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Animal X - Natural Mystery Unit
Episode 5 - Winged Creatures Including Mothman
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Dan and Nat investigate unidentifiable winged creatures reported around the world in their latest investigation. They travel to Mexico, Point Pleasant in West Virginia and Pleasant Point in Maine to uncover a composite of the science, mystery and folklore behind those large winged creatures that are said to inhabit our skies.

They travel back in time with the original 1960s witnesses of Point Pleasant as they celebrate the Mothman Festival, held in honour of the events that took place in the 1960s.

They travel to Mexico where “Birdman” attacks and sightings are making headlines to chat with those that have witnessed this creature first hand.

They also travel to the Passamoquoddy tribe in Pleasant Point to hear the stories of the Thunderbeings – half human/half bird paranormal creatures that have been part of their life for generations and generations.


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One of the most elusive cryptozoological animals in this world is "Mothman" - perhaps because he was seen by so many people in the Point Pleasant area in 1966 and 1967 and yet there is still no explanation available as to what this entity is. During the time of the sightings, Point Pleasant experienced UFO sightings, poltergeist activity, cattle mutulations and missing animals.

People believed that a seven foot tall human bird with large white wings was responsible for the strange events taking place in the 1960s. Others suggest that he was a distraction from it all.

The most captivating feature of “Mothman” were his two large, hypnotic, glowing red eyes in the shoulder area and its shuffling walk on human-like legs.

Mothman is not the only sighting of a winged creature that has been reported. Mexico is home to a similar creature – often referred to as Birdman. Sightings of Birdman are as recent as 2004 with an attack on one young police officer – Leonardo Samaniego – making the headlines.

More on Mothman including other Mothman sightings and the Mothman Lement

Mothman Lives – another Mothman Website
Created by the Authors of “Mothman – The Facts Behind the Legend” – a must read for any Mothman enthusias

Mothman and Thunderbird – By Dan Boudillion


The Birdman/"Hombre Pajaro" of Mexico

In the past few decades, many half-bird/half- man creatures have been spotted in Mexico. The most publicised and shocking of the reports is perhaps the attack on Leonardo Samaniego – a young police officer from Guadalupe this year.

Watch Animal X to see an exclusive
in-depth interview

Briefly, on Friday, January 16, 2004 Leonardo Samaniego had a terrifying encounter with a flying 'humanoid' entity that was draped in black. The flying humanoid was also independently videotaped as it flew around in the sky over Monterrey. This humanoid/birdman was a dark winged entity that flew down from a tree into the windscreen of his car.

Many similar reports have been made by police officers from surrounding precincts. It was July of 1994 within the cemetery of the El Sabino ranch in Mexico that a strange winged creature half human half bird was reported. It was seen by the ranch owner himself as well as another local woman.

An expedition was mounted to investigate the winged creature by the Fundacion Cosmos. Armed with radios, video cameras, still cameras, binoculars and lights, they revisited the area where the birdman was sighted. They found no tracks or evidence that they could gather and eventually gave up. They did however record the testimony of the ranch worker on video pending further investigations.

He described it as having thick grey plumage with the upper half of the body towards the head being human and the other half being like a bird. It also had two enormous wings on its back.

Many Birdman sightings are still being investigated.


Please see the following links for more information -

Leonardo Samaniego Attack - report on Leonardo Samaniego Attack

Fundacion Cosmos Website



“ The thunder is the sound of the wings of the men who fly above. The lightning we see is the fire and smoke of their pipes.”
- Passamoquoddy Tribe

The Passamaquoddies are a tribe that reside in Maine on the east coast of the United States of America. They have deep rooted beliefs in both the thunderbird and thunderbeings – creatures that are half man – half bird.

Passamaquoddy Native American Thunder Being Dance
Thunderbird/Being Dance performed for the Natural Mystery Unit

Here is an excerpt from their folklore explaining the story behind their belief from the website Sacred Texts.

“ Once an Indian was whirled up by the roaring wind: he was taken up in a thunder-storm, and set down again in the village of the Thunders. In after-times he described them as very like human beings: they used bows and arrows (tah-bokque), and had wings.

But these wings can be laid aside, and kept for use. And from time to time their chief gives these Thunders orders to put them on, and tells them where to go. He also tells them how long they are to be gone, and warns them not to go too low, for it is sure death for them to be caught in the crotch of a tree.

The great chief of the Thunders, bearing of the stranger's arrival, sent for him, and received him very kindly, and told him that he would do well to become one of them. To which the man being willing, the chief soon after called all his people together to see the ceremony of thunderifying 2 the Indian.

Then they bade him go into a square thing, or box, and while in it he lost his senses and became a Thunder. Then they brought him a pair of wings, and he put them on. So he flew about like the rest of the Thunders; he became quite like them, and followed all their ways. And he said that they always flew towards the sou' n' snook, or, south, and that the roar and crash of the thunder was the sound of their wings. Their great amusement is to play at ball across the sky. 1 When they return they carefully put away their wings for their next flight. There is a big bird in the south, and this they are always trying to kill, but never succeed in doing so. They made long journeys, and always took him with them. So it went on for a long time, but it came to pass that the Indian began to tire of his strange friends. Then he told the chief that he wished to see his family on earth, and the sagamore listened to him and was very kind. Then he called all his people together, and said that their brother from the other world was very lonesome, and wished to return. They were all very sorry indeed to lose him, but because they loved him they let him have his own way, and decided to carry him back again. So bidding him close his eyes till he should be on earth, they carried him down. The Indians saw a great thunder-storm drawing near; they heard such thunder as they never knew before, and then something in the shape of a human being coming down with lightning; then they ran to the spot where he sat, and it was their long-lost brother, who had been gone seven years. He had been in the Thunder-world. He told them how he had been playing ball with the Thunder-boys: yes, how he had been turned into a real Thunder himself. This is why the Indians to this very day have a firm belief that the thunder and lightning we hear and see are caused by (beings or spirits) (called) in Indian Bed-day yek (or thunder), 1 because they see them, and have, moreover, actually picked up the bed-dags k'chisousan, or thunder-bullet. 2 It is of many different kinds of stone, but always of the same shape. The last was picked up by Peter Sabattis, 3 one of the Passamaquoddy tribe. He has it yet. He found it in a crotch-root of a spruce-tree at Head Harbor, on the island of Campobello. This stone is a sign of good-luck to him who finds it.”
p. 265


Please see the following links for more information -

Native Americans – The Passamaquoddy Tribe

The Quoddy Loop – Passamaquoddy Tribe

Passamaquoddy Tribal Government Web Site


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Rick Moran is a journalist who spent more than 30 years of his life covering breaking news for both newspapers and magazines as a reporter and an editor. He completed a degree in Communications with a minor in Comparative religious studies and became involved in the Unexplained as part of his job in journalism.

It was by chance that he stumbled into the world of the unexplained and eventually discovered Mothman.

Since then he has been published in FATE, UFO and FORTEAN TIMES amongst many other publications. However his main job is still as a journalist who covers the news and features for newspapers and magazines.

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