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Artist's depiction of the Mothman.

In 1966 and 1967, individuals in Point Pleasant, West Virginia reported seeing a large winged humanoid. This creature was described as a brown human with moth or bat-like wings and red eyes set into its chest.[1] The press deemed this creature "Mothman" in November of 1966, and the name has stuck ever since.[2]

Over the years, witnesses in various locations have reported Mothman-like creatures, differing only slightly from the classic Mothman description. For the sake of simplicity, this article covers all Mothman-like entities.



Mothman witnesses usually report the following characteristics:

  • Brown skin.
  • Glowing red eyes, inset into chest. The eyes were described as "reflective."
  • Wings folded up on the back or extended like a bird.
  • Six or seven feet tall.[3]
  • Extremely fast in flight, but clumsy while running.[4]
  • Associated with radio/electronic disturbances - Mothman witnesses report loss of TV reception or the failure of radio communications equipment.

Point Pleasant Sightings

A dome that used to hold chemicals and munitions in the TNT Area. Source: [[1]]

The most famous sightings of Mothman occurred in the "TNT area" of Point Pleasant, which was named such because it consisted of 100+ domes that used to contain munitions in World War II.[5] This has led to some speculation that the Mothman, for some reason, may have chosen that area because of the chemicals buried underground.

The first Point Pleasant sighting took place on November 14th, 1966. Newell Partridge, a Point Pleasant resident, was watching television at home around 10:30PM when the television turned to static and he heard a loud noise outside. His dog began to howl in the direction of his barn, and Partridge saw two red eyes glowing near the barn. The dog ran in the direction of the eyes, and Newell locked himself inside his house. In the morning, Newell found numerous dog tracks outside, but he never found his dog.[6]

Another, more detailed, sighting took place the next night (November 15th, 1966). This sighting was reported by two couples, Mr. and Ms. Steve Mallette and Mr. and Ms. Roger Scarberry of Point Pleasant. They claimed that they saw a "man-sized, bird-like creature" in the TNT area around midnight. According to these witnesses, the creature had red eyes about two inches in diameter and six inches apart. The Mothman was observed standing at least three times. When the witnesses left the scene in their vehicle, the Mothman allegedly followed them, flying over their car for a long period of time. [7] The Mothman achieved speeds of up to 100 MPH, although the Mothman gave up pursuit when they reached the city limits.

Afterwards, the witnesses returned to the scene of the initial sighting with a Sheriff's Deputy. The Deputy reported problems with his radio; it was garbled and squealing, much like the problem experienced by Newell and his television only an night before.

Shortly after this sighting, four more witnesses saw a similar creature. One witness also reported the disappearance of his dog. This would be a common theme in Point Pleasant for months, as Mothman would be periodically sighted in the region. [8]

For the most part, Mothman sightings in Point Pleasant became rare after the December 15th, 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge. The Silver Bridge crossed the Ohio River in Point Pleasant, and collapsed during rush-hour. [9] Some witnesses reported Mothman sightings in the area. This event marked the last of the regular Mothman sightings in Point Pleasant, which persisted from November of 1966 to December of 1967.

Other sightings within the United States

In late November 1966, a Mothman-like creature was spotted in New Haven, Connecticut.[10] The description given was consistent with the description given in the Point Pleasant sightings.

Sightings outside the United States

In November 1963 in England, some witnesses may have seen a Mothman-type creature. They were traveling down a rural road when they reported seeing a golden UFO descend out of the sky and disappear behind trees. Shortly after, the witnesses saw a black, headless, human-sized shape stumbling across a field toward them. They reported that it had wings. They left the scene immediately.[11]

It was reported that a Mothman-like creature was spotted just before the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant meltdown.[12] See: Black Bird of Chernobyl

There are also claims that the Mothman was seen just prior to the 1985 Mexico City earthquake. [13] This leads some to believe that the Mothman had some involvement in the incidents, or that the Mothman was trying to "warn" people.


Some skeptics believe that witnesses actually saw a sandhill crane, a bird with a large wingspan and a height of four to five feet. The sandhill crane has a reddish patch on its head, which skeptics believe explains the "red eyes" cited by witnesses. The witnesses, however, rejected this explanation.[14]

There is also a theory that Mothman was some kind of mutation, caused by the chemicals buried in the TNT area.

Related Phenomena

Mothman is sometimes connected to The Grinning Man cryptid, as the Grinning Man was sighted near Point Pleasant around the same time as the 1966-1967 Mothman sightings.


  1. Mothman!
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Point Pleasant Register, November 16th 1966
  5. McClintic Wildlife Management Area
  6. Mothman
  7. Point Pleasant Register, November 16th 1966
  8. Four More Claim Seeing Big Red-Eyed Bird
  9. The Legend of Mothman
  10. Haunting Creature Seen Twice
  11. Strange & Unexplained - Mothman
  12. McClintic Wildlife Management Area
  13. Ibid.
  14. Strange & Unexplained - Mothman
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