Strange Flying Creature Seen Sixty Miles from Chicago, Says Witness

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Lon Strickler of Phantoms and Monsters recently received a report from a witness in Wilmington, Illinois, who described an unusual winged being seen flying past her home. 

I live in Wilmington, IL, about 15 mins south of Joliet. I frequent my outside steps in between 1-4 am pretty much nightly for a smoke or two, and I'm constantly observing the skies out of pure fascination. I only mention this because I have never in the year and 1/2 of living in this home experienced anything as incredible, yet terrifying, as this sighting! 

At exactly 4:36 am CT (Sunday January 28, 2018 local time) I was sitting on my step and I, of course, was looking up at the sky, when suddenly my eyes were immediately drawn to what appeared to be a weird hybrid mix of an owl and a bat. To me the size was approximately that of a large raccoon...I even would go as far as saying it was a bit larger. For some reason, I was frozen solid with my eyes locked on this thing. I found it weird that even with how dark it was outside it seemed close enough for me to notice details of it to the point of realizing that it appeared brownish/greyish in color and the wings had a bat like feel to them. I felt a little weird explaining to my husband that it was triangular and resembled the biggest moth ever. Instantly my head went to the Mothman no doubt! It was shockingly fast and it never made a sound...nor did it flap its wings. It just glided west and disappeared as fast as it seemed to appear. This creature even looked to have passed through a very old and very tall tree in my yard, and even though it was hard to obviously tell whether it went above my tree or literally through the branches, I still never heard even a small rustle from the breeze it would've created due to its speed. I apologize for the novel I am clearly writing, but I want to give you as many details as possible as I also have a couple questions about details from other noted sightings of this. 

The most interesting part of my experience is that I felt and still currently feel a sense of dread and impending doom, similar to anxiety but at the same time it felt like this creature perched itself onto my roof and was just glaring at me until I went inside. Whether this is true I don't know for sure, but I've never felt watched like that before. After it had essentially disappeared into the night and I was in disbelief I started to hear what sounded similar to a bat screech but with a lower tone, and definitely sounded much larger than a bat. It happened twice within about 5 seconds apart from each screech and I then booked it inside to explain it all to my husband. It is currently 1 hour since the sighting and I still feel as if I'm being almost preyed upon. I am very curious to know if others who have contacted you have had similar dreadful feelings and/or heard these screeches?

Please get back to me at your earliest convenience, and thank you so much for taking the time to read this! 

Strickler was awake when the email was received, and was able to contact the witness by telephone.

 "I immediately contacted the witness by email and then left a note for the Chicago Phantom Task Force," Strickler said.  "I received a telephone number and called the witness at 8:38 AM ET. The description of the winged being was that it had a triangular shape...reminiscent of the 2011 photo from 8/22/2011 at 63rd and Pulaski Rd in Chicago, IL. The witness says that the being was flying at an altitude of approximately 50 ft. and anywhere from 4-5 ft. in length. The wingspan was approximately 5 ft. on either side of the body, which was thin and dark in color. She also noticed a sheen on the body...like it may have had reptilian-like skin and wet. The wings were membraned like a bat, but shaped like that of a huge owl. She was amazed at how quickly it glided and that it did not flap its wings or make a sound."

"Shortly after the sighting, the witness heard screeches that sounded like children," he continued.  "She was sure this being was watching here and that she reacted like something sinister was about to occur. She went indoors and told her husband. She then found the descriptions of the Chicago sightings and contacted me."

Unlike many of the other sightings involving an owl or bat-like creature in the area, this witness reported associated UFO phenomena.  

"It must also be noted that the witness and others in her neighborhood have experienced UFO sightings and flashes of light since December 2017," Strickler said.  

Also present in close proximity are wetlands and wilderness preserves, which are often found near reported sightings of strange flying creatures throughout the area surrounding Lake Michigan.  Wilmington is around 50 miles southwest of the great lake, and 60 miles from downtown Chicago.

"The location is just east of the Kankakee River surrounded by several nature preserves...situated between power generating stations and a chemical plant. There is a lot of wetland throughout the area," Strickler noted.. "As well, the weather has been unseasonably warm the past few days, possibly prompting the reappearance of these winged beings."

In addition, an abandoned US Army ammunition plant just over two miles northeast of the location is reminiscent of the old TNT area associated with the famous Mothman sightings of Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

This is the latest in a string of flying creature sightings reported in the Chicago area.  Most of the sightings have taken place near the lakefront within a few miles of Lake Michigan, although there are some reports coming from the suburbs surrounding Chicago and even farther afield.  The sightings generally take place in the evening or at night, often in or near a park and around water, and witnesses consistently describe a large, bat or bird-like creature with humanoid features; although in one case the creature was reportedly "insect-like." 

To report a sighting, contact Lon Strickler at lonstrickler@phantomsandmonsters.com or call him directly at 410-241-5974; fill out UFO Clearinghouse's contact form to get in touch with Manuel Navarette; or reach out to us directly at The Singular Fortean Society through our contact page.

You can view a timeline of the sightings so far here, and an interactive map here.

Tobias WaylandComment