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The Mothman

The Mothman statue in Point Pleasant, West Virginia

It came out of the dark.

On the night of November 15, 1966, on a remote road near the sleepy town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, four people on a scenic drive stumbled across a creature they could not identify. In the headlights, it seemed to be a large white human-like creature with bright red eyes and wings. The foursome sped away, and, to their amazement, saw that the being was flying right above them no matter how fast they went.

The creature followed them to the Point Pleasant border and then flew away into the night.

Later that same night in a town about 100 miles from Point Pleasant, Newell Partridge was puzzled when his television went on the fritz and he noticed a high-pitched whining noise outside the house. Going to investigate with his hunting dog, Partridge shined a flashlight around his property and the beam eventually settled on what looked like two red bicycle reflectors. Partridge realized they were eyes. His dog took off in pursuit and was never seen again.

The following evening, a woman reported that she was getting out of her car when a tall being rose up beside her. “It seemed as though it had been lying down. It rose up slowly from the ground. A big gray thing. Bigger than a man, with terrible glowing eyes.

Running into the house, the woman heard the sounds of something moving on the front porch and thought she saw two luminous red eyes looking through the window.

Local newspapers began reporting on the story and labeled the unknown being “Mothman.”

The legal authorities, wanting to curb the spread of panic, stated that Mothman was merely a very large heron or crane. Few people believed them.

In the following months, the creature would continue to appear and terrify the residents of the area. Writer John Keel claimed that no less than 100 people had some kind of encounter with Mothman.

The activity seemed to be centered around an abandoned munitions plant near Point Pleasant. If this was, in fact, the lair of the Mothman, it couldn’t have picked a better place. The crumbling plant was riddled with empty rooms and passageways.

On December 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge, which connected Point Pleasant to Ohio, collapsed, killing 46 people. Mothman was never seen after this tragedy. Some thought this was a coincidence and some did not.

Although it was never seen again, Mothman has continued to be the topic of discussion (and argument) for various theorists and skeptics. Theories include everything from outer space aliens to top-secret government experiments. Mothman was even the basis of the 2002 movie “The Mothman Prophecies,” where Richard Gere tries to get to the bottom of the phenomenon.

The mysteries of “What was Mothman?” and “Where did it go?” have never been solved.

SOURCES:
“Mothman”, Wikipedia, pulled 8/31/11
“MOTHMAN”, Prairie Ghosts website, pulled 8/31/11

About Doug MacGowan

Doug MacGowan lives on the San Francisco peninsula with his wife, a dog, and far too many cats. He has published three books on the topic of historic true crime. In his free time he enjoys reading.