Cryptozoology covers a wide range of a menagerie of all manner of mysterious beasts. Some of the more prominent and popular of these are the various hairy wildmen and lake monsters of the world, but it goes well beyond this, and sometimes flies right off the fringe to land squarely in the totally bizarre. One area that does not seem to get as much attention as some others is the phenomenon of reports of giant, cryptid insects that defy explanation and seem to have crawled out of our very nightmares. Here we will look at a selection of reports of flying creepy crawlies that most people would rather they never met.
Reports of strange giant bugs come in all shapes and sizes. One report given to the site Phantoms and Monsters seems to involve a giant dragonfly of some sort seen in Bolton, England in 2002. The witness says that he had been out with his brother when they saw a massive insect they took to be a dragonfly, only way larger than any they had ever seen. The witness reports:
Me and my younger brother saw a huge dragonfly spanning well over a foot and half long in Bolton, England in 2002. It must have been over an inch in diameter as well at the centre. I would have questioned myself but as it was witnessed by someone else too. I'm pretty sure it wasn't just me seeing things. Sometimes I think was it an RC helicopter? But no way could it move with such swiftness, agility and silence especially with 2002 technology. I went to the Manchester museum and checked with the insect experts and they said it sounds like you've seen something from the prehistoric and that no species of dragonfly that exist today are that large. It's not a giant bird but Has anyone ever seen these massive dragonflies? I would love some confirmation some more witnesses across the world.
As a matter of fact, there have been other reports of what might be a giant dragonfly or something similar, although not quite as massive as the one reported from Bolton. On the site Cryptozoology News there is a report from a witness named Jay MacCarroll, of Kalkaska, Michigan. The witness says that he and a neighbor saw a freakishly large dragonfly measuring 10 to 12 inches long, with four wings and an iridescent blue coloration. At the time of the sighting they were just outside MacCarroll’s rural property, which lies near two bodies of water, the 217-acres Bear Lake and a small swamp. When asked if it might have been a radio controlled drone, the man insisted that it was not, and that it made no sound at all as it passed right by them and into the trees. Although the sighting only lasted a few moments, he claims that it passed very close, and that they got a good look at it.
Another giant dragonfly sighting came to me from a witness who tells me that he saw something very much like this while out at the Everglades National Park, in Florida. At the time he was hiking with a friend on a clear day when something caught his attention from the corner of his eye and he heard his friend gasp in surprise. Looking to the source of the movement, he saw what he at first thought must be a bird, until he noticed that it had an elongated body and four beating wings, the whole of it measuring over a foot long. According to the witness it got so close that he could easily see its segmented eyes, and it hovered over the clearing for a moment before zipping off into the wilderness. The color was described as being a metallic green, and it was reported as being completely silent. Yet another report of something similar comes from the site Texas Cryptid Hunter, with a witness who says he lives in Fredericksburg, out in the Texas Hill Country. At the time of his incident, he was working the night shift at a pizza restaurant and it was his break time. He went out back to smoke a cigarette, and he would have a very creepy encounter, of which he says:
Earlier that evening one of the waitresses had come in from break a little shaken up saying that she'd seen some kind of large insect while taking out the trash - being a lifelong Texas native in a relatively rural part of the state, I didn't think much of it - after all, we've got some big bugs here in Texas. Sure enough though, about halfway through my cigarette, I caught sight of something I, to this day, cannot explain. Hanging out on the wall of the building just under a security light was a gigantic insect of some sort.
It was very awkward in shape, something I've attributed in hindsight to the possibility that it might have actually been two insects mating - but even dividing the size of what I saw in half, each one of these things would have to be at least 6 inches - and that's probably a conservative estimate. It had exposed wings which were folded back, the backs of the wings were a molted brown and black pattern much like a moths, but had a very pronounced membrainage like a cicada. Its body was hidden under the wings, but the glimpse I caught of it as it took flight was slender - like a lacewing - but huge. The most prominent feature, and the one that keeps me coming back to the memory time and time again, was a pair of pretty sizable pincher like mandibles - very reminiscent of the kind you see on large tropical beetles. Of course, Fredericksburg, being as small and uneventful as it is, my first response was to grab everyone I could from inside and show them. Shortly afterwards, amid a chorus of 'gross' and 'eww' the whatever-it-was flew off.
Such sightings of giant dragonfly-like insects are very rare, but if they are real at all, the it could be perhaps some surviving prehistoric insect or dragonfly such as the genus Meganeura, from the Carboniferous period about 300 million years ago. These immense extinct insects are related to modern dragonflies, with wingspans ranging from 65 cm (25.6 in) to over 70 cm (28 in). Such an insect would likely look very much like what was described in these giant dragonfly reports, but the problem is that in that era there was more oxygen in the atmosphere, and it is thought to be unlikely such a large dragonfly would be able to survive in the present day atmosphere without having evolved a radically more evolved respiration method than their primitive tracheal breathing system. Indeed, insects and spiders have very rudimentary and inefficient respiration systems, which are one of the main physiological factors limiting their growth, and one of the reasons often brought up against the possibility of enormous cryptid insects or arachnids. Yet the reports continue.
A perhaps even stranger report comes from Cryptozoology News, with a witness who at the time was working as a truck driver doing a run along interstate 5 between Tracy and Patterson, in Central Valley, California. The witness is a James Morris, 45, who explains that it was a clear day and that everything had been very routine up until a strange sound caught his attention and things would get very weird, indeed. Morris tells of what happened:
I had slept well the night before, so I was well aware to know what I saw. So I am driving on the I-5 near Patterson when my radio starts hissing. Anyway, as I reach for the radio and I hear this thumping noise coming from the left side of the truck. I see this big bug, looked like a beetle the size of a wild cat, clamped to the antenna, bending it all over almost all the way down to the hood. It was a shiny, red and black, metallic shell, with long black antennas that looked like serrated knives and a wingspan of five feet. The eyes were big and red and looked like it had little mirrors inside. Kinda panicked for a few seconds but I waved my hand at it, hitting the window hard with my hand, and it flew away. I figure, how am I gonna report this? They’ll think I’m crazy or something, I mean, how the hell do you report this type of stuff? They wouldn’t take me seriously. I said screw it, and kept driving. There wasn’t any damage on the truck or anything so whatever. The only thing I did was warn a few other drivers on the radio just in case they came across it too, but all I got was a couple laughs which I knew was gonna happen to begin with, but at least I warned them. I also noticed a gooey green liquid on the front window, but it was mostly gone by the time I reached my destination. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, never seen anything like it. You get to see weird stuff on the I-5, no doubt about it, but nothing like this.
What was this thing and where did it go? Could this also have been some presumed to be extinct bug? An incredibly weird report also appeared on the site Cryptozoology News in 2013, and was given by a 32-year-old doctor named Marco Gessatti, who was on a flight from Rome to Boston at the time. It was a rather uneventful flight at first, and 30,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean is probably the last place one would expect to have a run in with some sort of mystery creature, but things got interesting to say the least when Gessatti says that he was overcome by a sudden and inexplicable sense of overwhelming dread and a feeling of nauseousness. He at first thought that this was some kind of abrupt panic attack, but looking around he could see that others sitting nearby seemed to be suffering the same ill effects. This is where things would get intense very quickly.
Gessatti claims that he heard a loud, jolting thud on the window of the plane, which some others around him also clearly heard, and when he looked out into the sky he saw something from a horror film. There, fastened to the outside of the plane was allegedly some sort of immense, beetle-like insect with a metallic green body and large segmented eyes, that was somehow able to maintain its grip on the aircraft. He would say of what happened thus:
It had attached to the window with a claw-like structure on its big black legs. There were hairs and hooks and some sort of adhesive pad that apparently helped the animal stay on the plane. Then it unfastened its legs from the glass and his green, metallic body opened up. Two wings came out, I should say “rolled out”, like a rug. They were translucent and I could see it full of red veins. It looked like tree branches, or a leaf. The thing glided for about 2 seconds then it started flapping its wings, slowly. It was incredibly slow, not like a regular insect where you can’t even see the shape of the wings. His eyes stared at us, looked like a red flashlight.
After a few moments, the bizarre creature was gone. It would turn out that 10 other people had seen it as well, and one even claimed to have taken a photo of it, although it is unclear what happened to it. Gessatti claims to have exchanged e-mail addresses with the passenger who took it, but that it was never sent. He would say:
I exchanged e-mails with one of them that claimed to have taken a picture, but he never replied. I never liked the way e-mail addresses work, you get a letter wrong, and that’s that. Or maybe he doesn’t want to send it to me, I don’t know. I know it’s hard to believe. I know what I saw, you know? I have never seen anything like this. Big, big insect. Out of this world.
This is certainly one of the most utterly bizarre accounts I’ve seen in a while, and it leaves myriad questions swirling about it. First of all, how big was it exactly? There is no precise size estimate, save to say that it was supposedly gigantic. Also, what could it possibly be and why was it so high up in the atmosphere? How could it manage to match speeds and course with, and then attach itself to, an airliner going at full speed tens of thousands of feet in the air, and why? What caused that debilitating feeling of panicked dread and nausea amongst some of the passengers? Was this a real insect, an alien, and inter-dimensional creature, or what? It is all so outlandish that, although the witness is described as being intelligent and reliable, one wonders if any of this really happened or not, although it would seem odd for a doctor to make up such a far-out tale for no reason at all. In the end it sits with all of the other reports in that it is a one-off, anomalous sighting of what can only be described as a giant flying insect of some kind, and wonder. Do such things exist, and if so, what are they? Could any of this be physically feasible at all, or are these misidentifications and exaggerations? whatever the case may be, these are certainly not anything one wants crashing one's BBQ, and we will in the meantime wait for any answers that come to light.