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mothmanThe Mothman legend centers around a horrific event that took place in Point Pleasant, West Virginia on December 15, 1967. On that cold December evening around 5pm, the U.S. Highway 35 Bridge, known as the Silver Bridge, collapsed. The Silver Bridge connected Point Pleasant, West Virginia and Kanauga, Ohio. Thirty-seven vehicles were on the Silver Bridge when it collapsed, sending 31 of those cars into the cold river water. Forty-six people perished and nine were seriously injured.

There are many who claim to have seen a mysterious creature that by then had come to be called the Mothman in the Point Pleasant area not far from the bridge. Many believe that this mysterious creature was involved either directly or indirectly with the bridge’s collapse. For almost thirteen months prior to the incident Point Pleasant residents claimed to have seen a man-sized bird creature. Shortly after the Silver Bridge collapsed there were a couple of sightings; then the Mothman seemed to have quietly disappeared.

The first Mothman sighting occurred in the early 1960s when a woman driving her car near the Chief Cornstalk Hunting Grounds stopped to avoid hitting what she thought was a man in the road. The figure turned to face her, its eyes glowing red from the headlights. It spread two large thin wings and took to the air.

Another sighting took place in 1965. A woman living on the banks of the Ohio River informed police her son had come in from playing and told her he had seen an angel in the yard.

A year later a doctor’s wife reported seeing what she described as a giant, thin butterfly. In November of the same year five men digging a grave reported seeing a brown human being with wings fly out of the trees.

Later that same month Mr and Mrs Scarberry and their friends the Mallettes were driving toward Point Pleasant when they saw a tall figure on the side of the road in an area known as TNT. They told officials that it stood at least seven feet tall. They also stated it had large wings folded behind its back. As they drove on the figure took to the air and flew above the car. They reported the incident to the Mason County Sheriff’s office. The Sheriff returned to the scene with the four witnesses, but although his radio acted up, nothing else was seen or heard.

Legend_Of_The_Mothman_freecomputerdesktopwallpaper_1600The TNT area became known as the home of the Mothman. TNT is a large tract of land covered in many concrete igloos that were used to store ammunition during World War II. The TNT land tract sits adjacent to the 2,500 acre McClintic Wildlife Station. The whole area is covered in dense forest, steep hills and is riddled with tunnels, making it the perfect hideout.

Only three sightings were recorded in 1967. Then in 1968 the Mothman re-emerged with a vengeance. He was said to have been seen several times on Jericho Road. The Mothman made his last reported appearance on September 18, 1968 when several people witnessed the winged figure, again in the TNT area.

Long-time residents of Point Pleasant say that the Mothman sightings, UFO sightings and encounters with ‘men in black’ are all somehow related. Researchers, investigators and monster hunters descended on the small town.

Between 1966 and 1967, all told over 100 people stated they saw the winged Mothman. All reports had the creature standing close to seven feet tall with bat like wings that glided rather than flapped. They say the Mothman’s eyes were near the top of its shoulders.

Reporter John Keel began collecting information on Mothman sightings in December of 1966. Keel compiled evidence that pointed to a problem with televisions and phones that began in the fall of 1966. Lights had been seen in the skies, particularly around the TNT plant, and cars that passed along the nearby road sometimes stalled without explanation. He and his fellow researchers also uncovered a number of short-lived poltergeist cases in the Ohio Valley area. Locked doors opened and closed by themselves, strange thumps were heard inside and outside of homes, and unexplained voices were heard in the night wind.

The James Lilley family, who lived just south of the TNT plant, were so bothered by the bizarre events that they finally sold their home and moved to another neighborhood. Keel was convinced that the incidents in the intense period of activity were all connected.

By 1969, most of the sightings had come to an end and the Mothman just faded away as quietly as he had appeared. However the Mothman’s legacy lives on in Point Pleasant. In the middle of the Gunn Park, which is in the center of Point Pleasant, stands an imposing stainless steel statue by local sculpture Robert Roach.