Crawfordsville Monster

Among the most fantastic of all UFO reports is one that came out of Crawfordsville, Indiana, in September 5, 1891. According to a story in the Indianapolis Journal, at 2 A.M., two ice deliverymen Marshall McIntyre and Bill Gray, felt a sense of dread and looked up to see a shapeless monster some 20 feet long and 8 feet wide writhing and circling in the air about 100 feet overhead. It looked like a mass of white drapery and seemed propelled by several pairs of fins. No head or tail could be seen during the several hours this monster was visible, but it gave out a moaning sound and one witness reported a fiery eye. However McIntyre and Gray were not the only witnesses that night.

Perhaps the most reputable witness was First Methodist Church pastor G. W. Switzer. Shortly after midnight, Rev. Switzer stepped out his door to retrieve some water from the well when he espied the apparition. He woke his wife and they gawked as it “swam through the air in a writhing, twisting manner similar to the glide of some serpents.” As the Switzers watched, it appeared at one point as though it might descend on the lawn of Lane Place before it re-ascended and continued its circuitous route above the city.

The creature was back the following evening on September 6, and this time hundreds of Crawfordsville’s citizens saw its violently flapping fins and flaming red “eye.” The creature “squirmed as if in agony” and made a “wheezing, plaintive sound” as it hovered at 300 feet. At one point it swooped over a band of onlookers,who swore they felt its “hot breath.”

Years later, when Charles Fort came upon the story in the September 10, 1891, issue of the Brooklyn Eagle, he was suspicious, “convinced that there had probably never been a Rev. G.W. Switzer, of Crawfordsville.” Curious almost in spite of himself, he investigated and, to his surprise, “learned that the Rev. G.W. Switzer had lived in Crawfordsville, in September, 1891.” He wrote him at his present address in Michigan. Rev. Switzer replied that he would send a full account of his sighting as soon as he got back from current travels. Unfortunately, the pastor have been unable to send him that account with unknown reason.

Vincent Gaddis, a Crawfordsville newspaper reporter and member of the Fortean Society, was also investigate the sightings and he interviewed the town’s older residents, who said the story was true and told him about the September 6 mass sighting, which had not been reported in the press. Gaddis wrote, “All the reports refer to this object as a living thing” — in other words, one of the hypothetical atmospheric life forms that would figure in early theories about unidentified flying objects.

Two eyewitnesses John Hornbeck and Abe Hernley who doesn’t believe such creature exist, followed the wraith about town and discovered it must be a flock of many hundred killdeer. The many birds’ wings, white under-feathers, and plaintive cries contributed to the belief of many eyewitnesses that the creature(s) originated from the otherworld. Low visibility from the damp air likely compounded the misidentification. The Crawfordsville Journal hypothesized that Crawfordsville’s newly installed electric lights disoriented the birds, which caused them to hover and wreath their way above the city.

Sources :
Montgomery County Historical Society Profiles The Crawfordsville Monster (sighted on September 5, 1891) by S. Chandler Lighty, MCHS Research Associate;
UFO and Popular Cultures : “An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Myth” by James R. Lewis;
Unexplained : “Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurences, and Puzzling Physical Phenomena” by Jerome Clark

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Crawfordsville Monster Crawfordsville Monster Reviewed by Tripzibit on August 09, 2011 Rating: 5

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