Research Data

Post Type: Urban Legend

Type: Cryptid

Location: Chernobyl

Date of sighting: 1986

Persons of interest: None

Results: Unsolved

The story of the Black bird of Chernobyl.

Chernobyl, a new HBO series has brought (again)  to our attention the massive disaster of Chernobyl. With the story of the disaster, another story surfaced. The story of the Black bird of Chernobyl. The story is similar to that of the Mothman of West Virginia.  The Black bird was spotted many times before and during the disaster, as Mothman was reported.

Our story takes place in a district of Ukraine, Ivankiv Raion, where Chernobyl was. There, the people of the district describe the creature as human-like, with big wings and red glowing eyes.

Black Bird of Chernobyl


Τhe reports

Weeks before the explosion of the fourth reactor, workers, and engineers reporting strange sightings. A human-like creature that a lot of them have seen. A lot of the witness describes the creature as human-like, with big wings ( some of them describe its wingspan about 20 feet) with red eyes. A description is similar to the one of West Virginia’s Mothman.  A few descriptions tell a story of a creature without ahead, but with only a neck.  Almost every man who so that creature, later reported nightmares, phone calls, and insomnia.  That creature later became known by the name of Black Bird of Chernobyl.

The disaster

The reports of seeing of the blackbird of Chernobyl continued and increased until the 26 of April, at 1:23 am. At the same time reactor 4 of the power plant exploded, which result to fire and a nuclear disaster.

Following the explosion,  helicopters were dispatched to the scene, equipped with fire fighting gear. The helicopters fly around the plant dropping clay, sand, lead, and other extinguishing chemicals to the burning facility.  Almost all of the fire was put out by 5 am except the one inside reactor 4, which continues to not been under control for several hours after. The firefighters who responded were unaware of the nature of the fire, assuming that it was simply an electrical fire, and received masses of overdoses of radiation leading to many of their deaths, including Lieutenant Vladimir Pravik, who died on May 9, 1986. In only one day, the population of Prityat, almost 50,000, was reduced to zero by night. They have evacuated, never to return again.

The explosion itself hasn’t claimed a big number of lives. It was the radiation itself is that killed a lot of people and caused a great natural disaster. Some of the survivors claimed to have witnessed a large black bird-shaped creature, about 20 feet long wingspan, circling around the smoke and fire. After that, no other reports of appearing of the Blackbird of Chernobyl were ever made.

Connections of the blackbird to the Mothman

The connections to the Mothman story of 1968 are strikingly similar, especially regarding the threatening phone calls that led up to a major disaster. The sightings of the black bird of Chernobyl seem to further support the theory that is often brought up in connection with Mothman – that these beings may not be inherently evil or bad, but rather an omen for coming disaster.

Some believe that it might be the same creature, named Mothman,  that appeared in Point Pleasant, leading up to the collapse of the Silver Bridge on December 15 in 1968. As Mothman, after the destruction, no other appearance where made.

Archaeologist Robert Maxwell commented on the connection noting,

“Because the workers apparently described the Blackbird as a headless, large-winged black creature with no head, but with fire red eyes — which most people take to mean the eyes appear in the torso, it sounded very similar to the Mothman sightings in the west. Many people believe the Mothman, like the Blackbird of Chernobyl, are the harbingers of doom. In the same way, the banshee was a herald of doom and death to many Celtic societies.”

Another theory explaining the black bird

Black stork

Black stork

One theory suggests that the black bird is just a black stork, an endangered species. The black stork is near 3 feet tall and has a wingspan of almost 6 feet. That doesn’t explain the phone calls or the nightmares. Also, we have the description given by the majority of eyewitnesses who actually saw the Black Bird. That description is doesn’t match the physical appearance of the Black Stork.

Both the Black Bird of Chernobyl and the Mothman has not been sighted since their respective disasters.  That leaves us with many unanswered questions. We, unfortunately, the only thing can do is wait. But waiting for the beast to show itself again and give a chance to figure out just what it may be, may lead to a disaster again.

We don’t know if the black bird of Chernobyl or if Mothman, are real or just an imagination of some people. Often people have reported seeing things that just aren’t there. The reports and facts suggest that all these people saw “something” in both cases. And after they saw that “something’ a disaster occurred.  If we accept that these two “identities” are real, then what? Their appearance is the result of the disaster yet to come, or they are trying to warn us about the coming disaster? I will like to believe that they are trying to warn us. Somehow they can sense the coming disaster. Or maybe, it is time travel somehow involved. We have written here at weird-side, more than once theories that revolve around time travel or even time machines.

Editorial Reviews


” Superb, enthralling and necessarily terrifying . . . the accident unfurls with a horrible inevitability. Weaving together the experiences of those who were there that night, Higginbotham marshals the details so meticulously that every step feels spring-loaded with tension. . . . Amid so much rich reporting and scrupulous analysis, some major themes emerge. . . . Higginbotham’s extraordinary book is another advance in the long struggle to fill in some of the gaps, bringing much of what was hidden into the light.” —Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times

“A gripping miss-your-subway-stop read . . . Higginbotham captures the nerve-racked Soviet atmosphere brilliantly.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A compelling, panoramic account.”The Christian Science Monitor

“An account that reads almost like the script for a movie . . . Mr. Higginbotham has captured the terrible drama.” The Wall Street Journal

Midnight in Chernobyl is top-notch historical narrative: a tense, fast-paced, engrossing, and revelatory product of more than a decade of research. . . . A stunningly detailed account . . . For all its wealth of information, the work never becomes overwhelming or difficult to follow. Higginbotham humanizes the tale, maintaining a focus on the people involved and the choices, both heroic and not, they made in unimaginable circumstances. This is an essential human tale with global consequences.”Booklist, Starred Review

“Written with authority, this superb book reads like a classic disaster story and reveals a Soviet empire on the brink. . . . [A] vivid and exhaustive account.”—Kirkus, Starred Review

“This is a highly detailed, carefully documented, beautifully narrated telling of this breathtakingly complex accident and its mitigation. Higginbotham’s handling of the sociopolitical context is also deft.” —Nature

“In chilling detail, this book recounts the many missteps of their response to the disaster. . . . Higginbotham compellingly suggests that these flaws all but predicted the calamity—and, in turn, the collapse of the Soviet Union itself.” The New Yorker

“There has been much reporting about the disaster, but no book has so ably and artfully captured the whole story of what happened that night and in the months and years that followed. With meticulous details, careful research and a gripping narrative, Midnight in Chernobyl is a must-read about nuclear power and the end of the Soviet Union.” —Time

Midnight in Chernobyl is wonderful and chilling. . . . Adam Higginbotham tells the story of the disaster and its gruesome aftermath with thriller-like flair. . . . It is a tale of hubris and doomed ambition, featuring Communist party bosses and hapless engineers, victims and villains, confusion and cover-up.” The Guardian

“A riveting, deeply reported reconstruction . . . In this powerful work of reportage, Chernobyl and its aftermath emerge as the Soviet Union’s last stand, containing all the pathologies and passion of that social experiment now lost to history.” The Los Angeles Times

Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster

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