The Legend of the Mothman
"On a chilly, fall night in November, 1966, two couples drove into the TNT area north of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, when they realized they were not alone. What they saw that night has evolved into one of the great mysteries of all time; hence the Mothman Legacy began. It has grown into a phenomenon known all over the world by millions of curious people asking questions: What really happened? What did these people see? Has it been seen since? It still sparks the world’s curiosity - the mystery behind Point Pleasant, West Virginia’s MOTHMAN."
The Mothman legend centers around a horrific event that took place in Point Pleasant on December 15, 1967. On that cold December evening, the U.S. Highway 35 Bridge, known as the Silver Bridge, collapsed (picture 3). Thirty-seven vehicles were on the Silver Bridge when it collapsed causing 31 cars to plummet into the river. Forty-six people died that night and another nine were seriously injured.
For about a year prior to the accident, residents in the Point Pleasant area had witnessed sightings of a black, man-sized bird with piercing red eyes near the bridge.
The first Mothman sighting occurred in the early 1960s, when a woman driving her car has to suddenly stop to avoid hitting what she thought was a man in the road. The figure turned to face her, its eyes glowing red from the headlights. It spread two large, thin wings and took to the air.
In 1966, the Mothman was seen multiple times and the incident that created the memorial plaque (picture 2) occurred. Two couples were driving towards Point Pleasant when they saw a tall figure on the side of the road in an area known as TNT. They told officials that it stood at least seven feet tall, had large wings folded behind its back and that it flew above their car.
Between 1966 and 1967, over 100 people stated that they saw the winged Mothman. All reports had the creature standing close to seven feet tall, with bat like wings and glowing red eyes.
The TNT area (picture 4) became known as the home of the Mothman. The TNT area is a large tract of land covered in many concrete “igloos” that were used to store ammunition during World War II. The whole area is covered in dense forest and steep hills and is riddled with tunnels, making it the perfect hideout.
The Mothman’s legacy lives on in Point Pleasant. Every year in September, the Mothman Festival is held, drawing thousands to the small local community. One of the highlights of the festival is the eerie TNT-area haunted hayride. The TNT area is literally unchanged since the Mothman sightings from throughout the 1960s. In the middle of the Gunn Park at the center of Point Pleasant, stands an imposing stainless steel statue of the Mothman (picture 6), a reminder of the black winged monster that is still claimed to appear before disasters occurring all over the world.
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