'Intense' Childhood Eyewitness Experience from 1981 May Help Explain Chicago Mothman Sightings, Says Investigator

A sketch received from  a modern witness  in Chicago's Little Village.

A sketch received from a modern witness in Chicago's Little Village.

Lon Strickler of Phantoms and Monsters spoke to an eyewitness recently who said that he had a powerful experience in his youth with a being that fits the description of more than a few of the modern reports of a flying humanoid out of Chicago.  The witness's encounter took place in Cicero, Illinois in 1981 when he was 13 years-old.

"The witness MR contacted me by email and asked to speak by telephone," Strickler said.  "I instantly had the sense that this interview would be significant, so I requested MR call me at his earliest convenience. We were talking within 10 minutes."

"MR introduced himself and immediately started to tell me his account. He prefaced his story by saying that he had not known of the winged humanoid sightings reported throughout the Chicago metro area, until he stumbled upon an article two days previous. He was stunned by the revelations in the article; dozens of sightings that closely resembled his encounter in Cicero in 1981. But MR's narrative was different, because his encounter with the winged humanoid altered his overall beliefs and perspective of the world," explained Strickler.

MR was a 13-year-old boy in 1981 who, through his own description, had suffered terrible abuse during his young life. On this particular evening, like many previous evenings, he sought solitude in his backyard. For whatever reason, he was able to employ a self-taught form of meditation that helped him cope with the abuse by his parents. As he sat on the grass, he entered into a deep level of spiritual awareness that had become more heightened than he had ever remembered. He soon became aware of an unknown presence. As he exited his meditative state, he immediately noticed a pair of intense red eyes staring back at him from across the alleyway.

The being was standing against the neighbor's white garage, about 75 feet from where MR was sitting. It was a thin black human shape that stood 7-feet in height, when compared to the 4-foot high chained-linked fence at the end of his yard. There were wings folded on its back that extended above its long thin head. But those intense red eyes captured MR's concentration, to the point where he was literally paralyzed and frozen in place. The being was soon communicating with MR, in a telepathic form; more intent in garnering his attention than actually expressing information. The 5-7 minute experience was suffused with an assortment of emotions, that ranged from tranquility to terror. MR recognized that he was not dreaming or in a reflective state; this was actually occurring. That was the moment where his perspective of the world around him changed forever.

"He never forgot the encounter, and it influenced his life; though he was reluctant to disclose the incident until he started college and became part of an environment that would pay attention to what he had to say and not judge his experience. But MR still did not understand why he was the recipient of the winged humanoid's scrutiny. Then one evening, while he and his wife were watching a video, MR began to appreciate and grasp what had happened to him in 1981," said Strickler.

"'The Mothman Prophecies' is a theatrical film that was released in 2002," Strickler explained.  "It is based on John Keel's book by the same title, even though the movie never really captured the full intensity of the book or the actual events that occurred in Point Pleasant, WV in 1966-67. Nonetheless, the film gave an overall impression of the story and some of the narrative that Keel expressed in the book. MR told me that he was sitting at home watching the video, when the car accident scene unfolded. The winged being suddenly came into focus and MR instantly went into sheer panic and uncontrollably burst into tears. His wife tried to comfort him, but he was beyond consolation. They continued to watch the video, but it was a terribly difficult experience for MR. Later that evening, he disclosed his boyhood encounter in detail with his wife. Since that time, he has not talked to anyone about the incident; until we talked today."

"I would first like to state that my interview with MR was one of the most insightful I've experienced during my time as an investigator," Strickler said of the experience. "We connected on a rare level, to the point where I could literally predict what he was going to say to me in each sentence. His experience confirmed to me that this phenomenon is not that of an indigenous being, but instead a flesh & blood extra-dimensional and/or extra-terrestrial entity that is either attracted to certain persons or summoned by specific forces. MR had no previous inclination of my theories, but rather defined what I have begun to believe during the course of the investigation."

"He also brought up, and totally discounted, the general speculation by many that this was a harbinger of future events," Strickler added. "I asked MR if he thought that, while he was in a state of meditation, the being could have possibly been a self-manifesting thought-form. He believes, that in his case, the being sought him out because of the abuse he had suffered through his parents. As he began to read the recent sighting descriptions in the Chicago metro area, he formulated that there may indeed be more than one winged being and that many of the witnesses came upon it by happenstance. But he also feels that some of the encounters occurred because the being sought out the witness for a specific reason. MR didn't sense that the winged humanoid was evil, but believes that it is an ancient being that has sought out others in the past, and that it is the venerable entity that people since have referred to as a 'demon.'"

"I forwarded my book Mothman Dynasty: Chicago's Winged Humanoids to MR in the hope that he may offer more information on this being," Strickler concluded. "I'd like for him to read about the investigation that is detailed in the book, as well as understand the historical significance of this anomaly. It is my hope that MR's personal perspective may assist us in our continued desire to explain the winged humanoid phenomena."

The witness's account is consistent with the series of sightings that describe a red-eyed winged being, which are distinct from other modern sighting reports that are often simply of some unidentified flying creature.  This report helps demonstrate that those sightings which represent encounters with the specifically-described gaunt, red-eyed winged entity are not a new phenomenon; unlike many of the modern sightings of unusual flying creatures, especially in the most recent flap, which seem to have only recently begun to be reported.  It is likely that there are two concurrent-but-unrelated phenomena happening--one of which is the continuing encounters with an otherworldly winged being, and the other the sighting of odd-but-potentially-mundane large flying creatures, which could merely represent large bird species whose migratory patterns have been disrupted by climate change.

This is the latest news in a string of flying creature sightings reported around Lake Michigan.  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.  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; 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. 

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.