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Mothman, Owlman…What’s Flying Over Chicago?

What is happening in Chicago? Why are so many people suddenly spotting flying anomalies? Is it a bird? A plane? Superman?

It’s definitely not a plane or Superman, and if it’s a bird, it’s a new, as yet unidentified, species.

What am I talking about?

Something interesting that Fortean Researcher Lon Strickler from Phantoms & Monsters brought to my attention.

Getting the Word Out

A couple of weeks ago, Lon messaged me asking for help:

Subject: Flying anomalies over Chicago – 4 sightings in last 10 days

Hey Courtney…can you help get the word out on this? Need information, reports and people willing to look into this.

He included links to all the posts he’d written about the “flying anomalies” up until that point (which was April 27):

  1. New ‘Mothman-Like’ Encounter in Chicago (This is the article that contains the 2011 accounts. This will make sense when you get to the “Not the First Time” section below.)
  2. Chicago Owlman / Mothman Seen Again By Multiple Witnesses!

  3. Breaking: 3rd ‘Chicago Owlman’ Sighting Reported!

  4. Interview: 1st ‘Chicago Owlman’ Eyewitness – Oz Park

  5. 4th Sighting in Chicago: ‘Giant Bat’ Over Lake Michigan / Montrose Beach

I told him I’d be happy to share the info and pass along the request for help.

However, I forgot about it until last night. (I was actually on a mini-vacation when Lon first wrote. Last week I was recovering from what I called my “vacation hangover.” Finally getting back on track this week.)

New Sightings, New Reports

Since April 27, Lon has continued fielding reports of flying anomalies over Chicago, which he’s written about here:

  1. Breaking: ‘Bat out of Hell’ Witnessed by Father & Son – Little Calumet River in Chicago

  2. Large Humanoid ‘Bat’ Witnessed Over Calumet Park in Chicago

Not the First Time

But these 2017 reports are not the first of their kind in the Chicago area. Lon also wrote about similar Windy City Mothman-esque sightings in 2011.

Next to the first article I shared under the “Getting the Word Out” section above, I made a notation in parenthesis that Lon had shared the 2011 sightings there. (Does it all make sense now?)

Chicago’s Seven Foot Tall Flying Creature: Stalker or Harbinger?

So far other than startling anyone who’s seen it, it doesn’t appear that the creature has harmed anyone.

However, in the “Chicago Owlman / Mothman Seen Again By Multiple Witnesses!” account, it was noted that the creature was spotted near the Chicago River on that occasion.

Lon also shared this in that post:

UPDATE: I’m somewhat concerned by the sightings in Chicago…especially since these Mothman / Owlman sightings have said to be possible harbingers of tragic events (Ex. Silver Bridge collapse, Chernobyl, Fukushima Daiichi, etc.) I perceived before the beginning of 2017, that a bridge collapse would occur in the United States. Chicago is well-known for it’s bridges and this last sighting was near the Chicago River. I may be over-interpreting these sightings, but it does worry me nonetheless. Lon

Water seems to be a draw for the phenomenon. At least, in some of the other accounts water has also factored in. Like the “Breaking: ‘Bat out of Hell’ Witnessed by Father & Son – Little Calumet River in Chicago.” A man and his son were fishing man when they had their “giant bat” encounter.

See Something, Say Something

Not sure what’s going on, but if you’re jaunting to Chicago anytime soon, keep an eye on the sky. Never know what you might see flying around up there.

And if you do happen to spot the flying anomaly, Lon would greatly appreciate hearing about it. Contact him at this email,, or at 410-241-5974.

And if you’re worried about Lon sharing your name, don’t be. He respects anonymity if that’s what you desire.

Map of the Sightings

If you’re a visual person, you might also find this map that Lon created interesting. It shows the locations of all the reported sightings so far.

(Who knows? There may be more. How many others might have witnessed the flying creature but have doubted themselves or fear ridicule and have kept mum?)

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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