Mothman: What is it? Cryptid? Alien? Or something else?

The case of the Mothman and high strangeness of Point Pleasant, WV is one of the most well-known paranormal cases. The case of the mysterious creature, UFO’s, visitors from other worlds, and Men in Black have thrilled people for decades. Now we have begun our dive into this unprecedented case by looking into the ultra-terrestrial, the Mothman.

According to The Mothman of Point Pleasant documentary by Small Town Monsters, there was a flying “bird” that looked like the Mothman. This sighting took place 50 years before Point Pleasant in the Ohio River Valley. The report of the creature that was witnessed stated it was “a large bird with the head of a man, a wingspan of a dozen feet, and covered in dark reddish feathers.”

Though the sightings that truly brought the creature to life began in the 1960s. In 1966 in Clendenin, WV four men who were digging a grave claimed to see a “flying man” pass them overhead. Though the sightings of the Mothman were not the only events of high strangeness that were happening in the Appalachian towns.

A local farmer, Jeff Wamsley had a strange encounter one night. He claimed his TV was going into a fever pitch, a loud noise known commonly knowing to happen to TVs back during that time. He got up to turn the TV down, but it blew up. During this time his dog started barking. Curiously he headed out on the porch to see what the dog was barking at only to see strange red spinning lights out in the field. The dog ran out into the field and wouldn’t return to the calls of Wamsley.

The most famous sighting happened in the McClintock Wildlife Area also known as the ‘TNT Area.’ Though this area was once known for all the ammunition storage bunkers and ammunition factory that closed after the end of World War II, it was soon reclaimed by nature after it was abandoned. It had also become a lover’s hangout and drag racing area for younger folks. On the night of November 15, 1966, Steven and Mary Mallet and Roger and Linda Scarberry were out for a drive, according to local author George Dudding. Dudding was a local author and former school mate of the Mallets. On their drive, they spotted what they assumed was a man standing with wings tucked behind its back in the road near the power plant. Linda was the first to see it. It ran toward the north power plant, awkwardly almost hobbling as it moved. Frightened they decided to go to the sheriff, they got onto route 62 and headed south toward Point Pleasant.

As they traveled, they saw the creature standing by a billboard and its wings spread and shot straight up into the air. Frightened they sped down the road traveling 90 to 100 miles an hour down the straight stretch. The creature chased them to the city limits of Point Pleasant. They immediately went to the sheriff. It was not long until the media got ahold of the story. Oddly though, instead of townspeople being frightened about this scenario they were excited and wanted to hunt down the creature. Soon the uproar of excitement and potential violence grew to the point where the National Guard had to step in and control who was going into the TNT area.

After the large article that was printed on November 18th, 1966, Mary Hyre starts reporting on it for Athens Messenger, Athens was a nearby town to Point Pleasant.

While this is the most famous sightings there were several other sightings of the legendary Mothman.

  • Bob Bosworth and another man said they saw the Mothman on the North Power Plant in the TNT area in November 1966. They claim it had no neck, just a head on its shoulders as it made its way toward them over to the catwalk inside the old plant. But then it disappeared into the shadows and they could only hear what sounded like wings.

  • Eyewitness Faye Dewitt-Leport said her brother told her “don’t look” as they drove down the road near the TNT area. When she looked, she saw something running or flying next to the car, despite her brother speeding down the road.

  • Another eyewitness, Thomas Ury, sees the Mothman while driving. Thinking it’s a helicopter, it proceeds to circle over the trees in a 500-foot area. It gradually got lower and lower until it was as low as 75 feet over the car. While it was frightening at first, he soon realized it seemed more curious about him.

  • Lawrence Gray, a schoolteacher, claimed he was facing the window when a car passed outside making him turn to see that “the devil” was standing next to his bed. Unable to talk, he silently prayed and felt the “evil presence” fade away.

  • On December 7, 1966, John Keel and Mary Hyre head to the North Power Plant and they encounter the creature.

One of the other most notable events that happened just prior to the arrival of the Mothman in 1966 was the encounter of Woodrow Darenburger and Indrid Cold. Approximately two weeks before Mothman, Darenburger was on his way home from Parkersville, WV, and saw craft land on the road before him causing him to get out of his car and see what was going on. The ‘man’ who got out of the craft introduced himself as Cold to Darenburger, telepathically. In a future episode, we will dive deep into the man and the legend of Indrid Cold.

It is not well known why the strange Men in Black started appearing around the Point Pleasant area, but there are numerous reports of individuals being visited and warned not to “believe what they saw and to never speak out about it.” In a future episode in our Mothman series, we will look deeper into these mysterious individuals.

Join us next week for another segment into this area of high strangeness! What are your thoughts on the Mothman? Does he still exist? Join the Facebook group and tell us your thoughts!


TV / Film:

[1] The Mothman of Point Pleasant by Small Town Monsters

[2] The Mothman Legacy by Small Town Monsters

[3] Hellier by Planet Weird


The Mothman Prophecies by John A. Keel

Visitors from Lanulos by Woodrow Darenburger

The Lake Michigan Mothman: High Strangeness in the Midwest by Tobias Wayland






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