Who is the Mysterious Mothman?
“Couples See Man-Sized Bird … Creature … Something.”
This was the headline on the front page of the November 16, 1966 edition of the Point Pleasant Register. It’s an ominous headline fit for an even more ominous creature. In the mid-1960s, strange sightings began occurring around Point Pleasant that still cannot be explained today. On November 15, 1966, two young couples in Point Pleasant reported seeing a large, man-sized creature with wings and red glowing eyes. They claimed that the creature followed their car as they drove away from the “TNT area” on the outskirts of town.
It didn’t take long for the story to spread like wildfire. News outlets from around the world began talking of the mysterious Mothman, and before long, there were more sightings. Paranoia ran rampant throughout the community. To make things worse, on December 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge connecting Point Pleasant to Gallipolis, Ohio collapsed. Many blamed the ominous Mothman for the collapse, but many saw him as a harbinger of doom – warning the residents of the imminent danger. The Mothman was never seen in the Point Pleasant area after the collapse of the bridge, but he has been spotted around the world in recent years.
Over time, there have been several conspiracy theories surrounding the enigmatic Mothman. Many link his mysterious arrival back to the 1700s. Chief Cornstalk, leader of the Shawnee nation at the time, was wrongfully killed at Fort Randolph in 1777. Many believe he put a curse on the area just before he was killed, leading to tragedy in the city like the collapse of the Silver Bridge.
Today, Point Pleasant holds an annual festival to commemorate the winged phenomenon. The annual Mothman Festival takes place in downtown Point Pleasant on the third weekend of every September. The Festival includes vendors, hayrides, live music, and guided tours of the areas of Point Pleasant where the sightings of the Mothman occurred. Point Pleasant is home to the Mothman Museum – the only one in the world. The Mothman has also been the focus of several movies including 2002’s “The Mothman Prophecies” starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney.
There is no way to truly determine if it was the Mothman that haunted the skies of Point Pleasant in the mid-1960s. Many attribute the sightings to the migration of Sandhill Cranes. Some believe it was a large owl that wasn’t native to the area. There’s no way to be sure, but if you’re traveling through West Virginia, keep an eye in the sky. You never know what you might see.
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This post was last updated on March 17, 2022