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Indrid Cold: The mysterious figure behind Mothman and many other unexplained sightings

In the realm of American folklore, there exists a character known as Indrid Cold, also referred to as the Smiling Man. This enigmatic figure has enthralled the imagination of many due to his association with the mysterious Mothman sightings that occurred in Point Pleasant, West Virginia during the 1960s. Indrid Cold’s uncanny appearance, alleged psychic abilities, and cryptic messages have made him a subject of intrigue and speculation. So, who is Indrid Cold? And why is he so mysterious?

Indrid Cold Mothman
Indrid Cold art. TheIckyMan / Fair Use

The origins of Indrid Cold

Mothman Indrid Cold
The Mothman is an unexplained humanoid creature reportedly seen in the Point Pleasant area from November 15, 1966, to December 15, 1967. Some described it as a “slender, muscular man” about seven feet tall with white wings and hypnotic eyes. While others saw it like a “large bird with red eyes.” The tragedy of the Silver Bridge collapse in Point Pleasant tied into reported sightings of the Mothman in the area. Wikimedia Commons

Indrid Cold first emerged as a modern urban legend on the internet, with many speculating about his connection to the infamous Mothman. Some believe that he may be a ghostly entity or possibly even an extraterrestrial being disguised as a human.

The enigmatic presence

According to eyewitness accounts, Indrid Cold’s presence was unsettling yet strangely alluring. Witnesses often described feeling a sense of calm and peace in his presence, despite the unnerving nature of his appearance. His tall stature and the enigmatic smile on his face left a lasting impression on those who encountered him.

The resemblance between Indrid Cold and the Joker and SCP-106 is often noted, as they share a creepy grin, insanity, and a penchant for stalking.

The strange outfit

One of the most intriguing aspects of Indrid Cold’s appearance was his outfit, which resembled that of an “old-time aviator.” Witnesses described his clothing as a reflective green or blue suit, sometimes accompanied by a black belt. Interestingly, Cold’s suit had a reflective property, adding to his otherworldly aura. The suit seemed to be made of an unknown material and was unlike anything witnesses had encountered before.

The unsettling smile

An illustration of Indrid Cold showing as Joker. MRU.INK

The defining feature of Indrid Cold’s appearance was his unsettling smile. Witnesses described his smile as unnaturally wide and long, almost cartoonish in nature. Some even claimed that Cold’s face lacked certain features, such as ears and a nose. However, others mentioned that he appeared almost normal, with small beady eyes and slicked-back hair. The contrasting descriptions further added to the mystery surrounding Cold’s true nature.

Telepathic messages

Witnesses who encountered Indrid Cold often reported receiving telepathic messages from him. They claim that Cold spoke to them without uttering a single word, conveying his messages directly into their minds. These messages conveyed a sense of peace and harmlessness, with Cold expressing a desire to understand and communicate with humanity. However, the cryptic nature of these messages left many puzzled about Cold’s true intentions and origins.

The history of Indrid Cold

The first sighting: October 1966

The first documented sighting of Indrid Cold took place on October 16, 1966, in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Two young boys noticed a tall, human-like figure with a creepy smile standing behind a fence. Despite their initial curiosity, the boys soon felt fear and ran away from the man. They later described his face as having small beady eyes and no other features apart from his unnerving grin.

The salesman’s encounter: November 1966

Just two weeks after the initial sighting, on November 2nd, a salesman named Woodrow Derenberger had a similar experience with Indrid Cold. While driving at night, Derenberger witnessed strange lightning and a spacecraft-like vehicle in front of him. A man emerged from the vehicle and introduced himself as Indrid Cold, claiming to be an alien from a distant planet. He assured Derenberger that he meant no harm and even took him to his planet for six months. Derenberger’s story gained attention, and others came forward with their own experiences involving Indrid Cold.

Witnesses gave descriptions of Cold’s appearance varying slightly in these encounters. Some witnesses reported seeing him wearing a reflective green suit, while others mentioned a blue suit with a reflective property.

The family sighting

Another chilling account involves a family who reported paranormal experiences related to Indrid Cold. One night, their daughter woke up to find a tall man grinning at her menacingly. The man walked around her bed and disappeared when she screamed in fear and hid under her covers. This incident further adds to the mystery and intrigue surrounding Indrid Cold.

John Keel’s escape from death
Indrid Cold: The mysterious figure behind Mothman and many other unexplained sightings 2
John A. Keel was born Alva John Kiehle, March 25, 1930 in Hornell, New York. He investigated into alleged sightings in Point Pleasant, West Virginia of a huge, winged creature called the “Mothman.” Mothmanlives / Fair Use

The late American investigator John Keel, known for his research on the Mothman, received phone calls from Indrid Cold during his investigations. In their final conversation, Indrid Cold warned Keel of an impending disaster, prompting Keel to escape. Shortly after, the Silver Bridge collapsed, resulting in the deaths of 46 people.

On December 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant collapsed under the weight of rush-hour traffic, resulting in the deaths of 46 people. Two of the victims were never found. Investigation of the wreckage pointed to the cause of the collapse being the failure of a single eyebar in a suspension chain, due to a small defect 0.1 inches (2.5 mm) deep. Wikimedia Commons
On December 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant collapsed under the weight of rush-hour traffic, resulting in the deaths of 46 people. Two of the victims were never found. Investigation of the wreckage pointed to the cause of the collapse being the failure of a single eyebar in a suspension chain, due to a small defect 0.1 inches (2.5 mm) deep. Wikimedia Commons

This incident added further intrigue to Indrid Cold’s connection to the Mothman and his ability to foresee tragic events.

The Reddit post

In 2012, a Reddit post titled “The Smiling Man” gained significant attention. The author, known as “Blue_tidal,” shared a chilling encounter with a man who resembled Indrid Cold. During a late-night walk, the author noticed the man performing a strange dance. As the man approached, his wide smile became increasingly sinister. The author managed to escape, but was left with haunting nightmares. This Reddit post brought further notoriety to Indrid Cold, solidifying his identity as the Smiling Man.

Parallel sightings

Several witnesses reported encountering both the Mothman and Indrid Cold in close proximity and within a similar timeframe. These parallel sightings fueled theories about Cold’s association with the Mothman phenomenon. Some speculated that Cold was a disguised extraterrestrial being who had a connection to the Mothman creature.

Indrid Cold: Alien, ghost, or something else entirely?

Indrid Cold: The mysterious figure behind Mothman and many other unexplained sightings 3
Valiant Thor, who may have presented himself as “Indrid Cold” to Derenberger, appeared at Howard Menger’s UFO convention in High Bridge, New Jersey in 1957. Publisher Gray Barker worked with Thor to convince several contactees to approach authorities and publish books, in an apparent attempt to influence public opinion on a variety of political issues. Wikimedia Commons

The question of Indrid Cold’s true identity remains unanswered. Was he an extraterrestrial being, disguised in human form? Or was he a ghostly entity drawn to the supernatural occurrences in Point Pleasant? Some even believe that Cold was a figment of collective imagination, a manifestation of the fears and uncertainties of the time. The truth may never be known, but the enduring allure of Indrid Cold persists even today, intriguing those who seek answers in the world of the unknown.

The legacy of Indrid Cold

In his 1975 book The Mothman Prophecies, John Keel claimed that there were paranormal events related to the Mothman sightings, and a connection to the collapse of the Silver Bridge. He popularized both Mothman and the mysterious figure Indrid Cold. The book was later adapted into a 2002 film, starring Richard Gere.

Over the years, Indrid Cold has evolved from a local legend to an internet phenomenon. His association with the Mothman sightings has inspired countless Creepy Pasta stories and online discussions.

The character has taken on a life of its own, with various interpretations and creative reimaginations adding to the mythos surrounding Indrid Cold. This evolution highlights the never ending fascination with this mysterious figure and the human desire to make sense of the inexplicable.

Final thoughts

Indrid Cold’s enduring appeal lies in the enigma that surrounds him. He represents the unknown and the unexplained, tapping into our primal fascination with the supernatural. Whether he was a real entity or a creation of human imagination, Cold has left an indelible mark on the folklore and urban legends of Point Pleasant. His unsettling presence and cryptic messages continue to haunt the minds of those who dare to explore the uncharted territories of the paranormal.

After reading about the Indrid Cold, read about The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp: The story of the glowing red eyes.