seen again.

In the days that followed, many people came forward claiming that they had seen mysterious lights in the sky, with one woman even claiming that she had seen a black animal with wings and red eyes peering through the window of her house. Some even claimed to have photos of this beast. The sightings of the creature, dubbed 'The Mothman' by the press, and other mysterious people wearing black suits continued in the town of Point Pleasant. Almost a year later, on the evening of December 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge linking Point Pleasant to Ohio collapsed without warning during rush hour traffic. A total of 46 people lost their lives, and there have been no more reported sightings of the Mothman since then, leading to speculations that the Mothman sightings were an ominous sign of the impending disaster. Strangely, the man called Indrid Cold also was never seen in Point Pleasant, which has led to him being linked to the Mothman, with some people even claiming that Cold himself was the Mothman.
In Conclusion
All the sightings of Indrid Cold and the Grinning Man were restricted to the state of West Virginia, in and around the town of Point Pleasant. It is quite a challenge to confirm if the sightings were indeed real, and if both were the same entity. Woodrow Derenberger, the most popular witness of Indrid Cold, claims that he was an ordinary looking man with normal hair, nose, and ears. His grin, though strange, was quite normal, and at around 6 feet in height, he wasn't extraordinarily tall.

The two kids, Munov and Yanchitis, on the contrary, state that they saw an extremely tall and broad creature, with a menacing grin and devoid of ears, nose, and eyes. Some reports say that this creature even gave the terrified kids a good chase, indicating that it was unusually aggressive for it to be Cold. So, the only similarity between Indrid Cold and the Grinning Man was their wide and constant grin, and they may have been different entities. When the probability of Cold being the Mothman arises, it is quite certain from the testimony of Derenberger and the other two men on I-77, that Indrid Cold did not resemble the Mothman in any way

So chances are, the Mothman, Indrid Cold, and the Grinning Man are all separate entities, though their disappearance after the Silver Bridge collapse raises the question of their sightings being related to each other.
Biologists and other experts, as is usual in such cases, have refuted claims that Indrid Cold or the Grinning Man were real, instead arguing that the sightings may have been of an unusual humans and not any cryptid. Fans of the paranormal however, swear by what they believe; Indrid Cold was real, and as he claimed, he will definitely return in the near future.