Connect with us

Cryptozoology

The Case Of The Chicago Mothman

Editor’s Note: Listen to the kid-friendly version of the audio story here

The Chicago region has been experiencing a collective case of the heebie-jeebies in recent years, ever since reports of a giant, flying, winged humanoid began surfacing in 2011.

The reports, which peaked in 2017, inspired Chicago-based comics artist Sarah Becan to bring Curious City this question:

There was a rash of sightings in Chicago of a creature that people then called the “Chicago Mothman.” Did we ever find out what it was?

Well, despite exhaustive research, interviews with witnesses and cryptozoologists, and one good old-fashioned monster hunt (for more on that, listen to the SHOCKING audio story!), we were unable to get to the bottom of this mystery. But, for the sake of science, we’ve compiled everything we were able to surmise into a digital case file. Our hope is that Chicagoans will be able to keep this investigation going so that we may one day meet our winged friend and ride upon him like a luck dragon.

DISCLAIMER: We are not responsible for any laws that are broken in the pursuit of Mothman, nor are we responsible for the factualness of any of the information contained herein. The following information should not be used as an excuse to trespass on private property or ensnare your hairier relatives with a comically large butterfly net.

Case File: Chicago Mothman

Subject profile:

In the late 1960s, people around Point Pleasant, West Virginia, began reporting sightings of a creature that would later be dubbed “Mothman.” It would reportedly emerge, fly as fast as 100 mph and, oftentimes, leave witnesses with a deep sense of dread. It was later suggested by some locals that Mothman was trying to warn humans of an impending nearby tragedy: the 1967 Silver Bridge collapse, which killed 46 people. However, others posit that this supposed supernatural connection was simply a way for people to make sense of a tragedy without meaning, as one would think there are more direct ways to warn people of danger than just being spooky.

In the intervening years, Mothman’s cult fame grew, becoming the subject of an annual festival, a museum and even a 2002 movie starring Richard Gere.

More recently, new reports have emerged. Starting in 2011 and peaking in 2017, sightings of a Mothman-like creature began surfacing all over Chicagoland.

It still remains unknown whether Chicago Mothman is a subspecies of the West Virginia Mothman or the same species — or whether it is, perhaps, just a heron that got caught in a garbage bag.

Below are some clues we’ve gathered based on reported sightings and interviews.

Mothman map updated
Although originating in West Virginia, it appears that Mothpeople have expanded their range further north to the Chicago area — perhaps, some suggest, as a result of climate change. (Images courtesy of Sarah Becan, Brian Serway and Lon Strickler)

Physical characteristics:

  • Size and shape: between 6 and 10 feet tall, 10+ foot wingspan.
  • Species it’s been compared to: a big owl, a pterosaur, a bat.
  • Eye color: “Red eyes,” “green eyes,” “yellow eyes” and “orange eyes” have all been reported. Probably all the other colors, too.
  • Other reported features: fur, leather-like skin, bat wings, no neck.
  • Possibly confused with: a barred owl, a shitepoke, a sandhill crane, a drone costume, another Chicago cryptid.
Mothman illustrations
Witnesses and artists have depicted Mothman as a tall, owl-like creature with membrane wings. (Courtesy Lon Strickler of Phantoms and Monsters and Egertron Puck)

Behavior:

Screaming, flying toward lake, disappearing, going real fast, portenting, looking at people with eyeballs.

Diet:

Mothman was alleged to have eaten a German shepherd belonging to Newell Partridge of Salem, West Virginia, in 1967. It is unclear if they eat German shepherds exclusively or rather just the pets of Newell Partridge.

Sightings:

In the city, Mothfolk are spotted all over, though most often by bodies of water. Sightings collected via the Phantoms & Monsters website are compiled here and in this map. Standout witness statements are excerpted below:

Witness: Anonymous

Date: Aug. 21, 2017

Location: Northerly Island during solar eclipse

As reported to: Phantoms & Monsters website

“We were watching and observing as the moon begin its transit when we heard a very loud scream. This sounded like squeaky truck brakes that squeal when you’re pressing hard on them. At first we thought that’s what it was…maybe a CTA bus or big truck with brakes that needed changing or maintenance.

We heard it again, this time it lasted about 3 seconds, where as the previous sound was brief. I looked up to see a large object flying low over the docks that stick out in to Burnham Harbor from across the water… This object looked like a large black bat, but also had humanoid features such as pronounced arms and legs.”

Witness: Erin Drain

Date: August 2017

Location: West Town neighborhood, Chicago

As reported to: Curious City

“I was spending the afternoon on a rooftop, and I saw something in the sky fairly high up and fairly far away. It wasn’t being buffeted about by the wind. It was moving slowly but not randomly.”

Witness: “Jeff”

Date: Oct. 26, 2017

Location: Fulton Market Street near the corner of Morgan

As reported to: The Chicago Reader

“At first I thought it was a bird, but none I’d seen before, because it was just so huge and the way it was flapping its wings… The longer I watched it, it was like… what the hell is that thing? It was freaky.”

Witness statement Mothman updated
(Image courtesy Lon Strickler of Phantoms and Monsters)

The search continues, with your help

Have you seen Chicago Mothman? If you have a lead, a video, a sketch or a theory regarding what impending doom Mothman might be warning Chicagoans to avoid, please share it with us using #ChicagoMothman on Facebook or Twitter. We can only solve this mystery together.

More about our questioner

Questioner Sarah Becan
(Courtesy Sarah Becan)

Sarah Becan is a Chicago comics artist who draws mostly food and monsters (including many “Monsterffirmations,” as she calls them).

Mothman has been a favorite of hers for some time, and so when people began reporting sightings in Chicago, she says she became a little obsessed.

“When I first started reading about all of the different sightings, I was very excited about it. I definitely kept my eyes on the sky hoping to see something,” she says.

But she did more than just keep her eyes on the sky; she went searching.

“In the summer of 2017 … there was a partial solar eclipse that passed over Chicago, and I deliberately went down to the lakefront because I thought, ‘If I was the Chicago Mothman, I would make an appearance at the solar eclipse.’” she says. “And I believe he did, but it was down at Northerly Island … and I was up at Montrose Beach.”

When pressed about what she thinks people could be seeing, after all our detective work, she suggested a large bird, like a sandhill crane, or an owl — or even a prankster with a drone.

But that’s far less fun.

As part of her obsession with Chicago Mothman, Sarah created a series of comics of the creature visiting different iconic sites in our fair city and having a great time.

Sarah Becan Mothman illustrations

Inspired by all of the Mothman sightings in 2017, questioner and illustrator Sarah Becan imagined the types of activities Mothman might enjoy in Chicago. (Courtesy Sarah Becan)

Robbie Telfer is a performance poet, teacher and conservationist. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram @RobbieQT.

Source

Cryptozoology

Orang Ikan – Mermaids from Indonesia

Mermaids live in the folklore of most peoples. Indonesians call their mermaids, orang ikan. The orang in translation from the local language is “man”, and Ikan is “fish”.

Where do Orang Ikan live?

They chose for themselves the Kai Islands in the province of Maluku. These islands are famous for their white sandy beaches, amazingly clear water and are a real gem.

In 1943, when the Japanese landed there, the soldiers immediately began reporting that they were observing some strange creatures. Those were seen in coastal waters, looked like a man, especially the face and hands.Their mouth was described as very wide and similar to the mouth of a carp.

They barely reached one and a half meters, their skin was pink, and on their head were some spikes. At the same time, unlike the classic mermaids, they had ordinary human legs, not fish tails.

These creatures swam in shallow water near the beaches. It happened that they were selected on land.

The style of their swimming seemed to the Japanese like a breaststroke. One night, one of the soldiers went swimming and saw a creature in the sand, which he at first mistook for a child.

But when it turned to face him, he saw that his features were not like human ones. Immediately after this, the creature scooted into the water and disappeared. The soldier peered into the water for a while, but the creature never surfaced.

Fishermen said that sometimes these creatures get on their nets, and the Japanese asked if this happens again, to deliver Orang Ikan to them.

Real story

One day, Sergeant Taro Horibu was called to the village, where, as it turned out, a dead fish man was found on the shore. The creature was picked up and brought to the elders’ house, where Horibu was able to examine it.

“It was 160 centimeters tall, had long dark hair with a reddish tinge. His neck was covered with spikes, his face seemed to the Japanese like a monkey face with a wide fish mouth, in which there were a lot of small sharp teeth. Between the fingers and toes the fishman’s membranes were stretched, and the body was dotted with strange growths that looked like algae ”
– Horibu said.

Sergeant Horibu said the creature was not like anything known to him. Unable to photograph or sketch the creature, he limited himself to oral stories, but many considered him a liar or an inventor.

Continue Reading

Cryptozoology

Eyewitnesses talk about their encounters with humanoid insects

Humanoid insect-like creatures are some of the most frightening cryptids. Sudden movements, thin long limbs, similar to arachnids or cockroaches, these creatures seem to come from nightmares.

Here are some eyewitness accounts that have encountered such creatures.

This story was told in September 2016 on Coast To Coast AM paranormal radio. The narrator went camping with his family and friend in Sequoia National Park, southern Sierra Nevada, California.

This park is famous for its giant ancient redwoods. The majestic trees give the local landscape a special, fabulous atmosphere.

In the evening, while camping, the eyewitness sees something very strange there.

He tells:

“About 9 pm, all my relatives already wanted to sleep and went into their tent. Only my friend and I stayed by the fire. But, I was bored and decided to take my iPod out of my pack to listen to music with headphones.

I went to the car and opened the back door. Then suddenly I saw that there was something infront, next to a tree. In the darkness, I saw the outline of something great.

When I aimed the lantern, I swear, I saw a huge mantis, almost 2 meters tall. When I saw it I froze, I held my breath and stared at it. I was shocked.

Then, this creature stepped back and … disappeared. It was as if it had become completely invisible. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

When the shock passed, I slammed the car door, ran back to the fire, and told my friend everything. I started waking my loved ones telling them about the “mantis”. But, they didn’t believe me, even though I was apparently horrified. They even started laughing at me.

Suddenly strange noises were heard, which others also heard. It was like a very sharp click. It was all so weird and I was really scared. ”

What the creature is, the author of this story did not understand. He no longer heard or saw anything strange in the park.

The following story is taken from the archive of the researcher Albert Rosales and is taking place in Poland. An eyewitness is a tourist who goes camping in the forests of the Greater Poland Voivodeship, in the western part of the country.

The woman installed her tent near a small forest lake, and then went to look around. In the evening, she returned to the tent. As she approached her, she noticed an unusual figure crouching by the lake.

At first, she though it was another tourist, surprising as this area is very isolated and away from hiking trails. But as she began to approach, about 15 steps from the figure, she realized that she was not human.

The structure of its body was humanoid but similar to an insect. At a height (in a sitting position) it was about a meter and a half, with thin long limbs and grayish-beige color. The creature had huge black eyes, similar to the facet eyes of an insect, and on the back were thin, translucent and fragile entities such as wings.

Hearing the woman approaching, the creature turned to her. She was surprised to realize that she was not alone.

The woman shares:

“It was looking at me. I also looked at it and didn’t know what it was going to do. Our meeting was casual and unexpected for both of us. “

The creature quickly disappeared and the woman didn’t even know where. After that, she quickly gathered her things and left the area.

The story described below happened to a resident of Ontario, Canada, and was sent to mysterious creature researcher Lon Strickler. 

At the time this was happening, the eyewitness was still a child and lived with his family in a remote mountainous area.

The Canadian says:

“The summer of 1968 turned out to be very hot and stuffy. In those years, no one had air conditioning, so we just left all the windows in the house open day and night. I slept in the nursery where my older brother and sister were in addition to my bed.

One night, I suddenly woke up to some noise. I got up and went to the open window. From there, I saw a strange creature in the backyard.

This creature was squatting beside a bush, resembling both a human and an insect. It was thin, with black shiny skin. Suddenly, it looked up at me. I saw some antennas or thin needles sticking out of his head.

That’s all I remember. I don’t remember what happened after that. The next morning I told my mother about it, but she decided I was just having a nightmare. But in the years that followed, I saw this creature twice more at night. I’m convinced it’s not a dream. ”

Another story was sent to the ufology website at MUFON and describes a strange incident that occurred in April 2016 in the vicinity of Ziggy village, Cyprus. An eyewitness said that that evening, there was a friendly party in the yard of her house with sandwiches, treats and various soft drinks.

At one point, only she and her friend stayed out. The others entered the house. Suddenly, her friend noticed a flicker moving slowly across the sky. At first, the woman thought it was a comet. But, the object was moving too slowly. For a moment, she remained completely still among the stars.

In a few minutes, this object descended so low that it was near the line of the nearby tree tops. Then it became apparent that this object had a triangular shape.

The woman says:

“We wanted to get close to it, but all of a sudden, my friend and I felt paralysed. We were lying on loungers and could hardly move.

Meanwhile, a humanoid figure emerged from this ship with the head of an ant, flaky skin on the body, like a crocodile. It had many tiny eyes and weak long limbs. This creature came very close to the fence in our yard, but then turned abruptly and disappeared into the darkness. Then the triangle ship flew west and disappeared completely.

Later, my friend and I remembered that when we were lying on deck chairs and the creature was standing by our fence, there was some strange “tool” in its hands. ”

The October 8, 2017 issue of Strange Magazine published an eyewitness story that recounted an incident that occurred in 1948 in Bremen, Washington.

On her day off, Virginia Staples walked with a basket of dirty clothes to the laundry room in the basement of her apartment building. The girl regularly used washing machines in this basement and nothing unusual happened to her.

The grim cellar had long been in need of repair. In places there were holes in the walls and the floor, there were water leaks. Water was said to have seeped through the canals of the local port.

The basement looked always scary, but on this day, Virginia was especially scared. She felt a strong sense of anxiety as she went down into the basement. The light bulb barely illuminated part of the room. The rest was at dusk and the shadows seemed to be moving.

Virginia began filling one of the laundries, and the sinister sensation increased. She shares:

“I suddenly felt a lot of fear. I turned and looked at the back of the room. I froze in place. I couldn’t move in fear because there was a creature in one of the holes in the floor. It had a bright orange color, its weak limbs resembled the legs of a spider, and the antennas on its head moved back and forth.

I ran out of the basement, reached my apartment, packed up all my belongings as quickly as possible, and left. I was terribly scared and couldn’t even stay in this city.

I went to Seattle with my cousin. No one believes me, but God testifies to me, it really happened!

Continue Reading

Cryptozoology

Highest number of Loch Ness Monster Sightings in Nearly 40 Years

A count of Loch Ness monster sightings in 2019 finds that the famous cryptid has been seen 18 times, which is the highest number in almost 40 years.

Highest Loch Ness Monster Sightings in Nearly 40 Years

The count comes from the Loch Ness Monster Sighting Record, maintained by longtime researcher Steve Campbell. According to the Nessie hunter, who collects reports throughout the year and judges the credibility of the cases, the considerable number of notable sightings is the best ever recorded since 1983, when it is said that 20 different encounters occurred.

This would be continuing a trend that has been unfolding in recent years, in which Nessie’s sightings are constantly increasing at a remarkable pace. To that end, for those who maintained a score, 2018 had 15 sightings, 2016 had 12 and the three years prior to each presented seven reports. These numbers contrast sharply with much of this century, as it was not uncommon for many years between 2015 and 2000 to have only one or two cases.

Campbell credited two key factors to this meteoric increase in sightings in recent years: webcams observing the waters of the famous sight, which allow anyone in the world to detect the creature, and an increase in tourism in the legendary landmark. He too reflected to a local newspaper that modern technology has helped a lot, because “in the connected digital world we live in now, people are taking pictures and sending them to us”, which is considerably easier than in the “old days” where a witness would need to have his possible photo of Nessie physically revealed in a laboratory and then mailed.

It is somewhat ironic that 2019 ended with a considerable number of sightings, since it was also a year in which the legend of the monster that lurks in Loch Ness was even more publicized thanks to an environmental DNA study which suggested that the creature was a giant eel. For his part, Campbell disagreed with the findings, arguing that “Loch Ness is an open waterway. It is not a closed ecosystem ”. Leaving this debate aside, as it is likely to continue for some time, the question for 2020 may be whether or not we will see another increase in sightings, or whether last year will end up being seen as the peak of Nessie sightings.

Source

Continue Reading
Advertisement

DO NOT MISS

Trending