My two young boys have a great game at the moment – making up new superheroes and then pretending to be them.
“Catboy” is the latest one, which replaced “Batbaby” and before that “Wormkid”.
Mothman could have easily been amongst the names made up by my highly inventive and superhero-obsessed two boys.
Given the far-fetched, ultra-creative and highly fictitious sounding name Mothman, which children with their incredible imaginations would be thrilled by, it is remarkably unbelievable that there are people who insist they have actually seen the large-winged creature known as Mothman.
The first reported Mothman sightings took place in the Point Pleasant area of West Virginia in the late 1960s, with the Point Pleasant Register running a report in 1966 with the headline “Couples See Man-Sized Bird… Creature… Something”.
During this time various people came forward claiming they had seen a large creature, whose eyes “glowed red” and who had “ten-foot wings”. (1)
In 1975, American journalist and UFOlogist, John Keel, introduced Mothman to a wider audience when his book “The Mothman Prophecies” was published.
The book is based on Keel’s investigations into the alleged Mothman sightings in the vicinity of Point Pleasant in West Virginia and combines the investigations with his own theories of supernatural occurrences and UFOs.
The book is also centered on the idea that Mothman was connected to the collapse of Silver Bridge in 1967, which connected Point Pleasant and Kanauga. 46 people died in the accident.
Many people claimed to have seen Mothman not far from the bridge and that he was either indirectly or directly involved in the accident. After the bridge collapsed, Mothman seemed to have quietly disappeared, reiterating the premise that the bridge and Mothman were somehow connected.
The Mothman Hits the Big Screen
In 2002, the Mothman legend was popularized once again when “The Mothman Prophecies” movie was released, starring Richard Gere. The movie is, of course, based on Keel’s book.
Since the film was released, there does seem to have been a resurgence of Mothman sightings, with the Internet naturally being a popular place for people to share their alleged sightings of Mothman.
One website that is particularly embracing of Mothman sightings is aptly titled “Mothman Museum” and encourages readers to post their encounters with Mothman, regardless of whether they took place in 1966 or yesterday.
There are almost 30 different postings on the site, all with one thing in common, eyewitness accounts of Mothman – allegedly. As Dave M. from Chester WV wrote:
“I was looking at your Mothman Museum homepage and was shocked at seeing the painting on the top center. I was on my way home from Chester WV with my girlfriend. We were on RT 68 between East Liverpool, Ohio and Midland, Pennsylvania along the Ohio River. The time was around 3 a.m. and a thing that looked like a black angel flew in front of my truck, it was around 6 feet tall and was so close we both ducked.” (2)
On Paranormal Phenomena, similar alleged Mothman sightings are described. Sandy Nichols, a paranormal investigator, who says it is his responsibility to report paranormal occurrences in as much detail as possible, states that in 2005 he was traveling in Williamson County, approximately 25 miles south of the Davidson County when he saw an eight foot tall creature at the side of the road with a peculiar triangle shape that was bright red.
“My gut feeling told me that this was some type of unknown species that modern day science insists does not exist,” says Sandy Nichols. (3)
It does seem somewhat uncanny and some may argue convenient that a paranormal investigator should have actually seen an unknown species himself.
Recent Mothman Sightings
On yet another website dedicated to the fantastical world of the paranormal, a series of alleged recent Mothman sightings are posted, with excited readers keen to share their experience of Mothman to fellow All Supernatural.net visitors.
One visitor writes about his third sighting of a large two-footed creature in the same area of Andover from 2006 – 2008.
The question remains – are all these people who are so keen to recap their alleged Mothman sightings telling the truth about a real phenomena, outright liars, or a little confused?
As Sandy Nichols the paranormal investigator admits, modern day scientists insist that the winged-like Mothman creature does not exist due to lack of scientific evidence.
We cannot ignore this fact, that there is no scientific evidence to back up the claim that Mothman exists. Although this still doesn’t explain the alleged sightings.
Joe Nickell, an American skeptical investigator of the paranormal, connects the alleged sightings to hoaxes, which had followed the publicity generated by the original reports.
People playing hoaxes would explain why there seems to be flurries of Mothman sightings. One example is construction workers tying red flashlights to helium balloons. There were also more sightings in the wake of Mothman publicity from the book and the subsequent movie release.
In his book “The Mystery Chronicles: More Real-Life X-Files”, Joe Nickell also talks of the more logical explanations behind the Mothman sightings. The sightings may just be misidentified planes, sightings of owls reflections of light from sources of bright lights, which would explain the glowing red eyes. (4)
To brand the vast amount of people who insist they have seen the fabled Mothman as liars would perhaps be a little unfair. Although by the same token to say that there really is an eight-foot winged creature roaming and flying around America, which was connected to the collapse of a bridge and intermittently reveals itself to random victims, would be equally as unfair.
After all, if such a creature did exist, wouldn’t there be at least some scientific evidence out there so that we wouldn’t need to deem Mothman witnesses as all being nothing but liars and pranksters?