Point Pleasant, West Virginia was anything but pleasant in the 1960s. The area was a hotbed of paranormal activity including mutilated animals, UFO sightings, men in black, phantom phone calls, electrical disturbances including police radios, telephones, and televisions, missing time, coincidences, repeating numbers, and missing animals. While all these things caused great distress to the Point Pleasant local residents, one of the greatest disturbances came from a man later named, the Mothman of Point Pleasant.
Over two hundred people have reportedly witnessed the Mothman. Hundreds more likely witnessed the creature but were too scared to come forward- either of the Mothman’s retribution or other residents thinking they had lost their marbles. The first reported interaction with the Mothman occurred November 12, 1966 while five men were digging a grave. They all gave similar accounts of a man like figure flying over their heads.
Just three days later, the Mothman was spotted again. Two couples were driving around the country side when a large, white creature was discovered to be following their car. The most striking feature was the red, glowing eyes. They described the creature to be a large, flying man with ten foot wings. Driving in terror, the Mothman followed their car for miles before disappearing. Similar occurrences were reported by two volunteer firemen, a local contractor, and area farmers.
Scientists speculated that the individuals had just spotted a large sandhill crane. With a seven foot wingspan, the bird was theorized to possibly resemble a flying man. The birds are also know for their glowing red eyes. Others, especially witnesses of the Mothman, did not agree. They credited the bizarre events that seemed to begin with the first sighting of the Mothman to his presence in their town.
Local residents reported having strange premonitions around the time the Mothman sightings began. People reported having dreams of visitors who they later encountered while awake, dreams of deaths that came to fruition, visiting places they eventually saw, and the most remarkable, the premonition that the Silver Bridge would collapse and kill unknowing residents.
It was December 15, 1967 when the Silver Bridge collapsed during rush hour over the Ohio River. Sixty seven people were a victim to the collapse. Forty six died, but only the bodies of forty four were found. The suspension bridge was originally built in 1928. The cause of the collapse remains a mystery, but to the residents of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, the Mothman is the answer. They find it a little more than convenient that after the bridge collapse, the Mothman was never reported to be seen again. It was also more than a little convenient that there seemed to be a connection between the victims of the collapse and reported sightings of the Mothman.
While residents of Point Pleasure lived in fear of the Mothman, he is a celebrated entity in the area now. The first Mothman Festival was held in 2002, featuring hayride tours, pancake eating contests, speakers, and exhibits. A twelve foot metallic statute was unveiled in the Mothman’s honor in 2003. In 2005, the Mothman Museum and researched Center opened. The museum is home to many artifacts of the 1960s reign of the Mothman, including original depositions from police and witnesses. The Mothman of Point Pleasant has also been featured in books, plays, and movies nationwide.