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Thursday, December 21, 2023

Decemystery (2023) 21: The Bat Boy of Roswell


I have to say, when I opted to do two concurrent Decemysterys, I had no idea that I’d be working on them into November. I know that sounds absurd; there are 64 write-ups in total, after all. The thing is, I have absolutely no understanding of “foresight.” That means I frequently end up overworking myself and getting exhausted to the point of burnout. Add on a great many inconvenient happenings (not to mention procrastination), and you have a recipe for wanting to curl up and hibernate until, say, next Halloween or so.

Unfortunately, such a thing is not permissible, thanks to my undying desire to see this project through; my own desires for a year-long sleep be damned! There’s writing to be done, and today’s story is one that must be written lest I feel a great level of regret for not covering it. It’s one that caught my attention for one very specific reason—one that I won’t be delving into until the theories section. However, anyone who recognizes the header image likely knows why. For everyone else, just know that it’s because it holds a very special place in my heart.

Now, then, onto the story itself. This month has been chock full of weird, unbelievable stories, and this one is no different. Come along, dear reader; it’s time to head to the southwestern United States to one of the most important locations in UFO lore. Let’s dive into the absolutely glorious case of The Bat Boy of Roswell!


Like plenty of other Decemystery entries, I found this story while combing through About’s archives. It was submitted in December 2006 as “Roswell Monster” by a man named Peter Brown. I have no idea if it took place around that time or not, so I’ve opted to give this write-up the “2000’s” tag on account of how Peter closed out his tale. Also, I really need to polish my tags because I hate how that one in particular has an apostrophe, which is a blatant punctuation error. Oh well, whatever, I’ll worry about it come the new year; now, onward to Peter’s encounter with a monster!

Our story takes place in Roswell, New Mexico. If, by some chance, you’re unfamiliar with that city, it’s where the legendary Roswell Incident occurred back in 1947. Just like with that case, Peter’s experience took place on a farm, specifically in a “wooded area.” I’m ashamed to admit that I had no idea there were wooded areas in or around Roswell. While I should have known, New Mexico—like its neighbors, Arizona and Nevada, is so arid that I often forget that there are forests there. This has been yet another edition of “Vertigo is a complete dipstick.” Tune in next time for when I forget that Minnesota exists!

Anyway, getting back on track, Peter was outside raking leaves one day. He was nearly done when he heard a “loud roar” come from the nearby woods. He didn’t believe it to have been a bear as it didn’t sound like one. Presumably, it was closer to “roar” than “rawr.”

Not desiring to have a roaring abomination in close proximity to his humble abode, Peter retrieved his shotgun and went to investigate. He mentioned that he’d heard some rumors that others had seen UFOs and aliens. This is just about the least shocking thing I’ve ever heard since it’s Roswell, and the whole city has developed a tourism market based on UFOs. Also, New Mexico (heck, the American Southwest as a whole) is known for UFO sightings. Despite that, Peter paid no mind to the rumors as he didn’t “really get into that kind of stuff.”

Upon entering the woods, Peter saw something white pass by; he noted it lacked any fur. This makes me wonder how fast it was moving, but whatever. The sight of a blurry shape darting by didn’t deter Peter, so he continued into the woods. Then, something even weirder happened: he “heard a small voice” behind him. This is just about the vaguest possible way to say that; I’m guessing Peter meant that it was soft. Whatever the case may have been, he turned around to see what this “small voice” was but found nothing.

Suddenly, Peter heard a “loud roar” come from behind him. Indeed, whatever this thing was, it darted from in front of Peter, then behind him, then circled back to being where it originally had been. At least, I guess that’s what it did. Either this thing was the fastest thing alive, or Peter turned around at the pace of a 95-year-old geriatric man. C’mon, gramps, it wants to give you the fright of your life!

Well, Peter eventually did turn around and saw what made that roar—and presumably had that “small voice.” Rather than convey what this thing looked like, I want to let Peter do the talking himself since I think it’s important that you all see how he described this creature and not me.

I turned around and freaked out, as if I saw the scariest thing ever. It was small, like a small white human. His head was bald, black eyes all the way. He had claws on both his hands and feet, and had ears like an elf’s, but freaky.

I can’t help but feel that this sounds familiar. Maybe it’s just me; I dunno.

Peter claimed that this being was bipedal and that he “felt fear” throughout his body. After locking eyes with it, it screamed and “spread its wings,” which resembled those of a bat. It then flew over his head, and that was that; it was gone. Rounding things out, Peter asked one simple question.

Did I just see a monster?

This is why I opted to give the story the “2000’s” tag; given he used “just,” I’m going to hazard a guess and say that this was a recent sighting. While I’d err on the side of caution, I’m relatively confident in my assessment here. I know, me being confident; my friends are going to ask if I’m okay, given I’m usually anything but.

Anyway, with that, Peter’s story comes to an end. There’s nothing else online about this story, not that that’s abnormal since every story from About’s archives I’ve covered lacks any other documentation. So, without further ado, let’s dig into the theories; there aren’t many, but man is one of them a real gem!


1. An alien

I want to start off with this theory because, well, it’s a story that occurred in Roswell, New Mexico. How on Earth can you not think of aliens when you hear about Roswell; it’s what put the city on the map!

Although Roswell—as far as I know—has only had one major UFO incident in its lifetime—the state of New Mexico is no stranger to UFOs and aliens. You don’t have to look any further than Dulce, New Mexico, to know that the state is practically tied at the hip with them. Dulce is said to be home to a supposed “Deep Underground Military Base” (or DUMB—the greatest acronym known to man, if you ask me) known as “Dulce Base.” It’s there where humans and aliens work side-by-side on horrific experiments on unwilling participants (see: other humans) and create abominations. Well, allegedly, there’s no concrete proof that Dulce Base is real. I’ll cover that story another time, though, since it’s on the Conspiracy Iceberg.

My point is that New Mexico has a history with our extraterrestrial friends, and it’s one that makes this theory a no-brainer at first. In fact, it’s probably the second-most likely answer—in my eyes, anyway. The only major downside is that I don’t know of any UFO sightings, and sightings of aliens are almost always accompanied by a rash of UFO reports.

Alternatively, it’s possible that this thing escaped from Dulce Base, being either an alien that I guess “worked” there or was the product of an experiment. Granted, this requires you to buy into the existence of the base; assuming it is real, I don’t think it would be improbable. Even though Dulce and Roswell are five hours away from each other, this thing was apparently insanely fast. It also sounds like some sort of mutated experiment.

On the flip side, I’d be dumbfounded if this thing not only managed to escape but went uncaptured for so long that it managed to move across half the state and was seen by nobody else outside of Peter. Unless, of course, Peter was the only one to speak out about the thing; the other eyewitnesses were told to remain tight-lipped while he defied that demand. It wouldn’t be the first time that someone ignored the demands of the infamous Men in Black!

Whatever the case may be, this theory is one that I think has some merit—at least, my inner UFO believer thinks so. There are still a few other theories for us to go over, however, so let’s get to them!

2. A humanoid cryptid

I’ll keep this short since it’s really self-explanatory (and let’s face it, we’ve gone over it a bunch of times this month). Winged humanoids are by no means a novelty in the realm of cryptozoology—or ufology, for that matter. The creature that Peter saw was, by all accounts, a classic winged humanoid, albeit one that was apparently relatively short and remarkably quick (given it circled Peter remarkably easily).

The only major downside to this theory—aside from it not being nearly as strong (in my eyes) as one that we’ll be getting to in a bit—is the lack of any additional sightings. As far as I know, Roswell—or New Mexico as a whole, for that matter—doesn’t have a history of winged humanoid sightings. If I’m wrong, then by all means, correct me, but I don’t know of anything like this. That, coupled with the lack of additional reports, puts a hamper on this. Though, hey, it wouldn’t be the oddest thing to come out of New Mexico; I think that honor goes to Dulce Base.

3. An interdimensional bat lad

This is a staple theory of this month by complete and total accident; I wanted to include this one on account of the lack of anything on similar encounters from the area. While Roswell may be one of the most iconic locations in UFO lore, it’s not one that I know to be host to a lot of odd happenings. In fact, I think the only UFO-related happening in the area happened in 1947. I could be wrong, but that’s the only major incident of that sort from there.

Despite that, when in doubt about it being aliens, we can always trust our friends from other dimensions to come along and take responsibility. They’re almost as reliable as a cup of hot chocolate on a cold day. Though, given this is New Mexico, perhaps cold chocolate would be preferable; I don’t know.

Admittedly, there isn’t much to go off of here since I shoehorned this theory mostly for laughs. However, it’s not uncommon for people to single out the American Southwest as a hotbed for strange happenings and sightings. So, it has that going for it. Anyway, on to the next theory, which is the one I’ve been aching to get into!

4. A hoax

Oh, baby, this theory. You guys know the whole song and dance when it comes to this one; I tend not to be one for labeling things as hoaxes. This time, however, it’s different—much different. In the intro to this write-up, I said that this story caught my attention for one reason, and it’s finally time to discuss why.

When I was younger, I had an elderly neighbor—who I considered something of a grandmother—who’d frequently give my parents tabloids that she’d get at the supermarket. This ended up introducing me to them, and I’d frequently look at them while at the checkout whenever my parents went grocery shopping. It’s there that I was introduced to magazines like Star, National Enquirer, and one that my neighbor didn’t give us, but I ended up buying religiously: Weekly World News. I’ve mentioned that bad boy twice on this blog, once all the way back in 2018 and then in 2020. However, for reasons I cannot explain, I never went into how much I loved it.

For those who don’t know, Weekly World News (or WWN, as I will refer to it from here on out—for the most part, anyway) was a tabloid that was published between 1979 and 2007. It was marketed as “The World’s Only Reliable Newspaper,” and ran satirical headlines: stories about Hillary Clinton adopting an alien baby, the Garden of Eden being found, and many other over-the-top, goofy, and purposefully sensationalistic headlines. It was satire at its best, and while the paper still exists online, I miss seeing it at the supermarket checkout. It was a consistently great read. Also, as a fun fact, WWN got a bit of notoriety for running an article on the earlier-mentioned Dulce Base.

Throughout its publication, WWN had a bunch of recurring characters. One of them became the paper’s mascot: Bat Boy. He first appeared in an issue that was published on June 23, 1992, with a headline that read, “BAT BOY FOUND IN CAVE!” Take a look at the headline below.

Bat Boy became arguably the most iconic character in WWN’s life, going on to be chased all across the world by the US government and even leading the military to where Saddam Hussein was hiding. His popularity would also result in a musical being made about him. One that’s been performed as recently as 2021 in Auckland, New Zealand, apparently.

With that little history lesson now out of the way, this theory is one that, to be honest, I have to be extremely biased about because it’s one that I thought of for an obvious reason. Take a look at Bat Boy; he’s in the head image if you want a better look at him than in the headline, as seen above. Now, read the description that Peter gave of the monster he saw.

It was small, like a small white human. His head was bald, black eyes all the way. He had claws on both his hands and feet, and had ears like an elf’s, but freaky.

To say that the two sound alike would be a major understatement; outside of Bat Boy’s eyes not being depicted as black (at least, not all the time), the physical features are—to put it bluntly—the same. Bat Boy is bald; his ears are like those of an elf; he’s small and human (well, half-human; he’s half-human, half-bat). He also has claws—at least, according to the musical, which was first performed in 1997, though I can’t remember if they ever described him as having claws in any of the issues that I read.

So, that’s it; case closed, right? Well, no, nothing in life is ever that is; if it is, then you haven’t been told yet. Although it’s possible that Peter had been reading WWN, I do want to point out that I don’t know if WWN ran a story featuring Bat Boy around the time this story was submitted. That shouldn’t be a problem since Google has an archive of the issues that were published, but it doesn’t have any after August 7, 2006, and before January 1, 2007. The only one I could find was on eBay, with the headline being “Your Doctor Could Be An Alien!” Because of that, I will admit that it’s hard to pin down if Peter was inspired by something he saw at the supermarket or if he was an avid reader. Or, hey, maybe I’m just connecting dots where there are none; that’s always possible, too.

5. The new edition of Elf on a Shelf

It’s known as “Elf in your Backyard,” and it’s pretty realistic. In fact, it was too realistic; they had to recall it after 5 minutes of being on store shelves because they were attacking livestock.

My Take

As I effectively said during the fourth theory, I think this is a hoax. The monster that Peter claimed he saw sounds so much like Bat Boy that it’s hard for me to not believe Peter wanted to pull a prank and write something based on the creature. Seriously, it’s uncanny how similar they sound.

The only issue I have is that I can’t prove that it’s a hoax. While I’d say I’m confident, I will concede that it’s possible it was some insane coincidence; New Mexico and its neighboring states are known for UFO sightings and other weird happenings. I wouldn’t be the least bit shocked if maybe this was an alien or some Mothman-like winged humanoid that I didn’t know about. There are so many of them out there that I’d go so far as to say it’s impossible to know of every single one; there have to be countless people who believe they saw something unexplainable but haven’t come forward for fear of being ostracized.

In this case, I was unable to find anything about anything like this that was seen in the area (outside of Peter’s account, of course). I will concede that it’s possible this was one of the many one-off high-strangeness encounters that exist, but I’m not entirely sure. As it stands, I’m iffy about that. As I said, the similarities bother me a lot; I have a hard time accepting that this was a coincidence. If it is, then by all means, leave a comment telling me. Until then, I believe this to be a hoax. Not that I mind; I wish more people knew of the greatness that is Bat Boy. What I would give for Weekly World News to begin printing again.


This write-up was like a trip down memory lane; getting to revisit Weekly World News was not something I thought I’d do, but I have no qualms with it. It was something I wish I got to do more often, but there aren’t many opportunities for me to do so. Oh well, at least I got to do it today; it was a truly great early Christmas gift!

I’d also love to know what your thoughts on this story were—and if you read Weekly World News when it was in print. I have to wonder how many folks read it. Anyway, with that, stay happy, stay healthy, and thank you for reading!

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