It's not one of the biggest categories, but there has been an increase in winged humanoid reports recently. I think the most famous winged humanoid in the United States is the Mothman of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. I first learned of the Mothman back in the 1980s when I read John Keel's famous book The Mothman Prophecies. It's a freaky and unsettling tome that really goes down the rabbit hole of paranoia, but the Mothman himself didn't really get much mainstream acknowledgement until the Richard Gere film of The Mothman Prophecies came out in 2002. Like the book, it's weird and creepy.
|Mothman painting by famous pulp artist Frank Frazetta.|
The Mothman's popularity has grown since then, and this cryptid, who in the book and film is an eerie omen of doom, has now become a cute internet meme, particularly on Tumblr. For example see below:
|Adorable Mothman from this Tumblr blog.|
I don't think the Mothman has been seen in New England (please tell me if I am wrong), but another weird winged humanoid recently was. Someone in Abington, Massachusetts saw a gargoyle in February, 2018. The report appears on Phantoms and Monsters, and the site's owner said it was originally posted on Reddit in August. Here it is:
... About 6 months ago I saw this insane thing. It was about 3 AM, I had been up late as I normally am. I stepped outside to smoke a cigarette. It was dark as Hell except for the stars and moon. As I was smoking I heard this noise of something flying. I look up and see this winged creature land on my neighbor's roof and just sit there like a Gargoyle would. I thought I was seeing sh*t or seeing something wrong but then the creature jumped up and flew away and I could see its whole body. It was the size of a small human but massive wings. It reminded me of a Gargoyle. I don't know what the f**k I saw but it was crazy. Has anyone ever had an experience seeing something like this? Humanoid creature with wings?
Lon Stickler, the owner of Phantoms and Monsters, contacted the Redditor who had posted the story and asked for more details. Their response follows:
... I couldn't see the creature's face because it was dark and it was on the roof facing away from me. It looked black with a wing span upon flight maybe 4 - 5ft. The creature itself while crouched on the roof looked the size of a smaller human maybe 4ft. I watched it trying to figure out what I was looking at, for maybe 1 minute, then it jumped and flew off. Even when it flew away it still looked on the shorter end. As it flew, its legs hung but still in an almost crouching position. It wasn't a massive creature but it was definitely humanoid in appearance.
Some of you may know that Abington is located within the Bridgewater Triangle, an area in Massachusetts famous for paranormal activity. I don't think anyone has reported a gargoyle there before, but people have seen other large winged creatures in the Triangle. In 1971, a police officer driving to his home in Easton late one night saw something more than six feet tall and with a wingspan of eight to twelve feet. As he drove towards it the creature flew straight up into the air and off over the trees. The officer reported it but investigators found no sign of the creature. (This account is included in Loren Coleman's 2001 book Mysterious America.)
|A scene from the 1972 movie Gargoyles|
For those skeptics out there, it's important to note the Hockomock Swamp sits in the center of the Bridgewater Triangle, and many large birds live in swamps, including the great blue heron, which has a wingspan of 5 - 6 feet. However, great blue herons aren't usually active at night. There are numerous species of owl in Massachusetts, though, and the great horned owl has a wingspan of up to 5 feet. Owls are active at night.
On the other hand, owls aren't really "humanoid in appearance" and people have been seeing strange flying creatures for years. I don't think they can all be misidentified owls. I don't know what people are seeing. I guess I'll just wait and see if gargoyles start increasing in Massachusetts. And then I'll start locking my windows at night!
Special thanks to my friends Steve and Cornelia for bringing this story to my attention.