Big a$$ scary insect

I have posted this in Dave's garden insect ID forum as well, but figured maybe someone here might recognize this formidable critter.
I am in the Catskills, and have been feeding both the hummingbirds and more recently a small swarm of honey bees. This year the yellow jackets and bumbles joined in at the buffet, and as if they know I am helping them they have been surprisingly peaceable - not one sting. Today, however, I found my calm shattered when I was refilling some feeders and noticed a new visitor. This thing was between 1 1/2 and 2 inches long, mostly black or dark brown it was in the shade so I'm not positive, no obvious body stripes, what appeared to be a single set of wings the length of the body, kept swept back neatly along the stocky un-wasp-like body - not held out to the side when at rest, and 6 bright yellow powerful looking legs. No long ovipositor and if it had a sting I didn't see it, but at that size I didn't get too close
Fast too! One moment I was watching it, trying to memorize it - so unusual - then I blinked and it was airborne near my ear - no noticeable sound, but there were so many buzzing around I can't be sure. I ran!
Later I thought to go for my camera, but by the time I got back it was gone. If I see it again I will try to get a picture, but it scared the p!$$ out of me! I have been working to learn all the US native bees, but this thing looked like Godzilla next to the relatively puny yellow jackets!
I hope my observational skills alone will help ID this monster but will attempt to snap a picture if it returns tomorrow. If I get one I will post it on my Flickr site as well as the forum.
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PhoenixWench

Toleration is not the opposite of intolerance but the counterfeit of it.
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I assume you would recognize a mantis Dobsonflies or stoneflies might fit even though they have two pairs of wings and dobsons don't have bright yellow legs. Some stoneflies have yellow legs try google images for those two
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09=IX

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I know....it is MOTHRA
On 8/24/2011 7:41 PM, PhoenixWench wrote:

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