A blurry photograph purportedly showing a huge “winged demon” walking down a street in Phoenix, Arizona, is causing a stir on social media. The image, first posted to Facebook on January 1, 2017, by user Richard Christianson, went viral on social media with hundreds of thousands of views. It sparked a frenzy of speculation among biblical end-time prophecy believers, with many suggesting it could be proof that the Devil has emerged from the pits of hell to bring about the prophesied apocalyptic end of the world.
Blogs and websites reported that Facebook user Richard Christianson snapped a photo of the sinister demonic creature, “the size of a house,” as it walked down a street in Phoenix. But Snopes reported that Christianson claimed that he took the photograph on the south side of Tucson, Arizona, at about 7: 48 p.m. on New Year’s Day. But he declined to provide further information about the location.
The blog Freaklore claimed that Christianson and several witnesses were startled when they saw the huge, dark, fiendish being, with a pair of broad wings and spikes on its head, wandering the streets after dark on New Year’s Day. According to Freaklore, multiple witnesses, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the creature stood around in the dark for a while, silently and ominously. It never attempted to communicate with anyone, and, of course, no one attempted to communicate with it.
But while the creepy-looking devil-like creature stood in the dark, Christianson bravely snapped a photo that appears to show it standing in the middle of the street. The photo also appears to show a man crouched at the demon’s feet as if paying obeisance or worshiping the demon.
Christianson uploaded the image to Facebook with a caption.
“What the hell do you see in this picture for reals? Anybody.”
The image spooked thousands of end-time believers and sparked a frenzy of end-time conspiracy theory speculation. Many viewers agreed that it looked like an evil spirit, but some skeptical viewers noted that it looked like a palm tree.
“With the evil days we live in now, what if it is a demon wreaking evil deeds all around us?” a spooked social media user commented “Whether you want to believe it or not, these are the end times.
“Looks like a frontline demon!” another social media user commented.
But skeptical viewers declared that the blurriness of the photo indicated it was a hoax.
“Why so blurry 99 percent of the time here it’s bright blue sky.”
“I don’t think it is anything more than a hoax!”
A skeptic argued that the blurriness was meant to conceal the fact that the photo only shows an “Arizona palm.”
“It looks like an Arizona palm that usually grows with 2 to 3 stalks,” the viewer commented.
“It looks like someone standing against a tree with wide branches.”
“Somebody wants their five minutes of fame posting dodgy pictures like this.”
Others suggested tongue-in-cheek that the human form that appears crouched at the feet of the demon could be a politician. But many religious viewers, especially end-time prophecy believers, thought the image was a sign of the end times. Some cited the biblical passage Revelation 12: 12:
“Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you!”
“God is lifting His protection from us,” another spooked believer commented. “People need to put on the whole armor of God’s word. Get right with Christ Jesus. He will protect us from these evil demons.”
“Looks like a Nephilim to me. Apparently, CERN achieved what it set out to do: release Satan and the fallen angels,” yet another believer commented on YouTube.
Strangely, the bizarre reference to the mythical Nephilim and CERN in Switzerland spark a furious debate about the nature of the Nephilim and their blood-relationship with demons and the Devil.
“The Nephilim are the disembodied spirits of the Giants who died during the flood and after,” a viewer claimed. “You can’t see the Nephilim. They look for bodies to inhabit. That darn thing is a classic 12-foot fallen angel.”
“Fallen angels are not demons. Fallen angels were the angels that rebelled against God with Lucifer and were thrown out of Heaven along with Lucifer,” another YouTube user argued.
Several viewers appeared deeply troubled, saying that the photo was a sign of the apocalypse and that the world was about to end as prophesied in the scriptures.
“This is disturbing on different levels, because it points to an apocalypse type of a setting,” Freaklore commented. “When we start seeing things such as this, it can only mean that the world may be coming to an end.”
Believers cited biblical scriptures that warn that evil spirits, demons, and devils would wander the Earth at the end times.
But amid the raging debate and controversy over the nature of the creature, Christianson quietly removed the image for his timeline on Facebook. And possibly as a warning to gullible viewers, Snopes noted that this is not the first time that Facebook user Christianson has posted a viral image online. In 2015, he posted a video that showed him rescuing a cat trapped in a freeway chain link fence. The video went viral online.
The cat, named “Freeway” by social media users, was taken to a shelter where it was treated for injuries. Christianson adopted the cat after it had recovered under foster care.
[Featured Image by Fotokostic/Shutterstock]