Saturday, January 08, 2005

Mothman: I sleep, I breathe, I bleed you just like.

Last night, I had the TV on as I tried to get to sleep. TNT was playing The Mothman Prophecies, a movie that thoroughly creeped me out the first time I saw it. It's based on actual events that took place in and around Point Pleasant, West Virginia, from November 1966 through the following year.

And thus we come to the other focus of this journal (besides the minutiae of my life shuttling between two cities): various unexplained phenomena that I'm fascinated with. Among my favorites are the Jersey Devil, Mokele-Mbembe (the dinosaur in the Congo), and assorted lake-dwelling "monsters." But we might as well begin with Mothman...

Mothman (so named by the press, after a villain in the original "Batman" series) was described by witnesses as seven feet tall, looking like either a gray-skinned muscular humanoid or else a bird, with glowing red eyes and leathery wings. The creature could fly, rising up like a helicopter, seeming to glide rather than flapping its wings, able to keep up with a car traveling 100 mph. Those who saw it said they felt hypnotized, unable to move, paralyzed with fear. Some heard it cry out - a sound like a woman screaming.

More than one hundred credible witnesses saw Mothman in the area. Other paranormal events were reported at the time, including the appearance of Men in Black ("You didn't see anything. Understand?") who seemed to be connected with Mothman.

The culmination of the events was the collapse of the Silver Bridge over the Ohio river on December 15, 1967, during an afternoon traffic jam. Over 60 cars plunged into the river and 46 people died in the collapse, which happened almost immediately when one bridge support snapped and the suspension system failed.

Other appearances of Mothman have been reported around the world, in connection with events such as the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and the Mexico City earthquake in 1985. Point Pleasant, WV, is having its third annual Mothman festival in September of 2005. I am so there.

Some people thought the terrifying creature was evil, while others thought it might be an angel. Authorities searching for a "rational" explanation, insisted it was a sandhill crane, which can have red feathers around its eyes. Or maybe an owl. Yes, that it.

The movie combines many of the Mothman events in Point Pleasant and is set in the present day. One of the creepiest sequences in the film involves Richard Gere getting a phone call from an entity calling itself Indrid Cold. The film implies that it's the Mothman on the line, when in fact Indrid Cold is an entirely separate being (or alien presence, or space brother, or what have you.) John Keel, the paranormal researcher who wrote about Mothman (and whom the Gere character is loosely based on) never actually spoke on the phone with Indrid Cold; he thought it might have been a hoax perpetrated by contactee Woodrow Derenberger. See here for a page translated from the French about Mothman and Indrid Cold.

A taste: He approaches Derenberger and the witness feels with stupor of the comprehensible words to infiltrate in his head. "My name is Cold, Indrid Cold. I sleep, I breathe, I bleed you just like "

I'll leave Indrid Cold for a later entry.

If you read about the Mothman sightings, you notice similarities with accounts of Thunderbirds, the Jersey Devil and even supposed pterosaur sightings. All of them are bird-like yet reptilitian, inspiring feelings of dread and helplessness, and sometimes uttering an unearthly cry. Much like some of my exes. You know who you are.


Blogger Jen said...

I actually saw that "Scariest Places on Earth" episode with the Jersey Devil. I can't believe they manipulated the ending like that! Karen and I loved that show—we're such nerds, we'd be home every Friday night watching it. Of course, we still are home every Friday night, but I'm usually reading and she's doing schoolwork.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous the ex (vintage 1994) said...

Oh man, you do one "Dark Crystal" voice-over about pudding and you're doomed......

3:11 PM  

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