Picture this, you're walking down a street at night, the moon glows upon the horizon as you stroll up when suddenly, a creature shrouded in the darkness leaps up. Its burning red eyes target you with evil intent, instant fear surges through your mind, but you can't move or run. You stand there completely paralyzed in fear and the creature soars back into the night sky leaving you in shock. You have just been witness to the Mothman, one of the more terrifying creatures of the cryptozoology world. Scary? I'd think so if I were to come face to face with it. This creature was sighted for a little over a year in November 1966 in the area of Point Pleasent, West Virginia. Hundreds of witnesses in a relatively short period of time told their tale according to John Keel's book "The Mothman Prophecies." The Mothman was known to hang around a dysfunctional power plant which was near a romantic spot and shooting range (kind of like an unofficial hangout spot). Most of the reports describe him as being "evil" but some even see him as a guardian or even extraterrestial in origin. The most recent sighting was before the twin towers collapsed on September 11th, 2001. The Mothman is known to show up before disasters and even channel prophecies into people. There is even a movie called "The Mothman Prophecies". The Mothman still remains a mystery to this day however.
* about seven feet tall
* large wingspan over 10 feet
* gray, scaley skin
* large, red, glowing and hypnotic eyes
* able to take off straight up in flight, traveling up to 100 miles an hour
* liked to mutilate or eat large dogs
* screeched or squealed like a rodent or electric motor
* known to cause radio and television interference
* known to have mind control abilities
* Like to "nest" in remote, unpopulated areas
* Be drawn to, and protective of, small children
During World War II, a number of family farms were purchased by the government in order to construct about 100 "igloos." These large mounds of earth were made to be unnoticed from the air. Deep inside each, cement and steel protected the contents: wartime explosives.
After the war, parts of the West Virginia Ordnance Works were sold off or leased to companies like the Trojan-U.S. Powder Company, the LFC Chemical Company, and American Cyanamid..... Biochemistry enters the picture. A portion of the WVOW became the McClintock Wildlife Station. All the while, the preserve became known to area residents simply as "T.N.T." Its remote location became a popular hangout for local youth...."parking" and "partying" at T.N.T. became a norm.
The Mothman's glowing red eyes were first reported on November 14th, 1966 in Salem, West Virginia. That evening, Merle Partridge was watching television at his home. The following is his account:
It was about 10:30 that night, and suddenly the TV blanked out. A real fine herringbone pattern appeared on the tube, and at the same time the set started a loud whining noise.....It sounded like a generator winding up.
....The dog was sitting on the end of the porch, howling down toward the hay barn....
I shined the [flash] light in that direction, and it picked up two red circles, or eyes, which looked like bicycle reflectors....
....I certainly know what animal eyes look like....these were much larger ....It's a good length of a football field to that hay barn....still those eyes showed up huge for that distance.
....It was an eerie feeling. I have never had this sort of feeling before. It was if you knew something was wrong, but couldn't place just what it was.
Partridge described the intense, morbid fear that swept over him as a "cold chill". The dog snarled and ran toward the eyes, but Newell hurried inside. He slept with his shotgun all night.
The next day, he and his six-year-old son went searching for the dog, Bandit, a large, muscular German Shepherd.....
Those tracks were going in a circle, as if the dog had been chasing his tail, though he never did that..... There were no other tracks of any kind.
Bandit was never seen again.
At 11:30 the following night (November 15th), a '57 Chevy slowly creeps through the T.N.T. area.
Inside are two young couples, Mr. and Mrs. Roger Scarberry and Mr. and Mrs. Steve Mallette. They're looking for friends who might also be out that cold, winter night.
Their search pauses at the old generator plant on the preserve.
Linda Scarberry gasps.....
"It was shaped like a man, but bigger. Maybe six and a half or seven feet tall. And it had big wings folded against its back......"
"....But it was those eyes that got us. It had two big eyes like automobile reflectors......"
".....They were hypnotic. For a minute, we could only stare at it. I couldn't take my eyes off it."
The creature slowly turned toward the door of the abandoned generator plant. The door was seen... apparently ripped off its hinges.
Scarberry slammed on the accelerator pedal, trying to get to the highway. As they sped past a small hill,
the creature appeared and took off straight up in the air. The auto skidded out of the exit road onto Route 62 ....on two wheels.
"My God, it's following us! We were doing one hundred miles an hour and that bird kept right up with us. It wasn't even flapping its wings....."
It followed the car to near the city limits until the "bird" broke its pursuit. The couples immediately contacted the sheriff's office....
"I've known these kids all their lives. They'd never been in any trouble and they were really scared that night."
Deputy Millard Halstead was on duty in the Mason County Courthouse that evening. He accompanied the couples back to T.N.T. to find the cause of their fear.....
I was on patrol that night....There was a couple parked up in the T.N.T. area and this big bird - or they called it "the monster" - came up and pecked on their window. Nearly scared the life out of 'em.....
.....They met me up there and we looked around. Now, I couldn't see anything at the time..... it was dark. .....We did have a real frightened couple there.
As Halstead switched on his police radio, a loud screech came out of the speaker - a garble, like a tape recording being played at very high speed. Noticeably shaken, the deputy quickly turned off the radio. He left soon after that and reported the incident to his department.
...The next day we had reportings of seeing the same 'bird', they called it, flying near the area. In fact, on the highway, it came down near a car. And just flew over top of the car. And these people were scared also.
The following morning, Sheriff George Johnson held a press conference about the sightings. All the witnesses were interviewed by reporters.
The news story went out that day.....
As the fervor over the sightings mounted on November 16th, 1966, Mrs. Mary Hyre, editor of the Point Pleasant register, had it put on the Associated Press wire.
The copy editor who sent out the article is reportedly now a professor at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Since "Batman" was a popular series at the time, he dubbed the creature "moth-man".
"It rose up slowly from the ground. A big, gray thing. Bigger than a man, with terrible, glowing, red eyes."
---Marcella Bennet, a visitor to the home of Ralph Thomas, then superintendent of the Trojan-U.S. operations in Point Pleasant. Mr. Thomas lived in a bungalow among the igloos of T.N.T.
The Point Pleasant Register had no shortage of Mothman stories in the months to come....
More and more sightings were reported in the Point Pleasant area. Descriptions of the creature were consistent. All reported the same basic build and features. Communications devices squealed and whined. The same red, glowing, hypnotic eyes.
And all reported an uncontrollable, indescribable terror....
"I've never had that feeling before. A weird kind of fear. That fear gripped you and held you."
On November 24th, two adults and two children were driving past T.N.T. and reported spotting the Mothman.
Inside the preserve, thousands of visitors were streaming in every night - fueled by just such reports. It became a media event. Television crews set up at the old generator plant for a glimpse of the nightmarish creature.
To add to the confusion, an inordinately large amount of dog disappearances and mutilations were happening in and around T.N.T. One charred carcass was found inside T.N.T., although none of the surrounding earth was burned.
It has been speculated that this was the end result of "some secret magical ritual by some unknown local warlock," and that this ritual "brought the Mothman into being."
Others theorized that the explosives and chemicals routinely moved around in T.N.T. had leaked and inadvertently caused a biochemically-conceived freak of nature. Perhaps an errant bird, displaced by the igloos, had been forced to rely on spilled chemicals as sustenance, thereby mutating from the nourishment? The Mothman, to them, was the embodiment of our ecological sins.
Still others brought up the Curse of Chief Cornstalk. They believed his 200-year spell had conjured up a winged purveyor of terror. The Mothman, in this case, would be the final realization of Shawnee revenge.
"Suddenly it spread a pair of wings...."
The months passed. The reports continued long into 1967 - over one hundred total. The one-year anniversary of the first sighting came and went as the Christmas season sparkled across the Point Pleasant area.
Many people in the area said the Mothman was responsible for the fall of the Silver Bridge, connecting West Virginia with Ohio. Others said the Mothman was trying to warn people about the upcoming tragedy.
One Point Pleasant resident, who was a very young girl at the time of the collapse, reported having seen the Mothman outside her bedroom window one night prior to the catastrophe. He just hovered, studying her with his illuminated, red eyes.
On the day of the tragedy, the same girl and her family were scheduled to leave on a trip. Their route would take them over the bridge.
As they pulled out of the driveway, her father suddenly had a massive headache, and went back inside to lie down. When he recovered a short time later, they turned on the radio to hear of the disaster they narrowly avoided.
Was the Mothman protecting this child he favored? Did the Mothman have mind control powers that allowed him to cause her father's headache?
Whatever the cause of the collapse, it put an end to most of the Mothman sightings. The resulting suffering of the area residents no longer allowed them time to entertain the unexplained.
There have been more sightings since then, but none to match the frequency of which the reportings came in that 13 month period between November 1966 and December 1967.
Most every question regarding the Mothman will, most likely, go forever unanswered. But what do we know about him from the available information....?
What has happened to those who reported sighting the Mothman (Curse)?
* SOME GOT A DIVORCE OF MARRIAGE
* MANY MOVED TO DISTANT STATES
* SEVERAL SUFFERED NERVOUS BREAKDOWNS AND SOME WERE FORCED TO UNDERGO LONG HOSPITALIZATIONS
* A FEW COMMITTED SUICIDE
* MANY DIED WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF THE SIGHTINGS....ESPECIALLY ON THE SILVER BRIDGE
* MRS. MARY HYRE DIED WITHIN THREE YEARS OF HER DREAM PREDICTING THE SILVER BRIDGE COLLAPSE
The Mothman is still being seen today by people who are too afraid to step forward. Scattered sightings are still reported, but most are held as private horrors..................
Visit the http://www.mothmanmuseum.com/ for more information on this subject