Mothman Seen in Chicago
Sightings of Mothman have been reported from all over the world, but it became famous after this portender of doom was seen by several people in Point Pleasant, West Virginia just a few months before the Silver Bridge collapsed in December, 1967.
Fifty years later it is being seen in Chicago. Could the high amount of homicides that the city has recently become notorious for be enticing this eerie creature?
For some willing to suspend disbelief, the sightings of Mothman portend an ominous tale of foreboding. Others may pass them off as pure fiction. How could something that looks like a large bat, owl or even a man in a winged suit be real? Maybe it's harder to write off the sound of screeching brakes the creature is supposed to make.
Those who have seen it in Chicago describe glowing red eyes, and even more alarming a sense of dread when they saw it.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Lon Strickler a paranormal researcher said, "I believe the witnesses are seeing something, because the descriptions don't compare exactly. I think there could be at least two or three different beings." Strickler had his own sighting of Mothman when he was a child living in Pennsylvania. He started to receive reports from the Chicago area since 2011.
In 2017, more than 25 reports were received of a "winged humanoid" over the city of Chicago, many close to Lake Michigan. Drawings made of it, are similar to the Mothman sighted over Point Pleasant in the mid-1960s.
The creature became famous due to the 2002 movie staring Richard Gere and Laura Linney based on the 1975 book, The Mothman Prophecies written by UFO researcher John Keel.
The story describes strange sightings originating with different people living in the Point Pleasant, West Virginia area that culminated in the collapse of the Silver Bridge in 1967, where 46 people lost their lives.
Present day there is a silver-colored statue of Mothman in the town square and a Mothman Festival is held every September.
Strickler said the sightings in Chicago were the largest cluster seen in the last 50 years. He has recorded 21 Chicago Mothman sightings in 2017 alone, the earliest was on April 7, in Oz Park, when a woman walking her dog described encountering a creature standing in the park. She said, "I saw a large man, probably 7 feet or taller standing on the ground. It was solid black, but what really stood out were the large, and I do mean large pair of wings that were folded behind him. I felt like this thing could see right through me, read me, it knew what I was thinking, like it could stare right into my very soul. It was the most terrified I have ever been in my life." It then spread its wings and flew off.
Many of the sightings happened to occur near water. A fisherman and his son who were at the Little Calumet River in Hegewisch Park described a black bird as large as a man. He saw this on April 30, at 7:30 p.m.
On May 5, around 8 p.m. another man walking with his son in Calumet Park described seeing a similar figure.
The next sighting was reported on June 23, by a group near Adler Planetarium who saw what they described as a large bat.
According to Strickler, six days later a little before midnight a Chicago police officer on patrol with his partner at 81st and Throop streets in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, described being flagged down by a "group of people who were pointing up to the top of an apartment building that was on the corner." The man who claimed to be a police officer described a large creature with wings, who flew away when they directed their flashlights at it. The people gathered there said they had seen it flying over the neighborhood for the past two nights.
Strickler checked with the Chicago Police Department database, who did not find any reports describing the incident in their database.
In July, at about 5 p.m. a man smoking a cigarette out by the Willis Tower looked up and saw a large-winged, man-shaped figure near the top of the building. According to Lon Strickler, "As he watched, the being leaped off the building, stretched out the wings, dipped and swooped upwards. It gained altitude as it flapped its wings and headed off in a northern direction."
He also said, "We've looked into everything. People say it moves its head and its legs. It acts like it's living. If it was a suit it would need some kind of jet pack. It's got some propulsion to it. It flaps its wings and accelerates."
Lon Strickler's said regarding the Mothman, "I have long theorized that the Mothman, and other unknown winged beings, are multidimensional lifeforms ... that can be summoned by high-energy incorporeal entities that reside on our Earth plane."
Another report from August 9, 2017, came from a couple taking a nighttime stroll along North Lake Shore Drive. They described the following:
Then suddenly, the large winged being slowing descended in front of them, no more than 25 feet away. It hovered about 5 feet above the sidewalk, with it's wing spread open, as it peered at the couple with large bright red eyes that slowly altered back and forth in intensity. Several people on the other side of the street, including a delivery van driver, reacted with screams and frightened yelps. The winged being hovered for 10 seconds, then quickly pulled the wings into its body and shot up quickly into the night sky.
Another sighting was reported to Navarette at the UFO Clearinghouse in September 2020. The woman had worked for 17 years for the USPS, 15 of which were at the sorting facility at O'Hare Airport.
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Since 2019, at least 10 sightings were reported from the airport area. Not surprisingly other incidents involving UFO, bizarre events and sightings of other cryptids dovetail with these reports of a dark, flying humanoid figure.
No doubt if Kolchak the intrepid, fictional reporter from the 1970s, who lived in Chicago was real, he'd be investigating these reports.
December, 2022, marked the 55th year anniversary of the bridge's collapse in Point Pleasant. However many are not aware that previous to the sightings of the winged creature, there was a report of a "flying man" seen in a graveyard near Clendenin.
This cemetery along the Elk River lies about 50 miles away from Point Pleasant. Newspapers reported that on November 12, 1966, Kenneth Duncan was digging a grave for Homer Smith, his father-in-law. He saw a human-like figure fly from the woodline and then glide over their heads. There were four other men there with him. Duncan called the figure a "brownman" and said the creature had eyes like "red reflectors" and a wingspan of 10 feet.
A contractor named Newell Partridge who lived 100 miles north of the cemetery thought it had something to with the disappearance of his German Shepherd dog Bandit that cost him $350. He saw something in the field. The dog went out after it and never returned.
However there seems to be some discrepancy with this story, which makes you wonder how much is accurate.
There's two version as to who Kenneth Duncan was burying in Koontz Cemetery in Clendenin. In one version he's burying his father-in-law Homer C. Smith. However Mr. Smith passed away in April, 1964. In January of that year he had a tree fall on him while working in the Kanawha State Forest. A strong wind caught the tree and it fell in the wrong direction while it was being sawed. He suffered a fractured skull, however he died in April from a heart attack. It's doubtful the family waited over two years to bury him.
If we go with the brother-in-law version, all of his wife's siblings lived well into old age except a brother named Clinton Smith who died in 1957, and was buried in Koontz Cemetery.
Who saw what, when remains as much of a mystery as the mothman itself.
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Stranger Than Fiction Stories by M.P. Pellicer