The Electro-Hopper of Lancaster County
By Cole Herrold
Lancaster County is a peculiar area in the realm of Fortean studies. The most famous area is Chickie's Rock which has tons of cryptids, ghosts, and UFO encounters such as the Albatwitches and the hauntingly eerie Chickie's Hill Mummy. Yet perhaps the most interesting cases in the County come from the humblest of people, namely the countless Amish communities that dart the green fields and surrounding woodlands. Reports of cryptids like the Wood Eating Amish Country Goose Grabber (see entry for more information) and the potentially paranormal Goat Baby have caused terror for any who come across them; however, in 1979, one of the most bizarre creatures was reported, and the effect it had on four members of an Amish community would haunt them for the rest of their lives.
In August of 1979, four unnamed Amish men were working hard in a field one warm day when they noticed something in the field nearby. The group looked up and were shocked to see what they thought to be a naked man seemingly walking in a bizarre hopping fashion towards them. As they watched the bizarre figure in front of them, however, the more they stared, the more they realized that this was not some streaker or free-minded nudist but something far more bizarre than they ever could have realized. One of the men would describe what he saw in front of him in the following: "we simply had no idea what this thing could be. But we were suddenly afraid. It had arms and legs, and a face with semi-human features. It was covered with coarse, sandy hair, and bounding along in this strange hopping fashion. It occurred to me that the thing was hopping like a kangaroo, but of course it wasn’t one of those”.
They watched as the creature continued to meander its way towards the group continuing its bizarre hopping. The group was trying to rationalize what in God’s Green Earth this anomalous abomination could be, but they soon would find out that whatever this entity was, it was something well beyond the natural order or even the holy ordained order. As the creature got within 100ft of the men when one of the men felt "a stabbing sensation, like an electrical jolt." Upon feeling this electrical charge, there was suddenly a bizarre, almost overpowering sense that entered one of the men overtaking him to the point that he did something completely unexpected. The witness would describe the feeling in the following: “I had this eerie feeling that something was inside me. I felt strange things happen to my brain and nervous system. I could hear myself crying out, shouting words that made no sense to me. I couldn’t understand where these words came from. Then the creature opened its mouth and began shouting at me in the same foreign language”.
The group was terrified beyond the point of rational thought, especially after hearing their comrade speak in what to their religiously centered mindset could only be interpreted as speaking in tongues and then hearing the monstrous mutant speak in the same language. While horrified by this entity, they could not move and proceeded to watch the creature as it continued its bizarre hopping in the area. The group, however, did not have to wait long in the area; however, for a short time later, the creature ran off at superhuman speed in the same hopping fashion as it came, eventually disappearing into the nearby woods, never to be seen again.
This case is incredibly bizarre, even for the already insane number of high strangeness encounters reported in the state. If you look at the description of the creature, one instantly would think that this creature is some sort of Bigfoot, yet the hopping walk and all of the added paranormal paraphernalia that the creature did seem to not point to the classical Bigfoot. Now with that said, there's always the Supernatural Bigfoot as an option; it is interesting that this encounter occurred during the 70s, which was when there were countless sightings of a seemingly paranormal primate; in 1973, there was the infamous Uniontown UFO-Bigfoot sighting where a man saw a red craft that changed to a white dome shape and in the area where it landed there were two incredibly tall green-eyed Bigfoot-like creatures (for more information see entry). There also were sightings of Bigfoot that were shot and turned into glowing balls of light, Bigfoot that were hit by cars and seemingly disappeared upon impact, a white bigfoot was seen holding a glowing orb, and a UFO then went over the woods where it ran into, and a bigfoot case where the creature had mange but could seemingly teleport at incredible speeds. There are scads of encounters of this type from PA, and there's always the chance that this is yet another example of that. Now with that said, there's never been an encounter that exactly matches this case. The description of the creature's motion does not typically match that of a sasquatch or even a supernatural one, and the creature's effects, while similar to claims of extraterrestrial psychic communication, still are not exact in its description.
There are not too many other possibilities for what this creature could be; it's safe to say the creature is not an extraterrestrial since there was no UFO seen in conjunction with this sighting. There's a chance that the creature may be a faerie, but in the countless cases reported of ostensibly real faerie encounters and I've never heard of one where the creature seemingly controlled a person and made them speak from far away like something from Beetlejuice even though there are several cases where faeries seem to speak in a strange language. An interdimensional creature is more plausible as a possibility since a creature from another dimension could have countless abilities that we could only imagine, and the electro-communication/control could be one such example.
The final possibility that could explain this creature is that it could be something demonic. While I personally do not think demons are what religions say they are if they exist. It is interesting that this creature appeared before several highly religious people and proceeded to what, for all intents and purpose, we could call "possess" one of the witnesses. The fact that the creature spoke in a language that none were familiar with is similar as well to what demons are supposed to be able to do since they can make people speak in tongues. Perhaps this creature came to the community to test the faith of those involved. It is interesting to note that John Keel had made the comparison to demons and creatures similar to Bigfoot in several of his book but used this idea to help form his Ultraterrestrial hypothesis, but perhaps there is a direct connection to these creatures and the lower realms. I must admit this is pure speculation, and I personally do not think it to be the case, but I feel it is important for the sake of completeness to be brought up.
This encounter is extremely bizarre, and I have no definitive answer as to what occurred in 1979. I do think that this encounter definitely needs to be brought to the attention of more researchers simply because of how bizarre this is and that it seems to fit right along with all the other bizarre Bigfoot and high strangeness cases that are out there. I also have to wonder where those men who encountered this creature are today, sure almost 40 years have gone by, and chances are they are long since gone, but if they're not, there are tons of questions about their encounter that id love to pick their brains on. Unfortunately, I'm sure that, as with most cases however there will be no follow up and we'll be left wondering just what truly happened in the field that day.
Species/Potential Species: Mammal
Location: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Sighted: August 1979
America’s Nightmare Monsters By Phillip L. Rife
Beyond the Seventh Gate By Timothy Renner
Humanoid Encounters- The Others Amongst Us: 1975-1979 By Albert S. Rosales
Strange Pennsylvania Monsters By Michael Newton
Ideal’s UFO #9 pp. 27-28