Wednesday, September 23, 2020

'Warned Not to Go Out at Night'

The following report was filed by Phantoms & Monsters Fortean Research investigator Tobias Wayland:

The Singular Fortean Society received the following email on April 30th, 2020.

According to my mother's friend who lives on 63rd [Street] and [South] Pulaski [Road] in Chicago, Illinois, there has been a rumor of mothman being present in their backyards. There have been disappearances of people, and neighbors around that area have noticed “big, chicken-like [footprints]” behind their backyards.

In my mother’s friend's case, she called law enforcement and detectives came only to take pictures and quickly erased the evidence of the mothman. Many of that area are scared or are warned not to go out at night when the “thing” appears. [Her friend] states that law enforcement seems to be covering the fact that this creature is around their neighborhood and [they] don’t do anything about it.

I wanted to tell you this because it’s a very interesting topic; especially since I’ve grown up doing research on urban legends, yet never knew it would hit so close to home. Thank you so much for taking your time in reading this, and at the moment I am trying my best to convince [my mother's friend] to go out and take pictures of the giant footprints but she, of course, is frightened.

Lead investigator Tobias Wayland replied to the email, thanking the woman who sent it and asking that she contact any witnesses to see if they’d be willing to speak with him.

She responded that she would contact them “as soon as possible.”

In a brief follow-up message, she requested that her name not be used in conjunction with the investigation.

No further response has yet been received.

The account referred to in the email is strongly reminiscent of an incident which occurred on February 28th, 2020, in which  a man contacted Lon Strickler of Phantoms & Monsters to report a sighting his mother had of a “big, black birdman.” According to the man, the creature left footprints in the snow that he was able to photograph.

That sighting was only about six blocks east of the location mentioned in the woman’s email.

At least two other sighting reports of weird, winged beings are associated with South Pulaski Road; one from 2011 in which a man photographed a statue near 63rd and Pulaski, only to later realize that there was a flying creature present in the shot, and another from August of 2017, when a woman reported the sighting of a “flying mothman” over South Pulaski Road, “right before 55th Street.”

In the case of the report from 2011, it now seems likely that the witness accidentally photographed a butterfly which had flown in front of his camera, and some believe the February 28th, 2020 footprints to be misidentified rabbit tracks—although in the latter case that hypothesis does not explain the witness’s testimony regarding the six-foot-tall “birdman” she claimed to have seen. 

Rumors of a coverup like the one mentioned in the email go back to at least 2017, when investigator Manuel Navarette reported that he’d heard from members of the media and municipal employees that the city government was trying to stifle news of the sightings.

There have so far been no missing persons who can be reliably connected to the flying humanoid reports, although at least five people—ranging in age from 16 to 66—have been reported missing in Cook County since February of 2020.

Because of its proximity to other unexplained sighting reports, this report could be related to the string of ‘Mothman’ sightings from within a few hundred mile radius surrounding Lake Michigan, including every state bordering the great lake. These 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, and around water.  Witnesses consistently describe a large, gray or black, bat or bird-like creature—although in a small number of cases the creature was described as insect-like—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 large bird or bird-like being could explain some—although certainly not all—of the encounters. A number of associated high strangeness incidents have also occurred alongside the creature sightings; including reports of UFOs, other anomalous flying creatures and mysterious humanoids, parapsychological phenomena, and bizarre events experienced by those investigating the sightings.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Experiencer Describes Personal UFO Incidents in Madison, Wisconsin


On August 31, 2020 I received a call from Madison, Wisconsin resident Deshunda Johnson in reference to UFO sightings and encounters. I contacted Phantoms & Monsters Fortean Research and Singular Fortean Society investigator Tobias Wayland, asking him to look into the claims. The following is his investigation and report:

45-year-old delivery driver Deshunda Johnson spoke with the Singular Fortean Society’s lead investigator Tobias Wayland recently about a series of UFO experiences she’s had in and around Madison, Wisconsin.

The first such sighting, she said, took place in July or August of 2001, around 9 pm.

My friend and I were going to work, driving on Stoughton Road [in Madison]. 

She said to me, “Look, Deshunda, what is that?”

I asked her what she was talking about. We were getting off of the Beltline Highway [onto Stoughton Road], going to work and to the right in a wooded area that looks like a marsh—going towards Stoughton and McFarland—there was a green light that just shot straight up. 

She asked me, “Did you see that?”

And I said, “Yes, I saw it.”

I put my foot on the accelerator and took off. When I see stuff like that, the only thing I know is to take off. 

Who’s going to be in that marshy area shooting off firecrackers? There was no noise, we had our windows down because it was nice out. 

“That was the first time I saw something like that," she said. "After that [my sightings] started. When we got to work, [my friend] said, 'You all won’t believe what we saw.' I told her not to tell anybody because they’ll think we’re crazy. She told me, 'Deshunda, you know that wasn’t a shooting star. Shooting stars come down, they don’t shoot up.' I said, ‘Yes, I know, and that’s why I’m not saying nothing.’" 

"The following week," she added. "Her daughter and her boyfriend said they saw the same thing."

Johnson told Wayland that she wishes she would have documented the sighting better. 

"When you see it the first time, people think they won’t see anything like that again, or pray they don’t see it again," she said.

Her next sighting came in the summer of 2007.

"I had something strange happen to me over on McCann Road [in Madison, Wisconsin]," Johnson said. "My son, he’s the one who spotted it. It was above me.” 

We got out of the car after coming home from the grocery story, and [there was an object floating above me that] looked like a cloud. Actually, it was a cloud. There were no other clouds in the sky. 

I told [my son], “Get the groceries out of the car.” 

We stayed just off of McCann Road in a townhouse.

He said, “Mom, look.” 

And I said, “Look at what?” 

And he said, “Above you.” 

When I looked above my head, and I’m short, this thing was over my head and I...I don’t know what happened. All I know is I was like thrown. 

I said, “Get in the house.” 

My son, he almost hit the wall looking at it while trying to run into the house.

I didn’t know what it was. But it was a cloud, there were no other clouds, and no cloud moves like that. It had four white lights circling inside of it. It hovered over me, and I kid you not, when I moved, it moved. It was close enough that I could touch it, but I was too scared. It was that low.

I ran into my house. I wasn’t going to stand there anymore. There’s no way I’m going to stand under something that I don’t understand and don’t know nothing about. We got into the house and that thing stood there for a minute. Then it moved to the backyard.

There were people in their backyard in the next neighborhood, and it moved over to between my yard and theirs and there were people there who had their phones out [who looked like they were taking pictures] and staring at it. As I was standing there, something told me not to go out there. I wasn’t going nowhere.

It stayed there for over 20 minutes. It would not leave. It was like it was waiting for something.

After that, I’m always looking up.

“I called the police and asked them about the lights,” Johnson explained. “[The woman I spoke to] said they’d gotten some calls. I told her not to laugh at me. This is something strange, I’ve never seen nothing like this. She asked me what it looked like. I said you need to get somebody out here.” 

Johnson said that, ultimately, the police did not visit the scene and no official report was made. 

The Singular Fortean Society has not yet been able to corroborate the sighting using police records or the testimony of any neighbors said to be present, but this article will be updated with any new information or evidence as it is discovered.

After this sighting, said Johnson, "strange stuff just started happening."

She told Wayland that she was awoken one night by what sounded like somebody running in her bedroom.

I woke up and my door opened—[it was previously open just a crack]—and all I heard were footsteps in my room. My heart just started pounding. I got up and thought maybe it’s the dogs or something. I went downstairs to check, but the dogs were in the crate. I went in my sons’ room and they were asleep. I looked under the bed, and I didn’t see anything. 

I asked my boyfriend at the time, “Did you come in my room?” 

He said no. He said he was out down the street. I asked him if he was sure, and he said yes.

 "I told my landlord I had to move," she continued. "I had been there eight years. He asked me why I wanted to move. I couldn’t tell him."

Johnson’s sightings continued on July 7th, 2020.

I had to go to the back roads and drop off on County T off Sprecher Road. Way before I got there, off Mesta Lane, there was a light so bright that at first I thought it was the sun. I’m at the stoplight, and I put my visor down. 

I said, “That sun is bright!” 

I looked at my map and see I have to go off County T, way out in the boondocks. 

I head out there, and all of a sudden I look to my right—after something said in my head “look to your right”—when I looked, an object was above the power lines, stationary. I had my windows half down. There was a man in a car close behind me, and I thought he had to being this. But when I looked again, his car was way behind me.

It felt as if I was moving, but not fast enough. I was staring at it; I couldn’t keep my eyes off it. It had a green light at the bottom, it was black, a round dome, and I’m just looking at this light. That lasted for about two minutes. When I got the lady’s food to her, I looked at the time and it was probably 8:06 or 8:07, but she said she’d ordered her food an hour ago. I was thinking, looking at the clock, that it’s only 8:06 pm. 

I got home and I was still shaken up. My eyes were red and irritated from the brightness of the light.

A week later, she had another sighting in the same area.

I went to the ATM to get money out, and they just built these buildings right after I saw this thing off County T. I saw this green ball of light hovering over this building. It wasn’t a bug, it looked like a sphere.

I said, “No, we’re not doing this tonight.”

I got in my car and left. [The green ball of light] went off towards East Towne Mall. Most people might follow it, but me, I’m going home. That’s not the first time that I’ve seen those things. I don’t understand why I’m seeing it.

The strange thing is, while I was driving, I said to myself, “If I ever see anything like that again, I’m going to go ahead and take a picture of it.”

But it didn’t happen that way.

Johnson’s most recent sighting occurred at approximately 9:15 pm on August 30th, 2020. She was in Stoughton delivering food near the intersection of Roby Road and King’s Lynn Road.

When I looked at my app it said I was two or three minutes from the house. I was going through the neighborhood, when all of a sudden—this is not the first time this has happened to me—something told me to look to my left.

I just looked over and I said, “What in the?”

I said, “That plane is flying really low in its flight.”

So I slowed down, I saw kids in a group going across the street. I looked, and all of a sudden, I got nervous. I was just staring at it.

That’s when I was like, “Uh-uh uh-uh, it’s stationary. It’s not moving."

All I could see were the lights flickering. It was over houses, and it wasn’t that far from me—maybe three or four hundred feet. I know what I saw. It looked like it was multicolored—white, red, but it wasn’t a bright red, it almost looked orange.

As I was looking at it, it just stayed in one spot. It looked black. I wanted to get out and take a picture of it, but all of a sudden I got really nervous.

I said “Should I? No, I better get this lady her food.”

I’m sitting in my car, just looking at it, driving slowly just looking at it.

As soon as I said “Okay, maybe it will be there when I get back.”

I’m saying to myself, “No, just stop and take a picture, because nobody is going to believe you’ve seen some stuff like this.”

I kept saying to myself, “No, that’s a plane, that’s a plane. I’m not seeing what I’m seeing.”

The thing tilted up, and when it tilted, it was a triangle. It had a light at the top, and one on the bottom at each side. My eyes got bigger than my glasses. All I know is, when I saw what it did and I turned back, that thing took off. I put my foot on the gas and dropped that lady’s food off.

It’s as if it wanted me to see it, to say, “No, I’m not a plane.” 

That was not an airplane. Nobody can convince me. 

Johnson further explained that she had her car door open slightly, but was afraid to get out because she thought the craft might approach her if she did. 

According to Johnson, the sighting lasted “a minute or two.”

Shortly after this sighting, Johnson spoke to a friend in Stoughton who said she’d “seen a lot of strange stuff out here.”

Johnson wondered if perhaps the craft were trying to communicate with her, and if that might somehow be tied to a series of psychic experiences she’s had in her life.

"I’m very clairvoyant. I’ve had out of body experiences. I see auras around people, I see colors, and if they have certain colors then I don’t go near them. I would tell my mom and she would tell me to shush. I never understood that. I thought that maybe there was something wrong with me," she said. "She told me she had the same thing, but she blocked it. You can tell people all day long, but they’ll never understand."

But that's not the only strange experience Johnson said she has in common with her mother.

"There were days I would wake up with bruises on my arms. I don’t remember how I got them. It looked like three claws, like somebody had scratched me, like I was fighting something," she said. "I remember this clearly, [my mother] said to me, 'I used to wake up with those same marks on me.'"

Those marks might be explained by another experience related by Johnson.

This event, she said, took place at her childhood home in Joliet, Illinois, in 1987 when she was 12 years old.

"[The house where] we stayed at the time was in the country," she said. "There was a barn there, and some nearby houses. They’ve built a lot there now, but at the time there were a lot of fields and we had a big backyard."

I had to stay late for detention after school one day. I remember going into the house after I came home, thinking I was going to be in trouble. But nobody was home. I had to go through the garage to get into the house, and I saw the car was there, so I didn’t understand where everybody was at. 

So, I started calling, “Momma! Momma!”

And I called for my sisters, but nobody answered. Just then the phone rang, and I went to go pick it up.

A robotic voice said to me, “Little girl, is your mommy or daddy home?”

I dropped the phone. The minute I dropped it, I felt sick. I felt drowsy and sleepy, and I had a headache. I laid down in the bunk bed in our room, and it was like I could not move.

I saw four little things come in the room, they were suited up—it was like a skintight, blue, protective suit—they were bald, with big, black eyes and really not much of a nose or mouth, and all I can remember is being paralyzed with fear. I was trying to fight it, I was trying to move.

Two were on either side of me, and they weren’t touching me. It was like I was levitated. I was looking at one of these things straight in its eyes, and I’m trying to fight it and I can’t move. That’s all I can remember.

Johnson later asked her sister where they were that day, but said that her sister maintains she "doesn’t know what I’m talking about."

She never watched much science fiction or absorbed similar media as a child, and it wasn't until her twenties that she started seeing representations of the beings she encountered that day.

"It’s never left my mind, and I wonder if that’s why I’m so into this stuff now," she said. "I see people talking about it, and I think 'That’s what I saw! That’s what came in the room.'"

When asked if she’d had any bedroom visitations since the one in 2007, Johnson replied, “I have not, and I pray to God I don’t again.”