Reports of winged beings have long been included in the more obscure reports of cryptozoological and ufological weirdness from around the world. Arguably, the most famous of all such incidents was detailed throughout John Keel’s investigations of the “Mothman,” which occurred in West Virginia in the late 1960s. Since that time, Mothman has become the predominant image in most people’s minds when it comes to envisioning a winged monstrosity of the cryptozoological variety. There are, however, other instances involving claims where such creatures have been witnessed, and though details about their existence are far more obscure, they bear a variety of similarities to folkloric traditions from various cultures around the world. Strangely, among these similarities are parallels having to do with the alleged creature’s interaction with their habitat and surroundings, as well as a prevalence of sexual aspects to their dealings with humans.
One recent discussion addressing unidentified winged monsters detailed encounters with an alleged “gargoyle” seen near the vicinity of the El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico. This was presented by the astute Scott Corrales at Inexplicata, where he shared some unique accounts that included a physical attack sustained by an area local. According to Corrales, “some people have identified (the monster) with the Chupacabras, yet others believe it is a differnt, elusive and sinister entity whose lair is in Barrio Ensenada, amid the ruins and tunnels of the Guanica Sugar Mill, where the skeletons of its victims can be found.”
Arguably, the manner in which this story is presented here has a folkloric overtone, with it’s tales of an old abandoned building in which the creature now resides. One might assume that if the creature’s victims were really piled up beneath an old sugar mill, a criminal investigation would have ensued to uncover the remains and find the culprit. However, before substantiating the claims with physical evidence Corrales presents that, as stated earlier, does involve an attack one man claims he received from the creature, it would be interesting to ponder those folkloric elements for a moment. After all, when comparing this story to the circumstances presented in reports of the alleged Mothman creature, we begin to see some striking similarities.
Much like the “Gargoyle” of El Yunque is said to inhabit an abandoned sugar mill, Point Pleasant’s Mothman creature similarly inhabited an abandoned TNT factory in the area. There could be a number of reasons for this similarity; one being that, as a matter of tradition, monsters always tend to reside in a dark and dangerous lair. Think of legends involving dragons and other mythic beasts, whose caves must be entered by a brave soul in order to liberate an afflicted populace from the dangers the monster in question presents to them. It would be fitting, supposing there was indeed some physicality to the existence of creatures like Mothmen or gargoyles, that people would uphold this tradition by similarly assigning them a “dragon’s lair” of sorts, whether or not the creature actually resided there at all. Or perhaps, much like the notion of a haunted house and the ghosts, bogey men, and other terrors that hide within, the psychological extensions of one’s own fear of the location itself could actually manifest, to some degree, in the presence of a devilish creature similar to a Mothman, dragon, or in this case, perhaps a gargoyle.
Ruminating on the folkloric archetypes present in this circumstance, while interesting in terms of the psychology of the experiences reported, does little to fend against the problems we’re presented by the very real physical attacks some witnesses have described. Corrales goes on to describe a man, whose only given name is “Valdo,” who was apparently attacked by the winged beast near Guby