Mothman

Point Pleasant

 

May 2009

 

From Wikipedia: On November 15, 1966, two young couples from Point Pleasant, Roger and Linda Scarberry, and Steve and Mary Mallette, along with their young cousin, Lonnie Button, were traveling late at night in the Scarberrys' car. They were passing the West Virginia Ordnance Works, an abandoned World War II TNT factory, about seven miles north of Point Pleasant, in the 2,500 acre McClintic Wildlife Management Area, when they noticed two red lights in the shadows by an old generator plant near the factory gate. They stopped the car, and reportedly discovered 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, they drove toward Route 62, where the creature supposedly chased them at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour.

A plaque on the Mothman statue provides a version of the original legend: "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." He then followed Roger Scarberry's car back to the old Ordnance Works and found no trace of the strange creature. According to the book Alien Animals, by Janet and Colin Bord, a poltergeist attack on the Scarberry home occurred later that night, during which the creature was seen several times.

The following night, on November 16, several armed townspeople combed the area around the TNT plant for signs of Mothman. Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Wamsley, and Mrs. Marcella Bennett, with her infant daughter Teena, were in a car en-route to visit their friends, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Thomas, who lived in a small house near the igloos (concrete dome-shaped dynamite storage structures erected during WW-II) near the TNT plant. The igloos were now empty, some owned by the county, others by companies intending to use them for storage. They were heading back to their car when a figure appeared behind their parked vehicle. Mrs. Bennett said that 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.

On November 24, four people allegedly saw the creature flying over the TNT area. On the morning of November 25, Thomas Ury, who was driving along Route 62 just north of the TNT, claimed to have seen the creature standing in a field, and then it spread its wings and flew away, and Thomas sped toward the Point Pleasant sheriff's office. He then reported the incident that he had seen.

A Mothman sighting was again reported on January 11, 1967, hovering over the town's bridge, and several other times that same year. Fewer sightings of the Mothman were reported after the collapse of the town's bridge, the Silver Bridge, when 46 people died. 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. The bridge was built in 1928, and it collapsed on December 15, 1967. Investigation of the bridge wreckage pointed to the failure of a single eye-bar in a suspension chain due to a small manufacturing flaw. There are rumors that the Mothman appears before upcoming disasters and seems to try to warn people of them. After that, Mothman was never again seen in Point Pleasant.

The Mothman Festival is a weekend long event held in Point Pleasant on the 3rd weekend every September. There is a variety of events that go on during the festival such as guest speakers, vendor exhibits, and hayride tours focusing on the notable areas of Point Pleasant.

The Mothman Prophecies is a 2002  film starring Richard Gere as John Klein, a reporter who researches the legend of the Mothman. It is based on actual events that occurred between November 1966 and December 1967 in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

 

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For more reading:  http://www.prairieghosts.com/moth.html

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Mothman Statue located in downtown Point Pleasant.

 

 

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Plaque on the Mothman Statue

 

 

 

 

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Another view of the Mothman.

 

 

 

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Close-Up of the big red eyes.

 

 

 

 

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Legend has it that the Mothman appears before a tragedy.

The Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant was the site of such a tragedy after nearly a year of sightings. 

 

 

 

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Old photo of the Silver Bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

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Memorial plaque near the site of the old Silver Bridge.

 

 

 

 

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