The Creature Files – Episode Eight: "Mad About Mothman"
Creature Feature: The Mothman
Special Guest: Steve Ward
It was the fall of 1966 in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, when the legend of the Mothman began. Although the first official sighting happened on November 12 of 1966, when five men in a cemetery spotted a winged humanoid, the most famous of the sightings happened just three days later in what was known as the TNT area. This was an abandoned munitions site that dated back to World War 2 and is now known as the McClintic Wildlife Management area.
Two couples were driving through the site when they spotted a humanoid creature with large red eyes, about 7 feet tall with wings. Like anyone else, the sight of this thing freaked them out and quickly headed back to town...But the creature followed. The witnesses claim they were traveling at speeds of 100mph or more…and the creature kept pace. The couples eventually reached town and found the creature had disappeared. So they dismiss it as just a massive bird. But when they head back out to the TNT area, they see the creature again! And this time they realize it isn’t a bird. It’s some sort of monster that lifts off vertically and disappears into the night sky. They tell the sheriff and police investigate, but find no evidence. However, this is the sighting that starts it all. People come out of the woodwork with similar, terrifying reports.
Over the next year, hundreds of sightings would be reported. And there are reports of men in black harassing the witnesses to keep quiet. The sightings all seemed to lead to the horrific Silver Bridge collapse on December 15th 1967. Some would claim that the collapse is proof of the folklore that surrounds Point Pleasant. There is the story of the murder of an Indian chief, who supposedly cursed the area in his dying breath. Some would point to the curse as reason for the collapse. And perhaps the Mothman is another manifestation of it.
So what is the mothman exactly? Hard to say, as there have been differing reports. Generally, the creature is described as a bipedal, winged humanoid. He isn’t like a moth – as the name suggests – but more like a large humanoid owl. It reportedly stands about 7 feet tall and has a massive wingspan of about 10 to 15 feet. It also has red glowing eyes – with some claiming the eyes are in its chest. The creature instills extreme fear in witnesses – and has often led to psychological reprecussions for those that have laid eyes on it. Many claimed they sensed pure evil. It doesn’t walk well…rather it shuffles like a penguin, but it can fly very fast.
There have been other cryptids like this before. The Creature Files has even covered a sighting of Owl Man, which is a similar creature. And we have also had some Mothman reports that seem to point to an actual mythological creature, like Garuda of Indian mythology. Some believe the Mothman is a harbinger of disaster and refer to numerous sightings that correspond to horrific events.
Author John Keel is well known as one of the foremost investigators of the mothman. He wrote a book called “The Mothman Prophecies,” which discusses the numerous sightings as well as their possible connections to supernatural phenomena and UFOs. A film with Richard Gere was made in 2002 that was loosely based on Keel’s experiences. So what is this creature, exactly? A flesh and blood monster? An apparition? A dimensional being? Researcher Steve Ward breaks it all down for us in this episode of The Creature Files.