The Place: The Appalachian Mountains
The Time: 1965
The Story: Pretty wild, man.
Meet Ralph Lael, a furniture salesman who was scouting a mountain in North Carolina that was famous for what was called “The Brown Mountain Lights”. On certain nights, many claimed that mysterious lights would rise up from the forest and into the skies. Pre-1947 and the beginning of the UFO craze, they were believed by Native Americans and early settlers to be ‘spirit lights’, but of course after…
But back to Ralph…he encountered these lights, and in a very direct way: “I’m frightened, don’t know what to do,” he wrote. “One light moves forward. It is now about ten feet from me and it is glowing. I could read a newspaper by the shining of it. It is ten to twelve feet across. Almost a perfect circle. It has a brown center that does not look solid. The shape of the brown center is like a tumble bug but without a head standing on its back end. Not touching the ground but suspended in the center of the glowing ball. It seems to have three hands or feelers protruding out from each side.”
Ralph claimed in the book he wrote about his experiences that after learning to communicate with the light using basic yes-no questions, it led him through crystal walled tunnels into a secret cave base in the mountain where he met an alien race called The Pewam. They took him to the planet Venus (which he said was made entirely of crystal), warned him about the dangers of nuclear science, and totally let him nail a hot alien chick named Noma who showed up to greet him in just a bra and panties.
Yeah, that too. I kinda want to get abducted now.
After he was brought back, he says he found a small mummified alien body in one of the caves and he brought it back to town where he displayed it in a glass case in hit furniture store for years until he died and the store was bulldozed….AND NO ONE KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BODY!!!
Naturally, stories of the Men in Black showing covering up evidence immediately surfaced, but many have more reasonably tied the mummy to being a sideshow attraction created by the legendary Homer Tate. Regardless of it’s earthly or unearthly origins, we still don’t know what happened to it.
Ok, so Venus isn’t made of crystal, and Ralph was almost certainly a huckster trying to attract folks coming to see the lights (which appear to be a real and probably naturally occurring phenomena), but it’s certainly more fun to imagine Ralph on a sexy space adventure.