I first heard about Mothman from the show Hellier on Amazon Prime Video. I binge watched the whole series three times, and then once again when I was preparing this video today. As disappointing as it was that they (SPOILER ALERT!) never found the little green men or even their footprints or something else tangible, it was still a complex storyline full of mysterious synchronicities, which I totally dig.
Last week, my husband and I took off for a couple days to visit West Virginia. During our trip, we stopped in Point Pleasant to check out the Mothman Museum and statue. From the museum’s gift shop, I purchased a copy of “The Mothman Prophecies” by John A. Keel, the book that started the whole Mothman legend. He notes throughout the book that witnesses describe the Mothman as having birdlike or angel wings with feathers. A few have said they were bat wings. But none of them ever described it as a moth. Turns out, on page 78 of the book, Keel reveals that the moniker came from a copy editor who picked up the story on the AP wire. The name stuck and now, more than 50 years later, this birdlike or batlike creature still goes by the misnomer, Mothman.
I wanted to know more about this whole alleged curse by Chief Cornstalk who was supposed to have something to do with the phenomenon, but the museum had nothing about its potential role in the Mothman lore. Chief Cornstalk was a Shawnee who had established diplomatic ties with the French, American, and English settlers but was later betrayed and shot to death by some renegade soldiers. Legend has it that Chief Cornstalk’s last words were a curse upon the white men and all their descendants. Now, everything that goes wrong in Point Pleasant, including the 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge, is blamed on the Shawnee chief. And from that story, some folks believe Mothman is a harbinger of doom, sent to warn people of impending danger.
According to most witnesses, the Mothman is seven feet tall with a ten-foot wingspan. It doesn’t actually have a gender, but we live in a male-dominated society, so we all assume its pronouns are he/him. It has hypnotic red eyes and can take off vertically, something no other animal on earth is able to do.
My thought in all this—keeping in mind I am not a psychic or a UFO expert; I’m just a writer with an overactive imagination—is that Mothman is part of the fae realm. Keel uses the term “ultra-dimensional” to explain how the winged phenom can travel back and forth between the physical realm that we humans live in and then disappear. Apparently it exists on a frequency that humans cannot perceive. I’m going to go with that.
And that, my friends, sounds like a good place to leave off. I’ll see you next Tuesday here on the Rivervine blog. Thanks so much for watching. Be sure to subscribe for more news, features, and commentary targeted to critical thinkers with a sense of wonder. I’m your host, Gwen Alyce Clayton. Please check out my YouTube channel, books, and Patreon to learn more about my work.
Hellier (Planet Weird) https://bit.ly/3fQGbcn
Mothman Museum https://www.mothmanmuseum.com
Point Pleasant, West Virginia https://visitpointpleasantwv.com
“The Mothman Prophesies” by John A. Keel https://bit.ly/2VIZkpg
Chief Cornstalk Wildlife Management Area https://bit.ly/37zY8qQ