One of the biggest legends in West Virginia history starts at the beginning of this horrific tragedy. The most famous cryptid in our state has the entire country’s mind blown at all the sightings and reports of this creature. Magazines have written stories on this event even after decades have passed. To this day people still believe in this tragedy’s most famous monster, the Mothman.
During the middle of day on Dec. 15, 1967, many citizens were crossing Point Pleasant’s Silver Bridge during rush hour until tragedy struck.
“It was the first bridge in the nation to use an innovative eyebar-link suspension system rather than a traditional wire-cable suspension,” according to West Virginia Public Broadcasting. “But one of those eyebars had a small, unseen defect. The faulty eyebar eventually cracked and began to corrode, out of sight from the public or bridge inspectors. At about 5 p.m. on Dec. 15, the eyebar failed, setting off a series of other failures that caused the bridge to collapse.”
This horrific accident consumed the lives of 46 people that day, while the survivors reported something lurking on the metal bars.
Many reports were made by outsiders and survivors who were involved in the collapse. They described the odd being to be a creature with a large wing span and a humanoid body type.
“During that time, the area around Point Pleasant was being inundated with sightings of a large bird-like creature that came to be known as ‘Mothman,’” according to “Narrative Hijacking: Mothman and the Silver Bridge Collapse” by Jack Daly. “An examination of the narratives surrounding Mothman and the Silver Bridge collapse, which include songs, literature and film show an intriguing interplay between the outsider and insider perspective regarding the events, and raise important questions regarding the commodification of legends.”
This shows how famous this cryptid known as the Mothman became a huge hit.
Other known reports were also put on file. One included a sighting near a military unit, and another being during a graveyard shift.
One famous report was in 2016 when two local hunters managed to catch a picture of a similar creature that shared very close resemblance to Mothman.
According to a 2016 article from WCHS, “There hadn’t been any recent sightings of the red-eyed creature recently, but that changed Sunday evening, when a man who says he was driving along State Route 2 saw something jump from tree to tree. He pulled off the road and snapped some pictures.” The picture showed a clear shot of how Mothman looked in action.
People always report the same type of creature, but something always sticks out — the beady red eyes. The creature’s height is estimated to be around seven feet tall with a wingspan of 10 feet.
Some think the cryptid represents a bad omen, or something that tries to warn others before tragedy strikes. The phenomena has been popular for decades and even had its own movie and festival dedicated to the Mothman. Legend says that if you hear an odd chirping noise at night, you will see beady red eyes nearby.