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Sean William Scott

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Monday, October 10, 2005

My Favorite Monsters #4: Mothman 

For about a year in the late 60s, the city of Point Pleasent in West Virginia was terrorized by a strange beast. Mostly it seemed to just chase people around in their cars or look in windows at them. It was described as a bird-like creature as tall as a man, with glowing red eyes in its chest. The incidents probably would have been largely forgotten by history as just another example of the weirdness scares that seemed to pop up regularly during the height of Cold War paranoia, except for two things. One, paranormal journalist John Keel went to investigate the sightings and became intimately involved in the events (one could almost say to the point of tainting any possibility of real research ever getting done) and two, in December 1967 the Silver Bridge collapsed, killing forty-six people, an event believed to have been "predicted" by the Mothman. The explanations for what Mothman were range from the terrestial (a mutant owl), the extra-terrestrial (Aliens!), and the other dimensional (beings from a higher plane of reality inserting themselves into our three dimensional time space continuum in order to conduct experiments on us--and, oh man, do I wish I were making that last one up).

It's all bunk, of course. Oh sure, something happened in Point Pleasent. But what we're probably looking at here is the most well documented case of mass hysteria affecting a small regional area, egged on by a glory-seeking "investigator" desperate to become part of the story, and people traumitized by a disaster searching for some kind of rational explanation for what befell them.
He looks really freaking cool though.

The inevitable Wikipedia entry

The official page of the Mothman festival

Pictures from the Mothman festival

The Mothman investigation

A Mothman retrospective, with a gallery of covers of Keel's book The Mothman Prophecies (I have the one with the Frazetta cover)
The only problem with this site is that it seems to think that the damn book is any good at all. It's not.

A list of the people who have died in connection to the Mothman case

An exhaustive account of the Mothman case

Eyewitness accounts of the Mothman

Disnformation's Mothman page, with more links than you can shake a stick at

Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman responds to this Blogcritics review of the Richard Gere Mothman film based loosely on John Keel's book

This page has a picture of the Mothman action figure (it's not a doll!)

Kick ass Mothman statue

Production notes for the film The Mothman Prophecies

An article on an apparently never released Mothman film by Doug TenNapel (it doesn't look at all like a rehash of the "science=bad" tone of most of his comics work...)

Mothman sightings in Texas, by people whose names link them to the Point Pleasent case

Why do Mothman's eyes glow red

Is the Mothman a Thunderbird...because, you know, it makes more sense than four-dimensional beings messing with our heads

The Spoil-Sports Guide to Mothman

Mothman-The Band

Shoot the Mothman Flash Game

Point Pleasent, a Mothman comic from APE Entertainment

Mothman-The Entomologist


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