Dale A. Drinnon from the Frontiers of Zoology posted an interesting piece titled Thunderbirds in Indiana referencing the discovery of a huge feather and the 'flap' of large bird sightings in Indiana in the mid to late 1970's.
Cryptid birds and flying humanoids have been a keen subject for me since my encounter on the Conewago Creek, Adams County, PA in 1988. Since that incident there have been hundreds of flying cryptid sightings forwarded to me...be it an unusually large raptor, a pterosaur-type creature or a winged humanoid.
Below are a few interesting encounters forwarded to me by witnesses:
Strange Bird Witnessed Near La Pryor, Texas
I’m just writing to share this information hoping that perhaps someone else has experienced this because we’ve never seen anything like it.
On Monday 09 Feb 09 at approximately 2120HRS my parents and I were traveling eastbound on US HWY 57. We were approximately 4 miles west of La Pryor, TX when my father slowed down and crossed over into the oncoming lane to avoid hitting a deer that was feeding right on the edge of the eastbound lane on which we traveled. As my father re-entered our lane we came upon a very large bird, gray in color, with a wingspan we estimate to be about 8-10 feet wide and had no visible feathers. We estimate the wingspan based on the width of the car in which we traveled.
We were driving in a 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer which is slightly wider than 66”. It appeared the bird was either resting on the road as we came up to it and it flew to avoid us, or the bird was flying very low to the ground and quickly gained altitude to avoid being struck by our vehicle. My father stopped the vehicle as soon as he could and we got out to look for the bird, but our search of the sky turned up fruitless. Thank you for taking the time to read our experience.
J. Burciaga, SSgt, USAF
Unknown Flying Entity
The encounter occurred on July 6, 2005 at about 11:30 pm. I had a long day in San Diego then afterward going to the beach at Del Mar, CA for some surf fishing. I arrived at my home in San Marcos about 11:00 pm. After cleaning my fish and showering, I was very tired. I went out to my carport for a smoke and a look at the night sky. I looked north, thinking about a recent UFO sighting and wondering what it's all about. In the distance, at a couple hundred feet, I saw a faintly visible moving object that flitted from side to side. Whatever it was, it reflected light from the streetlights. It's side to side movement was so quick, I couldn't tell if it was one object or two. The object then zipped directly over my neighbors house across the street. By this time, I was certain I'd never seen anything like it. It continued to move side to side, in a space of approximately 50 feet. It then stopped and I observed it more clearly.
It may have had big "eyes" and wing-like appendages, and was probably 2 to 3 feet in width. It remained still and I could see wavering reflections from it's "wings" which were not beating like a birds, but showed shimmering reflections from the streetlights. I felt the hair on my head rise all the way down my back to my ankles! It appeared to be looking at me, as I smoked my cigarette. I felt threatened, and said out loud, "I see you!" Then it went from stationary to out of sight, right over my head in an instant. I came out from under my covered carport, and turned to follow it's movement. Immediately, it zipped into view directly above my head, obviously studying me! I could see really weird large and intensely dark "eyes". It seemed surprised by my looking right at it. It didn't like being seen. My apprehension rose even higher. It turned away and disappeared like a shot.
It had a birdlike shape, but was thicker. My impression was of reflections of the streetlights on wing-like appendages, and big dark eyes!
It wasn't a bird, bat or any familiar nocturnal creature. It's movements did not seem explicable in comparison to any creature that fly's by beating it's wings. The hills and mountains are so rugged and inaccessible near my home, that anything could remain hidden and make night time forays at will. I read about "thunderbirds" but I'm not sure if this was one of these.
Large Flying Creature - Medina River, Texas
I received this email from a man who lives west of San Antonio, Texas near Medina Lake. He states he witnessed a large flying creature last evening (August 11, 2009). He has requested that his full name be withheld at the present time. (Note: edited for typos only)
Dear Sir. I witnessed a large flying creature this evening that I cannot identify. I found your site during a search. I'm apprehensive of mentioning it to any friends or family until I can get a grip on what this was.
I live west of San Antonio, TX near Medina Lake. Today, I was on a random outing to the area near the Diversion Lake dam. At about 7:30 pm, I was on my way back up the trail when I suddenly heard a loud awful scream coming from below the dam downstream. It sounded like an owl but lasted longer and was much louder. I stopped walking and watched downstream to see if I could catch a look at what caused the sound.
I then noticed a large flock of birds flush out of the trees near the riverbank. Then suddenly this giant flying creature swooped down into the river valley and just as quickly flew back up into the rocks. I continued to watch but did not hear or see it again. I call it a creature because it looked nothing like a bird. I was about 50 yards from it and would say conservatively that it's wing span was 15 ft. or so! It was dark colored and had a very long beak and a strange long thin tail. This sounds crazy, but it actually resembled one of those flying dinosaurs though the head was not as large and it looked like it had feathers.
I got back home and looked on the internet for examples of bird species but found nothing close. I'm not originally from this area and have never heard of anything like this. That is why I'm contacting you. Do you have an idea what it was? I see you have a website, maybe someone who reads your site could help identify it.
Winged Manta Ray Shaped Cryptid - Near Ashton, WV - 12/3/2004
I received the following email in reference to my post The Mothman Cometh: John Keel's Reports on August 13th. Much of this was included in a piece written by Chris Holly, but there have been a few changes. Note...click images for larger version:
Hi Lon, thanks for responding so quickly. Here are my drawings and report. Chris Holly reported my story pretty much verbatim, so I will repeat it here for you in a slightly different form.
Date: Dec. 3, 2004
Time:6:00 - 7:00pm
Weather Conditions: clear and already dark. Moon hadn't risen yet
Location: Traveling south on Rt.2 in WV from Point Pleasant to Huntington WV. Near Ashton WV (see map)
A friend and I were traveling on Rt. 2 towards Huntington WV. I was on my way to set up my booth for an art show and my mind was occupied with the booth set up and show logistics. We had just gone over the railroad tracks outside of Ashton WV and were on a long straight stretch of road. There was distant oncoming traffic and the headlights were on. There were no cars behind us in sight. I was in the passenger seat and my friend was driving. I noticed a sudden movement in the sky over the Ohio River to my right in front of the car. It was a greyish, smooth, winged shape. the shape swooped in a figure 8 in front of the windshield and then was suddenly gone to the left of us. It didn't fly out of sight, it was just gone. This happened very quickly, but as I am a visual artist, it was impressed into my memory banks!
Size: Bigger than the car. The wingspread was wider than the 2 lane road we were on. The wings seemed to stretch wider somehow as it did the figure 8 swoop. It was never more than 25 feet away from us as it flew towards the windshield. We thought it was going to crash into the windshield! At one point during the swoop it was only about 5 feet off of the pavement.
Color: Grey, translucent like a jellyfish. As it banked and swooped I could see many angles of it and somehow it looked more transparent as it turned some parts to us. I immediately thought it was like a manta ray. The body was flattish like a manta ray or a bat. The wings were long and smooth and sort of pointed at the tip. I saw no texture or roughness on it, only smooth surface.
Characteristics: Only body and wings- no head, eyes, tail, or feet. It did not look humanoid in any way. On the other hand, it wasn't a bird either. It moved more like something in the ocean would move - Did not flap the wings like a bird, or flutter them like a bat, but stretched them instead. My friend (who alas passed away a year ago) said to him the wings looked ragged like there were pieces coming off of them.
He also said he got a good look at the underneath and it looked grey and smooth. This absolutely was not a machine! It was articulated like a living creature and seemed like something organic.
As I look back on this sighting, I wonder if it was something playing with us - It happened so quickly that the only scary part was when we thought it was going to crash into the windshield. It was so beautiful and strange! It reminded me of a sea creature more than anything else, maybe our air is like water to them.
The only other time in my life I have ever seen anything remotely similar was in 2000 in Clay Co. WV, driving along a one lane road along the Elk River (a river was present in both instance -I just realized) In that case, I was alone and for about a mile as I drove, I kept noticing a shimmer in front of the car about 15 feet ahead of the car. This was late morning in the summer. It preceeded the car at the same distance for several minutes, then I noticed a shadow on the road too, large and shaped sort of like a bird. I looked up out of the windshield and there was a large crow flying above me. But what I first saw in front of the car was not a shadow, it was a disturbance in the air in front of my car that looked like a heat mirage sort of but was very close. This was a curvy country road right by the river. I had never seen heat mirages on that road before or since. At the time I thought that it was just sort of weird, then very close to that time I had a very lucid dream that I was in my car flying over the river right near the place where I saw the shadow.
As an artist, my mind is open to many possibilities and explanations - I think the unseen world is just a small vibrational frequency away. As a child I was fascinated by fairies and nature spirits and spent a lot of time alone outdoors.
NOTE: though there have been several variations in describing the 'Mothman', this particular description is unique and most likely represents another cryptid or non-terrestrial entity. As well as the Mothman sightings, the area along the Ohio River (southern Ohio and southwest West Virginia) has had a large number of other paranormal events including UFOs, large apparitions and hauntings, native and folklore based creatures, etc...Lon
Additional Ray-Shaped Cryptid Sightings in WV Ohio River Valley Revealed
I received the following email in reference to the Winged Manta Ray Shaped Cryptid post on August 16, 2010 (reposted below). I had heard that there was buzz in reference to this phenomenon recently....a few attendees at the 9th Annual Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, WV apparently mentioned new sightings. If anyone has witnessed anything unusual, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org:
This is a very interesting report. I've been researching ghost, monster and cryptid reports in West Virginia for a few years now. Wrote a wee slim book on the topic. We now have a growing body of reports and stories about an odd "ray-shaped" cryptid in the area. For my book, I collected a story (which at the time I thought was an excellent story but very unlikely--just too weird to credit much beyond its campfire value) about a man who encountered a huge ray-shaped thing straddling the road ahead of him. Initially it was visible only as two reddish-orange spots that he mistook for bicycle reflectors in the fog. When he honked his horn, the "reflectors" blinked at him, then the whole body lifted up off the road and sort of glided down over the hill to disappear into the fog-filled valley below.
There is a sighting reported in Bob Tweet's excellent "West Virginia UFO's: Close Encounters in the Mountain State" in which a boy in a car spots a white "furry" shape gliding along beside the car. It was described as being four feet across with no discernible limbs or separate head.
More recently, a woman and her daughter reported the "Horton Horror" near Horton WV. This was also a manta-shaped Something that glided along over or near their car.
There's an old story about something in the fog at Foggy Bottom (I believe this particular "Foggy Bottom" is an area near Wheeling, WV--since developed) in which a dog is lifted up above the fog and is whisked off--sitting on the top of something that glides away. Dog is never seen again. That story is presented as a sort of UFO encounter, but I think it fits the pattern forming for these other stories.
There are now at least three stories/sightings from near Point Pleasant and others up the Ohio Valley. Strange.
I have no idea what is going on, what people may or may not be seeing, but I think there are enough reports now to say that this represents SOME kind of phenomenon. Folks, we have an emerging Monster tradition! All fresh and relatively new! Something that is most definitely not another manifestation of "Mothman", but a phenomenon in its own right!
Hey! I'm excited! It's not everyday you get to watch a paranormal or cryptozoological pattern form almost right in front of your eyes!
(author "White Things: West Virginia's Weird White Monsters" and self-confessed monster aficionado)
Encounter With a Shape Shifter
I was with a group of people on Saturday, August 8th in Central Arkansas (out in the country) right before dusk. This area has one lane bridges with gravel roads and no road name signs. Many years ago this had been a Amish community. One of the people I was with had lived there when she was a child. We had returned to the area to go ghost hunting at a cemetery near her old home. None of us are drinkers or drug users and are all middle aged. We belong to a local ghost hunter's club, but this night, we were on our own.
We arrived well before dusk to make sure we had a good feel for our surroundings. I stepped out of the car and walked maybe 6 feet when I heard the sound of something quickly approaching me. It sounded like wings flapping, but not the same. Hard to describe really. It was on a much larger scale than I had heard before. I quickly turned around and saw this thing headed right for me. I was so scared I could not image what I was seeing. I screamed and hit the ground. It flew over my head and landed on the tree limb near me. I looked up and saw it looking down at me, I turned as my friends called my name and was running to me. When I looked back, I couldn't see it. My friends witnessed it as it flew towards me though they didn't see it in the tree.
It didn't look the same in the tree that it had looked while flying toward me. In the tree, it looked more like a large worm or snake but much, much larger. It looked as if it had wrapped it's self around the tree limb. A bird can't do that. I did look to see if there were any other reports like this area, but did not find any documented. I am now afraid to go outside before dusk in fear of seeing another one. I have never been scared ghost hunting. This thing was the most amazing, scariest thing, I have ever seen in my life. I pray I never see it again. Do you have any idea what this thing was? A shape shifter or a Thunderbird maybe? Or a demon? I have no idea.
NOTE: Sorry folks...this is the only post for today. I had a few errands to attend to and it took a bit more time than I expected. Thanks for reading...Lon
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