Nachtvlinders Lore



Magie en fantasie


De Mothman is een mysterieus wezen, en zoals de naam al aangeeft is het een hybridevorm van een man met een nachtvlinder. Deze wordt in de midden jaren 60' veelvuldig gesignaleerd in de streek van West-Virginia, met een hoogtepunt in 66 en 67. Maar ook vandaag nog blijft dit wezen nog vaak opduiken. Behalve een drang naar bloed, heeft de Mothman veel gelijklopende verhalen met de vampieren uit Oost-Europa.


Sightings of Mothman began abruptly in mid-November 1966. On November 12, five men preparing a gravesite for a burial near Clendenin saw something that looked like a brown man with wings lift-off from the trees nearby. On November 14, glowing red eyes were reported in Salem, West Virginia. On the night of November 15, two married couples were driving late at night near Point Pleasant and reached on old abandoned TNT plant. They saw that the door to the plant seemed to have been ripped off its hinges. They saw a huge man-creature six to seven feet tall with hypnotic red eyes and wings folded on its back. Terrified, they sped off in their car. But the creature took flight and was able to keep up with them, even though they were travelling nearly 100 miles an hour. The creature suddenly broke off its pursuit and vanished.

With that, a rash of bizarre phenomena began, as well as numerous sightings of the creature, which was dubbed Mothman, after the cartoon character Batman.

According to some early sightings, Mothman did not seem to have a head, but had eyes set near the tops of its shoulders. Some witnesses recalled seeing a head, but one without features. Some said the wings were not feathered, while others said the wings had small patches of feathers. Mothman shuffled on human-like legs and made a strange, high-pitched squeaking noise. The entity could take off straight up into the air without moving its wings. It flew as though gliding, without flapping its wings.

The creature chased cars driving near the Chief Cornstalk Hunting Grounds, the location of an abandoned World War II ammunition dump. Local wildlife authorities opined that people were seeing an owl or a sandhill crane, but witnesses insisted their descriptions were true.

Other mysterious phenomena included UFO activity, electrical and telephone disturbances, poltergeist phenomena, phantom dogs, other mysterious creatures, phantom people, and sinister “men in black,” who are dark, cadaverous, mechanical-like men who harass UFO contactees and threaten them to keep silent. Numerous dogs disappeared and wild animals were found mutilated—activity that was linked to Mothman, though no one ever caught the creature in the act.

The supernatural activity attracted the attention of John A. Keel, a leading authority on UFOs and anomalies.

Keel travelled to West Virginia to investigate. According to Keel, at least 100 persons had sightings of Mothman. In his book The Mothman Prophecies (1975), Keel gives his first-person report of a bizarre incident where a UFO chases down a Red Cross bloodmobile loaded with blood:

On the night of March 5 [1967], a Red Cross Bloodmobile was travelling along Route 2, which runs parallel to the Ohio River. Beau Shertzer, twenty-one, and a young nurse had been out all day collecting human blood and now they were heading back to Huntington, West Virginia, with a van filled with fresh blood. The road was dark and cold and there was very little traffic. As they moved along a particularly deserted stretch, there was a flash in the woods on a nearby hill and a large white glow appeared. It rose slowly into the air and flew straight for their vehicle.

“My God! What is it?” the nurse cried.

“I’m not going to stick around to find out,” Shertzer answered, pushing his foot down on the gas. The object effortlessly swooped over the van and stayed with it. Shertzer rolled down his window and looked up. He was horrified to see some kind of arm or extension being lowered from the luminous thing cruising only a few feet above the Bloodmobile.

“It’s trying to get us!” the nurse yelled, watching another arm reach down her side. It looked as if the flying object was trying to wrap a pincers-like device around the vehicle. Shertzer poured on the horses but the object kept pace with them easily. Apparently they were saved by the sudden appearance of headlights from approaching traffic. As the other cars neared, the object retracted its arms and hastily flew off.

Both young people rushed to the police in a state of hysteria. The incident was mentioned briefly on a radio newscast that night but was not picked up by the newspapers.

In cases like this we have to ask: Did the UFO really intend to carry off the Bloodmobile? Or was it all a sham to “prove” the UFOs interest in blood. Later I tried to check to find out if any Bloodmobiles had actually vanished anywhere. The Red Cross thought I was a bit nuts.

But I often found myself seriously wondering if we only hear about the people who get away!

The sightings and bizarre phenomena continued into 1967, but began to wane toward the end of the year. On December 15, 1967, a tragedy took place: the 700-foot Silver Bridge that crossed the Ohio River at Point Pleasant collapsed around 5 P.M., sending dozens of vehicles into the river. Forty-six people were killed; two bodies were never recovered. In addition, strange lights were seen in the sky, and people reported encounters with mysterious men. People linked the bridge collapse to Mothman, though no direct evidence ever could be found.

Keel opined that Point Pleasant was a “window” area, a place for periods of time another reality can bleed through to ours, where it, manifests as supernatural phenomena. Explanations put forward by others are toxic chemical spills or chemical experiments by companies or the military; a 200-year-old Native American curse on the town of Point Pleasant; a mutant strain of the sandhill crane; a creature summoned by occult ritual.

The curse is attributed to a Shawnee warrior chief, Cornstalk, whose forces were defeated in 1774 in an ambush by Virginia militiamen. According to lore, as Cornstalk lay dying he cursed the area for 200 years. The description of Mothman is similar to other humanlike, bat-winged creatures reported elsewhere, such as the Coventry Street Vampire.

In 2001, Sony Pictures released The Mothman Prophecies, based on Keel’s book, starring Richard Gere as John Klein, based on Keel himself. An annual Mothman Festival was started in 2002 in Point Pleasant.