New Minnesota Mothman Sighting

Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 11th, 2007

George Noory, during the “Coast to Coast AM” program last night, August 10, 2007, took various calls from individuals who reported many kinds of cryptids. The C2C link is here.

The link serves as a way to hear a replay of the entire program, to conduct a mp3 download, or to read a summary.

Some talk was of the overlap between the Mothman banshee mythos and the 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge (pictured below). (You can read about the “I-35W Blues” elsewhere at Cryptomundo.) But most of the callers specifically shared their firsthand stories.

Bridge Collapse

Folks telephoned in and told their own eyewitness accounts for hours. Here are two examples:

A caller in Illinois claimed to have witnessed the Mothman on June 27th [2007] while driving outside of Stewartville, MN. She said the creature had a huge wing[span] about the width of a Ford….Carol in Kissimmee, FL described her encounter with a Bigfoot. She claims the 7-ft tall animal had a tree branch in his hand and stood only 10 feet away from her car.Coast to Coast with George Noory, August 10, 2007, Premiere Radio Networks.

Please note, the “Mothman” (or large bird, Thunderbird) was reported to have been seen on June 27th, over a month before the August 1, 2007, collapse of the I-35W Bridge. That this is only being reported now, after all the talk of Mothman and the Silver Bridge collapse, must be held as suspect. So the question must be asked: Are there newspaper records of big bird sightings from SE Minnesota for the months before the bridge collapse, or is this myth-making occurring now?

“Stewartville is a city in Olmsted County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 5,411 at the 2000 census. Stewartville has experienced growth as a result of its location just south of Rochester.” – Wikipedia.

Rochester, Minnesota, will be recalled as the site of Bigfoot sightings in 1968. For example, Larry Hawkins reported he saw a hairy hominoid when he was going south on Highway 52, during that year, according to a report from Brad Steiger. Steiger, writing in The Allende Letters also mentioned he collected a Stewartville sighting of aerial phenomena from Warren Anding, for October 24, 1968.

This area of Minnesota apparently has a special strangeness about it. Jim Brandon in Weird America writes that at Chatfield, 16 miles southeast of Rochester on U.S. 52, excavations in the 1880s recovered six skeletons of “enormous size.”

Interstate 35

U.S. Highway 52 is the main road north from the Driftless Area of the southeastern corner of Minnesota, and anyone traveling that route will find they will intersect with I-35W in Minneapolis.

Well, in general, that is. Photoguy writes in to specifically tell me: “Hwy 52 becomes Hwy 50 in Hampton, MN and then splits northwest becoming Hwy 55 and to the Northeast once again becoming Hwy 52. That part of Hwy 52 eventually meets up with I 35E in St. Paul. It is Hwy 55 that eventually meets with I 35W in Minneapolis.”

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

14 Responses to “New Minnesota Mothman Sighting”


    WEIRD! It’s amazing that this is coming to notice now. It is also possible that only after learning about Mothman and the Silver bridge that the eyewitness came forward or fabricated the sighting…

  2. shumway10973 responds:

    It is totally understandable if and when people wait to tell their stories like that. After all, most of us here should understand the cynicism our society has towards anything weird. The unfortunate thing is that no one is coming forward with similar stories of warnings or what their “thing” they encountered looked like.

  3. oroblanco responds:

    At this point, after the fact of the bridge collapse, any report coming forward is suspect. This is unfortunate in that it could be a legitimate report, but must be viewed with suspicion simply because it surfaced after the disaster.

    Two points are in order, first, that people should be encouraged to report sightings of strange things without fear of ridicule and/or retribution; only when such reports can be verified as to the date and time of the incident having occurred prior to any disaster which could be in some way related, can such reports be viewed without the suspicion that the report is a result of the disaster, and could be bogus.

    The second point is that Mothman and the Thunderbird are quite different in several ways. Amerindian legends of the Thunderbird appear to be a memory of a large, predatory bird or even a surviving flying Pterosaur, while Mothman seemed to be something quite other-worldly, related to UFOs and capable of communicating with human beings. It is a leap of logic to tie in Mothman with Thunderbird reports, one that is not fully warranted.

    If this report of a sighting in June can be verified as actually having happened in June and not something that is less than truthful, it is still possible to be a Thunderbird report and not a Mothman report.

  4. Loren Coleman responds:

    “Mothman seemed to be something quite other-worldly, related to UFOs and capable of communicating with human beings. It is a leap of logic to tie in Mothman with Thunderbird reports, one that is not fully warranted.”

    Mothman “seems” many things to many people. However, a close study of the reports shows (1) no communication between Mothman and humans, and (2) the association with other phenomena is an artifact of the writings of John Keel. No “other-worldly” phenomena was ever directly seen in conjunction with Mothman.

  5. twblack responds:

    Yes I agree with any new report will always be looked at as skeptical after this bridge collapse. As fas as the MM Comm. with humans I could be wrong but I thought that was just something added in the movie (Mothman Prophecies).

  6. photoguy responds:

    I agree that any reported sighting made after the fact with the associated event is suspect.

    I also found the mention of Chatfield, MN interesting. I once knew a man who lived in a one room cabin near Chatfield. He was a self taught wildlife artist with extraordinary abilities. He specialized in birds. His drawing were so realistic it would have made John James Audubon do cartwheels.

  7. ToddPartain responds:

    This whole incident has caused me to keep an open ear about local bridges here in my town. One, the Jimmie Davis, is in very bad appearance and now carries a far greater load than ever intended.

  8. omne51 responds:

    The sightings in SE Minnesota are interesting. I am a cop here in Rochester, Minnesota, and I was born and raised here (34 yrs old) on a farm NE of Rochester, between Rochester and a small town named Elgin. Attended public school in Rochester. I have never heard of the Bigfoot sighting along Highway 52, and I have never heard of the skeletons in Chatfield. I will have to research this.

    Incidentally, I also lived in the Cities (St. Paul suburbs of West St. Paul and Cottage Grove) for 9 years, and my wife still drives to Minneapolis on Hwy 52, 3 days a week from Rochester, and we both are on Hwy 52 all the time. Have never seen anything out of the ordinary.

  9. sschaper responds:

    I also live in Rochester, and got gas in Stewartville, yesterday.

    I haven’t heard of any of these things, either.

    We do have the occasional bald eagle, egrets and herons.

    I’ve heard of a black bear with cub in the southern parts of town. I’ve heard of the wolverine caught on a security camera at the Ford dealership in Zumbrota. I know about the cougars a couple hours west of here near Mankato. I’ve heard that coyotes are in town. Racoons live in the storm sewers. Deer are called “big rats” by the local farmers, there’s so many of them.

    But I’ve never heard of these things. Of course, I do miss some local news, as I just use the internet for info.

    As wide as a Ford” A Ford -what-? And along the length or the width? Makes a big difference.

    My not having heard of any of this is by no means conclusive, I’d take the officer’s knowledge a lot more seriously, but it sure is interesting to have things happening right where I live.

  10. omne51 responds:

    What you heard about the black bear was true. One of the guys on our department caught it on his squad video about 2 to 2 1/2 years ago, just to the SE of town. I saw the video but wish I could have seen it in person!

  11. DARHOP responds:

    And here we go!!! How come I knew their would be a Mothman sighting after the bridge collapse…

  12. amy318 responds:

    And here we go….maybe because that is when the connection was made!

  13. sparks25 responds:

    Now that we’ve had all this flooding this week in southeastern MN, it will be interesting to see if anything crazy gets washed up (skeletons, etc).

  14. thevocalist responds:

    I can see your skeptisism runs high Darhop. So then all the eyewitnesses in West Virginia are liars? Or the sightings in London. When you have that many eye witness accounts, it’s hard for anyone with an open mind discredit. I agrees they sighting should have been reported upon first seeing it. Also from the witnesses standpoint, He probably figured no onw would believe him. Since the radio show offered a platform for discussion, he may have felt more at ease to share his sighting. I’ve been researching this topic alot lately. The Mothman, or what ever else you want to call it, has been reported over the Nuclear plant in Chernoble, before the melt down, and Reports of the same from 1926 in China before a Damn gave way killing thousands. I think some creature does exist, it’s origin, I have no idea, Some say it’s a mutated species from the bio hazard im West Virginia, That wouldn’t account for the 1926 sighting.

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