In an earlier post, I recounted my recent visit to Point Pleasant, West Virginia. In the late 1960s, a strange creature—or perhaps something supernatural—appeared in the area and left a legacy that remains to this day.
I once thought that Mothman sightings ended with the collapse of the Silver Bridge—a tragedy that took the lives of 46 people on December 15, 1967. For the most part, this is true; however, the more I look into the Mothman phenomenon, it is clear that he never fully went away—sporadic sightings still occur.
When I visited the Mothman Museum, I talked with a man who told me he knew a lady who recently saw something similar to Mothman descriptions north of Point Pleasant. He also told me occasional sightings occur.
Sometime during the drive home, I remembered a sighting from November 2016. This sighting, which was reported by local media, included photographs. Of course, it is hard to trust the authenticity photographs these days, and even if these pictures are genuine, I’m not so sure that the legendary Mothman is being photographed.
Famed cryptozoologist and author Ken Gerhard wrote of an incident that took place in the Point Pleasant area in 2011, in his book Encounters with Flying Humanoids: Mothman, Manbirds, Gargoyles & Other Winged Beasts. In this encounter, a husband and wife spotted a winged creature take flight from a bridge and fly away.
In his book White Things: West Virginia’s Weird White Monsters, Kurt McCoy speaks of Mothman sightings that predate, by decades, the Point Pleasant sightings from the late-1960s. A “birdman” terrorized residents of Kanawha County and several other counties during the late-1910s. McCoy also writes of a Mothman encounter that took place in Braxton County in 1994. Coincidentally, Braxton County is where another strange monster appeared in 1952.
There have been winged humanoid reports in other areas of the country, usually centered around some sort of disaster such as the bridge collapse in Minnesota in 2007.
The phenomenon is actually worldwide—according to Ken Gerhard, there were sightings reminiscent of Mothman in 1986. The sightings took place just prior to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Although Mothman is most known for his appearance in Point Pleasant 50 years ago, he never really left. Why would he? He was flying the skies long before—surely he will be doing the same for decades to come.