Read aloud, the title of this post may seem slightly provocative, and upon further reading, for many it may constitute outright silliness, as what we’re dealing with here has primarily to do with insects and Forteana. Reports in this category range from synchronistic occurrences involving insects, to the literal appearance of so-called “Mantis Men” in concurrence with UFO abductions and altered states (there are even a few reports that divulge these creatures appearing under rather normal circumstances). But what prompted the notion of focusing on this weird subject here actually stems from what otherwise might have been an inconsequential experience of my own, which occurred only a few days ago.

As the summer heat begins to rise here in the Southeastern U.S., a tandem phenomenon will begin to also occur, especially in countryside homes like mine: the appearance of pesky little ants and other insects. Already this year, I’ve had to squelch the plans of wasps and hornets that began nesting from the roof above my porch outside, as well as a few woods spiders that have created their webs around the corners of my office. But the ants have probably been the worst issue, since they have just appeared in droves. One evening I returned home to find a steady line of the pesky insects, having entered through a tiny opening in the wall beneath my bedroom window, that led all the way across the room, into the kitchen and all the way to the sink. Here the line diverged in two directions: one toward the small porcelain container I use to keep sugar for coffee, the other toward the trash can. A short skirmish ensued, and I have managed to keep the minute intruders at bay for the most part ever since.

There are still the occasional ants here or there that manage to get inside, especially around the bathroom sink, which seem to enjoy the exercise they receive as they run up and down the wall, stopping for an occasional drink around the faucet below. One of these little guys was caught in the act the other day, and as I attempted to brush him off the wall, the ant managed to scramble into a tiny recess between the edge of my shower and the wall by the sink. I had been trying to get at the ant as he hunkered down in the recess, when I noticed it had stopped moving altogether; instead of scrambling about madly as it had done moments before, the ant now merely cowered, unmoving, concealing its legs with it’s body crouched tightly against the wall, antennae trembling.

Certainly, insects might sense a sort of “fear” that could be likened to what you or I would feel at times of danger. This is an evolutionary byproduct of our bodies learning to protect us, and all living creatures likely sense some kind of “fear” in the presence of a force that might destroy us. Hence, as I observed this little ant literally cowering in the tiny corner in the wall before of me, I found its actions curious in a way. The creature had initially attempted to escape being brushed off the wall, and now had merely hunkered down, as though bracing itself in submission for the inevitable. Needless to say, I chose to spare the six-legged intruder, accepting my own excessive compassion, given the circumstances (and perhaps more importantly, my perception of the given situation). Seems that the old adage, “he wouldn’t even hurt a fly” could almost apply here.

But more relative to the present notion of anthropomorphic bug-creatures, this experience reminded me of a few other synchronistic occurrences with insects. One of my favorites, described by author Daniel Pinchbeck in his book Breaking Open the Head, describes a similar encounter a friend of his had after a powerful DMT trip, where he met a praying mantis creature with

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Author: Micah Hanks

Micah Hanks is a writer, researcher, and podcaster. His interests include areas of history, science, archaeology, philosophy, and the study of anomalous phenomena in nature. He can be reached at

19 Replies to “Insectual Relationships: Bug Beings and Mantis Men

  1. this mantis phenomenon is very interesting indeed. in an interesting instance of internet synchronicity, ive been hearing a lot about mantis beings lately. besides the well-known reports of mantis beings in alien abduction reports, in a recent special episode of Paratopia, Dennis McKenna said that a mantis being appeared to he and his brother as a “stern schoolteacher” type of entity who conveyed huge amounts of information about the nature of reality to them during extended high-dose psilocybin trips. he also talked about the pervasive sound of insects in the south american jungles (where this mushroom trip took place) and how this sound relates to the hallucinated sounds of “frying circuit boards” sometimes perceived during high-dose experiences.
    and in a recent interview on the Shroom with a View podcast, australian experimental journalist and entheogenic theorist Rak Razam talked about how DMT seems to be a part of all life, and may be a catalyst for mystical and dream experiences, so perhaps the insect beings sometimes encountered in dreams and DMT space are in fact terrestrial insects connecting to the same dream space reality through their own endogenous DMT. insects far outnumber mammals and other animals in physical reality, so maybe its not so strange that they would have a prominent presence in alternate dimension realities too.
    this all sounds rather nutty as i’m writing it, but seeing as we apparently have no idea whats really going on, at this point all theories are worth considering!

  2. Like you, I also question the recurrence of mantis in these experiences. Why not spiders instead? Arachnophobia is a much more common fear among the population, after all.

  3. RPJ,

    You’re right… although I don’t know of any clinical fear of mantises (there certainly may be such a thing!), I do know this: as a child growing up, I always considered Praying Mantises special, since I was fascinated with all kinds of wildlife. Any time I came across one of their egg cases, I’d try and bring it over near the family garden, so that the mantises would hopefully hang around the veggies when they hatched, capturing and consuming the bugs we didn’t want crawling all over (and devouring) our tomatoes, squashes, pumpkins, and other produce. But I also admit to finding the appearance of the Praying Mantis pretty special too; they were larger than most bugs, and uniquely shaped with their “praying” forelimbs. In my experience, they typically behave in a fairly docile way toward a person observing them, too.

    Those are my particular reasons for favoring mantises, which didn’t really have to do with fear. It was almost more a sort of symbiotic respect I had for them (and I even have this for some varieties of spiders… though I don’t always like the guys living in the corners of my office)! Still, I wonder if the prevalence of the Mantis in such reports could have anything to do with this sort of accepting attitude toward the insect, rather than fearing them as spiders so often are treated?

  4. a couple more thoughts came to mind reading Micha’s comment. another interesting thing about mantises is their head and eyes. most mantises have little black “pupils” in their eyes, which makes them appear to have more intelligence and personality than the large blank compound eyes that most insects have. they can also move their head separately from their body so you can tell if they are looking at you. this and the fact that they have “arms” too instead of just a bunch of legs encourages our tendency to anthropomorphize them.

    their large eyes give their head a sort of triangle shape, and some people have reported beings in DMT trips as having a head shaped like an inverted triangle (even if they dont report them being otherwise mantis-like) a small mouth and very large eyes seems to have become a common feature in alien beings, and this makes mantises seem particularly alien-like.

  5. hiddenplace’s comment makes me wonder if someone has thought about undertaking an experiment involving DMT and insects: see how different species respond to that chemical.

  6. DMT is such a fascinating substance, there are so many interesting experiments that could and should be done with it.. but unfortunately, being a Schedule 1 substance, it is strictly illegal for anyone (including scientists) to produce or possess it without going through a very long and complicated approval process with the DEA. Rick Strassmann’s is the only recent study with DMT that i know of; it is so unfortunate that there are so many roadblocks for studying it.. anyone who knows the first thing about DMT knows how ridiculous this is, but that is the current situation, and unless it changes, its unlikely we’ll learn much more about it.

  7. You’ve really just scratched the surface here Micah, as there are many, many more stories out there involving these particular types of entities and their connection to both DMT and Ufology. Here is one of the more “far out” ones, wherein the paths -may- have crossed into the physical.

    Terrence McKenna once described these entities, during a DMT experience, as having offered gifts of “egg” like objects..IIRC, he described the gift as a sort of Faberge Egg offered by, I believe, “Machine Elves”, entities odten described both in DMT trips -AND- abduction accounts as working together in some fashion..

    Now, cut to the story John Lennon supposedly told Uri Geller (what’s that groaning noise?) about an experience he had one night about Aliens showing up at his apartment, entities he described as “bugs” who apparently left him with a gift (at least according to the story)…that’s right…a golden egg like object that Geller still displays, the object who he says was given to him by Lennon, to this day. One may say that this is just a story, a coincidence, but Yoko to this day has not disavowed the tale, which included John showing the object to her (why include this if the story is made up?.

    So here is yet another strange connection between DMT, Mantis/Bug aliens experiences and strange “egg” like objects offered as gifts. As I said, “far out”…

    Someone really needs to go deeper here…

  8. Many years ago (don’t remember where), I read about a man who encountered a swarm of ants inside his house. He “told” them that if they didn’t clear out, his wife would surely kill them all with insecticide. They left!
    Since then on several occasions, I have had similar experiences. I’ll explain to them (in my head or at least under my breath ;-)) that they cannot stay or they will be eradicated. And I never see them again. It has always worked for me. Sounds crazy, I know.
    I wonder if there could really be a “hive” mind that is aware or more that it’s individual components.
    Kind of like our own relation to the cells in our body?

  9. I had a, too real to just be a dream, dream. I was in a Ufo and the pilot was a female praying mantis. She was in charge. She was showing me a thousand or 10 thousand light ships? or Ufo’s over Earth skys. I was like holy crap this is huge! wait until I tell the others (earth people). She said yes, please tell the others (like that is what we want you to do, the sooner the better). That is my too real praying mantis dream.

  10. As a person who has had intimate contact with mantids since childhood, I have become extremely familiar with a variety of nonordinary phenomenon surrounding these creatures. If you are interested in learning a bit more about why they might be indicated in ‘paranormal’ phenomenon, I suggest reading skyBook, and, particularly, page D.


    Page D:

  11. Organelle,

    Thanks, as always, for sharing your insights!

    Also, Brian, what about the features on the Mantis creature you recall from your dream betrayed the fact that she was a female?

    Finally, Remus: very interesting about the “hive” mentality of insects. Does this point to a new avenue for potentials in learning about ourselves, or even inter-species communication on some level?


  13. I love the shows…but lets have more about world peace and how to create it…be it with Alien help, science etc…thank you sir.

  14. The more popular totemic animals in at least the tribal shamanic oral and symbolic traditions seem to be at the top of the food chain or biomass in their class, and that could certainly be one ranking for the mantis. Intriguingly, some shamans in the Americas, from both desert and jungle environments, have cautioned against “following” spirit guides that show up in the form of invertebrates (or any animal showing its teeth or fangs). However, the similarity between the head of a mantis, sans antennae, and pre-Streiber/ pre-Communion book cover that few saw until the 1980s was Aleister Crowley’s c.1930s? sketch of an entity from elsewhere, associated with an opening of dimensional gates rite. Another matter entirely –maybe– Aurora’s citation of the EGYPTIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD, featuring a mantis; translator W.BUDGE used the familiar Greek reference meaning *formal shaman guide*, but this word doesn’t seem to have pointed to an insect to either Greeks or Egyptians. If there is an insect that looks like it’s thinking, praying, planning something, or beckoning the observer, who else but the spooky mantis fits the bill? There are no illustrations or glyphs I’ve seen of praying mantises in Egyptian art or literature –though of course scarab beetles are central to the rich religious symbology and glyphs; other Egyptian insects that show up in the glyphic language are hornets/wasps, bees, grasshoppers, cicadas perhaps, and, I think, flies. Hard to imagine they didn’t include ants, maybe a scholar like J.A.West or Bauvais mentions this. Organelle’s amazing work is not to be missed on this topic, though I disagree with the direct linkup between the Greco-Roman Mantis, aka formal shaman guide that is clearly a human, and the insect.
    The screen memory phenom, of common linkage of nocturnal predators wolves and owls with so-called aliens seems like an interesting twist…as does the frequently reported witness observation that the Visitors *move more like insects*.

  15. I wrote of my own encounter which you can read here:

    It happened in the late 1990s and includes an odd detail regarding the alien mantid “noses” that look like a collection of wriggling worms that are retractable. I would very much like to know if anyone else has ever recalled this detail of anatomy

  16. i had a very unusual “dream” during the summer of 1997 that involved a tall mantis creature. i opened my eyes and saw a room with metal walls that had lights, buttons & switches all over. i was laying on my back & the mantis was adjusting some kind of controls on the wall across from me. the creature looked at me & i got the impression that it had been waiting for me to wake up. it walked over & touched my forehead & suddenly i was seeing through the creature’s eyes. i could see everything in the most bizarre way, it was like seeing all sides of everything, inside & out, at the same time. while this was happening, i also felt an intense & terrible fear. i understood that while i was seeing through the mantis’ eyes, it was also seeing through mine & it was terrified of my limited vision. it seemed as if the creature became horribly claustrophobic & pulled away from me. that’s all i remember of the dream. i had several other extremely strange things happen that summer, though no more encounters with the mantis that i can remember.

  17. A few months back, I had a dream where I was being held captive in a large building with many other “people”. A lot of them had strange deformities in their bodies. I remember trying to get them to let me leave. It was a big brick building that seemed somewhat like a hospital on the inside.
    In the most memorable part of the dream, I remember it getting kind of dark, like when a cloud goes over you on a sunny day. I felt a very heavy presence and said loudly, “What is this darkness over me?”
    I then looked up and saw what appeared to be a very large being that looked much like a preying mantis. I don’t remember being scared of it, but I do remember that I escaped very shortly after that.
    Anyone else have similar dreams or experiences?

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