The Alien With Bad Knees (Risley; Ken Edwards; 1978)

GNC

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Right, this isn't much to go on, but I had this kids' UFO book when I was little and there was a story in it which really stuck with me, although now I'm not one hundred percent sure why.

Basically this bloke was driving through the countryside (in the USA, I think) and he saw this tall, metallic man walk across the road in front of his car in broad daylight. The figure wasn't bending his knees, or maybe didn't have any, but there was more to the story and I can't remember what it was. It might have paralysed the driver with a beam of light, or maybe I'm mixing up my stories.

Anyway, it was pretty freaky - does it ring a bell with anyone here?
 

kamalktk

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No, but something like that would be a quick way to show the "otherness" of a creature if you're telling a story.

Since you found it freaky, it worked. ;)
 

GNC

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Hey, there were other stories in that book I've heard since, so I'm guessing the author knew his sources! This one must be really obscure, though...
 

Rushfan62

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This probably should be in the Urban Myths thread, but didn't that guy (the Tin Man) die 'Cos of all the paint he had to wear for the movie? I'm Sure I read that somewhere.
 

Monstrosa

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Nope, Buddy Ebsen who was originally going to play the part was allergic to the aluminium paint.
 

GNC

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There was a drawing of the figure in the book, and it didn't have any facial features other than the eyes. A chain link fence was involved somehow but I can't recall how - it might have marched straight through it.
 

Bigphoot2

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This rings a bell with me but I seem to recall it happened in Britain. I seem to recall the alien walked down an embankment and across the road in front of a car - and yes, it appeared to walk through a fence.

I wonder if it was in a book by Jenny Randles...
 

Bigphoot2

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Could it be this incident
Location. Isle of Sheppey Kent England
Date: March 22 1979
Time: 2230
A motorist driving along Sheppey Way spotted a stocky, silver suited figure loping down an embankment on the side of the road. Its suit and helmet were all in one piece and it was wearing a visor at eye level. Other motorists also spotted the figure, and earlier in the evening a couple had seen a red revolving light over the area.

HC addition # 399
Source: Janet & Colin Bord, Modern Mysteries of Britain
ufoinfo.com/humanoid/humanoid1979.shtml
Link is dead. The MIA webpage can be accessed via the Wayback Machine:

https://web.archive.org/web/20130214194227/http://www.ufoinfo.com/humanoid/humanoid1979.shtml
 
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GNC

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Could be! But the detail about the lack of knees is missing, though that is a brief account. Your first idea is definitely it, however, glad I wasn't making it up!
 

Ronnor

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It reminded me of a 1978 encounter detailed on page 220 of 'Modern Mysteries of Britain' by Colin and Janet Bord. No mention of knees but this ring any bells? A chap named Ken Edwards was driving near Risley in Cheshire when a 7ft tall humanoid figure "stooping with its arms stretched out" climbed down an embankment in front of his car. It was silvery with a dark head and paused briefly to shoot two beams of light from its eyes which hit him in his chest. The figure then carried on across the road and "walked straight through a 10 ft high security fence topped with barbed wire". The radio in Mr Edwards' van was damaged during the encounter and interestingly he died of cancer four years later in his early thirties.
 

GNC

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Yes, that's it! I can now see why it stayed with me, if only in fragments. The detail about going back to investigate a few days later AND SEEING IT AGAIN is really unnerving, maybe even more so that it was in the distance - thank goodness it was heading in the opposite direction.

Is this atomic research plant still operating? I wonder if there are any other tales connected with it?
 

Bigphoot2

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It's a very strange story and tragic too.

I was doing some googling at work and apparently the reactor is now decomissioned and the area is a modern industrial estate but a lot of the firms have some connection with the nuclear industry including Sellafield Ltd

Here's a bit on the history of the place

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ROF_Risley

dalton.manchester.ac.uk/about-us/history/
Link is dead. The MIA webpage can be accessed via the Wayback Machine:
https://web.archive.org/web/20120430023748/http://www.dalton.manchester.ac.uk/about-us/history/
 
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Ronnor

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That link is fascinating, thanks for posting it. There are a huge number of really bizarre accounts in the Modern Mysteries of Britain book but most are frustratingly scant on detail. It was great to read a detailed version of this most intriguing Fortean event.
 

Bigphoot2

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I've been looking at the area on google maps and it's changed quite dramatically since the incident. However I was amused to see in a nearby housing develpment there is a Rendlesham Close...
 

GNC

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From Wiki:
So sensitive was the work carried out at Risley, particularly during the fifties and sixties that the former site of the ROF was regularly patrolled by UKAEA Police Force vans. The slightest movement being spotted and investigated immediately.
I wonder if it wasn't an alien but a patrolling government robot with a mean line in protecting official secrets?
 

amarok2005

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A working 7-foot humanoid robot in 1978 would be nearly as improbable as an extraterrestrial! Even the military and police robots of today still use tank-like treads.

Never heard of this one before, though it sounds like a classic. Wasn't an abandoned [nuclear?] power station at "Risleydale" the setting for THE AVENGERS episode, "The Positive-Negative Man?" The title villain walked stiffly, was preceded by electric crackles and humming generator sounds, and he was covered from head to toe in a silvery uniform plus silver make-up. Not his eyes, but his touch blasted people like lightning. Where are John Steed and Emma Peel when you need them?

I seem to recall several "kneeless" entities mentioned over the years in fortean writings, not merely UFOnauts but Bigfoot-types as well. Keel's Strange Creatures from Time and Space mentions some. In legend, the archetype goes as far back as Pliny, who had it that elephants had no knees and had to sleep leaning against trees.
 

GNC

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amarok2005 said:
Never heard of this one before, though it sounds like a classic. Wasn't an abandoned [nuclear?] power station at "Risleydale" the setting for THE AVENGERS episode, "The Positive-Negative Man?" The title villain walked stiffly, was preceded by electric crackles and humming generator sounds, and he was covered from head to toe in a silvery uniform plus silver make-up. Not his eyes, but his touch blasted people like lightning. Where are John Steed and Emma Peel when you need them?
That's a darn good observation! That Avengers episode was broadcast about ten years before this incident, I wonder if the victim ever saw it? We'll never know now, but there are very coincidental links between both fiction and "fact". We'd have to assume the episode version features Risley Dale as a tribute of sorts to the actual research lab, wouldn't we?
 

amarok2005

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"The Positive-Negative Man," and good ol' "Risely Dale Research Labs" are on YouTube -- for now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g-KXuf-wuc

Please don't think I'm saying the unfortunate witness of the "Silver Man" saw THE AVENGERS and imagined/ hoaxed his encounter. I rather think that life imitates art, or that Jungian synchronicity is involved, or that the Cosmic Clown has his little jokes. I don't think Barney and Betty Hill saw an episode of OUTER LIMITS and added the TV aliens to their UFO sighting. either.

It does tickle me, however, that some supposedly real events have had a sort of archtypical appearance in fiction and film before they occurred in the physical world. Just read a few Men-in-Black reports and then see the 1950s sf movie, NOT OF THIS EARTH!
 

GNC

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Very interesting article in FT397 on what we can now call the Risley Silver Man, but I'm not sure I buy the explanation. If Ken was that pissed enough to hallucinate, he would have crashed well before reaching the location of the sighting, or at least be unfit to travel far. But if the fire service really did have a giant working for them, fair enough.
 

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Very interesting article in FT397 on what we can now call the Risley Silver Man, but I'm not sure I buy the explanation. If Ken was that pissed enough to hallucinate, he would have crashed well before reaching the location of the sighting, or at least be unfit to travel far. But if the fire service really did have a giant working for them, fair enough.
Haven't read the article, but have you ever yourself, or ever met someone who's hallucinated as a result of being pissed? It's one of those myths people come out with which has little reality - the seeing little pink elephants syndrome.
 

EnolaGaia

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Haven't read the article, but have you ever yourself, or ever met someone who's hallucinated as a result of being pissed? It's one of those myths people come out with which has little reality - the seeing little pink elephants syndrome.
Yes, I have - multiple times.

Literally hallucinating while actively drunk is relatively rare. It's much more commonly a matter of the slowed-down cognitive abilities getting confused about perceptual stimuli and conflicts with whatever the drunken person thought was happening at the moment. Combined with lowered inhibition, drunks can spin themselves off onto all sorts of tangents.

Outright hallucinations are common with alcohol withdrawal in seriously addicted chronic drinkers. My late (extremely alcohol-dependent) brother experienced hallucinations as well as sleepwalking, fugue states, manic episodes and grand mal style seizures when he was unable to maintain his blood alcohol level.
 

GNC

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I don't think there's a question about Ken Edwards' possible alcohol problems, he seems to have been a normal drinker for the 1970s, and he wasn't suffering the DTs, the article suggests he had been social drinking at a union meeting, which doesn't sound like he'd be hammered.
 

RustyShackleford

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I've read the article, but I'm not convinced by the explanation provided.

To my mind, there are a number of problems with it.

Firstly, it all rests on the testimony of an anonymous individual who started work at that particular fire station 10 years after the event. This means, at best, this information is second hand, but also would have undoubtedly been subject to certain 'changes' and 'revisions' that inevitably occur with any story that is re-told at different points by different individuals over the course of a 10 years plus period after the event.

I don't think it's beyond the realms of possibility that when the firemen heard about this incident they joked with themselves that it was just a colleague, 'big john', in a specialist suit and, as time passed and personnel changed, this in-joke became an accepted 'fact'.

Secondly, a lot of the explanation relies on assumptions made by the author. The author assumes Ken Edwards was drunk. The author assumes the fireman who was trotted out by police to test Edwards, was wearing a 'different' specialist suit. The author assumes the firemen and police would've 'closed ranks' when questioned by UFO investigators.

Lastly, there are a lot of things about the encounter that this article does not explain and leaves out altogether.

For example, the article neglects to mention that Ken Edwards, in fact, saw the Silver Man twice. The second occasion was a few days after the first incident when he had returned to the scene with a UFO investigator. If we are to believe, as the article assumes, that the 'hoaxing' firemen were so concerned by potential sackings/inquiries that they would not come clean and admit the hoax, then why would they take the risk of performing a second hoax so soon after the first, given all the publicity the first generated? It doesn't add up.

There are lots of other details of the encounter, not mentioned in the article, that this explanation fails to explain away: missing time; Ken Edwards' strange 'sunburn' injuries; Edwards' description of the Silver Man does not tally with that of a man in a protective suit ("arms that were not attached at its shoulders, but stuck straight out of its chest") and the 'paralysis' Edwards experience during the encounter to name but a few.

I'm not ruling out a hoax as a possible explanation. But, to my mind, despite the claims to the contrary in the article, the Risley Silver Man remains unexplained.
 

Naughty_Felid

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Yes, I have - multiple times.

Literally hallucinating while actively drunk is relatively rare. It's much more commonly a matter of the slowed-down cognitive abilities getting confused about perceptual stimuli and conflicts with whatever the drunken person thought was happening at the moment. Combined with lowered inhibition, drunks can spin themselves off onto all sorts of tangents.

Outright hallucinations are common with alcohol withdrawal in seriously addicted chronic drinkers. My late (extremely alcohol-dependent) brother experienced hallucinations as well as sleepwalking, fugue states, manic episodes and grand mal style seizures when he was unable to maintain his blood alcohol level.
That's why if you drink a lot - stopping all alcohol immediately can be very dangerous. I've done CPR on people like that and luckily they've pulled through. It scared the crap out of me though.
 

GNC

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Very interesting letters in FT 400 on possible other sightings of silver men, including some seen from a Welsh hotel's first floor window who were apparently searching a field, and floating as they did so. Anyone know anymore?

I note nobody in the letters believes the article's explanation of "Big John".
 
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