Does a mysterious winged creature haunt the hills and valleys along the Ohio River near Point Pleasant, West Virginia, warning people of disasters to come? You may scoff, but many believe the story is true. We learned all about in on an RV trip through the area a few years ago.
The strange tale began on November 15, 1966, when two young married couples from Point Pleasant reported that as they were passing an abandoned World War II explosives factory, a huge manlike creature with glowing red eyes and wings swooped down on their car and chased them all the way back to town at high speeds.
A local panic ensued, and the next night several armed men searched the area around the TNT plant for signs of whatever it was the four had seen. Soon afterward, another report came in that the apparition, who became known as Mothman, was spotted by others in the general area of the bomb factory. They said it had been lying down, then slowly rose up from the ground and spread its wings as they passed by.
In the days that followed, more and more sightings were reported. Sometimes the creature would fly alongside cars on local roads, and at other times it appeared in yards, on top of buildings, and in trees.
Things died down for a few weeks, and then on January 11, 1967, Mothman was sighted again in several reports. That summer a local doctor’s wife in the area said that she had seen a six-foot long thing resembling a “giant butterfly”. Others reported that the creature made a sound “like a woman screaming.”
In November, a local farmer said he spotted something with two red glowing eyes in his cornfield and that his German shepherd ran into the field after it and never returned. A few days later, two firemen said they had seen Mothman near the munitions factory. A week later a man reported to police in Charleston that Mothman was sitting on his roof.
Another flurry of Mothman sightings was reported. Some claimed they saw it standing alongside the road, on their front porches, in their yards, and flying overhead. On December 4, five pilots at the Gallipolis, Ohio, airport across the Ohio River said they saw some sort of giant bird flying at about 70 miles per hour.
Many claim that Mothman was seen sitting on the girders over the Silver Bridge in the days before it collapsed into the Ohio River on December 15, 1967, killing dozens of motorists. Some believe that the creature was warning of the coming disaster, while others think it caused the bridge to fall.
The Point Pleasant area has seen other strange paranormal activity, including UFO sightings, cattle mutilations, and reports of poltergeist activity over the years.
So does Mothman exist? Or was it the result of collective hysteria, or maybe even a hoax on a grand scale? I don’t know. But it has been the subject of books, a documentary film, and there is even a Mothman Museum, located on Point Pleasant’s Main Street.
The city even erected a statue in honor of the creature. The next time you’re in Point Pleasant, stop and check out the Mothman story and decide for yourself. Who knows? Maybe you’ll look up to see Mothman hovering over your campsite!
Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Capitol Offense, the second book in my pal George Wier’s Bill Travis mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – If you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you’ll have trouble putting your pants on.