Mothman is a legendary creature reportedly seen in the Point Pleasant area of West Virginia. Author John Keel popularized the subject in his 1975 book, The Mothman Prophecies, claiming that Mothman was related to a wide array of supernatural events in the area and bridge collapse. The 2002 film, The Mothman Prophecies, was based on Keel’s book.
It began in November 1966, when Point Pleasant residents Roger and Linda Scarberry and Steve and Mary Mallettem told police they saw a large white creature whose eyes glowed red when lit by the car headlights. Both couples described it as a flying man with 10-foot wings. They claimed it followed their car while they were driving in an area of town known as TNT, the site of a former World War II munitions plant.
During the next few days, other people reported similar sightings, including two volunteer firemen who said it was a large bird with red eyes. Contractor Newell Partridge claimed when he aimed a flashlight at a creature its eyes glowed like bicycle reflectors and blamed buzzing noises from his television set and the disappearance of his German Shepherd on the creature.
Mothman sightings essentially ended December 15, 1967, when the collapse of the Silver Bridge dropped some 46 souls into a watery grave beneath the icy waters of the Ohio River. However, some claimed the creature was somehow connected to the horrific tragedy.
A wildlife biologist at West Virginia University told reporters that descriptions and sightings all fit the Sandhill Crane, a large American crane almost as high as a man with a seven-foot wingspan featuring circles of reddish coloring around the eyes, and that the bird may have wandered out of its migration route.
Folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand notes that Mothman has been widely covered in the popular press, some claiming sightings connected with UFOs and others claiming that a military storage site was Mothman’s home. Brunvand found elements in common among many Mothman reports and much older folk tales, suggesting that something real may have triggered the scares and became woven with existing folklore.
The Mothman ledgend simply refuses to fade away. Some believe Mothman was a monster, an alien, a supernatural manifestation or even an unknown cryptid. Others believe the creature was part of a curse from Chief Cornstalk, a Shawnee leader who had been deviously murdered in Point Pleasant in 1777. A few consider the creature a mutant, spawned from exposure to a local chemical dump. Whatever people believe the thing was – or is – everyone agrees on the name: Mothman.
Source in part: Wikipedia