TheMothMan Wikia

Owlman (1976)

The Owlman, also known as The Cornish Owlman or The Owlman of Mawnan, is a purported owl-like creature that was allegedly sighted around mid-1976 in the village of Mawnan in Cornwall, England. It was even featured in the Animal Planet mockumentary, Lost Tapes. It is highly suspected the owlman is a fictional story or has at least some fictional elements.

The owlman is sometimes seen as the English equivalent of the Mothman due to many similarities. The sightings allegedly occurred a year after The Mothman Prophecies (1975) by John Keel was published.

Because of two of the 1976 sightings involved "Doc" Shiels, an eccentric who was reportedly fond of hoaxes, author and researcher Jonathan Downes acknowledges that Shiels could have invented the Owlman. However, further sightings took place later independent of Shiels in 1989 and 1995.

Further Reading:

The Olwman And Others (2006) by Jonathan Downes

Steven Moran's Angel Photos (2001)


Two Images said to have be taken by Steven Moran show what is thought to be winged creature in New York City on September 11th 2001 during the terrorist attacks on The World Trade Center. This sighting is considered a touchy subject to given the subject matter. It is unknown if the image is photoshopped or faked in some way. The shapes in the picture could just be a bird that appears larger or even just pieces of debris.


Steve Moran, a resident of New York said, "I live in New York and when I heard the twin towers were attacked, I immediately rushed to the scene to take photographs. First of all, I t[ook] pictures of medical workers who are providing assistance. Then I took pictures around the site towards the south on Greenwich street. When I got home, I realized there was an object that caught my camera".

Steve went on. "Looks like an angel was hovering above the ruins of the World Trade Center fractions. Maybe it's not a pigeon or a stork because of their large size. Moreover, we do not have the pelicans or bird carcasses in New York". Steve is said to have taken the images with a digital camera Kodak DC 4800, and he believes the creature is an "angel helper" or "angel of death".

The Freiburg Shrieker (2005 as 1978)

The Freiburg Shrieker is an unverifiable internet legend which circulated on various paranormal websites such as AmericanMonsters, Unexplained-Mysteries, and UnknownExplorers around 2005. It is unclear how the information was originally obtained before being posted to the internet. There is no known evidence to show that the supposed witnesses exist or that the tale is anything more than an online story.

The following is the unverifiable internet story:

In September 10th 1978, at a mine in Freiburg, Germany, a group of twenty-one miners arrived in the morning to find a dark figure with wings on its back in the entrance to the mine. When they approached it, it unfurled its wings and let out "a sound like fifty people screaming" or "a train in peril trying to break at the sight of a twisted rail".

Opting to stay outside the mine and work on other tasks, the workers were soon disturbed by a large explosion in the mine itself. The entity's presence had prevented them from entering the mine, and thus saved their lives.

However, six out of the twenty-one workers apparently saved by the monster were still working at the mine only six months later. Two of those men, who had pledged to detail the indisputable facts of the case for the rest of the world, perished suddenly, broke and destitute. Others were plagued by psychiatric problems. The dark winged creature came to be known as "The Freiburg Shrieker."

avian/index.php?detail=article&idarticle=222 (2005 Post)
#comment-1236099 (2006 Discussion)

UnknownExplorers . com/FreiburgShrieker.php - Broken Link (Unknown Date)

Mysteries Unwrapped: Mutants And Monsters by Oliver Ho (Pg 33) (2008)

The Blackbird of Chernobyl (2005 as 1986)

A most likely fictional internet story (Photo Source: EffedUpStories YouTube 2015)

The Blackbird of Chernobyl is a most likely fictional internet legend about a dark winged creature with glowing red eyes allegedly seen in Ukraine in the weeks leading up to Chernobyl Disaster of April 26th 1986. The creature seems to be based on the famous Mothman folklore and a misleading line from the Mothman Prophecies movie that bled over into the Search For The Mothman documentary in 2002.

There is no known evidence in news press or otherwise to show that the supposed witnesses exist or that the story of a bird creature being sighted in Chernobyl is anything other than online fiction derived from a movie line.


In the 2002 film Mothman Prophecies, based on the book of the same title, the character Alexander Leek reads-aloud: "In ancient cultures, the moth represents a form of the psyche, or the soul immortally trapped in the hellish death realms." He then says "Mothman. Well, that's what the Ukrainians called him. Rough translation of course. There were a hundred sightings in Chernobyl the year the nuclear pump went down. Galveston, nineteen sixty-nine, just before the hurricane. They saw it. But seeing isn't always believing."[1]

Not only is Mothman's name NOT Ukrainian, it's based on a newspaper title referencing Batman.There were no reported Mothman sightings in that area before the Chernobyl disaster or before the Galveston hurricanes which occurred in 1900 and 1915, not 1969. The scene was entirely made-up by the screenplay writer Richard Hatem for the film. Despite this, the false "factoids" were repeated in the narration of the 2002 Search For The Mothman documentary which included clips from the movie and was included on the film's DVD release.

The exact origin of the "Blackbird of Chernobyl" story is unknown but the oldest posts of it on the internet seem to trace back to 2005. The story seems like a fleshed-out version of the line from either the Mothman Prophecies movie or the Search For The Mothman documentary in 2002. The author, in the original text, shows knowledge of Mothman-lore by referencing the creature from 1966 but fails to provide any source for how they obtained word on of this Chernobyl "rumor" among the ranks.

The Blackbird story did not originally appear in any known newsprint or publication but it became well known all across the internet as a form of online folklore or "Net-lore". In order for this story to make sense the original author would have had to somehow find this never-before-seen information from Chernobyl 1986 and post it to the internet in the 2000's around the same time the Mothman came into mainstream consciousness with a film containing a line similar to this story. All signs point toward this just being a fictional creepy story inspired by the already established trends of Mothman being an "omen of doom" before tragedies like the Silver Bridge Collapse.


[1] [Movie Line]

Mothman Prophecies Motion Picture Screenplay by Richard Hatem (Line 166, Page 80)


In September of 2007, researcher Loren Coleman, who was a consultant on the Mothman Prophecies movie, posted an article on the blog Cryptomundo entitled "Mothman's Fate" in which he said "There are no records of Mothman at Chernobyl or Galveston or before any earthquakes. Since Mothman encounters did not happen in those locations, such unfortunate tales are ones that both [John Keel] and I tried to remove from people’s mental 'databases' as soon as the movie and documentary noted them in 2002."[2]

In 2008, in a posted titled "Galeston Mothman?", he insisted "This is poor myth-making ... The famed big hurricanes in Galveston occurred in 1900 and 1915, long before the Houston Batman was seen in 1953. The movie also tries to link Chernobyl’s nuclear meltdown with precursor sightings of Mothman. Not true. There were no sightings. It was all made up for the movie. Time to move on from these fictionalized additions to the Mothman story that keep distracting researchers from any real investigations of the Point Pleasant phenomena, whatever that might be."[3] He repeated this yet again in April of 2011 with the post "Yes, Chernobyl’s 25th Anniversary But No Mothman Was Seen"[4]. In 2012, researcher Micah Hanks wrote an article for Mysterious Universe [5] listing the supposed Mothman Chernobyl sighting as a misconception within Mothman mythology.

Despite this, the Blackbird story has been mistakenly featured on popular paranormal sites such as "AmericanMonsters" in 2005 and "PhantomsAndMonsters" in 2010. It's also become known as a "CreepyPasta" which is a form of copied and pasted online story that is widely circulated. It was posted on The CreepyPasta Wiki in 2013 [6], this gained the story a noteworthy amount of popularity and public awareness.

In Tobias Wayland's 2019 book [7], he quotes Loren Coleman's comments and says "The tragedy at the Silver Bridge is, to date, the only recorded disaster to be associated with Mothman wherein the creature was sighted prior to the unfortunate event; although folkloric account exists saying that Mothman was present at many historical disasters. According to ... Loren Coleman, these later stories are based on events taken from fictional sources". [7]


[2] [Coleman]

[3] [Coleman]

[4] [Coleman]

[5] [Jan 2012, Micah Hanks]

[2013 Re-post] [Note: The CreepyPasta Wiki contains fictional writing] 

[7] The Lake Michigan Mothman by Tobias Wayland (Page 6-7)

The following is the commonly repeated online story that is most likely fiction but has gained popularity as internet-lore or "net-lore":

Blackbird Version One [ Earliest Known 2005 ] :

An internet story (Photo Source: Phantoms and Monsters Website and Creepy Pasta Wikia)

"Beginning in April of 1986, a rumor tore through the ranks of what was then a little know nuclear power plant located in the southern tier of the Ukraine - Chernobyl. In the days preceding the tragic meltdown, four Chernobyl employees had reported seeing what they claimed was a large, dark, headless man with gigantic wings and fire-red eyes.

Researchers now believe that the accounts surrounding this creature are similar to what investigators now recognize to be an archetypal Mothman event. Much like the Point Pleasant Mothman witnesses, these Chernobyl employees began to share unsettling and strangely similar experiences.

Some had been having horrifying nightmares, while others received threatening phone calls. According to accounts, some of these employees even mentioned their bizarre experiences to their superiors at the facility, but without evidence or any clear cut indication of what the problem may be, there was very little these officials could do - even had they been willing to take action.

On April 26, 1986, during a routine test of Reactor 4, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was rocked by a massive explosion. Thirty people died that morning, followed by ten additional ten deaths due to radiation exposure. Over the next nine days the graphite of the reactor continued to burn, resulting in tremendous environmental damage and an untold number of radiation casualties over the next 17-years.

As the Soviet helicopters circled the smoldering plant, dropping over 500 pounds of clay, sand, lead, and other extinguishing chemicals on top of the flames, some of the surviving workers - who, at the sacrifice of their own lives, heroically struggled to prevent any further destruction - claimed to have witnessed what has been described as a '20-foot bird' gliding through the undulating tentacles of irradiated smoke, which continued to spew from the reactor."[8]


[2005 Post]

Archive April '05 (Highlight) -
[2006 Discussion]

Blackbird Version Two [ Earliest Known 2007 ] :

"Beginning in early April of 1986, the people in and around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant began to experience a series of strange events revolving around sightings of a mysterious creature described as a large, dark, and mutated man with gigantic wings and piercing red eyes. People affected by this phenomena experienced horrific nightmares, threatening phone calls and first hand encounters with the winged beast which became known as the Blackbird of Chernobyl.

Reports of these strange happening continued to increase until the morning of April 26, 1986, when at 1:23 am, reactor 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant suffered a catastrophic steam explosion that resulted in a fire, which caused a series of additional explosions followed by a nuclear meltdown. The power plant, located near Pripyat, Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union, spewed a plume of radioactive fallout which drifted over parts of the Western Soviet Union, Eastern and Western Europe, Scandinavia, the UK, Ireland and eastern North America. Large areas of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia were badly contaminated, resulting in the evacuation and resettlement of over 336,000 people. The Chernobyl Disaster, as the incident was dubbed, is considered the worst accident ever in the history of nuclear power.

Following the meltdown, and subsequent explosions and fires, Soviet helicopters were dispatched to the scene, equipped with special fire fighting gear, these helicopters circled the plant dropping clay, sand, lead and other extinguishing chemicals on to the burning facility. Most of the fire was put out by 5 am with the fire burning with in reactor 4 continuing to blaze for several hours after. The firefighters who responded were unaware of the nature of the fire, assuming that it was simply an electrical fire, and received massive overdoses of radiation leading to many of their deaths, including Lieutenant Vladimir Pravik, who died on May 9, 1986.

The workers who survived the initial blast and fire, that would later die of radiation poisoning, claimed to have witnessed what has been described as a large black, bird like creature, with a 20 foot wingspan, gliding through the swirling plumes of irradiated smoke pouring from the reactor. No further sightings of the Blackbird of Chernobyl were reported after the Chernobyl Disaster, leaving researchers to speculate just what haunted the workers of the plant during the days leading up to the disaster.

The most commonly accepted theory suggests that the Black Bird of Chernobyl may have been the same creature spotted in Point Pleasant, West Virginia leading up to the collapse of the Silver Bridge on December 15, 1968 [sic, Note: 67* not 68]. Investigators have suggested that the appearance of this creature is an omen of disasters to come in the area in which it shows itself. The physical description of both the Black Bird of Chernobyl and the Mothman, the creature sighted in West Virginia, are very similar, and the reports of nightmares and threatening phone calls leading up to these disasters are shared in both cases.

A second, less accepted theory, suggests that the Black Bird of Chernobyl was nothing more than the misidentification of the black stork, an endangered species endemic to southern Eurasia. The black stork stands nearly 3 feet tall and has a wing span of nearly 6 feet. This theory however fails to take into account the menacing phone calls and the the disturbing nightmares. Also the physical description given by the majority of eyewitnesses who actually saw the Black Bird of Chernobyl does not in anyway match the physical appearance of the Black Stork."[9][10]


[9] Unknownexplorers . com/blackbirdofchernobyl.php - Broken Link
[2007 Post]

Archive -

[2010 Re-post]

Archive -


Winged Humanoid Sighting Reported After Minnesota Bridge Collapse 2007

The I-35W Mississippi River bridge, officially known as Bridge 9340,was an eight-lane, steel truss arch bridge that carried Interstate 35W across the Saint Anthony Falls of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States.

During the evening rush hour on August 1, 2007, it suddenly collapsed, killing 13 people and injuring 145. The bridge was Minnesota's third busiest, carrying 140,000 vehicles daily. The NTSB cited a design flaw as the likely cause of the collapse, noting that a too-thin gusset plate ripped along a line of rivets, and asserted that additional weight on the bridge at the time of the collapse contributed to the catastrophic failure.

The bridge was coincidentally built in 1967 which is the same year of The Silver Bridge Collapse in Point Pleasant West Virginia. This Minnesota bridge is a portion of I-35 and The Silver Bridge that collapsed in 1967 was part of U.S. Highway 35. Not to mention that the death toll is the number 13 which is a reoccurring number in the Mothman legend.


George Noory, during the “Coast to Coast AM” program on August 10th 2007 took various calls from individuals who reported many kinds of strange creature sightings.

Some talk was of the overlap between the Mothman banshee mythos and the 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge but most of the callers specifically shared their firsthand stories. People telephoned in and told their own eyewitness accounts for hours.

A caller in Illinois claimed to have witnessed a winged creature on Wednesday June 27th 2007, over a month before the August 1st 2007 collapse of the I-35W Bridge, while driving outside of Stewartville, Minnesota. She said the creature had a huge wingspan.

The callers only reported these things after all the talk of Mothman and the Silver Bridge collapse which is very suspect. There were no known records of Minnesota sightings in the months before the bridge collapse and so there is a strong possibility of this being myth-making.


The Chicago Phantom

"It reminded me of the character Birdperson from the show Rick and Morty, only a LOT scarier!" - Unnamed Alleged Witness, April 2017

The Chicago Phantom is a case which began on April 10th 2017 when an alleged sighting of a winged humanoid in Oz Park, Chicago by an unnamed person was reported on by Manuel Navarette ofthe UFO Clearing House website under the title "Flying Entity, possible Mothman sighting seen in Chicago, Illinois".[1]

These supposed sightings continued to be sent to and reported on by the UFO Clearing House, MUFON (Mutual UFO Newtwork) and the paranormal blogger Lon Strickler of Pennyslvania who seems to have widely popularized the case.[3] Descriptions within the sightings were varied. Lon Strickler directed readers to his email so that supposed witnesses could send him their stories of winged humanoids in Chicago. He put together an interactive map of 59 alleged sighting locations[2] and established a Chicago Phantom Task Force to share the sightings he received with a select group of researchers. Other investigators researched the case by going off the data released to the public.

Allison Jornlin and Kimberely Poeppey, both of Milwaukee, traveled to Illinois in 2017 to investigate The Chicago Phantom.[3] Allison visited each of the 59 alleged sighting locations and conducted research as well, ultimately coming to the conclusion that a large percentage of the sightings were inaccurate, inconsistent or most likely hoaxes.[2]

Despite news publications and websites referring to the case as the "Chicago Mothman", the sightings had no connection to the legendary Mothman of 1966-67 other than superficial details. It should be noted that this case happened to coincide with the 50th anniversary year of the 1967 Mothman events as well as the lead-up to the release of The Mothman of Point Pleasant (2017) Documentary.

Though many winged humanoid sightings in the Illinois area around 2017 could be genuine mysteries and anomalies, several of them are highly doubt-able. Books were released on the sightings in December of 2017 and in 2019. The case was also summarized in the Small Town Monsters documentary Terror In The Skies (2019).[4]

Skepticism and Criticism:

Paranormal researchers and skeptics have pointed out suspicious elements of the case like the overly poetic lofty word choices of the supposed witnesses and the provable falsehoods within some stories, such as describing the moon at a time when the moon wasn't out or describing seeing a creature in great detail as it jumped off an extremely tall building (Willis Tower) from which it would be just a speck to the viewer. Another point of criticism was that many of the locations were in high traffic areas of the big city with many security cameras present yet the creature remained somehow hidden. Sam Maranto of MUFON also revealed that a significant amount of alleged sightings were sent online from the same IP address.

In an interview with Mysterious Universe in December of 2017, Fortean researcher Allison Jorlin said "Unfortunately, my opinion is that most of the reports are fraudulent, which is so disappointing because I love monster-hunting." She continued, "Cited weather conditions or moon phases in the accounts do not line up with the facts. I’ve also discovered inconsistencies in witness statements compared to what I saw at the locations."

She summarized by saying "There is an over-reliance on witness reports that have not been corroborated with location, weather, or other factual data that is easy to verify. The problem is then that anyone could make something up and waste investigator time while there are real mysteries out there that remain unexplored."




[3] Mothman: Evil Incarnate (2017) by Loren Coleman (pg 9-16 & pg 62)

[4] Terror In The Skies by (2019) Small Town Monsters

2011 - Three Winged Humanoid Sightings (Stand-Alone):

In 2011, a couple in Chicago, Illinois made a report to the UFO Clearing House claiming to have photographed a winged humanoid. The somewhat blurry image provided appeared to show a winged object or entity in the distance. Two other sightings of winged humanoids in Chicago were reported that same year. These three sightings were stand-alone cases that took place long before the social phenomenon of "The Chicago Phantom" began but nonetheless the 2011 sightings are often paired together with the 2017 phantom case.

Source(s): UFO Clearing House -