The Big “Bat” of Oak Creek, Wisconsin

“I notice something odd — a vague and disturbing mass — moving near the top of one of the trees.”

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word cryptid as “An animal whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated, such as the yeti.”  For the following witnesses to living cryptids, there is no dispute. In this series of National Cryptid Society’s case files, you will read what the witnesses have experienced in their own words.  Keep an open mind when reading these accounts, and also remember one’s perception and memory of an event can be influenced by the emotions felt at the time of the occurrence. The contributors to this series of articles are doing the best they can to recount what are in some cases very shocking and traumatic experiences. If you have a personal cryptid sighting story you would like to tell us, please visit our “Make A Report” page on this site.
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Submitted by “anonymous” Location: Oak Creek, WI Date: 12/14/2018
I sighted a very strange flying creature over a week ago while driving home from work on December 14, 2018 at approximately 6:00 PM in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. This weird experience has been brimming to the top of my mind recently, so I decided to finally make a report — somewhere, anywhere — to relieve my thoughts about it. I had been telling myself that I most likely witnessed a large hawk or owl; but incidentally, while watching the “bat scene” in Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom during Christmas vacation, I realized that I should be honest with myself. The creature I saw was definitely not bird-related. I was driving between 30 and 35 miles per hour eastbound on Drexel Avenue; it’s my usual route home, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I just passed over the railroad tracks and proceeded up an incline bordered by farmland and trees. I should note at this point: I’m accustomed to casually scanning this street’s shoulders because deer will sometimes cross into traffic. It can get quite dark here, although, with the streetlamps and clear skies, I could see enough detail for comfort. Also, about a block ahead to the left, the glow of the sprawling Life Creek Church property was just breaking the horizon. What I’m describing next occurred within about five or six seconds, so please don’t mistake my detail for a prolonged incident. The oddity of it all imprinted what seems like movie frames in my memory.
I’m approaching a series of young trees, now barren of leaves for the winter, lining the church property. I notice something odd — a vague and disturbing mass — moving near the top of one of the trees. I had a scant thought that I’m seeing a “really rare bird,” and just then this thing dives off the tree towards the road, flapping its wings once and rising sharply. At this point, it appeared as a big, brown blur. Then, this supposed bird beats its massive wings twice more — WHOOSH, WHOOSH. Now, it’s gliding across the left lane into clear view, illuminated by my headlights. As I reflexively remove my foot from the gas pedal, I study this creature’s profile through the safety of my windshield. I absorb every detail possible, confused yet intrigued. From front to back, this whole animal is colored a dull beige. Its wings are stretched high for a good second or two. They are leathery and have supporting “ribs” — no feathers or plumage whatsoever. The body is smooth with a thin, fuzzy coat; the head is triangular with a darker-brown blotch for its “eye area.” I didn’t understand any of my observations, but it was real and absolutely outrageous.
Sketch provided by witness
It whooshes its wings once again to traverse across the entire right lane, soaring into a thick treeline. I exhaled and exclaimed, “Wow, now that’s a big bird!” I swiveled my head to face the road again as I passed through its trajectory. A car approached over the hill from the opposite lane, and I wondered if the driver saw anything. Seconds later, I stopped at the next intersection’s traffic lights, rummaging through the taxonomic possibilities: a hawk, an owl, an eagle? Maybe it was a huge bat? But this creature had a four- to five-foot wingspan. I’ve witnessed hawks from no more than 10 yards away jumping on bushes to catch rodents, and that’s the only thing I could compare it to. “Well, that’s what it was, then,” I rationalized. Today, I began to research various bats living in Wisconsin…then North America, then the world. I couldn’t find any species that resembled this thing’s proportions or color. The nearest relation I could find to it was the flying fox bat. The size is about right, but this “bat” I saw was monochromatic-beige. I didn’t catch any legs or ear protrusions, but that’s probably because most of my focus was on those monstrous wings.


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