Often described as a humanoid figure around 7 feet tall with a massive wingspan and hypnotic glowing red eyes, the creature of legend known as the Mothman seems to be connected to tragic events. Across the world, witnesses claim to have seen a creature, with sightings becoming more frequent in the days leading up to horrific events. Two bridge collapses, the Chernobyl disaster, and even the 9/11 terrorist attacks were all allegedly preceded by Mothman sightings.
What is the Mothman? Could it be a cryptid like Bigfoot or something otherworldly, perhaps extraterrestrial in origin? Reports of strange lights in the sky, an unnerving humming sound, and electrical interference have all been tied to Mothman sightings. Many have asked about this creature’s possible motives. Could it have been causing these disasters or should its presence be considered a warning of what’s to come? Like any good harbinger of doom, the Mothman is said to possess a bloodcurdling shriek that’s been known to make those who hear it experience nausea and vertigo.
The following are stories of real people who claim to have seen Mothman and what disasters they experienced - or narrowly averted.
A truck driver who stopped at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on November 26, 2019, claimed he spotted a "person with wings" around 7 feet tall standing by a fence while he took a smoke break at about 6:30 p.m. He reported his sighting to UFO Clearinghouse, an online source for odd encounters that describes itself as "a portal for the truth." According to the investigator who took the report, the truck driver said the creature had a wingspan of approximately 6 feet, and "looked like a demon or a goblin and was solid black."
The witness mentioned the creature may have had its back to him, and that it was walking "with a gait, like a bird." He claimed it was "flapping its wings as it walked toward the large field that is by the [airport] runways and disappeared into the night."
The witness himself believed he was in the presence of a demon. When the investigator asked if he'd seen anything like it before, the truck driver detailed a similar experience as a child in Mexico where "a solid black-winged creature... was circling an open field" and "made a loud screeching noise before flying off into the surrounding forest," similarly to the experiences of those who claim to have encountered the Mothman.
The first of a series of strange sightings actually took place about 85 miles away from Point Pleasant in Clendenin, WV. Five grave diggers heard a rustling in the trees overhead and looked up to find what they claimed was a flying man directly above them.
Over the next few days, more reports started trickling in. Two volunteer firemen described a "large bird with red eyes." At least a hundred reports from people of all ages circulated throughout Point Pleasant between November 1966 and December 1967, describing a monster that was able to ascend straight up into the air “like a helicopter.” All of the witnesses described the same bird-man with glowing, hypnotic red eyes and the wings of a bat.
Mary Hyre, a reporter at the time of the Mothman sightings, received over 500 phone calls, not only about this mysterious creature, but also strange lights in the sky, electrical interference, mysterious humming sounds, and UFO sightings. Then, on December 15, 1967, a year after the Mothman sightings began, tragedy struck. During rush hour traffic, the Silver Bridge collapsed, 46 people died, and the Mothman disappeared.
On November 15, 1966, two couples (Roger and Linda Scarberry and Steve and Mary Mallette) were driving past a TNT plant when they saw a humanoid figure with glowing red eyes. Linda described what they saw on the side of the road as a bird-like humanoid creature with a large wingspan and fiery red eyes. She said it was about 7 feet tall, its wings folded against its back. "You could see muscles in its legs" she recalled.
The creature followed them as they drove back towards Point Pleasant on Route 62, then it veered off into the fields and disappeared. The group went straight to the Mason County Police Department to share the terrifying account, which soon made its way into local papers.
"I wish we had never seen it, I wish someone else had seen it," Linda Scarberry said later.
On September 10, 1978, a group of miners in Freiburg, Germany came face to face with a seemingly headless creature with glowing red eyes on its chest blocking the mine’s entrance. At first, they thought it was a man in a trench coat, but they quickly realized it was not a coat but unfurled large black wings. The men remained in the mine entrance, stunned and staring at the creature, until it let out a bloodcurdling screech that sent the miners scrambling out.
About an hour later, the men felt a seismic rumble and witnessed a plume of dust shoot from the mine as it collapsed. If the men had gone to their stations in the mine as usual, the majority of them would have died. It appeared as though what they dubbed the "Freiburg Shrieker" saved their lives.