Derenberger, Woodrow

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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 press.

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 Press/E. 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.