POINT PLEASANT — For 43 years Point Pleasant,
When Steve and Mary Mallette and David and Linda Scarberry turned onto an old dirt road on the outskirts of Point Pleasant that took them through an area known as TNT, an abandoned World War II TNT factory, the foursome came face-to-face with the creature and the account of what they saw that day started a craze that has since swept the city of Point Pleasant, the nation and the world. While out joyriding through the heavily wooded area the couples saw two red lights off in the distance that they simply passed off as shadows from a nearby power plant. Moments later, however, those lights began to move toward them at a rapid pace. What they saw next, according to reports, were the eyes of an enormous creature that looked like a man with wings on its back. The animal then chased them in their car exceeding speeds of 100 mph. They claimed to have escaped when the creature became distracted by a dead dog on the side of the road. They were unable to find the following day. On the same night, Newell Partridge, a
This story caught international attention with the help of a movie. The 2002 movie entitled The Mothman Prophecies was directed by Mark Pellington and written by John A. Keel, an avid Mothman researcher, and Richard Hatem. “Of course, when the movie came out people got different angles on it and everything so I tell people that come into the museum that the real story is a lot scarier than what the movie was,” Wamsley said.
The creature is also associated with the worst disaster in Point Pleasant’s history, the collapse of the
So was Mothman a publicity stunt? It is the charge they lay at the residents at Loch Ness and other cryptid sites. I am not sure most people would say they say they saw something knowing it could mean they could be ridiculed and criticised. But when a cryptid is sighted the media and the tourism follows , which always leads people open to talk of publicity stunt. I think as cryptozoologists we have to be aware of this but keep an open mind, not everyone is out to make money.