The 1960s. A group of kids. A terrifying monster. And the creature has bright red eyes and wings. Mothman, right? Nope. Wrong. We're talking about a case from over the pond and the south of England. It sounds bizarre that two such similar events could have happened, but that's exactly what occurred, as you will see now. The area, known as Sandling Park, was certainly shrouded in overwhelming darkness at the time of the beastly event. But it was hardly the sort of place where one would expect to encounter nothing less than a fully fledged monster. Amazingly, however, that’s what apparently happened. John Flaxton, aged 17 on the night that all hell broke loose, was accompanied by three friends, including 18-year old Mervyn Hutchinson. As they walked along a lane running by the park – after returning from a local Friday night dance – the group of friends became aware of a bright object moving overhead, which they at first took to be nothing stranger than a star. How wrong they were.
The teenagers were amazed, and more than a bit scared, by the object’s presence, as they watched it hover and then drop out of sight behind a group of trees. The boys decided to leave the area with haste, but the light soon loomed into view again. It hovered around ten feet from the ground, and at an approximate distance of two hundred feet, then once again went out of sight. "It was a bright and gold oval," one of the boys reported. "And when we moved, it moved. When we stopped, it stopped." That was not necessarily a good sign! Suddenly, the boys heard the snapping of twigs from a nearby thicket, and out from the wooded area shuffled a creature of horrendous appearance. "It was the size of a human," reported Mervyn Hutchinson.
"But it didn’t seem to have any head. There were wings on its back, like bat wings." The group fled, perhaps understandably not wanting to hang around and see what developed next. Matters didn’t end there, however. Five night later, one Keith Croucher saw an unusual object float across a nearby football field. Forty-eight-hours after that, a John McGoldrick, accompanied by a friend, checked out the location and stumbled upon unusual impressions in the ground, which gave every indication that something solid and significant had landed there.
Neil Arnold, a good friend to me, a well-known Kent-based cryptozoologist, a researcher and author of many acclaimed books on mystery animals, has dug into the now-renowned event, which took place at Sandling Park, Hythe, Kent on November 16, 1963. Neil has this to say about the matter: "Local UFO experts believed that the case was nothing more than a misinterpretation of natural phenomena, but Flaxton recalled: 'I felt cold all over.'" Sounds familiar? Mothman fans may very well be nodding their heads in agreement by now! And, as Neil Arnold also notes: "Three giant footprints were also found in the vicinity which were said to have measured two-feet long and nine inches across. On 11 December, various newspaper reporters accompanied McGoldrick to the area and found that the woods were illuminated by an eerie, glowing light. No-one investigated any further and the case faded as mysteriously as it had emerged."
To this day, the saga of the Mothman-like thing of Hythe, Kent, England remains precisely that: a mystery. Was it the very same creature that, a few years later, made its presence at Point Pleasant, West Virginia and was named Mothman? Maybe, that's exactly what happened. This story isn't over yet, though. As you'll see in my next article, something almost identical took place in 1976 in the United Kingdom. That's right: it happened again!