It was mid-November 1966 in Point Pleasant, West Virginia when reports of an unidentified flying man-bird began to make headlines. The first story was written by Mary Hyre and started the Mothman craze in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
It also started her career as a reporter on paranormal legends, with her first article appearing on page 1 of The Athens Messenger on Wednesday, November 16, 1966, titled.
Winged, Red-Eyed 'Thing' Chases Point Couples Across Countryside.
According to reports, the ¨confirmed ¨ first sighting was by a gravedigger named Kenneth Duncan on November 12, 1966. He initially did not report his sighting of a ¨flying man¨ late at night over a graveyard in Clendenin, West Virginia.
Out of the five men in the cemetery, he was the only one to see the creature and thought nothing of it until he read the article by Mary Hyre. When he was interviewed about what he saw, Duncan stated, "It was gliding through the trees and was in sight for about a minute," His sighting was a few days before Scarberry and Mallette's story, which was the one published in the papers.
According to the newspaper article, the couple reported they tried to outrun the flying creature in their car, but it was impossible, and they said it was flying up to 100mph.
The couple said they drove until they reached a farm, and then the creature flew away; when the deputy and couple went to search the farm afterward, it was reported.
"Later, the couples and police returned to the farm ... (A) deputy said the 'thing' was gone, but he found a 'strange pile of dust.'"
The couple also stated
"It didn't mean to harm us,"
After this initial report, more people came forward, stating they saw ¨something¨ but were unsure of what. Some reported it on Route 7, near Chesire, and some on the other side of the Ohio River.
The creature is reported to look like a giant flying humanoid with a 10ft wingspan and bipedal, with glowing red eyes. The Mothman is also to be able to fly up to 100mph, according to previous reports. It is rumored that Mothman lives in an old vacant nuclear power in the TNT area of Point Pleasant, which some think remains contaminated.
Until this point, Mothman was only associated with sightings until December 15, 1967. On this day was the collapse of the Silver Bridge, killing 46 people. Many reported seeing the creature hovering nearby. The Silver Bridge connected Point Pleasant with Gallipolis, Ohio. It opened for traffic in 1928 and was one of the first bridges to use the new eyebar-link suspension system vs. the traditional wire-cable suspension.
According to reports, one of the eyebars had an unseen minor defect that cracked and eroded, and on December 15 failed, which led the bridge to collapse. However, some still will blame the Mothman.
After the bridge's collapse, the sightings began to slow down but have remained. Reports as recent as 2016, with photos being taken by someone driving through point pleasant. In 2020 reports of the Mothman came in near Chicago.
There have been attempts at debunking this mystery. Stating that it is a large owl or rare bird, yet this remains unconfirmed. It remains a mystery as to what the creature is and whether or not the creature does exist.
Whether or not you believe in the Mothman, Point Pleasant, West Virginia, has been placed on the map because of this legend. Every year Point Pleasant hosts an annual Mothman Festival that brings over 10K people each year.
There is also a 12-foot statue, a Mothman museum, and a research center. The fascination even grabbed hold of John Keel, who wrote The Mothman Prophecies, which was turned into a movie in 2002.
*The story is legend and hearsay only*