Is the Mothman Phenomenon Truth or Myth?

Is the Mothman Phenomenon Truth or Myth?

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Point Pleasant, West Virginia is an ordinary town in America. The people there live ordinary lives and have ordinary dreams. Yet for a short period of time their world changed. Point Pleasant became a little portal through which something very unordinary would enter- something no one ever encountered before. Something that would change their town for ever more. Is the Mothman Phenomenon truth or myth? Or was November 15, 1966- the day the devil came to Point Pleasant.

The actual first events

In November of 1966. Mr. Lyndon B. Johnson was president of the United States. The Beatles had produced their widely popular Album Revolver, and Rosemary’s Baby had already scared thousands of movie goers.

And on November 15, 1966 two young married couples had a wild and frightening experience as they drove by an old TNT plant, outside of Point Pleasant.

All four of these individuals claimed to see two giant red eyes staring at them. The creature was described as “from 6-7 feet tall with red eyes and no head, as if the eyes were in the breast area and with huge wings”  and then, it began to come toward them. In fact, it chased them right up to the city limits of Point Pleasant, even though their driving speed got up to 100 miles per hour!

The Mothman Cometh: more encounters      

Is the Mothman Phenomenon Truth or Myth?

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Loren Coleman, famed cryptozoologist, and author of the Mothman and Other Encounters, said that even though this first incident was ridiculed in the press, there were numerous sitings after that. In fact, for the next thirteen months, over 100 people actually reported seeing this hulking creature, named the Mothman.

Another report came from the Ralph Thomas home,one of the very few homes in the vicinity of the abandoned TNT plant, very soon after. It was late on November 16th when they spotted  a “funny red light” in the sky. The lights moved and then hovered over the TNT plant. They said that it wasn’t an airplane and they “weren’t sure what it was”. But later a  friend of the family drove to the Thomas house and when she got out of the car carrying her baby girl, she saw something move beside the car.

Later, she recalled, “It looked as thought it had been lying down. It rose up slowly from the ground. A big grey thing. Bigger than a man with terrible glowing eyes.” She was so terrified, she dropped her child but quickly recovered the baby and ran to the Thomas house where they locked all the doors.

Hysteria gripped them as they watched in horror as the bizarre creature shuffled onto their porch and peered in. They ended up calling the police, however, by the the time the authorities arrived, the creature had vanished.

Mrs. Bennet, the woman that had first witnessed the being when she got out of her vehicle, did not get over the incident well and had to seek ongoing medical attention for her resulting fears and anxiety. She also reported that she believed the creature later visited her home on the  edge of Point Pleasant. She could hear high pitched keening in the depth of the night, and said it was like a “woman screaming”.


There were further reports and one in particular that involved a farmer and his dog that mysteriously went missing. Many citizens began to believe that these sitings and other strange phenomena like “men in black”,UFO sitings and occurrences and dog mutilations, etc. were all related to the coming of the Mothman.

Odd little visitors

Added to the mix, was also the account of a strange little man who visited a reporter, Mary Hynes, at the office of the Athens, Ohio,

newspaper, The Messenger, to ask for directions.  She described him as odd and that his persona frightened her.

“He kept getting closer and closer to me and his funny eyes were staring at me hypnotically.” And then he grabbed a pen, stared at it, laughed hysterically and left!

She later saw him look shocked at seeing her on the streets one day and then taking off in a black car.

Other strange personages were also reported around this time with random frequency and often looking for the location of any UFO sightings.

How the Mothman was named

Apparently, at the time of these reports a copy/editor from the local newspaper first coined the name, Coleman said.”The Batman series was on TV at the time so they didn’t want to call it Batman, but it did have wings, so the copyeditor called it Mothman.”  Coleman added that he’s been trying to track down that editor for years.

What are the Mothman Prophesies?       

Is the Mothman Phenomenon truth or myth?

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Not too long after the sitings and the commotion began to  circulate in Point Pleasant, Virginia, a young reporter, John Keel was given the assignment to go down and write about some of the UFO phenomenon that was occurring. Unfortunately, John began to become overly involved in the goings on and actually began communicating personally with some of the entities by phone. John himself, called Point Pleasant a vortex of unusual phenomena and as time passed he got totally caught up. He was involved in a series of phone calls that had strange static and weird noises. He became convinced they were reading his mind.

Keel began to claim that he was given prophecies by these entities although no one put any credence to them. And so when the Silver Bridge that crosses the Ohio River between Gallipolis and Point Pleasant collapsed, Keel thought this tragedy was what all the strange entities and the Mothman had been pointing too all along. He became rattled and upset.

Strange red lights

Cars plunged into the icy water of the Ohio River that night and although 46 people died, only 44 bodies were found. Many of the dead turned out to be related to some of the witnesses involved in the actual Mothman sitings. Even more eery. is that on the same night as the bridge collapsed, the James Lilly family, who lived near the TNT plant, counted more than 12 red lights that  lashed and then disappeared into the forest. 

The bridge tragedy marked the climax of what went on in Point Pleasant for a little over a year. John Keel finished his report in the first account of the happenings, wrote the Mothman Prophesies and the strange account was later made into the movie of the same name.

The Legend of Mothman

The Mothman legend is still very alive in several parts of the US as moth, or bat or bird-like man-beings are still being sited. Many wonder what was the meaning of all the strange phenomena and goings on at the time of the Mothman in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. It has become an Urban Legend of sorts.

John Keel, himself stated that he believed the Mothman creature was genuine according to the accounts of all the credible witnesses and indeed Point Pleasant had been visited by some supernatural, or other-wordly event. He felt that the town was a “window area” where for a given period of time a location can be visited by all sorts os strange visitors, sightings, reports of monsters and unusual persons.

Is the Mothman Phenomenon truth or myth? John A. Keel believes it is truth and he  is convinced the bridge tragedy and the unusual activity is definitely connected.

The Cornstalk Curse

 And still yet, there is one more fact to consider in the Mothman Legend.  The entire area was on the receiving end of what they called, the Cornstalk Curse, in the 1700’s. Could this be the reason that evil befell Point Pleasant? Apparently , all of the southeastern corner of Ohio and the surrounding parts of Virginia is considered a hot bed for strange and paranormal activity.

However, people continue to wonder if there really was a Mothman that visited this town? Is the mothman phenomenon truth or myth? Was it an alien being or was it a harbinger from hell that would bring about the tragedy of the collapse of the Silver Spring bridge that fateful day. Or was he there merely to warn them? 

Is the Mothman Truth or Myth? A Postscript:

The Rise of The Mothman- 50 Word Flash Fiction

The next night he felt strange, yet oddly pumped for a mission. Did she truly visit him last night?
The ‘She’, called Lepidoterala- the moth queen.
Was it a kiss or a bite?
All he knew as he began to morph into the creature- He must get to Point Pleasant

#creepymothman #legends #mythsandlegends #horror

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  1. Terrie Brockmann

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