Mothman was the name given to a strange creature thought to have been sighted many times in the Point
Pleasant area of West Virginia , on the border with Ohio  between November 1966  and November 1967  
Some observers described the creature as a man-sized beast with wings and large reflective red eyes,
while others claimed that the creature possessed luminous eyes. A number of hypotheses have been put
forward to explain what people reported, ranging from paranormal  phenomena to owls, but no definitive
explanation seems likely.
The Mothman creature, named in parallel to the Batman  TV series that was popular at the time, was first
sighted November 12 , 1966. A group of five men were 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. However, this sighting was not made public until later, and the first
sighting described in the media  took place 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. They were passing a World War II  
factory about seven miles outside of Point Pleasant, in the 2,500 acre  McClintic Wildlife Station, when they
noticed 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 drove off in their car, heading 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. They went 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. According to the book Alien Animals, by
Janet Board, a poltergeist attack on the Scarberry home took place later that night, in which the creature
was seen several times.
The next night, November 16 , local townspeople, 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 took off, following his car as he sped into Point Pleasant to
report it to the sheriff.
On November 26 , Mrs. Ruth Foster of Charleston, West Virginia  saw Mothman standing on her front lawn,
but it was gone when her brother-in-law went out to look. On the morning of November 27 , it pursued a
young woman near Mason, West Virginia , and was reported again in St. Albans the same night, by two
After the first reports of the Mothman, strangers dressed in black began to appear in the area. These 'Men
in Black' were believed to have been government agents investigating the occurrences of the Mothman,
though some speculate that they were Catholic priests who came to exorcise the demonic creature.
The Mothman was seen again January 11 , and several times during 1967. No sightings of the Mothman
have been reported after the collapse of the Silver Bridge , when 46 people died in the bridge's collapse.
The Silver Bridge, so named for its aluminum paint, was an eyebar chain suspension bridge that connected
the cities of Point Pleasant, West Virginia and Gallipolis, Ohio over the Ohio River. It was built in 1928 and
collapsed on December 15, 1967; investigation of the wreckage pointed to the failure of a single eye-bar in
a suspension chain due to a small flaw when it was made.
Plaque under statue
Memorial to the lives lost when the Silver Bridge collapsed
Recommended reading:
The Mothman Prophecies by John Keel
Mothman And Other Curious Encounters by Loren Coleman
Pet Ghosts, Animal Encounters From Beyond The Grave
(Mothman is discussed in this book) by Joshua P. Warren
Rent the movie
The Mothman Prophecies staring Richard Gere
I came upon this memorial marking the grave of "Mad" Ann
Bailey in Point Pleasant.  A heroine of the Revolutionary War
and Indian Wars.  She wore buckskins and carried a rifle.  
She worked as a scout and messenger and had an
extraordinary life for an 18th century woman.
Click here for more about Ann Bailey
Photos by Sarah Harrison
On August 6th, 2006, your webmaster paid a visit to Point Pleasant, WV.  There is
a Mothman statue and a wonderfully cheesy Mothman Museum.  But that is it.  
Point Pleasant has a great deal of Revolutionary War history and Battle
Monument Park is definitely worth checking out.  Mothman story, Pictures below.
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