“Mothman” on MonsterQuest…

– – We’ve posted here before on Mothman, but that was before the MonsterQuest edition.  After all of the humdrum episodes on rats, feral dogs, snakes, and killer bees The Quest has again found a cryptid subject worthy of their consideration!   One wonders why they took this long to get to Mothman…

This cryptid has been drawing attention for decades, and is described as appearing somewhat like a man-bat, standing about 7 feet tall, weighing around 250 pounds, and boasting an impressive 10-15 foot wingspan.  He has prominent red eyes, emits a high-pitched shriek, and can reach incredible speeds in flight, readily keeping up with a speeding car!   I love the re-creations of cryptid encounters that they do on The Quest! One idiot, after drag-racing Mothie in his car, was shown pulling over and chucking rocks at the cryptid!    Impressive was another re-creation that depicted Mothman perched gargoyle-like atop a tall bridge; really great stuff! – -This image alone made the episode for me, but I digress…

Anyhow, reports of the winged creature were previously best associated with sightings in Point Pleasant, West Virginia beginning in 1966 when over 100 encounters were recorded.  In 1967, the Silver Bridge buckled and collapsed in that town, causing 40 deaths and leading to the reputation of Mothman as a “dark angel” of some sort who shows up before local tragedies.   More recently,  Mothman is reputed to have branched out, showing up as far away from his original stomping grounds as Wisconsin.  Other supposed sightings were said to have taken place in New York City prior to the 9-11-01 terrorist attacks; even more recent was a 2009 sighting in Sacramento, California.

Now MonsterQuest tested the theory that Mothman is a known animal, most specifically a barn owl.  Their experiment showed that size estimates of Mothman cut-outs placed in locations varied widely, and were generally over-estimated.  In spite of this, a psychological expert testified that people will have high confidence in a distorted memory image, an image which can be fleeting and further distorted by the fear response.   “Psychological contagion” is also known to cause people to see things once they are reported.   MonsterQuest further demonstrated that the eyes of many animals will glow red as they reflect light at night, including barn owls.

Be this as it may, one is hard pressed to believe that misidentified barn owls account for all of the Mothman sightings.  In the absence of hard evidence, however, the truth as often happens is still out there…

…long live this “dark angel!”


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2 Comments on ““Mothman” on MonsterQuest…”

  1. carycomic Says:

    The narrator claimed that “Mothman” sightings go back a long way in Wisconsin. But, the oldest piece of folklore I could find on biological UFO’s in the Badger State is a Native American legend cited in WEIRD AMERICA (J.B. Associates, 1978). Specifically, that of the Thunderbirds who rescued some tribal damsels-in-distress from a giant serpent dwelling in Sturgeon Bay!

    However, there was another Fortean citation in that same book that caught my eye. This one concerning a wave of apparent collie dog-nappings from northwestern Wisconsin, circa 1974. Roughly simultaneous with a wave of identical disappearances from Voluntown, Connecticut!

    Could some giant avian cryptid have developed an appetite for canine treats?


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