Legend says that there exists a seven-foot-tall, well built, humanoid monster with giant red, glowing eyes and huge brown wings. A being who can soar to the skies from a standing position, and fly at astounding speeds. A beast who mutilates pets and implants immediate fear in the hearts of all those who see him. In the mid-1960s, more than a hundred reliable residents of a small West Virginian town distinctly saw the horrifying figure that terrorised their community for over a year.
They called him the MothMan.
In November 1966, several sightings of an enormous, strange bird were reported around Point Pleasant, West Virginia, USA.
November 12 – five gravediggers preparing a plot recounted seeing a ‘brown human being’ fly to the air from some neighbouring trees and pass over their heads.
November 15 – two young lovers were driving together close to the McClintic Wildlife Preserve. The area was well-known to locals as ‘TNT’, because it had been used as an explosives depot during the Second World War. The place was home to many abandoned chemical and industrial plants. Late in the evening, the couple approached an old generator plant. To their surprise, the door appeared to have been ripped off. It was then that they noticed two huge red eyes shining out of the gloom at them. These hypnotic, staring discs were attached to what they said was ‘shaped like a man, but bigger, maybe six or seven feet tall. And it had big wings folded against its back’.
As the creature loomed, the lovers spread out. As they looked back, they saw it take to the air, rising up without fluttering its wings. According to the witnesses, the creature had a giant 10- foot wingspan, and kept pace with the car despite the vehicle reaching speeds of 100 miles an hour. Finally, the group reached the Point Pleasant city limits, where their aerial chaser turned away and vanished. The couple drove straight to the local police station and conveyed what they had seen.
Although local police found nothing at TNT, they accepted the young people had seen something.
The Appearances Increase
Over the next few days news of a giant ‘bird’ terrorising citizens came into police headquarters with growing regularity. People in cars had experienced the huge flying creature swooping down on them, as the reception on television and radio sets were being disrupted across the region.
A man from Salom, heard his dog whine from the porch at the same time his television failed. The man went outside to investigate just to see two red, glowing lights in his hay barn, at which point his dog ran off. The man, afflicted with fear, scrambled back home and locked all the doors and windows. He slept with a gun next to him. His dog though was never seen again.
November 16, 1966 – Perhaps the most unsettling story concerning Mothman happened on this date. A young mother, was driving to meet a few friends near the TNT compound. She said she had seen a ‘funny red light’ in the sky, and, as she arrived at her friends’ house, heard something rustling near her car.
‘It seemed as though it had been lying down. It rose up slowly from the ground. A big grey thing. Bigger than a man, with terrible glowing eyes,’ she said. Terrified, she clutched her small daughter and ran into the house, locking the doors behind her. The creature followed, sliding onto the porch and staring in the windows. The police were called, but by the time they arrived, Mothman had disappeared.
Over the next year, Mothman was seen by numerous eyewitnesses including firemen and pilots. Gradually the reports altered into cases of UFOs, strange lights and ‘Men in Black’. At 5pm on December 15, 1967 the Silver Bridge linking Point Pleasant to Ohio unexpectedly collapsed. 46 people died in the incident, and the residents of Point Pleasant were forced to deal with real horror rather than mythical beasts. Their creature’s reign of terror paled into insignificance and he was forgotten. However, many people still believe the bridge disaster may have been Mothman’s terrible final act.