This puts the time frames back a lot. Makes the argument of a potential human system completely out of reach.
There is nothing in the archeological record to support this life form so it is perhaps reasonable to wonder if this could be alien in origin. It still has antecedents in the gargoyle.
Otherwise it is an excellent look at this creature and it determines that it is large enough to depend largely on gliding. Many other glimpses had left this aspect uncertain.
Winged Humanoid Observed in Fayette County, WV
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
I received the following account after posting Black Winged Humanoid Encounter Near Rockford, Illinois:
Hi Lon, hope things are going well. I read about the winged humanoid in your latest newsletter. I've been following these stories in your newsletter pretty closely. The newsletter that was in my inbox today really struck me, because I have seen something similar - the 'Jeepers Creepers' description was dead on.
Long story short, I don't remember the exact year, but this would've been the mid-80's. My best guess is 1985 or 1986. It was a summer evening in Oak Hill, West Virginia (Oak Hill is a small town in the south-central part of the state, about 15 minutes from Beckley, WV, or about 1 hr from Charleston, WV). I was between 7-8 years old at the time and I was outside playing with my brother (1-yr younger than me) and our neighbor, a boy named Roy who was the same age as my brother, give-or-take a few months. We lived in a very rural area which, at that time, we probably had 3 or 4 neighbors within a 1 mile radius, and we effectively lived on the edge of the woods down a dirt road, probably half a mile from a real road. So there weren't many people around.
It was dusk and we were throwing rocks to bats. Today, it seems strange, but back then it was something kids in the area did. Bats are common in the area and around dusk in the summer they are out in force to catch bugs. You'll see dozens of them and they usually fly approximately 40' off the ground or less. If you throw a small rock high in the air you can often get the bat to swoop down and catch your rock, presumably thinking it's a bug. It's interesting the things kids did before there was the internet, and we only had ABC and PBS on the TV back then, so this was entertainment at it's finest.
At any rate, we're throwing rocks to bats when we see what we at first thought was a monstrous bat flying higher in the sky than the others. I don't remember who spotted it first, but once it was pointed out, we were stunned. After staring at it for a few seconds, it was clear that this wasn't a bat. It was...something else...it was a creature in the shape of a man, but with wings. It had wings exactly like that of a bat, but it had distinct arms and legs, also. It was mostly gliding, with only the occasional flap of its wings, which is unlike a bat, which constantly flaps its wings, and it's arms were sort of lazily hanging behind it at its side. It looked tall, but lanky, but it was too high in the sky to really get a good estimate of size. I know today that it's pretty easy to get size estimates really wrong on objects that are flying, like large birds. I also can say that it was dark, but I couldn't tell you anything about coloration...it was dusk and the light was relatively low by that point, and we were seeing it mostly as a silhouette. We saw a head, but never a face...I don't think it was looking down. My best estimate is that it was about 2 - 2.5x as high as the bats, so that would probably put it at around 100' off the ground, but I could easily be way off...it wasn't a detail that I focused on at the time.
We watched this creature for a little while...maybe 15 seconds or so. We were transfixed, standing there with slack jaws, trying to comprehend what we were seeing. Then we snapped out of it, we looked at each other, and simultaneously we ran toward the house to get my dad. I remember my dad was home but my mom wasn't. We ran inside and told him to come outside quick - we told him that we had seen the devil. Of course we thought it was the devil...that's how we would've contextualized it within our very limited framework at the time. He told us that he was sure that we hadn't seen the devil but he reluctantly decided to come outside and check. By the time he did, whatever it was had gone. He reassured us with some platitudes, but he obviously didn't believe us. We were all pretty shaken by the sighting, and we talked about it for weeks afterwards. I slept in the bed with my parents that night, and for at least a week afterwards.
This incident actually spurred my interest in the supernatural. Later, as a teenager, I learned about the Mothman sightings and wondered if that had been what we had witnessed - with the West Virginia connection it was natural to think it may have been. But the descriptions never really fit perfectly, and we weren't very close to Point Pleasant. It wasn't until the reports starting appearing in your newsletter that it became clear that others had been seeing exactly what I had seen. The Jeepers Creepers description really is the most apt description that I've seen. I'm a scientist (or was, anyway), so I have trouble reconciling what we saw with reality as I know it, but I am sure that we saw something.
Not really much to tell beyond that. My brother passed away many years ago, and I haven't spoken to Roy in probably as long. He's had some struggles with substance abuse as an adult and I've kept my distance. None of us discussed the incident since we were adults, though we did discuss it at some point in our teens. I wanted to share just to give you an additional data point in your investigation. I expect that we'll never really know what people are seeing, but it's good that someone is documenting it, for posterity, if for nothing else.