The Gnome of Girona: A Real-life Smurf Hoax

The preserved remains of the Gnome of Girona. (Image credit/source here.)

The preserved remains of the Gnome of Girona. (Image credit/source here.)

Sometime in September 1989, two couples named Añaños and Pujals went camping in a forest near the Spanish city of Girona. While the four friends were barbecuing and listening to music on a cassette player, a strange creature suddenly walked out of the bushes. The “Gnome of Girona”, as it was later called in Spanish media, was a small rabbit-like creature that had glowing red eyes and bluish skin. Apparently attracted by the music, the Gnome walked up to the cassette player and stood as the campers watched.

When one of the men turned the music up, the creature let out a loud laugh like an old man’s, and tried to run away. To prevent its escape, the campers threw a blanket over it and placed the Gnome in a birdcage. It smelled like sarsaparilla and had very soft skin. Aside from three pieces of hair found on the back of its neck, the Gnome was hairless. Its height was measured at 12 centimeters (4.7 inches). It made no protest about being captured, but refused to eat. After four days in captivity, the creature died.

Drawing of the Gnome of Girona. (Image credit/source here.)

Drawing of the Gnome of Girona. (Image credit/source here.)

The campers decided to save the creature’s remains in a coffee jar filled with formaldehyde, and it was later sold to Angel Gordon, a Spanish parapsychologist. Gordon paraded the remains around the media, appearing on the Spanish TV shows Otra Dimensión (“Another Dimension”) and En los Límites de la Realidad (“In the Twilight Zone”). Some speculated that the creature was an alien, but Gordon himself said that it was an elf, the same sort from German folklore which inspired The Smurfs.

Gordon’s bizarre story attracted growing skepticism after he gave conflicting accounts of how the Gnome was found. He couldn’t specify where in the forest the campers saw the Gnome, and nobody could locate the campers either. (He could assumedly neither explain why anybody would go camping with a birdcage.) In 1991, pictures taken of the Gnome were examined by Dr. John Altschuler, an American pathologist interested in UFOs and cattle mutilations. Altschuler was not convinced that the remains were of an extraterrestrial origin, dismissing it as an animal fetus, possibly a cow or pig.

Angel Gordon displaying pictures of the Gnome of Gerona remains. (Image credit/source here.)

Angel Gordon displaying pictures of the Gnome of Gerona remains. (Image credit/source here.)

In a move to defend the Gnome, Gordon appeared on a Spanish TV show along with Dr. Luis Linares de Mula, a medical doctor and fellow parapsychologist. Mula claimed that the Gnome of Girona was an abnormal animal unknown to science. The campers who caught the Gnome, the Añaños and Pujals, also appeared on the show and gave a first-person account of the story.

Biologists from the Barcelona Zoo later investigated the Gnome and came to the conclusion that there was nothing extraordinary about it. Its legs, they noted, were underdeveloped and couldn’t possibly have been able to walk. The “Gnome”, in fact, was very likely a deformed three-month-old calf fetus.

Pictures of the Gnome of Gerona. (Image credit/source here.)

Pictures of the Gnome of Gerona. The remains have become yellowish over time. (Image credit/source here.)

Any hope that the Gnome of Girona really was a blue little elf was extinguished when a man named Manuel Tello came forward and told a different story about how the Gnome was found. According to Tello, one of his neighbors had found the Gnome dead while walking in the countryside. He thought it was a rabbit fetus, or possibly some rare animal. After Tello took some pictures of the thing, Angel showed up and bought it. Tello began to see Angel touring the media circuit with the camper story a few weeks later.

As another skeptic would later uncover, the Añaños and Pujals turned out to be actors hired to promote Gordon’s camper story. There are, of course, some believers who still insist that the Gnome of Girona is either an extraterrestrial/real-life Smurf/elf corpse or the fetus of an unidentified animal, but this story has been thoroughly debunked as a hoax.

Elizabeth Klarer and Her Handsome Alien Lover from the Planet Meton

The sort of people who claim to have had sex with aliens typically aren’t respected very highly (go figure), but one of the earliest claimants, South African Elizabeth Klarer, was actually a rather accomplished woman. After studying music and meteorology in England, Klarer served as a pilot in the South African Air Force during World War II. She later became an agent for Royal Air Force Intelligence.

Born in 1910 to a wealthy family, Klarer grew up fascinated by the Zulu folklore told to her by the family’s native African workers, and she was especially intrigued by the stories of sky gods going up into the sky and vowing to someday return. After reading some books by alien contactee George Adamski in the early 1950s, Klarer apparently remembered some UFO sightings she experienced during her childhood. On two separate occasions, she saw a giant flying disc in the sky. After the second sighting, a ball of light floated into her house.

In the mid-1950s, Klarer spotted more UFOs and reported that she was in telepathic contact with a pilot named Akon. Akon and his co-pilot, both of whom were astrophysicists, eventually let Klarer board their spaceship. They told her that they came from Meton, a planet in the galaxy of Alpha Centauri. Klarer became friends with the aliens, and they continued making visits to her.

After a time, Klarer felt a great attraction toward Akon, and doubtlessly unable to resist the opportunity of kinky intergalactic space sex with an attractive extraterrestrial species, took him as a lover and became pregnant. Akon then took her to live on Meton, where she gave birth to a hybrid son the couple named Ayling.

According to Klarer, Meton was a utopia free of crime, greed, and poverty. The inhabitants of Meton looked just like humans, but they were kinder, taller, and better-looking. Metonians could live for thousands of years, and were even able to reincarnate after death. They dressed in beautiful silk clothing and ate only natural food. They didn’t care for sports, but loved art and music. They never married or divorced and had large families. The Metonians adored children and were fond of keeping pet birds.There was no need for schools or books because communication and learning were all done through telepathy.Technologically and spiritually, the Metonians were thousands of years ahead of earthlings.

As much as she liked Meton, Klarer had difficulty living there because of the atmosphere, so she went back to earth after four months. Occasionally, she would receive visits from Akon and Ayling, the latter whom followed in his father’s cosmic footsteps to also become an astrophysicist.

In 1980, Klarer published an account of her experiences in a book called Beyond the Light Barrier. While there were only some family members to back her story, and no documentation of her alleged pregnancy, Klarer insisted that her story was true up until her death in 1994.

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The 6 Foot Tall Monkey on a Skateboard that Terrorized New Delhi in the Summer of 2001

Sketches of the monkey-man. Source:

Sketches of the monkey-man. Source:

In April 2001, three men in the Indian city of Ghaziabad reported being attacked by a monkey while they were asleep. While the first two attacks had happened while the victims were laying on their terraces outside, the third attack occurred in the inside of a building. As the attacks increased, the monkey took on a stranger appearance, with one woman claiming he had glowing light bulbs on his back. Panic broke out across the city, and when rumors began to spread that police had arrested a “monkey man” on April 10th, a crowd gathered in front of the police station and demanded to see it.

After only a month passed, sightings of the monkey-man spilled over into the near-by city of New Delhi. The creature seemed to prey entirely on the poor, visiting their neighborhoods late at night and mauling people who happened to be sleeping on their rooftops. Eyewitness descriptions varied widely, with some claiming that the monster was a four foot tall monkey covered in black fur, while others said it was a six foot tall monkey-like creature that wore clothing and had the face of a man. He had everything from an astronaut helmet to a skateboard to the ability to jump from roof to roof without leaving a single footprint behind.



Hysteria erupted whenever somebody shouted out that they saw the monkey-man. Three people, including a pregnant woman, died while attempting to escape him, and there were two other incidents in which angry mobs almost killed men suspected of being the monkey-man because one was four foot tall and the other carried a motorcycle helmet. Vigilante groups, feeling the police weren’t doing enough, patrolled the streets themselves.

The police, however, treated the existence of the monkey-man seriously, even releasing sketches of eyewitness reports. 3,000 officers were dispatched to the case, instructed to shoot-on-sight. A special task force was assembled and given special vehicles to pursue a monster that could allegedly run and jump at top speed. A reward of the equivalent of $1,000 was even offered to anybody who could help catch the monkey-man.

A Japanese monkey-man toy. Image source:

A Japanese monkey-man toy. Image source:

Meanwhile, Sanal Edamaruku of the Indian Rationalist Association began to investigate and interview witnesses. He found that many of the sightings were inconsistent, some portraying the monkey-man as a phantom monster, others as a sci-fi robot. The scratches and wounds on victims touted around the media as proof turned out to be small and non-serious, caused by mosquito bites and laying on traditional Indian beds. The victims he interviewed didn’t show signs of trauma, but of excitement. The monkey-man, as it soon emerged, was nothing more than mass hysteria.

The reports of sightings and attacks stopped as quickly as they started, and life in the city returned to normal by the end of the summer. A movie inspired by the incident, Delhi-6, was released in February 2009.

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15 Creepy Pictures from the Japanese Side of the Internet

15. A festival in Tochigi Prefecture.

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14. Decapitated heads work just as well as traditional scarecrows.

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13. Kids making poses.

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11. No idea where this thing is.

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10. These little kids are holding up tengu masks, a kind of Japanese demon.

9. I never thought watermelon could be so terrifying.


8. Three people died in a car accident here. That’s supposedly the face of a ghost.


7. Your guess is as good as mine.

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6. H’m, there’s just something about putting creepy faces on inanimate objects.


5. Now here’s a gritty reboot I’d like to see.


4. Some sort of ball of light hovering over a graveyard

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3. A life-sized doll dressed in a kimono.

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2. She seems happy.weird2

1. Some photoshops should just never be done. (EDIT: A reader has pointed out to me that this is actually face paint. My bad!)

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The 1965 Maurice Masse UFO Incident

Maurice Masse.

Maurice Masse.

On July 1, 1965, at approximately 6 AM, Maurice Masse was getting ready for work on his farm in Valensole, France when he heard a strange noise coming from his lavender field. Masse assumed it was one of the military helicopters that would sometimes land on his property. Worried that the helicopter might be crushing his lavender, he made his way over to the field and intended to tell the pilot to park someplace else. Rather than a helicopter, however, Masse stumbled upon an egg-shaped vehicle about the size of a car. It stood on six thin legs, sitting about 200 feet away from him. He noticed two small boys, about four feet tall, standing near the craft, apparently observing the lavender.

Picture by Michael Buhler of the Maurice Masse UFO encounter.

Picture by Michael Buhler of the Maurice Masse UFO encounter.

As Masse began to walk closer to confront them, he realized that the two figures weren’t boys. They weren’t even human. Dressed in green one-piece suits, the creatures had abnormally large and bald heads, no lips, pointed chins, pale skin, and small hands. One of the creatures suddenly turned around and pointed a small tube at Masse, blasting him with a light that paralyzed him. They stared at Masse for about a minute, communicating with one another by low, guttural grunts. A door then slid open across the craft, and the two mysterious beings disappeared into it. After the door closed, the craft took off into the sky, out of Masse’s sight.

Lavender farmer Maurice Masse encounters a landed UFO and its occupants on his land early in the morning ; they paralyse him by pointing 'ray- guns' at him - Date: 1 July 1965

Masse was paralyzed for 15 minutes before he could move again. After checking to inspect the marks the craft’s legs had made on his lavender, he rushed to town and told a cafe owner what had happened. It wasn’t long before the story hit the media and authorities, and Masse’s farm soon became infested with tourists. UFO investigators took samples of the lavender and soil allegedly touched by the craft, and Masse freely talked to them about his experience.

Picture of where the craft is said to have landed.

Picture of where the craft is said to have landed.

He said that he wasn’t afraid at all during the encounter and paralysis, and believed that the creatures had no desire to hurt him. Masse did, however, refuse to elaborate on the psychological and physical effects he felt afterward. He did admit to feeling extremely sleepy during the first few weeks, sometimes sleeping up to 12 hours a day. In particular, there was one big detail of the encounter that he refused to discuss with anybody.“Nobody will make me tell it,” he is reported as saying. His wife later said in an interview that he constantly thought about the creatures, and “considered his encounter with them a spiritual experience”. Whatever else he saw, Masse took it to the grave with him, dying on May 14th, 2004.

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Omar Killed Me

Ghislaine Marchal

Ghislaine Marchal

On June 24, 1991, a Monday, 65-year-old affluent widow Ghislaine Marchal was found dead in her home in Mougin, France. Marchal suffered a broken skull, a slit throat, a sliced finger, and multiple stab wounds. Her body had been discovered in her basement, the door of which had to be knocked down because somebody had barricaded it from the inside with an iron bar and bed. Across the door, scribbled in blood, was“Omar m’a tuer”, a grammatically incorrect phrase that meant “Omar killed me”. There was a similar message near-by, although incomplete, and police also found a bloody handprint.

The bloody accusation found on the basement door.

The bloody accusation found on the basement door.

Despite that all this blood was later confirmed to be Marchal’s, her body was found on the other side of the room. The authorities were baffled; how did she get from the door all to way to the spot where she had died without dripping a trail of blood behind her? The floor was completely clean. Almost nearly as strange, how did an educated woman like Marchal make such an elementary grammatical mistake in writing her message?

The autopsy determined that Marchal had been killed the day before, after talking to a friend around noon. Her gardener, an illiterate Moroccan named Omar Raddad, was usually at her house on Sundays, but had earlier changed his schedule. He claimed to have been eating lunch at home during the time of the murder, but only family members could confirm his alibi. His case caused an uproar in France, with his supporters arguing that he was an innocent man being accused simply because he was an immigrant. The authorities pinned him with a first-degree murder charge, and he went to trial in January 1994.

Omar Raddad.

Omar Raddad.

The prosecution argued that Raddad stabbed Marchal to death after getting into an argument with her over his pay. They had no solid evidence, however, and nobody reported seeing Raddad even near Marchal’s home the day of the murder. Raddad, furthermore, had no criminal record, and was a hard-working, honest man by all accounts. As for the message, graphologists were certain that it was Marchal’s handwriting. Still, despite the weakness of the prosecution, Raddad was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

After pressure from the Moroccan King, the French president eventually pardoned Raddad in 1998, but the murder conviction was still left on his legal record. Raddad has spent the past 17 years fighting to clear his name, even applying for a new trial after his release. Forensic tests conducted in 2001 found a male’s DNA on the basement door and a block of wood suspected of being used to hit Marchal. These strains didn’t match Raddad at all, and almost certainly had to belong to Marchal’s real killer.


The Inokashira Park Dismemberment Incident

Inokashira Park

Inokashira Park

Today we’ll be talking about one of Japan’s many incidents of “barabara satsujin” (scattered murder) , a method of killing so seemingly popular in the country that it has its very own page on the Japanese Wikipedia.

On April 23, 1994, a cleaning staff member of Tokyo’s Inokashira Park found a garbage bag in the park’s trash can. She thought the bag contained raw fish, but when her colleagues opened it to see what was inside, they found a human ankle. The police were called in, and the bag was found to contain a total of 24 pieces of human flesh, including two feet, two hands, and a shoulder. At an autopsy conducted at Kyorin University Hospital, the cause of death was deemed unknown. The parts had been completely drained of blood, and to make the case even weirder, each piece was cut exactly to the length of 20 centimeters (about 7.8 inches). Although a third of the body was never found, including the head, the pieces were identified three days later as belonging to a 35-year-old architect named Seiichi Kawamura.

Kawamura lived less than a mile from the park, and was last seen on April 21st. He ate dinner with his family that evening, and afterward went out to karaoke with an old coworker. He left his friend around 11 PM, but never returned home. His family reported him missing the next day.

Despite police questioning some 37,000 people, the case has never been solved. There were reports of two suspicious men walking in the park and carrying a plastic bag around 4 am on the day Kawamura’s body was discovered, but they have never been identified. Other witnesses said that they heard the sound of a car colliding with something in the very early hours of the 22nd. It’s been suggested that Kawamura was struck by a car, and that his killers cut him up to get rid of the body. One popular rumor even claimed that Kawamura had been a member of a religious cult, and was brutally murdered after trying to leave it.

Whether the murder was the attempt to hide a tragic accident, or the work of a deranged surgeon, perhaps we’ll never know. Prior to 2010, Japan had a statue of limitations on murder for fifteen years. Unfortunately, the case missed the country’s abolition of the limitation by only a year.

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