On November 16, Raymond and Cathy Wamsley, along with their friend Marcella Bennett, saw the monster next to their parked car. Bigger than a man, with terrible, glowing, red eyes.
Needless to say, all these accounts were a reporter's dream come true. Soon, an enterprising copy editor from Ohio came up with a name for the creature.
Without a doubt, there was something strange going on in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. While some of the facts are debatable, it really does seem there was an unidentified creature lurking about. However, some believe Mothman was more than just a mysterious animal. Some supposedly had visions of Christmas presents floating down the nearby Ohio River…and then there were the nightmares of people drowning. The appearance of Mothman in November and perhaps in the following months, depending on whose account you believe was indeed terrifying.
But it paled in comparison to what happened on December 15, If you needed to visit one town or the other, then you had to pass over the Silver Bridge. Built in , this eye-bar bridge was covered in aluminum paint, providing it with its colorful nickname. The structure stood for about 40 years, but on that fateful December day, the bridge collapsed into the Ohio River, taking 31 vehicles with it. In total, 46 lives were lost, and the tragedy sparked all sorts of bizarre theories about what happened. It was eventually determined the bridge fell due to a faulty eye-bar, but some suspected a sonic boom was responsible.
Others, meanwhile, pointed to an old-timey curse from a vengeful Indian chief. However, of all the alternative theories out there, the most popular involves the Mothman. Many cryptozoologists and paranormal experts believe the winged beast was either responsible for the collapse or that it was trying to warn of the impending disaster.
And those who believe in the Mothman connection often point to the terrifying dreams of people drowning and Christmas presents in the river as proof of the creature's involvement.
After all, the Silver Bridge fell just a few weeks before December 25, right as people were doing their Christmas shopping…. So what exactly was the Mothman? Was it some undiscovered animal? Or was it something more supernatural? Admittedly, a being that looks like a man, stands seven feet tall, and has wings on its back sounds pretty freaky, which is why many believers point to the paranormal when discussing Mothman's origins. In fact, many claim that when the Mothman showed up in Point Pleasant, all sorts of scary things started happening around town.
And he isn't the only one who thinks otherworldly entities were at play. Reporter John Keel more on him in a bit actually investigated the Mothman sightings and wrote about incidents that sound like they were ripped straight from The X-Files. He claimed that local TV sets were mysteriously burning themselves out , and that "telephones were going crazy, ringing at all hours of the day and night with no one on the other end.
And of course, there were all the Men in Black. Supposedly, in the days after the Silver Bridge collapse, unusual figures in black Cadillacs were seen driving around town. And in addition to unusual lights in the sky and shady government figures, Keel also writes there were poltergeists at work. For example, he wrote about one family that had spotted Mothman, and which was subsequently harassed by an unseen presence: a spirit that invaded their home, moved objects around, smelled of cigar smoke, and once appeared as a dark shadow. Of course, not everyone buys into the paranormal angle, especially when it comes to the alleged UFO sightings.
Investigator Joe Nickell says that while some people did spot lights in the sky, many of these were planes. In fact, several sightings were the fault of a prankster who intentionally flew his private plane back and forth, as low as possible, to freak out his Point Pleasant neighbors.
“Mothman”, as the strange creature came to be called, is perhaps one of the strangest Moments later, they saw the same creature on a hillside near the road. Highway Mothman is a fictional short story written by Guy Foster involving a Mothman encounter similar to those that occurred and were reported from Point.
Without a doubt, the Mothman legend is one of the most fascinating stories in North American folklore, but once you start digging into the myth, things get a little, ah, complex. Yes, people saw a mysterious creature shuffling around in the darkness. But as for the creepy nightmares, government agents, and connection to the Silver Bridge, well, all that supernatural stuff comes from two men…neither of whom are exactly Walter Cronkite when it comes to reporting.
Barker discussed the Point Pleasant cryptid in his work The Silver Bridge , which connected Mothman to the tragedy that claimed 46 lives. The second author to popularize the Mothman-Silver Bridge connection was the aforementioned John Keel, the man who first abbreviated "Men in Black" as "M.
tambfemopunbi.cf He then covered the story in his book, The Mothman Prophecies , which was turned into a movie starring Richard Gere. Unfortunately for Mothman fans, Gray Barker has something of a spotty track record when it comes to the truth. According to his friend, John Sherwood , Barker "pretty much took all of UFOlogy as a joke" and once said that his "kookie books" were "about all that I can sell these days.
Sherwood also claimed that Barker hoaxed author John Keel.
Remember how Keel claimed that he'd received multiple calls from mysterious entities? Well, it's very likely that Barker made those calls himself, feeding Keel false info as the author was working on The Mothman Prophecies. And as for Keel himself, skeptic Robert Schaffer once described him as a "trickster" who did not take "his own writings very seriously" and wrote "entertaining stories that paid the bills.
So if Mothman wasn't some sort of alien or a being from an alternate dimension, then what did all those people see in November ? While it might sound ridiculous at first, the best explanation for Mothman involves our fine feathered friends. That's right.
Chances are good that Mothman was just some sort of bird. The avian idea got started as soon as the Mothman appeared, with the local sheriff claiming the creature was a kind of heron known as a shitepoke. Later, a professor from West Virginia University theorized the monster was possibly a sandhill crane that wandered away from its usual stomping grounds.
These creatures can get up to five-feet tall and have a wingspan of around seven feet, which might've easily spooked Point Pleasant residents who weren't used to seeing such a big bird. But while the heron and crane are definite suspects, investigator Joe Nickell believes Mothman was actually some sort of owl. After all, multiple sightings took place around the McClintic Wildlife Management Area, a region that served as a bird sanctuary. And perhaps most importantly, when you shine a light into an owl's eyes, they will glow red, just like the Mothman's. One of the earliest witnesses, Linda Scarberry, said Mothman's eyes didn't illuminate until they were hit by car headlights.
So perhaps the Mothman witnesses saw some glowing pupils, and in their state of fear, overestimated the creature's size. And once word of the alleged sightings spread, more and more people began to panic, freaking out whenever they saw an owl's eyes shining in the dark.
After all, what's more likely?
That Point Pleasant was visited by a man with wings, or that worried townsfolk simply got spooked by the local wildlife? Whether or not you believe in the Mothman, you can't deny the impact this creature has had on Point Pleasant. In the early s, the town erected a foot-tall statue of the monster , complete with insect face and red eyes. According to OutsideOnline , the thing was originally supposed to be feet-tall and have eyes that lit up in the dark, but that didn't pan out due to budgetary reasons. Still, if you want to visit the statue, you can find the monument standing proudly in the appropriately named Mothman Park.
In addition to the statue, Point Pleasant hosts a yearly Mothman Festival , and if you decide to check it out, be sure to swing by the Mothman Museum, where you can see all sorts of paraphernalia related to both the actual case and the Richard Gere movie. This is the best place to get a detailed description of the creature, where to find him, and of his supposed role in the bridge collapse. The Mothman clearly plays a huge part in Point Pleasant's history.
Once you've worked up a monstrous pun intended appetite, walk about a block to the Harris Steakhouse, affectionately known as the Mothman Diner, where Carolyn Harris has been serving up delicious homestyle food to the locals since The walls are adorned with crayon drawings of the infamous Mothman, and if the place isn't packed, Carolyn is happy to sit down and recount the spine-tingling tales of her own encounters with the creature.
You absolutely need to try the Mothman Burger. If you're planning on spending the night, your best option is The Historic Lowe Hotel. You won't find massive widescreen televisions and a state-of-the-art gymnasium here, but you will discover a charming old-time hotel that guests say is teeming with ghosts. Be sure to request room , allegedly the most haunted room in the whole building, where a "tall, gaunt man" believed to be Sid Hatfield of Hatfield vs.
McCoy infamy has been terrifying guests for nearly a century.
Now, you could easily cap your evening off with an evening stroll by the river, where you can see the beautiful mural along the flood wall and pay your respects at the site of the original Silver Bridge collapse, but why end the night there? The grand finale lies just a few miles down the road in the middle of the woods at the abandoned military storage bunkers. You could visit the old bunkers during daylight hours, but take it from us - this adventure is one that should be pursued like all scary stories: in the middle of night, while a dense fog rolls through the rural hills. Trekking out into the woods in search of the entrance to the one ammunitions storage dome left unsealed is an admittedly terrifying experience, but it's one you won't soon forget For some, the origins of the Mothman lie in the 18th century.
The militia victory allowed the settlers in western Virginia to cross the Allegheny Mountains to fight for American Independence and weakened the alliance between the Native Americans and the British. After the battle, Chief Cornstalk managed to keep the tense relationship between his tribe and the settlers somewhat friendly, until he was taken hostage by American soldiers to bargain with the tribes: As long as the soldiers had Cornstalk, they could trust that his men wouldn't join the British against the Americans.
However, some other men being held with Cornstalk decided to escape, and the soldiers killed Cornstalk as revenge. As the story goes, Cornstalk placed a curse on the settlers of Point Pleasant with his dying breath Even if you don't encounter the Mothman on your trip to Point Pleasant, you'll no doubt still find yourself charmed by the friendly, small-town atmosphere of Point Pleasant. For an added bonus to the fun of searching for the Mothman, visit during their annual Mothman Festival.
It takes place in late September and features talks and lectures, vendors, and Mothman-shaped pancakes. It draws an awesome crowd of locals and Mothman enthusiasts from near and far, and it's always an interesting and unforgettable time! US West Virginia.
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