Monsters and Mysteries in America S3E8 Script

Mantis Man, Spottsville Monster (2015)

IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN MONSTER ENCOUNTERS, IT WAS UNIQUE.

A KENTUCKY FAMILY FORCED INTO AN ALL-OUT WAR WITH A HAIRY HYBRID BEAST.

THEY HEARD THE YELP OF THE DOG, AND THEN THE CREATURE LET OUT A BIG GROWL.

EVERYONE OPENED FIRE, AND IT SOUNDED LIKE WORLD WAR III.

AND NOW NEW EVIDENCE THE SPOTTSVILLE MONSTER EXISTS.

WHEN YOU HEAR THIS THING, IT WOULD MAKE THE HAIR STAND UP ON THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD.

ALONG A NEW JERSEY RIVER, FISHERMEN COME FACE-TO-FACE WITH AN IMPOSSIBLY MONSTROUS BUG.

IT WAS A PRAYING-MANTIS MAN.

THAT'S THE ONLY WAY I COULD DESCRIBE IT.

IN A CASE THAT HAS THE EXPERTS BAFFLED, AFTER ONE OF AMERICA'S DEADLIEST TORNADOES, SCORES OF SURVIVORS CLAIM THEY WERE SAVED BY MYSTERIOUS WINGED PHANTOMS.

THE ROOF WAS GONE, BUT THERE WAS A LADY USING HER BODY SORT OF LIKE A SHIELD TO PROTECT US.

IT WAS ONE OF THE BUTTERFLY PEOPLE.

NORTHWEST KENTUCKY, KNOWN FOR ITS ROUGH, ROLLING TERRAIN.

OUT HERE, PEOPLE CAN SOMETIMES FEEL CUT OFF FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD.

TUCKED INTO THESE SECLUDED HILLS IS THE SMALL TOWN OF SPOTTSVILLE.

FOR YEARS, STORIES HAVE CIRCULATED ABOUT A FIERCE, BUSHY BEAST STALKING THE BACKWOODS.

THERE'S SO MUCH LAND HERE. PEOPLE DON'T EXPLORE.

THEY DON'T GO THERE BECAUSE THEY'VE HEARD THESE STORIES FOR YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS OF THESE CREATURES BEING HERE.

A MANIMAL SO HUGE AND SO HOSTILE, THE STORY OF ITS TERROR ON ONE FAMILY LEFT AN EMOTIONAL SCAR THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY.

REALLY, WHAT I REMEMBER IS THE FEAR THAT EVERYONE FELT AND ESPECIALLY MY DAD.

I'VE NEVER SEEN MY DAD SCARED OF ANYTHING.

THIS THING WAS HUGE, AND IT SCARED US KIDS TO DEATH.

I COULDN'T IMAGINE BEING THE AGE THAT THEM KIDS WAS AND THE TERROR THEY LIVED.

IS THERE FAMILIES STILL TO THIS DAY THAT'S LIVING IN THAT TERROR?

YES, THERE IS... RIGHT HERE IN SPOTTSVILLE, KENTUCKY.

SIGHTINGS OF A MISSING-LINK CREATURE IN KENTUCKY DATE BACK OVER A CENTURY.

IN 1892, A BIGFOOT WAS SUPPOSEDLY TRACKED DOWN BY A GROUP OF 300 PEOPLE AND SHOT.

IN THE PAST 40 YEARS, THERE'S HUNDREDS OF SIGHTINGS THAT'S HAPPENED OVER THE SPOTTSVILLE MONSTER.

IT'S MADE VENTURING INTO THESE WOODS A RISKY PROPOSITION.

DO WE GO IN THE WOODS ALONE?

NO, WE'VE MADE IT A PRACTICE TO GO AS GROUPS NOW.

ROSALIE NUNNELLY WAS OBLIVIOUS TO THE AREA'S STRANGE HISTORY WHEN, IN FEBRUARY 1975, SHE AND HER HUSBAND DECIDED TO MOVE THE FAMILY TO A FARM OUTSIDE SPOTTSVILLE.

WE WERE REAL EXCITED TO MOVE TO THIS FARMHOUSE.

IT WAS REALLY AN IDEAL SETTING.

RIGHT DOWN THE ROAD JUST A FEW HUNDRED YARDS, IT ENDED AT THE GREEN RIVER.

I MOVED ALL THE CHILDREN OUT TO THE FARM BECAUSE I HAD FOUR BOYS AND TWO GIRLS, AND BOYS NEED TO BE IN THE COUNTRY WHERE THEY CAN CLIMB TREES AND BE BOYS.

RIGHT OFF THE BAT, ROSALIE SENSED SOMETHING STRANGE ABOUT THE NEW PLACE.

HEY. HOW Y'ALL DOING?

BUZZY, WHAT'S WITH THE HOLES IN THE SCREEN, THERE?

I SHOT THROUGH THAT SCREEN.

WHAT IN THE WORLD WERE YOU SHOOTING AT?

HE SAID, "I LOOKED OUT THERE,"

AND SAID, "THERE WAS THIS BIG HAIRY THING STANDING RIGHT OUT THERE BY THE BACK DOOR."

NOT REAL CLOSE, BUT, ANYWAY, HE SAID, "I SHOT THROUGH IT WITH MY SHOTGUN."

I'M GONNA GO AROUND BACK, CHECK ON A COUPLE THINGS.

DESPITE THIS CLUE THAT DANGER LURKED NEARBY, ROSALIE AND HER HUSBAND DECIDED TO STAY.

IT WAS A DECISION THEY WOULD COME TO REGRET.

ALL RIGHT.

BARTON NUNNELLY AND HIS BROTHER DEAN WERE 9 AND 10 YEARS OLD WHEN THE STRANGE EVENTS BEGAN TO UNFOLD.

EVERYTHING WAS JUST FINE UNTIL MY DAD STARTED NOTICING THAT SOME OF HIS CHICKENS WERE COMING UP MISSING.

THEN, THE CHILDREN FOUND ANOTHER VICTIM.

MY BROTHER AND I CAME UPON A CARCASS OF A DEAD DOG OUT IN ONE OF OUR FIELDS.

WHAT IS THAT?

OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT 11 MONTHS, MY BROTHER AND I WOULD FIND EIGHT DOGS MUTILATED IN THE EXACT SAME MANNER.

LET'S GO TELL DAD.

AFTER MONTHS OF MYSTERIOUS CARNAGE, YOUNG DEAN NUNNELLY WOULD FINALLY LAY EYES ON THE PERPETRATOR.

IT WAS LATE ONE AFTERNOON, AND MY MOTHER ASKED ME IF I WOULD GO GET MY SISTER AND MY NIECE IN.

AND I WENT OUT THERE TO GET THEM.

COME IN, Y'ALL. MAMA SAID.

GET OUT OF HERE, DEAN. WE'RE PLAYING.

THEY WOULD NOT COME IN.

I COULDN'T FORCIBLY MAKE THEM COME IN.

I WAS TOO SMALL MYSELF.

GET OUT OF HERE!

THAT'S WHEN DEAN HEARD RUSTLING IN THE YARD.

IT WAS COMING CLOSER AND GETTING LOUDER.

ALL OF A SUDDEN, EVERYTHING GOT QUIET.

AND THERE IT WAS, THIS CREATURE, STANDING ON TWO LEGS.

IT WAS A HAIRY CREATURE, AND IT HAD A SQUARE JAW.

AND IT WAS JUST STANDING THERE, WATCHING US.

BOY MEETS BEAST IN A MOMENT OF PURE TERROR.

AND THERE WAS THAT MONSTER STANDING BY THIS OLD TOBACCO TRUCK, AND THE RAILS WAS EIGHT FOOT OFF THE GROUND, AND IT'S HEAD WAS ABOVE THE RAILS OF THE TRUCK.

THE SCREAM WAS SO PIERCING THAT I THOUGHT MYSELF THAT SOMEBODY DONE GOT KILLED.

GIRLS, GET IN THE HOUSE!

GET IN THE HOUSE!

THAT'S WHEN WE STARTED, YOU KNOW, REALLY TAKING NOTICE THAT SOMETHING WAS OUT THERE THAT MIGHT BE DANGEROUS TO US.

MY MOTHER HAD MY DAD PUT A DUSK-TILL-DAWN LIGHT OUT FRONT BY THE ROAD.

AND IT MADE US FEEL A LITTLE BIT BETTER, BUT AFTER THAT, THINGS SEEMED TO ESCALATE EVEN WORSE THAN THEY WERE GOING BEFORE.

THE NUNNELLYS HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS OUT THERE.

THEY WERE ABOUT TO.

IF I LIVE TO BE 1,000, I'LL NEVER FORGET.

I'LL NEVER FORGET WHAT THAT THING LOOKS LIKE STANDING UNDERNEATH THAT LIGHT.

JACKIE!

AND RECENTLY, ONE MAN HAS BROUGHT BACK PROOF...

AUDIO RECORDINGS OF THE MONSTER IN FULL WAR CRY.

THIS WAS A SOUND THAT WAS, "I DON'T WANT TO BE HERE NO MORE.

I'M GONNA TAKE MY STUFF, AND I'M LEAVING."

COUNTED AMONG THE MOST FAMOUS AMERICAN SIGHTINGS OF CRYPTID BEASTS ARE THE ONES THAT EMERGE FROM THE SMALL KENTUCKY TOWN OF SPOTTSVILLE.

THE ACCOUNTS IN KENTUCKY INDICATE A CREATURE ANYWHERE FROM SEVEN TO NINE FEET IN HEIGHT, HAIR COLOR ANYWHERE FROM TAN TO REDDISH, DARK BROWN TO BLACK, FOOT SIZE UP TO 18 INCHES OR MORE.

SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE THESE CREATURES CAUSE HAVOC IN THE COMMUNITIES.

SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT THEY COULD BE QUITE DANGEROUS.

IN 1975, THE NUNNELLY FAMILY MOVED TO A FARMSTEAD NEAR SPOTTSVILLE.

THEY WOULD FIND THEMSELVES UNDER RELENTLESS ATTACK FROM A FEARSOME BIPEDAL BEAST.

ALL RIGHT, FINALLY.

LATE SPRING.

ROSALIE NUNNELLY WAS IN THE HOUSE WITH HER DAUGHTER-IN-LAW JACKIE.

DEAN WANTS BLUE.

THE MEN HAD GONE INTO TOWN.

THE TWO WOMEN... ALONE WITH THE KIDS.

LET ME CHECK THE FIRE.

I SMELLED A TERRIBLE ODOR.

RESEMBLED MORE OF A ROTTEN EGG.

YOU SMELL THAT, JACKIE?

YEAH.

GO GET THEM BABIES AND BRING THEM IN HERE.

GIRLS, LET'S GO! COME ON!

GET IN! HURRY! HURRY!

IT RUN OFF THE PORCH.

I LOOKED OVER TOWARDS THAT LIGHT.

AND THERE IT STOOD DIRECTLY UNDER THAT DUSK-TO-DAWN LIGHT.

HALF MAN, HALF MONSTER...

ROSALIE LOCKED EYES WITH A TERRIFYING CREATURE.

I RUN IN THE HOUSE, AND I TOLD JACKIE, I SAID, "BE SURE ALL THESE DOORS IS LOCKED.

I HAD A POKER THERE, SO I STUCK THAT POKER IN THE FIRE AND GOT TO KEEP IT RED-HOT.

AND I THOUGHT, "WELL, I'LL DO SOMETHING TO TRY AND PROTECT US," AND THAT'S ALL I KNEW TO DO.

MAKE SURE ALL THE DOORS ARE LOCKED!

I'VE NEVER BEEN SO SCARED IN MY LIFE.

THE CREATURE BACKED OFF THIS TIME, BUT THE ENCOUNTERS WERE ESCALATING.

I WAS A NERVOUS WRECK.

'CAUSE HERE I'VE GOT MY SIX KIDS.

I WOULD NOT GO OUT AT NIGHTTIME.

FOR LOVE NOR MONEY... AIN'T NOTHING MAKE ME GO OUTSIDE.

I SAID, "I'M KIND OF LEERY OF GOING OUT IN THE DAYTIME."

WE STARTED TO STAY A LITTLE CLOSER TO THE HOUSE.

WE DIDN'T EXPLORE THE WOODS MUCH ANYMORE.

THE NUNNELLYS FELT INCREASINGLY UNDER SIEGE.

ALMOST NIGHTLY, ONE OR MORE OF THE CREATURES SHOWED UP TO TERRORIZE THEIR HOME.

TOM. TOM, HONEY.

WHAT? WHAT? I HEARD THAT.

DID YOU HEAR THAT SCREAM?

YOU STAY HERE.

WE WAS ASLEEP ONE NIGHT, AND IT SCREAMED.

WOKE ME UP... SOUNDED JUST LIKE AN ELEPHANT SCREAM.

THESE THINGS WOULD COME UP AND RATTLE OUR DOORKNOBS AT NIGHT AND WALK UP ONTO OUR PORCH AND GROWL RIGHT AT THE FRONT DOOR.

I'M SCARED. I KNOW, HONEY.

DADDY WENT TO GO CHECK IT OUT.

WHEN THINGS GOT REALLY HAIRY OUT THERE, MY MOM AND DAD WOULD CALL THE POLICE.

AND, OF COURSE, THEY WOULD COME OUT, AND THEY NEVER FOUND ANYTHING.

AND WHEN THEY LEFT, THE CREATURES WOULD COME RIGHT BACK OUT AGAIN.

THIS STUFF WAS HAPPENING ALMOST NIGHTLY.

SAAH!

THEY FINALLY REFUSED TO RESPOND TO OUR CALLS.

THEY JUST DIDN'T BELIEVE US.

FEELING THAT, AT ANY MOMENT, THE BEAST COULD BE AT THEIR DOOR, THE NUNNELLYS PREPARE THEIR CHILDREN FOR THE WORST.

ONE NIGHT, HE BROUGHT ALL US KIDS TO THE KITCHEN, AND WE SIT DOWN, AND...

HE TOLD US, HE SAID, "KIDS, WHATEVER THIS THING IS, IT'S BIG, AND IT'S POWERFUL."

AND HE SAYS, "YOU SEE THAT OVER THERE BY THE DOOR?"

AND WE LOOK.

IT'S FIVE GALLONS OF KEROSENE.

HE SAID, "IF THIS THING EVER DECIDES TO COME IN THIS HOUSE, AND I CAN'T STOP IT WITH THE SHOTGUN..."

I'M GONNA TIP THAT CAN OVER, LIGHT THAT KEROSENE, AND WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE AND GO TO HEAVEN TOGETHER.

"...BECAUSE I CANNOT LIVE WITH MYSELF IF THIS THING COMES IN AND GRABS ONE OF YOU KIDS AND TAKES IT AWAY."

THAT'S HOW SCARED HE WAS, HIM AND MOM, AND HOW SERIOUSLY THAT THEY TOOK THIS THREAT.

WITH NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE, THE NUNNELLYS DECIDED THEY HAD TO FIGHT BACK.

WE DECIDED THAT WE SHOULD CALL SOME CLOSE FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS AND DO A STAKEOUT ON TOP OF OUR ROOF ONE NIGHT.

HEY! HOW LONG WE GONNA WAIT OUT HERE?

EVERYBODY WAS LOADED WITH SHOTGUNS.

AND THAT'S WHEN ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.

IN THE SMALL NORTHWESTERN KENTUCKY TOWN OF SPOTTSVILLE, IN 1975, THE NUNNELLY FAMILY FOUND THEMSELVES UNDER ATTACK BY AN AGGRESSIVE, BIGFOOT-LIKE BEAST.

AFTER ENDURING MONTHS OF TERROR, THEY STAKED OUT THE MONSTER FROM THEIR ROOF.

THEY WERE ARMED AND READY.

HEY! COME ON OUT HERE, BIG BOYS!

WE'RE WAITING FOR YOU!

Y'ALL SEE ANYTHING OUT THERE?

I CAN'T TELL.

ROSALIE! SIC THEM DOGS!

THEY HEARD THE YELP OF THE DOG, AND THEN THE CREATURE LET OUT A BIG GROWL.

THIS THING SOUNDED SO BIG THAT IT COULD'VE JUST WALKED UP AND GRABBED ANY OF THEM OFF THAT ROOF WITHOUT ANY PROBLEM AT ALL.

THEY'VE GOT THEM!

DESPITE ALL THE FIREPOWER THEY UNLEASHED, WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARED... NO EVIDENCE OF THE MONSTER.

THESE PEOPLE ACTUALLY HAD PEOPLE ON TOP OF THE ROOF OF THEIR HOUSE WITH GUNS, AND THEY TRIED TO KILL THIS CREATURE.

AND THEY DIDN'T KILL IT.

THEIR LAST-DITCH EFFORT TO DRIVE THIS HORROR FROM THEIR LAND HAD FAILED.

I TOLD MY HUSBAND, I SAID, "WELL, I'M NOT TAKING A CHANCE ON THEM GETTING ONE OF MY KIDS."

I SAID, "WELL, I'M GONNA TELL YOU...

YOU BETTER START LOOKING FOR US A PLACE TO MOVE, BECAUSE I AM GETTING OUT OF HERE."

MY DAD FINALLY REALIZED THAT HE WAS DEALING WITH SOMETHING THAT COULD NOT BE OVERCOME, AND SO WE LEFT THE FARM AND NEVER CAME BACK.

IT WAS AN INTENSELY TERRIFYING SITUATION, AND WE THOUGHT WE WERE LUCKY TO ESCAPE IT WITH OUR LIVES.

FOR YEARS, THE NUNNELLYS' ENCOUNTER HAS HUNG LIKE A SHROUD OVER SPOTTSVILLE.

RESIDENTS AREN'T SURE WHAT TO BELIEVE.

NOW KENTUCKY NATIVE LONNIE HAWKS BELIEVES HE'S FINALLY FOUND SOLID PROOF OF THE CREATURE'S EXISTENCE.

I TOOK THIS RECORDER, AND I WALKED UP THIS PATHWAY AND PUT IT OUT.

AND I WALKED BACK TO MY TRUCK AND SIT IN THE TRUCK AND RECORDED.

WHATEVER THIS CREATURE WAS THAT SCREAMED THAT NIGHT, IT WAS NOTHING I EVER HEARD BEFORE.

IT WOULD MAKE THE HAIR STAND UP ON THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD.

THIS THING GOES FOR OVER 11 SECONDS OF SCREAMING.

WAS IT AN ALARM CALL OR, WORSE, A CALL TO ARMS?

BIOLOGISTS EXAMINING THE RECORDING ARE PUZZLED.

NO KNOWN ANIMAL IN THE WILD MAKES THIS SORT OF CRY, SUGGESTING IT'S EITHER FABRICATED OR SOMETHING TRULY REMARKABLE.

THESE EVENTS THAT'S HAPPENED OVER THESE HUNDREDS OF YEARS ARE GONNA KEEP CONTINUING HAPPENING BECAUSE THE SPOTTSVILLE MONSTER IS REAL.

THESE THINGS ARE OUT THERE, AND THEY'RE VERY REAL.

THEY'RE UNPREDICTABLE, THEY'RE UNCONTROLLABLE, AND I BELIEVE THEY POSE A VERY REAL DANGER TO EVERYONE THAT'S IN THE WOODS.

IN THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF MISSOURI, IN THE FOOTHILLS OF THE OZARK MOUNTAINS, SITS THE SMALL CITY OF JOPLIN, A FRIENDLY PLACE IN THE EXACT CENTER OF THE FOUR STATES REGION.

THE CITY IS ALSO SITUATED IN AMERICA'S INFAMOUS TORNADO ALLEY.

EVEN SO, NO ONE EVER EXPECTED THE TWISTER THAT WOULD TURN THIS TOWN INTO A LIVING HELL.

UNFORTUNATELY, MAY 22nd WAS A DAY THAT MOTHER NATURE FOOLED EVERYONE, BECAUSE WHAT LOOKED LIKE A RAINSTORM WAS SOMETHING ELSE.

161 KILLED.

900 HOMES LOST.

WITH ALL THE DEVASTATION THAT HIT THIS TOWN OF 50,000, MANY WONDERED WHY THE DEATH TOLL WASN'T HIGHER.

THEN, THE SURVIVAL STORIES BECAME KNOWN.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TORNADO, THERE WERE BETWEEN 40 AND 50 CHILDREN WHO TOLD RESPONDERS AND PEOPLE IN THE E.R.s THAT THEY WERE SAVED BY BUTTERFLY PEOPLE, THAT WHILE THE TORNADO WAS GOING ON, THEY WOULD SEE THESE BEINGS OF LIGHT, AND THEY HAD WINGS LIKE BUTTERFLIES.

THE CHILDREN FELT LIKE THESE BEINGS WERE THERE TO PROTECT THEM.

MYSTERIOUS GUARDIANS, LUMINOUS WINGED BEINGS SHIELDING THE HELPLESS AND THE YOUNG.

WE HEARD THE WINDOWS EXPLODING.

THE ROOF WENT OFF OF THE HOUSE.

THEN, ALL OF A SUDDEN, OUT OF NOWHERE, I FELT THIS PEACE THAT I HAD NEVER FELT BEFORE.

AND I FELT WINGS SURROUND US.

JOPLIN, MISSOURI, IS IN THE GEOGRAPHICAL CENTER OF A HAZARD ZONE... TORNADO ALLEY.

PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THIS AREA PRETTY MUCH GET USED TO THE THREAT OF TORNADOS.

YOU HAVE SIRENS GO OFF, BUT PEOPLE GENERALLY RELY ON THEIR SKILLS OF WATCHING THE WEATHER AND WATCHING THE SIGNS.

STILL, THE TWISTER THAT HIT IN MAY OF 2011 WAS DIFFERENT.

ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, EXTRAORDINARY STORIES EMERGED.

AND WE WOULD BEGIN TO HEAR THE STORIES OF THE BUTTERFLY PEOPLE...

...ABOUT HOW THEY SAVED THEIR LIVES OR RESCUED THEM OR WERE WITH THEM.

THEY WERE LARGER THAN A REGULAR HUMAN BEING.

THEY WERE BIG, WITH AN ABILITY TO DO WHATEVER WOULD BE NECESSARY TO PROVIDE PROTECTION.

ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF JOPLIN, MISSOURI, ON SUNDAY, MAY 22, 2011, A SUPER TORNADO WAS BUILDING.

JOPLIN RESIDENT LAURA PIÑA, A MOTHER OF SEVEN, HADN'T HEARD THE TORNADO WARNING.

SHE AND HER SON DANIEL WERE ON THEIR WAY DOWNTOWN.

THE DAY WAS BEAUTIFUL. WE HAD GONE TO CHURCH.

WE WENT GROCERY SHOPPING.

SWEETIE...

MY SON CALLED WITH A PANICKED VOICE AND SAID, "MOM, YOU NEED TO LISTEN!

THERE IS A TORNADO. I SAW THE TORNADO."

I SAID, "I DON'T SEE ANYTHING."

AND THEN, ALL OF A SUDDEN, THE LINE WENT DEAD.

HONEY? HELLO? HELLO?

WHAT'S WRONG?

HIS PHONE WENT DEAD.

AND I COULDN'T GET HIM BACK ON THE PHONE.

THAT'S WHENEVER I THOUGHT, "THIS IS REAL."

MY GOSH! LOOK AT THE SKY!

THEN, ALL OF A SUDDEN, WE STARTED TO SEE HOW DARK IT WAS FARTHER WEST.

MOM, I'M SCARED.

I KNOW, HONEY.

WITH THE TORNADO BEARING DOWN, THEY ARRIVED AT HOME AT LAST.

THE HAIL STARTED TO HIT US REALLY BAD.

IT WAS SO PAINFUL.

HER CHILDREN WERE NEAR PANIC.

LAURA KNEW THEY ALL NEEDED TO FIND A SAFE PLACE SOMEWHERE INSIDE.

I WAS SCREAMING, "GET IN THE CLOSET!

GET IN THE CLOSET!"

IT WAS GETTING LOUDER AND LOUDER, AND WE HAD TO KEEP SCREAMING AND EVEN LOUDER.

IT WAS A TERRIFYING PANIC.

WHERE ARE YOU GOING?! WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!

MY SON, HE COVERED WITH HEAVY BLANKETS ALL OF MY KIDS THAT COULD FIT INTO THAT TINY CLOSET.

WITHIN MINUTES, THE TORNADO STRUCK.

WE HEARD THE WINDOWS EXPLODING, AND THE ROOF WENT OFF OF THE HOUSE.

AND MY SON STARTED SCREAMING, "WE'RE GONNA DIE! WE'RE GONNA DIE!"

MY DAUGHTER'S GLASSES EXPLODED IN HER FACE.

IT JUST WAS SO...

IT WAS SO SURREAL.

I WAS WONDERING IF WE WERE GOING TO DIE.

AND I JUST STARTED TO PRAY, ASKING GOD FOR PROTECTION, TO TAKE CARE OF US.

THAT'S WHEN HER YOUNGEST SON, DANIEL, SAW SOMETHING IN THE SKY ABOVE.

MY SON WAS TELLING ME THAT HE SAW THIS LADY DRESSED IN WHITE...

COVERING THE HOLE WHERE WE WERE.

IT WAS JUST SO HARD FOR ME TO BELIEVE, SO HARD FOR ME TO UNDERSTAND.

WHAT DANIEL SAW WAS ONE OF THE BUTTERFLY PEOPLE.

AS A MEGA TORNADO TORE THROUGH THE TOWN OF JOPLIN, MISSOURI...

...LAURA PIÑA AND FIVE OF HER CHILDREN WERE AT HOME, TAKING COVER IN A TINY CLOSET.

AND WHEN THE ROOF WAS GONE, I WAS WONDERING IF WE WERE GOING TO DIE.

ALL LOOKED LOST, WHEN HER SON DANIEL WITNESSED SOMETHING SUPERNATURAL.

DANIEL SAID THAT HE LOOKED UP INTO THE SKY, AND HE SAW A LADY DRESSED IN WHITE COVERING THE CLOSET HOLE.

HE SAID THAT HE SAW HOW THE DEBRIS KEPT HITTING HER AND HITTING HER.

AND SHE WAS JUST LOOKING AT HIM, AND SOMEHOW, SHE WAS COMMUNICATING WITH HIM.

AS THE TERRIBLE STORM FINALLY MOVED OFF, THE PIÑAS WERE IN SHOCK.

THEY COULDN'T BELIEVE THEY'D SURVIVED.

MY HOUSE WAS COMPLETELY GONE EXCEPT FOR THE CLOSET WE WERE IN.

EVERYTHING ELSE WAS GONE FROM THAT AREA.

MIRACULOUSLY, ALL OF HER KIDS WERE UNHURT.

A TALE OF SUPERNATURAL SURVIVAL THAT WOULD BE REPLICATED BY DOZENS OF CHILDREN AND ADULTS IN INTERVIEWS BY TRAUMA THERAPISTS IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE TORNADO.

IT WAS REAL INTERESTING BECAUSE THEY DID NOT DESCRIBE THE BUTTERFLY PEOPLE AS ANGELS.

WHICH, IN THIS AREA, IT'S VERY RELIGIOUS.

WE'RE IN THE BIBLE BELT.

YOU WOULD EXPECT STORIES OF ANGELS.

BUT UNIFORMLY, THE KIDS DESCRIBED THEM AS BUTTERFLY PEOPLE, BEINGS OF LIGHT WITH BUTTERFLY WINGS.

PSYCHOLOGISTS SUGGEST THAT THE SIGHTINGS CAN BE EXPLAINED AS PRODUCTS OF TERROR-INDUCED IMAGINATION.

YET THE QUESTION REMAINS...

WHY ARE THE ACCOUNTS SO CONSISTENT ACROSS SO MANY CHILDREN WHO WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN ONE ANOTHER?

AFTER THE STORM, A MURAL WAS PAINTED IN DOWNTOWN JOPLIN, INSPIRED IN PART BY THE SIGHTINGS.

I THINK THE FACT THAT THERE WERE NOT MORE FATALITIES COULD BE FROM THE BUTTERFLY PEOPLE PROVIDING HELP AND SAFETY FOR PEOPLE GOING THROUGH THE TORNADO.

DID SURVIVORS RECEIVE SOME FORM OF SUPERNATURAL PROTECTION?

BRYANNA NEVAREZ, A JOPLIN-AREA HOSPITAL NURSE, WOULD AGREE.

IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE TORNADO, SHE WAS RESPONDING TO THE INJURED.

MY BABY! MY BABY!

BRYANNA ALSO SAW PHANTOM-LIKE ENTITIES.

THERE WAS A MOTHER THAT WAS SITTING WITH HER CHILD, AND SHE WAS JUST CRYING, HOLDING HIM.

WHEN I FIRST NOTICED HIM, I JUST NOTICED WHAT I THOUGHT WAS A PERSON.

THEY WERE A GRAY COLOR, ALMOST LIKE A STATUE.

THEY WERE FAIRLY TALL, LONG-ROBED, ALMOST AS THOUGH IF YOU LOOKED IN A CEMETERY AND YOU SAW A CARVED ANGEL.

I BELIEVE THAT THEY WERE THERE TO PROVIDE COMFORT AND KEEP ANYTHING WORSE FROM HAPPENING, ALMOST AS A PROTECTOR OR GUARDIAN OF WHOMEVER THEY WERE STANDING NEXT TO.

CALL THEM ANGELS. CALL THEM SPIRITS.

CALL THEM GUARDIANS.

I DON'T THINK, IN A TIME OF CRISIS, YOU'RE EVER ALONE.

I BELIEVE IT.

I SAW IT.

IN THE MIDST OF SO MUCH DARKNESS, MANY IN JOPLIN WERE TOUCHED BY A MIRACULOUS RAY OF LIGHT.

DANIEL SAW ONE OF THE BUTTERFLY PEOPLE, AND I REALIZED THAT IT WAS PROTECTING US.

IT WAS AN ANGEL SENT FROM GOD.

THAT'S THE ONLY POSSIBILITY THAT IT COULD BE.

HE SENT SOMEONE TO PROTECT US, AND THAT IS WHY WE ARE ALIVE.

WE ARE SURVIVORS.

WE ARE A MIRACLE.

LESS THAN AN HOUR WEST OF NEW YORK CITY IS A REMOTE PART OF NEW JERSEY KNOWN AS THE FORGOTTEN COUNTY...

THE MUSCONETCONG RIVER.

IT'S HEADWATERS START IN BACKCOUNTRY WILDERNESS, AND WHAT'S LURKING THERE HAS BECOME A TOPIC OF RUMOR.

REPORTS ABOUT A TERRIFYING CREATURE...

IT RESEMBLES AN INSECT BUT SOMETHING MUCH TOO MASSIVE...

A MONSTROUS MUTANT.

IT WAS REACTING TO ME.

YOU COULD SEE THAT IT WAS VERY INTELLIGENT, WHATEVER IT WAS.

THE CREATURE SHOWED ME THE WIDTH OF ITS SCALES AND ITS CHEST AND HOW STRONG HE COULD BE.

AND THAT WAS COMPLETELY TERRIFYING.

PAUL JACKS IS AN AVID FISHERMAN.

HE FREQUENTLY VISITS THE RIVERS AND STREAMS OF THE NEW JERSEY REGION.

NEW JERSEY GETS A BAD RAP.

THIS IS ACTUALLY A VERY BEAUTIFUL AREA.

A LOT OF PARKS, LOT OF RIVERS, LOT OF LAKES.

I'VE BEEN FISHING ALL MY LIFE.

MY FATHER WAS A FISHERMAN, SO I STARTED AROUND 3 OR 4.

IN THE SPRING OF 2006, THIS EXPERIENCED FISHERMAN GOT AN INVITATION TO TRY THE FISHING SOMEWHERE NEW.

SO, THIS PARTICULAR DAY, MY BOSS SAID, "WHY DON'T WE TRY GOING TO THE MUSCONETCONG?"

I HAD NEVER BEEN THERE BEFORE.

IT WAS A CREEPY PLACE.

IT'S NOT COMPLETELY IN THE WILDERNESS, BUT WHEN YOU'RE IN THE RIVER, VERY OFTEN, YOU'RE IN A TUNNEL, ALMOST, BECAUSE OF ALL THE BRUSH AND THE BRANCHES.

WHEN WE ENTERED THE RIVER, MY BOSS ASKED ME, "WHICH WAY DO YOU WANT TO GO?"

THIS PLACE, IT'S JUST WAY WEIRD.

I'LL GO UPSTREAM.

SO I STARTED MOVING, WADING ACROSS THE RIVER AND DOWN.

THAT'S WHEN I SAW THE MOVEMENT.

ON THE BANK, SOMETHING HIDEOUS AND HUGE.

WHEN I FIRST SAW THE CREATURE, I WAS LIKE, "WHAT... WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?"

THIS THING HAD THE SKIN OF A SNAKE.

WHERE OUR ABDOMEN IS AND WHERE ALL OUR ORGANS ARE, IT HAD A VERY NARROW CORE.

THE CREATURE'S EYES WERE BLACK, VERY LARGE, BUT SET IN THE FRONT, SO IT HAD BINOCULAR VISION.

AND THOSE INSECT EYES HAD PAUL IN ITS SIGHTS.

THIS THING SEEMED TO BE VERY CONCERNED WITH ME.

I SENSED ASTONISHMENT, WHETHER IT WAS BECAUSE I WAS IN THE WATER, WHETHER IT KNEW THAT I COULD SEE IT...

IT WAS VERY AWARE THAT I WAS AWARE OF IT, AND THAT SEEMED TO CONCERN IT, BECAUSE IT NEVER TOOK ITS EYES OFF OF ME.

IT WAS MOVING UP THE BANK AWAY FROM ME BUT LOOKING BACK OVER ITS LEFT SHOULDER DIRECTLY AT ME.

FOR PAUL JACKS, TIME STOOD STILL, AND WHEN THE CLOCK TICKED AGAIN, THE CREATURE TRANSFORMED.

THIS THING WAS FADING VERY QUICKLY AS IT MOVED UP THE BANK AND ALL THAT TIME NEVER TOOK ITS EYES OFF ME.

IT WAS ONE, TWO, THREE, GONE.

IT VANISHED COMPLETELY, BUT I'M SURE THAT IT WAS STILL THERE.

NOW THAT IT WAS CLOAKED, IT MIGHT BE ANYWHERE.

PAUL WAS MORE AT RISK THAN EVER.

IN THE NATURAL WORLD, THE PRAYING MANTIS HAS EVOLVED AN UNCANNY ABILITY TO MIMIC ITS SURROUNDING TERRAIN.

CAMOUFLAGE CAPABILITIES ARE ONE THING.

BUT A GIANT MANTIS MAN SECRETLY ROAMING THE NEW JERSEY COUNTRYSIDE?

MAYBE YOU QUESTION YOURSELF, YOU KNOW?

"DID THAT REALLY JUST HAPPEN?"

BUT IT DID.

IT WAS A PRAYING-MANTIS MAN.

THAT'S THE ONLY WAY I COULD DESCRIBE IT.

THE MUSCONETCONG RIVER IN NEW JERSEY...

MULTIPLE WITNESSES, UNKNOWN TO EACH OTHER, HAVE COME FORWARD TO REPORT A MYSTERIOUS, BUG-LIKE BEAST...

THE MANTIS MAN.

OVER THE YEARS THAT I'VE BEEN INVESTIGATING IT, I'D SAY THAT I'VE RECEIVED MAYBE FOUR OR FIVE DIFFERENT ENCOUNTERS.

I'M NOT SURE IF THE RIVER IS USED FOR FOOD, BUT THE FACT THAT THE FIRST TWO SIGHTINGS DID HAPPEN IN AN AREA SO CLOSE TO EACH OTHER AND THAT THE WITNESSES DID NOT KNOW EACH OTHER IS FAIRLY REMARKABLE.

PAUL JACKS ISN'T THE ONLY FISHERMAN THAT'S RUN UP AGAINST THIS MUTANT MONSTER.

NEW JERSEY BUSINESSMAN JOE PARENTI GREW UP ALONG THE JERSEY SHORE.

RECENTLY, HE BUILT A VACATION HOME NEAR THE MUSCONETCONG RIVER.

MY BROTHER AND I FISHED THERE FOR MANY YEARS...

15 YEARS... AND WE NEVER SAW ANYTHING UNUSUAL.

NO PROBLEM. THIS IS GONNA BE A FANTASTIC DAY.

REMEMBER WE DID THIS LAST YEAR?

JUST KICKING BACK...

BROUGHT SOME NEW FISHING SNEAKERS.

...WITH A FISHING POLE IN THE WATER.

WHETHER I'M CATCHING SOMETHING OR NOTHING OR JUST FEELING THE COOL BREEZE ON MY FACE, THAT WILL DO IT FOR ME.

WHAT STARTED AS A RELAXING REUNION FOR JOE AND HIS BROTHER QUICKLY TURNED INTO A HORRIFYING DAY FROM HELL.

WE STARTED IN THE EARLY MORNING TIME.

YOU REMEMBER HOW TO DO THIS, RIGHT, BRO?

RIGHT. THAT'S THE LUCKY REEL, RIGHT?

ALL RIGHT, YOU GOT THE NEW SHOES ON...

WE WENT TO STEPHENS PARK, AND WE WENT TO THAT SMALL BUNCH OF ISLANDS THAT'S IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RIVER.

THE NEW BOBBER. ALL RIGHT.

I'M GONNA HEAD DOWNSTREAM. GOOD LUCK.

HE STOOD DOWNSTREAM. I STOOD A LITTLE BIT UPSTREAM.

AND WE THREW OUR LINES IN THE WATER.

RIGHT AWAY, JOE FELT SOMETHING WAS OFF.

I NOTICED SOME HUMMING, AND I'VE NOTICED A LOT OF TINGLING SENSATIONS IN MY BODY.

I CAUGHT, FROM THE CORNER OF MY EYE, A CREATURE THAT WAS SVEN FEET TALL, BROWN-AND-BLACK-SCALED.

THIS GIANT MANTIS MAN WAS FEEDING ON SOME KIND OF PREY.

JOE HAD INTERRUPTED ITS MEAL.

TO MY AMAZEMENT, I SAW A HUMANOID, SEVEN FEET TALL, LOOKING DOWN AT ME BUT YET WITH THE HEAD TO THE TILT, MOVING ITS MOUTH.

A MONSTROUS MOUTH STRAIGHT OUT OF A NIGHTMARE.

I WAS SO SCARED.

I WAS SO DAMN SCARED.

IT WAS ABOUT TO GET EVEN SCARIER.

TO SEE THOSE MANDIBLES MOVING UP AND DOWN, AND I SAID, "THERE'S NO WAY THAT COULD TALK TO ME."

AND THEN I REALIZED THIS IS NO JOKE.

IT TURNED TO SHEER PANIC.

WHEN I SAW THE MANTIS MAN, I WAS SO SCARED.

IT WAS THE EYES.

HIS DARK EYES WERE JUST SO INTENSE.

I BELIEVE IT COULD KILL ME.

THE CREATURE JOE SAW MATCHED OTHER SIGHTINGS ALMOST EXACTLY EXCEPT FOR ONE MAJOR FEATURE.

IT LOOKED LIKE IT HAD WINGS, AND IT OPENED UP AND OPENED UP ITS CHEST.

THE CREATURE SHOWED ME THE WIDTH OF ITS CHEST AND HOW STRONG HE COULD BE.

AND THAT WAS COMPLETELY TERRIFYING.

A NORMAL PRAYING MANTIS, WHEN THREATENED BY A PREDATOR, WILL SPREAD ITS WINGS.

IN THAT MOMENT, IT WAS JOE PARENTI THAT WAS CAUGHT LIKE PREY, MESMERIZED.

I WAS GETTING THE SENSE THAT THIS CREATURE WAS SUCKING INFORMATION RIGHT OUT OF ME BEFORE I WAS EVEN THINKING IT.

WAKE UP.

FINALLY, THE MANTIS RELEASED ITS HOLD ON JOE'S CONSCIOUSNESS.

AND THERE WAS A FOG THAT KIND OF CAME THROUGH, AND IT WAS NOTHING BUT STEAM.

AND THEN, IT CLEARED AND GONE.

I COULDN'T CONTROL MYSELF.

THEN, I LOST GRIP OF MY BODILY FUNCTIONS.

AND I FELT LIKE THROWING UP.

THE CREATURE, THE ENCOUNTER...

ALL OF IT SEEMED TOO BIZARRE TO BE POSSIBLE.

BRO!

WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

HIS BROTHER FOUND JOE IN A STATE OF PANIC.

IT HAD WINGS! IT WAS LIKE EIGHT FEET TALL!

MY BROTHER DOESN'T KNOW WHAT TO MAKE OF IT.

HE KNOWS THAT SOMETHING DISTURBED ME GREATLY IF YOU'RE GONNA CRAP YOURSELF RIGHT THERE IN THE MIDDLE OF A STREAM!

MY THOUGHTS... WE GOT TO GET OUT OF HERE.

THERE'S NOTHING HERE.

I SAW... I SAW SOMETHING.

IT HAD WINGS.

I WAS VERY AFRAID THAT THIS CREATURE WAS GONNA COME BACK, THAT IT WANTED SOMETHING FROM ME, THAT IT WOULD CAUSE SOME TYPE OF HARM TO MYSELF OR TO MY BROTHER.

SO I SAID, "LET'S GET OUT OF HERE."

AND THAT WAS WHEN WE GOT OUT, AND I DIDN'T LOOK BACK.

THE MANTIS MONSTER... GIANT, SCALY, PSYCHIC.

IS THIS A GENETIC MUTANT, AN UNDISCOVERED CRYPTID, OR IS THERE A MORE UNEARTHLY EXPLANATION?

PEOPLE SAY IT'S AN ALIEN.

THERE'S EVEN A SCHOOL OF THOUGHT OUT THERE THAT SAY THESE KIND OF MANTIS CREATURES ARE ACTUALLY FALLEN ANGELS.

I DON'T THINK ANYONE REALLY KNOWS.

SOME HAVE EVEN LINKED THE APPEARANCE OF THESE MANTIS CREATURES WITH UFOs.

THERE ARE THEORIES THAT SOME ALIEN SPECIES, POSSIBLY THESE MANTIS/INSECTOID SPECIES, HAVE A MIXTURE OF HUMAN DNA AND OTHER DNA THAT MAY HAVE ORIGINATED HERE ON EARTH.

ARE THESE MANTIS CREATURES EMISSARIES FROM BEYOND THE STARS?

DID IT CHOOSE ME FOR SOME OTHER CRAZY REASON THAN I JUST HAPPENED TO BE THERE?

ARE THERE OTHER HUMANOIDS ON THIS EARTH?

I NEVER THOUGHT LIKE THAT.

I THINK LIKE THAT NOW.

I WAS ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT, YEARS AGO, USED TO MAKE FUN OF PEOPLE WHEN I WOULD HEAR ABOUT, "WAS HE A GREEN LITTLE MARTIAN?"

AND "DID HE LAND ON THE"... YOU KNOW?

AND NOW I'M ON THE FLIP SIDE OF THE COIN, SAYING, "KEEP AN OPEN MIND.

THERE IS SO MUCH MORE OUT THERE."