The mothman is a legendary creature that was first reported with sightings from November 12, 1966 through December 15, 1967 in the Point Pleasant area of West Virginia. On November 16, 1966, the local newspaper published a report of two couples seeing the creature.

It was described as a large white winged man with glowing red eyes. The wings had a ten-foot span and it followed their car as they drove outside of town, according to their report.

Over the period from the initial sighting on November 12, where five men claimed to see a man-like figure fly low over their heads, to the collapse of the Silver Bridge on December 15, 1967, there were hundreds of sightings claimed to be the mothman.

After the bridge’s collapse, there were no more sightings of the creature. It was believed that the mothman sightings were somehow connected to the bridge.

There have been several different explanations for the mothman.

On the paranormal side, the creature was believed to be an alien, a supernatural being, or an unknown species.

In the aftermath of the first reported sightings, hoaxes arose as well as misidentifications reported as being the mothman.

One such explanation, is the Sandhill Crane which fit’s the mothman’s description. It is a large crane, as tall as a man and has around a seven foot wingspan. It also has reddish circles around its eyes that could contribute to the glowing feature. One may have wandered away from its normal migratory route, according to some skeptics. Other misidentifications could have been from a large barn owl or an albino owl and the glowing eyes were just a reflection of light.

The mothman has been featured in many books, TV shows, film, games and music.

Notables include season five, episode four of the X-Files; video games Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow and Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin; a 2002 film The Mothman Prophecies, which was based on John Keel’s book of the same name published in 1975.

In 2002, Point Pleasant held its first annual Mothman Festival. In 2003, a 12-foot metal statue of the mothman was unveiled. A mothman museum and research center opened in 2005.

Image Caption: Mothman statue erected in Point Pleasant, WV in 2003. Credit: Snoopywv/Wikipedia