WELCOME to Haunted Wirral, a feature series written by world famous psychic researcher, Tom Slemen for the Globe.

In this latest tale, Tom recounts a terrifying encounter for three friends.

ON the freezing Friday night of February 12,1960, at 11:15pm, Mary, Janet and Betty - three women in their twenties - were walking down Conway Street on their way to Birkenhead Docks, where they hoped to board a ship for purposes of prostitution when Betty saw something flit across the disc of the full moon.

In the instant Betty saw the thing cross the lunar disc, she thought she discerned the silhouette of a man with his arms outstretched, and she told her two colleagues but they assured Betty she'd just seen an owl.

Then the trio heard screeching laughter coming from above, and they all reflexively looked up to see a bizarre and terrifying sight: a man clad in a tight-fitting black one-piece outfit similar to the wetsuit a skin-diver wears, was descending at quite some speed, and his arms had what looked like long wings attached.

The entity's face was pale and contrasted against the black costume. The girls screamed and scattered - and the figure swooped down and grabbed at Betty’s curly black hair, tearing out a lock with one grab.

The screams of the women of the night caught the attention of two policemen on the beat, and the girls admitted they were going to the docks for purposes of prostitution and were taken into custody.

They told police the story about the "man with wings" but were not believed. All three subsequently appeared at Birkenhead Magistrates' Court, each fined £5 for soliciting and a further £5 for giving false names and addresses.

Decades later, Betty - now a respectable grandmother - sent a letter to me about the weird winged attacker via BBC Radio Merseyside.

I mentioned the incident on the radio and was inundated with other accounts of encounters with strange flying humanoids over Wirral.

Here are just a few of these accounts. On the night of Wednesday October 12, 1966, a woman named Rita heard a loud crack coming from upstairs at her terraced home on Norman Street, a hundred yards from Birkenhead Park.

Rita went upstairs and caught her 12-year-old son Davy with an air-rifle in his hands next to an open window.

Before she could tell him off, the boy yelled, "Mam! There's a man with wings flying round!"

"What have I told you about that bloody rifle?" she yelled at her son, and took it off him.

She didn't believe a word about Davy’s tale of the man with wings, but 17 days later, on 29 October at 9pm, she again heard the air rifle being fired, and this time Rita and her husband John went up to their son's room.

Again, Davy said he had seen the flying man and excitedly told his parents he had shot him with a ball-bearing, fired from the air rifle. John took the rifle off his son, gave him a thump and sent him to bed.

While John was getting a bath at 10:10pm, there was a heavy knocking at the door of the house on Norman Street, and Rita answered it complaining, "Alright, don’t break the bleedin’ knocker!"

When Rita opened the front door she froze in shock. A weird figure of a man, at least six feet and six inches in height stood there dressed in a helmet and a black tight-fitting suit.

He had a strange mask on, so Rita only saw his huge eyes – and they did not look human. As the figure said something unintelligible in a gruff voice, Rita saw a silhouette of a man cross the full moon’s disc over the rooftops opposite.

She screamed, and as she swung the door to slam it on the unearthly caller, she saw him rise up off the ground. Rita closed the door and bolted it.

Her son came down and said he had seen the figure fly up past his bedroom window and laughed: "Do you believe me now, Mam? I told you! There are two of them now as well."

When Rita's husband John got out the bath, he found his wife in a right state, crouched by the window with the light out.

When she told John what had called at the house, he said it had been someone playing a joke on her. Rita had the feeling the thing had called at the house because her son had shot at it.

That same night, other people in nearby Thornton Street and Clifford Street also saw the flying figures.

Four years after this on the night of Wednesday May 20, 1970, at 11:40pm, Brian and Jacqueline, a couple of teenagers, were kissing as they sat in a parked car on Slatey Road, Birkenhead, when a loud thump was heard on the roof of the vehicle.

The couple were naturally startled, and they looked about and saw nobody about on a street that was silvered by the full moon.

Brian thought someone might have thrown a brick at the roof of his car.

Jacqueline put her hand on his face and turned his head, then kissed Brian, and then there was a thud so loud on the roof of the car, the vehicle shook.

Brian got out the car and looked around - and about fifty feet above in the night air there was a man – with wings - and he was flapping these wings frantically the way a kestrel does when it hovers before it swoops on its prey.

Before Brian got back into his car and drove off, he saw that the surreal figure above was wearing a black one-piece suit that looked leathery.

The face of the man was chalk-white and he seemed to be smiling.

The flying entities remind me of the American "Mothman" humanoid that was seen mainly in the 1960s, and the latter was said to be an omen of disaster.

Strangely enough, the first sightings of the Birkenhead "bird men" were also around the time of major disasters – Aberfan, in October 1966, and the Stockport Air Disaster in June 1967.

The 1970 sighting was on the eve of the Audenshaw Junction rail accident – but these could just be coincidences.

*All Tom Slemen’s books and audiobooks are available from Amazon