'All Black Man with Bat-Like Wings' Seen in Rockford in 2004, Says Witness


Lon Strickler of Phantoms and Monsters recently received a report detailing the sighting of an "all black…man with huge bat-like wings" that occurred near Rockford, Illinois during the summer of 2004. This report is similar to two others from the Rockford area that emerged from the late summer of 2010.


I recently learned of the Chicago humanoid sightings and then about the black winged humanoid sighting near Rockford, Illinois. This was shocking to me because I live in Winnebago County in a city (Loves Park) that borders Rockford and is 60 miles from Chicago and I have seen a similar black winged being.

I was standing on the deck in my backyard late one summer evening, it was August of 2004, I was stargazing as I often do, when I was startled by the sudden furious barking of a neighbors dogs. As I turned and looked towards the direction of the barking it was at that moment I saw an all black 7ft in length man with huge bat-like wings flying across the park that borders along my backyard. It then descended to approximately 5 to 6 ft above ground. It pulled or folded its wings in slightly and then glided along the paved path that runs through the park. It continued gliding through an easement between two houses disappearing from my sight.

Stunned by what I had just seen I quickly ran in through the backdoor and out the front, stepped out onto the front porch and that is when I heard a loud screeching sound. The sound was so loud and it was coming from the thick tree line across the street from the park on yet another easement.

I quickly stepped back into the house, shut and locked the door and woke my sleeping husband. I asked him to come listen to what I was hearing, I told him what had happened and what I saw on our way towards the living room window as the tree line could be seen from there. The screeching continued sporadically for approximately 5 minutes. Then it went silent.

The afternoon of the following day, after the incident as I was walking to the mailbox, the elderly neighbor who resided in the house that the tree lined easement borders the backyard yelled across the street asking me if I had a minute to take a look at something strange in his backyard. What the neighbor showed me was his chain link fence posts were bent down at a 45 degree angle. It was only and all the ones closest to the tree line. He was perplexed as to what could have possibly caused this to happen.

I attempted to explain to him what it was I saw and heard the night before. Just as I went into detail that I saw something very large and strange flying, I got a raised eyebrow with the look of are you crazy, and was told that what I saw was a Heron and that no bird could have bent those posts like that. So I quickly dropped the subject, as I walked back home another neighbor 2 houses away yelled, 'hey, did you hear all that loud weird noise last night? It woke me up. I thought the rainforest or something moved in over night.' To which I replied with 'yes I heard and I have not a clue as to what it was.'

I researched for a few months after my encounter and found out quite a bit about Mothman sightings. However nothing out there matched what I saw that night. So as time went by it had become all but a faded memory over the years until now. E.J.

Loves Park is on Rockford’s northeastern border, and lies about 75 miles northwest of Chicago’s downtown and 60 miles west of Lake Michigan. Mukwonago, Wisconsin, where a similar creature was seen in 2017, is around 60 miles northeast of Loves Park.

It is unclear from the witness’ report whether or not fully articulated limbs other than the creature’s wings were seen, unlike in the reports from 2010 where witnesses claimed the being they saw had arms and legs in addition to wings.

This is the latest in a string of flying creature sightings around Lake Michigan that ostensibly began last spring, but more historical accounts are being reported as more people become aware of the phenomenon.  Most of the sightings have taken place near the lakefront in Chicago within a few miles of Lake Michigan, although there are some reports coming from the suburbs surrounding Chicago and even farther afield in every state bordering the great lake.  The sightings generally take place in the evening or at night, often in or near a park, and around water.  Witnesses consistently describe a large, bat or bird-like creature—although in a small number of cases the creature was described as insect-like—sometimes with glowing or reflective red, yellow, or orange eyes; and humanoid features such as arms and legs are often reported.  Many of the sightings are also of something seen only briefly or are described only as a flying creature with few details, which leaves open the possibility that a large bird or bird-like being could explain some encounters. 

Strickler said he plans on further investigation with this witness, and this article will be updated with any new developments.

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.