Flashback: Houston Bat Man

Fifty-three years ago on this date in 1953, a mysterious encounter occurred at 118 East Third Street, Houston, Texas. The sighting will forever be characterized as the “Houston Bat Man.” Is it more bat or man? Even thoughts of Mothman flitter about, as the thing was first compared with a moth. The story has been mixed up in the lore of “winged weirdies” and, probably inappropriately, within the David Grabias 2002 documentary, In Search of the Mothman.

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According to witness testimony, at 2:30 a.m. on June 18, 1953, Mrs. Hilda Walker, Judy Meyers and Howard Phillips were sitting on the front porch of an apartment building, seeking relief from the summer heat, which was robbing them of sleep, when suddenly Mrs. Walker glanced up.

“About 25 feet away I saw a huge shadow cross the lawn,” she said. “I thought at first it was the magnified reflection of a big moth caught in the nearby street light. Then the shadow seemed to bounce upward into a pecan tree. We all looked up.

“That’s when we saw it. It was the figure of a man with wings like a bat. He was dressed in gray or black tight-fitting clothes. He stood there for about 30 seconds, swaying on the branch of the old pecan tree. Suddenly the light began to fade slowly. Little Judy screamed as the light died out and the figure disappeared.

“Immediately afterwards we heard a loud swoosh over the housetops across the street. It was like a white flash of a torpedo-shaped object.”

Phillips told the Houston Chronicle that the figure “was encased in a halo of light” and dressed in what looked like a paratrooper uniform. He stood about six-and-a-half feet tall and was framed in a dim gray light.

Source: Mysterious America (NY: Paraview Pocket – Simon and Schuster, 2006, page 261)