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Mothman

From Academic Kids

Mothman was the name given to a strange creature sighted multiple times in the Point Pleasant area of West Virginia, on the border with Ohio between November 1966 and November 1967. Several observers described the creature as a man-sized beast with wings and large reflective red eyes, while many have claimed that the creature possessed luminous eyes.

Contents

History

The Mothman creature - named by the press after the Batman TV series that was popular at the time - was first sighted November 12, 1966, by a group of five men preparing a grave in a cemetery close to Clendenin, West Virginia, when what they described as a "brown human shape with wings" lifted off from behind nearby trees and flew over their heads. But this sighting was only learned of later; the first sighting known to the media occurred three days later.

Late at night on November 15, two young married couples from Point Pleasant, Roger and Linda Scarberry and Steve and Mary Mallette, were out for a drive in the Scarberrys' car, and were driving near a World War II TNT factory about seven miles outside of Point Pleasant, in the 2500 acre (10 km²) McClintic Wildlife Station, when they spotted two red lights in the shadow by an old generator plant near the gate of the factory. They stopped the car, and were startled to see that the lights were the glowing red eyes of a large animal, "shaped like a man, but bigger, maybe six and a half or seven feet tall, with big wings folded against its back", according to Roger Scarberry. Terrified, the couples took off in their car, headed for Route 62. Going down the exit road, they saw the creature again, standing on a ridge near the road. It spread its wings and took off, following their car to the city limits. The foursome went straight to the Mason County courthouse and told their story to Deputy Millard Halstead, who later said "I've known these kids all their lives. They'd never been in any trouble and they were really scared that night. I took them seriously." He followed Roger Scarberry's car back to the TNT factory, but found no sign of the strange creature.

The next night, November 16, local townspeople, heavily armed, went searching the area around the old TNT plant for signs of Mothman. Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Wamsley and Mrs. Marcella Bennett with her baby daughter Teena were in a car on their way to visit their friends, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Thomas, who lived in a bungalow among the "igloos" (concrete dome-shaped structures erected for explosives storage during WWII) close to the TNT plant. The igloos were now empty, some owned by the county, some by companies intending to use them for storage. They were headed back to their car when a figure appeared behind their parked car. Mrs. Bennett said it seemed like it had been lying down, slowly rising up from the ground, large and gray, with glowing red eyes. While Wamsley phoned the police, the creature walked onto the porch and peered in through the window at them.

On November 24, four people saw it flying through the air over the TNT area. On the morning of November 25, Thomas Ury, who was driving along Route 62 north of the TNT, who said he saw the creature standing in a field by the road, then spread its wings and take off, following his car as he sped into Point Pleasant to report it to the sheriff.

On November 26, Mrs. Ruth Foster of the Charleston, West Virginia suburb of St. Albans saw Mothman standing on her front lawn, but it was gone when her brother-in-law went out to look. On the morning of the 27th, it pursued a young woman near Mason, West Virginia, and was seen again in St. Albans the same night, by two children.

The Mothman was seen again January 11, 1967, and several times during 1967. Sightings tapered off, and none have been reported since November 1967.

Analyses

There are several theories (http://www.paraview.com/mothman_central.htm) for what the Mothman phenomena involved.

Skeptics have argued (notably in the March/April 2002 issue of the magazine Skeptical Inquirer) that the most likely explanation of the sightings is excited eyewitnesses mistaking a barn owl.

The largest collection of material about Mothman is found in John Keel's 1975 book The Mothman Prophecies, in which Keel lays out the chronology of Mothman and what he claims to be related parapsychological events in the area, including UFO activity, Men in Black encounters, poltergeist activity, and the December 15, 1967, collapse of the Silver Bridge across the Ohio River. The book was the basis of a 2002 movie starring Richard Gere, directed by Mark Pellington.

Loren Coleman, in the 2002 book Mothman and Other Curious Encounters (focusing on the details of cryptozoology investigations), acknowledges Keel's "demonological" approach. He keeps an eye on the issue via his website [1] (http://www.lorencoleman.com/mothman_death_list.html).

Mark A. Hall in his book Thunderbirds discounts the owl theory, but instead suggests a giant cryptid owl species, seen in the area for over 100 years.

References and sources

Mothfolk

The Mothfolk are a fictional interdimensional alien race based on the Mothmen in the conspiracy roleplaying game Alternity Dark*Matter.

External links

ja:モスマン zh-tw:蛾人

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