Chased by the West Texas Owlman: Giant Owl Cryptid Chases Hunters

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Tony Maples Photography


The giant owl creature chased the pickup, clawing at the tailgate and scratching the metal. The hunters in the pickup-bed screamed like little girls as the vehicle went full-speed down the two-lane blacktop. The white creature flapped its enormous wings, pale against the West Texas night. Evil red eyes shone in the darkness. It kept pace with the pickup, talons screeching against the tailgate.  One of the hunters gathered enough courage to raise his rifle and pull the trigger. This is the tale of the West Texas Owlman.

When a group of Texas high school students went out hunting rabbits one night, they couldn’t have guessed they’d become the prey of a terrifying, mothman-like entity. I personally interviewed Jaime, one of the eyewitnesses, who’s been a friend of my father’s for 30 years. Jaime is an honest man and everything he told me about his strange encounter had the ring of sincerity.

In 1981, Jaime was a high school freshman in West Texas. One night he went out with five buddies to hunt jackrabbits. The friends piled into a pickup and drove out southwest of the small town of Sundown, Texas. They were driving around the oil lease then called the Central Mallet Unit when all of a sudden the pickup died. Around 20 minutes later, the vehicle started up again by itself. Despite how strange that was, they were having too good a time to pay it any mind. “Being young and dumb,” Jaime said, “we didn’t think anything about it.”

They drove a little farther, then stopped and climbed out of the pickup, ready for the hunt. Carrying their rifles and lights, they walked out into the dark. After a while they walked over a hill and looked down on a fence line 60 yards away—and that’s when they saw it. Something big and white was sitting on the fence. They stared at it in the distance, trying to decide what it was. The creature looked like an owl, only five times as large.

Chased by the West Texas Owlman: Giant Owl Cryptid Chases Hunters

Photo: Max McNabb

“What the heck is that?” Jaime said. The young hunters shone their lights on the white creature. “It just turned its head and looked at us,” Jaime said. The giant owl’s red eyes shone bright above its beak. It stared at the hunters, then spread its enormous wings twelve-feet across and they saw its red chest as the creature took flight.

“All of a sudden this thing takes off,” Jaime said. “It kinda just started going towards us. Well, now we’re scared.” They ran back to the pickup, hearts pounding. Then one guy slid behind the wheel, Jaime got in the passenger seat, and the three others jumped in the pickup bed. The driver sped off, but they could see the giant owl creature coming after them.

“This thing was following us,” Jaime said. “The three guys in back were screaming like girls.” The driver punched the accelerator, but the creature kept coming, gaining on them. Its huge wings were pale in the night and its red eyes shone through the darkness. One of the hunters in the pickup bed raised his rifle and took aim and pulled the trigger—nothing happened. The rifle wouldn’t fire. I asked Jaime if he thought his friend had just been too terrified to flick-off the safety or chamber a round, but he didn’t think so. He had the impression of something—an unexplained force—preventing the weapon from firing.

The three hunters in the back of the pickup screamed. Now the creature was right on their tail. “It was hovering over the vehicle,” Jaime said. “I mean actually right behind us… just clawing at the tailgate and scratching up the truck. By that time, we had got on the highway and it was still following us. I bet we were going as fast as that truck would go, and we’re all pale, and we’re scared to death.”

Chased by the West Texas Owlman: Giant Owl Cryptid Chases Hunters

Photo: Max McNabb

The giant owl thing chased them into Sundown. “We finally swung into town, we flew into town,” Jaime said, “and a Sundown cop was parked at the end of town, on the south side. We passed him and then he came right behind us, never even turned on his lights. We turned off to go toward my dad’s house and the cop just kept going straight—he didn’t stop us. I might have thought I was dreaming… but when I saw the cop didn’t even stop us, he just kept going past, I knew he had seen something also.”

In Sundown, the giant owl gave up the chase. They reached home alive but terrified. “I was so sick,” Jaime said, “I couldn’t go to school for two days. A lot of people didn’t believe us, but other people had kinda seen something like that before out there, but nobody had really got that close or experienced it such as we did… We were scared to death. I don’t know what it was… It’s always been imprinted in my memory.”

In the late 1960s, an entity similar to what Jaime saw that night in Sundown was witnessed in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Descriptions witnesses gave of what would be called the mothman correspond in some details to what Jaime saw: a pale creature with red eyes and roughly 12-foot wingspan. Author John Keel noted reports of UFO activity over Point Pleasant, as well as cars stalling without explanation in areas where the mothman had been seen.

Have you seen the Texas owlman or another strange creature? Ever had an encounter with the unexplained? I want to hear your story! Contact Max McNabb at [email protected] or send me mail at PO Box 302, Ropesville, TX, 79358. For more spooky stories, follow me on YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook, and check out my historical novels here.