Mothman is a mysterious creature. Some may argue its mysterious nature goes well beyond Bigfoot, the Skunk Ape or even the Yeti . Most people believe this flying freak is exclusively a portion of the North American landscape, but there have been countless reports of unidentified flying humanoids all across the world. We have covered some of them in the past, like this incredible eyewitness account that a Mexican police officer shared with Primer Impacto TV show in 2007.
But of all the countries and sightings, the UK shines for harboring some of the weirdest cryptids the world has ever seen: the Pigman and werewolves in the haunted region of Cannock Chase, the Big Grey Man of Ben Macdhui, the Loch Ness monster of Scotland and an aerial creature, eerily similar to the American Mothman the British refer to as the “Owlman”.
A peculiar Owlman sighting worth sharing was reported to paranormal researcher Tony “Doc” Shiels by Don Melling during the Easter of 1976. According to Melling, he, his wife and two daughters -9 year-old Vicky and 12 year-old June Melling- were vacationing in the village of Mawnan, Cornwall, when the girls decided to go for a walk. What they purportedly saw next changed the regional folklore forever.
The young witnesses ran back to their father, crying and frightened. They claimed they had seen a large unidentified winged creature they described as a “nasty bird man”, hovering over the 13th Century church’s tower. The family, shaken by the strange event, chose to leave the area days ahead of their planned date of departure.
Initially, the Mellings didn’t want to tell a word about the terrible sighting, possibly for fears of being ostracized from society and in a probable attempt to protect their young daughters from further psychological trauma. It was later on that the family father decided to reveal the story to Shiels, who then sent a letter to cryptozoologist Jonathan Downes, author of the book The Owlman and Others.
“A very weird thing happened over the Easter weekend. A holiday-maker from Preston, Lancs., told me about something his two young daughters had seen … a big, feathered bird-man hovering over the church tower at Mawnan (a village near the mouth of the Helford River). The girls (June 12, and Vicky, daughters of Mr. Don Melling), were so scared that the family cut their holiday short and went back three days early. This really is a fantastic thing, and I am sure the man wasn’t just making it up because he’d been told I was on a monster hunt. I couldn’t get the kids to talk about it (in fact, their father wouldn’t even let me try,) but he gave me a sketch of the thing drawn by June,” Shiels wrote on the letter.
A few months later, the beast was spotted again by a group of two friends.
“It was like a big owl with pointed ears, as big as a man. The eyes were red and glowing. At first I thought that it was someone dressed-up, playing a joke, trying to scare us. I laughed at it. We both did. Then it went up in the air and we both screamed. When it went up you could see its feet were like pincers!” the eyewitness said. Her friend described the cryptid as having a “nasty owl-face” with huge ears and big red eyes. It was covered in grey feathers and its feet, she said, were like pincers.
Ever since that first sighting in 1976, witnesses have reported seeing the creature throughout the years. It is also interesting and worth noting that, just like in the case of strange activity happening around Cannock Chase, UFO reports are quite abundant in this area.
Undoubtedly, the Owlman has become a popular icon for the region of Cornwall.
Front cover picture by Andy Roberts under CC. BY. 3.0 license
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