At 2 AM on a late summer's night in 1971. Norton Massacusetts police sergeant Thomas Downy was driving along Winter street in Mansfield towards his home in Easton. As he approached a place known, intriguingly, as 'Bird Hill' in Easton at the edge of the Hockomock Swamp, Downy was suddenly confronted by a huge winged creature over six feet tall with a wingspan of eight to twelve feet. As Sergeant Downy drew to a stop at the intersection, the bird flew straight up, flapped its massive wings and disappeared over the dark trees into the swamp.
Downy reported the sighting to the Easton police as soon as he reached home. A patrol car searched the area, but the huge bird was not sighted again. For weeks, his fellow officers called him 'The Birdman'. teasing him with feathery name, but Downy Stuck to his story. Downy was sincere and credible in interviews and said he was struck by how the creature almost seemed to float upward, only flapping to get lift off.
'Mothman and other curious encounters' by Loren Coleman