Mothman and Other Curious Encounters

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9781931044349: Mothman and Other Curious Encounters

A new Hollywood blockbuster, an amazing documentary, and thousands of web pages in its honor. What's the fuss? In a word--Mothman! A famous investigator examines the reports of this huge, red-eyed creature with wings seen over Point Pleasant, West Virginia on November 15, 1966?and the spawn of Mothman seen before and after that date.

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About the Author:

LOREN COLEMAN of Portland, Maine, is the author of fourteen previous books, including his recent popular and critically acclaimed Mysterious America: The Revised Edition. He is an acknowledged expert in the field of cryptozoology and fortean phenomena investigations.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

  The wire service ticker was spitting out the bulletin...

Location: Point Pleasant, West Virginia Dateline: November 15, 1966

Two young couples reported to Mason County sheriff’s department tonight they have had a curious encounter with a monster.

“It was shaped like a man, but bigger. Maybe six and a half or seven feet tall. And it had big wings folded on its back,” eyewitness Roger Scarberry told Deputy Millard Halstead. 

Roger’s wife, Linda finished his thought: “But it was those eyes that got us. It had two big red eyes, like automobile reflectors.”

The Scarberrys and another couple, Steve and Mary Mallete, had seen something strange at the abandoned World War II ammunition dump, known locally as the TNT area.

“For a minute we could only stare at it. Then it just turned and sort of shuffled towards the open door of the old power plant. We didn’t wait around.” Roger continued.

Thus began America’s first notice of a series of sightings of a strange something that would be quickly named “Mothman.” A month after the publicity began, a journalist innocently showed up in town to live among the locals, hoping to understand what was happening. During the next thirteen months, he would make five trips to Point Pleasant, staying for many weeks scrutinizing the case. The investigator’s name is John A. Keel. His experiences appeared in a series of articles and in his book on the subject, The Mothman Prophecies. 

Keel has been linked forever with Mothman, and he even told me recently that people can’t think of him without thinking of Mothman, although his life is much more diverse than this single group of reports. This “typecasting” will continue, as a fictional contemporary version of John Keel appears as reporter John Klein, played by Richard Gere, in the new major motion picture from Screen Gems, also starring Laura Linney, Will Patton, Debra Messing, and directed by Mark Pellington.

The impact and timing of Mothman-related events continues to amaze. Take for example, Sinema Productions' plans to interview John Keel in Point Pleasant for their 2002 documentary on Mothman. They were to fly Keel from his Manhattan home to West Virginia, to do the taping. But Keel never made it. His flight was cancelled. The date he was to fly to Mothman country—September 11, 2001.

Keel’s book and Pellington’s movie help us move these events into context. But how can we understand them? How can we fit this entity into human consciousness, let alone Homo sapiens’ history and experience? Perhaps we should merely throw aside this weird wonder as a hoax, a lover’s lane illusion, a misidentification, and go on with our lives. But we can’t. The incidents in West Virginia, we begin to discover, do not live in a vacuum. As you will learn in this book, Mothman may have more to tell us than we could have ever imagined. 

More about Mothman later, but first let’s put some of this weirdness in perspective and examine some of Mothman’s precursors.

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