A mysterious, winged entity equipped with a pair of glowing, red eyes, the Mothman of Point Pleasant, West Virginia is undoubtedly the most infamous of all the many and varied sky-beasts that have made a name for themselves within the annals of cyptozoology and monster-hunting. Its mid-1960s manifestations ominously coincided with a massive wave of UFO incidents, encounters with the dreaded Men in Black, and a whole range of high-strangeness of a mind-boggling nature – all of which chose to descend upon the unfortunate city, and the people too, of Point Pleasant.
The bizarre series of events came to an absolute climax on December 15, 1967, when the city’s Silver Bridge that crossed the Ohio River and connected Point Pleasant to Gallipolis, Ohio, broke away from its moorings and plunged into the river, tragically taking with it nearly fifty lives. Although a down to earth explanation was most definitely in evidence – that a problem with a single eye-bar in a suspension chain was to blame – many took the view, and still to this day continue to take the view, that the Mothman was behind it all. Or, perhaps was trying to warn the people of the area of the impending doom that loomed large. But what of latter day times: do such similar things still fly and terrorize? Maybe so and, perhaps, even outside of the United States, too.
What was without any shadow of a doubt the strangest of all stories of an unidentified flying entity seen in the skies of England surfaced on February 19, 2009. Mike Lockley, then the editor of the now-closed Chase Post newspaper – which covered the Staffordshire, England town of Cannock - stated that nothing less than a flying man-thing had been seen soaring over and around the nearby Cannock Chase woods! Before we get to the heart of the strange saga, it’s worth noting that the Cannock Chase, a large area of heath-land and forest, has been a veritable hotbed of high-strangeness of a monstrous kind for decades. Sightings of large, black cats with glowing eyes, spectral black hounds, Bigfoot-type beasts, werewolf-style entities, and even what are described as giant snakes have been seen deep in the heart of the Cannock Chase. In that sense, the flying monster-man of the Cannock Chase was just the latest in a long line of bizarre creatures to surface in, and above, those dense and mysterious woods. And, now, with that said, back to the story.
“Five locals have contacted the Post after witnessing the figure traveling, seemingly unaided, over houses at around 11am on Sunday, February 8. One described it as a ‘Superman’ moment - a clear case of ‘to Chadsmoor and beyond,’” said the newspaper. Mike Lockley added: “But eagle-eyed Boney Hay villager Clive Wright believes those who reckon they witnessed something supernatural are talking a load of kryptonite. The 68-year-old, who spotted the flying man from the living room window of his Sunnymead Road home, believes the pilot was traveling with the aid of a jet pack - a strap-on engine made famous in the 1965 James Bond movie, Thunderball.
“Clive’s wife, Janet, 68, and 14-year-old grandson Nicholas also witnessed the Chase’s own rocket man. Clive said: ‘To say it was strange would be an understatement. And the bottle didn’t come into it because none of us drink. At first I was watching quite a number of seagulls and noticed what I thought was one in the middle moving quite slowly. I got up to take a closer look and realized it was a flying man. I searched the sky for the plane he had baled-out of, but could see nothing.’”
The Post additionally quoted Clive Wright as saying: “All I could see was this man traveling in a controlled, straight line, traveling from Ryecroft shops across to Gentleshaw Common. I immediately went upstairs to get my binoculars and went out on the backyard, but he was gone. Some kind of Dan Dare spaceman - that’s what it looked like. The only explanation is that he was wearing a jet pack, although I was surprised he was traveling over a densely populated area.” Whether an intrepid flyer equipped with a startlingly high-tech piece of aerial gadgetry (for that time, 2009), or something else entirely, the mystery of Staffordshire’s flying whatever-it-was remains.