Their report at the sheriff’s office that night was soon collaborated with frightening accounts from many more witnesses. Described by many as between 7 and 10 feet tall, with glowing red eyes and gigantic wings that were powerful enough to propel it alongside speeding cars filled with terrorized witnesses as they sped down Highway 62, the Mothman’s legend grew with each new encounter. In fear, townspeople tried to sort out what they had seen. Some believed the thing was an alien, others the angry spirit of murdered Shawnee Chief Cornstalk, back from the grave to exact revenge on his killers’ descendants. A few skeptics dubbed the creature a Sandhill Crane and slept easier than most that year. Accounts continued to pile on the Sheriff’s desk until the night of the tragic bridge collapse. Grieving and in shock, the townsfolk of Point Pleasant were suddenly focussed on this senseless loss of life, and talk of the Mothman dwindled away.
As the town began to recover, however, the absence of more sightings was taken as a sign that the Mothman had been either the cause of the tragedy or a harbinger of the doom that had followed his appearance. Ever-widening circles of speculation soon began to draw interest from elsewhere, and over the years, Point Pleasant’s Mothman has become one of the most widely researched paranormal entities in the U.S., spawning several documentaries, research papers and books, the most well-known being Richard Keel’s “The Mothman Prophecies”, originally published in 1975 by The Saturday Review Press. In 2002 Lakeshore Entertainment released a film version starring Richard Gere.
Has the Mothman returned to its otherworldly lair? In May 2010 homes in Point Pleasant were shaken when one of the storage bunkers at the old TNT factory was unexpectedly destroyed in an explosion. Both State and Federal authorities have closed down access to the area until further notice.
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