A Bonkers Account of the Alien Tourists

Within the world of ufology and reports of encounters with alien beings, there are obviously many cases that are more bizarre than others. Indeed, some cases are so surreal and out there that they seem as if they must certainly be the products of trickery or fevered imaginations, yet in a field as inherently weird as the study of UFOs and alleged alien contact, there is always the hesitation to throw out a case altogether, just in case, and they end up lurking about in the periphery, orbiting out on the fringe of the fringe. One such case from the U.S. state of Missouri unfolded on a perfectly normal day, only to unfold into just about the most strikingly bizarre alien encounter reports there is.

In May of 1970, ufologist John E. Schroeder was contacted by the UFO Study Group of Greater St. Louis, who informed him of a very strange report that they had just received from a group of five motel employees who were claiming that they had encountered a group of odd “tiny beings” at their establishment right there in St. Louis that they believed to be not of this world. Intrigued, Schroeder made the trip to the motel, where he interviewed the employees at length. However, as weird as he likely expected it would be before going there, their story would prove to be even more completely bizarre than he could have possibly imagined.

St. Louis today

The main witness in the case was an employee by the name of Dorothy Simpson, who claimed that she had been sitting at the reception desk going through papers on what had been a completely mundane day when her attention was pulled away from what she was doing by a “whistling sigh.” When she looked up, there was a group of very strange-looking individuals standing in front of her. They were described as very small, barely at eye level with the edge of the desk, with pale, slightly triangular faces that started wide at the eyes but drew thinner down to pointy chins, which held tiny, lipless mouths. The eyes themselves were large, dark and slightly slanted, and their noses were nearly nonexistent, little more than two slits. Atop their heads was hair, but it had an odd, fake quality to it that reminded Dorothy of wigs. Although they were rather androgynous in physical appearance, two were in expensive tailored men’s suits and the others were dressed in pastel peach dresses, but if not for the clothes and the different lengths of their hair there would have been no way to tell who was male and who was female. Two of them seemed slightly smaller than the others, giving the impression that they were perhaps children, but it was hard to tell.

As Dorothy sat there just staring at these strange little people in their nice clothes and with their creepy, weird-looking hair, one of the “men” spoke out in a high-pitched voice to ask for a room. This snapped Dorothy out of her astonished daze and she told them that rooms were available, but when she told him the price he seemed to not understand, and needed help from one of the women to realize that it meant he needed money. He then pulled out a neatly folded stack of bills from his pocket and peeled off the required amount, catching Dorothy’s attention in just how crisp and new the bills were. When she asked the gentleman’s name, he told her he was “A. Bell,” and she dutifully signed the register for him as he was too short to reach out over the desk to do it himself. When asked where he was from, he pointed up at the sky, but the woman next to him gently lowered his arm and told her they were from Hammond, Indiana, even providing an address. When that was done, Dorothy handed the register over to be signed, and noted how the man fumbled with the pen and examined it as if he barely knew how to use it, only making it all more surreal.

The odd group of little people then headed to the restaurant, and in the meantime several other employees had noticed just how weird the visitors were. The motel manager was suspicious, and when he did a check on the Indiana address they had given it turned out to be fake. He also did a test of the extremely new bills they had been given on suspicion that they were counterfeit, but at least those proved to be real. They also checked the parking area for any car with Indiana plates but there was none. Meanwhile, in the restaurant the visitors were continuing their oddness. The man kept asking about where different items on the menu came from, and when they finally received their orders of peas, milk, and steak, they ate each pea individually with a sucking sound. The steak seemed to be something they had never eaten before, as they examined it closely and found that they could not properly chew and eat it with their tiny mouths, eventually giving up and leaving the steak mostly uneaten. They then paid, but when the waitress came back to give them their change they were gone.

The bellhop was able to locate them wandering around in a confused state, and went about showing them their room. On the way, they seemed wary and even afraid of the elevator, as if they had never been in one before, and had to be assured that it was safe. Once at the room, the bellhop was admonished by one of the women for turning on the lights too bright, and when he left the room he was deeply unsettled. The next day, the strange visitors were not seen to leave the hotel, despite the fact that there was only one entrance and exit and they stuck out like a sore thumb, and when their room was checked it was found that they and all of their belongings were gone. It was as if they had just evaporated into thin air.

Schroeder would mention the bizarre case in 1987 in the magazine The UFO Enigma with an article titled The Strangers Among Us, and it would also appear in Jerome Clark’s Extraordinary Encounters in 2000. It remains a rather obscure account, but also one of the weirdest. What happened there at that motel? Is there anything to this all or is it merely a hoax or misidentification? No matter what the case may be, it is a damn weird case all the same, and holds a place among the strangest alien encounters out there.

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