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LA Quake Prediction: Are Giant Butterfly Sightings Mothman-Like Precursors?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 21st, 2010


Frank Frazetta’s Mothman.

Yes, I am going to be so bold as to predict that an earthquake, large enough for people to feel, is going to hit Los Angeles very soon. You decide what “very soon” means. This weekend, this coming month, in the next, well, thirteen months? Everything is relative, but something big seems to be in the future of the area.


“The Curse Continues” © Charles Berlin, drawn exclusively for Loren Coleman.

All the indicators are there: Mothman-like sightings, UFO encounters, swarms of Gulf of California quakes, animal attacks (such as the mountain goat killing of the hiker), pet disappearances, and moody people (like a mother stabbing twins). I would not doubt that car chases are on the increase too.

We certainly know from research that changes in animal behavior and the appearance of earthquake lights are predictors of earthquakes. Could there be more bizarre precusors? You name it and SoCal seems to be generating lots of strange indications of the big one shaking soon. Does Mother Earth foreshadow her events so overtly and covertly? Perhaps.

Let’s look of some of the hints.

Grant Lawrence has reported in recent days of the sighting of what naturally sounds like a Mothman to me. In his blog entitled “‘The Giant Butterfly’ Returns to Los Angeles: Witness Describes Amazing UFO Experience,” Lawrence notes that a Los Angeles County resident “had an amazing sighting of a giant creature that flew over his home,” which was described as “having an appearance of a ‘giant butterfly.’”

The eyewitness, Tim, experienced this incident in Montrose, California, Los Angeles County, just north of the Glendale/Burbank area, between 2:30 and 3:00 pm on October 15, 2010, which was a partly cloudy-partly sunny day.

Looking in his backyard, Tim noticed above the tree line, coming from his right, a sizable object that was moving at a steady, moderate pace. It was not soaring fast, but just passing from right to left in the sky.

Tim told Lawrence:

It didn’t take long to realize that this object was something quite unique. It is hard to deduce the distance that this object had been out in the sky but it was too large to have been a regular bird and did not look like an airplane or anything mechanical. The reason why it was so odd is that although seeing this from my angle looking up at it, I could not make out any real definition but I did see what looked like wings above this mass that flapped like the wings of a butterfly.

It looked like what a gigantic butterfly would appear to be at a great distance in the sky. It was not streamlined or had wings open like a bird soaring. This is what really knocked me over. As it kept passing over I looked at this object that I then considered to be some kind of very large ‘bird’ because of the ‘wings’ that I saw flapping but in the motion that a butterfly would flap its wings. So in my mind my first thought was a huge ‘bird’ because of the many sightings of enormous ‘birds’ and the thought of a gigantic butterfly was to me, outlandish.

Lastly, I do remember some ‘color’ in this mass and to the best of my memory, shades of red-orange, possibly reddish-yellow but I did see a hint of color in it. It passed and it was gone. It flew like it was in no rush at all. I went around the building to see if I could see more of it but couldn’t. I could not see any real definition like a head or tail but the ‘butterfly’ type wings and motion were standout in my memory.

Grant Lawrence remarkably makes the connection between this new LA-area sighting and a rather dramatic account that is part of February 24-25, 1942′s infamous “Battle of Los Angeles.”


Los Angeles Times, February 26, 1942.

As Lawrence points out, one of the objects reported in the early morning hours of February 25, 1942, looked like a “giant butterfly,” a slow moving object, bigger than a Zeppelin that traveled from Santa Monica to Long Beach.

A total blackout of LA occurred during the 1942 scare. At 3:16 a.m. the 37th Coast Artillery Brigade began firing 12.8-pound anti-aircraft shells into the air at “reported” aircraft; over 1,400 shells would eventually be fired. Three people on the ground were killed by the shells and three people died from heart attacks due to all of the excitement and stress of the “air raid.”

The Reno Evening Gazette, dated February 26, 1942, noted the following: “Still others who watched the spectacle, if it can be called that, sighted no planes in the glare of the army’s searchlights. A number, however, reported seeing ‘something that looked like a giant butterfly.’”

Months later, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit southern California on October 21, 1942 at 9:30 am, PWT. The Fish Creek Mountains earthquake occurred on the southern section of the Coyote Creek fault, the southernmost section of the San Jacinto fault zone, in a fairly remote area of southern California. Thus, it caused relatively little damage for its size. However, it was felt over a large area of southern California, as well as parts of Baja California and Arizona. The quake caused rockslides in Carrizo Gorge, blocking Highway 80 and the San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railroad. It caused minor damage in Brawley, El Centro, Westmoreland, and even San Diego, where at least 40 aftershocks were reported felt in the following eight days. Hardest hit was Jacumba Hot Springs, fairly close to the epicenter.

During late October 2010, what the Los Angeles area has been experiencing are low-level earthquakes. A couple weeks ago, Santa Monica had one, and in recent days, a swarm of quakes has centered in the Gulf of California. Furthermore, predictions of the “Big One” are being pushed up, according to the local media there.


Illustration by Thom Marsh.
Is one person’s Mothman another person’s Giant Butterfly?

Is all the activity a clue to big news around the corner? Can “Giant Butterfly” sightings serve as banshee incidents, as has been assumed with the Mothman encounter history?

Perhaps only time will tell.

Thanks to Wil, Chris, and Patrick for info shared.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


14 Responses to “LA Quake Prediction: Are Giant Butterfly Sightings Mothman-Like Precursors?”

  1. Cass_of_MPLS responds:

    It is quite possible. You’ll recall that my parents and I saw something that looked like what later came to be known as “Mothman” in 1958 when en route from my Great-Aunt Thelma’s farm in Fairmont, WV to our own farm in Chillicothe, OH. On January 21, 1959 Ohio experienced a state-wide flood—which is a fairly major disaster as disasters go.

    “Mothman” and similar creatures seem to be drawn to where disasters are going to be—since I believe they feed on the energy generated by human emotions like fear and grief and so on (I see them as parasites—not intelligent beings) I think they can sense future disasters in much the same way a scavenger can sense that “something is dead” from miles away through sense of smell or sight. I think these Mothman-type creatures can sense locations in TIME where a banquet will be ready and so move towards it. The only difference being that beings like this don’t need for their prey to die in order to satisfy their hunger.

    As for an earthquake coming soon to Southern California—earthquakes (big enough for people to feel) are always happening there. I lived there for 38 years (from 1960 to 1998) and so I know just how common those things are. Of course, after you’ve been there awhile you don’t really react to anything much below a 5.0 but there were a good twenty or more of those (including the Whittier Narrows (5.9 with a 5.6 aftershock three days later) in 1987 Landers (7.3) in 1992 and Northridge (6.7—killed 72 people on Martin Luthur King Day in 1994) Earthquakes. Point is—it’s a fairly safe prediction to make, Criswell—especially when you add to that the study released o Friday August 20th this year which revealed that major quakes along the San Andreas happen about every 88 years—three times more often than had previously been supposed.

  2. graybear responds:

    The Faire Folk are playing with us. Again. Still.

  3. Cass_of_MPLS responds:

    Had you only said “Mexico” in your post, Loren—you could have been raking in some serious donations today

  4. Loren Coleman responds:

    Today’s 6.9 earthquake was in the Gulf of California, may have been centered in Baja California, in Mexico, and was widely felt in southern California.

    How does my nearly correct prediction translate into serious donations? Please explain that one?

  5. mefine responds:

    OK, I am a believer in Loren’s powers. :-) was that it or is an even bigger one coming?

  6. Loren Coleman responds:

    A 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck Mexico’s Gulf of California on Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

    The quake, which registered at a depth of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers), was centered between southern Baja California and the Mexican state of Sinaloa, about 65 miles from the city of Los Mochis in Sinaloa, the USGS said.

    There were no immediate reports of major damage, though residents in the area were shaken up.

    Frightened people streamed out of their buildings, local journalist Julio Cesar Martinez told CNN en Español.

    Schools in the area let out for the day, he said.

    “It was very strong,” Los Mochis fire department Cmdr. Victor Manuel Ledezma said. Weaker earthquakes had been felt in the area in the past few days, he said.

  7. Dr Kaco responds:

    I live out here in Santa Clarita which is considered North Los Angeles and over the past month I have spotted several large Moths on my balcony wall. Not to mention the biggest Praying Mantis I have ever seen and a few Monarch butterflies that I haven’t seen around these parts in years. They don’t go away.

    Only the recent rains have flushed them out. Hmmm Curious??

  8. Cass_of_MPLS responds:

    Well, once we open the Church of Saint Mothman and install you as its prophet….

  9. BoyintheMachine responds:

    Yeah, I don’t buy it. That last 2 years where I live has been record setting for number of earthquakes and still no sign of the winged-thing.

  10. Blue Steel responds:

    Nifty site for tracking earthquakes.

  11. z63Chris responds:

    Sorry Loren, your post reminded me so much of this ominous California earthquake warning from June of this year:

  12. Tacos_with_Chili responds:

    I recall seeing a giant caterpillar on the web while searching for unknown animals. I don’t know if it was a youtube video or a google image. Of course some pictures I saw was probably fake/hoaxed.
    But I did ran into a greenish caterpillar that was very large. Well from the picture it looked extremely large. I think it was the head that stood out. The head didn’t look like you were able to kill it by stepping on it.
    It looked like you can kill it by hitting it with a baseball bat! It looked like no caterpillar I seen before. Someone stated that it was most likely a caterpillar. Either from youtube video comment or yahoo answers.
    I tend to make a question on yahoo answers about what animals are these. I put a link of the picture by uploading it on photobucket and pasting the URL link on the question. I can’t remember because It was a few years ago. And I’m using a different computer tower so I don’t have the picture no more.

  13. alpha 1 responds:

    It was a partly cloudy-partly sunny day in Montrose California where I live in Los Angeles County just north of Glendale/Burbank area. The sky was clear. It was aprrox. between 2:30 and 3:00 pm on October 15, 2010 that I walked in the back of our apartment complex to feed our small group of squirrels and birds. I also went back there to check on one small baby squirrel that was always in the tall Eldeberry tree.
    I just stood back there quietly scanning the tree with my eyes for ‘little Sam’ the squirrel when I noticed above the tree line coming from my right way out in the sky, a sizable object that was moving at a steady moderate pace. Not soaring fast. Just passing from right to left in the sky. It was a clear sky. Partly cloudy-partly sunny.
    It didn’t take long to realize that this object was something quite unique. It is hard to deduce the distance that this object had been out in the sky but it was too large to have been a regular bird and did not look like an airplane or anything mechanical. The reason why it was so odd is that although seeing this from my angle looking up at it, I could not make out any real definition but I did see what looked like wings above this mass that flapped like the wings of a butterfly.
    It looked like what a gigantic butterfly would appear to be at a great distance in the sky. It was not streamlined or had wings open like a bird soaring. This is what really knocked me over. As it kept passing over I looked at this object that I then considered to be some kind of very large ‘bird’ because of the ‘wings’ that I saw flapping but in the motion that a butterfly would flap its wings. So in my mind my first thought was a huge ‘bird’ because of the many sightings of enormous ‘birds’ and the thought of a gigantic butterfly was to me, outlandish.
    Lastly, I do remember some ‘color’ in this mass and to the best of my memory, shades of red-orange, possibly reddish-yellow but I did see a hint of color in it. It passed and it was gone. It flew like it was in no rush at all. I went around the building to see if I could see more of it but couldn’t. I could not see any real definition like a head or tail but the ‘butterfly’ type wings and motion were standout in my memory.

  14. organelle responds:

    On October 28th, at ~1:20 pm, I witnessed what appeared to be a crow-or-larger sized orange animal, flying like a butterfly, past Sutro mount behind my flat in SF. There was another person there, but by the time she could get to the door the creature was behind a tree from which we did not see it emerge. I estimated its distance at ~1500 yards. Size: small to large raven. Colors: Bright orange and black, appeared somewhat reminiscent of a monarch and it’s flight was -not- like a bird’s (exactly like a butterfly).



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