Lon Strickler of Phantoms & Monsters recently received the following account from a witness who said that they had seen a mysterious flying humanoid in Waukegan, Illinois.
Waukegan is a city on the northern edge of Chicago’s metropolitan area, directly adjacent to Lake Michigan. It’s bordered to the west by the County Forest Preserve and to the northeast by the Illinois Beach Nature Preserve.
According to the witness, they and five of their family members saw a wingless humanoid fly over Market Street in Waukegan—just south of the Waukegan Harbor and 500 feet from Lake Michigan—on a sunny day at about 2 p.m. in August of 2020.
Hi…let me start off by saying this. I believe that someone or something flies around Waukegan, Illinois. It was August 2020. My father had just passed away and the lakefront has / will always be a big part of our lives, from a kid until my 30s. I’ve lived by the lake, and it has always had a strange feeling to it.
My mother, [two] nieces, and [two] nephews were with us, and we decided to go to another side of where you normally go to the lake, just as something different. You know, exploring, just trying to clear our minds after Covid and the loss of our loved one. We had heard the stories about the winged humanoids. I’ve made sure the kids know that there are things we can’t explain in the area.
In the middle of a hot Saturday afternoon in Waukegan we all looked up to see what actually looked like ‘Ironman’ in the sky. We didn’t see wings, just a dark black shape of a man. It was not normal. We all joked it was the ‘Mothman,’ but it didn’t click until I just read the story of Bowen Park in Waukegan which happen a couple of months after our experience in 2020, not too far away from the lake and power plant.
I do believe in ghosts and tons of other things. I know things around here are weird. I don’t know if this helps, but I finally had to tell someone. Thanks.
Strickler said he was able to speak with the witness about their sighting.
“I talked to the eyewitness in order to get more information about the sighting,” Strickler said. “The description was of a six-to-seven-foot-long human-like being with a small head. There were no visible wings, but there was detail to the body even though it was solid black in color. The witnesses could make out the body contour, even well-defined chest (pectoral) muscles as it flew over them. The speed was not constant as it would hover occasionally. It did seem to be a living being since the legs and arms would change position.”
The “Bowen Park” incident referenced by the witness was first reported to Manuel Navarette of UFO Clearinghouse.
That report involved several young adults who claimed to have seen a red-eyed, winged being in the trees near Waukegan Skate Park on Halloween 2020.
Several of the witnesses described what sounded like “the crying of a baby when they are very upset or in pain, yet it was at a higher pitch and much shorter.”
In October of 2020, the Singular Fortean Society received a report from a witness who said he had heard a baby crying following an incident involving anomalous footsteps on the roof of his home in Waukegan in 1988 or 1989.
In a series of correspondence, the witness went on to compare his own experiences to events in John Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies.
In the book, Keel describes the experience of Mrs. Lilly, who said she had heard a phantom baby crying in her home.
In addition to the sound of a baby crying, Keel wrote, “Other strange sounds pervaded the house, she claimed. She and her children often heard heavy footsteps on the roof and loud metallic clangs.”
The witness reported hearing similar sounds.
“I once heard a baby crying in the bushes next to that house, right outside the window, or so I thought,” the witness said. “I went out to look and saw nothing. I’ve been told cats can approximate that sound, though. People occasionally report seeing panthers or something similar in Lake County, so it’s vaguely possible one leapt up to a porch overhang and then to the roof, walked back and forth several times, and then disappeared by the time I went outside. Or maybe it was a mothman?”
“But I never saw anything,” he added. “Nor did I sense anything ‘evil’ as the other reports describe.”
Waukegan was also the site of a reported 1976 encounter of a “black figure” with “glowing red eyes” that swooped down from atop a silo to accost a man and his friend, and a series of encounters with a “large, bat-like creature” which had “glowing red eyes” that reportedly took place a hundred miles to the northwest in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2002, were also accompanied by the sound of a phantom baby crying.
This report constitutes 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 or natural area, and around water. Witnesses consistently describe a large gray, brown, 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, green, 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 misidentified large bird—such as a heron or crane—or some type of anomalous avian species could explain some, although certainly not all, of the encounters. A number of associated high strangeness incidents have also occurred alongside the creature sightings; these include reports of UFOs, other anomalous flying creatures and mysterious humanoids, parapsychological phenomena, and bizarre events experienced by those investigating the sightings.
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.