A Grinning Man and a Floating Fish

I’ve always been intrigued by accounts of the so-called “grinning men.” From my own, personal encounter with one on a remote North Carolina backroad, (detailed in Strange Intruders), to the accounts collected by Fortean investigator John Keel, the weird figures are an unusual mystery.

Although not as well known or as widespread as other weird humanoids, encounters with these odd characters do seem to happen frequently enough to leave a collection of tales to ponder. They are often connected to UFO sightings and encounters, though there is no clear indication as to what the connection means. Of course, as with a lot of other phenomena, many questions are left in the wake of these run-ins with the grinning men.

Researcher Jamie L. Brian sent me this transcription of a grinning man account from an episode of Ground Zero Radio. While it’s a brief report, it’s still very puzzling. The report came a man named Clay who called in from Ohio to relate his childhood experiences with a grinning man and…something else very strange.

From his quick description, it sounds as if Clay suffered from sleep paralysis, and it’s during these incidents that a grinning man appears:

“I’m 43 years old now. When I was a child, all the way up until I was in my early teens, I would have such fear [trying to sleep] that I could not move. I could open my eyes and there would be a man wearing big overalls and a big work shirt, you know, like a plaid type of work shirt. He had white-grayish hair. His eyes were like black sunken in holes and he had perfect teeth when he smiled. And when I would focus on him, he would float up through the ceiling.

And I would have this for many years, and sometimes there would be these, the only way I can describe them is, like black fish floating around the room when he came in. That’s the only way I can describe them. Almost like black spots.”

As in Clay’s account, sometimes witnesses wake to discover the figures in their bedrooms, an unsettling experience at the least.

The description in this account fits the pattern of many previous grinning men reports, including some of those documented by Keel.

Whether the weird men are simple observers, or whether they have a more sinister purpose remains to be seen.

David Weatherlyfeatured