Monday, November 28, 2011

The Point Pleasant Phenomena And Other Flying Oddities

I just realized it's been months since I actually did what I meant to with this. Time to fix that. I'm going with a subject I've found really interesting for a long time, the Point Pleasant Phenomena. You may know it as Mothman.

The story of the Point Pleasant Phenomena (I prefer to call it this, because there was more to it than Mothman.) starts right around now, back in 1966 in the small city of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. On the night of November 15, four people driving through an abandoned munitions plant known locally as the TNT Area spotted a bizarre figure in the dark. They would later describe it as a "flying man with glowing red eyes and ten-foot wings." It would be easy at this point to write the incident off as the product of imagination gone wild. But the story is only starting. Sighting reports continued through the week, with reports of the creature terrorizing dogs, flying over houses, and generally harassing everything surrounding the TNT Area. These and other unexplained phenomena kept up for over a year. Connected events include UFOs, encounters with the fabled "Men in Black" detailed here, and the fascinating encounter just prior to the beginning of these events on Highway 77.

The Highway 77 incident is possibly one of the most interesting mysteries I've ever come across. On November 2, 1966, a man driving down the I-77 heading into Point Pleasant was confronted with a strange sight. A large, egg-shaped flying craft descended from the sky, landing near his car. As anyone would do, the man stopped. The craft opened up, and a tall man in an unusual jumpsuit exited it. This figure proceeded to approach the stopped car, and begin what is assumed to be a telepathic exchange. The man identified himself as "Indrid Cold", and asked the driver a short series of questions. What exactly was said is hazy, but once the "conversation" ended, Cold re-entered his craft and left at a high rate of speed. This incident remains relatively unknown outside the unexplained community, and I fully believe it warrants further investigation.

A supposed entity on a bridge, location unknown.
The Point Pleasant phenomena came to a head in late 1967. The sightings tapered off over the summer, but came roaring back in December. On the 15th of December, the Silver Bridge, connecting Point Pleasant to Kanauga, Ohio over the Ohio River, collapsed. This accident cost the lives of 44 people, with an additional 2 never found. That same night, over a dozen unusual lights were spotted above the TNT Area, in addition to a number of Men in Black sightings. There' not much doubt that the Point Pleasant phenomena and the Silver Bridge collapse were related somehow. As for how, that's another matter. I personally think it was some sort of omen.

Believe it or not, this wasn't the first time an avian creature with glowing eyes was seen at the site of a tremendous loss of life, nor would it be the last. Two other incidents seem to relate strongly to this phenomenon, both taking place in Easter Europe, oddly. The headless horrors of the Crimean War, and the Black Bird of Chernobyl.

A flying entity supposedly seen in NYC on 9/11/01.
In April 1986, citizens of the city of Pripyat, Ukraine, reported seeing a creature nearly identical to the descriptions of the Point Pleasant Mothman, a tall, headless winged being. Records of these sightings are somewhat difficult to find for two reasons: one, the wall of silence imposed by the Soviet Union, and two, the catastrophic events of April 26, 1986. Of course everyone is familiar with this event by now, so I'll pare the information down to the barest essentials. On April 26, at 0123 local time, the V.I Lenin Nuclear Power Station, known to all now as Chernobyl, experienced an uncontrolled criticality incident resulting in a core meltdown and breach, caused by a steam explosion. 360,000 people were evacuated following the incident. Among the stories that came to light afterwards is a particularly terrifying one. A number of workers who survived the explosion (only to die of radiation poisoning) reported seeing an enormous black figure flying through the pillars of smoke and steam above the breached reactor. These reports are again difficult/impossible to verify, but they seem as credible to me as anything else.

V.I Lenin Reactor, December 1986.
The creatures of the Crimean War are a different, albeit similar story. The descriptions of it (or  them) are varied, and for obvious reasons, impossible to verify. Some claim it was a headless crow, others immense flesh-eating bats, and still more relate it to Mothman. What's known is that on March 15, year unspecified, a truce was declared between the British and Russian armies. However, a small band of Russian soldiers planned to take advantage of the ceasefire to raid a British encampment at midnight. When the group found themselves approximately halfway between the Russian and British lines, something truly bizarre happened. The skies above them turned pitch black, revealing an immense silhouette that the only survivor would later describe as a massive, headless bird. The leader ordered the rest to keep moving towards the British line, but it seems they'd lost their way and become turned back towards the Russian camp. As they approached, all but one were shot by sentries. At least, this is one version of the story. The other claims that the soldiers were Turks, not Russians, and replaces the single beast with an apparent swarm of bat-like creatures.


  1. Interesting. I'd heard about the events in West Virginia, but not the ones in Ukraine. The Mothman is one of my favorite urban legends, maybe because it seems more credible to me than a lot of unexplained phenomena. Although I have to say that photo in New York looks suspiciously like a seagull in the middle distance... :D

  2. Even after my numerous West Virginia vacations, I've somehow never heard of this urban legend! Very eerie.