The interview presented in this article features explicit language.
Lon Strickler of Phantoms & Monsters recently received the following report from a Chicago-area woman who said that she had seen a tall, red-eyed creature while driving through Camp Pine Woods near the Des Plaines River.
I was driving Thursday night at 10 p.m. (September 7th, 2023) on my way to pick up food in the Glenview area. Prior to picking up my food, I had a super uneasy feeling. I felt very brain-foggy and just out of it. I really wasn’t focused. I want to think it’s stress because of working a 9 to 5.
So, as I was driving on West Lake Avenue, I was listening to music and singing along to my favorite playlist; I wasn’t really thinking much. I drove by the cemetery earlier on River Road, which I hate driving by. I started, obviously, feeling pretty spooked, like out of nowhere. I don’t know why I was psyching myself out, but I continued to not pay mind to that feeling and kept singing along to my music. It was Lady Gaga, so I definitely was singing my heart out. So, I kept driving. As I drove by the forest on West Lake Avenue, I quickly saw a strange creature standing still on the right-hand side of the road…
I wanted to believe it was a deer but this thing I saw was six to seven feet tall standing upright. (Deer don’t do that?) It had a dark grey cement-like colored body and its eyes gave out the same red as bicycle reflectors do. That’s what made me look. When I quickly locked eyes with it my stomach dropped, and I got so scared. The same feeling you get when riding a roller coaster.
I freaked out for a bit, and I was thinking, “Keep driving. Don’t look back. Don’t look back”.
I quickly sped up to the upcoming light and intersection. I wanted to be around other cars and the intersection and more into businesses and buildings.
I kept telling myself, “Nope. That was a deer. That was a deer. You didn’t see shit!”
I picked up my Bonchon chicken and drove on the highway back home instead.
I forgot about it and went to work the next day.
I kept thinking about it, so I told my co-worker what happened and what I saw. She’s into paranormal and conspiracies and told me of the ‘Mothman’ seen all over Chicago… especially around the O’Hare Airport area.
So, throughout my research, I saw the Google Maps sighting site and had to reach out.
Again, I never thought I would be doing this. But, hey, here I am. Whatever these things are I hope they’re nice.
Strickler was able to speak with the woman directly, and described her as “very forthcoming” and “descriptive.”
“She had never heard of the sightings previous to her encounter,” he said. “When talking to her I could tell that the incident affected her.”
“The being’s description was very similar to the previous sightings, though the wings were not unfurled at the time,” Strickler added.
Strickler referred the witness to The Singular Fortean Society, and investigator Tobias Wayland was also able to interview her.
She repeated the details of her experience to Wayland without embellishment and was willing to answer questions posed by the investigator.
During the interview, the witness emphasized the strangeness of the “brain fog” she felt prior to her sighting.
“I definitely had this weird brain fog or just a sense of, I don’t know, being out of place,” she said. “I want to say it was because of stress, but this just felt weird. I was just like, what the heck? I feel weird.”
As she drove along, singing to her favorite playlist, the woman said she noticed something out of the corner of her eye.
“I remember as I’m singing to my playlist—I definitely was singing and in my own world—I noticed out of the corner of my right eye these flashing red lights, kind of like if there was a bicycle in there. So, that’s what made me look,” she explained. “And I was like, oh shoot, who could be biking at this hour or was it a deer?”
So then when I looked over and saw what I saw, I was just like, that’s not a fucking deer. That’s something else that, I don’t know what it is, but the way it looked was really tall and it had red eyes, and it was just hunched [over] and gray, but dark gray. And then when I made eye contact with it, my fricking body felt weird and terrified, and I was fucking scared.
And that’s when I kind of was just like, fuck that. I did not see what I just saw. That was a deer, that was a deer, that was a deer. Don’t look back, don’t look back. For some weird reason, I felt like it was going to chase me. I don’t know.
So, I definitely started freaking out and just wanting to be closer to other cars out there in front of me because at the time of me seeing that there wasn’t a car by me, I was just the only one there, the only car there. So okay, I definitely speeded off to the next intersection. And I was just kind of like, okay, okay, whatever. That was a deer.
I went to go pick up my food, and I purposely avoided driving back that way because I was like, I don’t want to fucking do whatever the fuck that was.
As much as she wanted to believe otherwise, the woman was forced to admit that what she had seen was not easily explained as a bicycle or deer.
“[The creature] definitely looked like, I want to say, a person with broad shoulders because it had a head that was definitely smaller than the shoulders. That’s why I was like, that’s not a deer,” she said. “Something that did catch my eye were the red eyes of it, that weird glowing of the red eyes. […] It was standing upright, and it was tall to the point where I thought it might’ve been like a statue or something.”
Its broad shoulders gave it the appearance of having wings folded near its body, she added.
The woman said that she was driving pretty fast, and the sighting probably only lasted about three seconds, but those three seconds “felt like they lasted a weird [amount of time].”
She tried to forget her sighting, feeling like she was going crazy, but in the light of day she felt confident enough to confide in her coworker, whom the witness described as “really into conspiracy theories.”
Her coworker told her about the ‘Mothman’ sightings reported in the area, of which the witness had not previously been aware.
That inspired the woman to search the internet for answers and eventually led to her contacting Strickler.
The woman also told Wayland that she had seen two UFOs on separate occasions.
Her first sighting came during the summer of 2022 when she was living in Los Angeles. She was standing out on her balcony with her roommate at around one or two in the morning, when they saw three white lights hovering over a hill.
The lights were moving separately, she said, and “just roaming around next to each other.”
Her second sighting was around September of the same year, but this time, she was in the village of Rosemont, just northwest of Chicago.
She had just been picked up by her father at the train station when they noticed a multicolored light in the sky.
She and her father watched the red, green, blue, and yellow object for several minutes until it suddenly shot upwards and disappeared.
This woman is not alone in having witnessed both a winged humanoid and a UFO.
Witnesses Gerald Turrise, Jonathan Lane, Shana and Barbera Clippert, and another witness who chose to remain anonymous have all reported UFO sightings along with winged humanoid sightings, and another witness named Paula said she saw a mysterious beam of light with no apparent source in the same area she would later encounter a winged humanoid.
Because of its proximity to other sighting locations, the creature described in this report could be related to the larger Lake Michigan Mothman phenomenon. Those sightings are commonly reported within a few-hundred-mile radius surrounding Lake Michigan, including every state bordering the great lake.
The 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, 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.
A map of the sightings, compiled by Strickler, is available here.