"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Monday, March 28, 2022

Close Encounters of the Tourist Kind

"Hood County News," August 16, 2005, via Newspapers.com. This is a bed which was built specifically for space aliens.  These people obviously had the right idea.

I’ll be the first to say that the following story is pretty “out there” even for this blog.  It sounds so much like one of the old “Coneheads” skits from “Saturday Night Live,” that, to be honest, I hesitated about devoting a blog post to it.  However, it’s such a delightfully nutty tale, I decided to share it, and all of you can simply make of it what you will.

On the morning of May 15, 1970, Dorothy Simpson was at her job at a motel just outside St. Louis, Missouri.  Everything seemed normal.  As she sat at her desk, going over billing documents, she heard a “whistling sigh.”

That did not seem normal.  And when she looked up from her paperwork, she was confronted by four people, who looked so alike they were presumably family: a man, a woman, and two youngsters, a boy and girl.  This would have been normal if not for the family’s appearance, which was, to say the least, unusual.  They were all so tiny, they could barely look over the top of the desk.  Simpson’s visitors wore elegant and obviously expensive clothes: tailored suits for the males, delicate peach-colored dresses for the females.  Their hair looked so unnatural, Simpson believed they were all wearing wigs.

The man asked her, in a strange, high-pitched voice, “Do you have a room to stay?  Do you have a room to stay?”  Simpson answered in the affirmative, and told him the price of the room.  However, the man seemed oddly befuddled by her answer.  He turned to the woman as if asking for an interpretation of Simpson’s words.  After a moment of awkward silence all around, the man took a stack of bills from his pocket and handed them to Simpson.  She noticed that some of the banknotes were of large denominations and very crisp, as if just off the printing press.  This caused her to suspect they were counterfeit, but a quick test indicated they were genuine.

Simpson took two twenty-dollar bills and handed the rest of the bills back to the man.  He was too small to reach the room reservation form, so Simpson signed for him.  He gave his name as “A. Bell.”  When he stepped forward, Simpson was struck by how odd their faces were.  They had very pointy chins, large dark eyes, virtually bridgeless noses, and lipless mouths that were no wider than the noses.  Their skin was unnaturally pale.  It was as if some alien beings dressed up as humans for Halloween, and did not do an entirely convincing job of it.

“Where are you from?” Simpson asked.

His arm shot upwards, and he replied, “We come from up there.  Up there.”

The woman, obviously irritated by her companion’s candor, pulled his arm down.  She told Simpson that they were from Hammond, Indiana.  (The motel’s manager later told Simpson that the Hammond address they gave did not exist.)  The man then signed the register, but in a very uncomfortable fashion, as if he had never held a pen before.  The family (“family?”) asked where the motel’s restaurant was, and left to get their meal.

The other employees soon noted that their humble little motel was being graced by some mighty strange guests.  Their waitress at the restaurant got a bit unnerved serving them.  Aside from their peculiar appearance, they kept studying the menu, asking questions about where perfectly ordinary foods such as milk or bread came from.  It was as if they knew nothing about human cuisine.  The woman finally ordered peas and milk for herself and the children, and peas, a steak, and water for the man.  They ate one pea at a time, using a knife to bring it to their tiny mouths, and using an odd sucking motion to swallow it.  The man’s mouth was such a small slit, he was unable to eat even tiny slices of the steak.  They all stopped eating simultaneously, after which the man handed the waitress a twenty-dollar bill.  She left to get change, but when she returned, they were gone.

The bellhop got their luggage and began leading them to their room.  When the family saw the elevator, they were obviously confused and terrified by it.  The bellhop did not have an easy time convincing them it was safe.  When he let them into their room, he turned on the lights.  The man immediately began shouting at him that the light would hurt the children’s eyes.  By this point, the poor bellhop was so unnerved that he fled without even waiting for a tip.

The next morning, the motel workers found that their, shall we say, otherworldly guests had vanished from their room.  No one had seen them leave, even though the front door was the only way they could exit without setting off security alarms.

The incident somehow reached the ears of John Schroeder, a member of the UFO Study Group of Greater St. Louis.  After he spoke to Simpson and the other four employees who had dealt with the foursome, he could only conclude that, bizarre as their story was, they all seemed perfectly sincere--and they were also obviously still a little frightened by the experience.

I suppose there’s nothing more to say.

1 comment:

  1. It does sound like a "Saturday Night Live" skit. I can see Aykroyd and Curtin as the 'adults'... I like the Hammond, Indiana, touch. At least they didn't say they were French.


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