Sunday, October 18, 2015

Encounters With Flying Humanoids Reviewed

Although this book came out some time back, it seems to have slipped under a lot people’s radar.  It’s come up in conversations I’ve had a couple of times this week, so after a quick re-read, I decided to post a review of it.

Ken Gerhard is well known as a cryptozoologist and has appeared on a variety of television shows including the recent series “Missing in Alaska.”  He’s familiar with a wide range of strange phenomena and this book clearly shows his comfort in dealing with a wider spectrum than just cryptids.
Ken took on a project that hasn’t been tackled anywhere else, the gathering of as many reports as possible of flying oddities.  His previous book on “Big Bird” sightings made him the perfect writer to take on such a project.  The results of his research are pretty impressive.

So called “flying humanoids” are quite fascinating in that they straddle various branches of weirdness.  While some fall under the classification of cryptids such as the owlman and sightings of pterodactyls, how exactly should we classify sightings of “batmen,” “witches,” or flying men? 

Of course, all the well-known flying creatures such as Mothman and the Jersey Devil are mentioned, but the real gold lies in the reports that Ken has dug up on more obscure flying oddities.  How many people are familiar with the Brentford Griffon, Britain’s Bat-winged Monkey Bird or Birdman encounters from around the world?
Having traveled through South America myself, I was particularly fascinated by reports of bird people that Ken gathered from that part of the world.  Clearly, there are still some amazing unsolved mysteries from the dense, unexplored regions south of the border.

Gerhard has a pleasant writing style so the book is an easy read.  Mostly a chronicle of reports through the ages, Ken also peppers in information from his own onsite investigations from locations such as Houston, Texas where a batman was encountered, to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, home of the infamous Mothman. Particularly valuable are the book’s numerous first person accounts from witnesses who have encountered the various strange, airborne creatures chronicled within.
The book is not an in-depth study of any one particular flying humanoid, but let’s face it, a lot of these entities would take volumes to fully explore.  Clearly, Ken set out to create a work showing the vast scope of flying creature encounters and he was successful in that.  With reports from around the globe and throughout the ages, the result is an index of strange flying beings that needs to be on the bookshelf of anyone interested in Fortean studies. 

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