The state of West Virginia has played home to one of the most bizarre "pseudo-cryptids" ever reported, the unusual - but by no means, unique - Mothman.

is a legendary creature reportedly seen in the Point Pleasant area of West Virginia from 15 November 1966 to 15 December 1967. The first newspaper report was published in the Point Pleasant Register dated 16 November 1966, entitled "Couples See Man-Sized Bird...Creature...Something".

The Mothman or men are described as humanoid creatures standing between 7 and 8 feet tall. They possess wings and red eyes and are sometimes seen with no head and eyes located in their chest. In the documented reports of them they are not described as looking like a moth at all - the term Mothman was coined by the press. The creatures are also said to emit a piercing shriek at times.

The most famous Mothman sighting was in the area of Point Pleasant, West Virginia in November, 1966 by a Newell Partridge. Mr Partridge was watching TV in his rural home when some interference appeared on the screen and his dog began violently barking outside. Upon leaving the house he found his dog running circles around a tall figure with wings and red eyes. Mr Partridge went back in the house to get a gun but found himself so frightened he was unable to go back outside until dawn. He never saw his dog again.

About an hour later two young couples with their cousin first saw the creature on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory near Point Pleasant. The creature flew after them at speeds of more than 100 miles an hour until they reached the city limits. They saw a dead dog on the side of the road during this experience which may have been Mr Partridge's missing dog. They reported the sighting to the local police who considered them reputable but found no sign of the creature. The family of one of the couples reported poltergeist activity and more sightings of the creatures later that same night at their home.

For the next year there were many reported sightings of the Mothman in the Point Pleasant area. People also reported vivid and disturbing nightmares (many of which were precog dreams of the Silver Bridge collapse), mysterious and frightening visits to people's homes by "Men In Black" as well as strange phone calls. Most of the witnesses (including those who saw the creature multiple times) report that they felt no malice from the creature only that it was making an attempt to communicate. The creature was often seen hovering over the Silver Bridge which connected Point Pleasant with Gallipolis, Ohio.

. On December 15, 1967 the Silver Bridge collapsed suddenly killing 46 people. Investigation into the collapse stated that the failure of one eye bar (due to a manufacturing flaw) in the suspension chain caused the collapse. After the disaster Mothman sightings diminished quickly until there were no more.

A book was written and a movie made about the events in Point Pleasant.

Other Mothman sightings (as well as similar reported events including disturbing and precog dreams and strange phone calls) have been reported before other major disasters including the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York City and the explosive failure of the Chernobyl Nuclear Generating Station in the USSR (now Ukraine). This leads many people to believe that the Mothman (men) only appear before a major disaster probably in an attempt to warn people. There are even claims that the Mothman appeared appeared before such historical disasters as the great San Francisco earthquake, the Great Chicago Fire, the Hindenburg explosion and the sinking of the Titanic.

Theories put forward include that the Mothman(men) are either a highly evolved member(s) of an alien race or possibly something purely supernatural along the lines of angels coming to (or sent to) Earth in an attempt to save lives or prevent disasters. Some would say they fail miserably at their job but remember if they do succeed and the disaster is stopped how would we mere humans know - just a little food for thought.

The only even mildly credible non-paranormal explanation for the Mothman is the Sandhill Crane. A bird that stands nearly 6 feet tall and does emit a piercing cry. Other explanations include owls - although a 6 to 8 foot owl would also fit into the realms of cryptozoology.

All over the internet there have been reports of the moth man before a major catastraphy has happened

September 11, 2001: New York City. A large, winged creature was reportedly seen flying from the World Trade Centre Towers on the day of the infamous terrorist attack.

2001: The creature was also reported in Sedalia, Missouri, in Camden, Maine and in Mawnan, Cornwall, England.

2002: The creature was reported in San Diego, California.

2003: Mothman was reportedly seen in Orizaba, Veracruz, Mexico.

2004: It was reported in Valles de la Salle, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico; Standing Rock Indian Reservation, Ziebach County, South Dakota; Newport, Tennessee and in Martinez, California.

2005: A large, man-shaped bird creature was reported in Cache, Comanche County, Oklahoma; Washington County, Pennsylvania and in San Marcos, California.

2006: There were a large number of Mothman sightings in Mexico, Canada, England, Poland, Argentina, Brazil, Russia and all across the United States.

recent Mothman sightings up to and including 2010, none of the reports have been verified as authentic and the credibility of the witness is not questioned.


Skeptic Joe Nickell says that a number of hoaxes followed the publicity generated by the original reports, such as a group of construction workers who tied red flashlights to helium balloons. Nickell attributes the Mothman reports to pranks, misidentified planes, and sightings of a barred owl, an albino owl, or perhaps a large snowy owl, suggesting that the Mothman's "glowing eyes" were actually red-eye effect caused from the reflection of light from flashlights or other bright light sources.

Folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand notes that Mothman has been widely covered in the popular press, some claiming sightings connected with UFOs, and others claiming that a military storage site was Mothman's "home". Brunvand notes that recountings of the 1966-67 Mothman reports usually state that at least 100 people saw Mothman with many more "afraid to report their sightings", but observed that written sources for such stories consisted of children's books or sensationalized or undocumented accounts that fail to quote identifiable persons. Brunvand found elements in common among many Mothman reports and much older folk tales, suggesting that something real may have triggered the scares and became woven with existing folklore. He also records anecdotal tales of Mothman supposedly attacking the roofs of parked cars inhabited by teenagers in lovers lanes