Sep 13, 2023 I Nick Redfern

Mothman & Our Dangerous Future. The Red-Eyed Thing is Back: Nick Redfern's New Book

When I was just ten-years-old, I read a book that that became an absolute classic. In fact, it was an epic production of the occult, the paranormal, the cryptoterrestrial and the supernatural. And altogether combined. As for the “leading character” in the book, he had a pair of burning eyes and gargoyle-style wings. You know who we’re talking about. The title remains unforgettable when you’ve read the book and seen the various, spectacular artwork to back it up. The name: The Mothman Prophecies. The author of this production was the late John Alva Keel, the author of a great, adventurous book called Jadoo. The book company said of Keel’s Jadoo that “…From the Upper Nile to the to the lower Ganges and the Roof of the World in Tibet, John Keel traveled in search of Jadoo – the black magic of the Orient – and had some of the most fantastic experiences ever to appear on the printed page.” Wow! Impressive! Even at my early time, I knew I was set for a life like that. There simply was nothing else I could do: it was adventure or zero. Now, back to The Mothman Prophecies. The book told of the wild, sinister 1966-1967 story of a menacing red-eyed, winged monster that plagued the little city of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. And the word “prophecies” became very apt. It wasn’t long before people around the town were having nightmarish dreams of disaster, chaos and even death. And, no less, some of those grim prophecies came to absolute realities. The flying monster had carefully placed itself in the city – and by both day and night. And, now, Mothman is back and dangerous.

(Nick Redfern)  Dangerous and Deadly: Mothman

Just before Christmas of 1967, there was death on the Ohio River. Or, rather, I should say there was death under the waters. On the evening of December 15, forty-six people drowned when the Silver Bridge – that spanned the Ohio River – collapsed. After the awful disaster, the sightings of Mothman dropped hugely. Since then, there have only been sporadic sightings of Mothman in and around – and in other parts of West Virginia. To this day, there are many who believe the cause of the death and the mayhem was due to Mothman. A real-life grim-reaper gone insane? Perhaps. There’s another thing, too: some of those prophecies proved to be true. Just as worse: that monster is back. The red-eyed monster that surfaced at Point Pleasant in the 1960s was intent on killing dozens of people. And, very unfortunately, it worked. Today’s Mothman, however, wants to vaporize billions of people on our planet. That, in essence, is the absolute crux of this book. Over the last six years I have come to know that more and more people are having terrifying nightmares in the dead of night. In most of the imagery, it’s of nuked cities flattened, and with civilization utterly over. Everywhere. And that’s where this story goes: Images of both Mothman and nuclear destruction. Unfortunately, today’s Mothman is far more fierce and deadlier than the monster of 1966-1967. It has nothing less than global nuclear war on its warped mind.

On the day of August 21, 2017, I received these fascinating – yet worrying - words from Jacqueline Bradley: “A few days ago I had a dream that several nuclear events occurred – in my dream. I remember the term ‘thermonuclear.’ There were several of these events popping up. Indeed, they appeared to be everywhere. Jacqueline said there were small versions of what we would ordinarily be aware of. No one seemed to be very perturbed by these and people were just walking around, occasionally looking around and watching these. Jacqueline continued with her story: “I was aware that if you were caught up in one [of these events] and died it killed off your soul or spirit, too. All this was happening in broad daylight on sunny days. The dream ended where I was in some kind of alley with an old fashioned dustbin nearby. Suddenly, I found myself ‘sinking’ or evaporating and woke up. I wasn’t scared by the dream, just puzzled. I, too, connected it with the tensions in North Korea."

Back in early June of 2017, a man named Andy Berry had a horrible dream of being in a deserted version of London, England. The city was not destroyed or in flames. It was, said Andy, that the population had been “evacuated.” It was an interesting phrase to use. Well, I say the city was deserted. It was, except for two things: one was the sight of “a massive, big black bird over [the Houses of] Parliament.”   Then, as Andy walked the streets, trying to figure out what on Earth had happened, he had that feeling we all get from time to time; of someone watching them. He turned around to see a man in a black trench-coat right behind him. The man was pale, gaunt and – as Andy worded it – “he had a funny smile.” Andy’s description of the “Creeper” sounded very much like a certain, sinister M.I.B.-like character in the saga of the Mothman story. You might already have thought who I meant. Yes: Indrid Cold. Andy, then, woke up with his heart pounding and his mouth dry, and relieved that it had just been a dream, after all. Or, was it something more than just a dream? A parallel London to the London that he lived in? Was it possible? Whatever the answers were, Andy said he would do his best to find all the answers. He never did get back to me. I’m not really surprised. 

Later, I had received a total of twenty-seven dreams - of the destruction of Chicago and of other U.S. cities - via Facebook, my blog, and email. Of those twenty-seven, nineteen were from people in the United States, three from Canada, two from the U.K., two from Australia, and one from Mexico. Of the twenty-seven nightmares, twenty-three of them occurred in the previous three months. I continued with my statistics. By 2020, things were really wild - and disturbing, too.  By late August, I had received a total of twenty-seven dreams - of the destruction of Chicago and of other U.S. cities - via Facebook, my blog, and email. Of those twenty-seven, nineteen were from people in the United States, three from Canada, two from the U.K., two from Australia, and one from Mexico. Of the twenty-seven nightmares, twenty-three of them occurred in the previous three months. I continued with my statistics.

(Nick Redfern) Downtown Point Pleasant

There is another aspect to all of this matter of Mothman and nuclear war. Over a time of eight weeks, no less than nine people contacted me after they had terrifying experiences in their sleep. In every one of the nightmares, the United States was destroyed by gigantic explosions, and across the whole U.S.: “Mushroom” blasts, of course.  But, who initiated it all? In the dreams, no-one knew because all of the United States’ military arsenal was flattened and unable to respond. None of the United States’ nukes could be launched. Planes couldn’t take to the sky. Cars and trucks were frozen. Laptops were dead. U.S. Military submarines sunk to the beds of the oceans, unable to help. All the electricity was lost just before the attacks. And there never would be any electric again. 

Three of those eight people saw in their nightmares huge, black birds circling in a dust-filled atmosphere. There is, however, a very important question that has to be addressed: How could the United States have been flattened by Russia? Or, were the Chinese the culprits? North Korea? Maybe, they had all joined together to destroy the United States. I realized immediately what had happened. There was only one answer for all this. It was the science of electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) technology. EMP has the ability to totally paralyze technology of all kinds and across miles. Thankfully, those dreams were just that: dreams. But, in the real world, EMP weaponry can, indeed, bring down the most powerful technology to the ground. Were those EMP dreams really just dreams? I hope so. 

Now, let’s take a look at what the U.S. Government says about Electromagnetic Pulse technology. On September 6, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released this statement: "Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a report of operational approaches to protect the National Public Warning System from an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). The report is a collaborative effort between the DHS Science and Technology (S&T), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Program, and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). The report summarizes recommendations that federal, state, local agencies, and private sector critical infrastructure owners and operators can employ to protect against the effects of an EMP event:

"Electromagnetic pulses, whether caused by an intentional EMP attack or a naturally occurring geomagnetic disturbance from severe space weather, could disrupt critical infrastructure such as the electrical grid, communications equipment, water and wastewater systems, and transportation modes,” said Kathryn Coulter Mitchell, DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “This could impact millions of people over large parts of the country. It is critical to protect against the potential damage an EMP event could cause."  The National Public Warning System ensures the President of the United States can communicate with Americans in the event of a national emergency. The FEMA IPAWS Program equips 77 private sector radio broadcast stations with EMP-protected backup transmitters, communications equipment, and power generators that would enable the station to broadcast national emergency information to the public in the event of an EMP event." These stations represent a key public-private sector partnership and serve as the primary sources for a national emergency broadcast during a catastrophic disaster, said Antwane Johnson, FEMA IPAWS Program Director. The stations are located across the country providing radio broadcast coverage to more than 90 percent of U.S. population. 

"As part of a broader DHS effort to ensure critical infrastructure and emergency response systems are protected against EMPs, FEMA conducted high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) testing on the NPWS equipment to evaluate its operational resiliency. The testing confirmed the effectiveness of protection for NPWS stations, showing they could withstand the effects of an EMP in accordance with military specifications. Protecting critical assets from EMP is part of a larger DHS effort to assess and mitigate EMP risk in both the public and private sector, said Acting CISA Assistant Director Mona Harrington. CISA remains committed to working with our partners to implement requirements outlined in the Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses, which strengthens our nation’s preparedness from EMP. The best practices and design principles noted in the Electromagnetic Pulse Shielding Mitigations report can be implemented by critical infrastructure owners and operators who seek to secure their assets against EMP in a similar manner to the NPWS equipment.

With all this going down, there had to be something: a road-trip. Although I’ve been to Point Pleasant on many occasions – usually to give lectures at the yearly festival in town - my trip to the city in 2017 was more like a road-trip, something I love. There was several of us: me, Lyle Blackburn, Ken Gerhard and several friends. They are devotees of road-trips, too. The drive there (and back) is beyond long; but it’s always worth it. So, we filled our vehicle with all the things we needed and hit the road. We rolled into town – slightly blearily-eyed and frazzled from a lack of sleep – around 5:00 p.m., checked into our motel, and then, as darkness fell, headed out to a local pizza eatery. There were about twenty of us there, including John and Tim Frick, who I first met at the September 2014 Mothman gig. If you don’t know the Frick brothers, you should. Not only do the brothers know just about everything when it comes to Mothman history, they also know the town itself very well. And, particularly, the many and varied landmarks which are linked to the story of Mothman. Around 8:00 p.m., they took us –with other friends – to the old, so-called TNT area, which has played such an integral role in the Mothman saga. As we left the pizza place, a full-blown convoy of vehicles followed Tim and John, as we traveled along small, winding, tree-shrouded, roads to the scene of the old action. No surprise, there was an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation in the increasingly chilly air.

(Nick Redfern) One of Point Pleasant's various bridges

For those who may not know, the TNT area’s official title is the McClintic Wildlife Management Area. It’s situated around five miles north of the town of Point Pleasant and runs to more than 3,500 acres. At the height of the Second World War, a TNT processing plant was established in the area, with the volatile chemicals used to create it stored in a series of concrete, igloo-like buildings. It was the work of around 3,500 U.S. Army personnel and, at the time, was known as the West Virginia Ordnance Works. Today, the plant is no more. The only things left now are the crumbling foundations and a couple of sturdy, metal, perimeter-gates and a rusted metal fence. During daylight, it’s an inviting and picturesque area, filled with densely-packed trees, a plethora of wildlife – such as deer, raccoons and beavers – and numerous ponds, pools and small lakes. After dark, however, things are very different. The atmosphere of menace, which was so present back in the sixties, is still there – utterly refusing to relinquish its icy grip on the people of Point Pleasant. And, the TNT locale is gone.   

Having checked out what was left of the old plant, we all followed John and Tim to a specific stretch of heavily wooded ground, parked our vehicles, and were given an excellent and atmospheric tour of the igloos and their surroundings. I have to say the whole thing reminded me of something straight out of The Walking Dead: a ruined, overgrown environment, a once bustling area now utterly dead and abandoned, and an almost apocalyptic air that one could practically cut with a knife. The military was nowhere in sight, and the igloos were decaying, covered in foliage, and splattered with graffiti, both old and new. Me and a good friend, Denise, broke off from the main group and checked out some of the igloos, which was a profoundly memorable experience: the size and shape of the igloos cause a person’s voice to echo loudly and very oddly within their dark confines. Plus, we felt a deep sense of malignancy in the old buildings – a sense which was as immediate as it was long-lasting. You could almost taste the menace, if such a thing were possible. 

Notably, there was some evidence that supernatural rites and rituals had been undertaken in some of the igloos, which I found most intriguing. It was near these very same igloos that so many of the Mothman sightings occurred in 1966 and 1967 – involving, it should be noted, witnesses who soon found themselves in the cold clutches of the Men in Black. Denise and I walked around, in near-darkness, for a couple of hours, with little more than the bright Moon for illumination, taking in the atmosphere and imagining what it must have been like decades ago earlier. A few scurrying animals and the cries of a handful of geese flying overhead were pretty much the only things that convinced us we hadn’t entered some strange portal – a doorway to an unsettling, dead world. After a while, we caught up with the rest of the gang. We hit the darkness-filled roads and headed back to our motels. It had been a cool night of high-strangeness. Two days later we were on the road again, heading back to our homes. It was another great weekend.

Moving on: A few years ago, I spent quite a lot of time focusing on the phenomenon of the Djinn. And, much of that same work was done with the help of the late Rosemary Ellen Guiley. The reason was because Rosemary was sure that many so-called “cryptid” creatures – such as Bigfoot, the Dog-Man, lake-monsters, the Hat-Man, Alien Big Cats, Phantom Black Dogs, and much more – were really Djinn in different forms. A fascinating theory. After all, the Djinn is known as an expert shapeshifter. The theory made a lot of sense. It still does. Talking of sense: I recommend that you read Rosemary’s book, The Vengeful Djinn. Of all the many and varied shapeshifters that populate our world, there is no doubt that the most feared and dreaded of all are the Djinn. They are extremely dangerous and manipulative entities that can take on various forms, and just as they see fit. It is ironic that the Djinn, in reality, is such a feared and powerful creature. The irony stems from the fact that popular culture and the world of entertainment have collectively dumbed down the nature, power, and dark characters of the Djinn. This is very much as a result of the production of the likes of the 1960s television show, I Dream of Jeannie, and the 1992 Disney movie, Aladdin. There is, however, nothing amusing or lighthearted about the real Djinn. They are the ultimate shapeshifting nightmares. And they will do all they can to get their claws into us – and particularly so if we are reckless enough to invite or invoke them. In short: Rosemary believed that Mothman is a Djinn.

Now, let's have a look at what the late Brad Steiger new about all this. It was one of the strangest of all the situations I’ve been in, although, I certainly didn’t know it at the time. The key figure in this story? I’ll tell you. It was Brad Steiger. Yes, that Brad Steiger. As many of you’ll know, Brad was someone who was knowledgeable in many aspects of the supernatural, the paranormal, the cryptozoological, the conspiratorial, the ufological, the ghostly and much more. It was one day when Brad and I were talking about the possibility of writing a book together. We had already written one book as a duo, The Zombie Book. So, working with Brad was certainly no problem, at all. There was, though, another thing: on one of the days when we were chatting, I said to Brad that he should really write a book on Mothman. Brad, of course, had realized the 50th anniversary of the Mothman phenomenon would be coming in the next year, 2017. It just might have been be a good time to write a book on John Keel’s red-eyed monster. But, there was a sense of doom, Brad said.  

First, Brad suggested to me I should take a look at his 1976 book, Psychic City Chicago. Brad also suggested that it might be a good thing if I were to write my own Mothman book. Admittedly, I had thought of the idea. Brad, though, had something else to say. It went something like this: “Nick, read that book; you’ll need it for next year [the 50th anniversary of the Mothman anniversary, of course]. I asked: “Why?” Apparently, because Brad had been having horrible dreams of…nuclear war. Holy crap. And, he had been feeling he needed to look back to his 2011 book, Real Monsters, Gruesome Critters, And Beasts From The Darkside. Notably, Brad’s book has more than a bit of Mothman-monster-material in its pages. 

There’s no doubt that the “flying humanoid” phenomenon is a real one. It might have been here, on Earth, for centuries. Millennia, possibly.” Maybe, forever. Who can say for sure? As we’ve seen, their names include Mothman, the Vietnam winged woman, the Houston Batman, the Batsquatch, the Owlman, the Yorkshire Pterodactyl and numerous more. Not only that, those creatures of the skies are tied to disaster and death – and not just to Point Pleasant. Monster-seeker Jonathan Downes had to leave – and quickly leave - his interest in the matter of the Owlman of England for the sake of his health and his life. And, Jon did stay away, such were his fears of those sky-creatures. Remember that: these monsters are experts when it comes to paranormal backlash, as Jon called it. And, they won’t fail to use it when they need it. There’s also the matter of these entities being able to alter their forms, as we’ve seen. We’re talking about creatures that can morph their forms. For example, the good folk of Point Pleasant have seen giant-sized, bird-like animals over their homes. Others have encountered bat-type things. Then, there are those who - over Point Pleasant - suggest these creatures are Native American Thunderbirds. Think of the Houston Batman that was seen back in the 1950s: that was a definitive humanoid with wings. But, nothing like a Thunderbird. The creatures might look somewhat different, but the wings are always there. As are those red eyes. They will always be here. Everywhere.

Maybe, Mothman was lurking around in Texas, back in the early 1950s. From the pages of my new book there is this: "There’s no doubt the story of what became known as the Houston Batman is a fascinating one. This critter was possibly the closest to Mothman when it comes to appearances. It all went down in the early 1950s and created terror and mayhem for a while in the area. In 2022, I decided to take a drive down to Houston and find the area where the monster was seen back in 1953. Sadly, the landscape of today is not what it was back then. In other words, the buildings near to where the creature was seen in 1953 are long gone: “Knocked down to the ground” is a better phrase. At least I managed to get the full story and save it. Here it is: "Certainly, one of the most bizarre of all the many and varied strange beings that haunts the lore and legend of Texas is that which became known, albeit very briefly, as the Houston Batman. The most famous encounter with the beast took place during the early morning hours of June 18, 1953. Given the fact that it was a hot and restless night, twenty three year old housewife Hilda Walker, and her neighbors, fourteen year old Judy Meyer and thirty three year old tool plant inspector Howard Phillips, were sitting on the porch of Walker’s home, located at 118 East Third Street in the city of Houston."

"Walker stated of what happened next: “…twenty five feet away I saw a huge shadow across the lawn. I thought at first it was the magnified reflection of a big moth caught in the nearby street light. Then the shadow seemed to bounce upward into a pecan tree. We all looked up. That’s when we saw it.” She went on to describe the entity as being essentially man like in shape, sporting a pair of bat style wings, dressed in a black, tight-fitting outfit, and surrounded by an eerie, glowing haze. The trio all confirmed that the monstrous form stood about six and a half feet tall and also agreed that the strange glow engulfing him was yellow in color. The Batman vanished when the light slowly faded out and right about the time that Meyer issued an ear-splitting scream. Mrs. Walker also recalled the following: “Immediately afterwards, we heard a loud swoosh over the house tops across the street. It was like the white flash of a torpedo-shaped object… I’ve heard so much about flying saucer stories and I thought all those people telling the stories were crazy, but now I don’t know what to believe. I may be nuts, but I saw it, whatever it was… I sat there stupefied. I was amazed.” Meyer added to the newspaper that: “I saw it, and nobody can say I didn’t.” Phillips, meanwhile, was candid in stating the following: “I can hardly believe it. But I saw it… we looked across the street and saw a flash of light rise from another tree and take off like a jet.” For her part, Walker reported the incident to local police the following morning.

As a former resident of Houston, monster-hunter Ken Gerhard made valiant attempts to locate the address on East Third Street where the event took place and discovered that it is no longer in existence. It has seemingly been overtaken by the expansion of the nearby Interstate 10. Strangely, and perhaps even appropriately, the location has apparently vanished into the void – much like the Batman did, for a while at least. Several years after he first heard about the exploits of the Batman, a close friend of Gerhard told him about the experience of a number of employees at Houston’s Bellaire Theater, who claimed to have seen a gigantic, helmeted man, crouched down and attempting to hide on the roof of a downtown city building late one night during the 1990s. Perhaps, in view of this latter day development, we should seriously consider the possibility that the Houston Batman made a return appearance. Or, maybe, it never went away at all. Instead, possibly, it has been lurking deep within the shadows of Houston, Texas for more than half a century, carefully biding its time, and only surfacing after the sun has set, and when overwhelming darkness dominates the sprawling metropolis.

So, you've seen more and more about the new Mothman. Or, of the original revamped one. Perhaps, we should recognize Mothman as a Djinn. A shapeshifter? The scenarios are fascinating - and sinister, too.

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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