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Dubious Flying Humanoid of Cornwall, England.

Physical description: Covered in gray feathers. Owl-like head. Red, glowing, slanted eyes. Pointed ears. Humanlike legs but bent slightly backward. Black talons.

Behavior: Can rise vertically into the air. Distribution: Mawnan, Cornwall. Significant sightings: Two children, June and Vicky Melling, were the first to report the Owl-man, which they saw on April 17, 1976, hovering above the Mawnan church tower.

On July 4, 1976, teens Sally Chapman and Barbara Perry were camping in the woods near town when they saw a similar figure standing 20 yards away. It went straight up into the air.

The final sighting occurred on August 2, 1978, when three French girls saw a big, furry bird with a gaping mouth and big eyes by the Mawnan church. Possible explanations:

(1) An escaped Eurasian Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo), not normally seen in the British Isles. The world's largest owl (4 feet 4 inches long), it is found in much of Europe, east to Siberia, and south to India and China.

(2) Much confusion, if not deliberate


invention, about Owlman has been spread by Irish magician-prankster Tony "Doc" Shiels, who was simultaneously involved with the MORGAWR sea monster sightings. Sources: "The 'Mothman' at Mawnan," Fortean Times, no. 16 (June 1976): 19; Robert J. M. Rickard, "Birdmen of the Apocalypse!" Fortean Times, no. 17 (August 1976): 14-20; Tony "Doc" Shiels, "Surrealchemy versus Cryptozoology," Strange Magazine, no. 8 (Fall 1991): 13; Jonathan Downes, The Owlman and Others (Corby, England: Domra Publications, 1998); Tony "Doc" Shiels, "The Owling," Fortean Times, no. 156 (April 2002): 44-46.

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