Dec 10, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Winged Monsters That Aren't Mothman: But That Are Just as Amazing

Although Mothman is the most famous of all the flying "things" in our world, there are more than a few other. As you'll see right now. In 2003, the South American country of Chile was hit by a spate of reports of traumatic and terrifying encounters with flying monsters. One particularly fantastic incident occurred on the night of July 23. That was when three boys, Jonathan, Diego, and Carlos were having a sleepover at Diego’s grandfather’s house, which was situated near San Pedro de Atacama. They were woken from their sleep by the sound of scratching against the outside of the door to the yard. Tentatively, the brave trio got out of their beds and tiptoed to the door, carefully and quietly opened it, and peered into the darkness. To their eternal horror, they were confronted by a horrific-looking beast standing at a distance of around fifty feet and staring directly at them. It was humanoid in shape, beaked, and around five feet in height. It had large bat-style wings that extended to a combined length of around eleven feet, and talons instead of toes. And its head was crested. As for its color, it was black and shiny, almost wet-like. It wasn’t a local.

It’s interesting – and probably not coincidental – to note that a few days earlier a man by the name of Juan Acuqa contacted police to tell them of his trauma-filled, late night encounter with a pair of strange animals in the Chilean town of Parral. “They were both dog-faced and had wings,” Acuqa told the responding officers. And it wasn’t just a sighting that Acuqa had: as he walked home, the monsters attacked him out of the sky and out of the blue, something which forced Acuqa to leap into a nearby canal to try and shake them off. Fortunately, it worked; although, he was briefly hospitalized for gashes inflicted by the flying, nightmarish things. Around a month or so later, what were very possibly the same two creatures – along with another pair – were seen by the entire Abbett family, as they drove through Chile’s Pampa Acha region. Such was the sheer weirdness of the appearance of the flying things, the family could only describe them as “dog-faced kangaroos” and as “gargoyles.” Thankfully, the family was not attacked and the creatures swept by, above the road, with barely a glance in their direction. It was, to be sure, a most lucky escape.

(Nick Redfern) The most famous flying creature of all: Mothman

It should also be noted that when the details of the 2003 wave in Chile became publicly known, more than a few investigators of strange creatures and paranormal activity suggested that Puerto Rico’s infamous Chupacabra was clearly on the move and had made its way to Chile. It’s not an unreasonable thing to muse upon. After all, some of the initial reports of the Chupacabra – and particularly those seen in the island’s massive El Yunque rainforest - described seeing animals that had monkey-like bodies, that hopped like kangaroos, and which had large, leathery wings. Of course, no-one was able to offer a viable explanation for how the Chupacabras’ had made it from Puerto Rico to Chile. The fact remains, however, that the Chilean monsters and those of Puerto Rico were astonishingly similar in appearance. Now, to another flying whatsit.

Without doubt, one of the strangest aspects of cryptozoology is it’s tie-in with the Crop Circle mystery. Although it’s a little-known aspect of both phenomena, more than a few accounts exist of strange creatures seen in and around Crop Circles. From Matthew Williams – the only British man ever arrested, charged and convicted for making a Crop Circle - come several such accounts. It transpires that, unsurprisingly for someone who has spent years deeply immersed within the Crop Circle controversy, Matthew is a veritable fountain of knowledge with respect to tales of weird creatures either having been seen in, or at least in the direct vicinity of, complex Crop Circle formations. One such case is truly strange. Matthew advised me that the story in question concerned a man who had felt curiously compelled to drive late at night to a certain field in Wiltshire many years ago. On doing so, he parked his car and duly, and carefully, began his walk into the depths of the crop. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a large, black, human-like figure appeared in the air over the field.

“It reminded me a little bit of the Mothman sightings when I heard this story,” said Matthew, not without a high degree of justification. Matthew continued that the source of the story could only stand and stare in awe, while suddenly gaining the distinct impression that the hovering entity was the source of at least some of the Crop Circle formations that were appearing in Wiltshire. At that precise moment, a simple Crop Circle suddenly appeared on the ground immediately below the black figure – after which it vanished from the skies and the man was left utterly alone in the field, and with no real option other than to make his shocked way back to his vehicle and drive home, baffled and bewildered by both the weird, aerial entity and what it was that had directed him to the field.

(Nick Redfern) A flying monster seen in a Crop Circle? Things get better!

Practically everyone has heard of Bigfoot and Mothman. Along with the likes of the Loch Ness Monster and the Abominable Snowman, they are two of the world’s most famous monsters. But, what do you get when you combine the aforementioned Bigfoot and Mothman? Well, what you get is Batsquatch: a terrifying, malevolent, hair-covered humanoid that sports a pair of huge, gargoyle-like wings. It was a diabolical beast encountered by a young man on the night of Saturday, April 16, 1994. The location was southeast of Buckley, Washington State, and with Mount Rainier in the background. Interestingly, Mount Rainier has another strange and now-famous aerial mystery attached to it: it was over the mountain, on June 24, 1947, that a pilot named Kenneth Arnold encountered a squadron of strange, flying vehicles that, when the media got hold of the story, became famously known as flying saucers. Meanwhile, however, back to 1994.

The man who became the unfortunate witness to the terrible beast was Brian Canfield, who, at the time in question, was driving his truck to Camp One, a settlement in the area, and which is situated near Lake Kapowsin. All was normal until Canfield’s headlights began to fade. That was bad enough. But, in mere moments, his engine completely quit and his vehicle silently coasted to a stop at the side of the road. All thoughts of what he should do, on a lonely stretch of Washington State road at around 9:30 p.m., went totally out of the window when an infernal monstrosity loomed into view. Canfield could only look on, terror-stricken, as a large, dark-colored humanoid descended from the black skies. It did so in a curious semi-gliding, semi-flying fashion, finally coming to rest right in front of his vehicle.

Canfield was unable to move, such was his level of terror. All he could do was grip the steering wheel and stare in stark terror at the beast before him. It was a shocking sight, to say the least. The winged, hair-covered monster was around nine feet in height and, as Canfield could now see, those wings spanned the entire road. It was at this point, despite his terror, that Canfield finally got a good look at the creature. Its fur was actually a dark blue, rather than the assumed black or brown. Its eyes shone yellow, and its white fangs protruded menacingly from its werewolf-like visage. For at least a couple of minutes, both man and monster confronted each other, neither making any kind of move. That is, until the creature, without warning, flapped its wings powerfully and violently and took to the skies.

(Nick Redfern) Things in the sky

Perhaps demonstrating the creature’s supernatural powers, when the beast vanished Canfield’s vehicle returned to normal: both its headlights and engine worked perfectly. Canfield raced back to the home he shared with his parents, charged into the house, and spluttered and gasped his way through his astounding story of what happened. Canfield’s father, clearly realizing this was no prank, decided that the best thing they could do would be to get back out there and try and figure things out – as in right now. Perhaps luckily for both of them, Batsquatch – an undeniably memorable name, one which was name coined by one of Canfield’s friends – was nowhere to be seen. And, so far as can be determined, it has never been seen again. Unless, that is, you know better.

The Reverend F.G. Lee was the author of a still-acclaimed 19th century book titled Glimpses in the Twilight. Published in 1888, it is filled with all manner of amazing and chilling tales, including one of a terrible, monster-bird. Lee, who extensively researched the strange story, said: “In the middle of the last century, circa 1749, owing to several remarkable circumstances which had then recently occurred, a conviction became almost universal among the inhabitants of the village, that the vaults under the church of West Drayton, near Uxbridge, were haunted.” He continued: “Strange noises were heard in and about the sacred building, and the sexton of that day, a person utterly devoid of superstition, was on inquiry and examination compelled to admit that certain unaccountable occurrences in regard to the vault had taken place. Others maintained that three persons from an adjacent manor-house in company had gone to look through a grating in the side of the foundation of the church – for the ventilation of the vault, and from which screams and noises were heard constantly, and there had seen a very large black raven perched on one of the coffins.”

According to the Reverend Lee: “This strange bird was seen more than once by the then parish clerk pecking from within at the grating, and furiously fluttering about within the enclosed vault. On another occasion it was seen by other people in the body of the church itself. The wife of the parish clerk and her daughter often saw it.” Eventually, however, the beastly bird’s reign of terror was brought to an end, as the reverend noted: “The local bell-ringers, who all professed to deny its existence and appearance, one evening, however, came together to ring a peal, when they were told by a youth that the big raven was flying about inside the chancel. Coming together into the church with sticks and stones and a lantern, four men and two boys found it fluttering about amongst the rafters. They gave chase to it, flinging at it, shouting at and endeavoring to catch it. Driven from hither and thither for some time, and twice or thrice beaten with a stick, so that one of its wings seemed to have thus been broken and made to droop, the bird fell down wounded with expanded wings, screaming and fluttering into the eastern part of the chancel, when two of the men on rushing towards it to secure it, and driving it into a corner, vaulted over the communion-rails, and violently proceeded to seize it. As the account stands, it at once sank wounded and exhausted on to the floor, as they believed in their certain grasp, but all of a moment – vanished!”

In relation to this particularly weird saga, the wife of Reverend R. L. Burgh, who served at the church of West Drayton in the 1800s, wrote the following to Reverend Lee: “It was many years ago; and I had quite forgotten it until I got your note. I can remember feeling persuaded that a bird must have got into the family vault, and in going outside to look into it through the iron bars to try if anything could be seen there, the sounds were then always in the chancel in the same place.” Neil Arnold adds a piece of valuable data to this story: “A record of the strange bird also exists from 1869 when two sisters claimed to have seen an enormous bird whilst visiting the church, which they believed would have looked more at home in the zoological gardens.”

What was without any shadow of a doubt the strangest of all stories of an unidentified flying entity seen in the skies of England surfaced on February 19, 2009. Mike Lockley, then the editor of the now-closed Chase Post newspaper – which covered the Staffordshire, England town of Cannock - stated that nothing less than a flying man-thing had been seen soaring over and around the nearby Cannock Chase woods! Before we get to the heart of the strange saga, it’s worth noting that the Cannock Chase, a large area of heathland and forest, has been a veritable hotbed of high-strangeness of a monstrous kind for decades. Sightings of large, black cats with glowing eyes, spectral black hounds, Bigfoot-type beasts, werewolf-style entities, and even what are described as giant snakes have bene seen deep in the heart of the Cannock Chase. In that sense, the flying monster-man of the Cannock Chase was just the latest in a long line of bizarre creatures to surface in, and above, those dense and mysterious woods. And, now, with that said, back to the story. 

“Five locals have contacted the Post after witnessing the figure travelling, seemingly unaided, over houses at around 11am on Sunday, February 8. One described it as a ‘Superman’ moment - a clear case of ‘to Chadsmoor and beyond,’” said the newspaper. Mike Lockley added: “But eagle-eyed Boney Hay villager Clive Wright believes those who reckon they witnessed something supernatural are talking a load of kryptonite. The 68-year-old, who spotted the flying man from the living room window of his Sunnymead Road home, believes the pilot was travelling with the aid of a jet pack - a strap-on engine made famous in the 1965 James Bond movie, Thunderball.  “Clive’s wife, Janet, 68, and 14-year-old grandson Nicholas also witnessed the Chase’s own rocket man.

(Nick Redfern) A flying thing seen over the U.K.'s Cannock Chase woods

Clive said: ‘To say it was strange would be an understatement. And the bottle didn’t come into it because none of us drink. At first I was watching quite a number of seagulls and noticed what I thought was one in the middle moving quite slowly. I got up to take a closer look and realized it was a flying man. I searched the sky for the plane he had baled-out of, but could see nothing.’” The Post additionally quoted Clive Wright as saying: “All I could see was this man travelling in a controlled, straight line, travelling from Ryecroft shops across to Gentleshaw Common. I immediately went upstairs to get my binoculars and went out on the backyard, but he was gone. Some kind of Dan Dare spaceman - that’s what it looked like. The only explanation is that he was wearing a jet pack, although I was surprised he was travelling over a densely populated area.” Whether an intrepid flyer equipped with a startlingly high-tech piece of aerial gadgetry, Mothman checking out new areas, or something else entirely, the mystery of Staffordshire’s flying whatever-it-was remains. Just like all of the flying things of our world.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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