|By Clyde Lewis
Before "The Blair Witch Project," there was a story that frightened me not only because of the scary creatures that are said to have terrorized the small town of Point Pleasant. But the final twist where several people died in a tragic accident is even more eerie. The story of Mothman combines an Indian curse, primal fear, UFO lore and possible conspiracy all in one creepy tale. This story is proof positive that sometimes the truth is better left unknown.
The scariest things of all are those things you catch in the corner of your eye. For a split second you see something lurking in your peripheral vision and then when you look quickly it de materializes and you rationalize that you are hallucinating. You go to the window for air and feel the wind against your face. You see sheets of black clouds parting allowing small glimpses at the moon. The Moonlight casts eerie shadows on the ground and once again your mind plays tricks.
From the time you hid under the covers when you were a kid, you have had fears that you have kept hidden away. These fears sometimes manifest themselves in the strangest of places. Imagine if you will a place where creatures manifested themselves and in their wake left a small town in West Virginia questioning their sanity and their safety.
For thirteen months the town of Point Pleasant West Virginia was gripped by a paranormal event that will go down in history as the Mothman visitations.
On the night of November 15, 1966, a man and his wife told the story of a very strange encounter near an abandoned TNT plant in the quiet town of six thousand. Point Pleasant is situated in the Ohio River valley in West Virginia. The story is that the couple spotted two large, glowing eyes that were attached to something that was "shaped like a man, However it appeared to have gray fur. It was seven feet tall, and had big wings folded against its back". When the creature situated itself near the explosive plants door. The couples feared for their lives and sped away. Ahead of them they saw another creature. It spread its wings and shot up into the sky. It then swooped down and followed with their car. The creature kept up with the vehicle that was traveling at one hundred miles per hour.
The story appeared in the local papers, which also triggered other stories about strange phenomena in the area. In 1961 a similar story was told by a West Virginia woman who claimed that she and her father saw the same thing on Route 2 near the Chief Cornstalk Hunting Grounds. They came upon what appeared to be a man. The headlights caught the eyes of the man and they began to glow. Soon the figure extended what appeared to be wings. It was said that these wings practically extended across both sides of the road. The creature also lifted into the air and the woman and her father sped away in the car.
Another story triggered by the hysteria was the story of young boy who claimed he saw an angel in his back yard. The child described the angel as a man seven feet tall with glowing eyes. There were also stories reported of giant birds and giant butterflies in the area. It was as If the whole area was hallucinating. But why would something so strange happen to Point Pleasant?
People began to speculate that all was not well with the small town and that it's history kept dark secrets, secrets that could very well be responsible for the appearance of strange creatures such as these.
On October 10, 1774 a great battle took place between Virginia militiamen led by Andrew Lewis, and a multi-tribal confederation led by the Shawnee warrior, Cornstalk; this battle took place at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers, later incorporated in 1794 as the town of Point Pleasant. The Native American tribesmen were duped by the British-loyalist Governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, into believing the militiamen were coming to sign a peace treaty.
The confederation suffered a massive defeat; never to return to the area to fight again; the militiamen suffered heavy casualties also. Dunmore's intent was to divert the attention of the colonists away from independence from Britain by stirring hatred between colonists and Native Americans. Because of the British interests in the battle, some have declared this battle to be the first of the American Revolution; detractors label it the last battle of the border/Indian wars.
Upon Cornstalk's demise as the result of an ambush, he reportedly with his dying breath cursed the area for 200 years. His words spurred many a discussion upon each unfortunate occurrence in the town during that time span, including floods, severe fires and the terrible Silver bridge collapse up through a murderous hostage situation at the Mason County Courthouse in 1976.
It would be premature to attribute all the paranormal events of the mid sixties in Point Pleasant to an Indian curse. The Mothman enigma developed so many twists and turns that it raises more questions than answers.
Another story deals with the heroism of a dog-named Bandit. In November of 1966 Newell Partridge was watching the TV when it suddenly blinked out. A loud whining noise was coming out of it and soon it was competing with the howling of Partridge's dog Bandit. Partridge grabbed his flashlight to see what was wrong. He clamed he saw what looked like bicycle reflectors in his back yard. He then noticed them blinking at him and just as he was getting the creeps Bandit Jumped into the brush and chased after the glowing orbs. Partridge heard his dog whine as if in pain. He knew Bandit was dead.
More stories of the Moth creature were told and sightings were happening around the munition plant. Gray with manlike legs but no visible head its glowing eyes seemingly placed oddly in the middle of its chest. The wings of the creature never flapped, but it flew at incredible speeds and shrieked loudly at anyone who cornered it.
Mallard Halstead was the Sheriff who was called to investigate the sightings of the creature. By the time he arrived there were no sign of the creature and when he attempts to use his police radio he claimed that he heard strange sounds on the air. From Halstead's Police radio there suddenly came the sounds of what he claimed was gibberish, as if someone was playing a record at high speed.
The Press had concluded that the haunt of the Mothman was around the Munitions dump and so the legend began. Townspeople were fearful of the creature and some looked at it as some practical joke. It apparently was for Raymond Wamsley up until his family was traumatized by the creature. The Wamsley's and another Family, the Bennetes were driving out to see friends The Thomases. Their Home was near the infamous TNT building.
Raymond thought that he would walk up to the window of the Thomas home and pretend to be the Monster when suddenly a screech was heard from the shadows. The real Monster appeared near their car it rose up slowly in front of Mrs. Bennett. Mrs. Bennett gazed into the yes of the creature and dropped her two-year-old on the ground. Mr. Wamsley called to her to run but she couldn't. It was as if the eyes of the creature had held her in a trance. The panicked couple scooped up the child and got the others to safety. As they were calling for help the glowing eyes peered into the window.
Mrs. Bennett was so traumatized by the event she needed medical attention and psychological therapy. She had reoccurring dreams of the event. Sometimes she would dream that the flying creature would wait by her window screaming to her.
The encounters with the batlike creature kept adding up until over 100 sightings were reported. All Of the accounts were remarkably consistent. All describing a large form with legs, wings, and glowing red eyes.
A lot of accounts mirrored Mrs. Bennet's account. The creature apparently had the power to mesmerize and take over the minds of those who were unfortunate enough to witness it.
Connie Carpenter then made the remarkable claim that she saw the creature in broad daylight. She said the creature swooped down on her automobile and blinded her temporarily with the glowing eyes. She was later diagnosed with Klieg Conjunctivitis a condition that can be caused from staring directly into the sun. A lot of people who have seen UFO's sometimes suffer from this condition.
Soon a few residents were having dreams and seeing strange things in the skies.
Ufo's were being sighted and Cattle were being mutilated in the area. Some claim that there were crop circles in unattended fields.
UFO expert John Keel was called in to investigate the claims of the Paranormal. His Investigations found that a lot of the alleged UFO activity was being seen around the TNT munitions area. The very same area where Mothman was first seen.
After her eyesight had improved Connie Carpenter was walking down the street on February 22nd 1967. She claims a black Buick approached her. The Model looked at least 20 years old but was shiny and well taken care of, as if brand new. The driver seemed lost. She approached the car in order to help the driver.
The driver abruptly seized her. After a struggle she managed to break free. She ran home and locked herself in her house. The next Morning she awoke to loud pounding on her door. When she came to the door there was a note slipped under it. Printed in Block letters were the words "BE CAREFUL GIRL I CAN GET YOU YET!"
More witnesses came forward claiming to receive visits from Men in Black posing as census takers photographers and Bible salesman. Once they were inside they would ask questions about the Mothman, UFO's and other strange Phenomena.
All in all the strange occurrences ranged from defective phones, Television and radio interference, floating balls of light, sulfur smells, beeps, rumbles, cries of phantom children, backwards gibberish, and a number of other poltergeist manifestations.
The town drunk Tad Jones claimed that he had a brief encounter with a small metal sphere. Days later he received a threatening note. "WE KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN AND WE KNOW YOU HAVE TALKED YOU'D BETTER KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! YOU WANT BE WARNED AGAIN!"
John Keel kept receiving opened and resealed mail and a number of his friends claimed that he was making phone calls to them. Keel made no such calls.
Then came the fateful phone call. The Voice sounded electronically masked. The person on the line claimed that it was an extra terrestrial. The extra terrestrial claimed that there would be a major disaster on the Ohio River. The weird voice said the disaster would happen on December 15th 1967. Later many people were having dreams of pleading faces and Christmas packages floating on the waters of the Ohio River.
Soon other witnesses to the Mothman's appearance were having the same nightmares.
Then it happened. Thirteen months to the day of the first sighting of Mothman. The disaster that was foretold occurred. It was evening rush hour and the Silver bridge was full of cars. A lot of them were Christmas shoppers. At 5:05 PM on December 15th the suspension bridge that separated West Virginia from Ohio collapsed. There were 42 confirmed dead and six persons unaccounted for. Rescue workers were heart broken to see floating in the dark waters Christmas presents that would never end up under the Christmas tree.
The Mothman mystery continues to remain a mystery. After the Silver Bridge disaster, the Mothman appearances dwindled to zero. It was later revealed that near the munitions TNT area there were igloo like concrete mounds that hid a deadly secret. Nuclear waste. The stories of the Men in Black indicate that perhaps the whole town was being monitored.
A woman named Jane had a frightening encounter similar to Connie Carpenter's. She was followed by a black Cadillac that drew up alongside her in the street, out of which stepped a very sun-tanned man wearing a dark suit and sunglasses. He told her his name was Apol.
Apol turned up at her house and requested water 'to take some pills' - then he gave Jane three capsules, one of which was for her 'to have analyzed and assure herself it was safe'. Surprisingly she obliged and swallowed one, as if under some kind of spell. This gave her a blinding headache and affected her vision temporarily. It was believed the pills were the same pills that are used in the treating of Urinary tract infections.
There was also the story Woodrow Derrenberger who claimed that he met an MIB named Indrid Cold who claimed to be from another planet. After the MIB appeared twice, Derrenberger was plagued with phone calls that consisted of threats, beeps and electronic hums. Voices plagued him as well and entities were making predictions.
Voices warned of the Pope being stabbed, Robert Kennedy being in danger, and the destruction of the Silver Bridge.
The Pope was attacked and stabbed in the Philippines, and Robert Kennedy was later shot by Sirhan Sirhan. Was there more to the Mothman than just it's phantom appearance? Was the creature the harbinger of the final chapter in chief Cornstalk's curse?
We have talked many times about windows being opened and time vortexes allowing things in. Was the area of Point Pleasant selected by chance? Was a window opened by the Nuclear Radiation? Were the beings demons? Could it be that demons caused the disaster at Silver Bridge and predicted the harm of the Pope and Robert Kennedy?
Who or what implanted the dreams of impending doom?
Was Point Pleasant a place where six thousand people were test subjects of a sick mind control experiment that was being monitored by MIB's? It would stand to reason that perhaps a binary experiment took place. The radiation was only part of it. Is it possible that a whole town could have been the victims of radioactive waste getting into the water supply? It was obvious that they were being monitored. Cars and trucks were parked for hours outside homes and in remote spots. Not to mention MIB's threatening witnesses and giving drugs to residents. Especially drugs that would prevent urinary tract infections.
The idea of water being contaminated and covered up is nothing new. Drugs and contaminants have been used many times on unsuspecting citizens. One of the more familiar cases was the case that inspired the Jonathan Harr best seller "A Civil Action." In May 1979, state investigators discovered that two municipal wells in New England Town were contaminated with industrial solvents. Residents of the neighborhood served by those 15-year-old wells had long complained that the water was malodorous and foul tasting, and that it ruined their clothes.
No one paid attention until several children died.
Many people even think that the Mothman was a creature that came from the depths of hell itself. An evil ultra terrestrial summoned by black magic.
The invocation of otherworldly spirits is one of the most durable explanations. Because it would fortify the notion that we are living in a demon possessed world.
I suppose that would make the solution all too easy. The Mothman challenges us to have a little intellectual courage. The courage to boldly say that there are more things in Heaven and Earth even an entire host of things than are dreamt in any philosophy. Some things so dark and unbelievable are better left unknown.
Copyright 1998-2007 Ground Zero Media, Clyde Lewis, and John Hart. All Rights Reserved.