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Visitors from Lanulos Hardcover – 1971
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Derenberger subsequently published a book titled “Visitors from Lanulos”, detailing his contactee experiences with Cold and other aliens. The original edition from 1971 is both rare and long out of print. Last year, a small press called New Saucerian decided to publish a new edition. In addition to Derenberger's original story, it contains some new material which confuse more than clarify. But then, that's what we expect from UFO literature, so no offense taken! Above all, “Visitors from Lanulos” is an interesting peek into the mind of an old style contactee, who describes the aliens as remarkably human-like, peaceful and spiritual. It's ironic that this feel-good story was picked up by Keel, who had a much darker view of the paranormal.
In the book, Derenberger claims that Indrid Cold and his associates hail from the planet Lanulos in the galaxy of Ganymede. They look like humans, communicate through telepathy and travel through space in UFOs of the “classical” type. Derenberger claims to have visited Lanulos, which turns out to be a more comfortable version of 1960's America, complete with a communistic economy, well stocked supermarkets and widespread nudism. The inhabitants are descended from humans (!) who crashed there in prehistoric times, creating a tie-in to speculations about Atlantis and other vanished, advanced civilizations. Naturally, Cold and his fellow post-humans want to save our civilization through love, peace and mental telepathy. The government, the military and official UFO investigators (who apparently mocked Derenberger) are part of a conspiracy to cover up the truth. “The Men in Black” are really secret government agents. The real aliens are peaceful, with the exception of a curious race of humanoids in pink-colored craft who are inveterate kleptomaniacs!
Derenberger describes how his remote farm in West Virginia was almost besieged by curious spectators when he went public with his story. More disturbingly, some of the unwanted visitors brought hunting rifles with them, presumably so they could kill the aliens and secure their bodies as “evidence”! Derenberger also mentions Keel's failed investigation of the premises. While trying to hunt down a UFO, Keel had a rather nasty encounter with a enraged bull instead…
While Woody Derenberger's story is pretty straightforward, the additional material in this new edition is not. Woody's daughter Taunia Derenberger-Bowman claims that the book contains exaggerations added by the original editor, Harold Hubbard, and that Keel saw documents telling a slightly different story, documents long lost. She never elaborates, however. The new publisher, Andy Colvin, has given the story a darker turn by claiming that Cold and his team really were humans, probably secret government agents working for MK-Ultra. He even names three people as possible suspects, one of them a former Nazi, two others with purported connections to the JFK assassination! Indrid Cold's real name is Emil Koedel in this new scenario. Colvin also claims that Taunia told him that Cold and his “alien” friends were “real people”.
Maybe. Maybe not. It's interesting to see how “Visitors from Lanulos”, originally part of the upbeat contactee milieu, have been reinterpreted to fit the negative conspiracy scenarios that began to thrive during the 1980's and 1990's. The friendly nudist communists from Ganymede (really the name of a god associated with homosexuality and hence “free love”) are suddenly turned into Nazis and presidential assassins working for the CIA. Each generation has different daimons, it seems.
I don't think Woody Derenberger would have liked the new twist to his story. I strongly suspect John Keel may have. That being said, I think it's great that Colvin has decided to rescue this little gem from the memory hole. It's not a terribly interesting story in its own right, but due to its cultural significance, I nevertheless give it four stars.
For me it boils down to a question of motivation. Woody never became rich from this material. He drew much fire and criticism...yet never changed his message. I don't really know what to make of it. I'm not a "hope" kind of person, so I can't just say I hope it's true even if a part of me does.
I find it difficult to accept the benevolent message of a space race as I can't deny my human perspective, which entails a wary eye, cynicism and suspicion.
I don't hear many contact messages, like Woody's, or any others for that matter from my current position in time 2015.
The line...has gone silent.
Maybe they've given up on us.
If they did, I can say that they'd sure have basis for it.
Or maybe it's just going to take much longer than they thought.
Rest in peace, Woody. You seemed like a fine fellow. We'll see you...in time.