Mothman at Conewago

I have posted a bit on theMothman phenomena and this personal sighting from Lon Coleman who also has madehimself an expert on cryptid sightings made by others has the benefit of beenof the highest quality.

He reports a night encounter of alarge individual who immediately takes flight. The descriptions conform nicely to that of a giant owl.  Even the trunk like legs conforms to a largefeather drape seen in large birds.

What appears unusual, and it isdark, is the lack of a visible beak and the unusual claim of independentarms.  The beak may simply be smallerthan expected and also black in color. Certainly the feathering is again confirmed and the large red eyes of anocturnal creature are also indicated. The idea of independent arms is again raised, as has shown up also withthe Chupacabra.  I am not so sure thatthe forearms are unusually modified and that the joint has unusual freedom ofmotion.  Otherwise we are looking at twocreatures that appear impossible in terms of our evolutionary history.

Yet an owl modified in order tosomehow make effective use of the main arm, perhaps through elbow spurs isplausible.  More likely the observationis an identification error to be corrected someday with a specimen.

So far we seem to have a raregiant owl that secludes itself in deep forests and likely feeds on rabbits thesame way an ordinary owl fees on mice.

Screams of the Conewago Phantom

FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2010

I received several inquiries in regards to a personal experience I hadand mentioned in a post I made at ChernobylHarbinger of Catastrophe. This account was posted a while back but neededto have some clarifications added to the original post. At that time, I thoughtI was seeking a spirit or entity and brought some equipment to helpin my pursuit. As well, I was sensitive and attuned to spiritual energy...anability that I am no longer able to access. I attempted to not be dramatic inthe post but, frankly, it was one of my most alarming experiences to date...Lon

In early autumn 1988 I was at a local exhibition near Baltimore and bumped intoAndy, an old friend who was there as part of a group from the BoyScouts of York-Adams Area Council (Pa.). Both of us had been Boy Scoutstogether and I was happy to see that he continued as a troop leader. We decidedto grab a bite to eat and catch up a had been 12 years since we hadseen each other. After awhile, the subject of my paranormal investigations cameinto the conversation. He had always been fascinated with ghost sightings at Gettysburg and thesurrounding area and had camped near the battlefield on several occasions.

Andy stated that a few of the local troops had recently been camping at the oldCamp Conewago and some of the boys had reported hearing “crying” sounds and werespooked bad enough that a few left their campsites early. They had setup theircampsites deeper than usual in the woods near the Conewago Creek fork (wherethe Little Conewago and main Conewago Creek meet). He stated that he andanother scout leader were going to check out the area the following weekend andhe wanted to know if I’d at least go up for the day and investigate with them.I accepted the invitation.

Camp Conewago is located north of New Oxford, Adams County along the main Conewago Creekupstream from Dick’s Dam. It was established in 1919 for exclusive use by thelocal Boy Scouts of America.The area is rich in early colonial history since it was located on a majorhunting route used by the Susquehannock Indians. Several attempts to establishsettlements in this area failed because of Indian raids. As well, theSusquehannocks constantly warred with neighboring tribes. The Susquehannockswere eventually forced back into northeast Marylandand Delaware and the colonists were able toexpand westward into the Allegheny Mountains.The area became an important trading stop for settlers to stock up onsupplies and to get updates before heading into the wilderness.

I met with Andy and John the following Friday at the campground. I was shockedat how little the place had changed. A flood of boyhood memories cameover me while I walked around the cabins and the administration building. Andywanted to know how long I planned to stay and that they were going to setupcamp in the same area of the reports. I was game….so I told him I’d stay forthe weekend, grabbed my gear and followed them into the woods. I suppose wehiked about 500 yards or so before we came to the bank of the creek, then wefollowed the creek for another 300 yards until we came to the fork. We setup 3tents and had a nice fire going in short order. It was around 7:00 pm by thistime, so we decided stay close to camp for the remainder of the evening.

The first night was fairly uneventful, though I sensed that something was watchingus. I didn’t say anything but kept my eyes open and head clear. These woods aresomewhat thick with ground cover and are inhabited by a fair amount ofwildlife, especially white-tailed deer and raccoons. I remember when I was aBoy Scout, the older kids would send out the new members of the scout troop onan initiation “snipe” hunt. They’d give the prospective “hunter” a burlap bagand a flashlight and set them out into the woods at night telling them theycould return only after they caught a “snipe”. They were usually running backto the campsite within an hour scared to the point of tears. It was a bitcruel, but we all had to go through the was a tradition.

The next morning was sunny and cool...a perfect day to explore the woods. We satdown to breakfast when John asked if we heard footsteps and movement during thenight. Andy said he slept straight through the night. I said I heard somemovement but assumed it was one of my companions. Nothing seemed to bedisturbed in the campsite, so we dismissed it…though I still had this lingeringsense that we were being watched. We spent the day walking for several milesthrough the woods and examining points of interest. I wasn’t picking up anyspirit connections and started to think that this was going to be a quietweekend. About 6:00 pm we got back to camp and sat down to talk about anylittle thing that came into our heads.

Later that evening, we were sitting around the fire engaged in aconversation about football when suddenly a scream rang out west andupstream from our location. I thought it sounded like an owl at first, but afew minutes later it happened again and it distinctively sounded like a child.I couldn’t tell how far away it was but it lasted for several seconds andseemed to fade in and out. We got up and walked a few yards into the woodsexpecting to hear the sound again. It was quiet for about an hour and we werediscussing what could have naturally caused that sound. I have heard bobcats,owls and rabbits scream and none sounded close to this. We agreed that it wasdefinitely the cries of a child.

We decided to stay up for the entire night. There was a full moon and much ofthe woods and creek were visible. We had cameras, a gauss meter, EMFdetector and temperature sensorready, though I rarely use these tools whenI sense spirit activity initially. At approximately 1:00 am, I was walking theperimeter of our camp with the EMF detector when I received a spike on thegauge for a few seconds. I stood still and tried to figure out this feeling ofbeing watched the entire weekend. I told Andy and John what I felt and westarted to walk deeper into the woods towards the fork. We walked about 50 feetwhen, without warning, we recognized to our right a large dark figure with bright redeyes standing in the creek….and suddenly it shot straight up into the airwith an audible “whoosh”. A few seconds later, we heard anotherscream that seemed to fade as if was moving away from us.

Above: The phantom was seen in the area marked...north of the Camp Conewago(Boy Scouts of America)

We hurried back to the campsite and compared thoughts about this phantom. Andywas shook up and didn’t talk for several minutes until I prodded him for hisrecollection. John was surprising calm and estimated that it was 6 foot or so,dark in color and seemed to have something extending from its back. I alsonoticed the structures on the back and commented that it reminded me of wingsbut I was unsure. We all agreed that it had bright red eyes. This creatureor phantom jettisoned so fast that we didn’t even have time to get a flashlighton it. Andy wanted to spend the night in the administration building and comeback and collect our gear in the morning. He and John walked back, but Idecided to stay in the campsite for the remainder of the night. Nothingsignificant occurred though that feeling of being watched remained.

After the investigation and further research, I concluded that this creature orphantom was more than a simple spirit or residual energy. I was aware of thenumerous sightings of a “Mothman” in West Virginia and it seemed that thisbeing was somewhat similar in description...but I have significant doubt thatit is a cryptid (NOTE: I have since changed my mind). Also, I cannot explainthe EMF spike other than that separatespirit energy was also present,though I did not sense anything specific. I and other researchers haveinvestigated this area since our sighting and have come up with minimal furtherevidence, though a report of a dark creature was made by a resident who livednear Dick’s Dam a few years later. The investigation remains open….hopefully Ior someone else will be able to offer a plausible answer in the future.

NOTE: In 2008, I received an email from a man who lived a mile or so downstreamfrom this incident (near Dick's Dam). He stated that he had heard similarscreams for many years and that the frightful sounds continued to this day. Ascout leader also emailed me approximately the same time and wanted to tell methat a few of the boys in his troop had witnessed what they described as a'dragon' that was 6 foot tall with wings and a tail....but looked like it hadfur or feathers. He said that the boys seemed serious but thought they were'showing off' and dismissed their claims until later when he read the accountof my experience.

Since that time, I have continued to check up on the area to see if anythingstrange develops. The Native American folklore and stories from settlers whoinhabited the area offer several possibilities as to the identity of thiscryptid but to date, I have not been able to make a plausible theory as to whatis being heard or seen...Lon

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