Myth Monday: Encounters of the Alien Flower Kind: The Florida Flower Aliens (Aliens & UFOs)

Myth Monday: Encounters of the Alien Flower Kind: The Florida Flower Aliens

By Kara Newcastle

So far this July I’ve presented to you stories of walking tree stumps and invisible force field-generating space penguins that fly around in a mushroom-shaped UFO. If you thought I couldn’t top that, then you are sadly mistaken. Buckle up, buttercup, here comes the craziest weird alien story yet.

In 1974, fifty-five-year-old beauty salon operator Evelyn Wendt of Dade City, Florida, contacted the local paper called “The Weekday” and asked to be interviewed by a reporter. She claimed that she had an extraordinary story to share with the world, and now the time was right to unveil it.

Picture it: 1924—a year not commonly associated with UFO sightings. Pasco County, Florida. Little Evelyn, aged about nine years, is outside playing in front of Holy Name Convent School. At some point while playing, Evelyn notices a bright shining light. Yes, the sun was in the sky, but this light came from a different direction—the ground, actually. Several dozen feet away from young Evelyn was a large, egg-shaped ball of intense light nestled on the lawn (insert “Mork & Mindy” jokes here.) The light was so incredibly bright that Evelyn later said she thought that she had passed out from the intensity.

Evelyn thought she had blacked out for only a few seconds, but when she opened her eyes again, she instantly saw whatever caused that brilliant light was gone. Evelyn could now clearly see what the object actually was: a flying saucer. Unlike other flying saucers chronicled before, Evelyn said that this one was a little beat up, looking “pockmarked.” Maybe they flew through an asteroid field? Or could it have been an old junker UFO that they bought from a used lot? A hand-me-down flying saucer that an alien and his buddies just tooled around in?

Scene from Dreamworks' Monsters vs. Aliens. No copyright infringement intended.

As Evelyn looked at the spaceship, she saw a hatch open up beneath it. Almost as soon as it finished opening, out marched a bunch of little metallic flower people.

No, not hippies. Actual metallic flower people. People-shaped metal flowers. Metal people flowers. Flowers that were metal and looked like people. But they were aliens. Metallic alien flower people.

And possibly a man was with them, but she didn’t remember that part too well.

But Evelyn did remember the metallic alien flower people. I mean, of course she’d remember that part. That would stand out for anybody. They were metallic alien flower people … and no matter how many times I write that, it still sounds like a bad TV movie idea a Syfy Channel scriptwriter scribbled down on a cocktail napkin at three in the morning.

“I think they were robots,” Evelyn later told the reporter. “I tried to count them, but they changed about so. They were smaller than I was and resembled animated flowers with faces where the bud would be. Remember, I was just a bitty thing then, and kids don’t fear flowers.”

The little flower aliens were carrying a large object between them, something Evelyn assumed (either at the time or later on, the articles weren’t clear) was a weapon, and it was so big and bulky they seemed to have trouble moving it. Being a sweet little kid who wasn’t afraid of flowers, as she said—although she should have been since they were hauling around a dark matter cannon or something—Evelyn walked over and asked if she could help them. Seemingly grateful for the assist, the flowers allowed Evelyn to grasp part of the object. Despite its small size, Evelyn was surprised to find it was far too heavy for her to lift.

The flower aliens apparently didn’t mind that Evelyn couldn’t lift the device, and they allowed her to accompany them as they finished carrying it out of the UFO. They placed the weapon on the ground and began setting it up, aiming it at the school’s science building, communicating with Evelyn telepathically the entire time. They told her that there were “experiments” being conducted in the science building, experiments that were dangerous and they were going to put a stop to them. “If the work continued, they would destroy the place,” Evelyn later said.

You may be wondering what kind of experiments could be made in an elementary school science building back in 1924? (I had a biology teacher claim that he was growing clones of himself in jars in the closet of our school lab, but that was 1997. This was 1924—not a lot for a teacher to do back then.) The flower aliens apparently never told Evelyn what the experiments were and, being a child, she probably never thought to ask. When reporters asked the adult Evelyn Wendt if she had any idea what could have been in that building, she just shook her head. She did mention that some time later the building was indeed destroyed.

Was this building destroyed by vengeful plant aliens, or the hurricane of 1926? You be the judge.

Weirdly, after setting the weapon up, the flower aliens suddenly dismantled it and towed it back into their ship. One of the aliens hung back, and invited Evelyn to come with them. Luckily, though she wanted to see what the inside of the UFO looked like, Evelyn had an ounce of sense and politely declined. The alien did not seem offended by her refusal and promised that they would come back for her in 35 years. It then followed its extraterrestrial plant pals into their ship and drew up the hatch. The dinged UFO lifted off, hovered overhead for a moment, began to glow that same intense light that Evelyn had seen earlier, and then, according to Evelyn, disappeared.

Thirty-five years came and went, with no sign of the flower robot alien thingies. Almost two more decades would pass until fifty-five-year-old Evelyn Wendt decided to tell her story in 1974. She claimed that she told very few people of what she had encountered, and decided to make the story public now because people were much more open to the idea of extraterrestrials. This of course instantly caused a stir in the UFO community, and people flocked to interview her. Researchers such as Steven Putnam tried to put Evelyn under hypnosis, hoping this might help her to recall more details about the encounter, but every attempt failed.

Merely a disguise for diminutive aliens who visit school children and blow up school science labs.

If you’re having a hard time believing this story (or any of the crazy alien stories I’ve presented), you’re not the only one. As interesting as this one is, I find it pretty suspect, as certain things don’t make sense. Like, almost all of it.

For starters, let’s talk about Evelyn being at school that day. Evelyn said she was playing out in front of her school, but she never said whether or not it was a school day, if it was recess, if it was after school, if it was a weekend or a holiday or summer break. This matters to me, because if it was a school day, where the hell were the other students and teachers while this was going on? Based on the articles I’ve read, Evelyn makes no mention of anyone else being remotely near the school while this was happening. This would lead some to believe that perhaps this was a weekend or during a vacation, when most people with any sense would be at home. It could be that she didn’t remember if anyone else was there, but she had a fairly clear recollection of everything else that occurred. And it wasn’t really like the school was in the middle of nowhere—neighbors should have seen something.

What was going on inside that science building that irked the flower aliens so much? Maybe a chemistry teacher was dabbling with a formula and was about to invent an extraterrestrial herbicide that could be sprayed into space. Okay, I’m just hypothesizing on that one, but when I did a cursory search on information about Holy Name Convent School, nothing and no one noteworthy popped up … mostly because there was practically no information to be found about the school. All I could really find (if this was indeed the same school) was that it was a Catholic girls’ one-room elementary school established by Benedictine nuns. A second room was added in 1924, but it was not described as a science building. If this was the same school, then Evelyn’s descriptions of it don’t match.

Evelyn did say that at some point the science building was destroyed, but doesn’t say when it happened. Was it soon after, or some week later? Did she hear the explosion? How did she find out about it? Did the aliens make good on their vow? Did the experiments that were taking place inside go horribly awry and blow up? Or did a hurricane just annihilate it, as hurricanes are wont to do?

I’m betting money on the hurricane theory myself.

Okay, Evelyn did mention that she might have passed out, possibly from the bright light. Some other people have reported falling unconscious after witnessing similar bright lights, but there are people who are so sensitive to bright light that it can make them dizzy. What if Evelyn was sensitive to the light, got lightheaded, and then collapsed? She could have dreamed up this craziness in a sort of fugue state, and, if you’ve read my blog on the Old Hag Syndrome, you’ll see that dreaming during this in-between-sleep-and-wakefulness place can cause very realistic dreams.

And if the sunlight doesn’t get you, the humidity sure as hell will. Seriously, I went to Miami last August for a convention—the humidity was so thick I basically swam to the beach.

 Again, as with many of the people I’ve previously chronicled in my weird alien blogs, we have to ask what did Evelyn Wendt stand to gain from reporting her encounter? As near as I can tell, Evelyn (along with other experiencers like space pancake guy Joe Simonton and space penguin guy Claude Edwards) didn’t benefit monetarily from her report. But, as with everyone who comes forward with their stories, Evelyn did gain some notoriety. Sometimes, that’s all that people want.

Still, kooky as it sounds, Evelyn Wendt’s story can’t be entirely dismissed. Until the alien flowers come back to prove it all true (hopefully not saying “Feed me, Seymour!” when they arrive), we’ll just have to file this one away, and make sure we have plenty of Weed Whackers to go around.

Just in case.

Myth Monday: 1967: The Year the Green Space Penguins Made Contact (Aliens & UFOs)

Myth Monday: 1967: The Year the Green Space Penguins Made Contact

By Kara Newcastle

Photo by David Dibert from Pexels
Prepare to be adorably invaded!!!

Farmers don’t get enough credit; they work from before sunup to sundown, toiling under the hot sun, growing the crops and raising the livestock we need to eat, fending off a hoard of green space penguins as they emerge from their mushroom spaceship while armed with nothing but a handful of rocks ….

Wait, what?

No, it’s true—apparently. On the morning of February 14, 1967, 64-year-old farmer Claude Edwards of Tuscumbia, Missouri, was heading out to begin his work on his farm when he noticed something odd: in one of his pastures, all of the cows were all looking in the same direction. He followed the cows’ line of sight and noticed something even odder: a large metallic structure in his field. Most people would understandably assume that it was the farmer’s silo, but according to Edwards, the new structure wasn’t that big. Actually, it wasn’t anything that he had placed there, it just kind of … showed up. It was large, metal, grayish-green, and shaped like a mushroom with a stem and a cap.

Hold on, it gets better.

Edwards, like any true farmer, first went to put the feed bucket back and close the barn doors—because as weird as this new thing was, he still had to finish his work. Still, he kept his eyes on the object, estimating that there were about seventy feet of field, fence, and cows between him and whatever the thing was.

Claude Edwards shows where he was standing when he first noticed the mushroom UFO and the space penguins,marked by the X. (original source unknown, no copyright infringement intended)

As Edwards studied this bizarre contraption on his property, he suddenly realized that trundling around in front of the metal mushroom was a dozen small … things. They were each about three feet tall, and green from head to toe. Because of the way the creatures looked and walked, Edwards said that they reminded him of penguins.

Edwards stood there, staring slack-jawed, as these little green penguins scuttled about the base of what Edwards was rapidly realizing was a green mushroom-shaped spaceship. The aliens—because that’s what they had to be—didn’t seem to be doing anything in particular. They were just kind of milling around.

Even though the space penguins didn’t seem to be acting aggressively, their appearance spooked Edwards’ cows, and the farmer just couldn’t have that. Determined to do … something … Edwards strode forward and clambered over one of the gates, heading to the diminutive aliens.

Why he was going over there and what exactly he was going to do once he got to the waddling entities, even Edward admitted he wasn’t sure. He said it was curiosity that prompted him to approach. Me, I would have satisfied my curiosity by backing slowly into my house and watching the whole thing through some binoculars, all while cradling the first blunt object I could get my hands on.

Edwards later said that as he drew closer, he could see the aliens were the same gray-green color of their spaceship, didn’t seem to have any kind of neck and that it looked like they were wearing big black eye goggles or had very wide-set black eyes. The front of their faces had dark, beak-like protuberances, leading some to wonder if these were parts of their faces or in actuality some kind of breathing device. Edwards couldn’t discern their arms and hands, clearly, but when he sketched a picture later on, they appeared to be somewhat flipper-like. The space penguins also were moving too quickly for Edwards to determine if they had legs and feet or some other manner of locomotion. Either way, they toddled about like, well, penguins.

Claude Edwards’ sketch of the space penguin. (original source unknown, no copyright infringement intended)

Edwards also got a better look at the UFO, saying that in addition to the gray-green color and mushroom shape, the whole thing was smooth, with no seams of any kind, likening it to a “shiny silk.” Edwards guessed that the main part of the ship was about eighteen feet wide, and at the tallest point of the dome was about eight feet tall. The edge of the ship was lined with window-like portals measuring about twelve inches by twelve inches, from which colors glowed and oscillated. He also sketched the ship to accompany the picture of the green penguin alien.

Seeing Edwards approach, the space penguins became anxious, waddling around frantically. They appeared to be afraid of Edwards. Therefore, Edwards did what any rational human being would do when coming across a group of nervous, intergalactic alien penguins traveling in a fungoid ship.

He picked up a couple of rocks and began chucking them at the aliens. More accurately, he began throwing the rocks at the UFO, hoping to punch a hole through it to keep it from taking off.

Or at least he tried; to Edwards’ disbelief, just as he came within fifteen feet of the ship, something stopped him dead in his tracks. He said that it wasn’t anything he could see or plainly feel, it was like an invisible wall or force field stopped him short. Unnerved, he backed up about ten feet, then lobbed a rock at the spaceship. The stony projectile bounced harmlessly off the invisible barrier back at him. Not ready to give up, Edwards threw a second rock. This time it skipped over the top of the force field and landed behind the UFO.

Edwards’ Neanderthal-like attack sent the space penguins into a panic, and they all waddled as fast as they could to the stem-part of the mushroom ship, disappearing behind it into what can be assumed to be a doorway. The mushroom tilted towards Edwards twice, then, after the third tilt, rose into the sky and sped off with incredible speed in the direction of St. Elizabeth, a town northeast of Tuscumbia.

And Edwards said the whole event took place in about ten minutes.

Artist’s rendition of the mushroom UFO. (Artist unknown, no copyright infringement intended.)

Okay, so the whole thing sounds like a bad LSD trip or something, and naturally, a lot of people don’t believe it happened. The entire episode sounds so out of this world (no pun intended) that it just sounds like an out and out hoax.

But, as with chicken farmer Joe Simonton (see The Man Who Breakfasted with Aliens), Claude Edwards was your stereotypical farmer; he was a no B.S. kind of guy who worked hard all day long. Never mind not having the time to pull off a hoax, Edwards also had nothing to gain from it either. In fact, he told very few people about it, and when his brother found UFO investigator Ted Phillips, Edwards flat out refused to speak to the man about the encounter until he had Phillips’s complete assurances that he would never identify the Edwards family by name. (According to the Miller County Museum website, Edwards did indeed give several local radio interviews, but it didn’t say whether or not he had been identified by his real name.) Phillips kept his promise, revealing the tale of the space penguins and their space truffle only after Claude Phillips passed away. Not once did Edwards try to make any money off of his experience.

Could somebody have pranked old farmer Edwards? It’s always possible, but no one ever came forward to admit it, and I can’t imagine anyone—especially in a tiny town where everyone knew each other and pretty much everybody spent all their waking moments farming—in 1967 having the ability to slap together a fake UFO that actually flew. Or to collect a bunch of penguins and paint them green. Not that it’s impossible, it’s just really, really, REALLY unlikely.

Of course, they could be actual penguins that escaped the Bronx Zoo, mistook a time machine for an airplane, and wound up in Tuscumbia, Missouri, 1967 while trying to return to Antarctica …

Hey, if you’ve got a better idea, I’d like to hear it!

Madagascar penguins by Ivan Bandura wikimedia commons
You didn’t see anything!

Myth Monday: Night of the Walking Alien Tree Stumps (Aliens & UFOs)

Myth Monday: Night of the Walking Alien Tree Stumps

By Kara Newcastle

Der_alte_Baumstumpf_im Garten in Drebach Erzgebirge by Kora27, wikimedia commons

Firstly, sorry for the delay in posting; for those of you who have read my blogs and some of my other stuff, you know I make no secret of the fact that I have bipolar disorder. Generally, I do very well, but a few weeks back there was just so much stress and turmoil in my life and the world that my mind just kind of said, “IF YOU DON’T TAKE A BREAK FROM ALL THIS CRAP WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A MELTDOWN. I AM NOT KIDDING.”

You don’t need to worry. I’m fine, I’ve just learned to recognize the warning signs, so I just took some time to disconnect from things and am getting back on track.

So, with that out of the way, during the summer I like to do various myths and stuff, but last July’s weird alien blogs were so popular I thought I’d do it again. Generally, aliens freak me right the hell out, but I do enjoy the wackier ones. Like this one, for instance …

One evening in April 1966, sixteen-year-old Kathy Reeves was walking back to her home on the side of Pioneer Mountain in Newport, Oregon, with an unnamed friend. The road they walked was one they regularly traversed, and they were quite familiar with the meadows and woodlands on either side. The area, as you might have surmised, was pretty rural at the time, quiet and calm.

Yeah, that was about to change.

That night, the girls had a feeling that they were being followed. They looked back at the woods behind them and noticed a small light hovering in the trees. Kathy later said that it looked as though it was someone holding a flashlight with a cap over the bulb. Figuring it was some local kids preparing to pull a prank on them, Kathy and her friend picked up rocks and whipped them into the woods at the light, a preemptive retaliatory strike.

To their satisfaction, the light winked out. But, instead of hearing the pained yelp they were expecting, both girls were stunned when several new lights blinked on around where the first had been. These lights were a lot brighter. And they were all aimed at the girls.

And behind the shine of the lights, they could make out something large, smoky, and dome-like. It looked like some kind of structure that they knew for a fact hadn’t been there earlier. Or ever.

Deciding that discretion was the better part of valor, both Kathy and her friend started to double-time it to Kathy’s house, both feeling more anxious with every step. As they hurried along, they wondered who it was out in the woods behind them.

Well, they didn’t have to wait long. The answer was right in front of them.

Okay, the answer wasn’t very clear, but it was right in front of them; almost as soon as Kathy and her friend turned around, they saw movement: three small, silent shapes scurrying across the road and into the meadow beside them.

Kathy later told reporters and police that the things had no visible heads, arms or legs, and that they looked like little tree stumps. Little tree stumps that moved. They were walking. ON THEIR ROOTS.

Conower Werder Mecklenburg-Vorpommern by Patrice77, wikimedia commons

If seeing ambulatory tree stumps wasn’t weird enough, Kathy also noticed that these things were blue, white, yellow, orange, and watermelon-colored to boot.

Keep in mind, it was the Sixties. Tie-dye was all the rage.

Needless to say, Kathy and her friend freaked at the sight of three power-walking tree stumps and bolted it back to Kathy’s house. Judging by the way Kathy described the speed with which the stumps moved, they might have been just as scared of the girls.

Given that only so much information regarding this particular case has been made available, I’m not sure who heard about the girls’ encounter first, but within days the Reeves family was swarmed by both police and reporters. The paparazzi and cops weren’t the only visitors either; almost immediately following the sightings of the tree stumps, the lights and the dome structure, Kathy and her family began seeing strange orange lights hovering both inside and outside their home. They also reported poltergeist-type phenomenon (unfortunately, I haven’t found any exact descriptions or examples), though they had never claimed to have had any ghostly activity in their house prior. Over the next few weeks, the Reeves’ neighbors and others in their town began reporting more orange orbs, strange lights in the sky and, creepily, tall Cyclops-like beings walking through the nearby woods.

But no more walking tree stumps. I find that disappointing.

Skeptics might have dismissed these sightings and events as mass hysteria, but the local deputy sheriff had no doubt about the weird things happening in his county. Deputy Sheriff Thomas Price reported seeing a massive orange orb “bigger than any star” floating in the night sky above Kathy Reeves’ house. “I know it wasn’t a meteor or satellite because it was maneuvering,” he said, adding, “There was a noise like a giant spinning top.”

The wide-spread reports of UFO and poltergeist activity soon drew the attention of the scientific community. A chemist named Max Taylor was particularly interested in what was going on and began his investigation by camping out in the front yard of the Reeves home. That very first night, he witnessed two large blue-colored orbs perched along the roof.

Coma_and_chromatic_aberration by Llamnuds
Sorry folks, nothing here but dust and lens flares. Still, it looks cool.

After six months of this craziness Kathy and her family sold their house and moved. Their old home was purchased by a new family who, oddly, reported that no unexplained activity took place while they were there. (If Kathy and her family experienced anything else in their new home, I haven’t found out yet.) Things in town gradually calmed down, though the reports of strange lights and creatures tallied somewhere around two dozen items in the end.

Even with all the other reported events going on, the thing that gets the most interest is of course the walking tree stumps. Of all the weird alien reports, these guys take the cake. And, based on what I’ve read, there has never been a sighting of Day-Glo colored plantigrade tree stumps (see what I did there?) before or since.

So … what the hell? Short of being baby Ents, what were they?

As to be expected, there was a lot of debate over exactly what the tree stump things were. Kathy and her friend had been unnerved by the strange lights following them, so could they have both been so scared that they saw three normal animals in the dark, couldn’t recognize them, and then panicked? Stuff like that happens all the time, but Kathy clearly saw the bizarre colors—it couldn’t have been that dark if she could see five distinct colors.

And speaking of the colors, what is that all about? If the stumps were actually aliens, were those their normal colors? Were they wearing some kind of clothing or uniform (the articles I read weren’t clear on Kathy’s opinion of that)? Or maybe they weren’t living at all, but actually three robots dispatched by—by what? Aliens? Aliens who wanted to research a planet whose environment might have been too dangerous for them to study in person?

I did briefly wonder if the stumps might have just been on their way to a Grateful Dead concert. Just sayin’.

To me, it’s pretty much a given that if these were indeed living creatures, then, coupled with the strange lights and the dome structure the girls saw, they were extraterrestrial. I tried to do my due diligence and cross-referenced their description with creatures mentioned in mythology, but I couldn’t find anything that matched. The closest ones I found (medieval descriptions of the mandrake, the Green Man, the Nariphon, Skogsrå, a few others) all described the beings as being unmistakably human in appearance.

I’ll also add that recently someone asked me if these things could have been the Tsiakto or Seatco, a creature from Native American (Salish, primarily) mythology, as they were commonly known as Stick People. This is unlikely; the Stick People were a type of Bigfoot, described as huge, hairy men with a penchant for, among other things, poking people with sticks. Plus, the Stick People are reported in the Rocky Mountain-region of the United States, not Oregon.

I also checked to see if it was at all possible for a living plant found native to this planet to travel of its own accord. The only plant that I found that is capable of uprooting itself and moving around exists on Dagobah.

Let’s not rule that one out just yet.