- Education and Science»
- Sociology & Anthropology»
- Folklore & Mythology»
- Legendary Creatures & Cryptids
Plaque On Mothman Statue in West Virginia
Words On The Mothman Plaque
On a chilly November night in 1966, two young couples drove into the TNT area north of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, when they realized they were not alone.
What they saw that night has evolved into one of the great mysteries of all time; hence the Mothman Legacy began. It has grown into a phenomenon known all over the world by millions of curious people asking questions: What really happened? What did these people see? Has it been seen since?
It still sparks the world's curiosity - the mystery behind Point Pleasant West Virginia's MOTHMAN.
Point Pleasant - Not So Pleasant in the 1960s
November 15 1966:
David and Linda Scarberry and Steve and Mary Mallette, a pair of young, married couples were travelling together in the Scarberry car one night. As they passeed a WWII TNT factory, called, the West Virginia Ordinance Works, they noticed two red lights by the factory gate of an old generator plant. More closely, their location was about 7 miles north of Point Pleasant and they were within the boundaries of a 2500 acre area known as the McClintic Wildlife Station.
When the Scarberrys and Mallettes spotted the red lights, they stopped the car, then quickly guessed that the lights were the eyes of some large animal, whose eyes glowed...Roger Scarberry later reported that the animal was "shaped like a man, but bigger, maybe six and a half or seven feet tall with big wings folded across its back..."
At the time, the four individuals in the Scarberry car were all terrified, so the driver drove the vehicle along route 62, with the strange, oversized but man-like creature in apparent pursuit, while the car sometimes reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour!
The driver continued to speed along with the winged creature following closely until the car almost reached the city limits of Point Pleasant. Then the flying creature vanished. The couples were so shaken, they drove immediately to the Madison County courthouse and reported this terrifying incident to Deputy Millard Halstead. The deputy took the young adults and the story of their experience very seriously as he had never known any of the individuals to be troublemakers before. Also, the state of fear the two couples exhibited showed Halstead that their fears and shared experience was legitimate, even if the episode could not be reasonably explained at the time.
An aside: A curious detail that has emerged in this story is that even though the car was travelling over 100 miles an hour at times, before reporting this incident to Deputy Halstead, the Scarberry's noticed a dead dog at the side of the road. This detail seemed significant enough to the Scarberry's that they returned the next day to examine the spot beside the road where they'd seen the dead dog. This quirky item, in the midst of this strange-creature-sighting, is mentioned by John A. Keel in his book, "The Mothman Prophecies," but Keel never elaborates on any details beyond the Scarberry's returning to the spot where they saw the dead dog. It is not known why the Scarberry's would have such a vivid recollection of seeing a dead dog by the roadside during a high-speed, frightful fleeing experience - and no details are ever uncovered in Keel's book about what the Scarberry's found, if anything, upon their return to the spot where they believed they saw the dead dog.
Back to the reporting of this incident to Deputy Halstead:
Halstead had the Scarberry and Millette couples turn their vehicle around and drive back to the site where they first noticed the red eyes. Halstead followed the Scarberry vehicle and nosed around the site of the out of service old TNT factory, but found nothing amiss and no trace of the creature.
Janet and Colin Bord assert, in their book, Alien Animals, that a probable poltergeist attack happened at the Scarberry residence later on during the same night as the high speed car drive. Apparently, during this poltergeist activity, the creature was seen several times.
Sightings were reported on the next night, November 16 1966 by a number of people...
Mothman Data - Just Watch
Glowing Creature Eyes
100+ years Prior to the Point Pleasant Sighting
W. H. Smith told The New York Sun about a "winged human form" that soared over Brooklyn, NY, September 18 1877.
A bat-like man was reported to have been flying over Coney Island, Brooklyn, and these reports were offered to the New York Times publicationm by several witnesses - THREE YEARS BEFORE the W. H. Smith sighting.
Sightings of large, man-like flying figures are not unique to America. Similar sightings with like-descriptions of a leaping or flying creature or creatures have been reported in England, Brazil, Russia, and other locations.
Point Pleasant November 16 1966
By the day after the Scarberry/Mallette sightings, word of this strange occurrence had already spread to the townspeople of Point Pleasant and they weren't willing to face the next night of darkness unarmed! Several armed civilians actually went out to the ex-TNT Factory location to have a look around.
The next sighting didn't happen, as expected, involving the armed civilians, but instead, a sighting of Mothman took place with some unsuspecting travellers, who drove into the McClintic Wildlife area.
Mrs. Marcella Bennet, with her infant daughter, Teena, and Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Wamsley were all travelling together by car, intending to visit mutual friends, a Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Thomas. The Thomas couple actually lived on land inside the McClintic Wildlife area, and were housed in a bungalow located in the midst of some old TNT storehouses that had been made during WWII - called igloos - because the storehouses were dome-shaped and very much resembled igloos. Well before 1966, of course, the structures were cleared of their explosives but were never levelled because they made fine storage houses for other things - however, most of the igloos were empty. Perhaps this is significant, perhaps not, but a large mass of mostly empty storage buildings might be a great place for a Mothman to hide, don't you think?
Apparently, Mrs. Bennet and the Wamsleys weren't concerned with or aware of this last concept on November 16, 1966, when they drove to their friends' bungalow within the midst of igloos.
After a visit with the Wamsleys, as the visitors prepared to leave and return to their car, an unknown figure appeared behind their vehicle. Mrs. Bennet later gave the report that the thing seemed to have been lying down near the car, then somehow it rose slowly to an upright position. Mrs. Bennet said the figure was large and gray - with glowing red eyes. Mrs. Bennet was so shocked by the sudden appearance of this figure that she actually dropped Teena and had to pick the baby back up off the ground as this imposing, frightening figure lingered nearby.
Raymond Wamsley, who lived in the bungalow surrounded by igloos, immediately ushered everyone back indoors! As he placed a phone call to the police, the creature boldly approached the bungalow. The creature actually came right up on to the porch and peered in through the windows!
Mr. Thomas managed to successfully summon the police but by the time the police arrived, the strange figure with the glowing eyes was nowhere to be found.
What IS IT That Drops Off The Steel Frame Then Flies Away???
You'll note, if you do any Mothman research on your own, that people who have witnessed, felt, perceived of this creature in any way almost unanimously report a distinct emotional feeling or sense of DREAD.
November 24 1966: a sighting involved four individuals who said they saw something flying over the TNT area.
November 25 1966: Thomas Ury reported seeing a creature when he was driving along route 66 on the morning of November 25th. Ury claimed that the creature was standing in a field as he travelled along, just north of the TNT area, and he immediately drove into Point Pleasant. The large, unknown figure took flight and followed alongside Ury's car. Thomas Ury reported the incident immediately at the sheriff's office in Point Pleasant.
November 26 & 27 1966: Three separate sightings occurred in separate locations, Charleston, Mason, and St. Albans, West Virginia. Although these sightings occurred at a distance from the TNT area where other sightings had already been reported, descriptions of a strange creature were too similar to discount as coincidences.
In Charleston (Nov 26), a Mrs. Ruth Foster saw Mothman standing on her front lawn. Frightened, she called her brother-in-law to come and check out the situation. By the time Mrs. Foster's brother-in-law was able to examine the area, Mothman had already disappeared.
In Mason (Nov 27), in the morning, a woman was pursued by something resembling all other descriptions of Mothman. No explanation suffices to explain this occurrence, but luckily, the woman was unharmed.
In St. Albans (eve, Nov 27), two children reported seeing Mothman.
Found: Pre-Scarberry Mallette Sightings
In my online info-wanderings, I found a short blurb about a sighting of what might be "Mothman" from several days before the Scarberry/Mallette couples' sightings on November 16 1966.
Apparently, on November 12 1966, five individuals saw Mothman.
Near Clendenin, West Virginia, 5 men, including a man named, Kenneth Duncan, were working together in a cemetery. The handful of workers were preparing a gravesite for an upcoming burial when an unidentifiable creature launched skyward from some nearby trees. The figure flew overhead, and the men would later report that the thing they saw looked like a "Brown Human Being." Duncan claimed at one time that the men observed this brown human being for almost minute.
Although the men agreed that the being seemed to fly overhead, they said the flying thing did not appear to be a bird. It seemed to be a flying man or like a man with wings.
Four days after this sighting, on November 16th, the Mothman would be seen again - in a more publicized account.
More sightings of a strange mothman-like creature, prior to the Scarberry/Mallette acount have occurred.
In the early 1960s: A woman was driving near to the Ohio River, along the route 2 road, and her father was also with her. Unexpectedly, a large brown man walked right out onto the road in front of her as she neared the Chief Cornstalk Hunting Grounds. The woman slowed her car but the figure spread its two large wings and simply flew away. This incident was never reported because the witnesses didn't believe they would be believed if they ever told anyone about this experience.
In 1965: a young boy's comment is disregarded by his mother one day. He tried to tell her that he saw "an angel" outside on this occasion. The mother paid no attention to her son's comment for about a year...which is about the time that the Scarberry/Mallette sighting, then more than half a dozen more sightings of a "Mothman" occurred in November 1966. The mother and son lived in the vicinity of the Ohio River.
In summer 1966, well before the Scarberry/Mallette sighting: in the Ohio River area, a doctor's wife says she saw something she described as a six-foot long thing which resembled a "giant butterfly."
November 14: Newell Partridge of Salem said on the night of the 14th that he saw two red objects hovering over a field. Additionally, his dog, Bandit, took off into the same field. The German Shepherd was never seen again!
Did You Watch The Video?
What Is Flying Away In This Video?
Mothman Tidbits From ScaryForKids .com
What Ever Happened to Bandit, Partridge's German Shepherd?
Aside from the widely publicized accounts which circulated quickly about the Scarberry/Mallette Mothman sightings, Newell Partridge had an experience with a set of strange glowing red lights in his fields near Salem. This event occurred more than 100 miles northward of Point Pleasant.
Partridge's dog, Bandit disappeared on the night in question, and was never seen again.
What happened to Bandit?
The German Shepherd acted up on the night of November 14, then finally dashed off into the field, into the same direct vicinity as the lights that Partridge was viewing at that time.
Patridge reported that he felt terrified on the night of November 14th - and likely his terror was compounded by the fact that this ordeal also included other unexplained elements which occurred right inside his house!
* Note - it is very odd and still unexplained as to how this sighting could occur only about an hour and a half before Mothman was seen by the Scarberry/Mallette couples who were over 100 miles away.
Before Partridge saw red lights in the meadow by his home, he was inside his house and suddenly, the television set began making strange noises. The noises had the sound like a generator or some sort of mechanical motor, and almost immediately, Newell Partridge's dog, Bandit, began acting up to a significant and noticeable degree.
Bandit whined, growled some, and even began to howl, carrying on for a long time in this way when Partridge finally grabbed a flashlight and ventured a little distance outside of his home to see what was bothering Bandit so severely.
Partridge flashed the beam of his flashlight toward the two glowing red lights in the meadow, which he also described as looking like some sort of "reflectors." Shining the flashlight toward the two red lights in the field didn't offer Partridge a better view of what was out in the field at all, but before he could do much guessing, Bandit took off, dashed out into the field and toward the red reflector lights.
Even Partridge's wife would later say that Bandit's behavior was entirely odd that night, especially since the German Shepherd was a protective feature at their home but also had never been known to wander off or be out of sight of the house for more than 15 minutes or so.
No explanations exist to this day about what happened to Bandit after the Shepherd dog dashed out into the field.
Weeks later, after the freaky incident, Partrige would tell friends and family quite often that he would not be surprised to someday find the body of Bandit - expired - somewhere nearby. Partridge attempted some searches for his trusted companion several times in the weeks following the sightings of red reflector lights in the field, but he never found Bandit.
No signs of Bandit ever turned up...