The first reported sighting was on April 17, 1976 by two young sisters as they were walking through the woods near the Mawnan church. They claimed to have seen a large winged creature hovering above the church. The father would not allow his daughters to be interviewed but did supply a drawing made by the 12-year-old daughter.
A second sighting was reported on July 3,1976, by a 14-year-old girl who was camping with a friend near the church. She heard a hissing sound and turned around and saw an owl-like figure as big as a man that had pointed ears and red eyes. The creature flew into the air and the girls claimed it had black claws.
Sightings continued the next day and two other accounts occurred in June and August 1978.
The next sighting was reported in 1989 by a man and his girlfriend. They described it as being five-feet tall with high ankles and large black feet having two toes. It was gray with brown and had glowing eyes.
In 1995, a female tourist claimed to have seen a “man-bird… with a ghastly face, a wide mouth, glowing eyes and pointed ears” as well as “clawed wings,” she wrote in the Western Morning News.
There is no physical evidence of the creatures existence but many theories have arisen since the first sighting. One explanation is a manifestation of the Earth’s energy forming to resemble the creature above the church.
Another more feasible explanation, is the creature was a misidentification of an escaped eagle owl. The owl can grow to be two feet long with around a six foot wingspan.
One of the descriptions of the creature is similar to an eagle owl as well as its behavior. There is a colony of eagle owls in North Yorkshire, and could have crossed the English Channel.
The Owlman has been featured on various TV programs and in literature.
Image Caption: Eagle Owl. Credit: Lord Koxinga/Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)