Below is an article that I wrote during the filming of my video series on Mothman. It explains one entertaining methodology for trying to figure out what “Indrid Cold” – a name that is most likely an alias – really might mean.
The meaning of “Indrid Cold” is simple. In order to approach such Mothman riddles all one needs, it seems, is a basic knowledge of any spiritual tradition – Hindu mythology, Buddhist mythology, Celtic mythology, Judeo-Christian mythology, Aboriginal or Native American mythology. In this case it turns out to be a particularly Hindu case, or at least one that uses Hindu terminology. But all of the above traditions provide ample clues for deciphering symbolic codes and “name-game” mysteries. The “superspectrum,” as John Keel termed it, has embedded itself into our very consciousness. This is reflected in our religion, our language, and our mental coding, which is itself essentially a binary electrical circuit. This loop tends to “spin” conceptual thinking toward dualistic poles such as “good” or “bad,” angelic or demonic, and so on.
After having a basic understanding of one of the above mythologies, one then needs either a few coincidences to occur, or something else in one’s experience that one can draw from, in order to gain insight into the riddle. Luckily (or not), these kind of “coincidences” seem to occur fairly often in the lives of Mothman witnesses. This may be one of the reasons this phenomenon exists: to give us feedback from the universe.
For some this is a blessing, for others it is a curse. Some witnesses get so many psychic pieces of information coming at them that it tends to make them a bit paranoid; others make fast decisions and judgments, internally, which baffle others. Others cannot sense the same input… I am reminded of the fact that the Indians initially couldn’t see the ships of Columbus because their brains couldn’t process it. A shaman had to spend many days looking at where the ships were said to be in order to finally see them. Words really cannot really express… At times, when I am trying to explain my Mothman experiences and everyone is shaking their heads and thinking I am nuts or unduly obsessed, I feel like that shaman. In addition to having seen the creature myself, I have a long string of synchronicities and seemingly profound, symbolic events in my life. I sometimes wonder if Mothman witnesses aren’t each given individual “clues” to a larger puzzle. The dreams, precognitions, telepathic messages, and unusual meetings get us to closer to what is going on within us and around us. My discussions with witnesses reveal such a pattern. Witnesses such as Faye DeWitt and Marcella Bennett speak of “hunches” alerting them to potential dangers. The universe appears to be sending out information regarding specific, powerful human events. This information comes in the form of visions, sounds, messages, random coincidences, and codes.
I interviewed Keel for my documentary on Mothman, and asked him about Indrid Cold. Keel seemed to feel that much of the Cold story is fabricated. He suspects that some of the strange phone calls were a result of Indrid Cold speaking through Woody Derenberger.
Having interviewed a Bigfoot contactee who feels that Bigfoot speaks to and through him, I can attest to being put off by the thought that a witness might create his own “evidence.” Still, looking at it another way, I think that it is worth trying to figure out what is behind a phenomenon whose experiencers feel that they need to “channel” for, or “telepath” to, a creature or entity. I personally feel that Derenberger may not have been a hoaxer, but perhaps a victim of a hoax. He may have even been a victim of mind control. The Air Force involvement in his case – the psychiatric interest, the weeklong “debriefing” at NASA headquarters – is a possible indicator of this.
In looking at this Indrid riddle, though, the first thing I did was to see the name “Indrid Cold” not as a name, but as a descriptor. The main word appeared to be “Cold,” with “Indrid” as a modifier. I ran some anagrams of “indridcold” and got lots of interesting little references to things from the Mothman story. But nothing solid. Then, I turned it around 180 degrees and started looking at “indridcold” not for its constituent parts, but looking at it as a constituent part of a even bigger word. I asked myself if there might be any relevance to the word “indridcold” being spelled out of larger words, and could those larger words represent potential leads, or “name-game” clues? I got a couple of odd pieces of information using these offbeat methods. Knowing that Keel had observed, in the 1960s, that most of the entities channeling through contactees had names that sounded like “synthetic fabrics,” I decided to try and fit “indridcold” into some names of petrochemical companies.
One company that I found was a subcontractor to Union Carbide. It’s acronym was IRPCO. It had employed many of the men in my neighborhood in WV. I myself worked there; I was good friends with the owner’s son. The company has now been sold and has moved its headquarters. The company’s original location was at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha Rivers, where a bridge collapsed on Dec. 15th, 1904 – the same day of the year as the Silver Bridge collapse. The owner’s family lived on a bluff overlooking the confluence. The bluff was a lover’s lane spot that also doubled as a place to go if you wanted to see Mothman flying above the city. Psychic abductee Harriet Plumbrook had dreams of the bluff prior to ever seeing it, and feels the location is a geomagnetic source for the phenomenon. I was reminded of a story my mother told me when I was a little boy: that Magic Island, at the confluence of the Elk/Kanawha Rivers, was haunted by the ghost of a dead girl who had drowned.
Another odd reference I found was that “indridcold” fit into the full name of the Canadian wing of the chemical company that leased land on both sides of the I-64 bridge in Dunbar, WV, where the famous Tad Jones sighting occurred. That company: Union Carbide (Union Carbide Canada, Ltd.). When I “googled” Carbide’s Canadian facility to check, one of the first links to come up was in Melanson’s book about the Martin Luther King assassination. This reference stated that Union Carbide was the only entity from which James Earl Ray could have gotten the classified personnel information he used to construct his famous “Eric S. Galt” alias. The real Eric Galt was a security-cleared employee of Union Carbide, at a time when the company was making top-secret “proximity fuses” for missiles at its Canadian facilities.
Union Carbide was known for its pioneering work in handling not only “hot” materials like uranium (The Manhattan Project was fueled by Carbide, and many of the uranium mines in the Four Corners area are operated by Carbide), but extremely “cold” technologies. Carbide could “super-cool” metals like no other company of the time. It was the premier “chemical factory” in a valley where Keel was told (by Mothman witnesses) that a “chemical factory” might blow up. In the early 1960s, Carbide already had a complete simulation of the Martian landscape built so that they could test various substances and materials. Could they have a had a hand in any hoaxed moon landings? Conspiracy theorists have speculated about the role of Union Carbide in the Jonestown massacre, which occurred on land previously owned by Union Carbide, and the supposed role of Jonestown’s mind-controlled “zombie killers” in political assassinations. John Keel was told by psychics beforehand that MLK would be shot, and tried to alert MLK to that fact. The prophecy accurately predicted the manner of the actual shooting, yet was off by one month.
I decided to do another turnabout and look at “Indrid” as the subject, and “Cold” as the modifier. This would prove to be much more beneficial at getting at the root of the “real” Indrid. The trouble, however, is that “Indrid” is not a word we know in America. I had to look for words that were similar to Indrid. After reading Ted Holiday’s work connecting dragons to flying saucers and earthworks, it popped into my head that the Hindu god “Indra” (the god of fire) might be the connection. I looked and found that, throughout the eons, “the Garuda puts out the fire of Indra.” The birdman literally consumes the fires of Indra, rendering them “cold.” The two, Garuda and Indra, are closely associated in Hindu literature. When one sees this relationship, one sees that probably the only thing on Earth that can be a cooled-down form of Indra is: the Garuda. And since Indra is no longer the real, bonafide “hot” Indra when he is cooled down and in Garuda form, he can only be properly termed something that is “like Indra” – something “Indrid” or Indridic. In essence, Indrid Cold seems to have been telling us that he was Garuda operating as Indra in “cold” form.
Of course, nothing can really prove that Indrid Cold was not a hoax. If John Keel sensed a hoax there, there probably was. But, is the Cold story a regular hoax, or perhaps a “reverse hoax” intended to leak accurate, inside information? Regardless of whether Derenberger was manipulated by a disinformation hoax or by a truth-leak hoax, such a hoax had to perpetrated by someone who knew something about Hinduism. Was this a cryptozoological intelligence operative helping the CIA guide the Dalai Lama over the mountains to India? Very few people in the West knew much about Hinduism back then. Keel certainly knew it, since he originally put the term “Garuda” in the title of his Mothman Prophecies book. But the early cryptozoologists knew it, too. Those who traveled to Nepal to “search for the Yeti” with the Tom Slick/CIA Bigfoot expedition would have known. Slick had roots in Mothman country… Many of the UFO contactees of that era were given messages pertaining to the White Brotherhood of Tibet and the Thule Ultima, both standard fare for Nazi occultists involved in Tibetan research.