On a late November night in 1966, two young couples from Point Pleasant, WV were traveling past the West Virginia Ordnance Works, an abandoned World War II TNT factory, about seven miles north from Point Pleasant. They noticed two eerie red lights in the darkness by an old generator plant near the factory gate. They stopped the car out of curiosity and were horrified to discover that the lights were the glowing red eyes of a large animal, “shaped like a man, but bigger, maybe six and a half or seven feet tall, with big wings folded against its back”, according to Roger Scarberry (one of the witnesses) Terrified, they raced toward Route 62, where the creature was said to have chased them at speeds over 100 miles per hour.
They made their way to the Mason County courthouse, where they were able to tell their story to Deputy Millard Halstead, who later said, “I’ve known these kids all their lives. They’d never been in any trouble and they were really scared that night. I took them seriously.” The Deputy followed Roger Scarberry’s car back to the former military factory but found no trace of the frightening beast. The next night, a large group of locals, armed with weapons, searched the area around the factory for signs of the now legendary Mothman. Many other sighting of the Mothman were reported by locals in the following weeks. The word “Mothman” was created by an Ohio newspaper employee, after the first reports of the “Big Bird” sightings began to surface. Since it’s first appearance, the strange creature has been the focus of many books and even the subject of a recent Hollywood movie starring Richard Gere, called “The Mothman Prophecies”.
The Silver Bridge
This Silver Bridge was built in 1928 and connected Point Pleasant, West Virginia and Gallia County, Ohio over the Ohio River. On December 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge collapsed during rush hour traffic, causing deaths of 46 people. Investigation of the collapse pointed to the failure of a single eye-bar in a suspension chain, due to a small defect only 0.1 inch deep. Because of the recent appearance of the strange creature in the Point Pleasant area, many locals attributed this terrible disaster to the Mothman. Although some believed that the Mothman had come to warn of immenint disaster, rather than actually causing it. There were other events surrounding the appearance of the Mothman that included U.F.O. sightings, animal mutilations and more.
Description of the Mothman
The mothman is generally described as a bird like creature, with large reddish eyes. The eyes are often said to glow. The creature has been described as being as big as a full grown man and having a very large wingspan. The term Mothman was used because as opposed to feathers, the creature was often described as having “moth like” wings. It has also been said that the Mothman has no head or neck. The eyes have been described as being set into the creatures chest. The descriptions have sometimes been similar to that of the Jersey Devil, or the lesser known Thunderbird.
Did a strange winged creauture terrorize a small town during the 1960’s? Did the Mothman appear to warn of danger? What exactly is the Mothman? An alien? A government experiment gone awry? These questions and more have haunted Point Pleasant, WV residents for many years. We may never know the answers, but people will probably always be fascinated and continue to theorize the legend of The Mothman.