Monday, February 22, 2016
Mad Gasser or Mad Man in Black?
That's the question I ask in a new article at Mysterious Universe. You can find it at this link, and here's how it starts (the photo above shows my various books on the MIB, including overseas editions):
Back in the 1940s, the people of Mattoon, Illinois were plagued by a sinister character that became known as the Mad Gasser of Mattoon. The name was a very apt one: the mysterious figure gassed his victims, as a means to gain entry to their property, and to take advantage of whatever caught his eye. His actions followed a similar wave of attacks – in the 1930s – in Botetourt County, Virginia. But, today at least, let’s focus on the later events. On the night of August 31, 1944, a man named Urban Raef was overcome by a mysterious gas that provoked sickness, weakness, and vomiting. Despite Mr. Raef’s fear that there was a gas leak in the house, such was not the case. Rafe’s wife – to her horror – found herself briefly paralyzed.
Also among the Gasser’s victims, was Mrs. Bert Kearney, who lived in Mattoon, too. On September 1, 1944, and approximately an hour before the witching-hour struck, Mrs. Kearney was hit by what was described as a “sickening, sweet odor in the bedroom.” As was the case with Mrs. Raef, the “gas” caused temporary paralysis in her legs. It also resulted in a burning sensation to her lips, and a parched feeling in her mouth.