The Black Bird of Chernobyl

With the new HBO series, Chernobyl has re-entered the collective consciousness in a big way. But, did you know Chernobyl has its own Mothman-esque story? Lightly touched upon in our series the Black Bird of Chernobyl was spotted by many before and during the disaster, similar to how Mothman sightings were rampant during the Silver Bridge Collapse.

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Weeks before that fateful April day, workers at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant had been reporting and discussing a strange creature that many had witnessed. It seemed to fly high in the sky, so the descriptions were obscured but it was agreed that the creature was unnaturally large and bird-like, and quite unlike anything seen in that area previously.

Some of the stranger descriptions described it as a man-bird, but one that lacked a head and was only a neck. Its wingspan was believed to be around 20 feet and those who were close enough also reported seeing red eyes...sounds similar to America’s Mothman, doesn’t it?

Shortly after sightings, those who had witnessed the strange creature reported headaches, bad dreams, and even strange, seemingly threatening phone calls where no one appeared to be on the other side of the phone. Although one may have only seen the being for a moment, simply bearing witness to it seemed to have long-lasting effects that far outweighed the time the person saw the creature.

The connections to the Mothman story of 1968 are strikingly similar, especially regarding the threatening phone calls that led up to a major disaster. The sightings of the black bird of Chernobyl seem to further support the theory that is often brought up in connection with Mothman - that these beings may not be inherently evil or bad, but rather an omen for coming disaster.

Archaeologist Robert Maxwell commented on the connection noting,

“Because the workers apparently described the Blackbird as a headless, large-winged black creature with no head, but with fire red eyes — which most people take to mean the eyes appear in the torso, it sounded very similar to the Mothman sightings in the west. Many people believe the Mothman, like the Blackbird of Chernobyl, are the harbingers of doom, in the same way the banshee was a herald of doom and death to many Celtic societies.”

The above image is from Gyurika at Hungarian Wikipedia and is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.