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Saturday, July 17, 2021

Hoboken Monkey Man

 Hoboken Monkey Man

By Cole Herrold

There are tons of cases out there that are extremely bizarre and seem to be either straight out lies or cases of mass hysteria. The case of the Hoboken Monkey Man is one such case. It's a case that appeared several times online and only in a few book and magazine sources and has been said by many to be a case that has absolutely no merit in the annals of actual cryptozoological study. However, upon closer inspection of this case, there are some particularly bizarre encounters that did make their way into some sources that seem to indicate that there were some kernels of truth to an outright hoax.

Hoboken was in a state of panic in October of 1982. School children were terrified by the whispers of their classmates. Those whispers were not only of the malevolent mirror spirit Bloody Mary or the deranged lunatics Cropsy and Hookman but a new boogeyman-like entity that seemed to of popped out of nowhere to terrorize the schools and streets of Hoboken. They would describe the horrendous actions of this figure known as Monkey Man, whose appearance was that of a mixture of the two in varying gruesome details. The creature was said to of lurked in the school hallways during the day and night and would leave the confines of the school grounds only to attack children on their way home from class. Rumors would go even further and into a more violent path as the creature was reported to of been seen throwing students out of the school’s windows and that the creature even allegedly killed a teacher.

The hysteria and panic swept through the halls and homes of Hoboken for two weeks before finally, word reached the Hoboken Police Department and the Public Safety Council. The officers and Council proceeded in going from home to home and to the schools attempting to find anyone who had claimed to of seen the creature or to see if there were any missing persons who could have perished at the paw of the Monkey Man. They scoured the streets at night, searching for anyone who bore the description of the person or creature said to be terrorizing the city. As the weeks and nights crept on, their inquires eventually came to a dead end. No members of any of the schools' faculties were missing, and no children in the area were reported missing either. As they talked to most of the students, they discovered that none had officially claimed to of seen the creature, and most said that they heard it from a friend who knew someone who claimed to of encountered the beast. The police and Public Safety Department irritated for they realized that this was some sort of urban legend gone out of hand, eventually came out with the following statement "There is no Monkey Man. No students or children missing. We went looking for him, he wasn't even in the streets. How do you stop a rumor that's growing like wildfire?”.

While this statement seems to be true for most of the rumors surrounding the creature, especially those in an urban surrounding like the schools. However, over the years, some potentially real sightings did take place; some cases seem to be in the same vein as Bigfoot sightings, and some are bizarre Fortean cases that seem to be similar to other nontypical animal phenomena. The earliest account comes from an individual named Jack D. Jack would describe an encounter he and his girlfriend would encounter one year before the mass hysteria outbreak in 82'. Jack and his girlfriend were out driving their car on Sinatra Drive; during that time, it was River Road. Jack, while staring out at the darkened road, noticed something moving in through the trees. The dark form soon stopped in one particularly large one, and as he looked through the windshield, he noticed it was something eerily bizarre. Jack pulled off to the side of the road, surprising his girlfriend as she did not yet see the arboreal abomination. Jack, still looking through the window, pointed up to the tree and there, dangling from a hefty branch, was the creature staring right back at them. The creature was monkey-like and proceeded to grunt and make all sorts of awful noises at the parked pedestrians. Jack, not following better judgement, proceeded to leave his car and girlfriend to get a closer look at this bizarre beast. As he got closer, he noticed that while it was monkey-like, it had eerily more human qualities as its hair was long and matted with what appeared to be more of a neanderthal like face. The creatures' arms were long and seemed to sway as it hung from the branch. The creature's body was covered in hair, but this was obscured by what appeared to be animal skins that were fashioned as a kind of clothing. Jack was shocked at this entity but not too shocked to be quiet, for Jack then proceeded to threateningly yell at the creature. The creature seemed to take offense and grunted right back at Jack. Jack backed away slowly and watched as the creature brachiated through the trees until it got to the deeper sections of the woods, ultimately disappearing into the darkness.

While Jack would never see the creature ever again, it would not be the last time this kind of primate Monkey Man would be seen. Two park rangers who worked for the Atlantic County Park in Route 50 while driving down the road noticed a strange figure moving across the road. The figure was an "anthropoid, ape-like" creature and seemed to be walking upright. Neither ranger reported their sighting at the time because it was "so strange and bizarre". This creature would reportedly have other sightings in the area, and much like the rumors of the creature in Hoboken was said to live in a building most of the time. The building was an old tin cow barn that was on the Belcoville Munitions Plant. During this flap of sightings, it was claimed that "no animals would go near the old barn and that the floor of the cow barn and the cowbarn itself were always clean".  This adds a new patina to a case already bizarre for this, if not just some homeless individual who was mistaken for the entity, implies that the monkey man is a clean freak and not a creature that wallows in filth. However, sightings in the area today are no longer reported.

While the animal skin wearing monkey man and the nude version are bizarre enough, encounters with an even more sophisticated Monkey Man would arise and this time leaving the woods and returning back to the city. These are some of the even weirder Monkey Man cases, and the first shows he might have an occupation. A woman named Evelyn would recall her encounter with the Monkey Man when she was 10 in the book Weird NJ. Evelyn was in her bedroom reading; it was late, and she was trying to get the last couple pages of her book in before finally conking out for the night. As she was flipping and scanning the pages of her book, she suddenly had a bizarre feeling that she couldn't shake as she continued to focus in on the page. That feeling resonated to the point that eventually, she felt that she had to put down her book and investigate. She looked up and felt inclined to look out the window that faced another apartment. She peered into the apartment, and there appeared to be a man sweeping in a janitor's outfit. She continued to stare at the figure she felt uneased by him, but she couldn't place it, that is, until he turned around. There as she watched, what she assumed was just heavy sideburns, and a beard was actually a monkey-faced man. This proved too much for Evelyn, and she ran out of the room and jumped on her father's bed to wake him up. Her father, exhausted and irritated, followed Evelyn to her room, and the two peered out the window into the next apartment complex, but to her surprise and her father's further irritation, there was nothing there.

While this creature seemed to be hard at work, this does not seem to always be the case as sometimes it is reported to be either off for the day or on vacation. The next clothed creature account came from Mary A., whose children would report to encounter the creature as well as know where the creature lives. Mary and her children, when they first moved to 9th St in Bayonne, noticed how bizarre their street was; the street at the end of the block drops off into Newark Bay; this goes into a dead-end that was covered in No Trespassing Signs and fenced in areas. There in this drop off was the Old PT Boat Factory, and that is where the neighbors and ultimately her children would go on to tell her the Monkey Man lives. The rumors around town were that the Monkey Man was abandoned by his parents as a kid and now lives in the Old Boat Factory to this day; he is said to run around the wooded paths and trails along Newark Bay. She laughed at the accounts and dismissed them as pure urban legends, that is until her kids would claim to see him not once but twice. The first time her kids would encounter the Monkey Man, he was walking an old trail not too far off from their home. Her kid would describe him as having long brown hair on his arms and a monkey-like face, but he bizarrely wore a ragged green shirt and pants. The kids ran away from the figure to tell their mom, who saw the seriousness in their faces, realized that they had seen something. Then not too later, her younger son would also see the Monkey Man on the same trail that his siblings had. This time the Monkey Man was wearing the same ragged shirt that the siblings had seen him wear, and he was not alone, for he had a dog walking alongside him.

While detailed sightings of the Monkey Man seem to of faded away, there are rumors still to this day that the Monkey Man can be seen in Hoboken's Washington Street. These accounts are very different and are reminiscent of another phenomenon that occurred in 2001. This phenomenon was the Monkey Man of Delhi, India; it was an extremely famous case when it occurred and has many parallels to the Hoboken case. Both cases are believed to of been caused by mass hysteria as well as the sightings started out as being urban encounters of essentially bigfoot like creatures that then turned into encounters of bizarre suited humanoid cases. The accounts also both had alleged violence and death associated with them.

When breaking down this case, the 1982 Hoboken sightings seem to definitely be a case of mass hysteria. However, the sighting of a creature in 1981 definitely seems to be of some actual encounter. The creature is definitely a hominid of some variety. There is a possibility it could be some Tarzan enthusiast who had incredible gymnastic abilities, but this does seem to be unlikely. The creature appears to be some kind of hairy hominid, possibly a tree swinging sasquatch. While bigfoot are not exactly known for a tree lifestyle, there have been a few cases of young bigfoot swinging in the trees or an adult standing on some heftier branches. The animal pelts seen in this case is not exactly unheard of either in the history of bigfoot. Accounts of clothing or pelt wearing bigfoot are rare and appear more often in tales of native tribes, but they do occur, so it's possible that is what was reported.

As for the clothing wearing accounts, part of me automatically wants to say this is kids misidentifying some overly hairy individual while out working or some person with a birth defect of some kind. However, what if what they were reporting was actually something else? What could it be? Could it be some escaped mutant like the infamous Melonheads or the cabaret of cryptids said to of escaped from circuses or government labs? It seems very unlikely, but there are countless sightings of such entities. Could it be that these individuals might have Hypertrichosis, a disorder that causes extreme hair growth? This is more possible but also unlikely as this disorder as only 50 official cases have ever been reported.

While this case seems to be a mixture of mass hysteria and some possibly legitimate accounts. It is so uninvestigated, even with the police involvement, that getting more specifics are frustrating. There are plenty of bizarre flaps out there and plenty of cases that seem way too impossible to have anything real to them, but as with most legends, myths, and mass hysteria, there is some kernel of truth to it; the question with this case is how much is fact, how much is fiction, and how much went unaccounted for or reported? We perhaps will never truly know.

Quick Facts:

Species/Potential Species: Hominid or Hoax

Location: Hoboken, New Jersey

Sighted: 1981-1982/ unspecified latter accounts

Works Cited:

Monsters of New Jersey: Mysterious Creatures in the Garden State By Loren Coleman and Bruce G. Hallenbeck

Weird N.J. By Mark Scuerman and Mark Moran

Lois, Mary “Is the Monkey Man Real?”. Finding Myself in Hoboken. August 30, 2008. Accessed July 11, 2021.

Alana Biggers, M.D., MPH “Hypertrichosis (Werewolf Syndrome)” Healthline. August 28, 2018 Accessed July 16, 2021. 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

The Billiwhack Monster

 The Billiwhack Monster

By Cole Herrold

Around the United States, there are various reports of creatures described as being half man and half animal. The most famous of these accounts being Bigfoot, the half man half ape that has been reported in every state as well as in Canada. Bigfoot is often depicted as a shy lumbering giant that is curious of man but also very fond of running away from humans; however other manimals are much more violent and aggressive in their behavior. Perhaps the most aggressive of these creatures are the entities known as Goatmen. Goatmen are reported in a variety of different states, with the most famous versions being reported in Maryland and Kentucky. While most of these creatures are found in desolate forested areas, one creature is said to of taken up residence in an old dairy farm in sunny California.

The Billiwhack Monster, also sometimes spelled Billiwack Monster is a muscular and powerful grey or white-furred ram-headed humanoid with yellow-green cat-like eyes. This creature reportedly is approximately 9-10ft tall with hands tipped in razor-sharp talons and is said to dwell in the crumbling Billiwhack Dairy Farm. The farm is located on a back winding road in Aliso Canyon, which is in Ventura County and about 6 miles West of Santa Paula. The creature reportedly never leaves the compound except to travel to the nearby citrus orchards to feed on rabbits and other small animals.

The origins of this creature are assumedly interconnected with the founder of the Billiwhack Dairy. The dairy was opened by August Rubel in 1925 and was a struggling dairy farm that ultimately closed its doors after Rubel’s mysterious death in 1943. It was right after his death when the creature began to make its residence in the old dairy building. Some have come up because of this several hypotheses as to why this occurred; one theory was that Rubel had created a mutant offspring from breeding experiments to better the output of milk. Another more governmental conspiratorial hypothesis is that August Rubel, who died while fighting in WWII, was, in fact, a member of the Office of Strategic Services or the OSS, which was a precursor to the CIA. There is a belief that Rubel while being in the OSS, had several Nazi Scientists under his control. These scientists were forced to attempt to conduct experiments that were similar to the Marvel Comics Super Soldier ideology. The results of these experiments are believed to be the Billiwhack Monster.

While there is certainly tons of early lore attempting to explain how the creature came about and allegedly encounters that appeared all the way back in 1943. The very first reported encounter with the Billiwhack Monster comes from the 50s when a 9-year-old boy who, along with a group of friends, had decided to go and check out the reportedly haunted Billiwhack Dairy themselves. The group proceeded in entering the dilapidated structure; as they trespassingly traversed therein, they entered a particularly dark shadowy section. As the group moved around searching at the old cartons and production line, they noticed a pair of glowing eyes peering from within the shadows. The group proceeded to stare into the darkness at this set of glowing eyes, holding their breath. As the group stared, the eyes started to move and approach the group; it came closer and closer the sound of clicking on the tiled floors. The eyes seemed to stop before it hit the light, and it was only a short bit away. The group started to back away, slowly inching their way back. Just as the group felt that this form might be trapped by the darkness, it jumped out from the shadows a mere foot away from the group revealing the horrifying man goat creature. The group, not stopping to see what this creature might do, proceeded in running as fast as they could. As they were running, the 9-year-old felt a sharp pain in his back. This did not stop him, however, and he continued to run all the way home. When he arrived home, his mother noticed his shirt was torn, and upon removing it that his back was covered in large scratches.

In November 1964, several boys would encounter the creature while out hiking in the canyon. The creature, enraged at their intrusion into its lair, proceeded to chase the boys. The boys began sprinting as fast as they could away from this horned beast; they managed to make their way out of the area, and as suddenly as the creature came, it disappeared. On another separate encounter, a boy claimed he encountered a “snarling hairy man in a hole” in the property. Others who would travel up to the road would have encounters with the creature outside in the safety of their cars; the creature would allegedly throw 50lbs rocks at any who would travel up the road.

While there are very few official detailed accounts of interactions with this creature, it clearly did sweep up the community. Police were constantly traveling to the road and picking up various trespassers and would-be monster hunters. One such monster hunter was ready to face the Billiwhack Beast in a pure medieval showdown as the individual came prepared not with a gun or with any classic mob-based weapon like a pitchfork but instead one of the most mighty of weapons, a sword. The sword-wielding boy intended to smite the beast down in its lair and bring the remains back to free the town from the cantankerous caprine. Yet even this encounter is mild compared to what would transpire in almost a classic Universal style. Dorothy Renterra, a leaser who had kept tabs on the property and had tried to stop any further trespassing on the property, would be caught up in the monster mania when she had to hold off a group of 43 would be monster hunters with a shotgun until the police arrived to remove the mob. The angry mob had sought to capture and dispel the cursed beast from the plant to stop the assault on those who enter therein.

After the 60s, sightings seemed to dip down, and no major accounts were published. The creature, while sightings allegedly occurred sporadically and at night, primarily became a major focus on ghost hunters. In fact, the creature was in a contest won, being the best ghost in the area. Ghost hunters to this day often write about this creature and some contest that this creature is completely supernatural in origin, citing it as a demonic entity or some curse that was connected to August Rubel as there have been whispers of several ill-fated tragedies that have occurred to him. Another more skeptical hypothesis is that these reports are entirely the fabrications of young minds as most reports come from younger witnesses.

While rumors of the creature's origin are fiercely debated, there are allegedly sightings to this day. While these modern sightings are not exactly specified or even detailed, there is an increasing cultural growth with the legend. Due to the ever-increasing Latin culture that is being more embraced and expanded, so too is interest in the legend. The creature has been embraced by those of Latin descent and heritage, and they have given the creature its own name Chivo Man. The figure has been used as a more boogeyman type figure in that older generational figures like parents and grandparents will tell their children and grandchildren to behave, or Chivo Man will get you!

The Billiwhack Monster is one of the oldest American Goatmen in the books and is one that does seem to be a mixture of folklore and fact. Perhaps this creature is a deformed bigfoot or a supernatural entity, or perhaps it is just a case of mass hysteria, for some of the elements seem to be a dual of a real creature seen and the mass hysteria-oriented hype of others reporting the encounters. Yet while the jury is out on this particular creature, it is extremely interesting to see how the legend grows and the cultural effect it has on the community. It's a legend that I'm sure will last for a very long time.

Quick Facts:

Species/Potential Species: Mammal

Location: Billiwhack Dairy, Aliso Canyon Road, Aliso Canyon, Ventura County, California

Sighted: From 1943 to Modern Times

Works Cited

Goatman Flesh or Folklore? by J. Nathan Couch

Mysterious California: Strange Places and Eerie Phenomena in the Golden State by Mike Marinacci

Weird California by Greg Bishop, Joe Oesterle, and Mike Marinacci

The Los Angeles Times November 4, 1964

Ventura County Star-Free Press November 2, 1964

“THE BILLIWHACK MONSTER”. Rikki Rockett. YouTube.

Friday, July 9, 2021

The Serial Killer Ghost Orangutan

by Cole Herrold

When people are attempting to find places to stay, most of the issues people concern themselves with are the price of stay, cleanliness, the view and other features many would consider necessary for their decision to stay in such an accommodation. For those of a more Fortean mindset, there is another element that can confirm a booking into that locale, and that is the building's haunted history. A haunted location is often extremely sought after as a place to stay for those with the mindset of communicating with the spirit world. Hotels such as the Shanley Hotel in New York and the similarly named Stanley Hotel have people who come in droves to stay in the most haunted rooms, some of which are booked for months without an opening. These individuals hope to have an experience with the unknown and, in some cases, to prove to themselves and others that such phenomena do exist. However, while most believe spirits to be innocent lost souls who have not passed on to the next plane of existence, there are those who have such violence associated with them that even a spectral encounter is something not to wish to experience.

Elliot O'Donnell, in his book Animal Ghosts, Or Animal Hauntings and the Hereafter, describes several encounters with bizarre ghosts, but one of the most terrifying and violent hauntings would appear in this little-known tome. This violent encounter was given to Elliot O'Donnell by his spiritualist friend and colleague Martin Tristram. Martin Tristram, one dark night arrived at O'Donnell's house. It was late, and Martin did not seem like himself as though he was an entirely different person; the pair proceeded to sit down in his study, and Martin began to discuss the various updates in the occult circle. While sitting, Martin looked over at Elliot and said, "I need to tell you an encounter I had.”

St Johns River Monsters: The Astor Monster, Pinky, and Friends

by Cole Herrold

The bodies of water around the world have always been home to monsters. From the Lochs and Loughs of Scotland and Ireland where reports of man-eating Kelpies and then in the modern years' plesiosaur like creatures who shy away from the toils of man. To the oceans where countless monsters supposedly have been reported slithering and attacking vessels. It's in these watery biomes we see a biological occurrence that, if these creatures do exist, would need to happen, and that is the existence of a biodiversity. A biodiversity is simply the variety of different forms of life in a particular habitat. With cryptids and cryptid reports outside of humans witnessing these creatures or potentially the creature's predation on the local fauna, the creatures seen typically are alone or seem to have just popped into our world hence why the interdimensional or extraterrestrial hypothesis has sprung up even in cases where there is nothing to truly suggest this theory. In aquatic biomes, more than any other habitat, we see the most not only of variation of creatures reported but also the interaction of the creatures with their environment. Aside from sasquatch, these creatures are perhaps the most biologically realistic as our oceans, lakes, and rivers makeup to 71% of the planet and are plenty big enough for countless species to live and interact undiscovered.

In the St. Johns River in Florida, we see cryptid biodiversity that is something only a few lakes have encountered, and that is that at least two unique species of cryptids are reported to dwell in the St. Johns River; the first report is by no means the most famous and in many ways is very similar to other river monsters such as the White River Monster of Arkansas which we will get into later. The most famous of the species said to inhabit the river is a creature which some of the locals and newspapers have dubbed "pinky" due to the creature's bizarre skin color. I first came across these marine monsters while doing research on other aquatic cryptids and came across a newspaper article detailing the bizarre account. I was encapsulated by the account and, as many researchers can testify to experiencing dived deep into newspaper archives and book resources for more information on the phenomenon. It is a hunt for a white whale in most cases, as in many bizarre monster cases, the papers are scant or from the 1800s, so follow-ups typically did not occur. With this creature, I found reports dating all the way back to the 50s and, with them, a decently constant string of articles and sightings which lead up to modern times.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Ed and Lorraine Warren vs Bigfoot

by Cole Herrold

Before I begin to tell this account, just let the title sink in. This is not some fan fiction born from the growing increase of interest and love of the pair of demonologists but an actual event that had occurred. The event known as Casefile: Bigfoot first was first written in the 1989 book Ghost Hunters by Robert David Chase. The book, which covered some of their most infamous cases, such as the Amityville Horror case, is not the kind of book one would expect a cryptozoological excursion to be included, but it is indeed to be the case. This case, however, is just as weird and just as strange as almost all of their other cases.

The account in their book begins with an introduction to the case by Lorraine Warren; she says, "We had never paid much attention to the stories about Bigfoot. I wouldn't say that we dismissed them as fictitious, but Bigfoot didn't hold much interest for psychic investigators. That changed one spring when we were lecturing in Tennessee, and a reporter from the Elk-Valley Times contacted us and told us about some hill people who kept insisting that something was threatening their children…”.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Yellow What-Is-It

by Cole Herrold

In October of 1879, Berks County, Pennsylvania was home to one of the strangest creatures that have ever been reported. This creature which has no comparison to any known animal or hominid is something that has mystified all those who have come across it. Over the course of several days, several witnesses came forth to describe in vivid detail a creature that has gone unnoticed by a majority of paranormal researchers and cryptozoologists. The creature has been recorded only a few times in literature, making it one of the most obscure accounts in not just Pennsylvania history but Fortean history in general.

The Yellow-What-Is-It, as the creature has been called, was sighted in Ruscombmanor and Muhlenberg Townships which is nestled on the east side of Berks County. The Sightings of the creature were initially reported in The Indiana Progress on October 16th, 1879. The paper describes three eyewitnesses to the beast and in which two of the witnesses actually seeing the beast twice on the same day. The Yellow-What-Is-It was first brought to the world’s attention by the prison inspector’s son Schmehl and his friend Jared Rissmiller who was helping Schmehl in driving some cattle. While out driving the cattle in towards the property, they noticed near a particular gate a strange form bunkered down in the grass. Thinking maybe this was a stray cat, dog, or some other local resident animal, they were not too concerned with this creature as it would seem unlikely that something predatory would be napping in an area full of potential prey. Yet as the two came closer to the creature, they began to notice that it seemed off; it seemed weird and not like anything they knew to hang out around the area. The pair stopped right by the strange sleeper when as they looked, they could tell this was not anything they had ever seen in their countless years on the farm and woods.  The creature, apparently feeling the stare of the two men and thereby also realizing its discovery reared up, and it was at that moment the two cattle drivers saw the beast completely. The creature was about four feet tall with a dirty yellowish colored skin. Which the men felt was due to the creature rolling around in clay. The beast had long arms that jutted it out into hands with two fingers which sported long talon-like claws. The feet of the creature was large and flattened and had no toes. The creatures head was covered in what the men described as "furrows", yet the rest of the body was smooth. The men took note that the creature was naked, and some sources describe the creature as being male. This obviously implied the creature bore some kind of noticeable genitalia. Whether it bore a resemblance to a human's or another species is anyone's speculation.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Medford Flying Lizard Man

by Cole Herrold

Reptilian cryptids are a surprisingly common phenomena. They have been reported in almost every state from New Jersey to California, and most of their appearances are very uniform, implying they are one in the same species. However, as with all lifeforms, there are examples of diversity that seem to go far and beyond what the novice would consider to be relatability. Near the city of Medford, one of the most unique variations of this kind of cryptid was reported; the creature looked very much like the typical reptoid with one major difference it had on its back, a pair of large leathery wings.

It was in July of 1996 when one of the most bizarre reptilian reports would occur with one of the most reputable witnesses to come forward with their account. While the official name of the witnesses is not revealed, what is revealed is that the first sighting of what has become known as the Medford Lizard Man or the Highway 13 Reptile Man was seen by a warden for Wisconsin's Department for Natural Resources (DNS). His account adds a patina of extra intrigue due to his occupation. The warden was travelling south down Highway 13 late one night when his attention was drawn to a strange figure that appeared to be standing in the middle of the road. The warden stared at the dark form attempting to make out who and what the individual was doing. The warden came closer and closer to the figure, getting so close that he almost hit the bizarre form. In the glowing headlights, the warden realized to his horror that the figure was not a human as he had previously thought but instead a repulsive reptilian that loomed large over his car. The creature had shiny green scaly skin and was 6 to 7ft tall. The size itself would have been alarming enough, but unlike other bizarre creature accounts, the creature was not facing towards the woods but instead was staring right at the driver. This supernatural stare down gave the warden more details to the creature's form as the creature's humanoid form, while covered in scales, had human-like arms and legs with long claws on the hands and feet. The warden, still slowing down as he continued to make eye contact with the bizarre beast's would come to be even more surprised as the reptilian unfurled a large 10-12ft pair of wings and flew straight up over the warden's car. The warden reeling from his sighting had thought that this was the last he would have seen the creature, but as he looked in his rearview mirror, he saw the winged weirdo descend in an unnatural way and land behind the car, still staring at the warden as he sped off into the night.

Friday, June 18, 2021

La Crosse Man-Bat

by Cole Herrold

Flying cryptids are by far one of the most bizarre and interesting categories of unknown creatures. They are creatures that defy evolutionary logic and oft times seem to teeter on the verge of being full-blown paranormal entities. The most common variation of this is the thunderbirds, both the saurian and avian varieties, and they are often closely followed by giant bats in commonality, but the most unique and ever-growingly sighted variety is the flying humanoids. Flying humanoids is a lump term for any figure that bears the slightest resemblance to a human being. Some, like the Mothman or Owlman, are giant man-sized birds with human-like legs. Tech-savvy flying humanoids which venture more into the field of Ufology are also included in this lump group. Yet the most difficult to categorize is a category that includes creatures like the Butler County Gargoyle or the Nasa Gargoyle; these bat-winged monstrosities are just some of the slew of bizarre creatures reported throughout the world, and their features differ from one to the other. Yet with every encounter, each is surprisingly similar in some features, almost always that being the fact that the creatures are bipedal and having leathery bat-like wings. One of the hub stations for sightings of these creatures is the Midwest, with an extreme focus on Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois. Unsurprisingly one of the most frightening encounters with one of these creatures would occur on a backroad in Wisconsin during 2006 and since has gained some fame in recent years for being discussed rather erroneously on the MonsterQuest Mothman episode.

The winged weirdie known as the La Crosse Man-Bat, Beast of Briggs Road, Wisconsin Man-Bat, Holmen Man-Bat, and the Briggs Road Man-Bat was first reported on Tuesday, September 26th, 2006, when a 53-year-old musician and Cherokee father Wohali or Awohali as it sometimes appears on some sources was being driven by his 25-year-old son. The pair were driving home on Briggs Road from their band practice around 9:15-9:30 pm. The pair noticed a strange, winged form near the road. The form soon seemed to move upwards from the ground, and there, is a moment of absolute horror, the two were plunged into an almost seamless recreation of an infamous scene in the Mothman Prophecies film. The creature picked up speed and was coming right at them. It was in this flight that Wohali would get the best view of this avian anomaly. "First thing I saw were the eyes and maybe the teeth", he would say in an interview on MonsterQuest. The eyes of the creature he would describe as being the size of road sign reflectors and were yellow whether this is naturally yellow or a glowing yellow is not elaborated on. The creature’s canine-like face was in a snarling expression with a wide mouth with rows of sharp teeth. The creatures head was also topped with large, pointed bat-like ears. The creature had a pair of leathery wings with a wingspan of about 10-14ft. The wingspan was so large that it covered half of the road. The wings were connected to the body, and extremely interesting, the arms and hands of this creature were fused to the wings. The hands-on the wings bore sharp claws. The creature was about 6-7ft tall, and its body was sparsely covered in gray/dark brown hair and had extremely pronounced ribs that jutted out. The creature's man like legs ended in feet with claw-like toes. The creature seemed hungry and angry. The pair were more terrified about the bizarre beast than the fact that more than likely, this creature and the two musicians would end up in a mechanical head on cryptid head-on collision. Yet this would not be the case; the creature, as it was windshield height slowed in midair and within mere seconds of the collision, the creature proceeded to flex its wings in a way that seemed unlike any other animal and shot straight up into the air and away from the vehicle. The creature left a reminder, however, as it unfurled a high-pitched scream. The pair continued to drive a short distance until a feeling of nausea overtook the two, which ultimately ended in the son pulling over and throwing up no less than seven times. Wohali as well got out of the vehicle, and he too tossed his cookies on the side of the road.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Butler County Gargoyle

by Cole Herrold

Flying Humanoids are perhaps the most interesting of all cryptids. A great deal of this is because, unlike Bigfoot, lake monsters, or thunderbirds, there is nothing we can compare them to in either the fossil record or in the current known zoological categories. They are an entirely alien lifeform; however, they appear in almost every country and culture from around the world. Of all the flying humanoids reported, the most famous is Mothman. When someone pictures a flying humanoid as a cryptozoological being, they ultimately envision a dark winged creature with piercing red eyes. While there are certainly versions of this kind of creature aside from Mothman, such as the Lake Michigan Mothmen and The Owlman of Mawnan, they are not entirely uniform in this description. In Pennsylvania throughout 2011, there was a rash of winged humanoid sightings whose description was by far one of the most bizarre on the books.

This flying freak known as the Butler County Gargoyle or the Chicora Gargoyle as there is a high concentration of sightings near the Butler County borough. This creature first came to the public's attention in March of 2011 and has since gained some fame from cryptid enthusiasts and paranormal researchers, making it by far one of the most famous flying humanoids ever reported. The first “official” report of the Butler County Gargoyle was reported first to Stan Gordon and later Lon Strickler of Phantoms and Monsters and Daniel Hageman of BORU (Butler Organization of Research of the Unexplained). The initial witness, a businessman who would go unnamed until Lon Strickler in a follow-up interview, gave the name RK would be the first and most famous reported sighting of the Butler Gargoyle and would also draw a sketch of the creature he had seen in.

Sunday, May 9, 2021


by Cole Herrold

Recently a documentary was made by Crash Course Cryptozoology on the Lone Pine Mountain Devils. The Lone Pine Mountain Devils are believed to be small four-winged flying mammals similar in appearance to bats or carnivorous squirrels. These creatures have popped up a few times in some resources as a potential cryptid. It was through the documentary, however, that it came to light that the creatures most certainly like the Ozark Howler and Oklahoma Octopus are nothing but online urban legends. While this flying four-winged mammal is most certainly a hoax, one of the interesting features of the documentary was the hypothesis that what was seen was a Microraptor, a prehistoric dinosaur that did have feathers on its legs, giving it an appearance like it had four wings. One of the reasons this hypothesis was implausible, however, was the location of where the fossils had been discovered, namely China. Which, even without a connection to the Lone Pine Devils, could still be around.

In the Changbai Mountain Region, there are rumors and reports of a bizarre bird with four wings. This bizarre bird is known as the Siyiniao, which translates literally to 'four-winged bird,' is described as being covered in a pale-yellow plumage with a round head, a slender tail, and obviously four wings, the top or front pair being much larger than its lower pair. In 1908 Liu Jianfeng wrote in his book Changbai Shan Jianggang Zhilue, where we get this initial description from also goes into detail about the creatures alleged vocalizations claiming that they are similar to an Old-World Oriole's. Liu Jianfeng collected the tales of the Siyiniao from locals who were extremely familiar with this creature and its habits.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021


by Cole Herrold

Our planet has countless areas that are covered in dense rainforests. These areas, aside from mountains and the ocean, are perhaps the last unexplored areas of the world. It is not surprising that then whenever people do enter these unchallenged areas that they encounter a menagerie of bizarre beasts from living dinosaurs in the congo to hairy ape-men in the Himalayas to sea serpents in the most remote sections of the ocean. Scientists have often closed their minds to the idea of such creatures, namely because of the reported animal's size, often following the logic and shadow of Cuvier's dictum. However, one would be hard-pressed to find a scientist who wouldn't claim there are countless species as yet undiscovered, just that they would be smaller in stature than most reported cryptozoological beasts. However, some of the most interesting and unique cryptids ever reported are of a smaller size and, in many ways, are more realistic in this skeptical scientific thinking; such creatures as the flashlight frog or the Mongolian death worm, for example, are very much plausible and of a smaller stature that would help in making them undiscovered.

When looking at smaller cryptids, one group that always to me personally that stood out were those of hominids. Cryptids like the Orang Pendek of Sumatra, for example, have had some of the most consistent and intriguing evidence ever recorded. Around the world, other diminutive humanoids have been reported, such as the Agogwe of East Africa, the Kakamora of the Solomon Islands, the Didi of South America, the Alux of Mexico, and if the reports are to be believed, the Elves of Iceland and Leprechauns of Ireland. While the latter creatures are often believed to be linked to fairy tales and folktales, there are some extremely interesting accounts that do seem to indicate the possibility of a biological species. Many of their behaviors, even in folklore, are universal when you look at other diminutive humanoids. The abduction of children, for example, is something that we see in Irish faerie stories as well as in tales of the Ebu Gogo, a small hominid from Flores. Similar tales are seen in Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina with El Pombero, who kidnaps sleeping children. These collective accounts from entirely different continents and islands seem to indicate a phenomenon more global than just geographical isolated folktales, as is often viewed when the discussion of such things is brought up.