Kushtaka: Alaska’s Shapeshifting Otter
An artists depiction of a Kushtaka. Photo: ATI.
According to Tlingit mythology the Kushtaka is an evil shapeshifting creature that often appears in the form of a sea otter.
What is a Kushtaka?
Stories of the Kushtaka come from the Tlingit people of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America.
The Kushtaka is described as a mischievous shapeshifting creature that often takes the form of a sea otter. It makes a distinctive whistling noise in the pattern of high-low-high.
Kushtaka are capable of taking almost any form but prefer to become sea otters or humans. Sometimes they appear as half human and half otter.
According the legend the Kushtaka are nasty creatures that take delight in leading Tlingit sailors into dangerous situations. They take pleasure in killing people or turning them into Kushtaka. It is believed that if you become a Kushtaka you can no longer be reincarnated.
Kushtaka sometimes mimic the cries of a child or a woman in trouble to lure good Samaritans into the water. Once there the Kushtaka will attack and tear the person to shreds or even turn them in to a Kushtaka.
In other stories the Kushtaka has a friendlier vibe. Sailors who were lost at sea have returned with stories of being kept warm by friendly Kushtaka.
Some stories claim the Kushtaka will distract the lost by showing them visions of their loved ones as sea otters. They may even transform the lost people in to Kushtaka so that they are able to withstand the freezing cold temperatures.
In some stories the Kushtaka will appear as a group of men who are lost or injured. If you attempt to help them they will draw you into the wilderness and then attack.
Kushtaka are able to be warded off with fire, urine, copper and dogs.
Every fisherman in South East Alaska has a story about the Kushtaka.
In one account two visitors were camping in the Alaskan wilderness with a friend who was a local. The two non-Alaskans went out fishing leaving their friend behind. When they returned they appeared frightened. They told their friend something strange had ran into the boat several times. It followed the men back into shore releasing a horrible guttural cry as it went.
A video with some Kushtaka encounters
Theories about the Kushtaka
Some believe that the legend of the Kushtaka story was made up to stop children from venturing too close to the water. It could also cause them to have a healthy distrust of strangers.
Have you ever seen a Kushtaka? Tell us your story in the comments!
If you enjoyed this article you may also be interested in the African Grootslang or the mysterious Ozark Howler.
Bigfoot Researcher Leads Historic Expedition in Thailand
C. Thomas Biscardi, a renowned Bigfoot researcher with more than 50 years of experience, has announced
the launch of “Bigfoot in Thailand: The Definitive Expedition”, a
groundbreaking venture that aims to uncover proof of the legendary
creature in a country where it is known as Orang Pendek.
and his team of experts will collaborate with Thai government
officials, academic leaders and locals who have witnessed or encountered
the elusive beast in the remote jungles of Southeast Asia.
said that Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia have a long
history of Bigfoot reports, dating back to the 16th century, but they
have been largely neglected by serious researchers due to various
challenges such as weather, terrain, wildlife, culture and politics.
said that his team, which includes tracker Robert “The Swede” Holmberg
and researcher Chris Contrearas, has the skills and experience to
overcome these obstacles and conduct a thorough and rigorous
investigation. He also said that Buddhist Monk “Att” will be a vital
part of the expedition, providing access and guidance to the lands and
people associated with Bigfoot sightings.
expedition will be documented by cameras that will capture every aspect
of the historic journey, from interviews with witnesses and experts to
field investigations and possible encounters with the monster.
footage will be used for a new documentary that will showcase the
definitive historical library of Bigfoot in Thailand, as well as the
clear evidence that Biscardi hopes to find.
“I am confident that
this expedition will be informative and successful in not only creating
the definitive historical library of Bigfoot in Thailand, but will also
produce clear evidence of the monster,” Biscardi said.
“Bigfoot is no stranger to the people of Southeast Asia, yet the
legendary monster remains just that – a legend. To add some real
evidence to the centuries of stories surrounding the mysterious beast,
we need to go where no one has gone before.”
“The Swede” Holmberg, who will be in charge of the field crew, said: “I
have been tracking and hunting animals for most of my life, but nothing
compares to the thrill of pursuing Bigfoot. I have seen some amazing
things in my previous expeditions with Tom, but I am ready for a new
challenge in Thailand. I believe we have a good chance of finding
Chris Contrearas, who will be responsible for
collecting and analyzing information, said: “I have been fascinated by
Bigfoot since I was a kid, and I have dedicated my career to finding the
truth behind this phenomenon. I have studied hundreds of reports and
cases from around the world, but Thailand is a unique and intriguing
location. I am looking forward to working with Tom and his team to
uncover the secrets of this region.”
A photo of the Cornwall Owlman taken in 2019. Photo: Cornwall Live
The Cornwall Owlman is a Mothman-like creature spotted repeatedly since the 1920’s in a churchyard in the UK.
What is the Cornwall Owlman?
A sketch of the Cornwall Owlman
St Mawnan and St Stephen’s Church, located in Cornwall, is believed by some to be home to a creature that looks like a mix of a man and an owl. This creature has been scaring the local people and tourists since the 1920s. The church is in a peaceful area surrounded by trees and a beautiful view of the sea.
The first sighting of the Owlman was in 1926. The Cornish Echo newspaper told a story about two boys who were being chased by a really huge, angry bird. The boys were extremely frightened, but luckily they were able to get away and find safety behind a strong metal grating.
St Mawnan and St Stephen’s Church, located in Cornwall.
Another sighting of the Owlman of Mawnan Smith was reported 50 years later in April 1976. Two girls, June (12) and Vicky (9) Melling were on vacation with their parents They decided to walk to the old church for a look around. While they were on top of the church tower, they saw something they didn’t expect. It was a menacing creature that looked like a mixture of a bird and a man, with wings and feathers.
The girls were so terrified by what they saw that their father made the decision to end their vacation and leave Cornwall right away.
In July of that same year, two other 14-year-old girls chose to go camping in the woods surrounding the church. They also reported seeing a gigantic owl that looked like a human, and its eyes were glowing.
News about the sightings travelled quickly and even made it to the front pages of national newspapers.
Two years later, there was another incident where some people saw something strange. At first, they thought it was someone trying to prank them by wearing a costume, dressed as a very big bird that looked silvery-gray.
They quickly changed their minds however when they saw the creature actually fly up into the sky and vanish. After it flew away, they noticed a weird buzzing sound coming from the trees for a while.
In 1989 and then again six years later, there were more sightings of the owl man. This time, an American tourist was the witness. She described the owl man as being at least 5 feet tall and having enormous claws coming from its large wings.
At the end of the summer in 1995, she wrote a letter about her experience and sent it to Simon Parker, who was the night editor of the Western Morning News at that time.
Here is what she wrote:
I am a student of marine biology at the Field Museum, Chicago on the last day of a summer vacation in England. Last Sunday evening I had a most unique and frightening experience in the wooded area near the Old Church at Mawnan, Cornwall. I experienced what I can only describe as a ‘vision from hell’.
The time was 15 minutes after 9, more or less. And I was walking along a narrow track through the trees. I was halted in my tracks when about 30m ahead I saw a monstrous ‘Birdman’ thing. It was the size of a man with a ghastly face, a wide mouth, glowing eyes and pointed ears. It had huge clawed wings and was covered in feathers of silver grey colour. The thing had long bird legs which terminated in large black claws. It saw me and rose, floating towards me. I just screamed then turn and ran for my life. The whole experience was totally irrational and dreamlike.
Friends tell me that there is a tradition of a Phantom Owlman in that District. Now I know why. I have seen the phantom myself. Please don’t publish my real name and address. This could adversely affect my career. Now I have to rethink my ‘worldview’ entirely.
Yours very sincerely scared Eyewitness.”
Recent Sightings of the Cornwall Owlman
Another sketch based on sightings of the Cornwall Owlman
In 2019, a paranormal investigator in Falmouth claimed that he saw the Owlman, and that his friend was attacked by it.
Mark Davies, was in the graveyard with his friend Chris Power from Manchester. Suddenly they heard a hissing sound coming from the trees, accompanied by flapping noises. The sound seemed to pass right above their heads. At that moment, they saw a figure with horns on its head, which greatly alarmed them. They were carrying a meter used to detect electromagnetic energy, typically used for detecting ghosts. Surprisingly, they received coherent responses to their questions through the meter.
These occurrences indicated the presence of a demonic energy, which made them feel unsafe. Their friend experienced an attack in the form of scratches on his arm. Mark claimed that his camera broke during the incident. Although he didn’t see anything, he suddenly felt a surge of energy. It wasn’t until around half an hour later that he began to feel a burning sensation.
Mark and Chris managed to capture this photo that they claim may be the Owlman:
Could the Cornwall Owlman be Mothman?
The sightings of the Cornwall Owlman have a striking resemblance to stories of the Mothman, a legendary creature often described as a large, winged humanoid with glowing red eyes, known for its association with sightings of impending disasters and a sense of foreboding.
Could the Cornwall Owlman be Mothman? We decided to check if the reported sightings of the Owlman line up with any disasters in Cornwall’s history over the last 100 years.
There are a few disasters that the Cornwall Owlman could have been trying to warn us about.
The Accident at Castle-an-Dinas
Not long after the reported Owlman sighting in 1995, Cornwall’s worst ever traffic accident occurred.
On December 15, 1995, a digger’s arm, being carried on a lorry, swung out unexpectedly and hit the cars behind it, causing a devastating collision with shattered glass and twisted metal. Five people lost their lives, and others suffered severe head injuries.
The accident happened on a minor road at Castle-an-Dinas at 6:30 PM when the driver was returning the vehicle to the depot after a long day’s work. The companies responsible for the vehicle, Bazeley Plant Hire and Chepstow Plant Hire, were fined a total of £500,000 for not ensuring its safety.
The driver, who hailed from Fraddon, was found guilty of causing the death of five people due to dangerous driving. He was ordered to receive treatment at a psychiatric hospital due to mental illness linked to post-traumatic stress disorder and depression resulting from the accident.
The Camelford Poisoning
On July 6, 1988, a serious accident occurred at the water treatment plant near Camelford, Cornwall. Due to a mistake made by a relief lorry driver, around twenty tonnes of aluminium sulphate were dumped into the wrong water tank, contaminating the water supply for about 20,000 people in the area. This resulted in the water becoming highly acidic and filled with metals.
As a consequence, numerous residents experienced health problems such as stomach cramps, rashes, diarrhoea, mouth ulcers, and joint pain. Some even claimed that their hair turned green due to copper residues in the water. Despite receiving numerous complaints about the quality of the water, the South West Water Authority initially assured the public that it was safe to drink. However, it took nearly three weeks before a warning was finally issued. The incident left lasting health concerns within the community for many years.
The Cornwall Owlman wasn’t sighted again until the year after the poisoning occurred, but perhaps it was trying to warn us about the ongoing affects of the poisoning.
Possible Explanations for the Cornwall Owlman
Shrouded Hand covers the Owlman of Cornwall
The reason behind all these strange events occurring near Mawnan church remains a mystery. Some people suggest that the sightings could be attributed to an escaped Great Grey Owl. These owls can have a wingspan of almost 2 meters, possess large talons, and reach a height of around 4.5 feet. The fact that the Owlman has been seen over such a long period of time makes it unlikely that witness are seeing the same owl.
Another theory proposes a connection between the stories and the church’s location within ancient earthworks. Some researchers also mention the presence of a ley line, an energy line in the Earth, passing through the site. Some visitors to the area have described Mawnan Woods as brimming with a vibrant energy. Is it possible that this natural Earth energy is somehow linked to the reports of the Owlman?
Some people are skeptical about many of the sightings in the 1970’s as they were connected to one man, a magician and paranormal researcher Tony “Doc” Shiels.
During that period, Doc Shiels gained attention and recognition for his involvement in a project dedicated to discovering and summoning monsters. He claimed to have witnessed the Loch Ness monster and even captured a photograph of it.
For a long time, he resided in St Ives before relocating to Ponsanooth. He has since departed Cornwall and moved to Ireland.
What do you think about the Cornwall Owlman? Tell us in the comments.
If you enjoyed learning about the Owlman of Cornwall you might also be interested in of reports of a train hitting and killing a bigfoot or the Fresno Nightcrawler.
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