A Timeline of the Lake Michigan Mothman Sightings So Far

So far there have been 66 reported sightings of a large, flying humanoid in the Chicago and greater Illinois area, Michigan, and Wisconsin in 2017 and 2018; three prior sightings in the area that took place in 2011, one in 2014, one in 2016, one nearby in Rockford in 2010, one from across Lake Michigan in Indiana from the year 2000, one in 2016 outside of Whitewater, Wisconsin, one in southern Wisconsin in 2006, another in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2001, and a sighting in Missouri in 2016.  Three reports in Illinois from late last century have also recently surfaced, with another historical report out of Indiana just reported.  In addition, a report of two red lights similar to descriptions of the creature's eyes were reported several miles southeast of Chicago in Indiana in the midst of the 2017 flap.  They've been reported out of chronological order, so we've put together a timeline of the reports with links to the articles that describe them, in order to help you contextualize the sightings.  

Recently, a new witness has come forward with her own timeline of personal sightings, ranging from 1970 through 2017, available here.

The current timeline:

  • 1981--A 13-year-old has an intense psychic encounter with a red-eyed winged being in Cicero, Illinois. UE; P&M

  • 1987--A man in rural Indiana sees a "human-like" flying creature with "glowing red eyes" that sparks a decades-long series of encounters. UE; TSFS

  • 1997--Separate witnesses encounter frightening winged gargoyles in Rock Island and Naperville, Illinois. UE; P&M

  • Summer of 2000--Two friends are surprised by a weird, winged entity at the Goshen Dam in Indiana. UE; P&M

  • June 21st, 2001--A witness and two friends see a "man with wings" flying over the Kinnickinnic River in Milwaukee. UE; P&M

  • July of 2006--A woman and her family see a "man with bat-like features" flying near their vehicle while driving in southern Wisconsin. UE; P&M

  • Late summer of 2010--Two teens see a winged "deerbat" while driving outside of Rockford, Illinois; a second sighting of something described as a “flying tar man” took place nearby around the same time. UE; TSFS

  • 2011--A suspicious winged entity is captured on camera, two roommates and their friends are terrorized by glowing eyes peeking through their window, and a college student sees a "man with wings." UE; UFOCH

  • 2014--A man comes home from work to find a "Mothman-type insectoid" staring at his apartment building. UE; P&M

  • August of 2016--A man sees a large, winged humanoid perched on a lamppost in Cicero. UE; P&M

  • Late September of 2016--A woman sees a "man-like" being with "pterodactyl-like" wings gliding across a highway outside of Whitewater, Wisconsin. LB; P&M

  • Mid-November of 2016--A man and his son see a large, dark flying humanoid while duck hunting in West Alton, Missouri. UE; P&M

  • February 8th, 2017--A man driving on interstate 294 sees what he thinks is a person turn into a large black bird. LB; P&M

  • March 16th, 2017--A witness encounters a large, winged being perched on top of a roof in the Tinley Park suburb of Chicago. LB; P&M

  • March 22nd, 2017--A semi truck driver reports strange medical maladies after spotting a flying humanoid soaring over a Chicago expressway. UE; P&M

  • April 10th, 2017--A woman walking her dog in Chicago's Oz Park runs into a paralyzing winged being. UE; UFOCH

  • Mid-April 2017--A man sees a humanoid "bat-dragon" near Mukwonago, Wisconsin. UE; P&M/TSFS

  • April 15th and April 16th, 2017--Three separate witnesses report seeing an unidentified flying humanoid over Chicago. LB, PH; MUFON

  • April 27th, 2017--A man fishing with his son on the banks of the Little Calumet in Chicago sees a weird winged being after hearing an eerie, unexplained sound. LB; UFOCH

  • May 5th, 2017--A man and his son see a bat-like creature while out walking in Calumet Park. LB; UFOCH

  • Within a week of the May 5th sighting--A family walking along the riverfront sees a flying humanoid cross over the William P. Fahey bridge. LB; UFOCH

  • May 19th, 2017--A group of friends see two giant bats perform aerial maneuvers near Adler Planetarium. LB; P&M

  • May 27th, 2017--A married couple witnesses a large, black, bat-like creature with glowing red eyes near the intersection of North Wrightwood Avenue and North Lakeview Avenue. UE; UFOCH

  • Also on May 27th, 2017--A woman and her boyfriend see a "large black flying man with wings" near 127th St. & Ashland Ave. LB; P&M

  • June 3rd, 2017--Two different couples see a large, bat-like flying humanoid in the Lincoln Park area. LB; P&M/UFOCH

  • June 17th, 2017--A jogger near the Navy Pier sees an enormous bat take wing and fly towards the water treatment plant. LB; UFOCH

  • June 23rd, 2017--A couple, along with a crowd of people, sees a large, black, bat-like creature with humanoid features near the Adler Planetarium. A second report received in early July confirms the sighting details of this report. LB; P&M

  • June 29th, 2017--A police officer, along with the officer's partner and a group of civilians, sees a "dark black shadow with wings" standing atop a building before taking flight in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood of Chicago. An aspiring journalist later comes forward to corroborate the officer's story. PH; UFOCH

  • June 30th, 2017--A security person taking a break outside of The Owl sees a bat-like humanoid flying over an empty lot across the street. LB; P&M

  • July 1st, 2017--A witness sees two strange, red lights in a golf course that closely resemble reports of the flying humanoid's glowing eyes. UE; P&M

  • July 20th, 2017--A car full of friends on Lake Shore Drive sees a "giant flying bat." LB; UFOCH

  • July 24th, 2017--A man sees an insect-like flying humanoid take flight from near the top of Willis Tower. LB; P&M

  • July 27th, 2017--A person headed home from work sees a large, bat-like creature perched atop a light pole. UE; UFOCH

  • July 29th, 2017--Two friends see a "huge black shape" gliding over the Albany Park/Lincoln Square area. LB; UFOCH

  • August 1st, 2017--A witness sees a flying humanoid over Elgin, Illinois. LB; UFOCH

  • August 2nd, 2017--A woman and her son are terrified by a "tall, dark humanoid" with membranous wings seen in a park near their home in Bolingbrook, Illinois. UE; P&M

  • August 4th, 2017--A woman and her husband photograph a "giant bat" in Melrose Park. On the same day, a witness walking with their children sees a similar creature in River Forest. LB; UFOCH/MUFON

  • August 6th, 2017--Two concertgoers see a bat-like flying humanoid with glowing red eyes in Grant Park following the Chicago Lollapalooza. UE; UFOCH

  • August 9th, 2017--A couple are startled by a "large winged being...with bright red eyes" flying over Lake Shore Drive. UE; P&M

  • August 10th, 2017--A city employee sees a "giant owl" flying off of Chicago's Ohio Street Beach. LB; UFOCH

  • August 21st, 2017--A woman and her friends see a "large black bat" with "humanoid features" in Chicago just prior to the solar eclipse. LB; UFOCH

  • August 21st, 2017--A second sighting of a shadowy flying humanoid occurs in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. LB; P&M

  • August 22nd, 2017--A truck driver sees a large winged being with "thick glistening hair" flying over the Chicago suburb of McCook. UE; P&M

  • August 22nd, 2017--A monstrous bat with a 12' wingspan is seen in the same area of McCook as the truck driver's sighting from the same day. LB; P&M

  • August 22nd, 2017--A bat-like "flying Mothman" is seen over Pulaski Road in Chicago. LB; TSFS

  • August 27th, 2017--A retired police officer sees a "dark gargoyle" with red eyes in the Forest Park neighborhood. UE; P&M

  • August 28th, 2017--A delivery driver sees a "large man with wings" flying over the same area of McCook as the sightings reported on August 22nd. LB; P&M

  • August 29th, 2017--An avid bird watcher sees a "huge flying shadow" over a forest preserve near La Grange Park, a suburb west of Chicago. LB; P&M

  • September 7th, 2017--A family visiting Lincoln Park Zoo sees a "large creature with a giant set of wings" fly over them. LB; UFOCH

  • September 9th, 2017--A group of friends sees a "black demon with large wings" in Chicago's Little Village. UE; UFOCH

  • September 10th, 2017--Two witnesses see an unknown being gliding across the sky several miles away from each other in the Avalon Park and Douglas neighborhoods of Chicago. LB; P&M

  • September 11th, 2017--A woman sees a "huge bat-like being" circling buildings over Chicago's Kenwood neighborhood. LB; P&M

  • September 12th, 2017--A woman walking home from work sees a "black devil" in Chicago's Little Village. UE; UFOCH

  • September 16th, 2017--A pair of siblings are terrified by a bat-like creature in the Little Village. LB; UFOCH

  • mid-September, 2017--A man preparing for work in Michigan sees a large, winged being perched atop his neighbor's roof. LB; P&M

  • September 23rd, 2017--A man and his friends see a "large bird-like entity" over Chicago's DuSable Harbor. LB; P&M

  • September 24th, 2017--A family on their way home from mass sees a red-eyed, winged "goblin" that gave off of a "strong sense of evil." UE; UFOCH

  • September 26th, 2017--A nightclub performer sees a "man-bat" crouched on top of a light pole in Chicago's West Lakeview. UE; P&M

  • September 26th, 2017--A woman and her son see a "monster bat" in their backyard, before it flies off. UE; P&M

  • October 7th, 2017--A witness sees a large, winged being flying in the River North neighborhood. LB; P&M

  • October 27th, 2017--A couple is accosted by a "man-sized" flying humanoid while sitting in a car at Piotrowski Park. UE; UFOCH

  • January 27th, 2018--A man sees a creature similar to the "weird hybrid mix of an owl and a bat" seen the next day in Wilmington. LB; P&M

  • January 28th, 2018--A woman sees a "weird hybrid mix of an owl and a bat" outside of her home in Wilmington. LB; P&M

  • February 2nd, 2018--Three witnesses report a "tall man" with a "very large black pair of wings," and glowing, "ruby red" eyes in Oak Park. UE; UFOCH

  • February 15th, 2018--A man leaving a truck stop near the Wisconsin/Illinois border sees a "giant, skinny man with a large pair of wings and red eyes." UE; UFOCH

  • March 29th, 2018--An investigator photographs an "enormous" bird 40 miles west of Chicago. LB; P&M

  • April 10th, 2018--A woman sees a winged creature with "bat-like" wings near Oak Park. LB; P&M

  • April 10th, 2018--Two witnesses see an "owl man" on Chicago's south side. LB; P&M

  • April 12th, 2018--Two elderly women witness a dark winged being vanish in West Lakeview. UE; P&M

  • April 13th, 2018--A couple in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, are terrified by a bat-like flying humanoid with "large glowing red eyes." UE; P&M/TSFS

  • May 1st, 2018--A man's parents see a "large winged humanoid" flying above the trees behind their home in Wheeling, Illinois. LB; P&M

  • May 9th, 2018--A man on his way to work captures a "bat-like" flying creature on his GoPro camera; he later describes it as "someone in a wing suit." LB; P&M/TSFS

  • October 26th, 2018—A married couple sees a winged humanoid resembling a “large owl” in Alsip, Illinois. UE; UFOCH


  1. LB (Large Birds): These sightings are the most likely to be a misidentified or potentially anomalous large bird—think owls, herons, cranes or the thunderbird.

  2. UE (Unexplained): These sightings are unexplained, either due to insufficient information, the potentially paranormal nature of the events described, or both—they represent the best likelihood of a Mothman-like entity.

  3. PH (Potential Hoax): These sightings are the likeliest to have been deliberate hoaxes—the information given has been proven to contradict verifiable facts.

  4. P&M (Phantoms and Monsters): These sightings were received/investigated by Lon Strickler of Phantoms and Monsters.

  5. UFOCH (UFO Clearinghouse): These sightings were received/investigated by Manual Navarette of UFO Clearinghouse.

  6. TSFS (The Singular Fortean Society): These sightings were received/investigated by Tobias and Emily Wayland of The Singular Fortean Society.

To report a sighting reach out to us directly at The Singular Fortean Society through our contact page.

An interactive map of the sightings is available here.