Flying Cryptids?

Flying cryptids have been on my mind over the last few months. Scratch that, the last few years. Many people have heard stories of the Thunderbird. And, thanks to pop culture and Richard Gere, most have heard of the Mothman. I have a lot of questions when it comes to these encounters. 

First, I have to say that I love cryptid cases! I can honestly say that the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot got me into the paranormal because I could fathom truths in people's encounters with these creatures. Not everyone may believe I have seen ghosts or been touched by an unseen force, but I want to look at things a bit differently.  

I recently finished what I think is the best paranormal documentary of the year, if not in the last 5 to 10 years. That documentary is none other than The Mothman of PointPleasant (and no this is not a paid endorsement). Small Town Monsters has done an incredible job reimagining the way to tell the stories of paranormal encounters. They look at the incidents, give you the evidence through interviews or historical documentation, and then let you make the call on what you think happened. So this post isn't a movie review, but it did get me thinking. 

Over the last month, Chicago and its neighboring cities have seen an outbreak of Mothman-like sightings. Sighting of a creature that looks like a man with bat wings. 

"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. 

I ask myself, what are these people seeing?  Is it an undiscovered animal, a large bird, or something else. 

Whenever I have seen shows or read about Mothman, I can rationally say that some people may have only seen an owl. In the dark your perception of size is incomplete, and it is easy to exaggerate how large an animal is. Let's also take into account that Barn Owls have a wing spans of 4 feet and at night their eye glint is bright red. Completely off topic, but thinking about in another way, think of a werewolf case like the Beast of Bray Road, then google a bear with mange. Terrifying! If I was in the woods and saw that, I would have a hard time not believing I just had seen a werewolf or a beast from hell! It's possibilities like that, that can shoot down some claims, but not every one of them. 

There is also a case from Lawndale, Illinois that took place in 1977. A boy was attacked by two gigantic birds. One of the monsters was even able to pick the boy off the ground, if not for some quick thinking by his mother, he may not have lived to see another day. Multiple witnesses claim to have seen the boy being attacked by these "Thunder Birds," and it remains something of a mystery as to where these birds came from. I have run across this case before and want to dive deeper into the backstory, so stayed tuned for that.

The Midwest is full of stories like these, and we have covered one already. The Van Meter Visitor. It's fascinating looking at these cases and seeing all the similarities. They all could be miss-identification, but I just can't sit here and say that. Native Americans tell tales of creatures much like those mentioned above, primarily Thunder Birds. They're represented as very powerful and incredibly spiritual in many ways.

This is the part where I start questioning myself, but what if what people are seeing is something multidimensional. Don't click off just yet. Trust me I'm not a proponent of this theory, but it must be shared. I frequently listen to a radio program, Beyond Reality Radio, and a few months back a guest caller explained that while driving through Kansas she saw what looked like a manta ray flying through the air... I honestly stop what I was doing expecting the radio guest at the time, who was a cryptid research, to say something like, "wow I have never heard of that," but he didn't. He explained that it has been reported before, throughout the country, and that they are rare, but do happen. I was stunned, I had never heard of such a thing, and I instantly thought of the Van Meter Visitor because of the similarities in its description.  

I understand this isn't one of our normal posts, but I wanted to be transparent about topics we are learning more about. I want to ask you these questions, "What do you think people have seen" and "Have you ever seen anything like described above" Email me your responses, we would love to hear what you have to say. 

Now go check out the Mothman of Point Pleasant

Andrew Peterson