Occasionally people report seeing winged humans or humanlike creatures either flying in the sky or resting on the ground. The descriptions of the winged men are fairly consistent. For example, on September 18, 1877, W.H. Smith claimed that he saw a winged human flying above Brooklyn, New York, and three years later, on September 12, 1880, several other New Yorkers claimed to have witnessed a similar phenomenon. These witnesses said that the flying man’s wings were batlike, and he had legs like a frog. In the 1950s in Texas, three people reported seeing a batwinged man, and in 1963 a similar figure was said to have been spotted in Kent, England. The most frequently reported sightings of a winged man, however, are of the socalled Mothman of West Virginia. This creature was reported by at least one hundred people in the Ohio River Valley in 1966 and 1967, most of whom described it as being an upright, man-shaped creature approximately 5 to 7 feet (1.5 to 2m) tall, with mothlike wings and unusually large eyes. No evidence has ever been found to prove that this creature really existed, but some people believe that the number of eyewitness reports, coupled with the fact that bat-winged humans have been reported elsewhere, suggest that something unusual was indeed flying over parts of West Virginia at the time.
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena – written by Patricia D. Netzley © 2006 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning