News and updates, exclusive special offers and more! Enter your email address below to sign up for the free FATE newsletter.
In November 1966 four young people in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, reported a chilling encounter with a seven-foot-tall monster with glowing red eyes and a ten-foot wingspan. The press labeled it Mothman, and during the next year more than 100 West Virginians would see it. If it had been just another ten-foot-tall hairy monster I would have ignored the report. After all, Bigfoot sightings were superabundant. But the West Virginia critter had wings, could take off straight up like a helicopter, and was fond of pursuing automobiles at 90 miles an hour. In short, he was my kind of weirdie.
I found Point Pleasant was a quiet little town of 6,300 people, dozens of churches and no public bars. The Mothman sightings had taken place in a desolate World War II ammunition dump on the edge of town. More intriguing, there had been countless UFO sightings up and down the Ohio River all year. Eerie diamond-brilliant lights passed over Point Pleasant every night at 8:30 on a regular schedule. I decided to do something that the Air Force and the loud-mouthed UFO buffs had never thought of doing. I decided to investigate the situation instead of just holding conversations with the witnesses.
Within a few days a much bigger picture began to evolve. The region was not only haunted by strange aerial lights, the homes of the witnesses were plagued with poltergeists and other supernatural phenomena. Television sets were burning out at an alarming rate. Telephones were going crazy, ringing at all hours of the day and night with no one on the other end. Some people were getting calls from mysterious strangers speaking a cryptic language. Black Cadillacs bearing Oriental-looking gentlemen were cruising the black hills of West Virginia.
Mothman assumed minor importance as I uncovered all these other things. I had been investigating psychic manifestations all over the world for years and I recognized the pattern here. Some UFOs were directly related to the human consciousness, just as ghostly apparitions are often the product of the percipient’s mind. There are deeply rooted psychic and psychological factors in the UFO phenomenon, and the sudden appearance of a light in the sky triggers and releases the human energy that stimulated seemingly supernatural events. We cannot define the exact nature of those lights, but we can catalog the many manifestations that accompany them and we can demonstrate how identical manifestations occur in many different frames of reference. Religious apparitions are kissin’ kin with the tall, stately Michael Rennie types that claim to come from Ganymede, Uranus, Clarion (an unknown planet on the other side of the sun) and a dozen other absurd places. The “miracle” at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917 was undoubtedly the best-documented UFO sighting of all time (70,000 witnesses) and certainly the most thoroughly investigated.
Unfortunately, those interested in flying saucers had no interest at all in psychic phenemona, and vice versa. Those who were busy trying to trap a Bigfoot frowned upon all other forms of the weird and supernatural. Yet sea serpents, Abominable Snowpersons, poltergeists, frog rainfalls, and UFOs are all interrelated. You can’t possibly investigate one without some knowledge of the others. For example, the Men in Black (MIBs) so well known in UFO lore are even better known in the histories of witchcraft and black magic. These mysterious gentlemen have been reported for a thousand years. The UFO buffs decided they were CIA agents. But another group known as superbuffs thinks the whole world is run by a secret league of wealthy men and that the MIBs are their minions. In the Far East, where belief in a “king of the world” still rides high, people think the MIBs are agents from the secret underground cities of the king. In West Virginia the MIBs passed themselves off as everything from Bible salesmen to census takers.
When I returned to New York City from that first trip to West Virginia my own telephone went beserk. At first I only had problems when I was speaking to Ivan Sanderson in New Jersey. He was on one of those freak pseudo-independent phone company lines and it was common to be drowned out by static, or have the call suddenly cut off. Ivan solved the problem by shouting obscenities into the phone. Strangely, it worked. It was not uncommon to be having a conversation with this dignified Briton when clicks and other noises would cause him to pause and then bellow, “Get off this line, you god******* son of a b****!” The line noises would cease abruptly.
My problems soon escalated. Someone would interrupt my conversations with a sound like a one-stringed guitar. The sound of an extension being picked up could be clearly heard. The telephone company ignored my complaints, naturally, until I wrote directly to the president of the company. Then fur flew. They checked out my line and happily reported that I did not have one tap on my wire—I had two! ......
Read the rest of this article in the September 2007 issue of FATE
Six strange and unknown packed issues for less than $20?
A full year of FATE for less than $3 a month?
It's no hoax - subscribe to FATE today!