Indiana Man Followed for Decades by Flying Creature with 'Glowing Red Eyes'


The National Cryptid Society (TNCS) received a report in May of 2018 from a man in Indiana who said he'd encountered a flying creature with "glowing red eyes" in rural Indiana in 1987. Since then, he said, the creature has continued to appear sporadically.

Jesse James Durdel of TNCS took the initial report.

I was out walking late at night a couple miles out of town, near some corn fields, when I had a unsettling feeling, a feeling of being watched. I turned my head to peer into one of the fields of corn, and I heard a rustle. Quickly, I hurried my pace and tried to make it back to my house. But while I was hurriedly jogging back, something flew in front of me, and it had glowing red eyes. It made a horrible screeching noise, and I practically was sprinting at that point. I've lived around these parts for decades, and I've never seen something like that. Sometimes, even now, late at night when I'm walking around that same area, I'll see something in the dark with those same glowing red eyes and I'll book it. 

In a follow-up interview, the witness described the creature as 5-6' tall and "human-like" with a wingspan of 8-9'. Admittedly, it was dark, and the witness did not have a flashlight, so details beyond the being's general shape are scarce, save one—its glowing red eyes. That the creature's eyes would glow red in the absence of direct light indicated that there could be something paranormal about it; normally, the appearance of glowing eyes, or "eyeshine," are caused in nocturnal animals by light reflecting from the inner surface of the eye and out through the pupil, but this requires a direct light source—it's what causes a deer's eyes to glow in headlights, for instance.

"Given the glowing eyes, the body/wing ratio that reduces the likelihood that this animal could fly by natural or known means, and the fact you have witnessed the glowing eyes on different occasions over three decades in the same area suggests to me that you may be encountering something of a paranormal or supernatural nature," Durdel told the witness.

It was at this point that Durdel made the decision to forward the case to The Singular Fortean Society (TSFS).

TSFS was able to contact the witness over the course of July and August, and asked for further experiential details regarding his initial encounter; specifically, what he felt.

"I felt confusion, then fear when I saw the red eyes," the witness said. "I had never seen anything like it and was not sure what it was at first, but I then was sure that it was not something I was familiar with."

The man said that he's seen the creature "easily over a dozen times" since his first encounter in 1987, often around fall, but not exclusively so—and his last encounter was only a few months ago.

"Last time this happened, I decided it was time to give my old bones a stretch a few months ago, so I went on a walk around dusk," he said. "As it got darker I had the feeling I was being watched and was beginning to feel a bit spooked. When I went to head back, I saw out of the corner of my eye the bright red eyes for a second before they flashed away. After that I walked back as fast as I could."

And each time, he believes, it is the same creature that he encounters.

"I believe I am seeing the same creature, because there is something so distinct about the glowing of the eyes, and the uneasiness it causes me to feel," said the witness.

Ultimately, the man doesn't know what to make of his encounters, save that they are very unusual.

"I don't know why I always see it. It never seems to want to harm me, as it has had many chances to do so, but I still feel frightened by it," said the witness.

"I don't know if I know exactly what it is, but I do not think it is necessarily evil, although I am uneasy by it," he continued. "I also do not know why I have seen it so many times, or what it wants from me, but I think it is something old. I am not sure what to make of all of this, but I am glad that I have had these experiences, because I feel not many have."

The string of flying creature sightings around Lake Michigan ostensibly began in the spring of 2017, 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 more and more reports coming from further into Illinois, as well as Wisconsin and Indiana.  

The sightings generally take place in the evening or at night, often in or near a park or rural area, 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; although the addition of glowing red eyes in certain reports—in the absence of a direct light source—would appear to rule out a natural animal in some cases. In addition, witnesses are often struck by an inordinate amount of fear during their encounter.

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