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Owlman Online

Posted by: Nick Redfern on May 26th, 2012

Probably the closest thing that the UK has to the legendary Mothman of the United States, the Owlman is a glowing eyed, winged nightmare that has certainly obsessed more than a few researchers in their time, and reportedly nearly scared to death more than a few witnesses to its beastly actions, too.

Its abode is Mawnan, Cornwall, and the tale of the creature easily rivals that of Mothman – even though Point Pleasant’s most famous resident is, of course, far more well known.

But, for those who – like me – find the Owlman saga as fascinating as it is controversial, you may want to have a good read of Robert Guffey’s article Cryptoscatology, which was published in the pages of Fortean Times in March of this year, but which is now online at the magazine’s website.

In the article, Guffey talks about the curious saga of the Owlman and painter and surrealist Max Ernst, who happened to die in 1976; the very year in which the Owlman surfaced. The Ernst-Owlman angle is not a new one, but I mention it because Guffey provides a good, concise, and thought-provoking commentary on the link in his article that many may not be aware of.

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.


One Response to “Owlman Online”

  1. Cropper responds:

    I followed the link and read the article. As Guffey himself says in the piece, “..though this may sound like pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo…” – he’s right on the money. What a crock.

    His primary flaw is – as many UK cryptozoologists clearly agree – that Owlman is a genuine Fortean phenomena, and Tony “Doc” Sheils is, as Guffey states, simply “.. a surrealist magician, painter, Punch and Judy professor, and all around roustabout of some note..”

    How about adding proven hoaxer to the list, and Owlman is one of his most successful creations.

    Anyone who doubts this needs to get a copy of the late Mark Chorvinsky’s devastating piece on Sheils’ range of hoaxes in Strange Magazine (Fall 1991). Excerpt here.

    No-one has ever met the original Owlman witnesses – it was all via Doc. I also believe that its Doc who gets the image royalties for the famous ‘eyewitness’ sketches. Its clearly a complete fake and its time researchers wrote it off. But clearly they can’t, because it plays to their theories around the source of the weirder cryptids. The UK Forteans are a smart bunch, but it just amazes me that they can’t let go of Owlman.

    There were some strong rumours flying around a few years ago that one very well-known UK cryptozoologist had had their own Owlman encounter. I can always stand being corrected – maybe time to stand up publically and prove this colonial wrong?



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