One area of the paranormal that has always remained pervasive is that of the winged humanoid. There are countless reports of such beings in the mysterious skies above our heads, yet on most occasions these seem to entail some sort of flying beast, demon, or cryptid of some type. However, the world of flying humanoid reports is much more bizarre than that, and it also happened to include those beings and figures that seem to have been utilizing some mysterious, unknown tech that allows them to access flight, making them in essence humanoid UFOs that have never been explained.
Flying humanoids in some sort of winged suit go way back. In as early as 1880 there are a couple of reports. The first comes from John Keel’s book The Mothman Prophecies, and describes a bizarre scene that played out on July 28 of that year in the area of Louisville Kentucky, in the United States. On this day, two witnesses named C. A. Youngman and Ben Flexner were out taking a leisurely stroll on a clear, calm afternoon when they saw something quite odd in the sky above. They at first took it to be a toy balloon, but as it approached they could see that it was in fact what appeared to be “a man surrounded by machinery which he seemed to be working with his hands,” with some kind of wings and fans perched upon his back. This enigmatic flying man worked his machinery to have him dip and rise several times until he passed out of view. This sighting would be followed by a UFO sighting the same evening, in which a bright object was seen “hopping” over Madisonville, Kentucky before disappearing, it’s connection to the flying man unknown.
In September of that same year there is another report mentioned in a 1972 article in Fate Magazine by authors Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark, which seems to fit into the theme of flying suits. On September 11, 1880, a strange flying humanoid was seen over Coney Island, New York, which seems to have been perhaps using a flying contraption of some sort. The original news article in the New York Times says of it:
One day last week a marvelous apparition was seen near Coney Island. At the height of at least 1000 feet in the air a strange object was in the act of flying toward the New Jersey coast. It was apparently a man in bat’s wings and improved frog’s legs. The face of the man could be distinctly seen, and he wore a cruel and determined expression. The movements made by the object closely resembled those of a frog in the act of swimming with his hind legs and flying with his front legs….When we add that this monster waved his wings in answer to the whistle of a locomotive and was of a deep black color, the alarming nature of the apparition can be imagined. The object was seen by many reputable persons and they all agree that it was a man engaged in flying toward New Jersey.
Moving on in years we come to 1948, which has a few such reports. In the years after World War II there were some strange encounters with what seems to have been a person or people in some sort of flying mechanized suit. In early January of 1948, a 61-year-old witness named Bernice Zaikowski claimed that she had been out in the yard of her home in Chehalis, Washington at around 3:00 PM when some neighborhood children began looking up at the sky and chattering away about a “flying man” up in the sky. It was at this point that Zaikowski allegedly heard an odd noise from above that sounded like “a sizzling and whizzing,” and when she looked up she could see something very odd indeed hovering up over a nearby barn around 20 feet in the air.
The witness insisted that what she saw looked like a man wearing a pair of long silver wings fastened to his shoulders with some sort of strap rig, and which he seemed to control with some sort of high-tech panel attached to his chest. The mysterious man with his bizarre flying suit apparently then performed some aerial acrobatics, ascended into the air, and flew off into the distance in an upright posture. At no point could the witness discern any obvious source of propulsion such as a jet pack or propeller, and the contraption the man wore seemed to be mostly silent except for that odd whizzing sound. The whole sight was seen by Zaikowski and several other witnesses, all of whom were dumfounded. Was this some sort of flying gadget crafted by a mad genius or something more otherworldly? Later that same year, in April of 1948 the mysterious figure was purportedly seen again in the same general vicinity, and this time he was apparently with friends. The two witnesses, laundry workers Viola Johnson and James Pittman, claimed that they saw “three men in flying suits” making circles over the city at a height of around 250 feet. Johnson would say of the spectacle:
They looked like three men in flying suits flying through the air. They wore dark drab flying suits and as far as I can judge – I’m not very good at judging distance – they were 250 feet high, circling the city. They were going at about the same speed as a freight train and had some kind of apparatus on their sides which looked like guns but I know it couldn’t have been guns. I couldn’t see any propellers or any motors tied on them but I could hear motors which sounded like airplane motors, only not so loud. When they first came into sight I thought they looked like gulls but as they got closed I could see plainly that they were men. I couldn’t make out their arms but I could see their feet dangling down and they kept moving their heads, like they were looking around. I couldn’t tell if they had goggles on but their heads look like they had helmets on. I couldn’t see their faces.
The two frightened witnesses’ story was somewhat corroborated when several local people later recalled hearing strange sounds in the sky at around the time of the sighting. Who were these flying men and where did they get those amazing suits? Were these some eccentric inventors who had come up with a new way of flight? If so, whatever happened to this incredible invention? Or was it something else, perhaps time travelers or visitors from another parallel dimension? Could it have all just been a hoax or tall tale? It’s hard to say.
In 1978 there was a series of sightings along these lines in the USSR, the first supposedly happening in February of that year. Late one evening a militia captain by the name of Avtandil Bukhrashvili woke at his home in Tbilissi, Georgia to see a bright light, followed by the strange sight of two objects that looked like giant black birds, but which upon closer inspection did not seem to have any actual wings. The two objects descended lower until they were close enough to see that they were indeed two humanoid beings in tight fitting suits and helmets, through which it could be seen that they had frog-like faces. The entities then produced a tablet and forced him to swallow it, after which they took off and flew off into the distance while emitting a whirring sound. The witness then lost all memory and the next thing he knew he was in bed with a case of lost time.
In April of that same year, 14-year old Valentine Valentinovich Gubsky was on vacation with his family and some friends in the Ryazan region of Russia. One foggy evening he was out walking with his friend when the two boys allegedly saw a series of bright, multi-colored flashes, after which they heard a mechanical drone that seemed to be approaching their position from a nearby hill. Through the mist they could then see a shadowy figure coming towards them about 20 meters up in the air, and it continued until it had passed overhead, visible enough for them to make out that it looked like a flying man with his arms outstretched. The witnesses would describe the figure as wearing some sort of metallic silvery suit with metal rings along its limbs and torso, as well as a belt-like contraption with what looked to be a control panel embedded within it.
Whatever it was also seemed to be wearing a backpack of some sort, with what looked like oxygen tanks, upon which could clearly be seen some sort of jet tubes or air inlets. There were apparently no straps visible on what looked to be a jetpack of some sort, and the being also seemed to have some sort of membrane attached from its fingers to the belt, which the boys guessed served as wings. Upon the strange creature’s head was purportedly a helmet with what looked like a respirator. Whatever it was seemed to be heading towards the light seen previous to its arrival, leading the witnesses to believe there had been some connection.
In more recent years we come to 1989, when in October of that year shop owner Yannis Clonaris and his wife were driving home one evening in Lardos, Rhodes Island Greece. The wife looked out the window to notice a low-flying form that looked like a man dressed all in white and covered with hair, possessing wings where its arms should be. This would have been startling enough as it was, but mounted upon its back was some sort of device that seemed to be enabling it to fly, as it was not moving its wings at all. The bizarre apparition apparently looked directly at the witnesses before accelerating in the direction of Tsambika Mountain.
In 1998 we have another report from near Athens, Greece, this time on September 14 of that year, when two women were sitting out on a balcony at around sunset. They would spy an object in the sky headed towards them, which they at first took to be a helicopter but which was odd in that it emanated no sound. As it got closer, they could see that it was a humanoid being in an upright position, wearing what was described as an “astronaut suit.” This odd humanoid figure then descended to land at a nearby park and then sort of do a massive hop towards the forest on Ardittos hill not far away. The creature then seemed to hover about and then transform into a bright spot and vanish.
Finally, a particularly bizarre report occurred on February 14, 2004, when an Ana Luisa Cid and two others witnessed a decidedly unearthly sight above Mexico City, Mexico. They saw in the sky a rather strange object that at first looked to be some sort of mechanical, vibrating machine on top, under which dangled what looked like a large black humanoid shape, the whole of which seemed to be hovering in the same position. To make matters more bizarre, a smaller object was allegedly seen to drift up from below to merge with the larger figure, after which it detached from the upper structure and revealed itself to be what appeared to be some sort of humanoid wearing a cloak or cape of some sort, while the thing above it now in fact looked like a living winged beast of some kind. It is then reported that the smaller object broke off from the cloaked creature to fly off, after which the cloaked one reattached to the winged monster and the whole surreal thing took off out of sight. What in the world was this thing? Whatever it is, what has come to be known as “The Entity Reunion in the Sky” remains one of the strangest sightings ever to take place in Mexican skies.
In 2004 yet another video of these things emerged from near Cerro de la Silla, which showed a dark object with a humanoid form floating through the air at great speed while hunched over. The video of course has generated a whole bunch of debate as to what it could be, with many saying that it is merely a cluster of balloons or some garbage blowing through the air. The next year, on June 17, 2005, witness Horacio Roquett would also film a flying humanoid in a seated position atop some type of device over Mexico City. Roquet was out with his sister at Unidad Habitacional Lomas de Platero in the middle of the afternoon on a clear day when they both saw a tall humanoid figure cruising through the air and leering at them menacingly. In this case the figure seemed to be perched atop some sort of gravity-defying vehicle that emitted a strange red glow, with its legs dangling underneath. Bizarre, to say the least.
What are we looking at in accounts such as we have explored here? Are these aliens, mad scientists, or something else? How have they been able to perfect this flying technology to such a degree even in eras when that would be unthinkable? What do they want and where did they go? There are no answers here, we are in the uncharted domain of the truly bizarre, and the only thing to do with such reports is shrug our shoulders, ponder, and wait for answers that may never come.
Special thanks to Albert S. Rosales for his contributions to this article.