Manuel Navarette of UFO Clearinghouse was contacted on Friday by a woman who said she had taken a photograph of a “giant bat” outside of a Best Buy in Melrose Park, a suburb of Chicago.
In an email to UFO Clearinghouse, the woman wrote:
“I would like to report a sighting that I had today in downtown Melrose Park, Illinois at Winston Plaza, just outside the Best Buy store.
I was coming out of the Best Buy with my husband when we saw what looked like a large black bat that flew over the building. It must have been at least 20 feet or more up in the air and was solid black and flying very fast.
I reached for my phone to try to get a picture of it, but by the time I fished out my phone from my purse, unlocked it and pulled up the camera the bat had flown quite a distance away from us. I was able to snap one good picture of the object before it got too far away from us. I am not the greatest photographer and my cell phone is a couple of years old already, but you can see the object in the picture flying off to the west toward the city. I did not see a lot of detail as it was up in the air and flying away from us pretty fast. I do remember it was solid black, bigger than any bird I have seen and had a large pair of wings that must have been 7 feet wide.
I hope the picture helps in telling what it was or was not.”
Investigator Lon Strickler, of Phantoms and Monsters, enlarged the flying object in the picture, and applied various filters in an attempt to enhance its visibility.
The flying object is difficult to make out, but the lack of a clear division between its body and wings could be explained by the presence of a membrane, and the general shape of the object is very similar to a bat in flight.
This sighting marks the 24th time in 2017 that a strange winged creature has been spotted over or around Chicago. The witness in this case did not remark on any humanoid features, but the 7′ wingspan she described is consistent with what has been reported so far. It also took place much earlier than most reported sightings, although other daylight encounters have occurred.
Most of the sightings have taken place in the lakefront area within a few miles of Lake Michigan, although there are some starting to come from the suburbs surrounding Chicago. The sightings generally take place in the evening or at night, often in or near a park and around water, and witnesses consistently describe a large, bat or bird-like creature with humanoid features; although in one case the creature was reportedly “insect-like.”