Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wednesday Weird: Mothman

We're back for another Wednesday Weird, this one possibly the most famous case I've blogged about: Mothman.

Mothman begins in 1966 in Point Pleasant, West Virginia when 5 men were in a cemetery, preparing a grave for burial.

While they were working, they saw a man-like figure rise into the air and fly over their heads. They reported that it had wings, and was brown and really just resembled a man with wings.

This is considered the first sighting of Mothman, though by the end there would be over 100 supposed sightings (though, it's important to note that the vast majority of these were never and can never be corroborated)

A few days later, there was another sighting of Mothman, and this one is the most famous.
2 couples were driving in a car near an area of town called the "TNT area," which was home to an old WWII munitions plant.

As they were driving, the car headlights picked up two red eyes attached to something that was "shaped like a man, but bigger, maybe six or seven feet tall. And it had big wings folded against its back". When the creature moved, the couples panicked and they sped away.
But the creature followed them. It spread it's wings and rose into the air, chasing the car and keeping up even as the car passed 100mph until it finally flew off into the night.
The couples were so terrified by their experience that they went immediately to the police. And the police believed them. Deputy Halstead, who was working that night, took them seriously because they had never been in trouble before and were clearly terrified by what they had witnessed.
The next night, a woman would report seeing Mothman outside as she approached her car. She was so terrified that she dropped her infant daughter to the ground and lay on top of her in protection, until she finally found the courage to flee back to the house where they'd come from.
Over the next year, more and more residents would claim to see Mothman, with its red eyes and giant wings.
On December 16th, 1967, a little over a year after the first sighting, The Silver Bridge, a steel bridge connecting Ohio and West Virginia, collapsed, killing 46 people.
After that, Mothman was never seen again, bringing rise to the belief that Mothman was some sort of death omen.
There are a lot of theories and suspicions regarding Mothman. Many people believe it was some sort of supernatural death omen, or perhaps something to do with extra terrestrials (this belief comes from the fact that there were many strange people sighted in town during the Mothman years, including men in dark suits and sunglasses.)
Some of the more benign explanations is that perhaps it was an owl, though the size of the body and wingspan wouldn't match up, even with the largest owl.
Another thought is that it could have been a sandhill crane, off it's migration path. Sandhillls can stand as tall as 4 feet with a 7 foot wingspan. And they have red markings around their eyes.
Point Pleasant would erect a statue, commemorating the strangeness 1966 and of the Mothman sightings.
Thoughts, theories?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

There's also that photo of the bridge before it collapsed with the mothman supposedly on top.
Maybe it was a radioactive crane?

Rena said...

I like Alex's suggestion. A radioactive crane...or maybe one bit by a spider! My vote is that it was a failed mutant project. Interesting creature one way or another.

Rena said...

I like Alex's suggestion. A radioactive crane...or maybe one bit by a spider! My vote is that it was a failed mutant project. Interesting creature one way or another.

Maria Zannini said...

The only thing that gave me pause was when the couple driving said that the creature kept up with them even at 100mph. Unless the thing was attached to the car, no flesh and blood animal could reach those speeds.

The sightings stopped after the bridge collapse which makes me think that maybe it was also killed.

I would've gone with the death omen thing if the previous people who had seen it were also on the bridge. Either way, sounds like we'll never know.

Austin Gorton said...

Jesus, forget the real Mothman, that statute is scary enough on its own. Who the heck wants *that* in their town square?

Crystal Collier said...

Yeah, I see sandhill cranes all the time, and there's no way. Such a crazy piece of history.

Nicola said...

That last statue is very scary. I bet that gives kids and adults alike some gruesome nightmares. Great post, Sarah!

Patrick Stahl said...

Ooo, I love Mothman. I wrote a whole paper on him my senior year of high school. There's a really good song about Mothman titled "Red Eyes."

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