|Posted on April 2, 2011 at 10:25 PM|
MOTHMAN: ONE OF THE MOST BIZARRE "PSEUDO-CRYPTIDS" EVER REPORTED - PART 2
THE CRYPTOZOOLOGIST'S THEORY ON THE IDENTITY OF THE MOTHMAN
I believe that the Mothman is possibly a surviving species of giant prehistoric owl, as yet unidentified through fossil remains. This is based on the significant number of characteristics which the Mothman appears to share with existing owls.
According to eyewitness accounts, Mothman stood much taller than an average man, at 7 feet tall, perhaps 8 feet. Its most prominent features were the massive wings spanning 10 feet across. Some accounts stated that small patches of feathers were spotted on the body and wings, some said the wings were featherless. Even more unusual were the huge, red, glowing eyes on the generally featureless face. Some eyewitnesses were unable to recall seeing a head; these reports stated the eyes were actually in the shoulder area where a neck and head "should" be. Few, if any, could remember details about the presence or type of feet the creature possessed.
Eyewitnesses alleged that Mothman could fly without flapping its wings, and could match the speed of an automobile trying to flee at 100 miles an hour. The creature never seemed to flap its wings when rising from the ground—it evidently was able to rise and float above the earth’s surface with little or no effort, not making any sound or noise.
CHARACTERISTICS OF OWLS THAT MATCH DESCRIPTIONS OF THE MOTHMAN
1. Essentially nocturnal. Roosts during daytime in dense vegetation, but seems to be active mostly in more open vegetation. When alarmed, ear tufts stand erectile, but when relaxed they are almost invisible.
2. Activity generally begins at dusk, but in some regions, may be seen in late afternoon or early morning.
3. Produces a hissing sound when angry or disturbed. Other sounds include whistling, screeching, deep "whuofs", a shrill "miah" call, a "wak-wak-wak", a "cheet", shrill shrieks, a growling "krrooo-oo" or screaming note when attacking intruders, a "whaaa whaaaaaa-a-a-aarrk" from disturbed birds, a catlike "MEEE-OWww", barks, hair-raising shrieks, coos, and beak snapping.
4. May also hunt by walking on the ground. Can walk short distances, but with a "rocking" or "wobbling" gait.
5. Eyes often shine bright red when reflecting ambient light.
6. Wings are often held up level with the head or even above the head in what is known as the "threat posture". So-called "Ear tufts" or feathers protruding from the top of the head give the appearance of ears, but are not involved in hearing.
7. Feathers are unique and adapted perfectly for silent flight. The leading edge of primary or flight feathers is fringed or serrated rather than smooth. This softened edge reduces noise made by air passing over the wing. Most owl feathers are also covered with a soft velvet-like down that helps to muffle sound.
8. Powerful enough to take prey 2-3 times heavier than themselves. Able to kill animals as large as a dog and carry away animals as large as skunks.
9. Some have 500 pounds per square inch of crushing power in their talons. (An average adult human male has about 60 pounds per square inch in his hands.)
10. Many hunt in the "sit and wait" style; prey may be captured on the ground, in the air or fish may be snatched off the surface of bodies of water using their sharp talons
11. May be very aggressive towards intruders when nesting. (Has anyone ever considered why they were chased by the Mothman?)
12. Can fly at speeds up to 40 mph. (Perhaps a giant owl could fly proportionately faster, especially if it was engaged in repeatedly ascending and then diving in its attack or if it was flying cross-country whie the car was negotiating hills and curves; the Berkut eagle is said to be able to reach speeds of up to 200 mph in a dive!)
Would a giant owl be able to kill and/or carry off an animal the size of a German Shepherd, as the Mothman is alleged to have done?
David Bruce's Bird of Jove, Ballentine Books, 1971, describes the adventures of Sam Barnes, one of England's top falconers at the time, who actually brought a Berkut eagle out of Kirghiz country to his home in Pwllheli, Wales. Berkuts (the Asian name for golden eagles) are the one of the biggest eagles. A variant of our golden eagle, a Berkut can weigh up to 26 pounds and ride the thermals on a nine-foot wingspan. It is twice the size of our goldens, a savage killer that sweeps out of the clouds at more than 200 miles per hour, slashing its prey with three-inch talons that measure 11 inches front to back.
Berkuts have killed men, tearing away their throats or half their faces in a single screaming pass. In the hands of Kirghizstan's nomadic falconers, they are flown at foxes, deer, wolves, even bears and full-grown tigers. The Kirghiz wolf is no match for the Berkut, which attacks its head, beating wings that can break a man's arm before driving its talons again and again through the wolf's skull. A full-grown tiger is more of a challenge, requiring a cast, or pair of Berkuts which tear out its eyes before killing at leisure.Berkuts also beat their wings about the heads of furiously galloping wild horses to slow them until their Mongol masters can capture them.
Atalanta, the particular eagle which Barnes brought back, at 26 lbs in flying trim, is believed to be as large as they ever get. These, as Khan Chalsan explained to Barnes, have been bred specifically for size and ferocity for many centuries. They are the most prized of all possessions amongst nomads, and are the imperial hunting bird of the turko-mongol peoples....
The killing powers of a big eagle are out of proportion to its size. Barnes witnessed Atalanta killing a deer in Kirghiz, and Chalsan told him of her killing a black wolf a season earlier. The Berkut eagle was regularly launched from the pommel perch where it was carried by it's mounted mid-asian owners and sent to kill wolves by crushing their skulls from behind and above, or by driving its talons in around a wolf's spine and snapping it. Mongols and other nomads raise sheep and goats, and obviously have no love for wolves. A wolf might be little more than a day at the office for Atalanta with her eleven-inch talons, however, a wolf is a major-league deal for an average sized Berkut at 15-20 lbs. Chalsan explained that wolves occasionally win these battles, and that he had once seen a wolf kill three of the birds before the fourth killed him. Quite obviously, there would be an advantage to having the birds be bigger, i.e. to having the average Berkut be 25 lbs, and a big one be 40 or 50.
It has never been done, however, despite all of the efforts since the days of Ghengis Khan. We have Ghengis Khan's famous "What is best in life..." quote, and the typical mongol reply from one of his captains involved falconry. They regarded it as important. Ghengis Khan, Oktai, Kuyuk, Hulagu, Batui, Monke, Kubilai et. al. were all into this sport big time, they all wanted these birds big, since they flew them at everything from wolves and deer to leopards and tigers, and there was no lack of funds for the breeding program involved. Ghengis Khan did not suffer from poverty.
Moreover, the breeding of berkuts has continued apace from that day to this, including a 200 year stretch during which those people ruled almost all of the world which you'd care to own at the time, and they never got them any bigger than 25 lbs or so.
Atalanta was so strong that she dragged a 156 pound barbell and ended up attacking farm bulls, even a Royal Navy helicopter....Beset by angry crows and gulls, she would snatch her tormentors out of the air and "drop them like squeezed fruit."
Yet, although Atalanta was powerful enough in flight, she was not easily able to take off from flat ground. Barnes noted one instance in which a town crank attacked Atalanta with a cane and the great bird had to frantically run until it found a sand dune from which to launch herself. This could mean disaster in the wild. A bird of prey will often come to ground with prey, and if it can't take off from flat ground to avoid trouble once in awhile... it would only take once. Khan Chalsan had explained the necessity of having the birds in captivity for certain periods, and nesting wild at other times. A bird bigger than Atalanta would not survive the other times. However, other birds, such as pigeons are able to take off vertically by reclining their bodies and clapping the wings in front of them. So vertical take-offs are not unknown among bird species.
~ from "Feathered Ferocity on Nine foot Wings" by Jay Scriba, The Milwaukee Journal, February 18, 1971
If a living eagle of only 26 pounds can accomplish such feats, imagine what a 6-7 foot tall owl could do! And if anyone doubts the abilities of owls as predators, the following accounts should dispel any skepticism.
March 13, 2010 Lock up your pets, killer owl on the loose
By Chris Green
It could be a job for the Flying Squad, or perhaps The Bill.
Police in Wiltshire have warned pet owners to be on the look out for a dangerous giant owl which has escaped from its enclosure in the back garden of its owner's house.
The European eagle owl, which has a 2m (6ft) wingspan and is a metre tall, flew from its aviary in Lower Stratton, near Swindon, on Sunday evening. While the bird is unlikely to attack humans, it is said to be capable of hunting and killing animals such as cats and dogs if it becomes hungry enough.
The owl escaped when its owner, who does not want to be identified, opened the aviary door to feed it at about 9pm. The bird launched itself at him, he dodged out of its way—and the raptor flew off.
"It could try to carry off a cat or small dog," said a spokeswoman for Wiltshire Police, adding slightly more reassuringly: "As it has been bred in captivity, the owl is unlikely to attack humans."
The force asked for anyone who saw the bird to contact police "and we will send an appropriate team with the right sort of equipment to catch it".
European eagle owls are the largest in the world and are accomplished hunters, able to kill foxes and even small deer by crushing their skulls with their sharp and powerful talons. Their feathers are extremely soft, allowing them to glide silently and rapidly through the air before swooping down on unsuspecting prey.
A spokeswoman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) said that if a member of the public spotted the owl they should not attempt to catch it themselves, as it was a "large animal that will need specialist handling".
The escaped bird is described as speckled brown in colour, with dark orange eyes, long ear tufts and brown plumage. Its owner believes it will be frightened by its sudden experience of freedom and is probably taking refuge in a tree.
In December last year, European eagle owls were among a number of species to be added to a list of non-native species deemed to pose a threat to Britain's indigenous animals.
Although it is perfectly legal to keep the birds as pets, releasing them into the wild without a licence carries a maximum punishment of two years in jail and a £5,000 fine under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
However, a spokeswoman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said that the owl's owner would not be liable for prosecution as he had released his pet by accident, and the Act did not come into effect until 3 April in any case.
It is not the first time one of the birds has gone missing. In 2003, a European eagle owl called Bobu vanished from its home in Pwllheli, north Wales, only to be discovered more than a year later by a farmer in Ruthin, 57 miles away. Bobu was reunited with his owner.
European eagle owls can weigh up to 9lb and live for 85 years in captivity. It is estimated that there may be 3,000 kept as pets in Britain, and there have been reports of pairs breeding in the wild after escaping their aviaries.
~ Independent News and Media Limited
Owl Flies Off with Chihuahua in California (its a little dog...)
| 03/10/2010 | Myfoxmemphis.com Posted on Thursday, March 11, 2010 4:43:15 AM by The Magical Mischief Tour
(Fox News) - Most pet owners take steps to protect their animals. In Santa Rosa, California, Odessa Gunn worried a car or coyote might one day claim the lives of her dogs, which is why she and her husband, renowned American cyclist Levi Leipheimer, fenced in their property.
But Fox News reported Wednesday that they're mourning the loss of their beloved Chihuahua, Trooper, and nursing their other dog, Bandit, back to health. The attacker came from an unlikely place -- the sky.
Gunn had just let her dogs out into the backyard and was preparing to join them. She recalls, "in the time it took me to put my boots on, I heard what sounded like a really horrendous cat screeching noise. I thought it was a mountain lion or a bobcat or something."
In fact, it was a pair of Great Horned Owls, birds that typically eat rats and squirrels. On this recent night, the birds set their sites on larger prey. From out of the darkness, the two owls swooped down and attacked Trooper and Bandit, just feet away from where Gunn stood.
After a violent struggle, Bandit escaped, bloody and limping, but Trooper was carried off and hasn't been seen since. No fur. No blood. Nothing.
While there are really no good statistics on the frequency of such attacks, wildlife experts say they're rare but almost always lethal. In many ways, owls are the perfect predators; they approach without warning, and their razor-sharp talons can snatch a pooch or cat two to three times their own body weight.
OWLMAN: A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CRYPTID, THE SAME AS THE MOTHMAN, OR A HOAX?
First reported April 17, 1976
Last reported 2009
Country: United kingdom
Region: Mawnan Smith, Cornwall
The Owlman, sometimes referred to as the Death Raptor, Cornish Owlman, or The Owlman of Mawnan, is a purported cryptid that was supposedly sighted around mid 1970 in the village of Mawnan, Cornwall. The Owlman is sometimes compared to America's Mothman in cryptozoological literature.
Mid Seventies in Falmouth
During the mid seventies the area surrounding Mawnan Smith on the southern coast of Cornwall had become a very strange place, amidst other occurrences there were UFO sightings, reports of local domestic and wild animals acting strangely (reports of dog attacks had trebled and there were claims of people being held 'hostage' by feral cats). Then, at the beginning of 1976, the first reports of 'Owlman' started.
First Sighting of Owlman
On April 17, 1976 twelve year old June Melling and her nine year old sister, Vicky, were on holiday from Lancaster. While walking through the woods near Mawnan church they saw a large winged creature hovering above the church tower. The girls were frightened and immediately ran to tell their Father.
Rather than going to the local newspaper, their father, Don Melling, sent a letter to local paranormal investigator Tony 'Doc' Shiels, a self proclaimed 'charlatan' telling him of the strange apparition witnessed by his daughters. In his letter he informed Shiels that in his opinion this was going to be a monster hunt.
From the very outset people began to question whether Shiels had simply made the whole thing up. There were, for a start, several unanswered questions:
Why would a holiday-maker, whose daughters had been scared livid by an unknown creature, decide to hunt down a local paranormal investigator rather than take the story straight to the nearest newspaper?
How could a creature the size of a man hover above a well known dog-walking spot in broad daylight without being seen by anyone else other than two elusive girls?
Why wasn't there any further information?
Shiels explained that the family had become so perturbed by the sighting that they had abandoned their holiday three days early and that the father would not allow either of his daughters to be interviewed. Sheils was, however, provided with a drawing of the creature made by twelve year old June.
Second Sighting of Owlman
Two months later, on July 3, two other young girls, 14-year-old Sally Chapman and her friend, Barbara Perry, were camping in woods near the church. According to her account, as she stood outside her tent, she heard a hissing sound and turned to see a figure that looked like an owl as big as a man, with pointed ears and red eyes. The girls reported that the creature flew up into the air, revealing black pincer-like claws. Sightings of this figure continued to be reported on the following day (when it was described as "silvery gray") and on two occasions two years later, in June and August 1978, all within the vicinity of the church (Bord, 1980).
The girls identified the creature and drew images separately under investigation, the images appeared to be similar enough to verify their story but different enough to rule out conspiracy.
The images drawn also matched an earlier image drawn by the older girl on first sighting.
A further alleged sighting took place in 1989, when a young man and his girlfriend claim to have seen a creature "about five feet tall... The legs had high ankles and the feet were large and black with two huge 'toes' on the visible side. The creature was gray with brown and the eyes definitely glowed."
Another alleged sighting is from a single witness in 1995. She reported a "man-bird... with a ghastly face, a wide mouth, glowing eyes and pointed ears" as well as "clawed wings". The woman, a student from Chicago, described her experience in a letter to a newspaper in Truro.
Dateline: Monday, October 05, 2009. A couple of weeks ago a 12-year-old girl called Jessica Wilkins or Jessica Wilkinson encountered the Owlman of Mawnan. This is the first recorded sighting in several years and only the second this century. More information will be provided here if and when it becomes available.
The Owlman appears in The Secret Saturdays episode "The Owlman Feeds at Midnight." The Owlman is depicted as the god of a cult formed from the villagers that it brainwashed.
In the Animal Planet show Lost Tapes, the Owlman was the subject of the "Death Raptor" episode.