WWN presents the true story of Bat Boy in a series excerpted from the hit book, Going Mutant: The Bat Boy Exposed!
“In a world gone batty… there was one Bat who could save the world.”
In an exclusive agreement with Barry Leed, PhD (MBS) and Neil McGinness ( the authors of Going Mutant: The Bat Boy Exposed), WWN will excerpt parts of the popular Bat Boy book for our readers. It tells the complete story of Bat Boy – and he’s not happy with us, because the book contains classified, personal, sensitive files concerning Bat Boy that have never been made public.
The book can be ordered HERE.
This entry is from Chapter 3, THE SCHMING THING:
Over an intense observational period, Dillon studied the creature intently and attempted to communicate with him in an effort to locate the rest of his race. This quest drew Dillon inward and made him less communicative to his underlings in the lab. He grew distrustful of those around him and began to guard Bat Boy zealously. His security guard, Thrush, actually bugged the cage area so that he could eavesdrop on Dillon when he went into Bat Boy’s holding pen alone. On two occasions, Thrush allowed me to listen in on Dillon during one of his speech therapy sessions. Dillon was trying—unsuccessfully—to communicate with Bat Boy. The session was nothing more than a squeakfest. Dillon would start with three short squeaks followed by a long one, and Bat Boy would echo him. Dillon could get Bat Boy to parrot him, but that was all. The dialogue (if you can call it that) reminded me of the sad exchanges between a delusional parent who believes his one-and-a-half-year-old has started to talk when in reality the child merely babbles.
Dillon grew more exasperated as his attempts to deepen communication with Bat Boy met with failure. Then he located a speech therapist named Catherine Peake. Peake billed herself as the “lisp fixer.” She also took pride in correcting unreconstructed Southern drawls. She spent several days attempting to “squeak it out” with Bat Boy. She lasted only three sessions before she ran out of the room red faced and vowing never to return. Many in the office believed that Bat Boy may have exposed himself to her. Others took the position that Dillon exposed himself to Peake. Thrush boasted that he knew what really went down but wouldn’t cough up the information unless someone paid him two hundred bucks. No one took Thrush up on his offer. Instead, someone leaked incriminating security camera footage of what happened when Catherine Peake left the lab that day. Misplaced conspicuously on the coffee lounge bulletin board where they would certainly be discovered, the grainy black-and-white still shots showed Peake beating Thrush back with a femur that she had dislodged from the lab’s skeleton.
Lab controversies aside, Dillon went out of his way to please the creature. He ordered a diverse collection of bugs from an insect supplier. The company supplied Dillon with tons of mosquitoes and gnats and fourteen different types of flies. Mayflies and scuttle flies were Bat Boy’s favorites. Dillon found out that Bat Boy, unlike most bats, liked to feast on bugs with stingers. Dillon figured the stingers gave him extra taste, the way some people like a dash of Tabasco on their food. He ordered wasps by the millions.
Then, in October of 1992, Bat Boy escaped. Unbeknownst to Dillon, his cage cleaner and part-time custodian, Sayer Schming, would torture Bat Boy during his nightly cage-cleaning duty. Schming later confessed at trial that he would set his portable stereo near the door and play Cher’s greatest hits at the loudest possible volume. He would then run a spotlight into the room and fix the light on Bat Boy’s eyes. The light would disorient Bat Boy. As he squinted in a futile attempt to get his bearings, Schming would prod Bat Boy mercilessly with the handle end of his mop broomstick. As Bat Boy lay collapsed in a cage corner, Schming would place the mop end of the broom on his head and don it as though it were a wig. He would then grind-dance to the pole end that dangled from near his head, mouthing the words to the Cher hit songs as he danced.
Bat Boy bore the brunt of this abuse heroically while looking to flee at the first chance he could get. Late one night when one of Dillon’s assistant researchers had been careless with the dead-bolt auxiliary door, Bat Boy made his move. He was able to twist off his cage’s padlock and flee the lab.
Schming was ultimately brought up on charges. At the trial, a court-appointed psychiatrist testified that Schming’s beatings were administered as a sadistic release against his own failures. The jury found Schming detestable and quickly found him guilty of personal injury assault. Many people applauded the judge’s decision to allow the case to be tried as a human personal injury claim rather than an animal rights abuse case.
During Schming’s trial, Dillon maintained that he knew nothing of Bat Boy’s abuse and he ruefully recounted how Bat Boy’s ability to mask his unhappiness while in captivity should be taken as a sign of his advanced intelligence. Publicly, Dillon vowed to find the creature again. Privately, he felt crushed over the loss of his find. To those in the know, his public vow rang hollow. Everyone knew Dillon had really dropped the ball.
Dillon found reasons to fire most of the lab personnel. Somehow Thrush stayed on as head of security. When asked if his staying on had anything to do with inside information on the Catherine Peake affair, Thrush politely demurred with a smile.
Dillon got rid of me by accusing me of selling lab secrets to FEMUR—Bat Boy ranked atop their most-wanted list. Dillon was paranoid that FEMUR would locate and steal Bat Boy. Dillon was convinced that FEMUR had planned Bat Boy’s escape, and he lumped me into his conspiracy theory.
When confronted by Dillon, I explained to him that I wasn’t with FEMUR. I did confess that I took a payment of $2,300 from the Defense Department to conduct research on bat flight studies in order to help pay for my PhD. Bats have a hinged joint that allows them to pivot in flight on a dime and the Air Force has long tried to have someone replicate their natural flight pattern to build a new breed of super fighter jet.
Dillon flew into a rage. He threatened me with having Thrush torture me to get the truth. Knowing that Thrush enjoyed torture (even to this day his Facebook profile lists waterboarding as a hobby), I fled out the side door of the lab.
Looking back at it now, I realize that Dillon had started to grasp for straws in the days following Bat Boy’s escape. When I started at the lab, I divulged my Defense Department association to the compliance officer. I figured the doctor must have known about it. The witch hunt that Dillon led against lab employees provided a convenient shield from the reality that the blame for Bat Boy’s escape fell squarely on his shoulders.
For the next seventeen years, Dillon and I watched from the sidelines as Bat Boy eluded subsequent would-be captors. Major media outlets, chief among them Weekly World News, celebrated Bat Boy’s life on the run and elevated him to an American folk hero in the process. Bat Boy became our new Huck Finn. Adrift on the Big River of American culture and clad in his trademark jean shorts, Bat Boy never looked back. He was beyond reproach. To the delight of millions of Bat Boy’s fans, it looked as though there was no padlock strong enough, no scientist clever enough, and no governmental agency powerful enough to capture this wily and impish new hero.
Dejected by Bat Boy’s escape from Dillon’s lab, I returned home to Indiana to complete my doctorate. Marie and I wound up getting married. After obtaining a PhD in mutant bat studies at the University of Indianapolis, I set out to capture the creature to study him while banging out scientific articles detailing how Bat Boy and bats would save us all. It proved a tough way to make a living.
To pay the bills, I found myself doing guest lectures, or substitute science teaching, as my ex-wife, Marie, called it, at West Virginia middle schools. Prior to each guest lecture, the words of my former PhD adviser back in Indiana would ring in my ears, “Watch yourself out there, Mr. Leed, or you’ll end up teaching remedial science to a bunch of illiterates at Podunk Middle School.”
At night, following the sporadic substitute-teaching assignments, I would track Bat Boy. Downhill, uphill, around hills, I sought the mutant. I crisscrossed the West Virginia mountainsides, down into the flats and back up the foothills. From Reddish Knob in the Cumberland Plateau, up to Seneca Rocks in the Monongahela National Forest, I kept searching. Between Brushy Run and Teterton, I crawled along ridgelines to conceal my body outline. My charcoal-activated layered suit masked my scent from the mutant as I searched nearly every pocket and draw of those ridged valleys. Obsessed with my hunt, there were many nights where time slipped away, leaving me no choice but to spend the night under the stars at altitude with a makeshift shale slab serving as my bed. I shunned cell phones out of fear that the mutant would home in on my frequency via echolocation and triangulate my whereabouts. My mountaintop sleepovers started to take a toll back at home. With no means to phone home, my wife, Marie, worried until she stopped worrying.
Yet, through the years and the dissolution of my marriage, I never lost hope. When we had finally saved up enough money to get divorced, I got to keep the Taurus wagon and a Snuggie-style fleece blanket from Pompanoosuc Mills. Marie, somehow, kept the condo and my collection of Japanese anime.
Enduring it all, I remained optimistic that my path would cross again soon with this unique Wunderfledermauskind: Bat Boy, who himself remained out in the world—too wily to hunt down like an animal, too wily to capture, even too subliterate to interview.
In the alarming frequency of Bat Boy’s recent rash of attacks, I sensed my opportunity. I had reached out to Dr. Dillon and he agreed that Bat Boy must soon be captured and, in a reconciliatory gesture, the good doctor even invited me back to his lab to discuss next steps. The tone of his voice expressed a new spirit of cooperation. As he told me on the phone, “Dr. Leed, let’s bury the petri dish and find my Chiropteran Tot before he kills somebody.”
For all those who had made fun of my quest to find Bat Boy, my ex-wife chief among the group, it would be time to eat mosquito pie. This was my time to prove them all wrong. I was not a vampire freak; I was a scientist on the verge of groundbreaking discoveries, and I was about to begin working again with the Mammal Messiah.
…the Bat Boy story will continue…