October 14, 2009

“Visitors from Lanulos”

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One of the most puzzling and arresting characters in The Mothman Prophecies is Woodrow Derenberger, the sewing-machine salesman who met Indrid Cold one rainy evening on the Interstate. (Those who know Mothman only from the movie may not realize that Mothman and Indrid Cold were conflated for filmic purposes: Cold was not the “winged weirdie,” but a pleasant, telepathic ufonaut.) Derenberger and Harold W. Hubbard told their own version of the story in Visitors From Lanulos, published by Vantage Press in 1971.

It’s a slender volume, filled with Derenberger’s implausible tales of saucer rides, planets peopled by pious nudists who drink decaffeinated coffee, and feathered humanoids in pink spaceships. It’s illustrated with detailed saucer plans, and the “Intergalactic Alphabet” used on the planet Lanulos. Vantage is a well-known “vanity press”; I assume the book was sold at personal appearances by Derenberger or Hubbard, a UFO investigator in Ohio.

And it has a Foreword by John A. Keel, although that interesting fact is not publicized on the cover. John’s Foreword is dated Oct. 12, 1968; the book seems to have been in production for a while.

John makes it clear that he doesn’t believe Derenberger, but thinks he deserves a hearing. It’s a sensible standpoint; and all too rare in the simplistic polemics of believers versus mockers.

Since Visitors From Lanulos is also rare nowadays, here are a couple of excerpts from John’s Foreword:

“There are many who will scoff at this book and reject it entirely. Woodrow Derenberger will be called a liar, a psychopath and many other unpleasant things. He has already suffered considerable ridicule and condemnation, even from those who believe in “flying saucers” but do not wish to believe that someone is actually riding around in them. I cannot endorse his story but I do feel I know the man well enough to give him a character reference. The important thing is that he seems to be telling the truth as he knows it. He sincerely believes that these things happened to him. And he is willing to expose himself to ridicule and condemnation in order to make himself heard.”

“I have talked to ‘contactee’ claimants who are doctors, lawyers, newspapermen, police officers and pilots. Woody has a lot of company; sane, reputable people. Perhaps we are the ones who have been insane for ignoring them for so long. Strange, unbelievable things are now happening to people all over the world. By listening to the handful of courageous ones, like Woodrow Derenberger, we may at last gain some real insight into what is really behind the UFO phenomenon.

“I’m not asking you to believe any of it. But I am asking you to listen to what he has to say. Incredible though it may seem, it is very possible that these very same things could happen to you tomorrow.”


  1. Woody and Harold are both known to me. I have affectionately called both of them my Uncle.

    I too have visited Lanulos as a teen.

    This book is Fact no Fiction.

    Comment by Tom Steele — October 14, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

  2. Tom- are you the teenager mentioned by name in John Keel’s “Mothman Prophecies” book? If so, will you share your own experiences?

    I noted when I read that book recently that John Keel noted how UNlike other contactee stories Lanulos was, in that it had physical evidence, independent witnesses, etc.

    For me, Lanulos is a standout in a field of hoaxes, illusions, hauntings and intelligence operations.

    Comment by Flying Tiger — January 7, 2011 @ 3:45 am

  3. Hello, My name is Harold W.Hubbard II. I am noticing alot on my fayher…. And you have only seeing half what my father and his family went through. To write this book. An! All the experience that we went through (many years)Plus, as being a young one in the family it took a-lot to convince me at first,.Also. Then you must consider what both familes endure. I am talking about what the goverment did wire taps, plus surverillance and things that xfile can compare too. Well enough. I have stayed quite for almost 29 years. But with people saying uncle. I would tell tell him his cousin wants to meet him soon! Then we have family members on the other side of Woodys family saying in her own words. When this book was written by Harold w. hubbard Sr. So if anybody can tell you. It would have to be me. Oh! Did you know about UFORD a small company my father started in SebringOhio. Then you’ll have somebody say I started(ugh) these people….. Well take care. 440-310-1295. Sincerely Harold w.Hubard II

    Comment by Harold w.HubbardJr — July 19, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

  4. The contactee planet Lanulos, as visited by two totally separate contactees, is described by alien visitors from there (descendants of humans who colonised Lanulos in our prehistoric past) as being in the Constellation Ganymede. In modern times, there is no such constellation, instead the name Ganymede was given to a planetoid in the Jovian system.

    However what no one seems to have cottoned to, even the great John Keel, is that Ganymede is the old name for the constellation Aquarius. As such, there are a couple of stars, possibly three, that are close to the “14.6” or “14.7” light years from Earth distance of Lanulos. Also there is a star whose distance from Earth is 147- for the numerologically inclined. And real alien visitors seem notoriously bad at math.

    Comment by Flying Tiger Comics — October 12, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

  5. Ganymede actually IS a constellation. The Greek name for Aquarius is Ganymede. Being that we are entering the Age of Aquarius, I find this particularly fascinating, especially since no one knows this. I doubt the contactee did, or he would have mentioned it as an intriguing point, and to defend the use of the tern Ganymede, which is a name given by modern scientists, not ancient sky-mappers. If you asked a Greek scholar centuries ago where Ganymede was, he’d point to the constellation Aquarius, not to Jupiter!

    Comment by Michael Johnson — March 13, 2012 @ 7:43 pm

  6. On another note, I did find two stars which are the right distance, but in the wrong constellations, one is in Aries the Ram, the other is in Draco the Dragon. As of yet, it appears to be undiscovered. Not unusual, we recently discovered a planet larger than Pluto in our own solar system, called Eris. We’ve already discovered planets outside the solar system called Bellerophon, Osiris, Ymir, Zarmina and Methuselah. My opinion, it’s somewhere in Aquarius but is probably a planet around a dwarf star or a ROGUE PLANET, some planets are said to float freely like stars. Some may even have moons which are Earth-like.

    Comment by Michael Johnson — March 13, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

  7. There is a star in Aquarius that may just slip in as the Lanulos star system. It is EZ Aquarii. This is a triple Red Dwarf star system that is 11.3 light years from our sun. While super-Earth planets may exist within the habital zone of one of these stars life there would be much different than it is here, Two of the stars rotate around each other every four days and they in turn rotate around the third star every 2.3 years (Earth years). So there would be two or three very small stars visable, at times, in the sky. Red dwarf stars don’t emit UV light and most of their energy is in the IR portion of the spectrum. These stars would each be about 1/2 the diameter of our Sun and give off a lot less light but as the super-Earth planet would have to be a lot closer to be in the habital zone daytime there may only be like a cloudy day here. I didn’t find any stars in the 14 to 16 light year range that were in the area of the constellation Aquarious.

    Comment by Roger Brown — May 8, 2012 @ 11:45 am

  8. I am certain that everyone has heard the very plight that I am about to explain. I just need help. My curiosity, nay, desire to know the truth is overwhelming. Consuming! I have looked through three states, for this book. I have searched the internet. Is there anyway to read this? Even if it is only a digitized email. I will pay for it. I need it to be certifiable. I have fallen for the misleading hopes that were provided by less the moral people. I ended up paying for a scam.

    Please. Any information would be great!


    Comment by Randy W Bedingfield — September 2, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

  9. Randy — Derenberger’s daughter, Taunia Bowman, has published a new edition of the book. Here’s a site about it, and about recordings of her father:

    Good luck!

    Comment by Doug — September 2, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

  10. I have a first-edition copy of Vistors From Lanulos. It’s absolutely fantastic condition – even the dust jacket.
    The book was on a shelf for decades, and only the leading edge of the dust cover shows slight fading. The book itself is mint. Only drawback is the owner had a “library” sticker from her personal library and a stamp in the front. Does not detract at all from the aesthetic value.

    I am considering selling it, but I want to let you know it’s not cheap. Even poor condition paperbacks have gone for $125-$150.


    Comment by scott — November 14, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

  11. off topic but perhaps of interest. in line with john keels research into phantom airplanes. in october of 1931 the airship AKRON was scheduled to be flying over the ohio river valley. at around 2:50 p.m. oct. 10, at least 6 reputable residents of the gallapolis-point pleasant area looked up to see a blimp/airship burst into flame and break in two about 5-6 miles south of gallipolis, that is south of point pleasant (east of current rt 2, south of crab creek road?) some of these witnesses watching thru binoculars saw what looked like parachutes opening and or water ballast being released. a ground and air search was launched, but no crash site was found. the problem with these reports was the fact that the akron did not make its flight that day and no other airships were reported missing. a newspaper archive search turns up 7 reports, none which take a skeptical tone. the akron would later crash into the atlantic ocean on april 4th 1933. so, the named local residents were witnesses to … what? a disaster that didnt happen, a glimpse into something that might have been? another strange event from the point pleasant area. those with newspaper archive access can search under “airship, crash, mystery , blimp and gallipolis or point pleasant” c. oct. 1931

    Comment by p. r. gray — January 10, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

  12. I seem to recall that John kept a clipping about that incident. I’ll have to dig it up…

    Comment by Doug — January 11, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

  13. I would love to read the book Visiors from Lanulos but I can not find it. Not even in the library. Anyone have a copy?

    Comment by Cheryl — August 5, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

  14. I am in need of some help. I own an original copy of “Visitors from Lanulos”. It has been dated and signed by Woodrow W. Derenberger. It is dated 5-18-71 and is signed “To Ray Felicia Matson with best wishes from Woody” There is also a rather odd symbol like marking on the page in the same ink. There is no “and” between Ray/Felicia, so I am assuming it was signed to a couple. My curiosity is to who and where these people are and if they are still around. I currently reside in Ohio and I know there were very few of these books ever sold, which would lead me to believe that the people lived somewhere close to the area where Mr. Derenberger resided. Anyone with any interest or help can reach me at

    Comment by William — October 14, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

  15. Hi,
    I would dearly like to read Visitors from Lanulos but have found it almost impossible to locate. I have a deep seated interest in the work and would really love to either buy a copy or borrow a copy. I did find a copy but it turned out to be a scam which,thankfully I didn’t fall for.
    Any help in tracking a copy down would be of immense help and I thank you for reading my plea.

    Iain (
    Oldham, United Kingdom.

    Comment by Iain Smith — November 1, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

  16. Iain — I’m sorry, I have no copy for sale. Somebody should reprint it; people obviously want to read it.

    Comment by Doug — November 6, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

  17. I have a first edition with dust cover in mint condition.
    It’s for sale, but not cheap and I will not make copies or PDFs.
    Contact me at: thebeatles.9 at

    Comment by scott — April 4, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

  18. Doug,

    I still come back here… you have done a good job keeping his memory and work alive…

    Keel was unique… I find myself re-reading him off and on and noticing things I missed the first time. For instance I have been re-reading “Mothman” and noticed a casual reference he made to vampire lore and its identity with UFO folklore. I thought twice about it- thinking probably the first time he was simply generalizing and not being completely accurate- but after I took some time and looked into it I realized to my shock he was right!

    Of course most of my acquaintance with vampires comes from movies and the folklore he had reference to is mostly not found there. But indeed they share many more characteristics than you might imagine. Of course that means John already knew all that… and his rather casual comment in that book pointed to a depth of knowledge he had in fact about the subject.

    I was also re-introduced to “Indrid” and “Woodrow”… and “Lanulos”… And “Mothman”… The “League of Western Fortean Intermediatists (L.O.W.F.I.)” has an interesting series on the name “Indrid Cold”… see

    I pull the following quotes from two different articles re “Indrid” on that site… both articles I believe by Andrew Colvin…

    “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.”

    “When I opened it to a random page, as is my usual practice, I saw a synchronistic reference. It said that Nazi Germany’s greatest spy, Emil Koedel, had been arrested in October of 1943 in West Virginia, posing as a film projectionist (Gray Barker’s line of work). After attempting a computer search on Koedel, it seemed obvious that the search engines had been scrubbed. Why was there so little information on this greatest of all Nazi spies? And what was he doing in West Virginia? Koedel had been active primarily on Long Island and in NYC, where he spied on American defense plants, particularly Army Ordnance facilities. During the Mothman flap of the late 1960s, Pt. Pleasant’s TNT Area was an Army Ordnance plant.”

    “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.”

    All these kinds of ‘coincidences’ in names etc… Keel was well aware of such things. I used to live in West Virginia and this tidbit above of information from Ladislas Farago’s book “Game of Foxes” mentioning Emil and his capture and arrest in West Virginia… and the names Kanawha & Union Carbide etc.. all familiar to me from having lived there. Just seems very strange… and no logical conclusions being drawn… how can you? Is all this really connected in some way… it would seem that may be true… “Indrid Cold” is not a common name… and the comments by Andrew in his articles re its possible meanings and origins are peculiar and fascinating… and strangely related to Mothman etc..

    Comment by James — June 3, 2014 @ 12:58 pm

  19. John noted that contactees often report entities with names drawn from mythology; it’s one of those odd continuing patterns. And, of course, the working title for “The Mothman Prophecies” was “The Year of the Garuda.”

    Comment by Doug — June 5, 2014 @ 10:03 am

  20. Law of one books basically say solar systems are called ‘galaxies’ in their terminology.
    Anyway, Ingrid Cold said he was a time traveler right?
    So, I wonder if he’s from a moon of jupiter in the far far future where our solar system would be then. So let’s do the math.

    If the solar system is traveling at 514,000mph through the milkyway galaxy and he claims to be from a location 14.6 light years away. That means he’s from this solar system in the year 21,081 AD(or thereabouts since he mentioned the lightyear distance in 1960’s)

    He even said his planet was colonized by Earth. Maybe in the future?

    Side note: Whole solar system is moving in the direction of the Star Vega in the Lyra constellation. From my experience aliens are masters of the understated. They tell ya but don’t tell ya.

    Comment by john — April 20, 2015 @ 3:31 pm

  21. oh one more detail to clarify..

    Law of One material says as an example a large gas giant and it’s associated moons is considered a ‘galaxy’.

    Would be kinda cool if Indrid Cold was from our own solar system and a descendent of Earth(which he claims).

    Comment by john — April 20, 2015 @ 3:35 pm

  22. this is weird,

    jupiter’s moons all 4 major ones. Their single day is the same time as a whole single orbit around jupiter(so like a year but only takes from a day two weeks earth time depending on the moon). Means that if jupiter was emitting light like a sun in the future these moons would completely freeze on one side, then thaw, etc

    I know earth, sun, solar system is expanding in pulses…means the jupiter-moon system would as well, so those moons would most likely keep their same rotation to orbital synch in place but would be a longer orbit. So, if they’re from 20,000 years in the future, you might be able to calculate the new orbits they would have(further out based on earth’s orbit expansion over time) and then calculate how long their year is…

    Right now all the jupiter moon years(year calculated as one rotation around jupiter) is 3.55days(europa), 1.7days(Io), 7.155days(ganymede), 16.68days(callisto). And each ‘year’ is the time as one rotation(day). if they live 125-175yrs old they’d only be days old if in this time period on a jupiter moon.

    So the trick to proving this is to precalculate jupiter’s expansion in size(it happens as all planets do), and also the expansion of the moons(possible for them as well but not always) and of course the corresponding orbital expansion(making the aliens much older as we expect).

    Also makes sense because the orbital distance of each planet from it’s host star is also a direct correlation to the dimension you’re in and it’s speed of time. Also works for atoms. atomic radii expand in fast time fields, and shrink in slow.

    So these aliens are our descendents from the far future, who are in a new cycle of evolution and are experiencing faster time, higher density, less spiritual energy, etc. Let’s hope they don’t lose their technology or experience war cuz their lifestyle will get much MUCH worse than even us.

    To recap,
    1) Law of One material says that our solar system can be considered a ‘galaxy’ in their nomenclature and as well as a gas giant with several moons.
    2) Indrid Cole claims to be a time traveler.
    3) Claims to be from a galaxy named ‘ganymede'(which is the biggest jupiter moon).
    4) All jupiter moons rotate only once in their orbit around jupiter(freezing them on one side for half their orbit) creating the ‘hot’, ‘harvest’ and ‘cold’ seasons.
    5) Claims Earth colonized their planet.
    6) The whole ‘aging backwards’ here if they stay too long and losing their memory of how their ships work cuz time is backwards here is fascinating. If I had to guess, the future solar system 20,000yrs into the future, shifted into a new dimension in which all other dimensions have their own speed of time. The backwards age regression only happens on earth in special experiments where time is significantly slowed. Their tissues seem to be acclimated to faster time field dimensions. So they went down in vibration(fast time ages us significantly quicker), so for them we’re in a higher dimension than they are. Most likely related to the position the solar system is around the galactic center. Which has zones of high or low time speeds.

    They’re us! wheeeee!

    Comment by john — April 20, 2015 @ 4:07 pm

  23. […] on, Woody Derenberger’s encounters – as described in his book, Visitors from Lanulos – clearly placed him in the Contactee arena. That’s to say, he was someone who claimed […]

    Pingback by Indrid Cold and The Invaders, Part 2 | Mysterious Universe — July 15, 2015 @ 10:28 pm

  24. In 1993 Caledon Ontario mothman paid me and my friends and visit on old school Road by landing on our front hood then flying straight into the skies above which left us speechless and reacting like every other story, didn’t talk about it, next day my friend Louie was crushed to death by an 18 wheeler, only I’d by his ring, back then I was ridiculed for mentioning the red eyes we saw

    Comment by Joseph Montague — October 22, 2016 @ 6:57 am

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