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This week, we are taking a look at the odd story of The Vegetable Man from Fairmont, West Virginia.
One hot July day 1968 a young man by the name of Jennings Fredrick who was around 19 years old at the time, had gone woodchuck hunting near his home in Fairmont West Virginia. He hadn’t had much luck and was about to head home, when he heard a strange high pitched sound like that of a sped-up recording. A voice reportedly said to him “You need not fear me. I wish to communicate. I come as a friend. We know of you all. I come in peace. I wish for medical assistance. I need your help.”
He then saw a green skeletal stalk-like creature, it was about 6-7 feet tall with slanted yellow eyes. It had human-like facial features, and long vine-like arms that were no wider than a quarter. Its fingers had suction cups on the end of them.
Before he could move, he felt a vine wrap around him. Then what felt like a needle stuck into his arm. He could not get away, the creature had him in some type of trance-like paralysis state.All he could do is look at the creature whose eyes had turned from red to yellow as it sucked blood from Jennings’s arm. Once the creature finished, then walked off out of sight. Jennings then heard an odd humming sound and thought it might be a craft taking off.
Jennings recovered from the trance-like state and went home. He did not tell his family of the event. Months later he did tell the story to a UFO researcher from West Virginia named Gray Barker. Gray dubbed the creature “Vegetable Man”
I had heard this story a few times over the years and thought this was it but I later found out while reading a post on Appalachian Oddity that there is actually more to this strange tale. Included are accounts of two more stories to this larger one from Appalachian Oddity.
When Jennings was still in school, his mother reportedly witnessed a strange devil-like monster which supposedly came from a flying saucer that landed in a field near her home. She was washing dishes one morning when she saw the small black or dark-green creature from her kitchen window. The being had pointed ears, a tail, no clothing and was reportedly filling a bag with grass and dirt.
Just beyond the humanoid figure was a 5ft tall, 10ft wide dome-shaped craft with an extended elevator. The creature appeared to be attached to the ship by a cable. The craft was silver and cream in coloration, had a row of windows and rotated counterclockwise while producing a humming noise. Mrs. Frederick ran from the window only to return a few minutes later and see the “satanic looking” being taking off in the saucer which lifted lightly off the ground while humming slightly louder than before.
Mrs. Frederick told her son Frederick when he returned from school, Jennings reportedly found depressions in the ground and clawed tracks which convinced Jennings of his mother’s claims.
After his discharge from the Air Force, Jennings had a strange Men In Black encounter. Between 1AM and 4AM, Jennings was awoken by a red flashing light. He grabbed his .38 revolver from under his pillow and investigated the living room where he found a small gas canister. A hand grabbed him and put a needle in his left arm. He then saw three men in black turtlenecks, slacks and ski masks. One of them said “The dogs have been darted and everyone gassed.” They reportedly put a gas mask over Jennings’ face and questioned him about UFOs, what he thought they were and what he thought of the future.”
I found these three stories very interesting. Before looking into The Veggieman again to write this story. I had never heard of the MIB and Jenning’s mother’s encounters which added a few pages to this story for me. Could Jennings’s Mother’s encounter have led to his encounter with the Veggieman? I assume both of the encounters led to his encounter with the MIB that Jennings had later in life. This is the first I had heard of Men in Black wearing ski masks or gas masks though.
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Monsters Cryptids and Mysterious Beasts by Jannette Quackenbush