'Large, Dark' Flying Humanoid Seen in 2016 near West Alton, Missouri


Lon Strickler of Phantoms and Monsters received an emailed report last Monday from a man who said that he and his son encountered a strange flying creature while hunting ducks near West Alton, Missouri in 2016.

Hello Mr. Strickler - in mid-November 2016, my son and I had been duck hunting from a blind in the Upper Mississippi Waterfowl Area, not far from West Alton, Missouri. It was about 5:15 pm and we were walking back to my truck. I had parked in a small lot off of Harbor Point Rd. and we had to walk about 500 yards.

As we walked along the road, my son noticed a huge black thing descending towards the water's edge. I had never seen anything that large flying anywhere. It definitely wasn't a Bald Eagle or a crane, and as it got closer to the ground we were both shocked that it looked like a human!

It wasn't flapping its wings, but was gliding on a slow downward angle. It was about 50 yards from us, but there was enough light that we could clearly see it. The wings were outstretched and were very wide. The wing shape was similar to that of a bat, but huge! The color was dark, almost black. The body was tapered like a well-built man with long legs. The head was small compared to the body, so I definitely knew it was not human. We were both caught off-guard and were mesmerized by what we were seeing. It landed in the thick weeds by the water and was obscured from our sight.

At that point, we both wanted to get out of there because we had no idea what this thing was. As we quickly walked along the road, we saw this thing crawling out of the weeds and into a small clearing. It was literally pushing itself forward on the ground with its legs and wings in the direction of the water. We could hear the sound it was making as it 'crawled' on the damp ground and mud. It didn't look like it was struggling, but it was an awkward way to move around. Though it had legs, I could not make out what we would think were feet. I assumed this was the way it actually moved on the ground. It slide into the water, then raised up a few times; like a swimmer doing a breast stroke. Then it disappeared into the murky water.

My son will not go to that location anymore, but I'd really like to know what we saw. I told a co-worker, who is also a duck hunter, about the incident. He seemed interested at the time, but I'm sure he doesn't believe me. I've never heard of anything similar to this thing, either around here or anywhere else. Do you have any idea of what this was? I saw your Google ad for humanoid sightings, so I looked you up. We can talk if you'd like. Thanks.

Strickler was able to speak to the witness by telephone the following day; Tuesday, May 29th.

"I asked the witness why he waited so long to contact anyone," Strickler said. "He said that it took him a while to actually believe what he and his son had seen was real."

The witness described the creature's wingspan as approximately 12-15', and the structure of the wings as very wide and bat-like.

"[The witness] also said that the head was small and kind of shaped like a football with a slight point on the top. He did not see detached arms, but by the way it moved along the ground, the arms were most likely part of the wings," said Strickler.

The creature reportedly made no sounds other than those caused by its crawling.

"I also asked if they had a cell phone with them and why they hadn't taken photos," Strickler added. "[The witness] said he didn't even realize that until they got back to the car."

The witness's son has so far refused to discuss the incident.

West Alton is on the Missouri/Illinois border, across the Mississippi River, and is just under 300 miles from Lake Michigan.  The area is bordered to the north, east, and south by the Mississippi River and its tributaries, and several natural areas.

This report bears a strong resemblance to many other sighting reports featuring an unidentified winged being in Illinois and its neighboring states--it describes a large, winged creature with long legs that trail behind it as it flies, and no discernible arms separate from its wings.  However, the creature's crawling and the way it slid into the water are unique to this sighting.

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, 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 Wayland