Fear the Mothman

by Shelly Gatto

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Many people live in comfort with the understanding that we know all that exists in our world. It is easy to neglect the darkest corners that have not been fully explored, and that is not even counting the possibility that some creatures live outside of existence as we understand it.  When reports of one or two strange animals emerge, it is easy to dismiss. After all, that was the interpretation of one or two people. However sometimes it is hard to dismiss the facts. When a cryptid is reported by a number of people in a short time, it raises a few questions.
This was the case with a creature that has been named the Mothman. From mid-November of 1966 through December of 1967, a strange, otherworldly being terrorized the residents of Point Pleasant West Virginia. Reports were also made in the Charleston area.
Each account was basically the same. A bizarre man-like creature with red eyes, enormous wings and the characteristics of a moth had been reported. In some cases, the beast’s eyes were low set, around its chest with no discernable head or neck. The similarities were too many to be mere coincidence or a lucky guess on the part of a few crazy locals.

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Timeline of the Mothman
1966
·    November 16th: Raymond Wamsley and his wife, along with Marcella Bennett and her baby daughter Teena were on their way to visit friends. As they were returning to their vehicle, the group sighted a figure. It lifted off the ground behind the car, as though it had been lying down. They described glowing red eyes and a gray color to the beast. After heading back into the house to call 911, they watched in horror as the creature looked in through the window before departing.

·    November 16th: A second report was made when a man claimed he found his dog dead, left in a field after being taken by the Mothman.

·    November 25th: Four more people in the same area as the original sighting reported observing the creature in flight.

·    November 26th: Ruth Foster claimed to witness the Mothman as it stood in her front yard in Charleston, West Virginia. By the time her brother in law was summoned outside, the creature was gone.
1967
·    January 11th:  Another sighting was reported, followed by random reports of a similar creature throughout 1967.

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The Final Sighting
There is an end to the bizarre Mothman saga, at least for the time being.  On December 15th, 1967, the Silver Bridge, which connected Point Pleasant with Kanauga, Ohio, collapsed into the Ohio River. The cause of the collapse was found to be a single eye-bar malfunction in the suspension chain. The event took the lives of 46 people. Strangely enough, immediately following the unexpected collapse, the Mothman appearances abruptly stopped.

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Possible Explanations
Many have come up with their own theories about what the Mothman is and where it came from. Skeptics insist the beast is nothing more than a Sandhill Crane. Cranes had thrived in the area during the time of the sightings. Sandhill Cranes have an admirable wing span of seven feet. It is possible that in darkness, a Sandhill crane could take on the appearance of the Mothman. Others believe it could be a misidentified Barn Owl or Snowy Owl, which could have give off the illusion of glowing red eyes due to reflection of light in the area.
Local folklore tells of creatures that resemble the Mothman. Jan Harold Brunvand, a professor of urban legends at the University of Utah, has commented that elements of these local stories have been found in the Mothman legend.
Others believe that the Mothman is very real and appears before a disaster occurs. Some believe it is possible this figure could be roaming just before other disasters, but go unnoticed or unreported. John Keel, author of The Mothman Prophecies, spent a significant amount of time investigating the events of 1966 and 1967. Although his gathered information is extensive, there have been questions raised about the validity of what the book contains versus what Keel actually found during his investigation.

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A Final Word on the Mothman
We may never know for sure what the Mothman is. However, the timing and frequency of the sightings sparks a certain curiosity that cannot be denied. So many different people spotted this elusive creature and reported very similar characteristics. It is hard to believe this was a hallucination or hoax. Those who ”create” evidence to prove the existence of the Mothman are doing more to hurt rather than help the credibility of those who believe in the legend. In the end, we are left with a long list of strange events recorded by sane, honest people and no solid explanations.

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Watch this interesting mothman video

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I am the Director of Fringe Paranormal based in Toledo, Ohio.

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