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Monday, August 25, 2014

Mothman Festival and Museum


For fans of the mysterious and unknown, Mothman has it all.  Some believe him to be a demon from hell, others believe him to be a inter-dimensional spirit, other think he is an alien, and still others believe he is an undiscovered cryptid like bigfoot.  Anyways you cut it, Mothman is the South's ultimate monster.

For those of you not familiar with the legend, Mothman is a mysterious winged creature that first appeared in 1966 in the small town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia.  A group of teenagers going to make out at the abandoned TNT plant saw a horrifying winged-man with red glowing eyes.  A rash of these sightings continued around the TNT plant.  Then one day these sighting suddenly stopped. On the 15th of December 1967 when the Silver Bridge over the Ohio River suddenly and inexplicably collapsed killing 46 people in a horrifying manner, as people drowned in their own cars.


It is said that the Mothman sighting stopped cold on this date.  Mothman has forever been connected to the collapse of the bridge.  Some see Mothman as the nefarious cause of the bridge collapse, while others see him as warning the townsfolk about the upcoming disaster.  There has been on-going speculation regarding the origin of Mothman.

One theory postulates that Mothman is a manifestation of what is known as "Cornstalk's Curse".  Cornstalk was Native American Chief that acted at mediator between white settlers and the local Indians.  However, Cornstalk was betrayed and murdered by his white friends (as was the custom at the time).  With his dying breath Cornstalk placed a curse on Point Pleasant, stating "For this, may the curse of the Great Spirit rest upon this land. May it be blighted by nature. May it even be blighted in its hopes. May the strength of its peoples be paralyzed by the stain of our blood."

Here is cornstalk in headless cutout form....

 
 Was Mothman the embodied wrath or cornstalk?  Or was he from Outer space? As was postulated in the most famous book on the subject "The Mothman Prophecies" by John Keel.  This book's non-fiction account connects the Mothman sightings with UFO activity in the area including cover ups by the notorious Men in Black, way before they enlisted the charming wise cracking Will Smith into their ranks.


A film adaption of Mothman Prophecies would come out in 2002 starring Richard Gere.

So how do the people of Point Pleasant deal with being associated with a horrible demonic, murderous alien beast monster?  Surprisingly, they fully embrace it with open arms.

It is not uncommon for towns to erect statues of their civic heroes.  However, most towns civic heroes are not horrifying monsters connected with mass devastation.



Yes, point Pleasant is home to the most remarkable statue of the American Roadside.



Just look at this thing.


But that's not all!  Every September the town throws a festival celebrating the Mothman.  


A few years back I had the pleasure of attending.  Like any other street festival they had family friend activities and games, such as Mothman Cornhole......



 Contests to see who can eat the most Mothman shaped pancakes......



For some reason they even decided to add to the ambiance by littering the streets with Mothballs.....



 Sadly, I did not get a chance to meet Miss Mothman......



Of course, one cannot simply celebrate Mothman one weekend a year.  Point Pleasant also hosts a year round Mothman Museum......



The museum is a good mix of Mothman art....



Note the twin towers

Historical footage and newspaper clippings............




Props from the movie......




Including this blanket that made contact with "World's Sexiest Man" Richard Gere......


But my favorite artifact has to be the "Creepy Lip Balm Prop".....



Which is featured in the most notorious scene of the movie....



 Also of note are the instruments used in the Mothman episode of "Monsterquest".


They also have a piece of driftwood shaped like a bird, for some reason.....



They have a cool collection of Mothman t-shirts....



Check out this awesome "Turtleman Meets Mothman" t-shirt, featuring Ernie "Turtleman" Brown, who was actually "discovered" at the Mothman festival......



Finally, they have this Mothman wheel that answers your questions.   I completely forgot what my question was, but apparently the answer is "evil".



And so we left Point Pleasant.  We enjoyed the festival, but alas, we did not have an encounter with the actual Mothman....or did we?  On our way out of town we stopped at a gas station for some sodas and candy bars.  The total came out to be $6.66.  Coincidence?  I believe the answer is "Evil".



The Carpetbagger

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1 comment:

  1. Well, not everybody likes the mothman
    http://brentkmoore.blogspot.com/2008/02/my-blogs-newest-fan.html

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