Post by Graveyardbride on Jun 26, 2019 19:22:32 GMT -5
The Blackbird of Chernobyl
According to witnesses, a horrifying black, headless creature with glowing red eyes was observed above the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the days leading up to the April 1986 disaster. It has also been claimed those who saw the monster were plagued by terrifying nightmares and received threatening telephone calls. It has now been 33 years since the tragedy and somewhere along the way, the Mothman-type creature was dubbed the “Blackbird of Chernobyl.”
The Blackbird. Robert Maxwell of Sydney, Australia, is the only archaeologist who has ever worked at Chernobyl, completing two field excursions at the exclusion zone in 2010 and 2012. He is passionate about the site in both a historical and archaeological sense and there is little Maxwell doesn’t know about Chernobyl, whether physical or supernatural.
Maxwell heard about the Blackbird of Chernobyl while in the exclusion zone. “The legend states that in the days leading up to April 26, 1986, that a supernatural creature was sighted in the sky over Chernobyl by many of the men in the control room. They also claimed to have seen this terrifying creature just before the explosion,” he recalled.
“Now it’s become one of those fables that’s difficult to track because it relies on the accounts of people who died due to radioactive contamination,” Maxwell continues. “The Blackbird has also become one of those fairly safe legends where, if you try to look for proof, it might not be available because the workers are dead, or maybe the sightings were never officially recorded. So, for people trying to check the voracity of these claims, of course, you’ve got to take them on face value because there’s not a lot of history or archaeology to go on. But the stories persist, even to this day.”
Maxwell describes the legends surrounding Chernobyl as “the fireside stories of the 21st century.” These days, the Blackbird of Chernobyl is something of an internet legend, similar to “Slenderman” and creepy pasta legend “The Smiling Man.” According to the archaeologist, “These legends fill a place for us as humans that the ghost stories and stories by the fireside fulfilled back in the earlier centuries. But there are a couple of versions of the Blackbird story and the earliest known account seems to have come from 2005.”
In his recitation of the story, Maxwell says: “According to the legend, rumors went through the ranks of Chernobyl, that five employees had seen a large, dark headless creature with gigantic wings and fire red eyes. Chernobyl employees began sharing strangely similar experiences, some had horrifying nightmares, while others received threatening phone calls.
“The second account I’ve heard of this story comes from 2007 which says that people in and around the power plant began to experience a series of strange events revolving around sightings of a mysterious creature – also described as a large dark and mutated creature with large wings and piercing red eyes. People affected by the phenomena also experienced nightmares and had first-hand encounters with the winged beast. Some of the workers reported their bizarre experiences to supervisors of the facility, but there was very little these officials could do even if they’d been willing to take action. Then, in April, disaster struck.” Reactor number four of the nuclear power plant exploded on April 26 and two days later, the entire city of Pripyat was evacuated.
It was several years later that the stories of the Blackbird began to spread. “Because the workers apparently described the Blackbird as a headless, large-winged black creature with no head, but with fire red eyes – which most people take to mean the eyes appear in the torso,” Maxwell continues, “it sounded very similar to the Mothman sightings in the west. Many people believe the Mothman, like the Blackbird of Chernobyl, are the harbingers of doom, in the same way the banshee was a herald of doom and death to many Celtic societies.”
The Mothman. Sightings of the Mothman began in November 1967 in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and the creature has become one of America’s most endearing mysteries. More than 100 locals reported seeing what they described as a six-foot-tall beast, covered in hair or feathers, with a wingspan of six to 10 feet and bright, glowing red eyes. Then, in December, a chain suspension bridge over the Ohio River between Point Pleasant and Gallipolis, Ohio, crashed into the water at peak hour traffic, killing 46 people. Some claimed they saw the Mothman on the bridge just before it collapsed.
Because the bridge fell during the time people were seeing the Mothman, the two became intertwined. Whether one believes the legend or not, after more than 50 years, one story cannot be told without mentioning the other: The bridge-collapse and Mothman are forever linked. There’s even a Mothman statue in Point Pleasant, which has become a popular tourist spot and for the past 17 years, the city has held a Mothman Festival: This year’s festival will take place September 21-22.
A Mothman was also reportedly spotted in Germany when a mine collapsed in Freiburg on September 10, 1978, killing several miners. However, more than 20 miners who were scheduled to work that day were absent because they were frightened by the “thing” perched at the entrance to the mine. This particular creature, now know as the “Freiburg Shrieker,” is considered a “grim reaper” that appears just before a death.
Of course, skeptics dismiss the Blackbird as either an elaborate hoax or a case of mass hysteria. Some believe the stories were created by Pripyat authorities in an attempt to keep people out of the radioactive area where looting is still a problem.
According to Maxwell, while there are those who consider the creature a herald of doom, others see it in a different light, as something of a time-traveler of some type that keeps returning to sudden, unexpected disasters. “And for others,” he adds, “the Mothman is a completely supernatural entity that’s drawn in, like a moth is drawn to a flame; the Mothman or the Blackbird is simply drawn to the energy of disasters, or so the story goes.
Basically, Maxwell suggests, the Blackbird is “a fascinating little spooky side note to the story of Chernobyl because not many people are aware of the stories of this creature. But it certainly adds to the creep factor. As if the Chernobyl disaster wasn’t terrifying enough, then you’ve got these alleged encounters with a black, winged red-eyed creature at night.”
When asked if he encountered anything supernatural during his two field excursions at Chernobyl, Maxwell replies, “No, absolutely not. It was entirely very much real terror when you’re there. What’s truly frightening is that you’ve got the all-encompassing overwhelming threat of radioactive contamination if you do the wrong thing or go in the wrong place or lean against the wrong object. There are certain things in the zone today for which any contact for any prolonged period of time will definitely kill you.”
There are also those who suggest if anything was seen over the Chernobyl plant prior to the accident, it was nothing more than a rare black stork. However, Loren Coleman, one of the top cryptozoologists in the United States, dismisses both the black stork and Mothman theories, insisting the alleged sightings arose from the fictional accounts in the 2002 film The Mothman Prophecies. “The Chernobyl story, the Galveston Hurricane-Mothman tie-in and other examples given in the 2002 movie were pure fiction. Right after the movie was released, various websites posted the Chernobyl/Mothman reports as factual,” Coleman claims. “But there is not one shred of evidence that any winged weirdies were witnessed before the Chernobyl accident. It is a bit of movie fiction that has, unfortunately, moved into pseudo-factoid cryptozoology.”
Sources: L.J. Charleston, "Blackbird of Chernobyl," SOTT (Signs of the Times), June 15, 2019, and "Mothman over Chernobyl," Singular Fortean, June 15, 2017.