Lair of the Beasts: Flying Humanoids (Mania.com)
Date: Saturday, June 15, 2013
Every now and again, a monster-themed book comes along that I recommend to one and all that are interested in the strange creatures of our world. And that is exactly what I am doing right now. Ken Gerhard is a good friend of mine who lives in San Antonio, Texas. He is the author of a number of books, including Big Bird, Monsters Are Real, and (co-authored with me) Monsters of Texas.
In just a couple of months from now, Ken’s new book will be published. I’m mentioning it now, as it can already be pre-ordered online. Its title is Encounters with Flying Humanoids: Mothman, Manbirds, Gargoyles & Other Winged Beasts. The publisher is Llewellyn Publications. For anyone and everyone with an interest in strange creatures of the skies above, this is a book most definitely not to be missed.
Pretty much most people have heard of the legendary Mothman of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. It was a terrifying, flying beast of a human-like design that instilled terror and fear in the people of Point Pleasant back in the mid to late 1960s.
Mothman was, of course, made famous in the 2002 movie, The Mothman Prophecies, which starred Richard Gere and Laura Linney. It was based upon the acclaimed book of the same name written back in the 1970s by author John Keel.
As the sub-title for Ken Gerhard’s book demonstrates, Mothman is a key figure in the pages of Encounters with Flying Humanoids. Very few people are aware, however, of the many and varied deeply similar creatures that have been reported all across the world, never mind just at Point Pleasant. Not only that: the reports span not just the planet, but the centuries, too.
A couple of months ago I sat and listened to a lecture that Ken gave on flying humanoids at the Austin, Texas-based Museum of the Weird. As Ken skillfully demonstrated in his illustrated presentation, tales of such beasts are firmly ingrained in the culture, beliefs, mythology, folklore and reality of numerous cultures and people.
The Owlman is a nightmarish creature described as looking human-like, but sporting a pair of powerful wings and fiery, hypnotic eyes. Since 1976, it has been reported in and around the woods of Mawnan, Cornwall, England. A definitive flying monstrosity, it has become legendary in the domain of cryptozoology.
A very similar thing lurks deep in the heart of the Lone Star Stat. It has become known as the Houston Batman, and sightings of the beast go back as far as the early 1950s. Scandinavia, South America, Vietnam, Africa, India, as well as countless other places, have their own centuries-old legends of monstrous, flying men and women of the skies.
Since this is a topic that is very rarely covered in full-length book form, I’m very pleased to see that, finally, someone has decided to do exactly that. All too often, the field of cryptozoology focuses on the far more well known monsters of our world, such as Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman, the Chupacabras, and the Loch Ness Monster.
As Ken Gerhard’s Encounters with Flying Humanoids will soon reveal, when it comes to the strange beasts of our world, it’s not always in the deep waters, on the high mountains, or within the dense forests of our planet that these things dwell. Sometimes, they are right above us, circling menacingly, and generating widespread fear and concern in those that dare to look up. Savage skies, indeed!
Nick Redfern’s new book, Monster Files, is available now from New Page Books.