What is Mothman?

I absolutely loved the movie The Mothman Prophecies starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, and Will Patton.  I’ve seen it numerous times and it always manages to creep me out.  If you have not seen it, I definitely recommend it.

The movie is based loosely on the book The Mothman Prophecies by John Keel, the journalist and ufologist who coined the term “Men in Black”.  In the book, Keel writes about the reported sightings in West Virginia of a seven-foot tall winged creature known as Mothman.  While investigating these sightings and interviewing eyewitnesses, Keel experienced some interesting events of his own to include receiving some very strange and frightening phone calls (this part of the movie is one of the most frightening scenes of all time) that may or may not have been from an otherworldly being.

The eyewitness accounts he documented included such things as reports of mutilated pets and farm animals, people seeing a large winged creature with red eyes levitating outside their window, and there are even some seemingly credible accounts of people being chased by a large winged creature with red eyes while driving in their car.  The creature allegedly kept up with the car as it sped along the road at speeds nearing 100mph.

While sitings of Mothman have spanned the last 70 years, many people believe the sightings have something to do with forecasting impending disasters (ala Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant, WV) or perhaps even causing them.

Of course, there are many theories in regard to Mothman.  Some believe the creature is merely a large sandhill crane that has undergone genetic mutations caused by chemical spills and industrial waste.  Others believe the Mothman is the result of Chief Cornstalk’s 200-year curse on the town of Point Pleasant.  Some even believe the creature was summoned from beyond by some occult ritual.

No matter what your theory or explanation, the events surrounding these sightings are, at least to me, very interesting.  Keel himself was highly skeptical when it came to alleged UFO sightings and contact with the beyond, and seemed to believe the Mothman was terrestrial in origin.

At the very least his book and the “story” of the Mothman made for a really entertaining movie.

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