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Looking for Mothman: Planet Weird Visits Point Pleasant

Alien stalker, inter-dimensional cryptid, herald of Doom, Tibetan Garuda or just a big-ass owl. Everybody has their pet theory about the true nature of the Mothman; but the only thing that’s certain, is that 46 years after the collapse of the Silver Bridge in December of 1967, the mystery immortalized by John Keel and Gray Barker remains as captivating as ever.

Our good friends at Who Forted?, Greg and Dana Newkirk, have just shared a video about their very own personal pilgrimage to the Mothman Mecca – made as part of their Planet Weird series – and it seems the trip had a long-lasting impression on the young Forteans:

In the late 60s, a mysterious creature known as Mothman terrorized Point Pleasant, WV. In this clip, shot exclusively to field test new video equipment used in Planet Weird, Greg and Dana take a midnight adventure to the secluded TNT bunkers where the monster is alleged to have made its home.

I tweeted the thrill-seeking couple, asking about their personal impressions of visiting the infamous TNT area, which for a while was ground zero of most of the Mothman sightings between 1966 and 1967. This was their response:

I found the acoustic quality of the former World War II munitions plant to be interesting, and perhaps in some way connected to the high strangeness experienced by the inhabitants of the small West Virginia town, which will no doubt continue to lure Fortean aficionados for many years to come… like moths to the flame.

  1. Is it possible that the TNT
    Is it possible that the cement igloos happen to be special resonant cavities that act as portals? It is impressive how those things were made – it must have cost a pretty penny to cast those things with those curvatures, and it is hard to figure why they did it that way. It is not as if accidentally setting off all that TNT would be contained by even those very well made buildings. I can’t believe somebody hasn’t offered to buy those structures – they are way cool.

    Ok, on second inspection I see that the walls are very, very thick, so perhaps they would contain an explosion. Those are really quite fantastic buildings. I go for the idea that they are portals accidentally stumbling on some exotic harmonics.

    1. Harmonics & Resonance

      Yeah, that might be part of the puzzle all right. Not to mention all the teen hormones flying around during the 1st sightings 😉

          1. tumuli
            good observation. I can certainly see the paralellisms between this abandoned site and some ancient burial mound.

          2. Yeah, and consider that
            Yeah, and consider that ancient folk designed these chambers to be vessels of spirit and the afterlife. They may have worked out designs that were acoustically active inside, and then there may be a relationship between sonics and spiritual vibration and summoning. It would not be that surprising that a garuda might be summoned by such resonant chambers or find them useful for flitting back and forth between dimensions. Not only that though – these bunkers were laid out in a grid pattern. It was just begging for attention from beings who use geomancy and such.

      1. kids running 80 mph in ragtop.
        Sometimes , as Paul Harvey use to say, “now for the rest of the story”. I was a reporter for the Parkersburg Sentinel Newspaper back when this “Mothman” flap started. What later reports failed to mention was the convertible those kids were driving in sheer panic, had a loose ragtop that was flapping wildly in the high speed terror struck kids overactive imaginations. The “golden egg” that was found and caused a sensation turned out to be a shotput from the high school. Mothman was a Special Forces misadventure and had nothing to do with the collapse of a rickety old bridge. I realize no one likes to see a good scary mystery shot down but sometimes panic stories just need to be rationalized.

        1. Golden egg
          I’m not familiar with the ‘golden egg’ you mention, Brig.

          Overactive imaginations are understandable, but WHAT caused the terror striking the kids in the 1st place?

          1. Golden egg
            Go back to the original stories printed on this matter. The golden egg was found close to the main road, so naturally it had to be from the “Mothman”. Pretty early on a coach at the local high school identified the “egg” as one of their shot puts. No sensationalism there so the “egg” vanished from everything but certain peoples faces. You would not have believed the spreading panic of that area. Every little thing was blown sky-high and added to the mystery. The entire fiasco was a case of misidentification and mass hysteria. The truly unbelievable thing is it is still circulating today.

          2. Added to the mystery
            I can concede that thanks to Keel every single aspect of high-strangeness which occurred around that area prior to the bridge’s collapse has been added to the Mothman mix.

            And still… all those elements seem to point out toward something. It is hard to pinpoint why this story resonates so much with so many. But resonate it does, even if the trigger was a set of trivial misidentifications. The fact that the town was so vulnerable to the ‘mass hysteria’ is to me a sign that there was something just below the surface, trying to emerge in the collective awareness.

          3. Mothman’s glowing red-pink eyes
            Do you remember when night vision goggles were first put into use? I do. They weren’t green like todays. Early night vision goggles glowed reddish pink. Think about it.

  2. More than a moth, man
    The intriguing part of all this, to me at least, isn’t the Mothman. The men in black who coincidentally showed up during the sightings & Indrid Cold, supposedly a traveler from another dimension, are just as odd. No one ever mentions the other weird goings on during that time.

  3. Mary Hyre
    I’m glad to see that the Mothman story is still intriguing Grailers! I wanted to mention that I do maintain a blog in memory of John Keel, at Lately, I’ve been posting the letters Mary Hyre wrote Keel during the Mothman flap. Hyre, for those who don’t know her, was a reporter who was his principal contact in Point Pleasant. Her letters give a unique perspective on the whole puzzling business…

    1. Thanks for the update, Doug
      I need to check up on more frequently. Maybe I just know that once I get there, I’ll be sucked into the Keelian vortex, never to come out again 😉

    2. That was quite interesting
      That was quite interesting.
      I read Jadoo earlier this year and found it to be “foundational” for his thinking in general. On the one hand, it is an exposition of magic tricks, but on the other hand it nods affirmatively to real magic being afoot in the world.

          1. Jadooooooooooo…
            I just sent that Youtube link to Greg Bishop. If there’s anyone who would appreciate this musical masterpiece, it’s him :3

  4. Indrid Cold (Kold)
    I’m very familiar with this hoax. Indrid Cold, sometimes referred to as Kold, was dreamed up by a television repairman named Derenberger. Our sister newspaper called the Parkersburg News was always more than ready to sensationalize any silly season story that came their way. The paper I worked for, The Parkersburg Sentinel was more level headed. When I interviewed Mr. Derenberger I found more holes in his story than a block of Swiss cheese. The guy was a glory hound. Every time he told his tale it got taller and taller. Derenberger had no concept of space. One of his tall tales was about Mr. Kold’s planet which Was smaller than earth and was a million miles away, circleling another star. I guess a million miles was a long way for Mr. Derenberger; but in outer space its next door. There is no star within a million miles of the earth. Try a few trillion to the closest one and traveling at the speed of light would still take you over four years to get there. Anyway when Indred Cold got Mr. Derenberger pregnant even the News got cold feet and dropped that fellow. The ridicule got so bad the pregnant Mr. Derenberger had to pull up stakes and move away. This all occurred just outside of Parkersburg, West Virginia. And you wonder why I question “Mothman”? I chased UFO’s for the Sentinel for well over 10 years and I never met a single one that I couldn’t truthfully explain. I’m not saying that flying Saucers do not exist. I’m simply saying the majority of them are misidentified natural objects. The other 3 percent…well that’s a whole different story.

    1. Lanulos

      It's easy to dismiss many close encounters tales, like the one with Derenberger & Indrid Cold, if what you're trying to do is separate the questionable sightings from the ones that might show cold-hard evidence (pardon the pun) that something truly anomalous really happened.

      And yet, I still think there's something going on within these other high-strangeness cases. Take for example the name of the planet Indrid Cold was said to come from (according to Derenberger): Lanulos. It sounds like something taken out of a Sci-Fi B movie from the 1950s, but to me it looks like an anagram resulted from combining the 2 Spanish words 'Sol' (sun) & 'Luna' (moon). When the Sun & the Moon meet to kiss, you get the Twilight of an eclipse or occultation.

      To me that, an interesting hint into the 'Twilight language' often found in paranormal cases.


      I'm not trying to defend the objective validity of Derenberger's account, or even the whole Mothman affair. I'm only trying to explain why I still find these cases fascinating, and why I've decided to keep them in my mental 'gray basket' 🙂





      1. This evening the Science
        This evening the Science Channel is airing as part its “Unexplained Files” a story about Mothman with some very intriguing witness interviews including the husband and wife psychiatric nurses who both saw the same bizarre creature. Once I see all the better witnesses lined up I am much more certain that something extremely unusual happened, and that it was not a “mass hallucination.”

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