A couple of weeks ago a 12 year old girl called Jessica Wilkins or Jessica Wilkinson encountered the Owlman of Mawnan.
This is the first sighting that I have heard of in several years and only the second this century.
Yes, the news did come from Tony Shiels, but I know that he was in Ireland at the time, because we were with him. No doubt this revelation will cause
further coals of opprobrium to be heaped upon my poor head by those who like to think that they know best.
However, we exist to tell you the news as it is told to us and we will, however, give you more news as and when we get it.
In April 1976, Tony Shiels, known to many as 'Doc' and sometimes as 'The Wizard of the Western World' wrote a letter:
"A very weird thing happened over the Easter weekend. A holiday-maker from Preston, Lancs., told me about something his two young daughters had seen
... a big, feathered bird-man hovering over the church tower at Mawnan (a village near the mouth of the Helford River). The girls (June 12, and Vicky,
daughters of Mr Don Melling), were so scared that the family cut their holiday short and went back three days early. This really is a fantastic thing,
and I am sure the man wasn't just making it up because he'd been told I was on a monster hunt. I couldn't get the kids to talk about it (in fact,
their father wouldn't even let me try), but he gave me a sketch of the thing drawn by June.
"There have been no reports, so far as I know, of anybody else seeing the Bird-Man ... even if it turned out to be just a fancy dress hang-glider,
you'd think someone else would have spotted him ... but Mawnan is not a place for hang-gliding! I really don't know what to think ... it's as if a
whole load of weirdness has been let loose in the Falmouth area since last autumn!"
Although, if you read any of the books on general mystery animals such as Alien Animals by Janet and Colin Bord, or indeed any of the contemporary
copies of Fortean Times the claim that Cornwall had been particularly weird at the time is often made, it is not until you visit the Cornish Studies
Library in the back streets of Redruth, sit yourself down at one of their microfiche machines, and physically examine twelve months or more's issues
of The Falmouth Packet, The West Briton and The Western Morning News that you can see quite how strange the time actually was. For a period between
the late autumn of 1975 and the early spring of 1977 it seems that Southern Cornwall was seized by a period of collective madness. Much of this is
chronicled in some depth in my book The Owlman and Others but even there I think that I failed to give a true picture of quite how strange the area