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Mothman: Debunking the Debunking

This summer I’m busy finishing my manuscript: Mothman: Debunking the Debunking. The book takes a look at Mothman, the sightings in 1966, the explanations that were proffered, and finally, how these explanations don’t pan out. Here’s a teaser:

Mothman: Debunking the Debunking

Fifty years ago, Mothman flew into the imaginations of the residents of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, a small town in the western part of the state. For 13 months, eyewitnesses recall seeing a 7’ tall, red-eyed winged creature. Though it never threatened anyone, its size was menacing. Mothman may have snatched a German Shepard. Other than that, it did not kill or maim. It merely fascinated.

An Urban Legend Is Born

Couples Steve and Mary Mallette and Roger and Linda Scarberry were looking for a good time. The abandoned ammunitions factory was perfect for night exploration. On the evening of November 15, 1966, they drove out on West Virginia Route 62 with Lonnie Button. Their destination was the McClintic Wildlife Management Area, a vast wildlife preserve in Mason County, 5 miles outside Point Pleasant. The area included an ordinance works housing a TNT factory from World War II.

The party of five reached the shackled chain-linked fencing. As the car’s engine ran, the young adults spotted something: a 7’ tall, red-eyed winged creature.

Quickly, they turned the car around and sped off reaching speeds upwards of 100 mph. The creature pursued, flying alongside. The car screeched to a halt at the Point Pleasant Courthouse, located in downtown. The courthouse housed the local police department. The five adults ran inside to alert Deputy Millard Halstead of the frightening flying creature that followed them into town. The deputy went outside; however, the creature was gone.

Roger Scarberry attempted to capture the image of the creature onto paper. He drew an overly simplistic blob-like shape with glowing eyes. He shared it with Deputy Halstead, who filed a police report. Mothman was born.

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