Glenn Wilson who worked at WTAP-TV had these reel to reel tapes for close to 30 years. He was going to throw them away on his retirement but Susan Sheppard saved these tapes from destruction and had them transferred from the old reel-to-reel tapes to audio tapes and then CD. Without her, the record of Woodrow Derenberger's strange encounter would be lost forever. The tapes now sit in public view at The Mothman Museum.
According to Susan Shepard, The interview went on for like 2 hours after the cameras were turned off and they asked Woodrow Derenberger questions, such as his mental state, did he stop at a bar on the way home, was he on nerve medicine and did he go to church, but all crucial information ended up on the audio CD.
Transcription of The Interview:
The Following is a word for word transcription based on The Interview audio:
Glenn Wilson: I would like to introduce my cohort in this venture, Mr. Ronald Maines who is the general manager of WTAP TV and Radio, and we are here to ask this gentlemen questions, and we will be asking questions for the next half hour to twenty five minutes.
Our guest is Mr. Derenberger of Route number two, Mineral wells, West Virginia. Mr. Derenberger has a very interesting story to tell us this evening. I will give you a thumbnail sketch to begin with. Whether or not you believe in unidentified flying objects or not is not the point. Whether you believe in what you hear or see in this program is not the point. We are here to talk to a man that allegedly did make contact with such an object within the Parkersburg area last evening, November the 2nd 1966, at approximately 7:25 PM.
The incident allegedly took place on interstate highway 77 near the interchange of Route number 47. This gentlemen is a salesmen in the area. He has been a resident of the area for the past 50 years and he has given us permission to interview him, to show his face and to call him by name. This in itself takes a lot of initiative and, to be very plain, a lot of know how. Mr Derenberger, In your own words, would you please relate what happened last night.
Woodrow: Well I was, I am a salesmen and I drive a truck and last night shortly after seven o'clock I was coming from Marietta Ohio coming down interstate 77 and just before I came to the intersection of Route 47 there was a car, passed me, had overtaken me from behind, and following closely behind this car was this unidentified flying object and as the car behind passed me this object was following close behind it and it swerved directly in front of my truck, turning cross wise and when it turned cross wise it slowed down, and started slowing, not abruptly or too fast but it gave me plenty of time to step on my brakes and slow down with it but it forced me to come to a complete stop. As soon as I had stopped there was a door opened in the side of this vehicle and this man stepped out and came directly to me or came to the truck.
He walked to the right hand side of the truck and he told me to roll down the window. He asked me to roll down the window on my right hand side of my truck and I done what he asked, and this man stood there and he first asked me what I was called and I know he meant my name and I told him my name and he asked me he said 'Why are you frightened?' he said 'Don't be frightened, we wish you no harm'. he said 'We mean you not harm, we wish you only happiness' and I told him my name and when I told him my name he said he was called 'Cold'.
That was the name that he was called by, and he asked me what the city of Parkersburg, he pointed to the light. He didn't point but he gave the impression that he was pointing and he asked me what that was called and I told him it was Parkersburg, it was a city, a town and he asked me if most all the people lived in this city or town and I explained to him that it was a place of business, Its were we transacted our business but the people lived in communities, outline communities, most of the people and when I told him that this was a city he said that were his home was that was called a 'Gathering' and again he told me not to be frightened which I was.
I was very frightened and as far as I can understand, this was all mental, there was no spoken words from him. I knew what he was asking me but yet he stood there and his mouth did not move. He had a smile on his face, he appeared very courteous and friendly, and after I talked with him a while, he told me, he said 'We will see you again' and he left in his vehicle.
Ronald Maines: Now Mr. Derenberger for the sake of our television audience here, the words that you used; 'Cold'. Cold would be like, Cold is his name, this is how it sounded to you that his name was Cold?
Ronald Maines: And the word 'Gathering' was like we would know 'to gather' or something like this.
Woodrow: Yes, that's what he meant, that was the impression that he gave.
Ronald Maines: And he did not move his lips nor utter any sound what so ever. He talked with you in telepathy then.
Woodrow: That was right, his lips did not move, he uttered no words at all.
Ronald Maines: but you talked?
Woodrow: Yes, I talked. He told me twice that I could either talk or I could think which either would be better or easier for me.
Ronald Maines: This was an instant thing, there was no hesitation on his part nor on your part. You knew immediately what he was communicating to you and he knew immediately what you were communicating to him?
Woodrow: That is right.
Ronald Maines: What did this object, what color was this object?
Woodrow: This object was between a real dark grey and black. I would call it a charcoal color. It glistened in my headlights. When it stopped me, my headlights were shining directly on it.
Ronald Maines: Were there lights in it?
Woodrow: No, I see no lights of any kind, there was no lights in it.
Ronald Maines: There were windows?
Woodrow: If there was windows, I couldn't detect them, I couldn't see them.
Ronald Maines: And when the door. . . Now You could, you had a very clear view from behind the wheel of your van, the drivers seat of your van.
Ronald Maines: He came forward toward you, did he tell you, did he communicate to you to roll your window down before he got to the side of your truck? Was he still in your headlights when he communicated?
Woodrow: He was still in my headlights walking in a kind of diagonal way across my headlights to the right hand side of my truck when he told me then, to roll down, if I would please roll down the window on the right hand side of my truck.
Ronald Maines: Now in the beginning, you were driving south on 77.
Ronald Maines: From Marietta?
Ronald Maines: Toward Mineral Wells?
Ronald Maines: A car passed you.
Woodrow: It did.
Ronald Maines: Immediately behind this car, what distance?
Woodrow: I would say between 25 and 30 feet. It was very close to the other car.
Ronald Maines: Came this object..
Ronald Maines: ..Hovering how far off the ground would you say?
Woodrow: Well, When I first seen it, I seen it out of the corner of my eye and I first thought it was just another car and then I knew it wasn't a car almost immediately and I turned and looked at it. And I would say it was approximately 30 to 35 feet long and it came directly across passed my truck and immediately turned sideways. It was completely cross the two lane highway. It was, It completely blocked me off. I went partly off the road onto the berm to try to go around it but I couldn't get around it.
Ronald Maines: Now let me ask you something, Then when it came in front of your car, May I have.., Mr. Derenberger was kind enough to draw us a sketch of what this object appeared to him and we'll let you see it here. I'm correct in that the object came along side of your car and veered in front of your car, or your truck, and as you slowed your truck down, the object slowed down and then when it landed, It didn't land, It stayed off the ground?
Woodrow: Yes, It was approximately 8 to 10 inches off of the ground and as soon as it came to a stop, immediately there was a door on the side facing me open and this man stepped out and he started walking immediately right to the right hand side of my truck.
Ronald Maines: Now, that would be then the picture we have on our screen right now. (Sketch is lost along with video footage) That would be the angle, your truck would be going right at that. Is that the idea?
Woodrow: That's right.
Ronald Maines: Now where would the door be in that particular object there.
Woodrow: It would right where the large part of the drawling starts.
Ronald Maines: Where the hump is?
Woodrow: Yes. Right where the hump is.
Ronald Maines: Oh, In the front of the hump.
Glenn Wilson: Would It be in this direction here?
Woodrow: Back toward, right there, no, that's too far Mr. Wilson. Back up front farther.
Glenn Wilson: About here?
Woodrow: Right there.
Glenn Wilson: about in here?
Woodrow: Approximately, right there. And the door it resembled just an ordinary automobile door when it opened.
Glenn Wilson: Alright.
Ronald Maines: Now, this, It didn't open from a bottom hinge or a top hinge, It opened from the side hinge just as the door that we know opens.
Woodrow: Yes, It opened from the side.
Ronald Maines: How about, would you, how was this gentlemen, how was this person dressed? What type of clothing did he wear?
Woodrow: He had a topcoat on and it was zippered down the front. His top, the top two buttons, like my coat here, were open and, he, this outfit was a shiny material, it was a glossy outfit like it was metallic I suppose you would call it and his shirt was a little bit darker than his jacket and below his coat he had on trousers of the same kind of a cloth material and I believe the trousers were just a shade lighter than his coat.
Ronald Maines: Which would have been a navy blue, the coat would have been a dark blue coat.
Ronald Maines: What about the texture of his skin, the color of his skin. His eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes, hairline, What were these? What did he look like?
Woodrow: He looked perfectly natural and normal as any human being. He had, his face looked like he had a good tan, a deep sun tan, he was not too dark but it was just like he had been out in the sun a lot and had a good tan. His hair was combed straight back and it was a dark brown and he seemed to have a good thick head of hair. His eyebrows, his face, his features were very normal. I don't believe that he looked any different from any other man that would meet on the street.
Ronald Maines: Now this ship that he stepped out of, when he came up, he left the ship and started toward your truck, toward your van, the ship remained there as he walked toward you.
Woodrow: No, Immediately when he stepped out of the truck or out of his vehicle, the door closed and vehicle lifted straight up. It went straight, just as straight as you could point upward. And It went up and I did see it as occasionally as I was talking to this man, I looked up and it was still there. It was approximately 50 to 75 feet off of the ground and it stayed there all the time this man was talking to me.
Ronald Maines: Now when he talked to you, did he turn his head away as I am turning my head away now or did he stare right at you or did, what was his movement?
Woodrow: He watched me when he was talking to me. He looked at me directly in the face but as there was several cars and several big trucks passed and as these big trucks passed, he would turn his head and glance at the trucks.
Ronald Maines: But there was no, did you look at the object in the air while he was talking with you? Did you glance up?
Woodrow: Yes, in fact I leaned forward and looked kind of out of my windshield and I could see it, it was still..
Ronald Maines: So then this communication that he had with you would not necessarily depend upon him looking you in the eye or anything like that then evidently.
Woodrow: No, he did not, In fact when he first got out of the vehicle when he told me to roll the window down, It was impossible for him to see my eyes because I was behind my own headlights. He could not have done that.
Ronald Maines: How old would you say he was?
Woodrow: He looked to be approximately 35, 40 years old. He was very nice looking man, he was neat..
Ronald Maines: What specifically did he say to you? What did he say 'Hi, Its a nice evening' or what? I mean, why did he stop you? What was his..
Woodrow: When he asked me to roll the window down, which I did. I rolled the window down and he told me, he said 'I would like to talk to you' and I just couldn't answer him. I just couldn't speak and that is the first time he told me not be frightened. He said he wished me no harm and he talked a little bit in this vein and he asked me why, he said 'Why are you frightened of us?'. He said 'We are the same as you'. He said 'We eat, we breathe, we sleep, we bleed even as you do'. He said 'We are like you' and he said 'Please be not frightened'.
Ronald Maines: Did he say where he was from?
Woodrow: He did not say where he was from but when he asked me what Parkerburg was, and I told him, he said where I stay or where I live, my home, he said 'We call this a gathering'.
Ronald Maines: Did he say anything about, did he volunteer, Did he have a family? What did, did you ask you what you did for a living, where you work?
Woodrow: He asked me If I worked for a living, he asked me If I had to work to live and I explained to him what I was. He even where I lived and I told him. And I told him that I was a salesman and he told me that he was a searcher.
Ronald Maines: A searcher?
Woodrow: A searcher.
Ronald Maines: But he didn't tell you what he was searching for?
Woodrow: No, he didn't. He didn't offer me no information other than this but two or three times he did tell me, he said 'Mr. Derenberger, look at me'. He said 'Do not be frightened, look at me' and I believe If I hadn't of been frightened, I believe that I had've looked to him. I believe I could've understood a lot more of what he wanted me to than what I actually did.
Ronald Maines: You just this feeling, you mean?
Woodrow: I have that feeling. I was very nervous, I was very upset after this happened and after I got home and after I had calmed down, I can look back now and I see where I should have asked him questions and I believe I had the impression that he would've answered these questions readily.
Ronald Maines: Do you believe in flying saucers?
Woodrow: I never have believed in flying saucers before. I have heard about them a few times. I've even read in the paper about flying objects but I honestly never did believe in it.
Glenn Wilson: Do you believe in them now?
Woodrow: I believe in what I seen last night. I believe it was, I don't believe it was a saucer but I believe it was an alien some kind of an aircraft, spacecraft or something.
Ronald Maines: Mr. Derenberger, we have a program on the radio called the Joe Pine show and Mr. Pine interviews extraordinary people, and various, that are involved in various occupations and some non-occupational type of business and have you ever heard of Joe Pine?
Woodrow: No, I haven't. I don't believe I have.
Ronald Maines: Alright, In one of his recent broadcasts he talked with a man, he interviewed a man, who had not only had some what similar experience to what you had last evening but this gentlemen went one step further and he had taken, been taken aboard a spaceship which by the way was described quite similarly to what you described this particular ship and this ship with these people who looked like we do and so forth, took him to Venus and took him to Mars and brought him back home again. What would think a story like that if somebody told it to you? What would you think of the person telling you that story? Would you believe that now? Would you believe that that could be possible?
Woodrow: Now, Mr. Maines, I believe now that that could happen. If someone would have told me yesterday before this happened I would have frankly thought he was a nut but I honestly believe now that It could happen. I'm surely not going to say It couldn't happen. These men last night or this man, he made, he gave me no indication that he wanted me on his ship. He didn't ask me to get out of my truck. As I say, he was very friendly and courteous.
Ronald Maines: Do you drink?
Woodrow: No, I do not drink.
Ronald Maines: Other than, I mean, you don't drink intoxicating beverages?
Woodrow: No, I do not drink any intoxicating beverages at all. I don't believe in drinking. But What I saw last night, I know that I say. It was no figment of imagination it was there and I was there.
Ronald Maines: Now you said that he also made the statement that 'We will see you again'.
Woodrow: When he was getting ready to leave, he stepped back from the truck about one step then he said 'Mr. Derenberger, we will see you again'. He didn't say 'I', he said 'We will see you again' and when he got in the truck or when he got in the vehicle, the door opened as he walked up to the vehicle and he stepped up into it and there was some other man or I couldn't describe this man because I could just see his outline but I did see his arm and hand reach outside and take a hold of the door and pull the door closed. And when the door closed it made an audible noise like you'd shut the door on a big heavy automobile.
Ronald Maines: What kind of a noise did this object make when it was hovering above the ground 6 or 10 inches and then upon letting the man off, you say it went back up in the air about 75 or 100 feet? This is an object now that were talking about that's 9, 8 or 9 feet high, 36 feet long?
Ronald Maines: and about 8 or 9 feet across?
Woodrow: That's right.
Ronald Maines: Although its really not too large an object, it is larger than an automobile for example and to lift something like that would take a lot of force to do this. What kind of a sound did this make?
Woodrow: The sound when it was hovering over the ground and when it was lifting, I couldn't distinguish no difference in this sound, it was a low fluttery noise. If you've ever heard the blades of a helicopter as it was idling sitting on the ground, that would be the closest way that I could describe the noise it made but it was not very loud.
Ronald Maines: Can you make a noise that it sounded like?
Woodrow: Well, It was a fluttering noise. It sounded something like *Noise*
Ronald Maines: But its a sound you've never heard before.
Woodrow: I had never heard anything like it before in my life.
Ronald Maines: Lets get back to this, Lets get back to the fellow here. He was how tall?
Woodrow: I would say he was close to 6 feet tall and he'd weight around 180 or 185.
Ronald Maines: I'm 6 feet tall, hes heavier than I am.
Woodrow: He was about your height.
Ronald Maines: But heavier that what I am?
Woodrow: Yes, he was heavier. His face was more full.
Ronald Maines: How much do you figure that I would weight?
Woodrow: I'd say about 165 to 70, 170.
Ronald Maines: You're right on the buck, that's right. There were no lights. Now, this dark this time of night, it was dark.
Woodrow: It was completely dark but I never at any time turned my headlights off and I also had the lights in the truck on. I have a cab light and then I have lights back through my truck and these lights were on and gave good illumination up close to the truck but not too far back but while he was standing and talking me, I could see him clearly and at several times there was cars passed and trucks passed and especially cars that came up from behind me as they came around this fender were throwing their headlights directly on the back end of my truck and throwing good light on him.
Ronald Maines: But no one slowed down or paused?
Woodrow: No one slowed down.
Ronald Maines: But they would have easily been able to see him.
Woodrow: Yes, they could see him.
Ronald Maines: Do you suppose maybe someone in our audience might have passed you last evening standing there talking with this fellow.
Woodrow: I know that there were several cars passed me and one car, as this thing settled out in front of me, was coming to meet me and when this thing was directly in front of me, this car came to meet me and his headlights were, it was in a kind of a curve, when this guy come to meet me would be making a left hand curve and his lights would be shining off to the right but I still think that he could of seen and probably did see whatever this object was.
Ronald Maines: Glenn I've been monopolizing here. You, sneak in with a question.
Glenn Wilson: That's alright.
Ronald Maines: You have some questions you'd like asked?
Glenn Wilson: I know personally that Mr. Derenberger was scared because I'd talked to him a short time after this happened by telephone last night. What did your wife think when you told her about this episode?
Woodrow: Well my wife was, she took it pretty calmly but it kind of made her nervous, she worried today before I started back to work. She thought the same thing could happen again. She believes that, what I told her and shes pretty upset herself about it.
Glenn Wilson: This thought communication which apparently extrasensory perception or mental telepathy, when was you first aware that this was the way that you were communicating?
Woodrow: Well, when he first told me to, when he first got out of his vehicle and started over to my car that is when he first told me or asked me If I'd roll down my window. At that time, right at that minute, I didn't know that It was mental telepathy but when he came to the door and looked in through the window from the right hand side of the truck then I realized that he was speaking but his lips were not moving.
Glenn Wilson: Is this the thing that frightened you, that shook you up?
Woodrow: This is what made me, that frightened me more than anything, I believe, that had happened at that time even more so than when I actually seen the object, and I know that he told me not be frightened, he was very reassuring in his attitude. He was friendly, he smiled continuously while I talked to him.
Glenn Wilson: He kept his arms folded something like this all the time.
Woodrow: His arms were folded completely at all times. Like I said, his hands were hidden and at the time I talked to him, I didn't think nothing about it but after I started home, I did wonder why he stood that way and as I believe one of you gentlemen asked me before about his hands, when this man closed the door when he got back in the vehicle, I distinctly saw this other mans hand and arm. His arm looked completely normal and his hand.
Ronald Maines: Now you described the attire of this person more as a suit such as I'm wearing than a uniform.
Ronald Maines: What we know as a uniform
Woodrow: I would say that It wasn't a uniform. It didn't have the cut of a uniform, It was more like you'd wear suit to town.
Ronald Maines: Was it a cloth like this?
Woodrow: Well it was a bright shiny color cloth. It looked like what my calls a hard fabric. It glistened when the lights would shine on it.
Ronald Maines: a luminous type?
Ronald Maines: The arm that came out, another arm from inside came out to close the door when this gentlemen got back.
Woodrow: Yes it did.
Ronald Maines: Was that arm clothed in the same type of..
Woodrow: I would say it was identically the same. It looked the same to me.
Ronald Maines: Now he had on, from what you could see he had on a shirt that buttoned with a collar but not tie.
Woodrow: He had no tie but I know that the top bottom of his shirt was closed. I know he had a button there, I seen it. I looked at that button. Now his top coat was zippered. He had a zipper on the front of his coat. He looked perfectly normal.
Ronald Maines: Why do you suppose that he came around to the right hand side of your truck rather than the nearest side to you? Why do you figure that he came around that side?
Woodrow: Well, the only reason that I could give for that was that I had two wheels off on the berm and two wheels sitting on the highway where I'd been trying to get around before he got me completely stopped and I believe that this man actually knew the traffic conditions. I believed he knew that he would be safer on the other side of the truck.
Ronald Maines: Now if he didn't use words in communicating with you, if he used thoughts, why did he have you roll your window down? So he could hear you? Did you feel that this was why he did this?
Woodrow: I believe that he had me to roll the window down so that he could look at me without looking through the glass because the glass was very rain streaked where it'd been raining. That is the impression that I got. That he wanted the window down so I'd been in closer communication with him or so we could see each other.
Ronald Maines: The time when he left you, when he, when your conversation was ended. How did you know it was all over? Did he say anything to the affect of 'Well, I've gotta be going now, I have to go. I know..'. What did, how did he terminate this conversation?
Woodrow: He terminated his conversation very quickly, one second we were talking there and the next thing this vehicle settled down right beside, he stepped back from the truck and when he stepped back this thing came right back down, now it wasn't cross wise the road when it came down, it was heading in the same direction I was. It was about the length of truck and when it settled down, he turned walked up around in front on my headlights and back but just before he started he said 'Mr. Derenberger we will be seeing you again'.
Ronald Maines: Do you believe he will?
Woodrow: Well, I did believe it but now I don't know how to answer that honestly because I'm afraid he will and I don't want him to but I have a feeling that he will.
Ronald Maines: You're apprehensive that that he will see you yet..
Ronald Maines: ..yet you would probably like the experiencing it, wouldn't you be more prepared this time?
Woodrow: I don't think that I'd be quite so frightened. I think that I could ask him a few questions. I think I could ask him just about as many as he's asked me now.
Ronald Maines: Well Mr. Derenberger we're, because of time, we appreciate you taking the time to come down here with us.