Derenberger, Woodrow
Woodrow Derenberger, flying saucer contactee and subject
of the book Visitors from Lanulos, claimed to have had a series
of strange adventures that began on November 2, 1966. When
driving home from Parkersville to his suburban home in
Mineralwells, West Virginia, he suddenly found the highway
blocked by a large gray object. Someone emerged from the object
and walked to the passenger side window of his car. At the
same time, the object moved upward some 50 feet. The man introduced
himself as a searcher, and brought words of happiness.
After noting that he would come again, he stepped back
into the object and it rose out of sight. Derenberger went home
and told his story to his wife. He then called the police and the
Two days later while driving in his car, he began to receive
a telepathic communication from the man he had seen earlier.
He described himself as from the ‘‘galaxy of Ganymede.’’ He
also supplied some information about his life, including the observation
that people on his planet lived from 125 to 175 Earth
years. Over the next weeks, other stories would accumulate that
substantiated at least parts of Derenberger’s story, including independent
UFO sightings on November 4. An initial investigation
concluded that Derenberger was not a fraud or hoaxer, but
hallucinations could not be ruled out.
Throughout this period Derenberger’s direct contacts with
the man from Ganymede, whose name was Indrid Cold, continued.
He learned much about Cold’s people and their desire for
friendly contact. He clarified his home as the planet Lanulos
from the Ganymede star cluster. In 1967 Cold took Derenberger
for a ride in his spaceship. They visited Cold’s home planet.
On a second visit he walked around the planet and discovered
that they wore no clothes.
Derenberger told his story frequently over the next few
years and in 1971, with the assistance of Harold W. Hubbard,
he authored a book-length account of his adventures, Visitors
from Lanulos. His story was also given extended treatment by
writer John A. Keel in several books. Through the 1980s he assumed
a low profile, though he continued to correspond with
a small group of people who believed his accounts. To several
of these he sent letters purportedly from Cold and his associates.
By this time, ufologists had dismissed his unsubstantiated
stories of extraterrestrial contact.
Derenberger, Woodrow W., and Harold W. Hubbard. Visitors
from Lanulos. New York Vantage Press, 1971.
Keel, John. Mothman Prophecies. New York Saturday Review
PressE. P. Dutton, 1975.
———. Strange Creatures from Time and Space. Greenwich,
Conn. Fawcett Gold Medal, 1970.
———. UFOs Operation Trojan Horse. New York G. P. Putnam’s
Sons, 1970.