The Owlman of Cornwall is among the strangest of Britain's mystery beasts - perhaps the closest we have to America's Mothman. His origin is unknown, his provenance contested and his appearances uncertain and brief.
The Owlman story began when paranormal researcher Tony "Doc" Shiels was approached by a man, Don Melling, who had been visiting the area on holiday from Lancaster. Melling said that on April 17, 1976, his two daughters, 12-year-old June and her 9-year-old sister, Vicky, were walking through the woods near Mawnan church when they saw a large winged creature hovering above the church tower. The girls were frightened and immediately ran to tell their father. According to Shiels, the family had become so perturbed by the sighting that they had abandoned their holiday three days early and that the father would not allow either of his daughters to be interviewed. Sheils was, however, provided with a drawing of the creature made by twelve year old June.
In a later study of the case, Jonathan Downes claims that Shiels first described these events in "a letter", although he does not say who Shiels was writing to. The story was subsequently related in a pamphlet entitled Morgawr: The Monster of Falmouth Bay by Anthony Mawnan-Peller, which circulated throughout Cornwall in 1976.