|The dark winged creature from the underworld rises like a Phoenix to warn us yet again of future cataclysm.
By Clyde Lewis
I awaken first thing Monday morning. I wipe a ton of sleep out of my eyes and I run a comb through my hair, throw on some clothes and head to the market for my morning cup of brew. The rain is pouring hard. It is a typical Portland winter but this morning has a difference about it. The air is exceptionally warm and the clouds are heavy. The air is thick with water and before the rain can even reach your face, you begin to feel the water condense on your forehead.
Walking the block up to the store makes you appreciate the coffee and danish that awaits you when you arrive. The morning paper is always there to let you in on the lies the government is telling you about illusory victories in a simply pointless war. The front page reminds you of why you dig deep into the paper to see what Zippy is up to.
I walk in to the market and shake the water off of my umbrella. Karla is there and she hands me my obligatory cup, and she gives me cinnamon danish.
"So what kind of interesting things can you tell me about today?" She asks.
"Oh I don't know," I tell her "Today is another day where the real news isn't as exciting as what I am about to look into."
She pours me another cup and then she grabs a mug and fills it too. We are the only ones in the store and the rain is a torrential downpour. She pulls up a chair.
"Okay Mr. Excitement dazzle me with what it is you are cooking up."
I look right into her deep brown eyes and I say with all seriousness.
"Ever hear of Mothman?"
She looks at me trying not to crack a grin, "Mothman? Uh no but I'll bet you are going to scare me," she then gets up and gets an apple fritter. "Sounds like a cartoon character like the Tick."
I take a gulp of coffee and then I chuckle "Yea well it allegedly was a real scary creature that showed up in Point Pleasant West Virginia a long time ago. It was scaring kids that used to go to this area there to make out. In some ways it reminds me of a good Scooby do story, but to hear the eyewitnesses talk you start getting a little freaked out about a large furry creature with wings and glowing red eyes."
I realize that the story can really lose some people. Here I am talking to this pretty woman about moth creatures. She probably thinks I am nuts. I just find Mothman more frightening than Bigfoot or the Loch ness monster. The Chupacabra is probably a good second on my frightening cryptids list but you never know if any of these things exist or not. If they do or if Mothman did exist it is a terrifying possibility.
Imagine having a fear of Vampire bats. Now imagine a creature that resembles a bat or a bird the size of a man with wings that spread some 15 feet. Give him eyes that glow like red bicycle reflectors and there you have Mothman. After talking about creatures from the underworld for most of the morning I return to my house and put in a phone call to Loren Coleman who has been an independent investigator into cryptid accounts. He answers the phone his voice seems like a cheerful one.
I pause for minute wondering if I had misdialed,
"Hi Loren this is Clyde Lewis from Ground Zero."
He pauses a moment and says,
"Oh yea the radio show, I thought you were calling from New York."
I tell him that I am arranging for guests on my show and I ask him about the new movie "The Mothman Prophecies." He tells me that all is going well and that he thinks 2002 is the year of Mothman and that there was actually a sighting of Mothman or some large flying creature back in September.
I had heard something about it and had hoped to reach Stan Gordon about the sighting of Thunderbirds in Philadelphia. Gordon filed a report and had chatted with Ground Zero assistant producer/reporter Holly Conley about a report taken from guy named Mike Felice. He claimed that he saw a giant bird flying above large trucks traveling through South Greensburg. He also claimed that the creature landed on a tree branch and the tree buckled under the weight of the creature.
Gordon also claimed that Felice's sighting was only one in several reported sightings all over Pennsylvania. Gordon and his assistant Craig Heinselman were investigating what they call "Thunderbird" sightings all over Westmoreland County. Claims were that the creature was the size of an ultra light plane and people were seeing it fly overhead all over the area into Bristol Connecticut.
There are stories within the realms of the paranormal or ultra normal that cause my blood to run like ice water through my body. There are stories that when you read them your brain ceases to tell your lungs to take in air. I think I have pointed out in a previous article that I have had a terrifying curiosity about the mysterious creature known as the Mothman.
When I talk about it there are many people who know nothing about it. They laugh out loud when I tell them that there are stories told in West Virginia of a winged man with glowing eyes that terrorized a small town in the 1960's.
After I had read accounts of the creature I used to have dreams about it. It was similar to that of a Vampire except the creature had large red eyes and no head. Its wings would spread out and it would shoot up into the sky and its massive body could be seen shadowing the full moon.
I can only say that it is difficult to write anything about the creature while I sit in my dark candlelit room. The wind is blowing and I hear the tap, tap, tapping from branches that are being shaken by the wind. Its howl is like the screech of the Mothman and I can hear what seems to be the sound of large flour sacks slamming into a wall.
Could the Mothman be coming to my door looking for light? Am I imagining it all?
Perhaps I am.
Perhaps I scare myself as every molecule in my body freezes and I breathe raggedly looking for my last cigarette. I look to the mangled trees as they scratch the windows like fingernails on a chalkboard.
I wonder if there is anything in the darkness.
The rain comes.
>BR> I go back to writing the story of Mothman.
The Mothman is a creature that will be ripe for rediscovery amongst the consensus when Sony Screen gems pictures releases "The Mothman Prophecies." The story will be introduced to many people through this psychological thriller and eventually books, action figures, DVD's and music CD's will also acquaint everyone with the creature that terrified the residents of Pont Pleasant West Virginia in 1966.
The tale of this mysterious creature does not stop at the mere sighting of its dark form. The events that were happening simultaneously in Point Pleasant were less than pleasant. Residents were seeing UFO's and Men in Black going door to door.
It was if the entire town was suffering from a mass hallucination.
For those who need to tune into what is at best a foggy subject you can read the book the Mothman Prophecies by John Keel or Loren Coleman has just released a comprehensive book about the Mothman as he continues the investigation from a cryptozoological perspective.
While writers like the late Jim Keith have proposed a mass hysteria explanation for the sightings. Keel and Coleman believe that the creature was very real. There is so much to cover and so many sightings and stories that it is difficult to even cover them all. I guess it is best to cover the basics.
Two young married couples were among the first to report a sighting of the creature in mid November of 1966. They were traveling along route 62 near The West Virginia Ordinance Works complex.
The Complex was used to create TNT for World War II. Peppered throughout the area were little domed structures called "igloos" where the explosives were stored. They were strategically placed in a grid pattern to avoid a chain reaction if one of the "igloos" exploded or was attacked by the enemy. The igloos were covered with dirt and sod as camouflage. There was also an underground network of bunkers with connecting tunnels throughout the complex. It eventually became a toxic waste site and a bird refuge.
The Mothman creature's main haunt was at a remote area near the abandoned main power plant called the TNT area, which eventually became a make out spot for teenagers in the area. Roger and Linda Scarberry and Steve and Mary Mallette, were driving near the infamous TNT area. They saw the creature shuffling towards the door of the power plant. They noticed that it had glowing red eyes.
Scarberry and the rest were terrified. They couldn't believe what they were seeing. Scarberry hit the accelerator to flee from the area and to their surprise the creature turned towards their car and gave chase. The creature allegedly spread out it's wings and jumped ahead keeping up with the vehicle that Scarberry claimed was moving in excess of 100 miles an hour. The creature flew without flapping its wings. The four claimed that the creature shrieked a horrifying sound.
The couples kept speeding up to the city limits and the creature turned back. The couples reported what they saw to the police. Sheriff Mallard Halstead got the report and sent officers to the scene. They found nothing. However Halstead switched on his police radio during the investigation and a loud screech came out of the speaker. He claimed that a garbled transmission occurred. He said that it was if someone was playing a tape recording at very high speed.
In Loren Coleman's book "Mothman and other curious encounters" the eyewitness account and news reports are chilling:
Dateline: November 15, 1966
Two young couples reported to Mason County sheriff's department tonight that they have had a curious encounter with a monster. "It was shaped like a man, but bigger. Maybe six and a half or seven feet tall. And it had big wings folded on its back, eyewitness Roger Scarberry told Deputy Millard Halstead. Roger's wife, Linda finished his thought: "But it was those eyes that got us. It had two big red eyes, like automobile reflectors."
The Scarberrys and another couple, Steve and Mar Mallete, had seen something strange at the abandoned World War II ammunition dump, known locally as the TNT area. "For a minute we could only stare at it. Then it just turned and sort of shuffled towards the open door of the old power plant. We didn't wait around."
For thirteen months fear gripped the area. Report after report detailed the sighting of a birdlike creature with same glowing red eyes. There were over 100 reported sightings of the creature.
A man named Newell Partridge reported the glowing eyes about the same time as the young couples, when he had a run in with the creature. Partridge, a building contractor who lived in Salem West Virginia may have lost his faithful dog Bandit to the creature.
Partridge claims that he was watching television when his tube went blank. A herring bone design was seen on the screen and it faded away. Partridge heard a hum coming out of his television. That is when his dog Bandit started to bark ferociously. Partridge grabbed his flashlight and shined it towards his barn. Bandit was agitated as the light moved up in the direction where he was barking. Suddenly the light caught the eyes of a seven-foot tall creature.
The creature had eyes that looked like red bicycle reflectors and wings that were against its body. He headed towards the barn but felt such an overwhelming sense of dread and turned back. He slept with his shotgun that night.
The next day Partridge noticed that Bandit's tracks led to the Barn. He cautiously followed them. They led to the area where the Mothman was sighted. The footprints then went in a circle. There appeared to be some sort of scuffle and the tracks led no where else.
Bandit was never seen again. He must have been lifted up and taken by the creature.
Marcella Bennet, three children, and her good friend Raymond Wamsley and his wife saw the creature the evening after the first sighting was reported. As Marcella was getting out of the car to visit he friend Ralph Thomas she looked up and there it was. She was face to face with what she recalls was the most hideous looking thing she had ever seen. The glowing red eyes had her transfixed and some how hypnotized her. She was so overwhelmed that she dropped the baby that she was carrying. Wamsley picked up the unhurt baby and the frightened group ran inside the house, locked the door and called the police. The Mothmam was at the window tapping and wanting to come inside. Soon, the creature took off. Bennet later needed psychiatric treatment because she was so traumatized by the events.
The Mothman sightings are only a small part of what was happening in Point Pleasant. UFO's were also being sighted in the area at the time of the sightings. There were also men in Black who made their appearances. They would threaten people and tell them not to report what they had seen. There were even reports of these Men in black driving around in black Cadillacs chasing down eyewitnesses.
Some of the men in Black offered citizens pills to take.
Then the reports came of mutilated dogs, mutilated cattle and burned dogs in the power plant. Residents began wondering if the Mothman was a creature that had been raised from the very depths of hell in a weird ritual by local witches. Then came the idea that perhaps the whole affair was caused by a curse that was uttered from the lips of Chief Cornstalk some 200 years before. In order to understand the alleged curse of the Mothman you need to blow the dust off the history of the area.
It was the year 1774. There was a feud between the Virginia Militia and a multi tribal confederation. The tribe was led by Shawnee Chief cornstalk.
The battle took place in the area now known as Point Pleasant. It has been called one of the first battles of the American Revolution however it is also considered less of a battle, downplayed only because it seemed that it was a border war between the militia and the Indians. During the fighting both sides suffered severe casualties. The confederation of tribesmen fell in a horrible defeat. Upon Chief Cornstalk's death it is said that his dying words were a curse that he claimed would last 200 years. Cornstalk was betrayed and murdered as he was under the assumption that the white man wanted peace.
The Mothman encounters were terrifying but it seemed that the appearance of the creature was an omen for an even greater tragedy. The collapse of the Silver Bridge.
There were many witnesses of the Mothman that were having premonitions in dreams of the collapse of the bridge that spans the Ohio River. There were also many witnesses who claimed that the Mothman was trying to tell them something. Perhaps his presence was a warning.
In an eerie coincidence Chief Cornstalk's sub chief Red Hawk tried to warn the white man of Cornstalk's curse in 1777. He claimed that some day he would return to the area in the form of a large Red Hawk to warn people to prepare themselves for dangerous times.
After the 6000 residents were plagued with defective phones, Television and radio interference, floating balls of light, sulfur smells, beeps, rumbles, cries of phantom children, backwards gibberish, UFO's, cattle mutilations and Satanic Panic a telephone call was made to John Keel. Keel was the chief investigator in the case. He was a transplant from New York and spent a whole year in Point Pleasant to get to the bottom of all of the sightings.
The voice on the other end sounded as if it was electronically produced. The strange voice claimed that his name was Apol. He told several people to read books and to look at prophecy. He said that the time for destruction was at hand and that the antichrist would soon rise up. He claimed that the Pope would be harmed and the Robert Kennedy would be assassinated. He also said that the Silver bridge would fall and many people would die before Christmas. On December 15th 1967 the seven hundred-foot bridge collapsed killing 42 people, 6 weren't even found.
I find it interesting that the name of the voice was Apol.
Apol is a shortened abbreviation for the word Apollyon. The Greek equivalent to Abaddon the destroyer or destroying angel of the abyss spoken of in the bible.
About A.D. 95, while in exile on the isle of Patmos, the apostle John was given in vision of the end of the world. This Vision of course has been written in the New Testament as the Book of the Apocalypse or the Revelation. In it are several passages of warning to the people that the future holds horrible ends for those who are sinful. One of those punishments, chronicled in Revelation 9:1-11, will be the release of degenerate demons and fallen angels. The sentinel of this abyss and the one who will unleash the demons of destruction will be Abaddon or the Greek Apollyon.
I have obsessed about these names since my own glimpses were happening about an unknown disaster two weeks before the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. I had written about the Abaddon nexus, a term I created to describe connection between negative thought forms and destructive outcomes.
The name Apol was serendipitous to the story and according to John Keel one of the contactees in Point Pleasant, Jane Carpenter was paid a visit by Apol. He was described as looking reptilian and he allegedly had a female friend named Lia who appeared to be reptilian. According to Carpenter Lia would raid the refrigerator looking for eggs. She would suck the raw eggs out of their shells.
It seems that the bottomless pit had opened and the monsters had come to Point Pleasant.
Were they from the realms of the underworld or were the apparitions there to warn the people of the impending destruction?
Believe it or not even though the Mothman story is eerily peculiar it is similar to other stories of giant winged men that have appeared in regions such as South America, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
In New Guinea he is known as "Ropen" or "demon flyer." In other parts of the mainland he is known as the "Duah" or "Winged Demon." The winged creature looks like a man with large eyes, a long head like a horse and a wingspan that can extend some 15-20 feet. Western Missionaries have spoken of these winged creatures and have recorded that they are known to attack fisherman, and funeral processions.
Fishermen have claimed that the Ropen are aggressive and have been known to swoop down and steal the nets and carry the fish with them. The Duah lives on the Papa New Guinea mainland. Residents of Gumalong village watched as a Duah flew from Mount Bel, and swooped in over the jungle valley region. It passed over the village and then out to sea. The Duah is said to resemble a Pteranodon. It also is capable of creating a bioluminescence on its tail and underside.
These accounts have been recorded as late as 1987. Other regions such as Molucca Islands of Indonesia have stories of the Orang-bati or "Winged man." The creature is described as looking human. It stands 4-5 feet in height, and has enormous leathery wings like a bat. The creature is reported to hide in caves around Mount Kairatu during the day. At nightfall it flies in the air. The popular myth is that it steals small animals and infants.
Usually when we hear of winged men or women we go to our bibles and look for flying angels. They have been depicted in artwork as being wholesome looking beings with wings of feathers. Demons on the other hand have always been described as profane creatures that have leathery wings and strike fear in the hearts of men.
However we need to remember that angels both good and bad have never received a warm welcome when they appeared before people. When angels appeared anciently people fell in fear when they came into their presence. They were not able to look upon their faces.
Here are a few examples of the reaction to "winged men" or angels appearing in the bible:
"Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground."
They may appear to be strange and alien:
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels."
They can harm you, even kill you:
"So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind."
According to the Gospel of Luke the Shepherds were frightened:
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid."
I find it interesting that in the bible angels appeared to farmers (Shepherds) to tell them of what was to come. Today Aliens appear to farmers and people in small towns. God could use legions of the angels but he used an angel to talk with some backcountry sheep sheerer.
Angels come in all shapes and sizes and they look both beautiful and horrific. They apparently have the same characteristics as today's aliens. Isn't it coincidental that the metaphors connect?
Mothman's appearance was a warning that the silver bridge was about to collapse.
But was Mothman truly an angel? A young boy in 1961 saw an angel in Point Pleasant long before the hideous Mothman came to the town. Mothman's appearance came later and so did various men in black, UFO's and strange telephone calls. It was one big bizarre time in a West Virginia town.
The entities were obviously arriving from both the Dark and the lighter side of the ether. Angels with wings as I pointed out were always charged with being the messengers. They were messengers with good news or news of dread. They were used by God to do his work. This included the killing of the firstborn in the times of Moses, the razing of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament. The Angel Gabriel told Mary that she was to give birth to the Son of God.
Angels were always met with fear and dread anciently. Many feared them because when they arrived, it meant that someone would either die or would have to leave the earth. Angels have developed into beings that are messengers of good.
Ancient Babylonian accounts speak of the winged beings known as Apkallu. They were protectors and portents and sentinels. Apkallu were also known as the fish men. They were known to shift into a scaled creature. There were seven Apkallu who lived at the beginning of time before the flood. They were sent down from heaven by the God Ea to teach wisdom to humans.
The Winged Roman God Mercury was a messenger. He would travel the roads with winged sandals. He also carried a staff with snakes intertwined around it. This is known as the caduceus. The rod represented knowledge. The balance of right and wrong, the god powers, the wisdom, and the peace that follows. It was also known as the magical staff of Hermes, the Messenger of the Gods and revealer of alchemy.
On May 19th 1967, the origins of Mothman may have been revealed. Two women claimed that they saw Mothman rise from a tree. In the sky a reddish orange hole opened up and the creature was swallowed up, never to be seen again.
John Keel speculated that a window existed in Point Pleasant. A Vortex that allowed beings to come in and out at will. What could have triggered the "window" or "vortex" to open?
Mercury deposits? Is there a connection between Mercury deposits and sightings of strange creatures? Do these mercury deposits, lead deposits and the use of electromagnetics create hallucinatory images? Can electronic waves create a mass hysteria? Mob like behavior? How about the planting of mass dreams? Premonitions of a disaster?
So what is the connection?
Well-- its based on nothing scientific but look at the facts. If by some wild stroke of the imagination we were to find out the mercury deposits left behind by munitions and electromagnetic tinkering can create mild hallucinations then Mothman can be explained away as an Electro-magnetic experiment that was done on a small town by some secret group or organization.
It is interesting how one of the greatest forces known to man, the atomic bomb, was detonated and soon after something was opened. A doorway was opened and the modern UFO alien era began. It was if the radiation animated something in the ether causing man to start seeing the beings that only haunted him in his dreams.
It was like the lightning that animated the monster. Like a Frankenstein movie.
Remember the area where the Mothman frequented. The TNT area. There was an even bigger secret that the government kept from the residents. The ugly secret hidden in the underground igloos was nuclear waste. Waste from an Ohio Nuclear plant. Were the people of Point Pleasant poisoned? Was there Mercury in the water? How about waste at the bird refuge?
Perhaps a bird at the refuge mutated and terrorized the town.
So many theories based on so much strangeness makes this tale one that is more fascinating than any crash of a flying Saucer near Roswell.
And yet many people still do not know about the strange case of the Mothman. Whether the creature was an Angel with a warning or an intimidating demon from the depths of the bottomless pit, Mothman's appearances were less of a concern after the Silver Bridge collapsed in 1967.
Point Pleasant still has had its share of horrible events since the Mothman appearances. There were suicides and psychological breakdowns after the Sightings. Many of those who died in the bridge disaster were witnesses to the events in Point Pleasant.
As luck would have it The US department of transportation said that the cause of the bridge collapse was that the number thirteen eye bar pin on the bridge failed causing the eye bar chain support to drop below the roadway. Causing the entire bridge to collapse under the weight of the entire structure, resulting in the failure of the span.
There was even a terrible explosion and attempted jailbreak at the Mason county Courthouse in 1976. Many people to this day still believe that the Mothman and all of the other events that happened can all be attributed to Cornstalk's curse.
As you can tell by the events all theories can be considered and no one knows for sure what happened. The only thing that is certain is that Mothman always seems to make an appearance when a doorway opens.
September 11th 2001 will be a day where an unbelievable explosion may have ripped a hole and even opened a doorway. On September 25, 2001, eyewitness Mike Felice saw a giant bird flying over South Greensburg, Pennsylvania. There have been sightings of the large "bird' ever since. Loren Coleman claims that 2002 will be the year of Mothman.
Perhaps the Mothman legacy is a curse.
Maybe it is time to lock the windows and hope that those red eyes won't be peering back at you.
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