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Appalachain Legends, The Mothman

There's been a book, a movie and several other producitons based on the bizzarre sightings of the "Mothman" in and around Point Pleasant, WVA. He was first seen in November, 1966, when two couples traveling a bit north of there said they'd noticed 2 red lights that weren't quite explainable. They stopped the car to check them out and found themselves fact to face with an animal they described as, "shaped like a man, but bigger, maybe six and a half or seven feet tall, with big wings folded against its back." Scared to death, they drove off at about 100 mph.

There's a statue dedicated to the Mothman in Point Pleasant, and it's plaque describes the encounter:

"On a chilly, fall night in November 1966, two young couples drove into the TNT area north of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, when they realized they were not alone." Driving down the exit road, they saw the supposed creature standing on a nearby ridge. It spread its wings and flew alongside the vehicle up to the city limits. They drove to the Mason County courthouse to alert 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."

One account, found in "Alien Animals", by Janet and Colin Bord, claims one of the couples were plauged with poltergiest-like activity later on the evening of the sighting and that they saw the Mothman repeatedly while it was happening. The couples also were attributed with having stronger mental abilities than usual at the time of the sighting.


The next night people from the town searched the area for the Mothman. At the time, another couple on their way to visit a friend, said the Mothman appeared behind their parked car. They described him: "...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 at them through the window."


Four more people saw him flying over Point Pleasant not long after that and the following morning, a man claimed he saw him in a field. THe creature spread his wings and flew alongside his car as he drove to the Sheriff's office, the man said.

Many other sightings were reported for a while. The Mothman seems to have usually chased drivers. Sightings of him slowed down after a tragic bridge collapse that killed 46 people. Was he trying to warn or harm? There doesn't seem to be a clear answer on that.

He dissappeared in 1978, believed by most to be the time he died. Remains were never found, however. Was he real or was this mass hysteria leading to hallucination? Or is he explainable?

There are a lot of theories about the Mothman. The one that seems most logical is that people were seeing a large sand crane, (they can grow to 6 feet with up to 10 foot wing spans). Why a large sand crane would chase after cars, however, I don't know. The first sighting was, however, near a wildlife preserve.


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