West Virginia has always had its share of legends from the Grassman to the hellhound. Myths and stories just seem to spring out the mists that roll over the hills. But two stories that come out the state are bit odder they seem to have evidence if a little slim to back them up.
On September 12th 1955 something odd happend in Flatwoods West Virginia. Many people from all around the area claim to have seen a large glowing object crash through the sky and eventually pass over the horizon. Many chalked it up to a meteor but what happend next was definitely weird. The May family along with 3 other children claim to have seen what looked like a ufo landing in the woods near their school. All 7 claimed to have seen a large human shaped being with glowing eyes, a red face, and a long hooded robe. After breathing in a smoke from the craft that they claim it made them all feel sick. Then they claim the alien saw them and took after them. When they got back to the May family home they called the police.
When police arrived they didn’t find a ufo or an alien but did claim to have heard that a plane had just crashed in the area. A day later a newspaper reporter visited the area and saw two deep skid marks and a nasty gel like substance. Interestingly a pretty detailed investigation seems to have taken part looking into Flatwoods monster since air force investigators had come to the area and concluded that the ufo was actually meteor and the so called alien an owl perched in a tree. Now years later the people of Flatwoods have made their monster an attraction and use to hold a festival in it’s honor.
From November 15th 1966 to January 11 1967 the citizens of Point Pleasant West Virginia kept seeing something strange. It was described to police as a 7 foot tall humanoid with terrifying bright red eyes and a pair of massive black wings. First seen that cold November night by a group of teenagers hanging around the old TNT factory, in all at least 17 people reported that they saw the Mothman many while driving along route 62. With all these very detailed descriptions that all seem match the same creature the citizens of Point Pleasant were definitely seeing something.
On December 15th 1967 the Silver Bridge over the Ohio River collapsed due to a weak eye bar. In all 46 people passed away in the tragic accident. Many claim they saw the Mothman on the bridge that day. Some believe that the Mothman was trying to warn people and some think that it may have actually caused the collapse. What we do know is sightings became rarer after that and eventually stopped all together. In 1975 john Keel a famous author and paranormal investigator researched the legend and wrote a book about it titled The Mothman Prophesies that later became a movie. Now like with the flatwoods monster the locals seem to be keeping the legend alive. There is a full-sized statue of the monster in the city square and the town is full of shops selling related stuff.
I don’t know if we should believe in the Mothman or flatwoods monster but I find it interesting that both had a lot of people see them and they gave very similar accounts to law enforcement. It’s also curious that both happened not more than 2 hours away from each other and 12 years apart close enough to make you wonder but far enough that you wouldn’t necessarily think the Mothman was based on the flatwoods monster. Whether fact or fiction these stories have become a part of their communities and it likely we will still be telling them for a long time or at least until the next monster visits.
list of the victims of the Sliver bridge accident