Going back to just about as long as encounters with strange alien entities have been around there have been many types of beings that are most commonly described by witnesses who have seen them and people who claim to have been abducted. There are the “Greys” perhaps most well-known in popular culture and which are probably the first image that springs to mind for most in the mainstream, but there are also commonly reported encounters with reptilian beings, and even odder still are those describing something insectoid in nature. Here we will look at a selection of such encounters in recent years, but these are really just the tip of the iceberg, and it seems to be a phenomenon that is firmly entrenched in the world of the paranormal and UFOlogy. These reports are the strange of the strange, so get on your tin foil hats, because we are going for a ride into the furthest reaches of the utterly bizarre.

What have often been called “Mantis Men” or “Mantis aliens” typically are said to look very much as their name would suggest. They are usually described as standing 6-7 feet tall, with long, thin torsos, skinny, multi-jointed limbs, triangular, insect-like heads with large, slanted eyes and small or non-existent mouths, and the whole of the creatures covered with what appears to be some sort of segmented exoskeleton. One good description is given by UFO BC, and reads:

These Beings have long, narrow faces, with long, narrow, large eyes, sharply slanted upward and outward in an almost narrow-V position, giving an almost insect-like appearance. This comparison is heightened by the Praying-Mantis types’ extremely thin, long torsos, long, extremely thin arms which are usually crooked into a sharp bend at the mid-joint, with the hand and fingers sloping almost vertically downward from the wrist, and legs also bent at an almost right-angle at the mid-joint, creating a crouched pose. The overall effect is the characteristic ‘Praying Mantis’ look. It should be noted that experiencers feel that this type is no insect, but rather an intelligent, gentle spirited… and jerky moving, human-like life form. There are both males and females.

It may sound completely absurd, like something out of a bad science fiction movie, but there are actually numerous reports of encounters with such entities, running throughout a range of ages and walks of life. Such encounters can come in conjunction with UFO sightings and abductions, but just as often are reported by witnesses who see these creatures just roaming about, and the reports are so varied and weird that it is hard to know what to make of them at times. While most commonly associated with the UFO phenomenon and lumped together as aliens, Mantis Man sightings often happen out in the wilderness with no mention of UFOs, as if a particularly freakish Bigfoot report, and a few of these occurred as recently as the early 2000s in the state of New Jersey. The first in this series of encounters allegedly happened in 2002 at Stephens State Park, north of Hackettstown, New Jersey, where two men had been fishing at dusk along the Musconetcong River when they saw something very odd indeed. A friend of one of the witnesses would tell Lon Strickler, of Phantoms and Monsters of the surreal events that would transpire:

Apparently about a year ago my friend and his brother were down at Stephen's State Park fishing right around dusk. During this time, while his brother was roughly 50 yards downstream fishing, he said he felt this strange vibration in his right ear and from that he turned and looked to the right. When he turned and looked to the right he said he saw this 6 to 7 foot praying-mantis-looking-man... just standing there and unable to believe that he could see him. He said the creature was black and gray and to be quite honest, the way my buddy was telling me this story, I was having a tough time. I know he saw this thing... because I could see it in his face.

Strickler would end up digging up another sighting of what seems to be a very similar creature in the same vicinity, which was seen by another fisherman as well. The witness claims that he had been out fishing in at the river with his boss in 2004, and they had both been waist high in the water when he says he just suddenly noticed a very outlandish entity making its way up the opposite bank. He explains:

I just "Caught it". Movement out of the corner of my eye to my left and there it was---Humanoid. Tall. 6 foot at least --no reference points-- but I sense 6'6" - 7'. Moving away from me back up the bank. (I am chest-high in the river) The first thing I see was the 'grasshopper' thigh, but bending forward like a human. Then the whole form. He is looking at me over his shoulder, moving up the bank, astonished, amazed. What, that I am in the water in a strong current, that I can see him? But yes we lock eyes and this creature is astonished-- I get the sense that he can't believe I am in the water, that he can't believe I have seen him, that I am not perturbed at all-- something of all three, I still don't know-- just astonishment and he is actually trying to get away from me and the water! Triangular Head. Huge, slanted black eyes. Just like a Praying Mantis. It's whole body was gangly, nobby, ((Nobby!) but you could still sense it was powerful, and no-- I would not say it was a "Big Bug"-- it was definitely humanoid despite the mantis/insect qualities.


Again, I stress the strong impression that The Mantis Man was cloaked and I "caught it" just right; it abruptly found itself against a "new"/blank background and was adjusting quickly. No, I do not believe it "slipped" into another dimension/plane. I detected movement and first saw that strong left thigh, (and strong right calf) then the whole thing and immediately those eyes/face. The whole encounter was only a couple of seconds. I can not tell you with any strong certainty what its feet or hands looked like --I wasn't looking there-- but I can tell you that its arms were "normal", and not the literal Mantis forelegs I have recently seen in drawings of these "Aliens".

The detail that it seemed so surprised to be seen is interesting, although it is hard to know what to make of that. Yet another sighting featured on Phantoms and Monsters happened in the same area, this time in July of 2014 by a witness who claims he had been driving along the Musconetcong River and just sort of taking in the scenery when he noticed something very tall standing out in the water. At first he took it to be a fisherman, but it seemed too strange looking and somehow not human, so he slowed down to get a closer look. This is when he would realize that it was definitely no fisherman, and he says of his encounter:

I saw something strange a few weeks ago on the Musconetcong River near my home here in Hackettstown, New Jersey. I was driving home from the drug store on Newburgh Rd. As I drove near the bridge over the river, I noticed to my left something (I thought a fisherman) standing in the river just off the south bank. I slowed the car and looked closer. It wasn’t a person and it was transparent-like with a weird shape. It moved slowly towards the bank and into the trees. I drove further so I could see it coming out of the trees. That’s the last I saw of it. It was tall, 8 ft. or so and had long thin arms hanging off of it. The color was a pale brown, but I could see through it! The head was small compared to the body. It was sunny that day so I thought it may be glare from the water, but after I thought back I realized I wasn’t seeing a mirage or glare.

This one almost seems to have been trying to cloak itself somehow, perhaps why the enitiy in the previous encounter was so baffled that it was seen. Another seemingly similar creature, although much smaller than these previous accounts, was also reported, this time in 2011 along the Thames River, in Connecticut. The woman claims she had been driving home from work at around midnight when she saw something she cannot explain. She says:

I saw a small 1 1/2 to 2-foot-tall Praying Mantis humanoid running on the side of Pequot Avenue in New London, CT. The avenue runs alongside the Thames River and I was driving southbound on Pequot when I saw it on the side of the road directly on my left. It was a mahogany brown color and it looked exactly like the CGI version on the show. I stopped my car and watched it and it was looking right at me the whole while as it ran towards a storm drain. It never took its eyes off me then it jumped down the storm drain.

Interestingly, another of these creatures was spotted in 2015 in the vicinity of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California, which was related to the show Coast to Coast AM and involved the witness seeing an 8-foot-tall “Mantis Man” that apparently had the ability to turn invisible or vanish at will. While these reports are certainly very bizarre, there are other Mantis Man reports that are even more outlandish, and with these we truly take a trip into a realm deeply lodged in high strangeness. One very odd report that has made the rounds was given on UFO BC, by a witness calling himself “Jim G,” who lives in London, England. He claims that one evening in August of 2001 he woke to find two of these entities looming over his bed, apparently watching him as he slept, and they looked very much like some sort of insectoid humanoids. One entity was cloaked in a robe, but had what seemed to be a shiny black exoskeleton like that of a beetle, while the other was more of the classic description of a Mantis Alien, standing 7 feet tall and all segmented limbs and mantis head, with no noticeable clothing. Jim explains the mantis creature and the weird events that would play out thusly:

All I recall was that it was tall. At least 7 foot, it had to bend its neck because of the height of the ceiling. Its head was pointed with large eyes. Its for-arms were extremely long and moved in a jerky fashion. The cloaked figure was closer, crouching by my bed, so I couldn’t tell how tall it was, but I could clearly see that it was wearing some kind of overlapping ridged amour? Including a metallic looking breastplate that had a series of circles on it. Its head was dome-like with emotionless facial features. Its eyes were large and surrounded again by detailed ridges. It acted in a way that reminded me of a robot or insect.


I remember thinking to myself, nobody's going to believe this! A bloody giant sized mantis and medieval-style dressed alien, what the hell is this? Before this incident, although I hadn't see one, I was familiar with the gray (alien) types but I had never heard of the praying-mantis types. At this point, the mantis bent its upper body, over my bed and directly above me. In its hand it was holding a long metal object that looked like a needle. A green light shot directly from the needle and into my right eye. Maybe it’s a laser, I am not sure, but I do know it felt very painful. I could see all the veins from my eye, the same effect you get when an Optician checks your eyes. I screamed but no noise came out. I then felt something stick into my skull! I’m not sure what because by that time I had my eyes closed. I pretended to sleep and went into deep panic! My mind was racing at a million miles per hour. I heard a great whooshing sound and when I next reopened my eyes thankfully they had gone.

Another one of the weirder of these reports is an account chronicled by UFO researcher Linda Moulton Howe in her book Glimpses of Other Realities, Vol. II: High Strangeness. She tells the tale of a witness named Linda Porter, who claimed to have had an incredibly odd encounter with a telepathic mantis-like humanoid in a hallway in 1961 and that it had whisked her off to another dimension via what she called an “interdimensional tunnel.” The next thing she knew, Porter was with a “Praying mantis being in a light-filled room,” and she said:

I remember the being slowly coming around the corner and facing me. He stood very still and simply waited as if he knew how frightening he appeared to me. Eventually he began to talk to me (telepathically). He seemed to possess a great deal of dignity and gave the impression of being quite old. He walked me to this room (filled with dense light). The memory ends with me about to enter the room and the thought ‘Translated Into the Light’ has to do with what happened.

Adding to the utter strangeness of this case, Porter, who had been born with a heart defect, claimed that she had had her soul transferred by the creature into a cloned body of herself that was healthy, and that the creature had explained to her in depth about other dimensions and travel between them. Very weird stuff, indeed. In another peculiar account from UFO BC, there is a witness who says that her and her friend had been captured by tall, insectoid humanoids and then been subjected to some sort of violent, gruesome medical procedure. She would say:

I stood there helpless for the longest time, not knowing what to do but feeling a real sense of panic. Something had to be done quickly. All of a sudden there were two Beings that appeared next to my friend. They seemed to push me right aside and silently went right to work on her, like skilled surgeons. They stood to her left, standing together and working furiously on my friend. I had no idea who they were, what they were doing, but the first thing I thought of was ‘are they aliens’??? I stood there and watched…I thought they looked like Praying Mantises. Alien Praying Mantises…


Then I focused on my friend and saw her head was split wide open, like these aliens sliced it perfectly open. I saw freshly sliced raw flesh and these Aliens/Praying Mantis were busily removing pieces of bone, rock or whatever from her brain. This did not look anything like what I would imagine the inside of a brain to look but it was just such a clean cut. These two Alien/Praying Mantis worked quickly, without speaking one word. I seemed to black out and don’t remember any more of it.

What was going on here? What were they doing? What happened to the friend? Was this all a hallucination or is there anything more to it? Who knows? From the same site is a bizarre report from a witness who claims the Mantis Men were rather more benevolent towards him, and even gifted him with advanced technology. He explains:

My Praying Mantis figure was very kind to me. He urged me to stay calm and telepathically reassured me everything would be alright. My right eye was removed by a device that came down from the white ceiling. I started to really panic but the Mantis kept me from really freaking out. Then it was replaced. The Mantis also told me telepathically that I was a special person who would really make a difference here on earth. I am now 44 years old and have made no real significant differences to the human race. I think he may have just wanted to reassure a child at the time. I have retained 1 thing from my encounter. I still have the power to see major global disasters before they happen. I only report them to either my fiancé or my close family members because I know anyone else would just call me crazy. But now they believe me for the most part. Because when I see something clearly and tell them, it always happens.

Here we have looked at merely a selection from the files of truly otherworldly encounters with insectiod humanoids, and it is all really quite a lot to take in. What could possibly lie at the root of such reports? Are these things aliens or undiscovered creatures of some sort? With regards to Mantis Men the theory that these are interdimensional travelers is often brought up, so could that possibly be what is going on here, these beings coming across the veil between realities rather than across the sea of stars? Are these just hallucinations, delusions, or lies? As it is we are left pretty baffled by such reports, and it has come to the point where these accounts are largely even shunned by those within cryptozoology, UFOlogy, and the paranormal world in general. Yet, still these sightings and reports come in, and it sure does make one wonder just what is going on here.

Brent Swancer

Brent Swancer is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Brent Swancer’s first intellectual loves. He's written articles for MU and Daily Grail and has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM and Binnal of America.

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