The Jogging Suited Hawkmen and the Faceless Woman of Montvale
By Cole Herrold
Paranormal resources come in all shapes and sizes; most Fortean researchers will be familiar with the classics like Charles Fort's Book of the Damned or Bernard Heuvelman’s On the Track of Unknown Animals, and while these epic tomes are mandatory for any Fortean library, there is a selection of works that tend to for more mature researchers go uncollected. As someone who has been the "library kid," I know the importance of collecting as many resources as possible, and at times, this truly plays out, and you can come across some cases that only appear in the most obsolete books. A side collection of mine is children's books on Fortean subjects; they were my gateway, and I collect them for both a nostalgic and practical purpose. Now in some of these books, there are accounts that appear nowhere. In a previous article on the Veggie Man (an entity similar but different from the Vegetable Man), I described a single encounter that the author had and included in the book this account appears nowhere else. This sort of shows the importance of collecting resources some would define as childish or immature as sometimes they do have important additions to already famous cases or altogether bizarre cases that apparently have not been covered elsewhere.
I was perusing through Jersey Devils, Bizarre Beasts, and Other Creatures of Weird NJ for research on some other cryptids when I came across this bizarre case that they transcribed entirely from a children’s book on UFOs known as How to Catch a Flying Saucer by James M. Deem. As soon as I saw the title, I knew I had a copy, but it was one that I had not had the chance to read; but upon reading the title of the section in Jersey Devils, I knew I had to follow up on the account. The account was almost exactly as what was in the Weird NJ spinoff, but it included illustrations of some of the extraterrestrials seen as well as some other interesting cases from the area.
The account occurred one cold winter day on January 31, 1978, when three young boys were playing on the now frozen field of the Montvale Elementary School. The boys were brothers Eddie and Michael Hargrove and their friend John Cummings; the group had gone out to the ice-covered field that day to go boot skating, and the group had enjoyed the activity for some time when they noticed something flying in the sky near the school. The boys were confused at what this object was, for its appearance was unlike anything they had ever seen before. The object was square in shape, but it had a kind of rounded corners beneath the object; it seemed to glow red as if it was on fire. As they watched the object, they soon noticed that the object had started to slow to a stop and began to hover near where they stood; from there, they could see that at each rounded edge was a bright yellow light and that the red light from underneath actually projected down from the craft like a beam.
The boys realizing that this object was nothing contemporary, soon began to be frightened as this now stationary object stayed in place for some five minutes. The boys talked amongst themselves, arguing as to what this object was, and it was at that point they all agreed that this had to be a UFO. The boys knowing some of the stories associated with such craft, attempted to run away from the craft heading towards the dugout near the school's baseball field. This, however, seemed to simply draw the attention of the craft as once they began to move, the object proceeded to fly overhead of them, ultimately disappearing from the boy's view.
The boys thinking, they were safe from some sort of alien interaction, began to clamor out of the dugout and stand in the baseball diamond discussing the event that just transpired. As they stood talking to themselves, they saw a bright yellow blur in the field next to where they stood. The boys looked and saw a person standing in the field, and they instantly thought that it was their neighbor Mr. Johnson. They had figured that the neighbor who had a penchant for going on long jogs around the area in the evening had simply started early on this day. The boys wanting some confirmation of their sighting, hollered over to the yellow man and asked, "Mr. Johnson, did you see that UFO?".
The figure who was not facing them started to turn around, and it was at that moment they realized that this person was clearly not their neighbor. There standing in the field was a peculiar figure; its head was oddly shaped with a long crease down the head that gave the head the appearance of a hawk rather than a human's. Before the boys could react or say anything about these falcon fiends, another ten in similar yellow jogging suits came clamoring out to join the lone figure. The entities moved in a military-style, and John later would say to the Ufologists who interviewed him on this in the following "Have you heard of Hitler's army? You know how they walked kind of stiff, with their arms straight? Well, that's . . . how they looked”.
As the group watched the entities, they noticed some other bizarre features that, at the spotting, they did not pick up on. Each of the entities was completely bald, and that as they walked, they did so in a bizarre goose-step style, moving back and forth. This, however, was not the most haunting feature as these entities' eyes were nonexistent. This is not to say that they did not have some impression of eyes, but instead of a fleshy mass of cells, they had large black square holes instead.
The boys out of the dugout watched the militaristic Martians continue on their bizarre drill exercise and watched as some of the entities started to work their way down the road in single file. The entire area as they did so was beginning to permeate with a horrific sulfur smell that smacked the boys' face's on the breeze. As they were still looking at the collection of avian aliens, they noticed that one of the figures was something entirely different. There standing amongst these Hawkmen was what appeared to be a strange woman.
This woman the boys now laid eyes on they first thought was normal; she seemed to be human-like but was wearing a very short dress, something that seemed ill-advised in the weather they were currently standing in. Yet as the boys looked up at her frame, they reached her head and realized that this woman had no face. Where the eyes, mouths, lips, and ears should have been was a fleshy blank state. The boys, in some ways, were more terrified by her than the army of avian anomalies that accompanied her. This female creature seemed to, even without the aid of eyes, see the boys and turned around towards them; she walked down the road where a low fence was placed as her cohorts continued their motions and sat down on the frozen ground. She stared at the boys and began to point at them as if in some way to signal to them or beckon them, and then she proceeded upwards. As she did this and as the boys watched, the squarish craft once more began to return to the area.
The woman, as if this signaling had summoned an Uber, proceeded to get up and walk away towards the general area of the craft. It was around this time and almost perfect timing that a police car had arrived onto the scene and was beginning to drive very close to her, but the nearer the car got to her, the more a peculiar thing began to happen to this entity. She slowly seemed to disappear, vanishing altogether when the vehicle was almost on her. Apparently, the officer on duty did not see her when initially driving or simply could not comprehend the figure and felt it best to drive on but as soon as the car was far enough away, the woman returned to visibility.
The woman entity continued to walk away from the boys, and as she continued to walk away, the boys would later describe, "Parts of her, kept going away - disappearing - and coming back again." The boys continued to watch the woman as she approached a nearby building and, waiting for her to hit the wall or go around the building, watched in amazement as she seemed to phase into the building and ultimately disappear from view. The boys who were more focused on the female entity had almost forgotten all about the eyeless Hawkmen, but when they turned towards the direction of where they were marching, they discovered that they too had disappeared from the area. The group then looked up into the sky, and the UFO was also gone as if it, too, had never been there.
The boys taking in every detail of what they had just seen and now feeling it safe to return home, began to sprint towards the home of John Cummings and, in frantic cries and spasmatic breaths, told the parents all about that which occurred even before the boys entered the home. John's Brother Hilton looked out the window after hearing his brother and friends' cries and noticed that there was a bizarre spinning object with red and yellow lights. The parents, unable to make what had happened but feeling that the boys were telling the truth in what they had seen, proceeded in calling the police and retelling the account over the phone. The police, unsure of what to make of the case, soon got ahold of UFO researchers Budd Hopkins, Ted Bloecher, and Patrick Huyghe, who after arriving in Montvale on February 5th, interviewed each boy independently and in this manner tried to see if this was some elaborate prank or if the boy's stories matched. They, in this process, determined that the boys were truthful and that all their accounts matched up. The researchers attempting to see if possibly the boys mistook some natural aircraft they called the local airports, specifically the New York Air Traffic Control Center and Newark Airport, and found that no unusual craft or normal craft was supposed to be in the area at that time and date.
The researchers then investigated the possibility that what the boys saw was nothing more than a bunch of joggers; they proceeded in talking to Officer Pelsang of the Montvale Police Department, who had been on duty the evening the event took place but stated that no joggers were seen. He stated that joggers were rare in Montvale, stating that he had never seen more than two people ever jogging at a time, and stated, "No one jogs after dark. They'd have to be crazy." The officer, however, did feel something of note did occur that day, stating, "Twelve-year old boys don't call the police unless they're really upset about something."
The researchers then felt that perhaps it was not joggers the boy had seen but perhaps neon-colored workers from the Department of Public Works, but when talking to Lewis Bradley of the DPW, he claimed that on that night all workers had gone home around 4:30 that evening and that none were in the yellow uniform the boys claimed to see. The interview apparently struck a nerve with Bradley, who would later wrap up their inquisition with "there are only six men who work here, and I'm the boss. I just finished handing in their time sheets.". Thus, the researchers concluded their investigation. They left Montvale scratching their heads and wondering just what happened in this borough. Budd Hopkins would later write, "It became clear to all three of us by the end of the day that the boys were not perpetrating a hoax” and “The story is interesting but, alas, the amount of value from a case of this kind . . . is doubtful”.
This case is extremely interesting for just how bizarre it is; this account features two kinds of entities, one that seems intent on communicating the others that seem to be engaged in some bizarre military display, interpretive dance, or extraterrestrial exercise. This case reminds me of several others where there is a high concentration of high strangeness of phenomenon that maybe connected/ most certainly is that seems to just come from nowhere and is just downright insane. This case, much like the various others, is a one and done as these ostensibly extraterrestrial entities have never been seen again, at least in connection to UFO-related phenomenon. The faceless woman entity is something that has been reported on occasion but almost always in demonic or haunting-related phenomena.
The overall feel of this case is just like that, as though these entities are some spectral force briefly unleashed and the faceless entities flickeringly disappearing form is something that almost smacks of a non-physical paranormal entity. Yet while it may seem to be this is the case, there are tons of cases, such as the Voronezh aliens, who seem to have some ability either naturally or through technology to be able to disappear at will. So, there is the chance that the faceless female might have had some sort of phasing tech or disappearing tech to help in some way or another.
This account is incredibly bizarre, and very little is written on it, so when it comes to the purpose of the entities seen, all we have to go on is the small bits written and speculation. The entities don't seem to be doing anything meaningful, just some sort of bizarre walking. These aliens are not collecting soil samples or performing some sort of cattle mutilation for scientific purposes; they almost seem to be sightseers, or maybe they simply stopped to stretch their legs on what could be viewed as a universal pit stop. Again, all this is speculation and something we will perhaps never know the true answer to.
This case is incredibly bizarre for how brief it is. There is nothing truly like it and the entities reported are ones that seem indicative of other phenomena rather than the typical extraterrestrial varieties said to visit earth. I think that this case which has several huge researchers attached to it, is more interesting when one thinks of how this case did not become as famous as some of the other weird cases out there like the Pascagoula abductors or the Brooklyn and Long Island Cases. This case could easily be up there with the Hopkinsville Goblins or the Zanfretta Reptilians in range of both infamy or bizarreness, but due to the lack of publication and wide attention, it seemed to of been added to the ever-growing stack of extremely interesting yet hidden cases that only with time seem to be unearthed.
Location: Montvale, New Jersey
Sighted: January 31, 1978
How to Catch a Flying Saucer By James M. Deem
Jersey Devils, Bizarre Beasts, and Other Creatures of Weird NJ By Mark Sceurman and Mark Moran
Deem, James M. “A UFO Possibility in Montvale, New Jersey” James M. Deem. https://jamesmdeem.com/stories.ufo.montvale.html. Accessed September 21, 2021.