There’s no doubt that Mothman is the most famous (or most infamous) winged thing of the weird type. Mothman may not be the strangest one, however. With that said, let’s take a look at a few of the cases on record. In 1984, just such an unearthly beast was seen soaring over the capital city of the United Kingdom: London! The specific location was Brentford, a town situated within west London. The day on which all hell broke loose was hardly of the kind one might expect to associate with a monster. There were no dark and stormy skies, no thunder and lightning, and no howling winds. Instead, there was nothing but a warm, pleasant, sunny day in March. The man who kicked off the firestorm of controversy was Kevin Chippendale, who, at the time, was walking along Brentford’s Braemer Road. As he did so, Chippendale’s attention was drawn to something strange in the sky. It was some sort of large, flying animal. Not the kind of thing you see every day, to be sure.
Almost a year later after his extraordinary encounter, specifically in February 1985, Chippendale saw the creature yet again. Others saw the monster, too. They included a psychologist named John Olsen – who encountered the beast while jogging near the River Thames – and a woman named Angela Keyhoe, who saw the griffin squatting in ominous and beady-eyed fashion atop the town’s Waterman Carts Center. Both the local and national media – television and newspapers – were soon onto the story, and major coverage was afforded the mystery.The creature became known as the “Brentford Griffin. On the matter of Griffins, here’s some background on these legendary beasts from Gods and Monsters: “The griffin is a fascinating mythical creature whose roots reach from western Europe to the Eastern edges of India and beyond. In any mythology, the griffin is portrayed as a mix between an eagle and a lion. In all cases, this creature is shown as having the head of an eagle and the body of a lion, but from there the other specific features are in debate.” Now, moving on…
It was late one night, at some point in the latter part of 1956, said John Hanks – of Falls City, Richardson County, Nebraska – when he came face to face with a true giant; a creature in excess of nine feet in height, one that was humanoid in shape, but which most certainly could never be termed a member of the human race. That much, at least, we can ascertain from Hanks’ description. Ken Gerhard says, with a great deal of justification, that “[Hanks’] description of the creature sounds reminiscent of something out of an H.P. Lovecraft story.” Ken is not wrong in suggesting that Hanks’ monster would have found itself right at home in the pages of one of the legendary horror maestro’s novels. In fact, Gerhard is right on target. Hanks’ nightmarish thing had a pair of fifteen-foot-wide wings that, rather oddly, appeared to be made of bright, shining, aluminum! It didn’t wait around. Neither did Hanks!
Bagot’s Wood near Abbots Bromley, U.K. takes its name from the Bagot family, seated for centuries at Staffordshire’s Blithfield Hall. Situated around nine miles east of Stafford and 5 miles north of Rugeley, the Hall has been the home of the Bagot family since the late 14th century; while the present house is mainly Elizabethan, with a Gothic façade added in the 1820s to a design probably by John Buckler. And, it is against this backdrop of ancient woodland and historic and huge old halls that something decidedly strange occurred back in the summer of 1937, when the now late Alfred Tipton was just a ten-year-old boy. And like most adventurous kids, young Alfred enjoyed playing near Blithfield Hall, and in the Bagot’s Wood, with his friends: on weekends and during the seemingly-never-ending school-holidays. And, it was during the summer holidays of 1937 that something strange and monstrous was seen in that small, yet eerie, area of old woodland.
According to Tipton, on one particular morning he and four of his friends had been playing in the woods for several hours and were taking a break, sitting on the warm, dry grass, and soaking in the sun. Suddenly, said Tipton, they heard a shrill screeching sound that was coming from the trees directly above them. As they craned their necks to look directly upwards, the five pals were horrified by the sight of a large, black beast sitting on its haunches in one particularly tall and very old tree, and “shaking the branch up and down with its claws tightened around it.” But this was no mere large bird, however. Tipton said that “it reminded me of a devil: I still don’t forget things and [that] is what I say it looked like.” He adds that the creature peered down at the five of them for a few moments and then suddenly opened up its large and shiny wings, which were easily a combined twelve-feet across, and took to the skies in a fashion that could be accurately described as part-flying and part-gliding, before being forever lost to sight after perhaps 15 or 20 seconds or so. Incredibly, in later years, Tipton said the closest thing it reminded him of was a pterodactyl – which, very oddly, are reported in the U.K.!
One of the strangest, yet intriguing, accounts of giant, winged monsters in our very midst came from a man named James Harrison, a resident of Liverpool, England. It was in February 1947 that Harrison, who, along with several fellow adventurers and explorers, was boating along ta tributary of the Amazon, encountered something startling. It was a flock of five, huge, flying creatures, surfing the sky at an alarmingly low level. Due to the close proximity, Harrison and his colleagues were easily able to discern that the creatures had leathered skin, were brown in color, and had wingspans that exceeded twelve feet. The wings of the monsters were described as being “ribbed,” while their oddly flattened heads were attached to very long necks. In other words, they sounded very much like pterodactyls from a time long gone. And that’s just the start of things. Weird winged monsters are reported all across the world. They include Batsquatch, the Houston Batman and many more. In other words, keep your eyes to the skies!