Two young couples were the first to report a sighting of the creature in 1966. They were on a drive and said to police that they saw a large flying creature whose eyes glowed red when seen in the car’s headlights. They claimed the creature followed them as they drove.
Sightings spread from there, with many people in the area claiming to have seen a large flying man-sized creature with glowing eyes “like bicycle reflectors”.
The sightings persisted until December of 1967, when they suddenly stopped after the tragic collapse of the Silver Bridge. Many people have connected the sightings of the creature with the bridge collapse, believing that the Mothman appeared as a warning of the coming disaster.
Many have proposed explanations for the creature, including a misidentified owl or a large bird, such as a heron or sandhill crane. Others believe the Mothman to be a case of a shared paranoia amongst the townsfolk of Point Pleasant, who may have been influenced by the initial sighting.
Today, the legend endures, and the town of Point Pleasant has become a destination for enthusiasts of all things “paranormal”. The town hosts a yearly “Mothman Festival” that draws over 10,000 attendees a year, and has featured a 12 foot tall sculpture of the Mothman in town since 2003.