Expedition Team: Jacque Kelly, Rosie Miller, Justin Eller, Holly Miller, Dave Miller
Date:   September 15, 2018

From November 1966 to December 1967 the city of Point Pleasant, WV and surrounding countryside is gripped by real life terror which culminated in a bridge collapse that made headlines across the world.  The city received national focus due to claims of UFO sightings, domestic animals found slaughtered, Men in Black visiting town and reports of a red eyed flying creature shaped like a man with wings.
CREATURE SIGHTINGS: On Nov. 15, 1966 around 11:30pm, two local young couples parked by a former WWII TNT plant, first witnessed the illusive cryptid.  They described it as a seven foot tall man with wings tips just above his shoulders with red glowing, hypnotic eyes.  Scared to death they drove the eight miles back to Point Pleasant as the winged creature followed them several miles in the air.  Over the next 13 months, countless sightings of the creature took place.                                                                         

UFO SIGHTINGS: during the 13 months following the first sighting of Mothman, a UFO flap took place as over 100 sightings of unidentifiable lights in the sky, on land or close encounters of the fourth kind took place at or within 60 miles of Point Pleasant.
MIB SIGHTINGS: Investigative author John Keel, who was investigating the sightings, coined the MIB name as local newspaper reporter Mary Hyre and many local residents who had UFO sightings were mysteriously visited by men wearing black suits, sunglasses & driving well keep classic cars.  The MIB’s spoke broken English & told witnesses to forget what they saw.
BRIDGE DISASTER: On Dec. 15, 1967, thirteen months to the day of the first Mothman sighting, the large steel span bridge crossing the Ohio River between Gallipolis, Ohio and Point Pleasant WV, collapsed during evening Christmas shopping rush hour with the bridge overloaded with bumper to bumper vehicles due to a malfunctioning stop light.  All trucks & cars plunged into the river killing 46 people with two people still missing.  However, the death toll now stands at 84 as people who have had UFO or Mothman sightings or have investigated the mystery including newspaper reporter Mary Hyre have all died mysteriously or not long after the disaster.
INVESTIGATION: We were in town for the annual Mothman Festival. Spoke to Mothman Museum Director Jeff Wamsley.   The museum contains handwritten eyewitness accounts of creature & UFO sightings plus newspaper articles from 1966 & 1967.
We took a bus out to the former WWII TNT site where the first and a few other Mothman sightings took place. The plants used to manufacture 700,000 tons of TNT per day for the Army in the 1940’s.  Although the large plants are torn down, dozens of the bunkers where the TNT were stored are still standing. The bunkers are well hidden in trees and foliage but are structurally sound as each have four foot thick walls.  It is very eerie to stand in them with all lights turned off and listen to your echo.  Outside in the evening the entire area is creepy and isolated.  The polluted, green ponds surround many bunkers.
We all visited the site of the silver bridge disaster and memorial erected there. The official cause of the collapse of the old, 1928 built bridge, was due to the 13th eyebar breaking.  Not far away is a 12 foot tall metallic statue of the winged Mothman creature.
It was fascinating to tour all of the major sites where this paranormal experience took place 51 years ago.  There is compelling evidence from hundreds of witnesses.  Some people think Mothman was some sort or angel or messenger forecasting the future bridge collapse.  Was this a case of mass hysteria or a series of unexplained phenomina that terrifying Point Pleasant residents and the surrounding West Virginia & Ohio countryside?

I recommend reading three books on Mothman:  “Mothman: The Facts Behind the Legend” by Jeff Wamsley & Donnie Sargeant;  “Mothman: Behind the Red Eyes” by Jeff Wamsley:  “The Mothman Prophecies” by John Keel.

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