Mar 15, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Mothman: The Paranormal Side of the Saga of 1966-1967 in Point Pleasant, West Virginia

A couple of days ago I wrote an article here at Mysterious Universe on the likelihood that the Loch Ness Monsters are far more paranormal in nature, rather than being flesh and blood creatures. As I see it, we can say very much the same for the Mothman, too. There was far more to the matter of what went down from 1966 to 1967 at Point Pleasant, West Virginia than just the sightings of a huge, weird winged thing. Indeed, the whole situation was steeped in the supernatural from the beginning, as you'll see now. It all started on November 12, 1966. That was when five grave-diggers working in a cemetery in the town of Clendenin saw something terrifying. They were shocked to see what they described as a "brown human shape with wings"” rise out of the thick, surrounding trees and soar off into the distance. That's right: the whole mystery began with the realm of the dead. It didn't stop there, of course. Rather, things got weirder and weirder. There were, for example, people who had prophetic dreams in and around the small city of Point Pleasant. Or, to be correct, prophetic nightmares. Strange lights were seen in the skies. John Keel came on the scene and, as a result, he got a significant degree of paranormal backlash: he received bizarre phone-calls and found himself investigating animal mutilations. And, then there were the Men in Black.

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(Nick Redfern) Historic Point Pleasant

I should stress that, for the most part, the Men in Black who descended on the people of Point Pleasant were not the government type. Not at all. These were no G-Men. They were the cadaverous, pale entities that very often had bulging eyes, bad wigs, and make-up to try and keep their true appearances hidden. In other words, they weren't locals. In fact, the exact opposite was the case. The Men in Black of Point Pleasant, West Virginia in the mid-1960s, were likely not even human, and I don't say that lightly. Moving on, there was the presence of a figure known as Indrid Cold - a creepy character who became a significant piece of John Keel's investigations. Cryptid Wiki say of Cold: "Indrid Cold, commonly known as The Smiling Man, is an allegedly humanoid entity. His name comes from his tendency to smile at those who encounter him. It is said that he still visits West Virginia to this day."

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(Nick Redfern) One of today's bridges at Point Pleasant

Then, in December 1967, Point Pleasant's "Silver Bridge" collapsed into the waters of the Ohio River, and in the process killing dozens of people. The West Virginia Department of Transportation say of the bridge and the disaster: "So-called by Point Pleasant-area residents viewing its silvery aluminum paint for the first time, the Silver Bridge was designed by J.E. Greiner Company and built by Gallia County Ohio River Bridge Company (later West Virginia-Ohio Bridge Company) and its subcontractor, U.S. Steel’s American Bridge Company. A two-lane, 1760-foot-long eyebar suspension bridge with a 700-foot main span 102 feet above the bottom of the Ohio River channel and two 380-foot anchor spans, it was completed in one year, opening to traffic on Memorial Day 1928." There is this too: "At 5 p.m. on December 15, 1967, eyewitnesses recall, there was a loud gunshot-like noise and, 'folding like a deck of cards” in less than 20 seconds, the entire 1460-foot suspended portion of the Silver Bridge collapsed into the river, taking with it 32 vehicles and 46 victims, including two whose bodies were never found."

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(Nick Redfern) Mothman: Beware

In other words, disaster, death, tragedy, strange dreams, bizarre black-suited characters, and a bizarre grinning man named Cold were all connected to this one story. Could we say that this - combined - was nothing but unfortunate coincidences? Well, I guess so. But, for me, such a strange number of bizarre events - all across around a year's time - has to have something far more to it. And, also for me, that collective "something" suggests that the Mothman was not just a large animal with an equally pair of large wings, too. As I see it, Point Pleasant itself was hit by dangerous negativity of an incredible nature. Mothman, as I see it, should not be classed as a cryptozoological creature - just like the Loch Ness Monsters shouldn't, either. Instead, from my perspective, the flying thing of Point Pleasant should be seen as a creature of supernatural proportions and who was the cause of all the mayhem and death. Seekers of mysterious animals might disagree with me.

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(Nick Redfern) Mothman, a creature of the paranormal

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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