Cryptids: The Mothman

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All hail the Mothman, one of the most hauntingly provocative cryptids in the history of cryptozoology. Let’s start with some quick stats:


Height: 6.5- to 7-feet

Body: Half man, half bird with large wingspan and glowing red eyes

Superpowers: Flight speeds of 100+ miles per hour, reportedly shows up right before certain disasters and disappears shortly afterward

First Reported: November 12, 1966 near Point Pleasant, West Virginia

Commercial Fame: Subject of John Keel’s 1975 book The Mothman Prophecies which was later made into a movie starring Richard Gere

Possible Misidentification: Sandhill Crane, giant owl


The first reported Mothman sighting occurred on November 15, 1966, when a carload of two married couples drove by an abandoned World War II TNT factory just outside of Point Pleasant. Seeing what they thought were two red lights near the factory gates, they got out to investigate and reportedly were startled to find that the lights were in fact two large, glowing red eyes.

According to the driver, Roger Scarberry, the animal was “shaped like a man, but bigger, maybe six and a half or seven feet tall, with big wings folded against its back.” The two couples quickly got back in the car and drove away “toward Route 62, where the creature supposedly chased them at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour,” according to Wikipedia.

Countless other sightings of the creature took place at or near the TNT factory and around various parts of Point Pleasant over the next year.

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