Parent Reports Their Son's 15-Year-Old Encounter with 'Mothman' near Panther Creek in Auburn, Illinois

(Emily Wayland / Singular Fortean Society)

(Emily Wayland / Singular Fortean Society)

Lon Strickler of Phantoms and Monsters recently received an account from a parent who said their son had seen “the Mothman” near Panther Creek in Auburn, Illinois “about 15 years ago”.

About 15 years ago my son, who was about 12, told me a story one day after I picked him up from his after school friend's house. They lived right by a creek and the boys always walked down the road to the creek to play in it.

One afternoon about 3:30- 4 o'clock, when the sun is still high in the sky but starting its descent so it was a little blinding in their eyes. They were walking down the road to the bridge over the creek when they noticed a man standing on the road. Now this is from the mouth of a 12-year-old. He said this man was just standing there, looked like he was all in black and he said it looked like the man didn’t have a neck. They were a little puzzled but kept walking toward it. He said that is when it opened up its “arms” straight out and it appeared to have wings. At that time, he said it just flapped them one time, like his arms went down one time and he said it took off straight up in the air. They tried to see where it went but said the sun was in his eyes.

I didn’t know what to think at the time but just dismissed it as young boys and their stories. When I started working nights, about 11 years ago, I started listening to Coast to Coast AM and realized he had possibly seen the “Mothman”.

Then he told me, when he was in his early twenties, he was hanging out with some friends from a surrounding small town. They were telling stories and one of the guys started talking about seeing this giant flying 'bird man’. This is the very same area where my son saw it. They were both excited to meet someone else that had see what they had.

This occurred near Panther Creek on Curran Rd. in Auburn, Illinois.

Strickler has not yet been able to speak to the son directly, but said that he is “hoping to talk to the son when he is available."

This article will be updated with any new information as it is received.

Auburn, a city of just over 4,000 residents in central Illinois, is approximately 15 miles south of the state’s capitol of Springfield and 200 miles southwest of Lake Michigan. Despite its proximity to Springfield, it is a rural area, surrounding by fields and natural countryside.

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. They 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. Some witnesses have reported feeling intense fear and an aura of evil emanating from the creature they encountered.  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—although certainly not all—of the encounters. A number of associated high strangeness incidents have also occurred alongside the creature sightings; including reports of UFOs, other anomalous flying creatures, psychic phenomena, and the receipt of bizarre messages. 

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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