Creatures, Myths & Legends
The strange case of the Cornish Owlman
By T.K. Randall
April 19, 2020 · 9 comments
The sightings have centered around Mawnan Church. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Tim Green
Back in 1976, several reports of a large owl-like creature sparked a legend that continues to endure to this day.
One of the most bizarre creature legends to have arisen out of the south of England, the Owlman (or the Cornish Owlman) was originally reported back in 1976 in the village of Mawnan, Cornwall.
The origins of this mysterious denizen are as questionable as the creature itself, but according to reports, the first to see it were two young girls who had been on holiday in the village on April 17th when they witnessed a "feathered bird-man" hovering over the nearby church.
On July 3rd it was seen again - this time by Sally Chapman and Barbara Perry - two 14-year-olds who had been aware of the previous sighting. They described "a big owl with pointed ears, as big as a man" which also had glowing eyes and pincer-like claws.
Further sightings of the Owlman would continue sporadically over the next few years and even now, over four decades on, there are still new cases of people who claim to have seen the creature.
But could such a beast actually exist or is there an alternative explanation ?
Some skeptics argue that the involvement of paranormal researcher Tony "Doc" Shiels, who claimed to have investigated the original sightings in 1976, casts doubt of the legitimacy of the reports.
Shiels has gained something of a questionable reputation for his paranormal monster endeavours having previously produced a number of hoaxed images of lake monsters and other things.
Several academics and researchers have also suggested that the most likely explanation for sightings of the Owlman is the Eurasian eagle-owl - a huge bird with a wingspan of up to 6ft.
Even so, the legend of the Owlman has now become so firmly entrenched in the local culture that it is likely to endure regardless of its questionable origins.
It is also likely that people will continue to report sightings of the creature well into the future.
Source: Cornwall Live
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