Among any other group of individuals, I would feel hesitant to approach this subject and I understand that even here it skirts along the borders where Faeries and other characters out of folklore tread. But I read an interesting article this morning by Loren Coleman. It was one I had to look at after a excerpt from Jerome Clark’s book Unexplained.

There was a story about an incident in 1952, U.S. Pvt. Sinclair Taylor had the experience while on guard duty. This took place at Camp Okubo in Kyoto Japan. The Pvt heard a loud flapping sound and scanning the sky found what first appeared to be a large bird in the moonlight. It came closer and he put a round in his rifle.

The thing in the air watched the Pvt. for a few moments, not coming closer, then continued its descent. He could see a man like body, one 7 ft tall or more . It’s wingspan from his position seemed very near the height. As it made contact with the ground he emptied his Rifle. When he checked to see the condition of his target, if he’d struck it, it was gone.

The Sargent of the Guard investigating the gun fire told him he believed his story and that a year earlier another Guard had seen the same thing. In a singular case it would have less impact and believability. There is also the point that military personnel, like Police officers, are not likely to discharge their weapons in a haphazard way. There is a stringent set protocol for their use, and the bearer of the weapon is responsible for each round fired.

TENGU sometimes 6 to 8ft tall , and often bearing weapons of their own they were a formidable creature to meet.

There is also the fact that in Asia, these winged figures are more common than you’d think. Ufologist Don Worley also related a tale from Earl Morrison, who was among the First Marine Division in Vietnam. His story is of the same eerie sort, a winged object that once closer, could be identified as a humanoid figure. In this case the soldier claimed it was woman, a naked woman, completely black, hair, skin, wings all the same, yet there was the added feature of a greenish glow about her. It illuminated her in the night.

She flew directly over them, blotting out the moon for a moment, and then surprisingly, once 10ft away they could hear the flapping of her wings, something they had not heard before. She was watched as she flew away towards their encampment. Among the details of this story is the fact that she was completely silent when approaching and over them, and then heard leaving. This seems to point towards an effect she may have used on them. It could also be their shock, initially blocking the recognition of such sound out.

a Tengu, in a classic scene, it stealing someone away

As Lori was reading aloud about these it reminded me of something I’d stumbled on in studying the background and beliefs associated with many of the Martial Art traditions I was interested in decades ago. Among some of the books on swordsmanship,a figure reappeared. It was called a Tengu. Samurai were Pictured rushing into rooms to attempt to save women and children who were being carried away. Sometimes the Tengu had weapons as well, but the image of these bird were like men or demons? This was confusing in a book otherwise meant for instruction. Honestly though it was interesting. I gave it little further thought.

In the last three years a lot of what I’ve been looking at during the examination of photos should have made it seem quite relevant, though. The Tengu, winged humanoids of some importance in Asian mythology, also, at times, are given historic credit. In the 18th and 19th centuries the Tengu were regarded as the vigilant protectors of certain forests. This was mentioned by the peasants who more often traveled them. .

They are supposed to have the ability to teleport, use of telepathy, have premonitions, and thought projection. They could invade minds, sometimes causing madness. It was also reported that they could shape-shift. They stole away women and children in the night. There is also a similarity to the large owls mentioned in abduction literature. The Tengu were seen at times as large birds and owls. They were like the Moth-man harbingers of doom, described as cursed humans, demons, or a separate race of beings. There is, among the Japanese, as much a familiarity with the tengu as the western world has with Angels.

The world over the frightening stories of winged figures seen by old and young, and the modern accounts from Air-force bases of all places, should grab our attention. What were the soldiers mentioned earlier in these Asian countries dealing with? Is it too free an association on my part to compare the two, or is it a voice from the past trying to show us a reality. Is it one, that like many extraordinary tales, is misaddressed and ruled of little consequence among the other mysteries of mythology?

(Tengu art by Richard Carter)