Some claim that this creature was a gigantic, headless crow, others say that it was a swarm of carnivorous bat-like creatures. Still others insist it’s one of the earliest recorded sightings of a Mothman. Whatever it was, this beast added more carnage to what would already be the bloodiest battle in the Crimean War.

One of the stranger stories involving the almost incomprehensible terrors which can drop from the skies comes to us from the middle of a Crimean War battlefield. This brutal conflict — which lasted between 1854 and 1856, pitting Franco-British forces against Russian troops in a bid for supremacy in the Turkish Holy Land — produced more than its fair share of carnage, and at least one bizarre account of an utterly “unnatural” airborne phenomenon.

During a particularly vicious six day battle, troops from both armies realized that the following day was March 15 — the legendarily ominous, “Ides of March.” Soldiers on both sides, choosing to err on the side of superstitious caution, implored their commanders to declare a twenty-four hour truce. The men were granted their wish, and a quiet settled across the corpse-strewn battlefield.

As darkness descended, however, a small band consisting of what has been reported to be five Russian soldiers — two of them brothers — planned an ambush, which (out of a modest respect for the established truce) would be carried out after midnight. According to historical accounts, these men crept toward the enemy lines by using the lantern light cast from their own camp as markers.

Once they arrived near the center of the battlefield the skies above the small reconnaissance unit suddenly blackened and the men looked up to see a beast that the sole survivor of the event would later claim was a gigantic, headless, crow-like animal, soaring in tight circles above them.

This “headless” description, as well as the blood drenched melee which followed, have led numerous researchers to hypothesize that this event is connected to the notoriously prophetic MOTHMAN phenomenon. Much like the BLACK BIRD OF CHERNOBYL, the FREIBURG SHRIEKER or the Chinese MAN-DRAGON, these “entities” have the ominous reputation of randomly appearing right before there is a massive tragedy about to unfold.

The soldiers reportedly became transfixed by the colossal, silhouetted figure above and, when the leader of the group insisted they continue, the men had apparently lost their bearings, for unbeknownst to them they began creeping back toward their own camp. According to Franco-British reports, the Russian sentries who were posted outside the camp mistook the dark figures for enemy troops and immediately opened fire.

Three of the men were killed instantly and the fourth slumped into his brother’s arms, where he slowly bled to death. The gunfire continued to shower around the dead soldiers, forcing the lone survivor to do the unthinkable and use his brother’s corpse as a shield.

Interestingly enough, the Russian account of this tale also includes winged enigmas, yet this version of the story unfolds in a completely different fashion. Not surprising, Russian sources claim that the five soldiers who were lurking in the battlefield that night were not Russian, but Turkish. The sentries on duty described their uniforms as robes, complete with turbans.

According to the guards on duty that night, they were shocked when they were approached by five, shrieking Turkish shoulders who ran headlong from the pitch-black of the battlefield toward their camp. The sentries opened fire on what they had assumed were attacking enemies, when they suddenly saw a gigantic swarm of bat-like creatures pursuing the horrified Turks.

Whatever really happened that night, it is a matter of historical record that at midnight (the official end of the truce) the enraged Turks retaliated and what began as a minor skirmish became the single bloodiest battle in the history of that horrible war.

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