April 26th, 1986. Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine’s first, explodes, killing 31. The resulting radiation, however, killed many, many more. Yet earlier that month, something strange was sighted flying around the station. A station at the heart of a city that was, then, quiet and unassuming. A little known place. A plethora of sightings and strange encounters with the mysterious beast were reported, all at night, a bizarre figure described as large and dark in colour. Adorning its back were huge 20-foot wings and atop its neck… nothing. An animal without a head yet, somehow, with two piercing red eyes, shining through the blackness of the night. Those who saw it claimed that, afterwards, they received threatening anonymous phone calls and were inflicted with horrific nightmares. No wonder it became known at the Black Bird of Chernobyl…
Sightings became a daily occurrence until 1.23 in the morning on April 26th, when reactor 4 at the station suffered a fatal explosion, eventually causing a nuclear meltdown. A black plume of radioactive fallout blanketed the land, acre after acre of lethality. And through the plumes, the Black Bird flew. Workers who survived the initial blast, but would later die of radiation poisoning, told frightful tales of sightings of the beast in the immediate aftermath of the explosion. But that was that. It was never seen again, leading many to wonder just what had haunted the skies over Chernobyl and what had become of the spectre.
The superstitious believe that such a creature is an omen of death and disaster. Similar creatures have been seen around the world throughout history, many before one disaster or another. The closest creature to resemble the Black Bird is the Mothman of West Virginia, sighted and photographed perched atop Silver Bridge shortly before its collapse. Many even believe it is the same creature as the Black Bird.
Despite all these similar stories telling tales of creatures sharing many of the same traits and characteristics, with almost all witnesses claiming to have received insane threats and brutal nightmares, many point toward a more scientific approach. Many say the Black Bird was simply a black stork, similar in height and wingspan. However, this does not explain the menacing phone calls and disturbing nightmares. Plus, the black stork does not match many of the characteristics we have of the Black Bird from the eyewitnesses. Leaving us with many unanswered questions.
Just what did the poor folk at Chernobyl see, if indeed they saw anything? Perhaps we’ll never truly know. Or, perhaps, one day, when disaster looms again, the Black Bird will strike once more…
So I’ll give this creature a 111 on my patented Cryptid-o-Meter, putting it 19th in the list of 34, with the Basilisk still bottom and the Beast of Gévauden still holding top spot.
The Black Bird of Chernobyl. A fascinating cryptid indeed.
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