Reports from the Void: ‘This Thing Moved Like a Person’

Reports from the Void is a repository to share those stories for which we do not have enough information to make a full report. This is usually because of little or no communication from the witness following their initial submission. The Singular Fortean Society will always provide as much information as possible regarding any correspondence resulting from attempts to speak with those involved.

This series is meant only to present you with the full breadth of the information sent to us or our investigatory partners and makes no judgment towards the veracity of any stories shared within it.

Lon Strickler of Phantoms & Monsters recently received the following email from a witness who said they saw a pale, emaciated, humanoid creature one night during the early fall of 2019 in Rockford, Illinois.

This occurred about five years ago. I’m 20 now. My mother is a veterinarian, and we have a clinic at the edge of Rockford, Illinois. Big town, roughly 150,000, however when I say the edge of town, I mean cornfields for 30 miles plus to the west and five miles to the north with intermittent forestry in that area.

I went with my mother to check on an overnight dog that was recovering from extensive treatment. However, there was a small pug 9-15 lbs. also there overnight so I offered to take the dog out to do his business and save my mom one more chore. The back of the clinic faces a grass-covered pond/marsh. It dries up from time to time, but the grass is three to four feet tall. I don’t remember if it was late winter, early spring, or even early fall but no snow and the grass was tall, so my guess was early fall. The front of the clinic is next to a road and other commercial buildings, however, the back of the building like I said is very undeveloped.

There were some leftover cookies in the clinic so I being a kid grabbed one and munched on it as I waited for the pug to do his thing. I am not super fond of sweets, so I get halfway through the cookie and decide I’ve had enough. I remember the night having a vaguely eerie feeling. There are flood lights on the back of the clinic, though not so good lighting, and I didn’t see anything and brush it off as another Midwestern night of feeling creepy. It’s not uncommon. If you’re from the Midwest I’m sure you can agree, but it was quiet more so than normal.

The pond is full of sounds, frogs, and insects most of the time but like I said it wasn’t summer or spring, so I brushed that off as well. I had lost interest in my cookie and decided I would throw it into the grass for small critters to have a good snack. So, I launch this half cookie into the grass maybe 15 yards away. I don’t have a great arm and it’s [only] half a cookie so nothing super far away. It lands in a taller thicket of grass towards the east and from the west. I hear and see something roughly the size of a deer or person take off as soon as my cookie lands heading straight for it. I am well versed in local wildlife, and I know how deer move. But this thing moved like a person except it was as pale as paper and had no fur at all. I can still see its spine pushing against its skin, no arch like you [can] get with a quadrupedal animal pulling with its front legs. Instead, like an ape or person hunched. Its spine never straightened like it was [hunched] over running in an inhuman way on two legs, all I saw was the shiny semi-reflective skin of its back about two feet of it stopping at where the neck or shoulders would have started, and it had no large shoulder blades like a deer or dog or any quadruped. Instead had a narrow chest like a sighthound or deer but bipedal with ball and socket shoulders. Not to mention deer don’t run to things you throw in the grass. They are skittish.

The second that cookie landed both me and the dog stopped cold. I have never been frozen by fear, but I was then, and we just watched it for two to five seconds as it ran from one end of the grass to my cookie where it disappeared, and I heard it run away from me after getting or investigating the cookie. Once I couldn’t hear it anymore, I immediately decided I was going back inside. The dog, however, was fixed and took a small tug of the leash to convince but that was it. If you know small dogs, they are obnoxious and overly brave, barking at everything they don’t know. But this dog never made a peep and as soon as it realized I wanted to leave was in complete agreement.

I am not one for the paranormal or religion but this was something I could never explain. I know deer and this thing was no albino hairless deer, it was something else, with its emaciated body and pale white skin. I can still remember that night in perfect detail. It still raises the hair on my neck.

Strickler told The Singular Fortean Society that he had not communicated with the witness further following the initial report.

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Despite the lack of communication, investigator Tobias Wayland did locate a veterinary clinic on Rockford’s western edge that could have been the site of the reported encounter. That location will not be named in this article to protect the privacy of those involved.

As noted by Strickler when he first published the report, this is the latest example of an anomalous humanoid being reported in an area from which reports of winged humanoids have been received as part of the Lake Michigan Mothman investigation.

So far, there have been seven such “Mothman” encounters in Rockford.

In 1999, a woman said that she, along with her husband and a girlfriend, witnessed a flying, red-eyed “gargoyle”; in 2004, a witness reportedly saw an “all black…man with huge bat-like wings”; in 2010, two separate witnessed came forward to describe their encounters with a “totally black…big thing with big wings” and a “flying tar man,” respectively; in 2016, Jonathan Lane reported an encounter with a “giant, shapeless, black thing” with “two very large red eyes”; in 2017, a woman reported that she saw a winged, “human-like” being; and in 2022, Shana Clippert said that she and her mother had seen both a massive, black, winged humanoid and a glowing UFO on the same night.

Among the breadth of Lake Michigan Mothman investigation reports, areas that include winged humanoid sightings have also hosted a variety of encounters with seemingly flightless entities.

In Chicagoland, a woman said she may have seen a mysterious humanoid creature while bicycling with her friend in the Cook County Forest Preserve on the afternoon of December 8th, 2019; a couple said they saw a “large, thin man appear out of [Schiller Woods]” with what “almost looked like a praying mantis’ eyes, just jet black” on December 23rd, 2019; a woman said she saw a “very tall, skinny, all-black figure about seven to eight feet tall” shuffling towards her while walking her roommate’s dog in the Albany Park neighborhood on January 9th, 2020; a man said he encountered a “humanoid spider or other insect … with white flesh” whose “eyes were human-like and had a reddish glow” in Evanston, Illinois, in the spring of 2020; and a man reportedly said he saw an “egg-shaped” object fly over O’Hare International Airport and shine a “brilliant blue light” to the ground, through which a “person” appeared to be taken aboard the craft on January 23rd, 2020. That “egg-shaped” UFO was reportedly seen over Resthaven Cemetery, a little-known cemetery within the boundaries of O’Hare. Also at O’Hare, a trucker reportedly said he’d encountered a diminutive, grey-skinned, black-eyed humanoid while picking up air freight on the night of July 31st, 2020. And in September of 2022, a woman said she had seen a “transparent human figure that shimmered a yellowish-white color” in Chicago’s Groveland Park neighborhood.

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Additionally, a man in Richmond, Indiana, said he and a friend had seen a “shadowy man” transform into “a big, black shadowy cat-like creature” after suddenly appearing out of a “flash of bright light” in June of 1993.

Because of the sightings’ close geographic proximity to reports of the ‘Lake Michigan Mothman,’ some connection to that case cannot be ruled out.

You can view a timeline of those sightings reported so far here.


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