Good day, all.
Today I’m going to attempt doing something that I am really not good at, or at least, something I have not been able to do successfully ever since getting into uni – research. Or, to be more exact, proper and thorough research. I think I’m alright when it comes to finding things, I just really suck at getting down to typing it out on my blogs as I’m more keen on doing the work itself rather than reading or writing. I would say that it’s something that has been very detrimental throughout this journey so far and it’s something that needs changing. Hopefully with this post, I can do exactly that. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
I think the best part about Mothman is that while it’s one of the more popular cryptids out of the bunch, there is still a lot of mystery surrounding it as its period of prevalence was very limited, reportedly only seen from November 15th, 1966 till December 15th, 1967. Many have made claims to having seen it before and (long) after that, but not much can be said as the accounts are not from reliable sources and come from individuals which is always less believable than when a group of people report on it.
On that note, an interesting fact I found regarding the initial sightings was that it is widely believed to have been a product of mass hysteria.
It’s a pretty standard reaction to an event as awful as the falling of Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant. It’s not everyday that a bridge collapses from out of the blue and results in 46 casualties. It’s easier for the human brain to resort to the “paranormal” approach rather than logic thinking in a state of distress. But, if this was all that there was to Mothman, I definitely would not have chosen it as my point of interest to talk about in my Digital Adventures publication. I instead want to talk about the reported sightings, the cultural impact, references in pop-culture, the lore and possible explanations behind it, places and people affected and lastly, the conspiracies and theories behind the being that is Mothman.
Here are some very quick sketches I was able to create while exploring Mothman online.
Looking into it has surely threw me off due to how different each encounter was – some have reported seeing a feral bat-like creature that was out for blood, some said it was very similar to what people describe big foot as – remote, cautious, unapproachable, some mentioned it being a curious and fascinated by people/technology while other said it would never set foot on land, only pouncing from branch to branch, doing anything, really, to avoid any contact with humans.
To this day, it is uncertain whether or not the Mothman is/was more of a bad omen or the cause of the disasters that followed its appearance. Maybe it’s neither. Maybe it’s both. The more popular theory seems to be that of it being the cryptid version of a black cat – should you ever be unfortunate enough to see it – duck and evacuate the area.
Another mystery surrounding the Mothman is its actual appearance – is it a man-shaped moth? Is it an anthropomorphic bird? Is it just a big bird? Is it a humanoid with a bug’s anatomy? Is it a humanoid with wings? Everyone seems to have their own idea of what the Mothman actually is. For all we know, it might be some guy wearing a black tracksuit, goggles and a cape!
It doesn’t help that almost every other reported sighting describes it in a unique manner. Some have even said they could’ve sworn that they could hear metal clanging as it was flying above, providing us with a new take that the mothman is an animatronic/mecha/mechsuit which may or may not be operated by someone on the inside or remotely. Which.. conveniently enough, brings us to the conspiracy theory section of the post.
One of the most prevalent/popular ones is that Mothman is an environmental activist who created the mothman persona to capture the public’s eye by making these obscure appearances before disaster strikes. Most disasters that have ocurred were to do with nature, therefore in a way, it does kind of make sense. I have to say, if this is being carried out by a person/group of people for the reason of environment conservation, then it definitely is somewhere in the very top of the list of the most absurd approaches to environmentalism, maybe even the very top too.
Another theory I’ve come across and think is worth mentioning is that Mothman is a group of terrorists which carry out these terror acts. The initial attack being the one in 1966 on the Silver Bridge. While I don’t think that’s the case, the idea of public panic fueling the group’s notoriety through the means of Mothman does sort of make sense, especially with how the sightings went on for another year, keeping the name relevant and striking fear into anyone who hears it due to the connections to such a horrid event and the fear of something of a similar manner happening in the months to come, or perhaps, even sooner. I feel there was a point in time when the fear of Mothman was synonymous with the fear of the unknown or fear of disasters. The only thing that makes me skeptical of the terrorism theory is the fact that there had been no traces of explosives or any other kind of tampering with the bridge.
One thing that seems to be a running theme is the idea of Mothman being ran or operated by a group of people. This made me look into whether or not the Mothman had a cult following or anything like that. The only thing that did come up was cult of Mothman which is a thing in Fallout 76 which is a video game that revolves around a post apocalyptic world which was torn by a nuclear war. The game has many bizarre creatures and locations, one of which is dedicated to Mothman – The Church of Mothman.
(Taken from the Fallout Wikia)
It appears that the Mothman has more folk significance than anything else. Given the context and the world-building behind Fallout, I would’ve thought that the Mothman had more of a prophecy based backstory, perhaps some people reportedly saw him before the day the nuclear war started and were able to prepare for the disaster, thus deeming the Mothman as their god of sorts. It appears that this sort of event happens later on in the story with the floods, so at least the potential is not fully wasted.
(Taken from the Cryptids and Myths Wikia)
Looking through this list of references in pop culture, I have to say that I would’ve expected there to be some more content that focused on the myth of Mothman. One bit of content I was able to find that was not listed in this list is a song created by the Paranormal Song Warrior.
I initially came across this video whilst looking for anything to do with Mothman cults. Was hoping to find cultic chants, ended up with a bit of a bop instead! Oh yeah, also.. whatever this is.
It really appears that the Mothman is a docile prophet over anything else. It suffers from a similar fate that black cats suffer from, which is being painted as creatures that bring bad luck wherever they go when in reality they are bearers of warnings. A similar creature is also present in the pokemon world in the form of Absol, the “Disaster” pokemon. A sort of a reach, but it adds up given its features.
Making this post I’m just imagining what I could do for it and there are just so many ideas. I even considered changing my Change Someone’s Day to be a Mothman suit and the spectacle of going around Bristol dressed as that to freak people out and have it be reported on. Of course, that is ridiculous, but indulging in this content and information is making me feel intrigued by how it would be perceived by other people and what it might evolve into.
I’ll definitely push this idea past the tutor that will be in my next tutorial and see what they have to say about it. I haven’t progressed with my CSD idea too far so it wouldn’t be too bad if I were to restart it. I think I could possibly come up with a unique take on the Mothman and make it into something useful or entertaining. But we’ll see. For now, that is all. I think I will expand on this post if I find anything worth mentioning. Thank you for reading up, hopefully this has been informative, haha. Until next time!