On a November night in 1966, five men were digging a grave when overhead, a man-like figure flew lowly from the trees. This sighting, reportedly the first, sparked an interest in what is known as The Mothman.
Three days following the first sighting, two young couples told police that they spotted a large, gray creature, whose eyes glowed red. Describing it as a large, winged man, with ten-foot wings, they said it was following their car in an area outside of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, known as the TNT area, formerly a site of a World War II mutations plant.
Within the next few days, other reported sighting this mysterious winged mass. Two firefighters said they saw a large bird with red eyes, though the Mason County Sheriff dismissed it as it was likely a large heron. A contractor told the Sheriff that the result of the buzzing noises coming from his television, the disappearance of his German Shepherd, and the eyes that he spotted in a nearby field that “glowed like motorcycle reflectors” – was the result of the Mothman. Another expert weighed in their opinion as Wildlife Biologist, Dr. Robert L. Smith said that the description people were describing fit the sandhill crane, tall as man with a seven-foot wingspan, and a reddish coloring around the eyes.
On December of 1967, following a bridge collapse that caused 46 casualties, the legend of the Mothman spread more as some connected the sightings to the event, as if the past sightings “predicted” the catastrophe. Another example of this theory, occurred in Russia as Russian UFOlogists claimed that Mothman sightings “foreshadowed” the Russian Apartment Bombings of 1999.
Jan Harold Brunvand, a folklorist, stated that there have been over at least 100 Mothman sightings, some people perhaps too frightened to come forward about their stories. He also noted a link between Mothman reports and older folktales, saying that something real may have triggered the scares and intertwined with existing folklore.
- After the first set of sightings, the headline of the Point Pleasant Register (November 16, 966) read “Couple Sees Man-Sized Bird…Creature…Something.”
- John Keel wrote a book in 1975 called, The Mothman Prophecies, discussing supernatural connections to the sightings, and how they connected to the fall of the Silver Bridge.
- Loosely based on John Keel’s book, a film with the same name was produced, released in 2002.
- With the spread of the Mothman legend also came hoaxes, such as a group of construction workers tying flashlights to helium balloons.
- There were 55 recorded sightings (people coming forward, claiming they saw the creature) of the Mothman in Chicago in 2017.
Some paranormal authors, cryptozoologists, and ufologists say that the Mothman was an alien, a supernatural manifestation, or even a previously unknown species. What do you think the Mothman is?
Well, to residents of Point Pleasant, the Mothman is still very real, now embedded in their culture. In 2002, the first annual Mothman festival was held- a weekend long event held on the 3rd weekend of September. Events of the festival include a Mothman pancake eating contest, guest speakers, hayride tours, and vendor exhibits. In 2003, a twelve-foot tall metallic statue of the being was also unveiled to the public. The Mothman Museum opened in 2005 and is currently run by Jeff Wamsley.
Do you believe in the Mothman or have you ever spotted this supernatural entity? Let me know in the comments below! Thank you for reading and if you liked it, consider subscribing to my email list to never miss a single post!
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mothman <- That article is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
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