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Encounters with Flying Humanoids: Mothman, Manbirds, Gargoyles & Other Winged Beasts [Paperback]

Ken Gerhard
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 Oct 2013
A strange creature with gigantic, blood-red embers for eyes crept out of the dark in West Virginia. Dozens of witnesses reported seeing the winged beast later identified as the Mothman take flight, chasing cars at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour. Cryptozoologist Ken Gerhard has travelled the world collecting evidence on the Mothman, the Owlman, the Van Meter Creature, the Valkyrie of Voltana, the Houston Batman, and other strange bird people that have been sighted throughout history. Packed with famous historical cases and dozens of chilling first-person accounts, this is the first book to focus exclusively on flying humanoids a wide array of airborne entities that seem to feed off our fear like psychic vampires .

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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (15 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738737208
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738737201
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 262,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Ken Gerhard is a world-famous cryptozoologist. He has investigated reports of mysterious beasts around the world, appeared on many TV programmes including Monster Quest and Legend Hunters, wrote Big Bird: Modern Sightings of Flying Monsters, and co-authored Monsters of Texas.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 11 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you like reading books about this subject then buy this book excellent read well done Ken best of the lot regarding this subject
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable overview of aerial phenomena 1 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read a lot of cryptozoology books, but this is the first I've read by Ken Gerhard. Production values among this genre are usually pretty variable and I'm happy to say this is one of the better produced books. Of course it's not without errors, but this seems fairly typical nowadays.

Anyway to the content. As the title obviously suggest it's an examination of humanoid aerial phenomena. The book is split up into themed chapters, which for the most part works pretty well. The range of material spans nineteenth century US newspaper reports to modern sightings associated with the UFO genre. I was familiar with the nineteenth century newspapers reports, which are always good fun regardless, and more famous entities such as the Mothman and New Jersey Devil. However, there was also enough unfamiliar material in the book to stir my imagination. I have in mind the Mexican aeronaut evidence. As a bonus at the end of the book is an appendix featuring winged creatures from mythology. There are a number of decent illustrations throughout, which add to the mood.

I felt that Gerhard's narrative bounced along at a good pace without being too drawn out or short. I like the way he presented the evidence and he doesn't try to argue strongly for one particular view over another. Although, a decent conclusion attempts to synthesise different views at the end. What really works in the book though is the balance, by which I mean it's length and the choice of material in it. I find some books provide too much anecdotal evidence and lose their shock impact. In this case I think Gerhard and the publisher have got it just right. All in all I found it a very good read and would recommend it to others who may be tempted.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars FASCINATING BUT FRUSTRATING 5 Sep 2013
By Richard Masloski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Ken Gerhard's book is a collection of high strangeness accounts of world-wide encounters with, believe it or not, flying humanoids. It is a mind-boggling overview of this bizarre phenomenon and, as such, eerily eye-opening. The trouble is that the book is way too sketchy for its startling subject. And speaking of 'sketchy', time and again, Gerhard mentions several sketches made by eyewitnesses - yet hardly anywhere in the book are any of these sketches reproduced. The drawings that are included seem to be a variety of artists' amalgams of witness descriptions - yet it would have been much more preferable to have some of the actual sketches reproduced. The same is to be said for the Mexican UFH (Unidentified Flying Humanoid) mystery. This is a fairly recent phenomenon. Mention is made of several videos having been taken of these mysterious flying beings - yet the book reproduces not a single still from any of these films. Instead we have meaningless photos of a police witness behind the wheel of his patrol car and a spelunker in a cave wherein the UFHs may roost - a cave in which no evidence was found whatsoever. In the chapter of Mothman, mention is made of a photograph purportedly taken of the Mothman's face at a window - yet instead of that vital photo we are given instead a picture of the Ohio River at Point Pleasant. Certain large owls and cranes are mentioned as perhaps having been mistaken for Mothman and other flying humanoids, yet there are no pictures provided of these huge birds either. In short, the illustrations used in the book leave very much to be desired.

No index doesn't help, either. Nor do slight errors of fact that could easily have been corrected: for example, there is no ancient text entitled JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS as stated on page 208. The title of the main source for the Jason saga is ARGONAUTICA. And with regards to Mothman's monicker, as writ on page 105, to state that "the press eventually dubbed the monster Mothman (based on a character from the BATMAN television series), and a modern legend was born" is simply erroneous. The Batman character was actually named Killer Moth - and appeared in an episode that was never aired. Though errors such as these are seemingly harmless, the question arises that if verifiable facts can be misrepresented, what then of the recounting of the outlandish encounters at the heart of the book?

There is also a sense of haste and incompleteness through the text. In the chapter on Mothman, wherein Gerhard begins his own on-site investigation, we are given a novelistic description of the author's flight to Point Pleasant and a precise description of his anonymous passenger - "He was a pleasant-looking, sandy-blond-haired man in his late thirties dressed in casual business attire." But for what end? This man is never heard of again and has absolutely nothing of vital import to add to the story. So this descriptive is merely a waste of sentence space! Once landed, a page later, we are informed that our investigating author "decided to grab a burger at the local cafe, which was reminiscent of an authentic 1950s diner." Why is this irrelevant detail added, yet we learn next to naught about the WEIRD OR WHAT TV show segment that is being filmed in Point Pleasant and of which our investigator was a part - except that our author, darn it, didn't have the pleasure of meeting the show's host William Shatner: "Unfortunately, I learned that Shatner's scenes would be filmed in California, so I would not have the great honor of meeting him." That is interesting, but what of the actual TV segment? Another example of the book's lack of depth is to be found on page 148 - 149: "Wrapping up our investigation we made our last stop at the home of Santiago Yturria in order to view his extensive collection of video clips that purported to show the enigmatic flying humanoids of Mexico. Admittedly, I left Monterrey as befuddled as ever. The only conclusion I could reach was that a diverse collection of airborne weirdos were making their presence known throughout the expansive nation...and evidently they had been there for a very long time." That's an investigation??? That's a conclusion? "Airborne weirdos"? What about scientific analysis of the extensive collection of videos? What about at least throwing his readers a bone by-way of a frame grab? Instead, just below the lackluster conclusion as stated above we are offered a totally pointless picture of a man in a miner's hat squatting inside of a cave. We aren't even told who the man is! In the chapter entitled CONCLUSIONS it says - with regards to the possibility of people mistaking large birds for flying humanoids - that large birds do not come "anywhere close to being manlike in size." Really? The Sandhill crane can be four foot tall and can have a wingspan of seven feet. The Whooping Crane measures up to five feet tall with a seven-eight foot wingspan. The American White Pelican has a body length of up to 5 foot 8 inches with a wingspan of up to ten feet!So how can our author blanketly tell us that large birds do not come "anywhere close to being manlike in size"? Gerhard's final conclusion regarding the mystery is stated thusly: "I chose to view the flying humanoids as a manifestation of the negative energy that courses through everything, somehow channeled by us and then projected onto a screen that comprises the fabric of our reality." The thing is, though, why should hypothetical negative energy within us take the form of the startlingly wide variety of flying humanoids that have been reported and then be projected onto our screen-like reality? Gerhard's conclusion may sound deep, but it isn't. And that is the sad thing about the book. The subject is profoundly deep, but this book is... painfully shallow.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Superficial and poorly researched 12 Sep 2013
By OH's Meowmie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book to be both superficial and poorly researched. For instance in discussing the 1909 Jersey Devil flap the author draws the conclusion that it was a real estate hoax but offers no research or citations to back this up. He also states that it was "widely believed" that the tracks attributed to the devil were manufactured but again makes no effort to back up the claims.

Similarly, the author makes a huge leap when discussing a flying humanoid over Ft. Hood, TX. After relaying the story of a woman who saw what looked like a human floating over the base the author states that this incident gives "intriguing affirmation" that at least some of the flying humanoid tales are "experimental flying apparatuses" despite the fact that there is no proof other than the fact that this happened over a military installation.

I would have welcomed a look at some of the famous cases (Mothman, the Jersey Devil) that drew some well researched conclusions but this effort is all conjecture with no substance. The only real strength this book has is when the author just reports other people's experiences and lets them stand on their own merit without inserting his own beliefs into the mix.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange Flying Things 25 Nov 2013
By Golden Egg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The flying humanoid encounters in this book are quite terrifying and appear to come straight out of a horror movie. Most of the cases in the book have been mentioned in other books (some in great detail) but it is nice to have this as sort of a reference book. However, this one misses the boat on many fronts including more illustrations (and those done by the witnesses themselves). We do get a few pictures and illustrations, but nothing like many other reference books out there.

The good part is there are many newer cases listed in this book I have not heard before. The author should of spent a bit more time on those cases instead of rehashing the Mothman case (and even shooting a few barbs and John Keel in the process).

The main problem is lack of any evidence to support what is being stated by the witnesses. I realize the creatures are flying and tend to not leave any footprints or other physical traces like Sasquatch sightings sometimes do. A photograph gets a mention but I have seen it and it does not look like a creature to me. A video also is mentioned but it appears to be a dummy on a wire moving in a straight line. These do not count as evidence and do not even appear in the book. So why does the author even bother to mention them?

Again, it is about bringing the evidence out to try and figure out what is going on. We are treated to some excellent eyewitness accounts but nothing else. We get a few encounters of a flying woman attacking a car with clawed hands, but we are not told if there were any markings (or photos taken of them) left.

I won't dismiss anything the witnesses say at this point but I am one that either needs to see one of these terrifying creatures myself or view some credible evidence.

The book itself is an interesting read and can be added as a reference book on the subject of strange entities.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great information 6 Mar 2014
By Ali A Moinian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have already purchased Mothaman and loved it. However, I have never heard about the Flying Humanoids. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to make a trip to the world of unknown. Please do not read it on a stormy night when you are alone.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Encounters with Flying Humanoids 11 Sep 2013
By celticmaggie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This was an interesting book to read. I have always been drawn to anything odd, paranormal and otherwise strange. I especially liked this book because Ken worked hard to include a great many countries and stories I had never heard of before. There were stories in Cornwall, Britain, South America, Mexico and at the top of my list our own West Virginia and the Mothman. I am rather drawn to the Jersey Devil as it has been spotted in my husband's hometown of Swedesboro, New Jersey. I am always on the fence over these tales. Are they real or, Hey people do you really believe this? I believe there are things out there. Read this book and see if you believe.
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