The Mothman Of Point (not so) Pleasant
In the dark of the evening, as the frigid temperature of the November night air hugged the vehicle, four unsuspecting joy riders had no idea their lives were about to change, forever. Roger and Linda Scarberry and Steve and Mary Mallette began one of the biggest cryptid take overs America would ever see.
For the next thirteen months, life in Point Pleasant, Western Virginia, would never be the same.
Point Pleasant is a small, quaint town situated in Mason County. As the name suggests, this small town is usually sleepy, with few happenings taking place. however, between the years 1966 to 1967, the most bizarre creature would take residence in this small community.
The Mothman is probably one of the most infamous cryptids to hail from America. There is a yearly festival held in this cryptids honour in Point Pleasant.
But what the hell I this devilish being?
Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Mothman is seen as either a prophetic entity, as he she it they has been linked to numerous disasters on a global scale which we will discuss throughout the poddy, OR mothman is suspected to be the bringer of disaster.
Personally, I enjoy the prior, as Mothman has never been accused of actually harming a person. Therefore, I like to look upon this cryptid as a kind of creepy looking warning figure.
Now, as the name suggests, this thing was both a moth and a man. But we will get into the semantics of the Mothman’s appearance later. For now, let’s go back to the 60’s for his first encounter
Back to the car with Roger, Linda, Mary and Steve! This joyride was the first reported encounter of the beast. As the foursome were driving down a stretch of road in the outskirts of Point Pleasant, they suddenly saw a pair of bright red eyes coming up ahead of them. As they drew closer, the thing took shape, appearing in a humanoid like form. As they slowed, they noticed the creature had wings. One of the women described them as “angel wings”.
Suddenly, the creature awkwardly scuttled off into the surrounding field area. Not willing to stick around for its return, the youngsters made haste to get back to town. But their encounter was far from over. As they drove, they noticed the winged beast had begun to tail them.
This alarmed the four as they were travelling at a considerable speed of 100 mph. The beast would repeatedly swoop over the car, then pull away, echoing this behaviour until they reached the city centre. It was only then that they noticed the creature had disappeared.
Wasting no time, the team made their way straight to the sheriff’s office, reporting the incident.
They described the grey, humanoid being with its gigantic, red eyes, and impressive wingspan of about ten feet. He stood about seven feet tall and none of the four could remember anything distinguishable about the face, bar his glowering red orb eyes.
The foursome also cited that when they had first encountered the creature, they had been driving through a local area dubbed the TNT area.
Later, one of the men mentioned that if he was alone, he wouldn’t have bothered reporting the incident. But since three other people had witnessed the being, he knew he had not been imagining what he had witnessed.
And luckily, they did. Because the very next day, the local paper reported the incident with the headline “Couples see man sized bird… creature… something”. This report would ignite a spark in the community, and soon, other people began coming forward with their accounts of the Mothman.
You see, being a small town, word travels fast. And some of the 5000 residents of Point Place feared what their neighbours would say if they shared their stories of the Mothman. However, in a kind of freeing mob mentality, the town began to open up about their encounters thanks to the four young adults who had been brave enough to share theirs. And some were just spoopy AF.
Other Encounters Of The Mothman
Literally the very next day, Marcella Bennet, her brother, Raymond Wamsley, and his wife Cathy were making their way towards family just outside the TNT area. The trio were taking Marcella’s two year old daughter for a visit.
That morning, Marcella and her brother had read about the Mothman encounter in their local paper, and even joked around with the idea of going to go and look for the creature at some point. However, they had no idea that they would not need to look at all.
Arriving at their relatives’ home, they soon discovered that the Thomases were in fact, at church that evening. They had left their three children behind to mind the house. Raymond began to make his way to the car, when he stopped dead in his tracks. Hovering above the treeline ahead were a series of breath taking lights.
He called to his sister to take a look at the lights, but tired and despondent, she soldiered straight ahead with her little girl towards the car. It was there that she saw a large, humanoid figure appear from behind the vehicle.
She reported seeing two large, grey, feathered legs and then, as though in a horror film, her gaze panned slowly upward. She noticed the gigantic man thing had wings which were tucked around its body. Its head was almost quizzically tilted to one side. But one of the most bizarre things she noticed, were the giant, glowering red eyes. According to Marcella, “It just looked like a giant bird but yet, a man and it was standing with his shoulders [arched] and its neck down”.
Almost instantly, Marcella became paralyzed with fear. “I just stood there and looked at it, but I couldn’t figure out what it was that I was seeing”. Her brother and his wife had noticed the thing as well. Desperately, they shouted towards her, urging her to run, but Marcella couldn’t move.
Eventually, Marcella managed to muster up the courage to move. However, she could take only a few steps before she fell face first, on top of her daughter into the ground. Marcella described it as though being in a trace, “I just couldn’t do what my mind was wanting me to do.”. in that moment, Marcella feared the weight of her body and impact of the fall had killed her small little girl.
Summoning every ounce of courage she could find, she managed to get up and bolt towards the farm house. Her brother was waiting on the steps for her and claims to have heard the creature flap its ginormous wings as she made it through the threshold.
They quickly barricaded themselves in the house, locking the front door behind Marcella and her daughter. Marcella was terribly banged up from the fall, with blood flowing from her hands, knees, and face. Also, claiming the mom of the year award here, she had suffered burn wounds from falling onto her lit cigarette. But luckily, her daughter was unharmed – apart from the looming emphysema encourage by her mother smoking over her – but that’s a story for another day.
The children were in a frenzy inside, and Raymond quickly took action, fiercely dialling the local police station. However, this is where things get absolutely horrifying.
The Mothman was still outside. It shuffled clumsily around the porch area. It even pushed on the front door repeatedly and gazed in through the window with its moorse big eyes! – tell about my story.
The police took their sweet ass time to arrive, showing up about 15-20 minutes after the call was made. By that time, the creature and lights had disappeared, leaving nothing for the policemen to find but a heap of sobbing humans huddled together in the lounge of the Thomases.
From then on, Marcella struggled with mental health issues, and to this day, suffers dreams of the strange winged being.
Throughout the winter of 66, and up until December 67, approximately one hundred accounted for sightings of the Mothman took place. all witnesses describe the being, being humanoid, very large, to have a wing span of about ten feet and to possess large red eyes. Some people describe the creature to have a head but almost no one can describe its facial features. Furthermore the colour on a few accounts vary. Some describe it as brown where as others depict it as being grey.
Some people were mentally disturbed from their encounters – while others even had physical injuries such as burns and swollen eyes.
I WAS TODAY YEARS OLD!
I was today years old when I found out you can get conjuncativus – pink eye – from looking into the sun for too long!
This type of conjunctivitis is known as Klieg Conjunctivitis and is described as an inflammation of the eye contracted from prolonged exposure to actinic or ultraviolet rays.
This type of conjunctivitis is also common in people who claim to have seen UFOs – and was appearing amidst more and more Point Pleasant residents.
It was rumoured that the creature had a fetish for chasing vehicles near the TNT area. It would harass the drivers as they made their way down the roads, and seemed to be drawn particularly to blood. It furiously chased a blood donation vehicle, and when questioned, most of the women chased by the creature had been menstruating at the time of their encounter. Once again, the dreaded p-diddy betrays the female race. But our story is just getting started. Things just get weirder and weirder as the Mothman’s stay in Point Pleasant continues.
Furthermore, livestock in the surrounding area began being mutilated, and a few farmers actually found some cattle drained of blood.
Now I bet you’re wondering where the name ‘Mothman’ originated from. Why not, bat man? Or bird man? Especially since feathers come into play in various accounts and locals to this day refer to the being a the big bird.
However, the name can actually be attributed to the media. You see, the story of this winged fiend quickly became the talk of the town. Nd the neighbouring town, and the town just to the left.
So naturally journalists flocked to Point Pleasant to get their scoop on the airborne creature.
Now, during the time of the Mothman appearances, Batman was big both as a TV show and a comic. One of the spin off characters just so happened to be Mothman. As such, an anonymous editor quickly snaffled up the name, and it stuck.
The TNT Area
So, I’ve been talking about the TNT area for a while now. Let me explain why. This area is suspected to be the actual home of the Mothman. The TNT area is actually a wild life preserve, situated just north of Point Pleasant. Whilst the reserve is home to stunning wild life and flora species alike, the beautiful face value hides an ominous, ugly past beneath its grounds.
Within the reserve are abandoned old ammunition storage facilities and factories, which were grossly used during WW2.
Ammunition was made and stored within the area, thus giving it its name, the TNT area.
Mothman was suspected to live in one of the abandoned storage units.
This area is incredibly important when it comes to discovering what Mothman is, so hang onto your butts and your knowledge of the TNT area until we get there!
Now that we know a bit about the area, its time to take a deep dive into the story of the Mothman, and how it grew within the community. So if you recall, in the Marcelle Benette encounter, I mentioned that her brother, Raymond, had witnessed a bizarre string of lights in the tree line.
This was not an uncommon thing during the period of 66-67. You see, it seems that the arrival of Mothman brought on the arrival of a mass amount of UFOs.
Locals reported bizarre lights flashing through the sky, absurd disc like flying things zipping through the night. One woman even recalled a cigar like shaped object hovering above her home one evening.
The amount of UFO sightings was so high, that locals even began to think nothing of it. Story after story poured into the local papers, and then, things took a turn for the bizarre.
Dreams And Apparitions
Ok now things get super duper upper spoopy and I’m SO excited! People in the community began to have trippy as dreams about something going horribly wrong. One local woman reported a reoccurring dream in which she kept seeing present floating down the Ohio river.
Others reported seeing apparitions of terrible things ahead. It was as though another entity had gotten into their heads and planet visions of future events. These may seem irrelevant, until you discover what comes next.
The Silver Bridge Collapse
The day is December, 15th 1967. It is officially 13 months to the day from the first sighting of the Mothman in Point Pleasant. The time is 5:05pm, and people on the Silver Bridge going over the Ohio River are in the usual late afternoon gridlock traffic.
All of a sudden, the bridge begins to shake violently. Within a few minutes, the colossal structure had crumbled, sending cars and debris alike plummeting into the icy river below.
That day, 46 people lost their lives to the Silver Bridge disaster. At the time, it was the largest bridge accident in American history.
The cause of the collapse was pin pointed to the failure of a single eyebar in a suspension chain, due to a small defect 2.5 mm.
Initially when the bridge was built in 1928, it was never intended to bear the load it did that fateful December evening in 1967.
Now I bet you’re wondering what this has to do with our Cryptid? Well, a lot of locals attribute the bridge collapse to the Mothman. A few even claimed to see him under the bridge the day of its collapse.
Remember the premonitions and dreams I told you about? This is where people began to make the connection between the Mothman and prophecies. They assumed he had placed the vision in their heads to forewarn them of the danger.
Another reason the Mothman is so closely linked to the bridge collapse is due to the fact that after it happened, he disappeared. From that day, Mothman was never seen in Point Pleasant again. But something else was!
The Men In Black
So the Mothman brought UFOs, and the UFOs brought something far more sinister. Mothman and UFO sightins long populated the headlines of the town paper. However, after the bridge collapse, little else was thought about than the 46 souls lost. It was bizarre that, during this time, a strange group of men started to appear throughout Point Pleasant.
They vary quite drastically from account to account, however, there are a few generally physical attributes which remain the same.
The beings were always males, they had olive skin, black hair and eyes and abnormally long spindly fingers. Another weird thing people picked up on is that they didn’t blink, and were ill informed about human things. One spent a good while in a diner trying to figure out how to use cutlery.
But apart from that, not much was the same about the various visitors.
A pair of them visited the offices of an active journalist, Mary Hyre. They were reported to be dressed to the nines in slim fitted black suites, formal shoes, black hats and black shades to match. Furthermore, the men were taller than your average male, seeming to tower over Mary. They asked Mary a string of bizarre questions, including “if someone told you to stop publishing stories about the Mothman, what would you do?” to which Mary responded, “I’d tell them to go to hell”.
Later that same day, a strange smaller man appeared in her office. Although he had the same physical attributes to the previous two visitors, he was dressed in an ill fitted suit and had a head of hair that looked dishevelled and unkempt.
He was reported to speak with a stutter and began to ask Mary another bizarre set of questions. However, one stood out. He asked carefully asked Mary “if someone told you to stop publishing stories about the Mothman, what would you do?”. This startled Mary, and she asked the strange little man if he was connected to the other two men who had recently visited her office. With that the man seemed to panic and replied “No, I am a Ufologist, my name is Jack Brown”.
Furthermore, something that struck Mary about both encounters was the men’s interest in the lights in the sky. The talk of the town had recently turned to the collapse of Silver bridge (which we will get into later).
ANOTHER ENCOUNTER HAPPENED WHEN MARY’S NIECE, Connie Carpenter was walking to school one morning in 1967. Connie had reported that she had witnessed the Mothman. Suddenly, a large black Buick pulled up beside her. Inside, sat a well-groomed young man who Connie reported to look about 25. The man gestured to her to come closer. Suddenly, he lunged forward, grabbing her arm. He then attempted to pull Connie into the car. Luckily, the girl gave him hell, and managed to get away with nothing but a ripped sleeve.
With that, Connie ran like hell to get home and locked all of the doors. However, the next day an ominous note was slipped under the door. The note read “Be careful girl, I can get you yet.”
Luckily however, the men soon began to leave the town once the thrill of the Mothman sightings died down. But the story doesn’t end there.
Global Sightings Of The Mothman
While the Point Pleasant encounter is the most publicized, there are other recollections of the Mothman worldwide:
- Mexico city 1985 – reports of huge birds seen weeks before horrific earth quake
- Chernobyl 1986 – bird like man encounters were reported over the course of several months. These end once the power plant exploded
- Sept 1999 – a Mothman type cyrtid was seen in Russia, week before the historical apartment bombings took place.
- Sept 2001 – eyewitness saw huge bird like creature in western pensylvannia
- Chicago 2017 – more than 20 reports from April – July
So What Was The Mothman Actually?
Welcome welcome welcome to what was that Mothman?
In this corner we have theory number one! The crane, brought to us by Dr Robert L. Smith aka the trying ornithologist, is appealing to the eye, but is there anything underneath?
Next up we have the created! This little theory is a little unorthodox but loves all things that go bump in the night and send shivers down your spine.
Can the next theory ever live up to the creature? Well, The Curse is your bad boy boy theory perfect for all monsterinos looking for a spooktacular time!
Next up in box number four we have the conceivable. This safe little theory is perfect for anyone looking for a flawlessly sane explanation. The kind of theory you’d take home to meet the folks!
Finally, in box number five we have The Turth. Well that’s just ccording to one little crytip horror host, but, will this out of this world explanation catch your eye? Let’s find out
Dr Robert L. Smith, associate professor of wildlife biology at WVU, passed the Mothman off to be nothing more than a sandhill crane. Initially, this seems plausible, this bird is a relatively large animal – larger than, say a pigeon. Furthermore, a notable physical attribute of the crane is that is has large red circular marks around its eyes. Surely this must be the explanation behind the Mothman right? WRONG! This plot is riddled with flaws and professor Robert L. Smith was a cryptid hating fop whip.
The crane generally stands between 3 – 3.5 feet tall. That’s literally half the reported size of Mothman. But if size isn’t discerning enough for you, this bird is not native to Point Pleasant. It does migrate through the area, and Smith argued that perhaps one had become lost during its migratory pattern. But to be lost for a year is a bit of a stretch.
The next theory is about as spooky as the Mothman himself. Remember earlier we discussed the TNT area in Point Pleasant?
This area was actually classified as a hazardous area due to illegal chemical dumping which took place in the surrounding ponds.
As such, a lot of locals have bought into the theory that perhaps, an indigenous bird to the area had been exposed to this waste, and had mutated to become a large, monster like animal. Kind of like a Spiderman situation.
This however was poo pooed by a local ornithologist whose name I cannot remember for the life of me because I was paying attention to what he said not what he was called in the documentary.
This gentleman claimed that any animal that was subject to the polluted waters, would not mutate. They would actually die from exposure to that type of chemical.
The next theory as to what the Mothman was goes back years. All the way back to 1777 to be exact. This year marks the death of a prominent Shawnee leader, Chief Cornstalk. The chief had partaken in the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774, however, after this, had dedicated his life to cultivating peace between the Indians and European settlers.
In the fall of 1777, the chief went on a diplomatic visit to Fort Randolph. However, the then jackass fort commander had decided to take hostage any Shawnee who crossed his path.
As such, the chief, his son, and two other accompanying braves were taken hostage. Eventually the four men were brutally murdered by the commander and his men.
However, as rumour goes, before his final breath, the chief uttered a curse upon the land, which would continue for two centuries.
Locals have latched on to this legend and drawn a correlation between the Mothman and the curse. What if this creature was born from the chief’s dying words coming true?
Another theory, that I’m rather partial to, is that of Joe Nickell. Joe Nickell, an author and investigator with the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, surmised that the Mothman was nothing more than a Barred Owl.
The Barred owl apparently is spooky as fuck. I say apparently because I love owls and actually think it’s very cute.
Mothman’s description kind of fits an owl perfectly if you think of it. The no neck thing, rounded head, angel like wings. One woman who got a close enough view of the creature reported it to have nostrils, yet no nose and no nose arch – kind of like Voldemort. Perhaps, she had seen the shadows on either side of the owl’s beak and mistaken these as nostrils.
However, one thing that truly makes the Barred Owl a strong contender for Mothman are its eyes. During the day time, the birds eyes are a deep black. However, at night when light is shone upon them, they turn a brilliant shade of crimson. This totally fits the Mothman eerie big red eye theory. This can be attributed to the large amount of blood vessels found within this owl’s eyes, which creates the crimson eyeshine.
So, what’s the issue? The Mothman is an owl bish bash bosh sorted. Well, the Barred Owl is actually quite a small little guy. The female, which is the larger sex in the species, reaches a whopping 51cm tall and weighs only 800g. This is a far cry from the towering figure that is the Mothman.
However, Nickell did conduct an interesting experiment. In 2010, he set up a series of variously sized Mothmen cut outs down a dark road. He then placed bike reflectors on each to symbolize their eyes. He then took a test group of people down the road at night and asked them to pay attention to the cut outs. However, when they reached the end of the road, not one individual could correctly guess the size of any of the cut outs.
This coupled with collective consciousness could actually explain the Mothman. Perhaps people got spooked by the owl’s eyes and embellished the stories and encounters in their heads, remembering them to be much larger than they actually were. As more and more people reported them, a group idea was formed and accepted and thus, the Mothman was born.
The Truth – According To Me
Another popular suggestion is that the Mothman, was in fact a visitor from another planet. Now why this makes sense to me is due to the fact of the other two things that are closely linked to this story.
While the owl is an incredibly plausible theory, how then do we explain the mass UFO sightings happening in Point Pleasant at that time, as well as the arrival of the real life Men in Black?
So yes, call in my inner cryptozoologist coming out, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
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