Mothman: A Flying Terror or Harbinger of Doom?

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By: Andrej Jovanovski

The Curse that Blights the Land

On the 15th of December, 1967, tragedy struck, the Silver Bridge that connected West Virginia and Ohio collapsed, which brought an end to reported sightings of a moth-like humanoid in a small town known as Point Pleasant, WV.

This creature was first seen on November 15, 1966, when two young couples told the police that they saw a big grey creature with glowing red eyes with ten-foot wings following their car.

Soon, other people reported similar sightings in the same area of the city, known as the TNT area, describing the creature as a large human-like bird with red eyes, often landing on the roofs of parked cars.

Some reports also state that the infamous Mothman has been seen flying above the Silver Bridge, sometimes even following cars that were going well above 100 mph.

The stories about this strange creature residing in the TNT area spread like wildfire, giving it the name Mothman.

However, after the collapse of the Silver Bridge, the sightings came to a halt, leading us to believe that the Mothman was behind the destruction of the bridge. This belief comes from a well-known myth from Point Pleasant, simply known as the curse of Cornstalk.

Cornstalk was a Shawnee leader, who witnessed the murder of his sons as he was being taken as a prisoner.

After becoming enraged, he was also shot, with his dying breath Cornstalk placed a curse upon the land in which he called a Great Spirit to avenge his sons. This Great Spirit is the Mothman.

Sightings that Precede Catastrophic Events

Although originating from West Virginia, Mothman sightings have been reported all around the globe, especially before a catastrophe occurs.

One such encounter with the Mothman comes from Germany when in 1978 a group of miners reported seeing a creature that resembles the Mothman.

Witnesses claimed that they saw the creature inside the mine, so fearing for their lives they fled. An hour later the miners reported that the mine collapsed.

Another famous encounter was reported just hours before the Chernobyl power plant meltdown occurred. Sightings of the creature were also reported by residents of the nearby town Pripyat.

The sightings of the Mothman in Chernobyl didn’t stop even after the disaster, naming the creature Blackbird of Chernobyl.

The latest sightings come from Fukushima, Japan, when in 2011 the Mothman was seen flying above the Fukushima Power Plant, circling it several times, hours before the earthquake happened.

The Harbinger of Doom or a Misunderstood Protector

 With the curse of Cornstalk, came the birth of the Mothman, the blight of humanity, the harbinger of doom.

Frequent sightings of the Mothman in places where catastrophe struck have led us to believe that wherever it is seen people should evacuate as disaster is soon to follow.

Does this mean that the Mothman is to blame for the events that follow his sightings or is he just trying to warn us?

Because there are no reports of the Mothman attacking people, it is hard to say if it’s the reason why the catastrophes occur or if it is just announcing that the disaster is going to take place.

With this in mind, we can see why some people claim that we shouldn’t fear the Mothman, but rather praise it and claim that it’s trying to protect the people by scaring them away from the area where the catastrophe is going to occur.

Going to the point where the city where it was first seen, Point Pleasant, WV now celebrates the Mothman, even holding the annual Mothman Festival ever since 2002 and opening a Mothman Museum.

Hoax Claims

As the TNT area is considered to be the home of the Mothman, therefore some biologists claim that what most people see are large herons or a large Sandhill crane, a large bird with a 10-foot wingspan and red markings around its eyes, which fits the description that has been giving countless of times for the Mothman.

This could be backed up by the fact that the TNT area is a known wildlife management area.

Some pseudoscientists claim that it was an alien or a supernatural manifestation of a previously unknown species of animal.

The author of the book The Mothman Prophecies, John Keel, claimed that the witnesses experienced precognitions, also called future sight.

In pseudoscience, the Mothman is also considered to be a creature that brings doom wherever it goes, falling in the same category with the Black-Eyed Children, The Flying Dutchman, Cyoeraeth.

All are considered to be an omen of death and destruction.

The Mothman Legacy (TV) 2020

The Mothman in Pop-Culture 

Although being an often-used costume during Halloween, not a lot of people know the story behind this cryptid.

The rising popularity of the Mothman came with the movie The Mothman Prophecies (2002), which was loosely based on the previously mentioned book.

The appearance of the Mothman in cinema doesn’t end here, as there have been a lot of horror films based around this mysterious creature.

Such movies are The Mothman of Point Pleasant (2017), The Mothman Curse (2014), Eyes of the Mothman (2011), Mothman (2010), etc.

In the popular video game Fallout 76, we can encounter a creature called Mothman, however, this creature appears in man variants, such as Vengeful Mothman, Stalking Mothman, Glowing Mothman, and Wise Mothman.

It is worshiped by cultists who follow the Cult of the Mothman.

The city of Point Pleasant, WV erected a statue of the Mothman, which servers as a tourist attraction.

In June 2020, there was a petition to replace all Confederate statues in the US with statues of Mothman. The petition had nearly 19,000 signatures

FAQs

 Is there only one Mothman?

As far as we know, yes, there is only one Mothman.

 Is the Mothman evil?

Although disaster follows him, the Mothman hasn’t been confirmed to be evil. If we consider him a manifestation of Cornstalk’s curse, then he is nothing more than a Great Spirit who can be neither good nor evil.

Where does the Mothman reside?

It is believed that the TNT area in Point Pleasant, WV, is his home. However, with sightings coming from all around the globe, it is hard to pinpoint where he lives.

References:

The Cornstalk Curse
https://www.americanhauntingsink.com/cornstalk , Accessed August 17 2021
What Is The Mothman And Why Are We So Obsessed
https://nerdist.com/article/mothman-why-we-are-so-obsessed , Accessed August 17 2021
The Terrifying Tale of West Virginia’s Legendary Specter: The Mothman
https://www.southernliving.com/culture/the-mothman-legend-west-virginia , Accessed August 17 2021
Mothman Festival
https://www.mothmanfestival.com , Accessed August 17 2021
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