Whilst many stories of Supernatural Creatures may date back hundreds of years with their origins sat firmly in historical lore, the story of the Cornish Owlman is a little more modern.
In 1926 the Cornish Echo reported a story about two boys being chased by a large and scary bird. The boys escaped to tell their story and that may have been the end of it, but it was to be the first of many sightings.
The human-bird hybrid became known as the Owlman, but this was not to be a group of sightings over a short period of time.
1937 saw Max Ernst and Leonora Carrington visit Mawnan, the area where the Owlman had been seen in the 1920’s. It is said they may have tried to perform various rituals to try and summon the creature. I have not managed to discover if they were successful to date, but perhaps those rituals were related to what came next.
1976, the year I was born in Cambridge, and there was another small flurry of sightings around the Church in Mawnan Smith.
On this occasion it was two young girls, Jane (12) and Vicky (9) Melling, that were attracted to the near-by woods by a strange hissing sound. They would also describe the huge bird as having red eyes and massive claws. Their father Don passed on June’s sketch of the Owlman to Tony ‘Doc’ Shiels.
1978 saw another sighting by someone who at first thought someone in a costume was playing a prank on them. However, their experience was similar to others and they described a large bird, which was silver grey in colour. The Owlman was seen flying upwards and then vanishing. They also add that there was an odd static noise that came from the trees for a little while afterwards.
There was a further two more sightings, one in 1989 and another in 1995. The sighting in 1995 was by an American tourist and Marine Biology Student from the Field Museum of Chicago. They advised that their experience occurred at about quarter past nine in the evening, once again near the church and Mawnan. Again it was described as a ‘birdman’ with glowing eyes. The student also described it as having been covered in silver grey feathers. Also, describing large claws too. However, one thing that was added, was that the experience was dream like.
Interestingly there were some additional strange occurrences in the area. In 1996 a woman reported a ball of light floating above the church, and two teenage girls reported a glowing, pulsing globe of light again over the church. That second one occurring in 2003.
Then after being vacant since the 1990’s, the Owlman made another appearance in 2009. This time, 12 year old Jessica was the witness.
All of these appearances of the Owlman seem to be around the Church of Mawnan. They all seem to agree that the Owlman is roughly 4 to 5 feet tall, may have a 2 to 3 metre wing span, large talons, silver grey feathers and piercing red eyes.
The description has some similarities to the famous Mothman too, but that Supernatural Creature disappeared following the Silver Bridge collapse. There’s been no obvious disasters in the area and also the Owlman sightings have continued much longer.
There are also reports of the area having remarkable energy and that could be connected to these sightings, but there are of course no conclusive explanations to date.
Could the Owlman of Mawnan be an Ewasian Eagle-Owl? Sometimes these Supernatural Creatures do have logical explanations, but it would need a witness to change their story following a confrontation with such an Eagle-Owl to prove it.
Then of course there is the possibility the whole thing was a hoax that Doc Shiels came up with. Perhaps even as a localised counter-part to Point Pleasants famous Mothman. Similar to the Mothman sightings, there was a high number of UFO sightings in the area too.
Is the Cornish Owlman a hoax? It seems unlikely as is still appears to be active, but not an impossibility. What are your thoughts on Cornwall’s Owlman legend?