Illinois Woman Recounts Encounter with Huge Winged Being Preceded by Anomalous Beam of Light Two Years Earlier

An artist’s interpretation of Paula’s sighting of a hulking, hunched-over, winged being.  (Image credit: Emily Wayland / The Singular Fortean Society)

An artist’s interpretation of Paula’s sighting of a hulking, hunched-over, winged being. (Image credit: Emily Wayland / The Singular Fortean Society)

The Singular Fortean Society was recently contacted by a witness who said she had seen a hulking, winged creature in Wauconda, Illinois. That encounter was preceded by a sighting of a strange beam of light two years prior.

The witness agreed to allow the use of her first name, Paula.

On April 20th, 2014 Paula was sitting near a window in the bedroom of her ground-level apartment near the Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda when she saw a bright beam of light “come shooting down” across the street at around 11 p.m.

“It was so bright and defined,” said Paula.

The light, which lasted between 15 and 20 seconds, was an orange/gold color and did not illuminate its surroundings; nor did it move much, making only a slight “side-to-side or back-and-forth” motion.

The light retracted at one point, only to reappear a moment later.

Paula fell back onto her bed in shock.

“Oh my god, this thing sees me!” she remembers thinking. “I had the deepest feeling this thing saw me, it knows.”

But the light retracted a final time and was gone.

“I heard a hum at the end, just before it took off,” said Paula.

The beam of light appeared between the two buildings shown, in front of the tree, and did not disturb its surroundings. “[Everything] was very still,” said Paula.

The beam of light appeared between the two buildings shown, in front of the tree, and did not disturb its surroundings. “[Everything] was very still,” said Paula.

Two years later, in 2016, also on April 20th, Paula encountered a terrifying winged being in the same area. She was taking the garbage out just before 6 a.m. when something drew her eye from across the street. In the early morning gloom she saw a huge, winged being.

Paula described the being as perhaps 7-8’ tall when standing erect, but it carried itself hunched over, limping along. It was completely black, and from what she could see its upper body and head were covered in hair. The being had long, leathery wings which were partially wrapped around its body as it moved towards Paula; jumping forward similarly to watching someone move through a strobe light. The terrifying creature made an unnatural groaning noise as it advanced.

Paula felt a palpable sense of evil emanating from the bat-winged monster.

“This is evil,” she recalled. “I’m seeing evil.”

Fearing for her safety, she quickly turned to flee back into her apartment. After fumbling with her keys for a moment, she opened the door and turned around, terrified that the creature might be right behind her—but it was gone.

The creature was between the sidewalk and where Paula had seen the strange beam of light two years before.

The creature was between the sidewalk and where Paula had seen the strange beam of light two years before.

Paula said that she only knew a few of her neighbors personally, and unfortunately the ones she knew had not witnessed either event; although one of her neighbors with whom she was friends did take her encounters seriously.

“I don’t know what to say,” Paula said of her experiences. “But I know what I saw.”

The Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda is less than 20 miles east of the Dufeld Pond Conservation Area in Woodstock, Illinois, which was the site of a recent encounter with a similar being in late February of 2019. The sighting location is also approximately 17 miles west of Lake Michigan and 45 miles northwest of Chicago, in a region surrounded by forest preserves and natural areas.

This is the latest in a string of flying creature sightings around Lake Michigan that 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 increasingly reports are coming from within a few hundred mile radius surrounding the great lake—including every state bordering it.  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, 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 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.

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