Lon Strickler Publishes Additional Details of O'Hare Airport 'Lake Michigan Mothman' Encounter

Lon Strickler of Phantoms & Monsters was contacted by a witness in Rosemont, Illinois, following an October 5th sighting of a "tall creature" with "bright red eyes" and "large wings” near Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Although the initial report was submitted to the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), the witness decided not to communicate further with the field investigator assigned to his case after the investigator displayed a “pushy and aggressive posture."

The witness found Strickler through an internet search, and began by emailing him the following:

I recently had a sighting of a black creature that flew off on Saturday, October 5th, in Rosemont, Illinois. I reported the sighting to MUFON and was contacted by an investigator today who is demanding that I talk to him. I advised him that I did not want to talk to him and that I wanted to remain anonymous about this sighting. He then demanded that if I did not talk to him, that I would need to meet him in person to discuss the report and that he would have to take pictures and discuss the report in order for him to give it validity. I felt very pressured to make myself available for the investigator and that he had no interest in my privacy as I had previously requested. I told him that I went to extraordinary measures to [ensure] that my name or picture would not find itself all over the internet. I explained to him that I only took up doing ride-share to provide extra income for my family and I did not want to have my information or my families information posted all over the place for people to ridicule.

After emailing back and forth with the MUFON investigator, I decided to look elsewhere for someone to report my sighting to; [someone] who was going to respect my request for privacy. I just want to tell my story and then get on with my life. After looking around Google, I came upon your map and then your website and that [is] what leads to my email today. I can copy and paste the text of my sighting to you and am available to speak via email to you, but I do not want to meet in person, nor be in any photographs.

I am not some nutter or some kook who is seeing things, and I have many, many more things to do than prank websites with made up stories. I saw what I saw, and remember it as clear as [if] it had happened five minutes ago. Honestly, how could you ever forget something like that? I am available in the afternoon and early evening when I ride-share, during the day I am usually at work and can only talk during my lunch break or during my breaks. I do not wish to talk to the MUFON investigator anymore, and if you are associated with MUFON, then I will have to respectfully decline speaking with anyone, as they did not respect my wish to remain anonymous.

Strickler was able to communicate with the witness by email and telephone, and was sent additional details regarding the encounter.

The encounter was so brief, but I also got a pretty good look at the creature. I was parked by the light pole. It allows me to park a little more off the road. I was fumbling around with some charging cables that lead to the backseat of the car, for my passengers to use while in the car. I had my passenger side windows down to give my A/C a break.

It was then that I saw movement and looked up to see the creature emerging out of the trees. It was large and about six to seven feet tall. It was human-like in appearance, but almost solid black. [There] were no real features on this thing, just solid black. It swiveled its head around, looking and scanning and that is where I saw the glowing red eyes. The rest of the body was thin, I remember making note that it looked like a thin person and it was sort of hunched over, because its arms were down to about it's knees. The wings were about as wide [as] it was tall, so about six to seven feet in width and looked like the wings of a bat. When it walked it kind of had a weird sort of a waddle, not so much like a penguin but like the kind of stride that a large bird (like an Emu) would have.

It stood there for a few seconds looking around, I know I'm not the only one who saw it because there must have been three or four other drivers there waiting for the next call. It unfurled its wings and after a few seconds it began to flap them, slow at first then faster and faster as it leaped into the air. It flew like a large bird would. It used its wings to gain altitude, slowly adjusting itself into a more normal stance. The sounds of the wings were kind of muffled but could still be heard for a few seconds. I will tell you something that I didn't tell the other investigator, in the moment it emerged from the trees, there was a strong smell of ammonia. It smelled like the old ammonia products that they used to use to clean the bathroom. It was very pungent but not overwhelming. When it took off the smell was gone within a minute [or] two. It took off in a south direction, headed toward the giant inflatable building that houses the indoor golf range.

Have there been reports of this thing recently?

After submitting the additional details, the witness once again emphasized how uncomfortable the MUFON representative had made him feel.

"The one question I do have for you is about the previous MUFON investigator. Why the pushy and aggressive posture towards me?” the witness asked. “It made me feel like he thought I was lying or trying to profit from this in some way.”

"Thank you," he added. "And if you have any other questions, please contact me with them."

MUFON State Director of Illinois Sam Maranto previously denied any wrongdoing by the field investigator assigned to this case. Maranto’s statements regarding MUFON’s investigation can be seen in an article published by the Singular Fortean Society on October 9th.

The Singular Fortean Society will publish any new developments in this investigation as they are received from any of the involved parties.

This is the latest news in a string of ‘Mothman’ sightings from within a few hundred mile radius surrounding Lake Michigan, including every state bordering the great lake. These sightings ostensibly began in the spring of 2017, but more historical accounts are being reported as more people become aware of the phenomenon. Sightings of weird winged beings around Lake Michigan have been reported at all hours, often in or near a park, and around water.  Witnesses consistently describe a large, gray or black 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 avian being could explain some encounters. Sightings of anomalous avians, including thunderbirds and pterosaurs, are often reported in or near the same locations as those where witnesses have reported winged humanoids. 

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.

To report your own encounter with the impossible, reach out to us directly at the Singular Fortean Society through our contact page.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to support the Singular Fortean Society, please consider becoming an official member by signing up through our Patreon page—membership includes a ton of extra content and behind-the-scenes access to the Society’s inner workings.

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