Point Pleasant, West Virginia. From November 1966 to December 1967 hundreds of people saw a flying creature with a pair of red glowing eyes and a wingspan of over ten feet. The Mothman of Point Pleasant does not tell us who dubbed this creature the Mothman. I am assuming it was an enterprising reporter or perhaps John Keel, who wrote a book called The Mothman Prophecies.
The sightings quickly escalated, with the Mothman chasing teens in their cars, the Mothman hanging out at the abandoned TNT factory, the Mothman peering through windows. The filmmakers give us footage of a number of credulous-sounding locals describing their close encounters with the Mothman. One man saw the Mothman by the side of his bed, and when he thought of the blood of Christ the Mothman went away.
The sightings went on for months, evolving from Mothmen to UFO sightings, Grinning Man encounters and culminating in the city of Point Pleasant being invaded by the Men in Black. The sightings ended after the Silver Bridge collapsed ten days before Christmas 1967, resulting in the deaths of 46 people. Unfortunately, some have tried to link the Mothman to this horrible tragedy; fortunately, the filmmakers do not make this connection.
If – like me – you don’t know much about the Mothman, The Mothman of Point Pleasant is informative and entertaining. It’s obvious the filmmakers are true believers, so keep that in mind. They speculate about mutant birds and the Indian chief who was murdered by the white settlers and supposedly cursed Point Pleasant, and gloss over the fact that there were hundreds of eyewitness sightings and nobody ever managed to snap a picture. Many eyewitnesses state that the Mothman looked like a big bird, with a few insisting that it was a barn owl. I tend to think that’s the most likely explanation, but realize that people are going to believe what they want to believe.
What was the Mothman? A barn owl? An extraterrestrial? A demon from Hell? A case of mass hysteria? We will never know. But there is now a Mothman Museum and a Mothman Festival, which takes place every year on the third weekend of September. So the Mothman lives on…