Second pilot reports sighting of 'Mothman' at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport

Manuel Navarette of UFO Clearinghouse said he recently spoke to a pilot who claimed to have seen what he called “the O’Hare Mothman” in August of 2019 while aboard a shuttle at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

The man told Navarette that he has been a commercial pilot for two different airlines since before 2008, and prior to that he'd served for six years in the United States Air Force. He added that he has over 9,000 hours of flight time, and has "flown a variety of aircraft in my career in virtually all types of weather."

The incident he recounted to Navarette reportedly took place on Thursday, August 8th, 2019, at approximately 6 pm.

According to the man’s report:

I had flown into O’Hare the previous day and had stayed at a hotel for the night. I was due to fly out at [10 pm] to the UK. I was taking the airport shuttle toward the terminal, [and] as I looked out the window, I saw a large human with enormous wings and glowing red eyes perched upon a rail and looking straight at me. The being appeared to be squatting down on the rail, but had its wings completely open and moved them slowly as he stared at the shuttle bus as we drove by. I knew it was watching me as its head swiveled and followed the shuttle as we passed, its eyes locked on me the entire time. I was startled and I’ll admit it, very frightened, not only by this encounter, but the absolute boldness of this thing as it did not move or attempt to hide itself as we approached, knowing that it could be clearly seen. We passed it on the outside lane and were at our closest approximately 15 feet away from where it was perched. It never once flinched or attempted to hide itself, it just stayed put and watched as we passed. When we passed, I attempted to look back and see if it was still perched there, I saw nothing and can only assume that it must have flown off when we passed.

I have heard the stories of the O’Hare Mothman, or as some have called it “Batman,” but I simply dismissed them as nothing more than fantasy, an urban legend that was associated with an already spooky airport. I mean, who hasn’t heard of the weird UFO sightings over O’Hare and stories of ghosts and whatnot. What happened to me that evening changed my entire view of those stories, so when I saw the post asking for pilots to step up forward and share their stories, I took advantage of the opportunity to tell my encounter with the O’Hare Mothman.

This report was submitted in response to a May 31st, 2020 sighting in which a pilot at O’Hare said that he and his copilot saw "a large, black, human-like creature fly up and into the sky" at approximately 7:30 am while taxiing on the runway.

"I received the witness report as a result of my investigation with the first pilot who reported his and his co-pilot’s sighting of a winged humanoid earlier this month," Navarette explained. "The pilot had told me that he had heard of fellow pilots having similar sightings via social media. I was put in touch with this witness via that first pilot and after reading this pilot’s sightings, I reached out to him to conduct a phone interview, it was after that phone interview that we set up a face to face interview about his sighting."

The investigator gleaned more details of the encounter during his face-to-face interview with the witness.

"The witness advised that he was being driven from the hotel to the international terminal that evening...that he was the only person on the shuttle that evening, and [that he] was seated approximately halfway down on the driver’s side of the vehicle," Navarette said. "The witness also stated that they arrived at the terminal about five minutes after the encounter, and that when he disembarked he looked around to see if he could see anything but saw nothing out of the ordinary. When asked if he could give a description of what he saw that evening, the witness gave the following description of the entity seen."

The being was squatted down, his arms appeared to be gripping the guard rail and were long and very skinny, almost bony and were jet black. He did not get a good look at the fingers of the entity, but he described the length of the arms to be about three feet long, [although he] could not give an accurate measurement. The witness says that even squatting down, the entity was still about four feet tall and that if he were to stand up would be well over six and a half feet tall. The head was rounded and featureless, other than the two illuminated eyes that he described as ruby red in color. He did note that the head was not overly large and appeared to be rounded at the top. The wings were black and were large and pointed at the end, appearing to be segmented but still looked like the wings of a large bat. The pilot estimated the wings to be at least 10 feet long from tip to tip and about five feet in height, they appeared to be taller than the being by at least two feet, [and] black in color.

When asked about the encounter, the witness stated that the entity did not move at all, it stayed perched on the guard rail...held its ground, and did not move other than [to move] its head to follow and maintain eye contact with the witness. When asked how he felt during the encounter, the witness said he felt helpless and a little apprehensive, but did not describe any overwhelming feelings of dread or fear. The witness described the entire encounter taking approximately 10 to 15 seconds from beginning to end.

"The witness presented company and federal identification to prove his employment, and also showed me photos of his time with his previous employer and his military service," Navarette added. "[He] also answered any and all questions regarding his background and sighting without hesitation and did not deviate from his initial sighting report. It is the opinion of the investigator that this witness is credible and has satisfied all claims as to his employment and background. I find his sighting [to be] valid and worthy of follow-up investigation and further research."

There was no word on whether or not the driver of the shuttle saw the creature, or if they did, how they responded.

This is the most recently reported sighting in a series of unusual sighting reports that have taken place in the vicinity of O’Hare International Airport.

The sighting reports in this area so far include a May 31st sighting by a pilot at O’Hare International Airport, who said that he and his copilot saw "a large, black, human-like creature fly up and into the sky" while taxiing on the runway, a March 3rd sighting by investigator Manuel Navarette of a strange flying creature with “membranous wings” near O’Hare, a February 21st sighting by a security guard at O’Hare who said he saw what appeared to be a “very tall human, but it was solid black with glowing red eyes,” a January 23rd report from a man who said he saw an “egg-shaped” object fly over O’Hare and shine a “brilliant blue light” to the ground, through which a “person” appeared to be taken aboard the craft, the December 6th sighting of a red-eyed, winged humanoid near O’Hare, a December 3rd report of a “red-eyed flying man” from a security person at O’Hare, a November 26th sighting of a seven-foot-tall “person with wings” outside of O’Hare, a September 29th sighting of a toddler-sized “bat creature…running like a gorilla” near Barrington, an October 30th sighting of a large, winged humanoid in Park Ridge, an October 29th report of a winged humanoid accompanied by several other beings who disappeared in a flash of blue light, a late October sighting of an “unknown flying human owl” in Hoffman Estates, an October 19th sighting of a “giant-sized bat” outside of the Edward Hotel in Rosemont, an October 5th sighting of a "tall creature" with "bright red eyes" and "large wings” near O’Hare, a report from July of a six-foot-tall creature flying over the Des Plaines River near Rosemont, and another sighting from the summer of 2019 by a man who claimed to have seen "a large, dark, man-sized bat-bird 'thing'" flying behind his home in Franklin Park, Illinois.

In addition, a report out of Bensenville described an encounter had by a man who claimed he witnessed a “large, dark being” with “cape-like wings" in 2006.

This is the latest news in a 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, psychic and haunting phenomena, and the receipt of bizarre messages by those investigating the sightings. 

To report a sighting reach out to us directly at the Singular Fortean Society through our contact page.

You can view a timeline of the sightings so far here, and an interactive map here.


To report your own encounter with the impossible, reach out to us directly at the Singular Fortean Society through our contact page.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to support the Singular Fortean Society, please consider becoming an official member by signing up through our Patreon page—membership includes a ton of extra content and behind-the-scenes access to the Society’s inner workings.


By Tobias Wayland / Fortean Investigator

Tobias Wayland is a passionate fortean and outspoken agnostic who graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He’s spent the last eight years actively investigating the unusual; for the first five years as a MUFON field investigator, and the last three independently.  His years as an investigator have served him best by illustrating that when it comes to the anomalous, the preternatural, and the paranormal, any answers he’s found are still hopelessly outnumbered by questions.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to support the Singular Fortean Society, please consider becoming an official member by signing up through our Patreon page—membership includes a ton of extra content and behind-the-scenes access to the Society’s inner workings.


(Source:; June 23, 2020;
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