We love our cryptid creatures on this blog and what a better time than now to talk about some recent developments with the Chicago Phantom (Mothman) sightings.
Just this last week Jeremiah and I were fortunate enough to attend the Van Meter Visitor Festival in Van Meter, Iowa. We got filled in on some of the lore behind one of our favorite cases, but we also got some new info dropped on us about the emerging reports of a Mothman like creature being reported in Chicago. The encounters are strange, and with 50 plus reports to date, something weird is flying over the streets of Chicago.
Over the summer I put out a quick blurb on my thoughts of flying cryptids, and it included this report given to Lon Strickler.
"They both described it as a 7-8 ft solid black humanoid with wide membrane wings, which resembled those of a huge bat. The wingspan was at least 12 ft. The head was prominent and thinner than a human head. The back end of the body tapered to a point. No legs were noticed but could have been tucked up under the body. The figure was gliding quickly along the length of the street heading east, then suddenly ascended into the night sky. Neither heard any sound. Both witnesses told me that they felt a sense of foreboding and were still terrified almost an hour after the encounter." -Lon Strickler of Phantoms and Monsters.
The descriptions are very ominous, and I'm not sure if I'd ever want to encounter one of these beasts. It's also interesting to note the similarities between this description and creatures reported in Van Meter during the fall of 1903 and of course the reports from Mount Pleasent in 1966. The Midwest seems to have a long history of these animals, and it begs the question, why do so many people see these creatures.
I had the opportunity to talk with Steve Ward during our time at the Van Meter Festival; Steve is very knowledgeable about high strangeness cases and has lead presentations on the subject of Mothman and UFO encounters around Mount Pleasent back during the flap of the 1960s that culminated in the collapse of the Silver Bridge. During our chat and we discussed how some of these creatures could, in fact, be intraterrestrial beings that have somehow transfer into our space.
He explained that John Keel, author of the Mothman Prophecies, explained how these creatures could be present and seen by people and even leave behind evidence like footprint or DNA but prooving there existence would be difficult not being on the same plan as our own. It is a theory hard to digest by most, but with the discoveries we are making every day in the study of quantum physics anything is still possible, and one must keep an open mind.
I may be getting a bit off topic, but the connection between cryptid animals and UFOs/strange lights seem to go hand in hand. We just finished watching a pre-screening of Seth Breedlove's new film Invasion on Chestnut Ridge, one of the focuses of the movie was directed at the strange lights seen around the Chestnut Ridge and the encounters with strange creatures that seem to follow the lights.
I need to dive deeper into the reports from the Chicago area, but it would be interesting to see how many of the sightings had strange lights reported around the time of the phantoms sighting. I have read a report sent to MUFON, but it would be interesting to break down UFO sightings in conjunction to the winged cryptid encounters.
Looking at what Lon has put out on Phantoms and Monsters, most of the encounters are very centralized around very populated areas in Chicago, but the creature has also been seen in the suburbs as well. Reports vary from case to case, but there are a lot of consistencies that should not go unnoticed.
The latest case that was just reported was on Chicago's Magnificent Mile. The witness shared this with Lon.
"I was walking towards the Chicago Ave. Redline entrance from work when I made the sighting. It happened to be around 10:15/10:20PM CT on Saturday October 7th. I happened to look up to my left, when I saw an object drifting in the sky. Upon closer look I was able to see the object was dark grey in color and seemed to have a large wing span. It started to drift up, but then dived down. It ducked between buildings but then reappeared on the other side. I was standing on Chicago Ave. and Wabash Ave. (witness was looking south along Wabash Ave.)"
After a follow up
"From my distance it was a little hard to make out details of the object. It kept moving rather quickly and very fluid-like. The wings were about equal length if not a bit longer than the object itself. They also flapped a few times, but seemed to have glided more than flapped. I could tell the object was quite large. Easily ruled out a bird."
So time will tell what this creature is. For those who believe it is an entity that forecasts doom or even is an omen of things to come, Chicago is the perfect breeding ground. Without getting political, Chicago has had its fair share of hard times and tension. It is easy to see why people would have this opinion. We can hope that with these sightings being in bustling areas that someone will be lucky enough to get a detailed photo or even some leftover evidence. Fingers crossed.
Also, thank you to Lon Stickler for compiling these reports and continuing to share his findings as thing develop.
For more details and to submit your sightings report, head over to phantomsandmonsters.com.