The Phoenix

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Mothman...#3 of my spooky stories series

What is the legend of The Mothman?

On November 12, 1966, five workers were preparing a grave at the cemetery near Clendenin, West Virginia. As they were digging, they spotted something flying over their heads. They described it as manlike with wings.

Just three days later, two married couples driving near an abandoned TNT plant in Point Pleasant, West Virginia had an encounter with a winged man creature with glowing red eyes. They described the creature as being tall, 6 or 7 feet. It's red bright eyes were "hypnotic." The witnesses panicked and sped away, only to see this thing again on a hillside. They watched it rise into the air and follow them. Their car was traveling at over 100 mph and "That bird kept right up with us," said one of them to Deputy Sheriff Millard Halstead. The creature easily followed them down Highway 62 right up to the Point Pleasant city limits.

That same night, several other Point Pleasant residents nervously spoke with local authorities about seeing this strange creature. What made it even more weird was the other phenomena that coincided with this winged monster. Televisions went out, electricity and motors stopped, strange and wild high-pitched screams accompanied sightings. One dog, Bandit, went missing as his owner slept with his rifle in his bed.

On November 16, Deputy Halstead held a press conference at the courthouse. So many law abiding and normally reliable witnesses came forward with their experiences. Deputy Halstead had grown up with these people, and he believed them. Reporters worldwide came to Point Pleasant and dubbed the creature The Mothman.

For 13 months, there were extraordinary sightings and scary incidents...The Mothman was making his presence known to the people of Point Pleasant. John Keel, a New York writer, chronicled the testimonies. He interviewed over 100 individuals that had witnessed The Mothman from November 1966 to November 1967. People also reported stories about strange lights in the sky and the infamous Men in Black visiting Point Pleasant residents. Keel's book, The Mothman Prophecies, became the basis for the movie.

As if UFOs, Men in Black, and The Mothman wasn't enough, many residents told Keel that they were experiencing strange psychic phenomena. Several individuals told himm of nightmares they had of The Mothman's red eyes followed by visions of tragic events. These events supposedly include the stabbing of the Pope, Robert Kennedy's assassination, and something terrible happening where many lives were going to be lost in Point Pleasant.

Unfortunately, on December 15, one of "The Mothman Prophecies" came true. The 700 foot bridge between Ohio and West Virginia in Point Pleasant collapsed. 46 people lost their lives that evening. One of the strange reports that evening prior to the bridge collapse was the sighting of lights in the sky. It was such a tragedy, and Keel reported that many of those that died were first-hand witnesses of The Mothman.

As quickly as encounters with The Mothman started, they ended shortly thereafter. There have been sporadic sightings in the area since then, but nothing paralleled those 13 months in Point Pleasant. The mystery and tragedy of Point Pleasant is far from forgotten, and many people associated with the incident and investigations have died in very sudden, tragic, and mysterious ways.

Just one story is that of Mothman investigator Susan Wilcox of Columbus, Ohio. Susan reported that she had witnessed a creature with wings near her home in 2001. She visited Point Pleasant often during 2001 and 2002 to do her research, but was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of brain tumor that mostly strikes children under 12. Ms. Wilcox passed away two months later. Her son, Brent Fair, was also a budding Mothman researcher had a sealed envelope with her research logs Susan had given him ten months prior to her passing. She left a note on the envelope that read, "B.R., Do not open until December 2002." Susan Wilcox had died on December 8, 2002.

Many say the land where Point Pleasant stands today is cursed by a Shawnee chief. On November 10, 1777, he lay dying from gunshot wounds from soldiers and said, "For this, may the curse of the Great Spirit rest upon this land. May it be blighted by nature. May it even be blighted in its hopes. May the strength of its peoples be paralyzed by the stain of our blood.” A monument in Point Pleasant to commemorate that time period was later errected. In 1909, lightning struck the crane that was to place it. And on July 4th, 1921, the monument was destroyed by yet another lightning strike.

What exactly happened in Point Pleasant from November 1966 - 1967? What did all those people see? Was it a giant owl or crane as skeptics suggest?

Or is The Mothman real?


Blogger KC said...

I love the way you tell these stories. Even if they are already familiar, you bring a new facet to them. This is another one that gave me goosebumps! Thanks for writing this series of spooky stories. Fascinating!

10/06/2005 8:03 AM  
Blogger Sherri said...

We have a legend here where I live about 'The Dog Man'. He supposedly comes out every 10 years on the 7th year of the decade. (Due to be seen in 2007.) Someone has even written a song about it. "Legend of the Dogman"

10/06/2005 8:07 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

Kim C, thanks for the encouragement. There is so much that happened in Point Pleasant, and I wanted to share some of the lesser known aspects of the case with everyone.

Sherri, I will do some research on the Dog Man. Whereabouts is this Dog Man?

10/06/2005 10:17 AM  
Blogger Sherri said...

Northern Michigan.

10/06/2005 11:01 AM  
Blogger Chicken Little said...

I have some friends in West Virginia, so I had heard the Mothman stories before the movie. I don't know what to make of it. I don't like to believe things I haven't seen - and yet, nobody believes that I've seen the four winged creatures who keep tornados away from my house. So you just never can tell what is out there.

10/06/2005 11:51 AM  
Blogger Grafs said...

This is an awesome story. I always wondered about it because I never got up the nerve to watch the movie.

10/06/2005 1:13 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

The whole Mothman phenomena is just so strange. The actual sightings of this thing is not the freaky part to me.
There were people that were affected in other ways during these sightings...they were given visions and prophecies. Most of them were NOT dead on. The date of the prediction might be a year off, or other details were usually not quite right. For example, the Pope was NOT killed, as one prediction by a resident proclaimed. Although there was an attempt on the pope's life in 1970 where he did receive a stab wound.
You could write a book on how these "Men in Black" decended on Point Pleasant during this time. It was almost a joke among residents, these intimidators' interrogations were so common.
The son of Susan Wilcox, Brent, has compiled his mother's work and a book is due any moment (Fall of 2005).
I think it would be an interesting learn about how this normal woman became obsessed with the Mothman after her own sightings and experiences. Maybe her own untimely death is connected to this mystical creature. Maybe not.

10/06/2005 2:02 PM  
Blogger Paige Eisenman said...

My Dad was coming home from the military with a friend of his and crossed the bridge just 30 minutes before it happened. He herd it on the car radio and turned back. My huband has friend who coon hunts up in the mountains of Cole Knob and say they've seen a creature that seems to fit the description of the mothman.

10/06/2005 2:23 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Wow ... another interesting story told in the spookiest way.

Seems like something's been going on there. I don't think I'd even hazard a guess. Have to say, though, that while I don't believe in UFOs the strange deaths, etc do need explaining.

10/06/2005 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Duplex Dude said...

Will you put a pushpin on Google Maps pointing out this place so that I can know to avoid the place, please? :-)

Thanks for your kind words over on my blog. Very nice blog you have here too.

10/06/2005 5:46 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

paige, that really is a spooky story. By the way, your mom has friends that 'coon hunts? Really? They hunt racoons? Do they make cool Davy Crockett caps with them?

andrew, Thanks for your kind words, as always. I agree, something happened up there. I'm a healthy skeptic.

duplex, No problem. Your blog really is funny.

10/06/2005 8:51 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

I'm officially creeped out. I need to stop reading your blog, let alone the comments, after midnight... when I'm sitting here alone... too close to a painfully thin-glassed and ill protected window.


10/07/2005 2:23 AM  
Blogger ObilonKenobi said...

I love local lore and ghost stories. I have done some research and I think many areas have a "Mary's Grave" like we have here on Long Island where you drive by this spot and supposedly the lights in your car go on and your car slows down so the dead ghost of Mary can see if you are her lost lover. We spent many nights as teens looking for Mary's Grave. Another more famous and local is the Lady in the Lake in Lake Ronkonkoma. An Indian woman who drowned in the lake after her husband to be died. Supposedly she kills one boy every year by drowning in the lake. Spooky stuff. I love it!

10/09/2005 8:28 AM  
Blogger Joseph Politte said...

I read this book when it first came out, about 1975 I think. Only two books have ever really scared me enough to not want the light out. This was one of them. Of course, I was about twelve, but I could just not put it down!

I was really disappointed with the movie.

10/09/2005 11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The story of Susan Wilcox is mine. She is my mother. I am Brent. The way it is penned above is slightly inaccurate. Susan saw the "creature" in her home. I have a forthcoming book that will explain it all. Stay tuned!

7/24/2007 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that marys grave story is easily explained.we have a few in ireland but we call it the magic can put the car in neutral and put the hand brake off an the car will move slowly up the hill with you not touching anything.almost as if it s by itself..there is an underground stream which runs up the hill.which slowly pulls the your case the streem is probably going in the opposite direction to the way ppl be driving.therefore slowing the car down.

10/14/2007 5:53 PM  
Anonymous SKS said...

I had an experience in Richmond, VA this early morning. I was asleep and dreaming about walking through the city with a few friends when the Mothman appeared in my dreams. I had not even thought about the Mothman prior to sleeping. When I awoke from the nightmare I looked around the room for about 3 seconds with the nightmare fresh in my mind. Then as I lay in bed something overcame me. I didn't know what it was but it made me scream for help out loud. Then after yelling help three times I felt like my mouth shut on my without me acting on it, so I could only scream through my nose. I saw what looked like two separate black masses right above me. They were like black fire, just darkness. This is the first time I have ever seen something from my dream while I was awake. I was scared to death. That was this morning at 4 am.

2/10/2008 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds a lot like the movie "jeepers creepers"

4/09/2009 8:48 AM  

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Welcome to the blog that aims to examine the lighter side of science. From the paranormal to wacky inventions, to strange mysteries and goofy experiments, I cover it all. Thanks for stoping by science is always stranger than fiction


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