LEGEND of a giant winged creature that stalks West Virginians has terrorized Americans since the 1960s.
The gravediggers from Clendenin, West Virginia allegedly described the strange sighting as a “brown human being.”
Days after that first sighting, two couples reported finding a white-winged creature standing six or seven feet tall in the nearby town of Point Pleasant.
The creature stood in front of the car the group of sitting in, according to eyewitnesses Roger Scarberry and Steve Mallet.
They told The Point Pleasant Register that the beast had red eyes and a wingspan of 10 feet and was able to fly as fast as 100 miles per hour.
Scarberry insisted that what he saw was real, despite how far-fetched it had sounded.
“If I had seen it while by myself, I wouldn’t have said anything, but there were four of us who saw it,” he told the paper.
The creature was coined “The Mothman” in local papers after printing Mallet’s description: “It was like a man with wings.”
Other people then reported similar sightings but the county sheriff George Johnson dismissed it as an unusually large heron.
After sightings throughout the next year, the Silver Bridge collapsed on December 15, 1967, killing dozens of people.
This was linked to the Mothman and the myth was cemented.
Over the years, there have been hundreds of alleged sightings of the cryptid, with Illinois having the most reported sightings at 125 as of September 2022.
Several sightings have been reported at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.
The Singular Fortean Society, an organization focused on paranormal journalism and research, archives the sightings to keep a devoted list and interviews eyewitnesses for more information.
It is run by husband-and-wife duo Tobias and Emily Wayland.
MOTHMAN FESTIVAL RETURNS
This year, however, the town at the center of the mystery welcomed people across the US to explore the Mothman Museum and take photos with the iconic statue.
“I’m into the paranormal stuff, and I’ve seen a bunch of the different shows and movies and things about the Mothman,” said Mary Pascarelli, who traveled to the town from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Pascarelli and her fiancé, Mark Kohlhepp, wanted to check out the festival after visiting the museum in the past.
“We just thought it would be fun to come down and see what it’s all about,” she told The Herald-Dispatch.
The festival aims to celebrate the still-mysterious tale of the winged creature and offers visitors the chance to buy from local vendors at an event similar to a small-scale Comic Con.
The Mothman Festival takes place each year in September.