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Monday, December 4, 2023

Decemystery (2022.3) 4: The Giant Beetle Outside the Airplane Window


Beetles: they’re small, creepy, have six legs, and crunch like dry cereal. There’s nothing I like about them, but they play a vital role in Earth’s ecosystem, and according to people smarter than me, that’s a good thing.

Well, I care not for the words of people who are smarter than me, nor do I care about their fancy degrees. Indeed, despite what the local nerds have to say about the environment and the balance of nature, I still advocate killing insects. They scare me, and therefore, they must be exterminated by the cold steel body of RAID!

Unfortunately, there’s always a bigger six-legged monstrosity lurking somewhere. In today’s written version of “Vertigo’s Nightmares,” we’ll be looking at a story I found a few years ago while surfing the Internet. I call it The Giant Beetle Outside the Airplane Window. I still don’t have a therapist. I need one even more after reading this story. God hates me.

The (Several) Mile-High Story

So, funny thing about today’s story: I initially found it on Mysterious Universe. Nothing special there, as I’ve covered stories I saw on that website in the past. However, when I was preparing to write about it, I was reminded that you now need an account to read the article. This made me wonder if this encounter had been posted elsewhere, and thankfully, it has. So, if you didn’t want to create a Mysterious Universe account but want to read the rest of the article, you can do so at or If you do want to read the article on Mysterious Universe, however, you can click here.

Also, I just realized that the aforementioned stories I got from Mysterious Universe now have a bunch of links that demand you make an account. Not the only dead thing on this blog, given there are a bunch of broken images, but still amusing to think about. I’m sure that one day, I’ll fix them. Not today, though. Not today.

Anyways, onto the story. Although the article from Mysterious Universe was published on August 21, 2018, the original report is from 2013. Over on a website called “Cryptozoology News” (which unfortunately no longer exists), the account of a 32-year-old doctor named Marco Gessatti was reported on.

Marco was on a flight from Rome to Boston (what a tragic fate; I offer my condolences to those who have to go to Boston). At some point during his trip, while 30,000 feet (9.1 kilometers) above the Atlantic Ocean, Marco was struck with a terrible feeling. No, the food on the airplane didn’t hit him; it was considerably worse. It was an unbearable sense of dread and nausea. I promise you, this is not all for a joke about airplane food, and I’m not about to pull a fast one on you.

Initially, Marco figured it was a panic attack. However, he quickly dismissed that when he saw the other passengers appeared to be suffering from the same symptoms. They, too, had seen a future where TikTok exists, and they could not stomach it. The low-effort content. The cringe memes. They wanted off Mr. Beetle’s Wild Flight but found that the flight was designed to never end.

While lost in this nightmarish state of mind, Marco suddenly heard a loud thud on the plane’s window. The article also states others heard it, not that it would matter since what made the sound was most likely not aiming for stealth.

Once he’d mustered up the courage to look, Marco was met with a face only a mother could love. Clinging to the outside of the plane, looking inside, was a gargantuan beetle-like insect with a metallic green body and large segmented eyes. Nice to see that Chevy’s expanded its operations to making mechanical beetles. God knows their cars (outside of corvettes) are as appealing to look at as beetles.

According to Marco, the creature had latched itself onto the window with a “claw-like structure on its big black legs.” On said legs were “hairs and hooks and some sort of adhesive pad” that allowed the abomination to remain fastened to the plane.

After an unspecified amount of time, the insect let go of the pane, and its body “opened up.” Or rather, in Marco’s own words, it “rolled out, like a rug.” Make your own Transformers joke, dear reader. Anyways, from its body came two wings (which, yes, all beetles have wings; there’s a fun little fact for you). Marco states that the wings were “translucent” and that he “could see it full of red veins” that “looked like tree branches, or a leaf.”

The claim that this thing had “red veins” is really interesting to me because insects don’t have arteries or veins. In fact, they don’t have blood at all. So whatever this thing is (or was), it wasn’t an insect. That makes it all the more horrifying to me.

Marco continues by saying the massive creature “glided for about two seconds” before it began to slowly flap its wings. He also says that the wings moved incredibly slowly. I won’t lie; when I first read the article, I thought Marco meant the beetle itself was slow. I began to wonder how on Earth that could be the case if it was keeping up with a Boeing 747.

Luckily, my pea-brain was able to decipher elementary school-level English. As for Marco, he was unable to achieve such a monumental feat due to the sight before him. He stared at the beetle. The passengers did, too. The beetle, meanwhile, stared back; Marco described the eyes as resembling “a red flashlight.” Perhaps it needed to be charged, like a Nintendo DS.

This went on for “a few moments” until, out of nowhere, the beetle vanished. No, that isn’t some bizarre joke on my part. According to Marco, the creature disappeared. I have no idea if it flew off, slowly faded out of existence, or went poof. Whatever the case may be, it appears it was there one second and gone the next.

Lucky for Marco, his encounter with the giant beetle was not in his head. According to him, ten other passengers saw it, with one alleging to have snapped a picture of the hideous insect. Oh boy, I hope that pays off!

It would turn out that 10 other people had seen it as well, and one even claimed to have taken a photo of it, although it is unclear what happened to it. 

Oh, life, you know how to disappoint me like nothing else.

According to Marco, he got the email address of the passenger who snapped a picture of the six-legged hellspawn. However, the person not only never sent it, he never replied to Marco’s emails. He also went on a tangent about how he doesn’t like emails. Take a look; it got a laugh out of me.

I exchanged e-mails with one of them that claimed to have taken a picture, but he never replied. I never liked the way e-mail addresses work, you get a letter wrong, and that’s that. Or maybe he doesn’t want to send it to me, I don’t know. I know it’s hard to believe. I know what I saw, you know? I have never seen anything like this. Big, big insect. Out of this world.

This reminds me a lot of how Donald Trump talks. I know injecting politics into things is overdone, but it really does. Or is it just me?

Anyways, as anticlimactic as it may seem, that’s where the story ends. Not only did Marco never get to see the photo the passenger took, he never got any answers. Lucky for us, Marco made a sketch of the creature (which serves as the header image for this write-up), so we at least have some idea of what it looks like. Unfortunately, Marco never gave specific measurements for the insect, so we have no idea how large it was. Given it didn’t damage the plane (that we know of), I can only assume it wasn’t anything comically large (like a Godzilla villain).

As for the sketch itself, it certainly looks like a thing. I have no idea what type of beetle it is (it doesn’t look like any of the more iconic ones, like a Stag, Dung, Jewel, or Hercules Beetle). If there’s an entomologist out there who knows, feel free to leave a comment! With that, however, let’s get into my little expedition to find more information.

My Beetlemania Investigation

The article I found this story in was about giant insects and featured accounts of other insectoid cryptids. The most notable of these was Mantis Man, which I had intended to write about way back in 2019. Unfortunately, I felt it would take far too long. Perhaps one day, I will take the time to go over it; I do consider the story to be one of the most fascinating out there. I would also love to finally use the joke “Mantis Man’s Earth Band.”

Anyway, my first course of action was to look up if anyone else had seen giant beetles. Sightings of big animals are by no means novel; we’ve talked about them in the past. Giant jellyfish, centipedes, spiders, and rabbits are considered very real by some. The idea of enormous beetles isn’t something outlandish in the realm of cryptozoology.

There’s just one tiny problem: I couldn’t find any accounts of oversized beetles. I came across reports of other enormous insects, though. I found a story of a giant stick bug that I definitely want to cover. I also came across comments on Reddit; they mentioned a mouse-sized fly and giant dragonflies. They were decent reads, but they weren’t what I was looking for. Namely, y’know, reports of giant beetles.

I guess if you yearn for circumstantial evidence, then claims of other giant insects are good. There were also gigantic bugs millions of years ago, and some believe the sightings mentioned above are of said prehistoric creepy crawlers. Personally, I’m skeptical since the oxygen levels back then were vastly different than they are now. Though you’re free to disagree.

With my attempts at finding other reports of giant beetles foiled, I went on the next quest. Said quest was to find someone named Marco Gessatti. This was easy to do: just look for a doctor by that name. How hard could that possibly be? Well, for starters, my search results didn’t yield anything. The results I got included the article we discussed. On top of that, both Google and Bing thought I was looking for someone with a different surname. Amusingly, both search engines suggested something different; Google asked if I meant Marco Gessetti, while Bing asked if I meant Marco Cassetti. The latter is an Italian football player, which I think is pretty cool.

Now, in the interest of fairness, I’ll concede that it’s entirely possible that Marco picked an alias to use. I can’t imagine saying you saw a giant beetle while on a flight would be good for your reputation. I mean, could you imagine if you looked up your doctor online and you read that they said they saw a massive insect while on a plane? I’d personally find a new doctor as soon as possible!

That said, I did try to find Marco. I checked as best as I could. I looked high and low and searched wherever I could; I even tried punching holes in my wall to see if he was there. To my dismay, he wasn’t. The only result for a man named Marco Gessatti was in articles related to this story. There are doctors named Marco, but I’m also certain there are doctors named Joe. It’s not an incredibly uncommon name.

Still, I went about looking for information with the mentality that Marco had simply used an alias. So next, I decided to seek information on damaged airplanes from the early 2010s. Given Marco never explicitly states when his sighting occurred, I can only go off of the year of the original article’s publication.

I know Marco never stated that the airplane window appeared damaged at all, but I figured this was one of the final ways to find some verification about the story. Unfortunately, it was also the hardest. Hundreds of flights take place every day, which complicates things. To make things even more complicated, I had (and still have) no idea what airline Marco was on. Nothing can be simple in life; everything must be as insufferable as a college student’s art project!

I won’t lie and say that I pulled off some magnificent research effort, combing through thousands upon thousands of airline reports in hopes of finding something. I did a quick search on Bing since I don’t have the patience to seek out a report on “weird damage on the plane’s window.” The one thing I could find is an article from ABC Australia where a plane hit an aerobridge in April of 2013. Call me crazy, but I don’t think aerobridges are anything like giant beetles.

After that, I gave up; looking for information was akin to going in circles. When it wasn’t, I had nothing to go off of. All I knew was that there was a beetle, it was big, and it was on an airplane window for a bit. I guess that’s enough to at least get some theories going, so let’s dig into them!


1. It was a hoax

Our first theory is that this was all made up. Certainly not the most absurd thing someone has made up; I’ve been on the Internet long enough to know that!

Still, people love to earn clout for insipid reasons. It’s kind of like how kids will say their dad is the CEO of Microsoft, and they’ll get you banned. Only, instead of being a dumb kid, you’re on the Internet trying to impress strangers with stories of how you saw a Goatman. Or if you’re some guy who writes about the people who tell those stories. Either one works; I would definitely say the latter is in a worse spot, though.

Real talk: the basis for this theory is by no means novel. Plenty of folks love a good spooky story, and where there is a demand, there’s a supply. Go onto YouTube and type in “scary Reddit stories” or “scary 4chan stories,” and you will be met with thousands of results. Some may be real, but I can guarantee the majority of them are made up with the intent of spooking the reader.

That’s not to ruin anyone’s fun; I love listening to those stories myself. The greentexts involving Skinwalkers, Wendigos, Fleshgaits, and the Goatman are some of my favorites. I love having them on in the background as I play video games; it’s always a delight to hear those text-to-speech programs read off stories. Even at their most cliché, there’s something about it that fills me with a sense of happiness.

My point is that people love to make up stories, be it for clout or to scare others. The idea that this one was made up is by absolutely no means unprecedented. It isn’t like Marco said he wrestled this giant beetle as though he was King Kong. He didn’t break its jaw off and let out a mighty roar of victory. He saw it, and it vanished; nothing more, nothing less.

Of course, it’s entirely possible Marco made the story up because he doesn’t like cryptozoology. There have been plenty of people who ridicule the entire concept of it and would be more than willing to make it look absurd. What better way to do that than to fabricate a story like a massive beetle 30,000 feet in the air and then get it published on a website?

Whichever version you want to go with, this theory has more than enough precedent behind it to be believed. However, it isn’t the only one we have, so let’s dive into the next one!

2. It was real

This theory would be a lot easier to write about if we had a picture of the creature. I’m just saying!

Well, we may not have that photograph, but we do have the idea nonetheless. As I said earlier in the write-up, there are reports of larger-than-average animals. In fact, some of those animals have been killed or caught; some are even their own species (like the Giant Squid). More often than not, however, these reports are isolated cases of gigantism. For every Giant Squid, there is an abundance of Hogzillas.

At the same time, though, and as I said earlier, there do exist reports of larger creepy crawlies. So, the precedent is there. Granted, I can’t find any additional accounts of giant beetles, but I’m sure at least one exists. Maybe if I looked harder, I would have found one. The world may never know because I’m one man. I also have so much I want to do, so sacrifices must be made. You’re more than willing to leave your hate mail in the comments.

I digress; this theory relies heavily on your belief in precedent. So, your mileage may (and almost certainly will) vary. That said, let’s continue on.

3. It was Megalon

Someone get Godzilla!

My Take

Yeah, I don’t have much faith in this story being real. There are few details given, which is always a red flag for me. I won’t harp on my inability to find anything about Marco on account of his reputation potentially being tarnished. Honestly, I would do the same if I were a doctor and I had an experience like this. It’s one thing (in my eyes) if you say you saw Bigfoot; it’s well within reason to misidentify a bear standing upright for Bigfoot, especially if you don’t get a good look.

However, a giant beetle is something else entirely—especially if it’s when you’re on an airplane. As I said earlier, I think most people would look for another doctor immediately. I also imagine the entire medical community would laugh you out of the profession and into hiding. Sure, there would be a few who would be interested, but at what cost?

Even if I take that aspect into account, though, I don’t think there’s enough here for me to buy into it. Is it the most implausible thing I’ve ever read? Not exactly, no. It’s a little “out there,” but I’m enough of a believer in Fortean stuff to say that this story isn’t too far-fetched. Though I wouldn’t bet money on it being real.

All of that said, I want to bring up three things before ending this write-up. The first is something I omitted earlier. Prior to beginning work on this write-up, I did learn about something called the Aztec Giant Insect. Supposedly, a woman named “Danielle B.” claimed she saw a giant insect carrying a cow. Unfortunately, that’s effectively all there is to the story; although the article says there have been more reports, I can’t find any. I didn’t mention this earlier because… well, I forgot. Seriously, that’s why. I completely forgot about the story until the last moment. Never let it be said that I’m good at foresight—ever.

The second thing I would like to talk about is Marco’s sketch. Though before I get into it, I want to reiterate that I am not an entomologist. I do not have any sort of degree or any deep knowledge of zoology as a whole. I’m just some guy on the Internet writing about this story. So please, don’t take my word as gospel when it comes to anything I’m about to say.

That said, the sketch itself looks like an amalgamation of a few different insects. The eyes remind me of those on a fly, and it appears to have a straw-like mouth. Also, it looks like it has a stinger (though that could be one of the wings, and Marco can’t draw). The body is also weirdly bulbous. I know beetles are bulkier than most insects (like ants or earwigs), but this fellow looks like he could do well with a diet instead of eating at the aethereal McDonalds every day.

Also, I don’t think beetles have red eyes. I could be wrong, but I think their eyes are black. The “red flashlight” eyes that Marco described reminded me of a fly’s (as I said earlier), which are tinted red. So again, I can’t help but think this was less of a beetle and more of some insectoid aberration. Though that’s just my view on it; you’re free to make up your own mind.

The third and final thing I want to talk about is more personal. I want to share a little story of when I was writing the theories section. Specifically, I want to mention how I had my own theory and how it was swiftly nixed because it ended up being nonsense and laughable.

I thought of the theory while talking to a friend. I brought up the idea that Marco was tripping on a hallucinogen. I then joked about “LSD by proxy” and asked how that would work (to which I answered myself by saying it would function like Sarin Gas). I know this likely sounds quite tasteless, but I have a bizarre habit of talking to myself; I’m an extremely weird person.

Anyway, after I was done rambling about that nonsense, I stopped and actually thought about the possibility of Marco having hallucinated. Initially, I was going to include that as a theory that Marco had taken a psychedelic or had an undiagnosed mental health condition. However, that didn’t feel satisfactory, given his claims about others having seen the oversized insectoid.

Then, I remembered airplane cabin pressurization, and that eventually led me to ponder this theory: that the passengers suffered from Hypoxia (also known as oxygen deprivation). This is likely something you don’t need a lecture on. You need oxygen to live; without it, you end up in the forever box. What you might need an explanation on, however, is cabin pressurization.

Basically, as you go higher into the air, air pressure changes. This can have adverse effects on your body; it’s a severe risk when climbing tall mountains. I remember learning about “The Third Man Factor” because of these dangers.

Airplanes circumvent this by pressurizing the cabins so you don’t end up dying of asphyxiation. Though I digress, rather than poorly explaining it myself, I’ll let explain it for me:

Airplanes pressurize their cabins by pumping air into them. As their jet engines suck in air, some of the excess air is diverted into the airplane’s cabin. The air is both cooled and humidified—meaning moisture is added to it—after which it’s circulated into and throughout the cabin.

With that explained, let me get into the thought I had. Airplanes, like anything on Earth, are not immune to having problems. I think that goes without saying, though, but those problems vary in their severity. Sometimes, they’re minor, and other times, they are catastrophic. In the case of the thought I had, I’d say it’s closer to the latter, and it’s a good thing it didn’t remain that way.

The theory was that the oxygen levels in the passenger cabin’s pressure basically went south, and with the oxygen levels down, the passengers hallucinated. Honestly, I was excited to share this theory since I thought it sounded really plausible. Then I looked more into it, and I learned that not only does cabin pressurization failure require an emergency landing, but it can also quickly lead to the passengers and crew being incapacitated.

Never in my life have I gone from feeling so smart to feeling like an utter dunce. Oh well, I still wanted to share it since I thought it was kind of funny. My big brain turned out to be made of snake oil.


I’m spinning like a beetlerina.

Feeling crunchy every time I see ya.

You’re the king, and I’m the bug spray can of disaster, disaster!

I couldn’t resist including a little musical gag before rounding off this write-up. Hate me if you wish. Anyway, until next time, stay happy, stay healthy, and thank you for reading!

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